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Thread: FOLK-ROCK: How can this mix be improved?

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    FOLK-ROCK: How can this mix be improved?

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    I've been playing for years but am new to recording, so I need a lot of help with mixing, EQ, mastering, etc.

    This is a folk-rock-ish kind of tune we do at church. It was recorded with a Tascam US-122 interface into a Dell notebook computer with Adobe Audition 1.0 (CEP). Tracks are:

    - Hand percussion (from a loop)
    - Acoustic guitar
    - Irish whistle
    - Vocal
    - Electric guitar
    - "Bass" (actually played the electric guitar and changed the pitch down an octave w/ Audition)
    - Drum kit (programmed with LeafDrums)

    Mic on the acoustic, vocal, and whistle was a Shure Beta 58.

    I've done a couple mixes and still think it's too heavy on the low end, and maybe the drums are too "out front." How can I fix this? Any other suggestions?

    http://www.lccs.edu/~mgowin/blogstuff/bethecenter.mp3

    Thanks--

    Michael

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    Man.... I think it sounds really good. Mix wise.... the vocal needs to be louder. I think the blend between acoustic guitar and percussion is good. I probably wouldn't mess with that. (others may say the git needs to be louder). The "make-do" bass even works for this song. But best of all was the Irish whistle. I think that sounds really good.

    The part I didn't like was the electric guitar around the 1 minute mark. I think it starts hitting some notes that don't go well with what the whistle is doing. They kinda collide in my opinion.

    The hand percussion loop works.... but it definitely misses the human creativity part that would accent certain parts of the song.

    Nice listen though. Very nice.

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    Thumbs up well done

    I agree that the vocals need to be louder. I'm sure someone with greater expertise can suggest technically how to achieve that, perhaps by making a bit more space in the mix for them, but also maybe just turning them up. Maybe the "snare" sound fights with the vocals a bit for prominence?

    The percussion part works nicely. Not the same feel as if a real person were playing, but it serves the song well.

    Can't comment on the "too heavy on the low end" part, because my computer speakers tend to under-accentuate bass.

    Nice choice of instrumentation. Very nice acoustic guitar sound. How closely did you mic the guitar? (You've inspired me to try recording my acoustic with a Beta 58.)

    I like your melody. Very simple and memorable. I'm not usually a big fan of "christian rock", because a lot of it seems contrived, but this sounds very sincere. And I can definitely imagine a congregation singing along!

    Keep up the good work!

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    Thanks for the thoughts so far.

    The vocal is low on purpose: frankly, it's not that good so I'm hiding it with reverb and keeping the volume down. A better singer would would warrant a better place in the mix

    I'll take a look at the electric part at 1 min. again.

    As for the low end, I've listened to it on headphones (where it sounds OK but not great), computer speakers (no low end at all), and burned a CD to play on my home stereo (sounds quite boomy). Somehow some EQ tweaks or compression might help but I'm not sure exactly how to handle this.

    Micing the acoustic: I had the mic positioned around the lower upper bout (if that makes sense), angled up toward the body/neck joint. I used my Guild DV-52 dreadnought, and it's not a "delicate" sounding guitar at all. I had to try a lot of positions to avoid boominess. Even so, I shaved off some of the lows with EQ on the channel.

    As for the actual song, I can't take credit for that. I hope it's not illegal to post covers here. I chose to do this one mostly as a recording/mixing exercise.

    Thanks again for the helpful feedback kjam and kester.

    --Michael

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    those fake sounding percussion samples, i dont like. ha.
    just do it for real! haha.

    Vox louder, yes.

    But, nice work!
    Scott Solo

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    You captured the acoustic very well, the vocals are good, a bit buried in the mix, but well recorded and sung.

    So you mix with headphones?

    You really need to monitor your mix with a pair of good speaker cabs, even your home stereo cabs will get a better mix than cans will.

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