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Thread: Ghost & Co., sing you a love song

  1. #1
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    Ghost & Co., sing you a love song

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    This will be yet another flavor of music that I do with my buddy Doug.

    It's a love song that Doug wrote a few years back but one that we recently recorded a couple of months ago called;

    Could Succeed

    This one features Doug on Acoustic guitars and main vocals. Me on bass, backing vocals and keyboards.

    As usual, the drums are a simple pattern from my Yamaha keyboard.

    This mix was done a short time after the tracking session and as a result, the mix is less then perfect and any ideas as to how to improve the mix would be appreciated.

    Cheers!

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    Nice sound here - lots of space in the mix. It has a very "open" quality that I like. The one problem I hear is the bass, which is pretty lost in the mix. Bring that baby up and give it some prescence and I can't really think what else needs doing. Sounds good to me.

    Nice job.

    Chris

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    I really like the song. I'm not sure why you left the vocal mix out there. I think the space does sound good, but IMO you need to bring the alot of the vox back into the front/center.

    SpaceBoy

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    tracking is good. I'd bring the vocals up and out front some more. A little play on levels and eq in the instr mix and you`ll have a clean complete tune. SOme organ in the bridge and vamp might smooth it some more. I like it, upbeat.
    " Miwk Kowz "

    K: securelock

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    Hey.............

    You guys are lucky.
    There is a real solid duo here.
    This song is catchy, I like it.
    The above comments from the others cover most of the mix issues as usual.
    Ghost, you gotta work on the bass sound. The playing is fine. Bass is the hardest part to capture in recording IMO.
    Easiest Live

    Keep it up guys

    Dan

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    ok ... so yer tryin' to pull a fast on on us here huh ? You think yer a slick devil don't cha ?

    The lead vox is doubled ? and-or split ... and then panned left and right and resting on the high side of 9:00 on the left and high side of 3:00 on the right. The lead vox is stationary for the most part on the left, lead vox doubling and harmony vocals are presented on the right, and that's very, very effective for the presentation of harmony vocals, it's almost like a duet, and this guy is a good singer also.

    The hook is presented using space just inside the right lead vox, and I like that, and you continue with that method in parallel with the vox submix technique, by presenting harmonies for the hook on the other side, just inside the left stereo vox. Very clever.

    For lack of words to describe what you are doing ... I think your are 'cross-mixing the stereo fields' with a like and strong element ?

    The singer's tenor vocal range and aggressive singing style gives you the punch you need to do this effectively. I think you can effectively split our attentions with a vocal that is this sonically strong. And I think you have payed some attention to 'matching' elements well across the field to bring cohesion to the vox submix.

    If you are going to do this, I think you have to 'make a case for it' and stick to that, no 'cheating into the middle', you've got to stay with that game plan the whole way, and you do this, you could do that even more, if only just thinking about it .

    You've got the instrument mix INSIDE the vox ... and that's very different for this board.

    You are encasing all the instruments inside a stereo 'sub-field' outlined by the vox, and this is much more apparent on headphones. This is what I'm hearing.

    I suggest using less verb and substituting delay on the vox, maybe two kinds of delay on one side of the vox, and a different delay on the other side. I prefer reverb on a centered vox, and more use of delay instead of verb on a panned vox.

    Also, you might consider shifting the 'apparent leading vox' from right to left, and then finally back to left ... and doing this several times to emphasize different parts of the lyric structure ... but that's dangerous and if you do it ... IMHO ... you have to do it more than once, to prove that's really what you intend.

    And that's what this mix is about somewhat ... intentions.

    If you shift the 'apparent lead vox' from right to left at any time, you can soften the change with tap delay on the vox you are leaving ... IMHO.

    And this shift would only be nominal, I'm not talking about any real big shifts in volume, weighting one side significantly more than the other, just a little bit, to move us gently from side to side ...

    Now ... this guy has a good lead vox, so you really could back off on the effects somewhat ... and you are on the verge of admitting some sibilance into the lead vox, and that's very easy to do with a tenor with good sharp pronunciation, he's medium-throat crisp-mouthed. You might press a shallow EQ scoop into his upper mids. Crisp-mouthed singers develop sibilance very quickly.

    A tune I'm currently working on, whaddya know ... I'm doing the same thing sort of.

    Telling you about what I'm doing might give you some ideas for this mix ... (hijacking your thread !)

    Ok, to understand what I'm doing with the vox ... draw a picture in your mind of that Hindu goddess babe with all the arms ... and superimpose Davinci's sketch of the dude with his arms outstretched and raising the arms in an arc around his body. It's a rays of the sun kind of thing.

    With the arms outstretched there's lots of weight, as we move our arms up the weight lessens but tensions increase, finally as we approach the top, arms together, less weight, less tension and a resolution ... nirvana ?

    And I've got the image of a bat spreading it's wings like Davinci's subject.

    I've overdubbed the vox lead about 50 times and critically taken the tracks that are the most dead on tight with one another. I've got between 8 and 10 lead vox tracks that are really tight with one another, (5 pairs). I'm changing the phase on every other track in SONAR to minimize any flanging/phasing effect on the vox. I'll be placing these vox tracks in pairs, one on the right, one on the left, working the pairs from the outside in, stronger tracks on the outside and louder, weaker tracks on the inside and getting softer as they approach the center. The closer the track pair is to center, the softer it is in volume, (fast curve).

    So I'm stacking those tracks for the lead vox starting about 10:00 stereo left, and on the right starting about 2:00. So I'm using some of the best of the best for the outside tracks and they are the loudest in the lead vox submix. As the stack works in towards the center the volume is decreased for each vox track, as if you are looking into a flower that is bright red on the outside, and gets lighter and fuzzier as you move inward ... So ... what's in the center.

    In the center, (paired 1-2% left and right respectively), is the very best pair of lead vox tracks, and they are mixed at or below the apparent level of the outermost vox tracks. What I am trying to accomplish is a big, spherical, and graded vox track, and it doesn't last for long. The vox verse comes in very strong, and the vox exits after a very gentle chorus which comes immidiately after the verse.

    I want the listener to be able to listen to any part of the stereo field and understand every word of the vox lead. (I finally got that in words !), and then be able to dwell on the instruments if they wish, with the lead vox accessable at any point in the stero field quickly and closely, but never overwhelming the instrumental.

    And I'm thinking of automating the pan of the vocals to begin to close in towards center as the middle of the chorus is reached, to meet with the stronger instrumental that takes the listener there. But that's such a lot of work, and it might just be silly ...

    The whole submix has some tiny bias towards the right stereo field. Jim's guitar, and the violin, viola and cello tracks, are almost all dead center, but I may do some stereo center field submixing with them also, but generally keeping them quite close to center.

    I'll be using a 'sub-stereo' filed created by the vox sphere to present the instruments in their own sub-spere ...

    OMG, I think I'm a neophyte seperationist !

    There is actually very little lead vox, just two short verses and a chorus that is repeated after each verse. The voices are peppery and fast, the chorus smooth and languid ... there's lot's of instrumental in this based upon the verse and chorus material and variations presented by Jim's guitar.

    Although I treat the vocal as a 'door #1' vocal, (all words must be easily understood), I've recorded it rather hot in the mids and it's in the middle part of my tenor range, so it doesn't ever get muddy, if anything I'm going to have to EQ the mids down a touch on some of the tracks ... The vox is really an effect in this piece, but it still retains lyrical importance.

    It's fun and is a totally different mixing study, and I'm learning a lot, as I did with your mix.

    Thanks for the extra work and the risk you have taken !

    If you could point to examples of songs mixed the way you have mixed, and possibly songs mixed in the style of what I'm trying to do, that would be appreciated.

    Are there any artists or bands who 'typically mix' with the techniques you are using ?
    Performing and recording with real violin, viola, and cello for bands and artists.

  7. #7
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    Nice song.....all the mixing needs have been addressed.
    I think, however, that if the drums were backed off a bit, the vox would be loud enough. The first thing that jumps out at me are the drums......they seem to hot to me, and the bass would still need to come up a little bit.

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    Hey Ghost,

    Any song written for a babe is a winner in my book. Good combined vocal hooks, strong when you are both singing together.
    Keep doing what you're doing - Woodward

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    Thumbs up

    Ghost,
    Nice pop song you guys have here. I have listened a few times through on this and I think I decided I like your mixing approach, mainly because it was different. It seemed to fit the song and have a nice feel.

    The same things I think are cool also may be causing you problems IMO. Panning the vocals out like that makes it seem like they need to be louder, especially on headphones (as I am). But I don't think they need to be louder it is just harder to focus on them spread out with instruments inside of them. The bass seems like it had some lower lows cut out. I would bring them back in some and maybe boost the bass, but only after you bring the lows back. The problem you may encounter (or you already have) is the bass may draw too much attention in the center with nothing on top of it. Maybe that is why it mixed the way it is.

    One last thing, you could probably bring the drums down a hair which should help the vocals come out as well.

    Hope this makes sense. Good song. You make a good team.

  10. #10
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    Nice open song

    I feel the vocals could come up front a little more. The entire mix doesn't have much dynamics to it. For what it is it's very nice--kind of a 60's laid back kind of sound.

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