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Thread: New Recording! Need some help/feedback!

  1. #1
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    New Recording! Need some help/feedback!

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    Recently finished tracking a new song. It's somewhat simple, but there is a lot going on track-wise. I'd like to get it mastered soon, so I need some feedback on the mix. I think it sounds good, but I do have a few concerns I don't quite know how to handle. I won't say what those are yet, I want to see what everyone thinks first.

    I still use a Tascam Neo 2488, so I'm pretty limited on compressing individual tracks, plus, I don't trust my compressing capabilities at all yet. Aside from panning, there's a little EQ on a few tracks, a little reverb here and there, but that's all I did. I'm also still using the old Boss DR-770 drum machine from '99 or 2000. (Up-grading soon, more on that later) A Digitech GNX3000 was used for all the guitar sounds.

    I transfer finished songs from the Tascam to Sound Forge Pro 10, where I just use a compression preset to raise the overall level so my demo version is at a better listening level. Usually it's the "Smooth Compression" preset under the Wave Hammer.

    The tracks are as follows:
    -Two separate clean rhythm guitars- one panned hard left, the other hard right. Two different high-end strats used.
    -One single note melody that comes and goes, done with a Taylor 12-string.
    -One lead guitar track, basically just random fills, then solo at the end. A different strat was used for this also.
    -Bass guitar track was done with a USA Fender P-Bass.
    -Underlying keyboard track, low in the mix.
    -Drum track (DR-770)

    Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. For some reason, this song is driving me nuts trying to get the best possible mix for mastering. If anyone is curious about the strats I used, just ask, different pick-up configurations in all three.


    Sky (Demo) | Johnny Amato

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    Everything sounds about as correct as it can be, playing, recording, mix etc. The only criticism I have is that it's a bit sterile, like it's a music bed for a commercial rather than something I'd go out of my way to hear. As an artist that might not be the most satisfying response, but you could probably make a career out of it that would financially free you to pursue your personal artistic projects.

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    Thanks for the response, bouldersoundguy. What you described is actually what I was shooting for with this- a commercial type, background, theme music sort of piece.

    I'm currently looking to get into the commercial music business, as I have dozens of recordings like this. It's not very easy to get into, and I don't trust those pay sites like Broadjam and HitLicense. I guess it's who you know, but I'm doing what I can to try and get my stuff out there.

    I also play in a rock cover band here in the midwest. But as much as I love writing and recording, the commercial/TV business is something I really hope to get into.

    Thanks again.

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    I thought it was a really good mix (the bass might be a hair loud). I agree with everything Boulder said, too.

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    Yeah, the music is certainly headed in the right direction for that. I can't help you with getting into that part of the business.

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    The first thing I was going to comment on was the sterileness, even before I read boulder's comments.

    Needs a crunch guitar. And some low mids.

    And yeah the bass might be a db or two too loud.

    I thought the playing was very good. And all the parts worked together quite well.

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    Sounds very good to me. Nice full sound, everything is distinct, good guitar sounds. Mic'd up amp or direct? Very easy on the ears!
    "Hey man, am I drivin ok?" "You're stopped man"

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    Good production quality.

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    Thanks for the input, everyone.

    Nola and TripleM, the bass track was something I was concerned about. It seems a little hot to me as well, I'll definitely lower it just a hair before I get the track mastered. The Tascam can be tricky, it's hard to tell how many dbs I'd be lowering it by with that tiny screen. The track levels go 0-127, right now the bass is at 95, I'l probably try 85 and 90 and see what is better.

    I understand what you mean by needing a little crunch guitar, I actually thought about it when I was putting it together. But ultimately decided to go clean on all the rhythm guitars. Both the left and right guitars are playing the exact same thing, but with a slightly different tone and two different strats. I tried altering the strumming and even playing different chord variations for more separation, but wasn't happy with the results. Any variation I tried seemed to clash with the 12-string melody line.

    Stratomaster, all the guitars were recorded direct through my Digitech GNX3000. It's an older board, from the early 2000s, but still sounds great in my opinion. I honestly can't remember if the Taylor 12-string was direct in by itself, or through the GNX. If it was through the GNX it was with the amp sims off with maybe a little chorus, but I don't remember. The lead fills and the solo at the end were done with a '97 Jeff Beck Strat with Gold Lace Sensors. I used a slightly darker tone, with a little reverb and a tad of delay, was going for a slightly "haunting" tone.

    The left clean rhythm was with a '02 USA Standard Strat, rosewood fingerboard, decked out with upgraded everything (sperzel tuners, graphite saddles, bone nut) and the David Gilmore EMG pick-up set. Used the bridge for the track. Crazy awesome axe. The right side clean rhythm was with a '03 G&L Legacy Tribute, maple fingerboard and also decked out with Graphtech hardware, and Seymour Duncan pick-ups. Used the bridge here also, Screamin' Demon pick-up there. Possibly my favorite guitar to play that I own, just love it. I don't use it live often, but I teach with it all the time.

    Sorry for all the gear babble, started typing and couldn't stop.

    Thanks again for the help everyone.

  16. #10
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    Did a new mixdown with a slightly lower bass. The Tascam track levels go 0-127, I originally had the bass at 95. I lowered it to 90, still seemed a tiny bit hot. Tried 85, seemed maybe a tad low. Settled on 88.

    What do you think, ready for mastering and time to move on?

    Sky (Demo ver2) | Johnny Amato

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