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Thread: please tell me how i can improve this mix

  1. #1
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    please tell me how i can improve this mix

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    hi...

    how you all doing? i'm a newbie to home recording and also to this forum.

    anyway, i was wondering if you guys could all review my latest song. i'm sorry, it's probably not up to "level" with everyone else's stuff, but i'm really inexperienced at this, so in particular, could you tell me things i could improve and stuff. i think i really need real people (that aren't my friends) to tell me what they really think.

    please be brutally honest but (helpfully?) constructive. i mean, i'm working on 2 new tracks now and have learnt so much from doing this track becuase the process had so many "fatal" errors made along the way.

    the song is called "happy apple trees" and it's at...
    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/6/sandwichesmusic.htm

    thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    First I want to say I think you a wonderful song here. Nice feel. I think you have some good ideas in terms of arrangement and mix.

    Nice intro guitar and vocal....then things fall apart. Beat seems wrong to me but that's preference. Things really start distorting/clipping at :15. Lower those levels on the drums. Drums seem to be the culprit and maybe other things too. Distortion is really making it hard to listen to but I really like what's underneath. Vocals get covered up by the mud. Change up at 1:10 is nice. Cool sounds. Some good guitar ideas. Some picthiness in the vocals. Some cool harmonies. Panning for a couple lines at the end was cool. Maybe not that many times back and forth, but that's your call.

    My advice is pull all the faders down on everything except the vocals and start bringing them back up. Watch for clipping. EQ on the low end will probably be needed.

    Hopefully others can chime in to help out. I would love to hear you remix this.

    BTW - You may want to post this at nowhere radio (as most folks here do). Soundclick makes you sign up which many times means no listens. Also, their download was way slow today.

  3. #3
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    I'll go along with Skids on this

    Recorded too hot. Odd beat for the piece.

    Nice tune though. Worth working on.

  4. #4
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    Little too much activity at the higher frequencies. Bright is nice, but tinny is annoying (this is very close to tinny).

    The vocals don't fit in the 1:10 section (definitely need the lead brought up more). The breakout effect definitely works here, but the breakout instruments drown behind the vocals.

    The drums annoy me, but I cry all the time about the poor use of canned drums by members on this site. Musically your song is solid, pretty much in time and certainly original.

    The vocals at the end are not your strongest, but they're not 'bad'. It just shows your (young) age in a way that doesn't appeal to my ears (I was never a jackson 5 fan either).

    You get a lot of credit for the ideas and effort. With time you'll pick up on some of the more subtle things that give recordings their depth and personality.
    The Boogeymen
    www.the-boogeymen.com

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by Pinky
    Little too much activity at the higher frequencies. Bright is nice, but tinny is annoying (this is very close to tinny).

    The vocals don't fit in the 1:10 section (definitely need the lead brought up more). The breakout effect definitely works here, but the breakout instruments drown behind the vocals.

    The drums annoy me, but I cry all the time about the poor use of canned drums by members on this site. Musically your song is solid, pretty much in time and certainly original.

    The vocals at the end are not your strongest, but they're not 'bad'. It just shows your (young) age in a way that doesn't appeal to my ears (I was never a jackson 5 fan either).

    You get a lot of credit for the ideas and effort. With time you'll pick up on some of the more subtle things that give recordings their depth and personality.
    wow, i got 3 replies.

    hi pinky. firstly, thank you. this is one of the first songs i've record so i find your criticism very helpful.

    i think the major problem with my vocals is that i haven't had any vocal training. that's probably why i sound so young. i'm actually 21 but i sound like i'm a 14 yr old teenage girl

    i'll turn up the vocals at the 1:10 section. i thought it was okay actually but i think with vocals, it's hard to mix if you're the singer because when you know the lyrics and your mind almost anticipates it.

    do you know where i can get information about how to apply drums in a track? i have no idea. i just downloaded some drum samples, used fruity loops to make the loops and pasted it in cooledit pro. it's also not feasible for me to record real drums as i have neither the skill nor the instrument.

    thank yuo for your response. have you got any stuff of your stuff i can sample? (altho i will have to do it in lo-fi). i thought i was going to get drilled and boo-ed off but the criticisms have been fair and helpful.

  6. #6
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    Check out any of my stuff at www.the-boogiemen.com I started home recording a few years ago and tinker here and there. It wasn't until recently I started actively working with others, and soon there will be more collaboration stuff on the site (couple local blues players and studioviol (member from here)).

    It's tough finding drums that work, I spend hours either sifting through loops or single drum hits (to later piece together in Acid). I prefer to program my own drum parts/beats in acid, but in some cases it's not necessary as the canned stuff works fine... depends on the song really. You can find a lot of free samples on the internet, but it's a bit of a challenge as the best stuff you do really need to pay for. Don't forget that you can eq the drum parts as well, I sometimes eq entire loops and overlay other loops to fill in missing cymbals and such... try Horrifying Enigma as an example.

    The vocals actually need to stay put in that breakout section, it's the rest of the instruments that need to come up some.
    The Boogeymen
    www.the-boogeymen.com

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by skids
    First I want to say I think you a wonderful song here. Nice feel. I think you have some good ideas in terms of arrangement and mix.

    Nice intro guitar and vocal....then things fall apart. Beat seems wrong to me but that's preference. Things really start distorting/clipping at :15. Lower those levels on the drums. Drums seem to be the culprit and maybe other things too. Distortion is really making it hard to listen to but I really like what's underneath. Vocals get covered up by the mud. Change up at 1:10 is nice. Cool sounds. Some good guitar ideas. Some picthiness in the vocals. Some cool harmonies. Panning for a couple lines at the end was cool. Maybe not that many times back and forth, but that's your call.

    My advice is pull all the faders down on everything except the vocals and start bringing them back up. Watch for clipping. EQ on the low end will probably be needed.

    Hopefully others can chime in to help out. I would love to hear you remix this.

    BTW - You may want to post this at nowhere radio (as most folks here do). Soundclick makes you sign up which many times means no listens. Also, their download was way slow today.
    thanks for your response!

    it's weird about the clipping ... i ran it through an effect called a "hard limiter" or something, and apparently doesn't allow the sound to reach higher then 0dB and therefore doesn't clip it. and it doesn't seem to be clipping when i listen to it (or maybe i just don't have the ear to notice it).

    hey... so is there NO way that you can have it so that anyone can download your song at SoundClick? isn't that kind of stupid for a website to have that sorta restriction. i think everything else about SoundClick is heaps good. you can store lyrics nicely, you can use mp3 slurp (great for 56k).

  8. #8
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    That's a pretty good song. The vocal reminded me of Dinosaur Jr at times, and it's nicely positioned. I like the backing vocal too. There's a wierd sort of duckboard flap noise sporadically throughout that I'm not sure should be there. On headphones, the mix sounded fine, although some of the guitar sounded kinda lofi.

    Good stuff

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by Bulls Hit
    That's a pretty good song. The vocal reminded me of Dinosaur Jr at times, and it's nicely positioned. I like the backing vocal too. There's a wierd sort of duckboard flap noise sporadically throughout that I'm not sure should be there. On headphones, the mix sounded fine, although some of the guitar sounded kinda lofi.

    Good stuff
    gosh!!! thanks... that's like the best compliment i've ever received about one of my songs. maybe i AM improving.

    cheers matey.

    BTW - to those whom couldn't download becuase they didn't like soundclick, i've submitted at NowhereRadio also...

    it's not at... http://www.nowhereradio.com/waiholiu/singles
    under Happy Apple Trees

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