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Thread: Rock / Alternative

  1. #1
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    Rock / Alternative

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    I had to get a quick mix of this song done for a demo the band needed quickly. We'll probably go back and rerecord a lot of it, but as a demo I'm fairly happy at the mo

    Here's the link...
    http://urls.yoto.co.uk/21/
    (has a rubbishy 30 second intro)

    And in case anyone is interested in helping me out after reading my comments below, here is the original (vocal-less, instrumental) rough mix...
    http://urls.yoto.co.uk/22/


    Thanks for any help on how to improve it
    I'm satisfied that this demo is 'finished' (for now), but I'm by no means happy with it. I'm getting better at mixing in the sense that I can now instantly pick up what is wrong a mix and can then normally sort it, but I've ran out of luck/skill/patience to sort the things that are nagging me now.

    Please bear in mind that all of this (apart from the drums) were recorded in less that ideal conditions, i.e. the guitarist's living room, with one cheaper than £100 mic and mixed on some rubbish Celestions in the corner of my bedroom. When I think of it this way I feel a bit better about the scrappy tone


    Anyway, now my random ramblings...

    Some of the lyrics / melodies in the verse are fairly dodgy as the band were writing them on the spot, but again, probably not the final ones!

    I'm happy with the verse (apart from the floor tom I left up far too loud!) and the chorus, but all the other bits seem really dodgy to me.

    I'm happy with the drums apart from some of the mistriggers (there's one in the first verse, and some towards the end) - they're real drums but the snare and kick are replaced with samples which I recorded during the session.

    The bass is oookish, but where I tried to sit it under everything else (and pretty much everything is highpassed at around 200hz) I ended up mutilating all the punch and tightness out of it. It now seems like a rumbling mush under everything else. I'm thinking of cutting some more off the bottom of the guitars, which brings me on to guitars...

    Euurrrgh, can anyone with very good ears give me some EQ hints for this? I'm normally very good with both surgical and tonal EQ, but there are soo many tracks and I'm really struggling here.

    The first roughmix (without vocals) was very harsh in the mids so I did a careful scoop out of the middle both to try and solve this and to sit the vocals in, but now listening back to it they seem *too* scooped and quite scratchy in the mids that are there. Also, even though the rhythm seems really muddy, even though it has no lows in it at all. Again I think this is a problem with the bass. Eeek, help!

    In terms of vocals, I'm happy with the chorus and the verse (apart from the one or two bits where the use of melodyne becomes fairly obvious , and yes before anyone asks, it is a legal licensed version of melodyne on my friend's computer), but the prechorus is also one of the bits killing me.

    I'd like to keep the rubbishy melody line in the background, but (even though its got nothing below around 500hz in it) it seems to muddy up the bottom. The screaming bits in here also don't sit back into the mix enough, which I think is going back to the scooped guitar - its like the opposite of good mix technique... the guitar needs to smother it a bit more ! Originally I had the screaming buried behind the melody then decided I should have it the other way but forgot to remove the slow gate from the screaming (to give that fading in, roar sound - sounds great with reverb when behind vocals ) which is what is making them sound weird at the moment. The transition into the prechorus also seems really scrappy, probably because it seems really muddy after the snappy drums of the verse.

    I'm hopefully buying a few better mics soon (top of the list... MD421) so I'll go and rerecord the rhythm with a nicer dynamic and hopefully get a tighter bottom end on it which hopefully the bright lead parts will 'sit' on top of better.


    This is all to much for me, lol.
    The project contained a number of tracks that was safely higher than 100.

    Thanks again

  2. #2
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    Hmm, no ideas?

    Maybe I should rename this thread 'recorded mainly with one budget mic'?


    I'm currently thinking that I should concentrate hard on the bass tone, then I can be even more aggressive with the highpass on the rhythms and hopefully get a more solid, punchy bottom-end. I'm also going to give the rhythm back some of the highs, probs around 3-4khz which I smoothed off, which will hopefully give some of the crunch back.
    Last edited by mattr; 01-27-2009 at 11:08.

  3. #3
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    Hmmm... You've got pretty good results for a one-mic setup.

    I think the bass actually sounds pretty decent. It cuts through enough that you can tell it's there if you listen for it, but it doesn't draw attention to itself. It complements the

    You might actually lose some of the mud by cutting down on the mid-range on the guitars. Especially during the verse, it sounds like there's a lot going on in the vocal eq bands. If you cut down the mids a bit (especially on the ambient, effervescent guitars from the verse) you might get a cleaner sound.

    The vocals do sound pretty good. I like the growled ones especially.

    I might also tone down the crash cymbals, but that's a personal preference. I tend to get annoyed by drummers who won't lay off the crash.

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    I think you did a great job!

    For a one mic setup, sounds really good.

    Drums sound great.

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    sounds good. I'd tone down the low end a bit. Probably HPF the guitar, or it may just be a mastering issue. If it is, I'd add less low end in the mastering processing.

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    Thanks guys.

    I thought it was the low end giving me problems. If you listen to the original rough mix (small link at the top) it was very bright and scratchy and lacked bass, so I probably over-compensated when I was trying to fix that!

    @Steve... listening back now I can hear the bass isn't too bad. In the verse it actually sounds really nice. I guess its the bottom end of the guitars giving me the problems then like you say. I've already got nearly everything HPF'd above around 150 to 200hz, but I guess I might need to be a bit more aggressive.

    And in case anyone is interested, the one mic in question was a Rode M3. Cost me a measly £79 and I've fallen in love with it Was used for all the guitars, the weird talkbox stuff scattered throughout, and about 95% of the vocals. Bass was DI'd and drums were done with a few other mics borrowed from a friend (D112, NT3 overheads, MD421s on toms, SM57 on snare bottom and of course, my M3 on the top of the snare ).

    I'll try out some of the suggestions and get back with another mix.
    Last edited by mattr; 01-27-2009 at 11:19.

  7. #7
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    Cool. I like the song, the arrangement, and the vox.

    The overall mix sounds a bit too 'hot'. I can't tell if it's in the mixing stage, or the mastering ( or just my headphones!). I had to turn the volume down a little as I listened because there was too much distortion muddying up the mix. Yeah, the bass could use a little more attack/presence.

    You're on the right track (not a pun); tinker with it a bit more and check the output levels everywhere in the chain.

    Have fun!

  8. #8
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    I started my journey into the world of audio doing live sound so I'm always fairly good with my gain-staging/structure. The recording levels were good; not too high, peaking at around -12dbfs on the Motu meters.

    Also - having learnt from some bad mistakes in the past - I tried to keep the gain/distortion on the guitarists' amps down a lot, but I think they still managed to sneak it back up when I wasn't looking . I think this combined with my crude quick 'mastering' made it sound a bit hot.


    Time to tinker ...

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