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Thread: "Stratosphere" Need some help/input on this crazy mix!

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    "Stratosphere" Need some help/input on this crazy mix!

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    Another short piece, only a little over a minute. This one is a little nuts though. It basically comes from a passage I wrote years ago, that I sometimes used as an exercise when practicing. A few months ago, I figured what the hell, and recorded it. It sounds pretty clean, but I have a few concerns I've been dealing with.

    It's a basic layout- drums and bass, two rhythm guitar tracks panned hard right and left, a few underlying keyboard tracks very low in the mix, and the lead guitar. No harmonies, just a straight lead.

    I'm having trouble setting the fader level on the bass guitar track, seems it either disappears if I turn it down, or gets to rumbly when I turn it up. Isolated it sounds fine. Goes with the genre, I suppose.

    My other main concern is the lead guitar track seems to be very mid-range strong. I've already cut it a little bit, but any more and it seems to lose it's power. Suggestions?

    I hate my drum machine, specifically the crashes, but it is what it is, for now.

    I don't usually do recordings like this, most of my rock recordings are more like the last tune I put up here, "Roadstar". I'm usually all over the board with everything from rock, metal, blues, jazz, punk, dance, etc. So hopefully you guys won't get the wrong impression of me, but I really need some help on this. I'd like to finish it and move on. I currently have around 40 different mixes/songs I'm working on, that I recorded over the last two years. So I have a lot of work to do.

    Thanks!

    Stratosphere | Johnny Amato

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    Sounds great to me. Nice mix, sweet guitar.

    Specifically, the bass seems just right to me and I can't hear any issues with the guitar.

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    Thanks easlern, appreciate the input! Like I said, if I turn the bass up any more, it gets rumbly, turn it down some and it disappears. I struggled trying to find the "sweet spot" track level, and I think I did. Took some trial and error, listening to the final mixes on different devices.

    Thanks for the compliments on the guitar. I used my somewhat rare '95 Mexican Squier strat with a Seymour Duncan Screamin' Demon bridge pickup that I put in it, recorded direct through my Digitech GNX3000 effects board. It plays great and has a blazing fast neck, which is why I used it on this recording. Tends to be a mid-range strong guitar, I don't record with very often at all. Just use it for teaching mainly.

    Both panned rhythm guitar tracks were done with a '97 Jeff Beck strat, each with a slightly different tone.

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    I like this sort of music!

    The drum machine does detract a fair bit. Between the sounds it gives and how clean and precise the lead is, it ends up sounding kind of MIDI overall.

    The balance of everything seems ok tho. The lead overpowers the mix a bit maybe.

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    dude, i swear that I used the exact same passage to practice with when i was a kid. the tapping section in the beginning. from 0:04-0:07. it's just the first few sections of that tapping part. i would play it on the 12th fret of E (root note) and B (root note again) with the taps on like 15, 17 and 19, before switching to the B string and doing it again. Then it's 13, 15, 17 on B (tapped). lol. that's crazy.

    i wonder if i got it from a Guitar World magazine or something in the early 90's. I actually played that same riff a couple weeks ago for fun when i was setting up my new amp sim. again, after the first few measures, it's different, but those first few are exactly the same.
    "No healthy person waits in line with a slew of geriatrics on a Sunday morning for pancakes" - RFR https://soundcloud.com/andrushkiwt

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    andrushkiwt- very cool! Yea, the intervals are very similar to what you mentioned. The only main difference is this one isn't tapping, it's actually all picked. There are only two tap notes in the entire piece, the very high C# note at the very end of the 1st verse before the middle solo, and the very last note of the song- both times as part of the ending sweep.

    The middle solo has a few taps, but that was obviously just a random solo and not the repeating patterns you were referring to.

    The piece is in C#minor, and the pattern starts with a pull-off on the E string, fret 16 to fret 12, then fret 14 on the B string then back up again.

    Got to love Screamin' Demons, those things rock.

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    I can't really detect bass guitar. I mean, the frequencies are there, but I don't hear a line. I am not sure that the lead guitar leaves much room for countermelody.

    Nice leads tho.

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    Same as Supercreep regarding the bass. I think you've got a little mud going on in your low end.

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    The bass is a little quiet. You could always throw some distortion on it so it pokes through better. Rough edit at the transition 0.29. Nice chops!

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    Thanks everyone for the listen and all the input.

    When I isolate just the bass and the drums, I can hear the bass pretty clean and decent. But when combined with the rest of the tracks it does kind of disappear and get a little muddy. It's a galloping bass line that follows the progression and rhythm guitar, it's the only way the bass line really fit. I tried single notes following the progression, but didn't sound right to me at all. Even tried some melodic lines but they didn't fit either, the lead guitar is just too busy. Like Supercreep said, there's literally no room for counter-melody. I might try adding a tiny bit of dirt to it, like Bulls suggested, to see how it sounds. I don't really want to turn it up any higher because when I try that, it seems to get muddier. Definitely don't want to re-track it either, I don't think that's the issue. I just want it to get it to sound as good as I can, and move on. This isn't exactly the type of recording I want to spend much time on, just really needed some input! Thanks for all your help!

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