Active member
Hello and happy holidays fellow recorders. I've been trying to mix this over the last few days and i'm going backwards. Here is a basically raw mix, very little eq, the drums are on a bus and through trash2 for a little volume and grit. The problem i'm having is to get a healthy volume without hearing limiting, it must be the live drums, even at this volume i'm close to peaking or maybe even over a few times..I'm using the k metering in studio one and find i have to use the k-20 metering to be able to keep a mix near 0 level without going over, which leaves me having to limit so much i can hear the mix compressing at what i consider a good loud level (rms -10 or so) this is a never ending struggle up and down into the cold basement.

Anyways the song was fun to record, it's a rush inspired instrumental, i think it needs some vocals but i'm glad to not have to mix vocals for a change. Housemate played the drums, there's some timing issues and small mistakes but overall i'm fairly satisfied. Considering this is pretty raw, any suggestions on how i could make this sound better? Thanks for you time and any comments.

bipolargressive by NovaBasa | Nova Basa | Free Listening on SoundCloud

mix 2
Bipolargressive2 by NovaBasa | Nova Basa | Free Listening on SoundCloud
Last edited:


Hair Metal Roxx!
I can definitely here the Rush influence but can also hear some Kansas. I usually mix with a bigger bottom end so I would say that it needs more kick and bass....however this does seem pretty smooth level wise without too much of anything. Would be cool to hear it with vocals when you get to that point.

Well-known member
Seems pretty light in bottom end, bass and kick (too! - didn't see other post while typing mine), and the cymbals could be brought down for my taste, anyway.

Just some things I'm thinking about (not that I do this kind of recording, so employ as many grains of salt as necesary).

I'm curious how you mic'd and mixed the drums? Do you have all of them going into a single bus/stack where you're compressing/limiting, doing just individual tracks, or both? If you think the drums are causing the level problem, I'd get a handle on that part of the mix, and get the bass in that first, i.e., doing EQ and compression to make all of that work together, then mixing in other tracks, with EQ and compression before adding a lot of other FX.

Use Gain settings on tracks/busses to keep the overall mix well below 0dBFS, then put a compressor/limiter on the master or stereo mix if you want to bring it up for SC (e.g.)

Bulls Hit

Well-known member
Yeh the drums are a bit in the background. One way to bring them out without affecting overall levels is to parallel compress them. If say the kick is still not cutting through, you can dupe that track and gate/compress/eq it savagely. It's a good tune. The only nit I've got is the slightly fizzy tone of the rhythm guitar which seems to be masking the other melodic parts. It is quite Rush-like, haven't heard them in a long time


long standing member
I also think it needs some bottom end. I think the performances are really good. Great playing on the lead guitar and drums. The mix sounds pretty good. If you add some bottom it will sound really good.
Nice work man!


Well-known member
I think it's a solid mix, Strat. Nothing popping out and no harsh or missing frequencies. The cymbals might be the only minor issue (maybe roll off some highs on them).
The bottom end is light, but it's within the range of normal IMO.


Active member
Thanks Brutish; Keith Rogers, Bulls Hit, jgwire, jimistone and Nola for listening. Your comments made me adjust my monitors, i rolled some bass out and turned down my sub and tried to push more bass from the mix itself. I also re-recorded the bass with a less fuzzy tone and more bottom end, the bass plays in the guitar register so it can get lost, but there should be more bottom now...Eq'd the kick drum and edited the noise out rather than use a gate, the gate was cutting the kick drum decay short, accentuating what is really not a good kick drum recording...did the same with the toms, just cut around the places where they were actually played. On the "mastering" end i eq'd some 100hz area out and did a small shelf up starting around 6k, through the vintage warmer and waves L3. Sounds better i think but could still be improved for clarity between the guitars- i really need to volume automate certain areas. There is a new mix in post 1 i hope if anyone cares to have a listen. Thanks for your time and helpful comments, adjusting the bass in my monitors was pretty eye opening and hopefully will save me some trips into the tundra to do remixes. Thanks!

Bulls Hit

Well-known member
2nd mix is definitely better imo and not just coz it's louder. The snare sounds a lot more 3-dimensional and the clarity is better overall


During the 2 'quiet' places, it gets a bit too quiet - listening at lower volume, the drums pretty much disappear. The very low-volume lead guitar part panned way left is nice, but I'd like to hear it a little more centered.

9 strings

I agree!!! good composition, and very good playing.
It is a song that you can listen to for a long time and not be forgotten again tomorrow.
nice work :thumbs up: