Blue Light - New Track - First Mix

chuckduffy

Well-known member
Hey all, first mix of a new track called Blue Light. Any/all feedback welcome. THANKS

BlueLight2.mp3 - Google Drive

MIX TWO: 04/19 - bluelight2_m4.mp3 - Google Drive
Played with levels, made drum bus with tape sim and compressor and lowered, hi passed all the reverb returns to move mud.

MIX Three 04/19 - bluelight2_m5.mp3 - Google Drive
Lowered guitar a little, caught some clipping and routed bass through bus with limiter

MIX Four - bluelight2_m7.mp3 - Google Drive
Cleaned up some flubs, raised the bg vocal a little, tweaked some EQ. Think its about where I want it
 
Last edited:

heatmiser

mr. green christmas
Awesome. Psyched to hear a new song from you.

I listened to it a bunch of times on my studio phones, but through my work laptop which has kinda crummy audio. I don't have a way to play tracks here apples to apples like I listen to other music at home. I tried to use bluetooth to stream it over the stereo but the file wouldn't play on my iphone.

God, I sound like a fucking boomer.

Anyway, I really like the plodding guitar chords and their tone ( is that the Gretsch ?) and I like the bass guitar. Drums sounded a wee bit sterile by comparison.

I almost never say this, but I think the vocals should come up. The singing I heard sounded great, but I really wanted to hear more.

If it were me ( which it clearly is not) I would dirty up the drums somehow and turn up the vocals.

Mix overall seemed a tad muddy, but some of that could be my listening platform, as everything sounds like crap on this...just trying to figure out the exact nature of the crap do I can account for it.

I very much enjoyed the song and the recording. Thanks for posting this.
 

chuckduffy

Well-known member
Awesome. Psyched to hear a new song from you.

I listened to it a bunch of times on my studio phones, but through my work laptop which has kinda crummy audio. I don't have a way to play tracks here apples to apples like I listen to other music at home. I tried to use bluetooth to stream it over the stereo but the file wouldn't play on my iphone.

God, I sound like a fucking boomer.

Anyway, I really like the plodding guitar chords and their tone ( is that the Gretsch ?) and I like the bass guitar. Drums sounded a wee bit sterile by comparison.

I almost never say this, but I think the vocals should come up. The singing I heard sounded great, but I really wanted to hear more.

If it were me ( which it clearly is not) I would dirty up the drums somehow and turn up the vocals.

Mix overall seemed a tad muddy, but some of that could be my listening platform, as everything sounds like crap on this...just trying to figure out the exact nature of the crap do I can account for it.

I very much enjoyed the song and the recording. Thanks for posting this.

Thanks for checking it out heat. The guitar is my kids strat and the bass is a music man I picked up at a scratch and dent sale at guitar center a couple years ago. This is actually my third complete take of this song, and it's driving me crazy that everything still sounds so ropey after this much practice. I had a middle eight for it, but ended up dropping it because I couldn't stick the drum changes. I haven't gotten the hang of getting things to gel up with real drums - playing the guitar and bass to a click then going back and laying in drums doesn't seem to work well for me.

I think I get it about the drums - they are just so "there", and it is kinda funny you mentioned vocals cause I thought they were really loud on my monitors, but do sound kinda low on headphones.

I will take another fresh pass at a mix of this one today - I'll try a bus with the bass and drums and run through a tape sim or something. I'll probably try re-recording the whole thing and putting back the middle 8.
 

heatmiser

mr. green christmas
Cool.

I went straight to mix 4 and skipped 2 & 3 (sorry). I then went back to mix 1 to refresh my memory, then toggled back and forth between 1 & 4 for a bit.

I think it's a big improvement. Lead vocal is much more present now. BG Vocals are clearer as well. I think the drums sound way cooler now, especially the snare. I think I may have preferred the meatier guitar tone on mix 1 a bit, but I bet that might have contributed to the mud? If so, it's a fair compromise.

Good job. Personally I think it's a big improvement.
 

Chili

Site Moderator
Listened to mix #4. Didn't hear the other mixes, but did read Heat's comments. I think vocals could still come up some more. Or at least make some fader adjustments along the way.

I can't give any guidance on real drums. I think you're close to what you want, but still got some tweaks to do. How did you capture the drums? how many mics? Start with just drums, the add in bass and get those to work together. Remember, once all the tracking is done, you're not a musician anymore, so no preferential treatment to the guitar player. :D
 

chuckduffy

Well-known member
Cool.

I went straight to mix 4 and skipped 2 & 3 (sorry). I then went back to mix 1 to refresh my memory, then toggled back and forth between 1 & 4 for a bit.

I think it's a big improvement. Lead vocal is much more present now. BG Vocals are clearer as well. I think the drums sound way cooler now, especially the snare. I think I may have preferred the meatier guitar tone on mix 1 a bit, but I bet that might have contributed to the mud? If so, it's a fair compromise.

Good job. Personally I think it's a big improvement.

Thanks heat. I agree the drums work much better. I don't think I did anything to the guitar except lower it a little because it kept poking out at my ears, though I might have lowered the compressor threshold. Will check it out.
 

chuckduffy

Well-known member
Listened to mix #4. Didn't hear the other mixes, but did read Heat's comments. I think vocals could still come up some more. Or at least make some fader adjustments along the way.

I can't give any guidance on real drums. I think you're close to what you want, but still got some tweaks to do. How did you capture the drums? how many mics? Start with just drums, the add in bass and get those to work together. Remember, once all the tracking is done, you're not a musician anymore, so no preferential treatment to the guitar player. :D

Drums are single cascade stereo ribbon overhead and SM-58 on kick. It is pretty much the sound I was going for, but in first couple mixes I had WAY too much high end boost on the overheads. I used the exact approach you mention. I have a bus with just drums, then add bass, then mix the rest of the song around that.

I don't have a lot to control with this mic setup other than placement. For example I can't isolate or pan anything. It gets me in the general area of the sound I am looking for, and obviously I ain't setting the world on fire with my tracks so I can live with it :-)

Another note on drums - fwiw I use tea towels everywhere and I play with bamboo blasticks/bundles so that is also big factor in the overall sound - and one that I am shooting for - i.e. an old 60s kinda vibe.
 

stratmonkee

Member
Listening to mix 4 , cool vibe , very retro , to me anyways , vocals sound great , sit well in the mix , love the live drum sound!
 

chuckduffy

Well-known member
Listening to mix 4 , cool vibe , very retro , to me anyways , vocals sound great , sit well in the mix , love the live drum sound!

Retro is what I was shooting for so cool :-) The drum sound is getting really close to what I have in my head, and I spent lots of time on youtube looking at old recording stuff for drums. The stereo ribbon makes it kinda close to point and shoot. Thanks for checking it out.
 

mcmac74

New member
I listened to mixes 1 and 4. Firstly, love the song, good vocal melodies and it does have a retro feel to it. Comparisons aren't alway necessary or welcomed but it put me in mind of the fresh and onlys and some Go betweens stuff...after enjoying the song, mix nuance feels somewhat secondary but mix 4 definitely benefits for the more prominent vocal. Good stuff.
 
Love the first section, great mood with the verbs and i liked the melody. Seems like the keys and guitar could "jive" better or i hear a tuning issue, the guitar slides clash with the piano at times. Are you capo'd?. Second section, i like the change, i was imagining guitar riffs rather than the strum and chug. Third section is such a big change in mood but the drums keep the same beat, i was imaging more of a break down on the drums or half time to make more impact before restarting the cycle...Nothing to do with the mix, just writing what i was thinking.

As far as the mix, sounds great to me i like the verby drum sound alot, vocals sit well and a really good performance imo. All the sounds are very real sounding and blend together well. What verb is that?

*edit to add*Mix#4
 

Bulls Hit

Well-known member
Great job on vocals. I think you've nailed the reverb level perfectly. I'm trying to think of who they remind me of. Maybe Iggy in parts, or Lou Reed. Drums are nicely present, that tom on the left in particular. Cymbals have a nice swish to them as well. Lots of space in the mix, sounds good on headphones. Nice jam
 

chuckduffy

Well-known member
I listened to mixes 1 and 4. Firstly, love the song, good vocal melodies and it does have a retro feel to it. Comparisons aren't alway necessary or welcomed but it put me in mind of the fresh and onlys and some Go betweens stuff...after enjoying the song, mix nuance feels somewhat secondary but mix 4 definitely benefits for the more prominent vocal. Good stuff.

I never minded comparisons. Love the Go Betweens. I've never been a fan of my voice and I always lean towards burying - raising that level always comes with way too much self consciousness and hand wringing, but it seems to work out for the better on this track :-) Thanks for listening.
 

chuckduffy

Well-known member
Love the first section, great mood with the verbs and i liked the melody. Seems like the keys and guitar could "jive" better or i hear a tuning issue, the guitar slides clash with the piano at times. Are you capo'd?. Second section, i like the change, i was imagining guitar riffs rather than the strum and chug. Third section is such a big change in mood but the drums keep the same beat, i was imaging more of a break down on the drums or half time to make more impact before restarting the cycle...Nothing to do with the mix, just writing what i was thinking.

As far as the mix, sounds great to me i like the verby drum sound alot, vocals sit well and a really good performance imo. All the sounds are very real sounding and blend together well. What verb is that?

*edit to add*Mix#4

Always welcome your observations and ideas about structure and you have a knack for describing parts in words. I could hear everything you described :-). My piano is outrageously out of tune and I can't get a tuner in cause of situation. Definite clash on one note in particular - it's crazy off. Guitar is my kids strat, not capoed. Love the guitar but I actually fumble about on it quite a bit because it is so damn slick to play compared to the Gretsch or Les.

Vocal verb is Waves Abbey Road Plate panned hard right. Drum verb is partly the room (no deadening at all in a huge room with hardwoods and high ceilings) and then Waves room verb at about 5% on the drum buss.

I'll probably take another wack at this one, this is my third complete recording of this song. Want to add back the middle 8 that I dropped, and probably some better played/different guitar parts and probably some strings.

Thanks for checking it out!
 

chuckduffy

Well-known member
Great job on vocals. I think you've nailed the reverb level perfectly. I'm trying to think of who they remind me of. Maybe Iggy in parts, or Lou Reed. Drums are nicely present, that tom on the left in particular. Cymbals have a nice swish to them as well. Lots of space in the mix, sounds good on headphones. Nice jam

Hey thanks for checking it out. I wear my Lou on my sleeve that is for sure. Been a fan since my buddy turned me on to the velvets back in high school. I am really getting into the drum recording and playing - huge transition from years of drum machines and ekits. Watching and listening to lots of youtube about old school 60s setups. This is my setup - tea towels, bamboo bundles and all :-) It sure helps pass the time!

IMG_0377.jpg
 

chuckduffy

Well-known member
The reason i asked and i just checked it, this tune would fall really well with a capo on the 2nd fret.
first section d-em-g-a-c etc

Apologies for my continued presumptuosness :facepalm:

I will check it out, not presumptuous - I think I've been knocking around this room for 8 years or so now soliciting feedback and I always like/welcome your input.
 
Interesting song. I like that standard rock chord progression (1, 2-minor, 4, 5). If that were my mix, though, I would make the vocal louder, particularly in the two verses. The vocal level on the refrains and the words "blue light" is pretty good, but having all the vocal louder wouldn't do any harm, particularly if you are trying to communicate the message of your song. I like the sound of your band; it is a solid rock sound. I believe that one reason I like it is that there is not a lot of fuzz and other audio gimickry.
 
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