Mixing SOS

Well thanks dude, yeah I know what you mean. The last 3 or so songs I've improved I think. I really wanted to get to a point where more of the songs I tried worked than didn't work. Was getting sick of mixes that just torpedoed the song. I'm pretty certain that a bad mix can ruin an otherwise ok song. Does you no good to spend so much time tracking, coming up with parts etc only to have it all suck because you're grasping in the dark for the right mix decisions. It's compounded when your palette of mixing skills is rudimentary.

The reason for the thread I guess was because I mixed the song 'Company Stranger' 13 times and it sucked every time. Trust me...it was bush. No nitpicking. 13 times, all bad. Was pissed off. I knew there was a simple song in there. The current mix I'm happy with. The most recent song 'Little Baby Dynamite' I'm pretty happy with too...just put that one up.

https://soundcloud.com/user-186908625%2Flittle-baby-dynamite
Sounds pretty tight, nice work. I didn't know about ez drummer out addictive drums, gonna check them out though.
 

Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
Adding some ramblings about mixing...just for fun...although I find it anything but. In no orderly order:

- Music I like (all the 60's giants, 50's, Felice Brothers, blues, rock...all the great stuff) has an honesty to it mixing-wise. It's all a genuine whole. It all works together. It gets along. The stuff I mix lies, cheats and fights. It's dishonest. The bass thieves from the drums. The drums murder the bass. Simple guitar licks stab innocent frequency ranges.

- I have a couple of 5 inch speakers nearly 20 years old. The tweeters on the right speaker are getting old and starting to fizzle. Pro music, movies, youtube videos etc navigate this busted tweeter and don't make it squeal. My music, the music I mix gets absolutely spanked by that tweeter. I think it's up around 2 or 3khz. That tweeter will highlight the piss out of the deficiencies in my mixes. Pro stuff does the seemingly impossible...treads...tip toes around that whacked out tweeter and doesn't disturb it. My music makes a bee line right for it and all the guitar licks, vocal lines...anything in that 2/3khz frequency range squeal. Pro stuff does not irritate it. Truly a miracle.

- I'm beginning to wonder if my critical listening skills are non existent. I just. Don't. Get. It. I can mix my stuff and it'll sound good to me in my headphones, my speakers. But it's not. How hard can it be to balance a set of drums with a bass guitar, with an acoustic guitar, with a vocal, with an organ with a few licks? Sounds so easy. Yeah, easy to butcher. I was listening to the demos on the Toontrack website for the new EZdrummer 3. They had full band demos. Holy shit, what sounds...the rich deep articulate low end of the guitars and bass...the smooth, chiming high end...I can hear every instrument perfectly though it's a kind of grungey mix. An amazingly rich kind of sound I couldn't trip over on a dark night in a forest full of fallen trees.

- I just don't get it. There doesn't seem to be any liberating moment on the horizon that'll take me to mixing proficiency. Not asking for advice or anything. Just saying that I think mixing music is @#$%@#$ hard as #@$%$#@ shit. For #@$% sake.

Cheers.
 

JamEZmusic

Active member
Obviously your ears are good if you can tell your mixes are not right.

I feel the same way as you. Mixing is hard, it is the hardest thing I have ever attempted in my lifetime.

That 2k is a really tough area, it's almost the whole mix though, when the 2k is wrong, it is probably because your low end is wrong. If you cut 2k so it sounds buttery smooth your low end will probably blow up. The low end is masking 2k, and 2k is masking your low end, 250hz and below (this is why a mix with too much 2k can murder your ears on a playback system that doesn't reproduce low end Phone/laptop etc). You can't just turn down the low end to compensate though, you need to make specific cuts to clear out while still maintaining plenty of lows to balance the 2k. But there is a specific point ie: strumming rhythm guitar, where if you do a narrow cut you can keep all of the nice low end between 50-150hz but really clean it up and placing it in the right spot in the track. Too much low end can make something seem WAY too big for the mix. But it's not always the range 50-150hz, which is why highpassing doesn't do the trick unless you go far too high. Strategic cuts below 350 or so hz is critical to get right. A decent mix won't even be possible unless you get this range right.

Multiband compressor can help a lot. set to 0-80, 80-240 240-500, read the sonicscoop article (Proximity Effect Control). Put the multiband first in chain, even before the EQ. Over compress it to start with so you can EQ more carefree to get a good balance. If your low end is less dynamic then your vocal will pop forward and just sit so much better, that 2k wont be harsh and you'll actually be able to hear the highs properly and make proper EQ moves from there onwards. This stops your track from becoming too thin or.... harsh when you cut away the low end crap.

If you are playing a lead guitar and the low end blows up when you play low but then becomes really harsh when playing up high, proximity effect multiband might still reduce the low end of even the harsher parts making it even more harsh! This is when you need to set up a De-esser at 4,5k to clamp down pretty hard when the harsh notes are playing, but try to make it so it doesn't clamp on the notes played down low. Compressing lows and highs is something a lot of people do quite often, for cases such as this. If something is De-essing 2k with a bell shaped de-esser can do the trick though if it's the 2k giving you problems. try the 4.5khz high shelf de-esser first though.

I am assuming your problem tracks are on mik'd tracks you've recorded yourself.

You probably need less 2k than you think, I am guessing you are listening to the lows (which are wrong) while trying to balance the 2k. It can sound weird just pulling it out, keep it playing and let your ear adjust then check back with a reference or a harsh speaker.
De-essing 2k on harsher sources is common if you want a bright track, because you push into it with EQ again. If you want to dull the track, I think sounds better to just do some EQ reduction so the dynamics stay natural.

Bass guitar is hard to balance with fader alone a lot of the time, I've had to cut 10dbs at 250hz (narrow) to get it to play right with the rhythm guitar before. That 1 move alone allowed me to balance every other single element in the track effortlessly. Before that cut the mix was impossible. I asked what others do with bass guitar at plap and 1 guy who really knows what he is doing over there does clear away plenty of useless energy in this area too. Don't remove too much, and make sure there is plenty of information 150hz and below, I typically high pass rhythm guitars are 140 if there is a bass guitar. You can just lower the overpowering frequencies from there on.

With EQ, you're listening to the mids while you make all of your EQ moves, you only have too much low end because it's louder in volume than the mids, quite often it can be better to boost the mids than cut the low end. If you cut the low end then you can end up with a harsh track because you are essentially turning up the mids and the highs, but if you just boost the mids then you are essentially turning down the lows and the highs. If you boost up areas below 1k then you'll probably get a mix that translates but might even sound too warm. 1k and below is essential to get right. I would forget about boosting anything above 1k until you have all of the body/warmth/depth/seperation in all of the main elements in your mix. You can probably get a really great mix by ONLY EQing 1k and below. I might set myself the challenge one day. It might actually be a good lesson for me.

When boosting areas 1k and below, it can bring up stuff your ear might not like, so specific narrow cuts to take out any ringing or unpleasant qualities. You'll need to maintain as many frequencies below 1k for balance/warmth/translateability.

Sometimes if something sounds harsh, it's not the 2k. Try to either roll back on the transient first and if that doesn't work, it might just be 1 rogue frequency that can really make you wince on specific notes.

Don't EQ on the master if you are not nailing track to track balance yet. Resist urge and go back to the mix, EQ on the master only works for good balanced mixes. But taking some 2k out is something I do on most mixes. So does House of Kush. It made me laugh when I found this out. 2k can give you hell.

I am cutting 2 to 5k out of everything (everything that was mik'd), OR. Boosting the 1k and below in specific areas. the 8k and above is a great way to bring back the brightness without bringing up the harsh stuff. Most mics I own have so much presence boost, like 8dbs around the 5khz ish area. You can't leave it in if you are recording multiple instruments. I much prefer to use a ribbon now, and even then I still take out 3.5khz on the rhythm tracks, then I'll play with the boost on the vocal. But when you boost the vocal at 3.5khz you will probably need to nudge it down a quarter db on the fader to compensate so more of the energy of the vocal is in the presence range, this clears out the low end a bit but if this then screws with your balance on the 1k and below, then take off the brightness EQ again and cut the competing track. Or find other way of brightening the vocal. Either Parallel compress the highs, or more bright verb. or an exciter, or many other ways. Maybe just some sidechain ducking even?

Are your speakers fairly muddy sounding? I have a muddy ish speaker (Kali IN8) and I can have the urge to cut too much 350hz out of my tracks leaving me with a great sounding mix on the speaker, but just too harsh on laptops etc. It's hard to learn the room and speaker because my instinct is to cut 350 instead of leaving everything muddier. So I calibrated my speakers with Sonarworks, and if I use that then I don't go too far wrong. With sonarworks active the mix actually sounds kinda bright, so it's easy to pull down the 2k and I have a very accurate low end so I can place a good cut to sort that out, and when I bypass the plugin. YES the mix sounds muddy on the kalis again but i have a lot of clarity and punch still, and then around the house my mix translates. Which is all I care about. Along with making sure my mix isn't harsh.

Watch colt capperune's video (magic is in the mids) take note of his EQ moves, they are ALL boosts around 100hz, 1k, and 8k+... Well..... surely this is not the same as 2-5khz and 350hz cuts? .................. The energy and warmth of every track is not above 1k. even a hh can be warmed up by boosting 800hz
 

Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
I just plugged in my Avantone Mixcubes. I haven't had them set up and operational in my home studio for a year or so. In the past I didn't feel like I was getting anything from them of value. So I'd put them in the cupboard. Well, shoot me in the mouth...I plug them in and listen to a song I'm working on right now...I'd done about 6 or 8 mixes of it but after initial bright moments I found that no mix was working. I thought the first mix was a breakthrough...break out the Bollinger old Monkey Allen's finally leaned how to mix! Then I listened to the mix on a phone and laptop and went from breaking out the Bollinger to breaking everything not nailed down in my studio (in my mind). So I go through 5 or 6 more mixes of this song. Each mix seems to be getting more and more frustrating and lame. I can't work it out because tracking the song was fun. I liked it. All the pieces seemed ok and I thought it'd mix well. No. So, like I said, I mix it several more times. Each time seems more lame that the time before. Some mixes where I sought to really correct perceived problem areas, wound up sounding all but identical to the mix I'd just done previously. Haha.

So anyway, at my wit's end I decide to plug in the Mixcubes and see if they can magically tell me something or make it better. They can't make it better, but they can tell me that, yes, the mix DOES sound like ass. The drums sound like they've cracked the top off my head like an egg and are attacking my exposed brain with mallets. (this is supposed to be a chill, acoustic song) The DI bass sounds like it's sporting every single weird erroneous overtone known to man, and then some man doesn't even know about. It's nowhere near mixed nice with the lame drums. It's like 6db too loud. It sounds ugly. Really, really ugly. The electric guitars are awash with baked in reverb that was a good idea at the time but suck now. No amount of eq will ever, ever fix them. The vocal is lame. Not only lamely sung but lamely eq'd. It's boring, muddy and did I mention lame? The organ, a Rhodes, is also awash with baked in reverb and will always just be a swamp vortex of shit. The shaker and tambourine I recorded sound alright. Pretty hard to fuck them up. There's nothing standing out as horrible...but at the same time they're boring. There's no life to them. I could go on. Well one more thing...the acoustic guitar was something out of a horror show. Multiple eq plugins with multiple notches trying vainly to eliminate all manner of horrible sounding frequency areas...overtones, dullness. Probably the worst track in the whole mix.

So, there's a few more issues here than "Monkey Allen can't mix". Coz Monkey Allen is attempting to work miracles here by attempting to mix pure unadulterated shit.

Which brings me to the issue of preamps, microphones and recording. I have some great preamps...Daking, UA LA 610, Grace. I've got great microphones, U87ai for example. I've got great gear (but no idea). But I'm yet to record something that just sounds like the thing it is. I consistently fail to record an acoustic guitar that sounds like a nice acoustic guitar (which I also have...beautiful Martin D28).

My recording room is 4x3m roughly. Probably horrible for tracking....full of millions of nulls and weird boosting overtones. Sound waves are probably all over the place in there and my poor microphones are simply picking up the horror show as they see it.

I can't move house. I can't change rooms. I'm trapped in there. I have to make it work. I don't expect miracles. All I want is stuff that's recorded and mixed competently and sounds ok sonically on a wide range of playback scenarios. I feel like I write ok songs. I'd love a nice record of them. Nice recordings. Just honest renditions of the songs I've got. I had a quick go at trying to mix drums, DI bass and acoustic guitar from the song I'm working on...using only the Mixcubes. Just 3 elements, keeping it simple. I just couldn't make it work. Couldn't get a good sound. The bass seemed to be all over the drums. I couldn't hear the snare. The acoustic guitar seemed to be over everything. 3 measly elements, drums, bass and acoustic beat me. I scooped here, I boosted there. I did the opposite. I did the reverse. I did nothing. I did something. Nothing worked. So, yeah Monkey Allen can't mix...AND Monkey Allen is trying to polish turds.

Maybe I need to put the old condenser mics in the old holsters and try to eliminate the room as much as possible by using tight polar pattern dynamic mics?

Very frustrating. I've heard countless times that mixing is extremely hard...until it gets easier. I just dunno. If you ask me I'd say I have to improve in:

a) song arrangement
b) performance
c) extra attention to tracking
d) using references more
e) I dunno

Have I ever linked to this guy...


This fella just records stuff around his home. His recordings aren't elite highly slick skilled affairs, but the songs sound great. This guy's songs, to me, are 1000x better than any of mine. They are pretty much my favourite home recordings I've ever heard. And maybe that's the difference. He sings and plays with energy and enthusiasm. Maybe my stuff is just pedestrian. His songs are amazing. No question.

But regardless, I still maintain that it's possible for me to record my songs to a sonic standard that, even though the song might not be amazing, sounds ok. Lord knows there's a million pro songs on the radio that I don't care for...hate even...but they still sound sonically ok. So I don't think that my problem is poor songs. It's that sonically, they suck.

/end transmission.
 

LazerBeakShiek

Well-known member
/message received

You need to get yourself some Aphex. Get rid of that good stuff..haha

Are you leveling your tracks before you mix them? Are you compressing them before you level them?

start off recording track at -18 for headroom
mix at -6
to get it close to the CD's level, perhaps -3

I want to hear how shitty your acoustic is. Would you make a clip? Tell me what the FX chain is, microphone, position. At least use a limiter..

Is this any good to you? Solo acoustic. P420. My crappy Ovation..A fuckin Ovation no less. It is clear. Behind the sound hole. No subtractive eq-ing or anything. Compression. 8% reverb. So it doesnt sound so plastic.
https://soundcloud.com/mark-c-746521042%2Fmayacoustic-003
 
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mjbphotos

What?!?
Excuse me for not reading back through every post in this thread, but do you have acoustic treatment in your room? Some corner treatment and long wall treatment would surely help room tracking issues.
 

Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
/message received

You need to get yourself some Aphex. Get rid of that good stuff..haha

Are you leveling your tracks before you mix them? Are you compressing them before you level them?

start off recording track at -18 for headroom
mix at -6
to get it close to the CD's level, perhaps -3

I want to hear how shitty your acoustic is. Would you make a clip? Tell me what the FX chain is, microphone, position. At least use a limiter..

Is this any good to you? Solo acoustic. P420. My crappy Ovation..A fuckin Ovation no less. It is clear. Behind the sound hole. No subtractive eq-ing or anything. Compression.
https://soundcloud.com/mark-c-746521042%2Fmayacoustic-003
Aphex 'eh?

Leveling my tracks? You mean normalising them? I track usually so the peaks don't go above -12 in Studio One. Not sure what you mean by mix at -6. You mean the RMS of the entire song, get it to -6db RMS?

I wonder if I can attach clips here, because I have a clip of my acoustic guitar raw...just as recorded, and one with the treatment/ eq etc I put on it in the mix. I'll see if I can attach them. Your Ovation sound man, that's not the kind of acoustic tone I would go for. It might work for you in a mix, I dunno. I like the kind of acoustic tone you hear in basically any Beatles recording. The Felice Brothers, Bob Dylan's acoustic playing. Really natural sounding, crisp, not brittle.

As you can hear from my recordings...the raw recording is a literal bloodbath. I was playing this simple series of chords around B and there was this insane Db tone ringing no matter where I put the mic. That was my best get...the other attempts were appalling. I could hear this weird Db tone coming from...it sounded like it was coming right from the bridge of my acoustic. Listen when I play the B chord (first chord) and you hear this incredible Db overtone just killing everything.

You hear how the treated acoustic is way, way boomy. How that made it through my critical ears into the mix is anyone's guess. Maybe something was slipped into my drink at birth? I dunno. But it sucks. It's the OPPOSITE of every acoustic guitar recording I love. It's boomy, washy, muddy, crap. How did I allow this? Why was my raw recording so bad? The mic was a U87ai pointed towards the 9th fret about a foot away from the guitar, maybe even more than a foot...peaks hitting -12/-15db. So no way was I recording too hot. In fact, I increased the volume of the raw track I attached here just so it could be heard better.
 

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  • Acoustic treated.mp3
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Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
Excuse me for not reading back through every post in this thread, but do you have acoustic treatment in your room? Some corner treatment and long wall treatment would surely help room tracking issues.
Hey man, yeah sure. I have a fair bit of DIY and bought treatment. It's rough and ready but it's all I've got. Here's a picture...lots of glasswool insulation panels in the corners at the front, panels to the sides, wood floor with a rug. It's very home studio and it's totally unmeasured. I've done no analysis of the modes or any of that stuff I don't understand.
 

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Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
Monkey Allen's, drum arrangements have been pretty good.

Are those real drums? They sound nice.
Ha! I wish I had real drums, could play drums, was able to record nice sounding real drums. Nope, not on the cards, so I make do gnashing my teeth, eyeball an inch from the screen with my tweezers and monocle trying to adjust drum midi hit by hit. Which I love. Not!
 

Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
Even with my crap recorded material (like the acoustic guitar) there's still something very fundamental I'm missing with mixing I think. Something I don't quite get. I'm doing it wrong. I dunno if it starts with the volume/ levels I mix at...in headphones and monitors. I dunno if it's just my ears are bad. I dunno if it's not some kind of preconceived concept or idea I have of what I need to do to tracks that sees me basically shooting myself in the foot from the very first step. Like I am not addressing the sound as it needs to be addressed, but addressing it like how I would imagine someone good at mixing would do it. I really think I just don't get it. I'm making bad moves right from the get go...and it spirals out of control from there.

There's no way a sane person would have settled for that acoustic guitar raw track. That just would have been laughed out of any proper studio in a second. Sure the playing is average...but the raw recording really, really sucks. Listen for that overtone over the B chords. Insane. Why that is I don't know. The room is not echoy, it's not bright. It's just a small room. The guitar is nice. The raw recording sucks...and the treated acoustic guitar is infinitely more abominable. No wonder the entire mix sounded muddy...the acoustic guitar is an entire mud flat.
 
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HumanPlanet

* Gen Xer *
Hey Monkey,

You're sounding a bit despondent here but you really shouldn't be so hard on yourself. I've listened to all of your stuff on SoundCloud and from a song writing and musicianship point of view you have real talent.

I listened to the raw guitar track above and I have to tell you that the recording really isn't bad at all and plenty good enough to work with. I've also heard the treated version and what I hear is someone that is making moves that are too drastic (and also maybe has heard too many people talking too much conflicting shit about what you should do when mixing, and then tried to apply everything he's heard without actually listening to the track and letting IT do the talking). Frequently less is more when mixing and trying to do too much is often how you then start to chase your tail, trying to fix problems that you've introduced yourself.

You need to go back to basics and work on the fundamentals EQ, compression, reverb and delay. I saw you made a list and mentioned (among other things) using reference tracks more when mixing. I believe this is absolutely the way to go on every mix you start (I preach about this frequently to novice mixers).

To improve your EQing, as an exercise, pick one track (maybe the raw guitar track you posted) and a good reference and just 'play' making small moves at first. Boost 2k, how did that sound against the reference. Now cut it, how did that sound. How about 1K or 10K or 200Hz. This may sound like nonsense to you but you will quickly learn roughly what each frequency range sounds like and where you need to make your moves. You will also begin to understand that small moves in the right place can make a big difference to how something sounds and make real judgment's as to when bigger moves are necessary. To keep it (relatively) short do the same for the compression, reverb and delay (easy isn't it).


Lets play a game! Here's a snippet of the track you posted above. Firstly your raw track, then with me having made three EQ moves between -2 and -4dB slight compression and reverb, and then the reference I used (America - A horse with no name):

View attachment Monkey.mp3

That's what I did now lets hear what you can do on your track using only three EQ moves (no more than -4dB!) compression and reverb, will you better me?

I'll understand if you don't want to play.


Try to stop putting yourself down, you don't deserve it and I truly believe you are closer than you think to making your music sound the way you want it to. The songs are great after all and that's the most difficult part of the process and you've got that part nailed.
 

Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
Hey Monkey,

You're sounding a bit despondent here but you really shouldn't be so hard on yourself.

View attachment 117894
You're dead on there HP. I am pretty despondent really because it's not the room, it's not the gear, not the acoustic treatment, not the headphones or monitors or any of that. If you bring in that fella I linked to a few posts above playing his song "Ghost Towns" on youtube...or any other of a million blokes you see on youtube just knocking out nice sounding stuff at will....they could get awesome results in my room, with my gear. No question about it. In fact, for a lot of these guys, my room and my gear would be like 7th heaven to them.

I guess I'm somewhat (damn) pissed off and well, let's face it, feeling like I'm never going to get it. I first started getting into recording 20 years ago but due to work, and moving overseas for work about 15 years ago I haven't had the time or the place to record properly and it's been this dream that's built up to finally get a home studio and record the piles of songs I've written. Now I have the home studio and the time...and the results are killing me! I'm just making bad calls, bad decisions. I've always wanted to record great sounding acoustic guitar rhythm for my songs...and I've had so many failures trying to do that, that I literally dread even trying. No joke, the idea of recording acoustic guitar just sends me on a huge downer! But I keep trying and keep failing. My singing...I'm not a singer but I can sing and play acoustic guitar to myself till the cows come home. But when I record singing it's always this strained, pinched, forced sounding garbage that makes me cringe.

And all of this is ultimately reflected in the end result...what was a simple song to write and a fun song to track...ultimately becomes this unmusical wall of crap that's lost all impact and musicality. So yeah, I'm more than frustrated. You know it's not like "wo is me" and I'm not wallowing in self pity. It just pisses me off that my expectation exceeds the actual result...not by a bit...but by gargantuan oceans. But that might not be fully accurate either...because I know I'm not the greatest musician or any of that...singing and all that doesn't flow or come naturally. Trust me, I know real musos when I see and hear them...and that's not me. So it's not so much my expectations exceed the actuality...it's that my expectations are pretty humble...I work with a limited set of skills and all I want is for the stuff I can play and sing...to sound ok. And the difference...the gap between those two things is immeasurable at the moment.

So when you say, HP, that my songs are ok...well I thank you very much, sincerely and I think they are ok too. I'm not gonna lie. Which is why it's such a bitter pill to keep pumping out end results that hugely diminish whatever talent or skill I have.

And yeah, I'm rambling and moaning because maybe, just maybe, somehow putting it out there in words will start to light a few beacons of good old fashioned home truth, like looking in a mirror or something and taking a cold kind of look at where I'm at, what I'm doing wrong and how I can make it better. And any of you fellas out there who reply or have anything to offer, well I'm really trying to let what you say sink in.
 
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Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
rence to how something sounds and make real judgment's as to when bigger moves are necessary. To keep it (relatively) short do the same for the compression, reverb and delay (easy isn't it).


Lets play a game! Here's a snippet of the track you posted above. Firstly your raw track, then with me having made three EQ moves between -2 and -4dB slight compression and reverb, and then the reference I used (America - A horse with no name):

View attachment 117894

That's what I did now lets hear what you can do on your track using only three EQ moves (no more than -4dB!) compression and reverb, will you better me?

I'll understand if you don't want to play.


Try to stop putting yourself down, you don't deserve it and I truly believe you are closer than you think to making your music sound the way you want it to. The songs are great after all and that's the most difficult part of the process and you've got that part nailed.
Ha! Nice...that's a good little example there of what you've said...simple moves, reference tracks and achieving as close to what you want as you can.

I'll certainly have a go at this and post back my clip. Alright if I choose a different reference track? Or should I stick with Horse With No Name?

I know what you're saying about putting myself down...yeah that's true but I'm resilient, if anything. I'm not giving up and I'm not a self pity kind of fella. I think it's more that I'm just astronomically @#$@%$ pissed off! I mean this shit makes me @#@^%# mad, man. I do doubt I can get to where I want to get to with the sound. But I'm determined to get there.

Anyway, I'm going to follow the game rules...3 EQ moves no more than -4db, compression and reverb. I'll give it a go shortly.

Thanks HP.
 

Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
Ok, well I have done the game/ challenge and I'll attach the clip here. The clip goes like this:

0-12sec - Raw acoustic
12-26sec - Processed acoustic that was used in my mix
26-34sec - A Horse With No Name
34-49sec - Raw acoustic processed to the rules of the game (I made 4 EQ moves by mistake @ -4db each, not 3. That was just a mistake. Used compression and reverb)
49-66sec - Is me playing the Horse With No Name chords as recorded with a Shure 57 sitting right on my desk aimed at the 12th fret recorded into a Grace m101 preamp...one of the cleanest preamps around, apparently. I just did this for fun.

I'll also attach some pictures here showing EQ, compression and reverb as used for the part of the clip processed to the rules of the game. You see that for the EQ I used pretty much the broadest Q settings trying to scoop out as much rubbish as I could. That Db ringing sound is coming from 1.1khz. If I used a narrowish Q I could eliminate much of it with a cut of -12db or something. But, excepting the error in using 4 EQ moves instead of 3, I followed the rules of the game and didn't do anything beyond -4db. (There's an updated example clip in the next post where I only used 3x EQ moves)

There is a lot of rubbish in my recordings...like a covering of haze or mud or a washy one dimensional kind of flat veil that seems to cover most of the frequency range. I'm sure my room has a lot to do with that...this boxy space isn't a dream location for tracking. You hear, naturally, in the real Horse With No Name clip that the guitar is so organic...it's true...there's no veil there. It's a nice real guitar doing it's thing. It's kind of round and inviting. My guitar, on the other hand seems swamped in some kind of invisible shroud. There's a guitar there...but it's amateur. It's behind perspex or something. I may never overcome this issue in this room. I may need to record all acoustic guitars out in the front room where the walls are far apart.

I'll also add the EQ I did for my take on the Horse With No Name chords. "EQ Horse".
 

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  • EQ Horse.jpg
    EQ Horse.jpg
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Last edited:

Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
In light of fair's fair...here's the example clip again, this time with having only used the prescribed 3 EQ moves @ no more than -4db each. And a picture of the EQ.
 

Attachments

  • Clip Examples 2.mp3
    2.3 MB
  • EQ 3 moves.jpg
    EQ 3 moves.jpg
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