Mixing SOS

mjbphotos

What?!?
This one sounds best:
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)

This one sounds worse, it's lost all it's high end detail:
12-26sec - Processed acoustic that was used in my mix

Note that the comments above are based on these tracks by themselves. In a mix, things can totally change as you balance everything out.

Those are Yamaha HS8 monitors you are using? Have you done anything with the rear panel settings on them?
 

Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
This one sounds best:
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)

This one sounds worse, it's lost all it's high end detail:
12-26sec - Processed acoustic that was used in my mix

Note that the comments above are based on these tracks by themselves. In a mix, things can totally change as you balance everything out.

Those are Yamaha HS8 monitors you are using? Have you done anything with the rear panel settings on them?
Yeah they are Yamaha HS8's. The "Room Control" and the "High Trim" are both set to 0 on both speakers. In other words...normal position.
 

HumanPlanet

* Gen Xer *
Hey Monkey.

Nice to see you played the game.

In my opinion both of those tracks, sound better than that used in the mix and hopefully you can see that a light touch is sometimes all that's needed. One question though, how much work is that compressor doing (-2 to -3dBs on acoustic guitars should be enough).

Take a 'light touch' approach to a full mix and see how you get on, you may hear a difference for the better.

By the way 'Sun is Shining', another great song, love that James Bond inspired ending :-).
 

Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
Hey Monkey.

Nice to see you played the game.

In my opinion both of those tracks, sound better than that used in the mix and hopefully you can see that a light touch is sometimes all that's needed. One question though, how much work is that compressor doing (-2 to -3dBs on acoustic guitars should be enough).

Take a 'light touch' approach to a full mix and see how you get on, you may hear a difference for the better.

By the way 'Sun is Shining', another great song, love that James Bond inspired ending :-).
Thanks HP. The compressor I think was 4:1 taking off something like 4db. Noted though for next time that 2 to 3db is the go.

Just as an aside, I was recording acoustic rhythm guitar last night and noticed that around 1.1khz was especially weird. 500hz was also bad. I was doing some reading last night too about rooms and there's a view that trumping preamps, microphones and all that is the room. So if my boxy room is a boxy room, it's always going to be subpar to record in. So I'll need to work that out. An LDC may be overkill in a poor room. Maybe some kind of supercardioid dynamic mic would be better.
 

Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
Ok I said I went for -15-16bd in the track and mixed/rendered at -6 with only a JS limiter. No EQ. Nothing subtracted from the pure awesomeness...yeah right.

Sounds weak. Faders at zero, peaks were near -8. Warning. Starts with a THUD!! More like a bonk or baffft.

https://soundcloud.com/mark-c-746521042%2Fmayacoustic-005
View attachment 117921View attachment 117924
Hey Lazer...I wouldn't say that sounds weak...it's pretty robust. I'd be looking to kind of simplify that sound though if it was me...like trying to get just a crisp sound without a lot of flab. I'm not saying your guitar is fat or even phat...but that take has some baggage. But that's a raw take without EQ as you said. By the way, is that mic'd or DI or both?
 

LazerBeakShiek

Well-known member
This is input via a microphone. The rules only allowed for a 4 db change with EQ. I use EQ as a LPF HPF filter set. Id chop off the bottom and top a little, but it was not in the rules.

The only VST used, is the JS clipper, not JS master limiter. Kinda similar.
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
Thanks HP. The compressor I think was 4:1 taking off something like 4db. Noted though for next time that 2 to 3db is the go.

Just as an aside, I was recording acoustic rhythm guitar last night and noticed that around 1.1khz was especially weird. 500hz was also bad. I was doing some reading last night too about rooms and there's a view that trumping preamps, microphones and all that is the room. So if my boxy room is a boxy room, it's always going to be subpar to record in. So I'll need to work that out. An LDC may be overkill in a poor room. Maybe some kind of supercardioid dynamic mic would be better.
If you face a treated wall/panels and have the mic(s) around 6" out from the guitar, you should get little room sound.
 

Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
This is input via a microphone. The rules only allowed for a 4 db change with EQ. I use EQ as a LPF HPF filter set. Id chop off the bottom and top a little, but it was not in the rules.

The only VST used, is the JS clipper, not JS master limiter. Kinda similar.
Oh yeah! My mistake...I totally blindsided myself that you were operating according to the rules there. Right, right, I'm with ya now. So how long have you have your Ovation? Do you have any other acoustic guitars? I have a Martin D28 I bought in 2008 and a Talyor GC5 that I bought in around 2012. That one's no longer in production.
 

LazerBeakShiek

Well-known member
I dont have many instruments. i play a bunch of them. But I only have 1 keyboard, a couple stratocasters..acoustic...couple Jazz basses.

it got thrown out of a moving vehicle ..back of neck ok. Still plays. Electronics dont work anymore..
20220508_195340.jpg
how long have you have your Ovation? Do you have any other acoustic guitars?
35 years. No.

I have a Martin D28 I bought in 2008 and a Talyor GC5 that I bought in around 2012. That one's no longer in production.
Martin are fantastic instruments. Hold on to that one for sure.
 

Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
If you face a treated wall/panels and have the mic(s) around 6" out from the guitar, you should get little room sound.
I'll try that. So far I've been in the centre of the room with the mic about a foot or a little more away from the guitar.
 

Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
I dont have many instruments. i play a bunch of them. But I only have 1 keyboard, a couple stratocasters..acoustic...couple Jazz basses.

it got thrown out of a moving vehicle ..back of neck ok. Still plays. Electronics dont work anymore..
View attachment 117936

35 years. No.


Martin are fantastic instruments. Hold on to that one for sure.
Thrown from a moving vehicle...now there's a story. Haha
 

Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
I wanted to put this up here. It's 3 clips back to back of acoustic guitar. The acoustic guitar is a Martin D28 played in an arrangement as you can see in the picture attached. I'm using a U87ai in cardioid with no rolloff. It goes into a Daking Mic/pre/eq preamp where I roll off about 4db at 100hz, take out 2 and a bit db at 500hz, take out 2db at 1.5khz and have the 20hz and 20khz rolloffs engaged on the preamp. I did nothing to treat the clips at all...apart from increase the volume for all by 3db. The clips go like this:

1. 0-14sec - The first section of a song I'm trying to record. The chords are B, E, C#m, F#, E bar chord (C shape). All bar chords except the 'E' which was open. This was played to a drum track.
2. 14-36sec - just strumming G, C, D (not related to the song mentioned above)
3. 36-55sec - Strumming the same chords as number 1 above, but this time much slower and cleaner

What I take from this:

1. I constantly have issues getting the chord sequences for my songs to sound nice played in context, some chord sequences more than others. Clip #1 above shows this. In my opinion the key of B...or at least the B (A shape) bar chord I play on the 2nd fret is ugly in this room. Also...and even more troublingly...the performance...all these bar chords sound cluttered in take one. It's not musical...it's really rough and busy in a bad way. But those are the chords for the song...that's how I wrote it.

2. Clip #2 above sounds nice. The G, C, D open chords seem to record quite ok. I'm strumming freely...not bound to a drum track...so it's all a little more natural sounding.

3. Clip #3 shows that all those chords from clip #1 CAN be played more cleanly and that they can record "ok". But these chords were not played to a drum track.

So...it seems like some kind of finger is pointing at a couple of things...

1. playing skill when playing bar chords to a drum track and having them sound nice is questionable for this song
2. arrangement...maybe an acoustic guitar playing bar chords like this for this song is not a good decision.
3. It is possible to record fairly ok sounding acoustic guitar in this room but being forced to play these chords in this key to this drum beat compromises the performance and therefore the sound.
4. Maybe to get around this problem I need to use a much, much lighter touch when playing this particular sequence of bar chords is this song to this drum track. (I haven't included the drum track to hear). Or maybe I need to play it and rehearse it much, much more until I can play it nicely.

What do you reckon?
 

Attachments

  • Acoustic Examples.mp3
    2 MB
  • 20220509_153600.jpg
    20220509_153600.jpg
    4 MB · Views: 4

Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
Here's a different take of clip #1 above...the first 14 seconds of the backing for my song. This is played with a different pick. I think this take is much better than the 14 seconds in the post above. Again, nothing done with plugins except raising the volume by 3db. With this guitar pick it's smoother and less gouging and there doesn't seem to be as many bad overtones. I feel like this is an acceptable take/ sound given the room conditions.
 

Attachments

  • Acoustic Chords.mp3
    722.1 KB

mjbphotos

What?!?
Listening to those clips ... There's nothing wrong with the recording. #1 is fine, maybe you have problems playing to the drum track, but since that is NOT in the recording, we can't tell if you are in time with it. The 2nd take (in post #74) is also fine, so I think you just need to get used to playing the part. The more you practice, the easier (and hopefully better) it gets.
 

Monkey Allen

Fork and spoon operator
Listening to those clips ... There's nothing wrong with the recording. #1 is fine, maybe you have problems playing to the drum track, but since that is NOT in the recording, we can't tell if you are in time with it. The 2nd take (in post #74) is also fine, so I think you just need to get used to playing the part. The more you practice, the easier (and hopefully better) it gets.
I think you're right. Changing the pick helped a lot in playing too. Funny, because the first pick is one I never really use but thought sounded and felt good. For the 2nd attempt I went back to the pick I usually use for strumming and I think it turned out better. Side note, vocal recordings in the same room with the same mic are never as sonically troublesome as acoustic guitar recordings. But I suppose acoustic guitars cover thousands of overlapping frequency overtones and all that. A voice, arguably, is not exactly like that.
 

R D Smith

Member
I didn't really hear anything wrong with the first clip either. The only thing I noticed was what sounds like string noise related to the pick in the part where you were playing the c d and g chords. Second clip was fine too. If I had played either of those I would be perfectly happy with it.

I have a hard time playing to a click sometime also. It's usually related to the strumming pattern. Practicing the part helps.
 

R D Smith

Member
I do minimal practicing of parts but every so often, a part just clumps my hands or mind and I have to spend time practicing it, just to get the muscle memory flowing.
Me too. With a few exceptions, everything I record, I've played many times. When I have to record to a click because I want to add drums, bass, etc. and it needs to be in time is when the problems start. Sometime it flows, sometime not so much.
 
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