Prize - Easy Listening Pop Punk Song

endlessrain

New member
Hey there!

Hope everyone is doing well and staying safe out there. By the way, here's a new Pop Punk song that I just recorded, produced and mixed/mastered (the vocals are also mine, except for the intro). I'm relatively new to producing/mixing, so I would love to hear your feedback on this mix. Your constructive criticisms would really help me improve my mixes in the future. Thanks.
 

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  • Prize_Final.mp3
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STAT1STICK

Active member
There are some pops in the intro child vocal section. Didn't really notice them anywhere else. Was it recorded from the source or could it be a glitch in the render? Your guitars, while they sound great, could use a little EQing to carve some room for the vocals because they dojn't really stand out as much as they should for a song like this. The Pop in Pop/Punk insists on it. Some volume automation may also do the trick if you're nervous about EQing. Honestly, the EQ sounded good on the tracks individually. However, the low end on the kick could come up a bit more but only a little. Too much would take away from the punk vibe, I think. I thought the vocals were appropriate for the tune so great work there. It really takes me back to 2003. Keep it up. Practice will make you better.
 

endlessrain

New member
Thanks STAT1STICK for your valuable feedback. I really appreciate it!

Yes, the intro child vocal section wasn't recorded very well, so the pops were in the source itself. As you mentioned I should have probably made the guitars less bright or maybe increased the volume of the vocals (especially in places where the guitars are drowning out the voice)...I had done a slight boost in the kick frequency range in the mastering stage but was really unsure about that decision, but now I can feel confident that that was the right thing to do (infact, as you have pointed out, I should have boosted even more while preserving the punk vibe of the track at the same time). Thank you!
 

VomitHatSteve

Hat STYLE. Not contents.
+1 on the pops. Maybe use a vinyl filter or something to mask them?

The big thing I'm noticing mix wise is that the vocals seem a little dry and flat. Do you have any reverb or anything on them?
 

endlessrain

New member
Thanks VomitHatSteve for your feedback. Yes, there is some reverb on the vocals (it's a room setting with time of about 1.5 sec or so). There is also some delay on the vocals but I have sidechained the delay to the vocals itself so that the delay is only heard at the end of the phrases and not during the middle of the phrases. Thanks!
 

Bulls Hit

Well-known member
Good tune. Mix is pretty good. On headphones the only thing that stuck out to me is that crash cymbal on the rhs. The drummer seems to really like it coz he's bashing the shit out of it at every opportunity. Otherwise all good.
 

Chili

Site Moderator
Great song. I like the mix and really don't have much to say about it. Oh!!! Cool ending.

+1 on the pops. They sound like edits; like the audio clips abruptly stop. Which DAW software are you using? All the major players should allow you to fade out each audio clip and that's what I recommend you do the intro vocal.

The lead vocal has A LOT of artifacts. clicks, pops, hard consonants, etc. I think you've got way too much compression on the lead vocal and it is bringing up all the unwanted sounds. Instead of a lot of compression, try a little compression then a limiter on the insert. Don't slam it, but let it put the ceiling on your vocal level in a subtle way.

Cool man, and welcome to the site. You were here before with a different username, right?
 

hautbois16

New member
Interesting song; certainly a "hard driving number." I listened to it several times both on a set of home-quality speakers and on a fairly good set of stereo headphones. Since you are looking for ideas to improve future mixes, I'll tell you the one issue which strikes me in the song: I hear several instances of clipping, mainly when the high cymbal strike coincides with the "attack" at the beginning of a word. Of course, I know that distortion in the guitar part is probably "part and parcel" for this type of music; but I mention one particular point in the song For reference. There were several bars in the middle of the song where the high cymbals did not sound. At the point where the words "Oh yeah," and a high cymbal strike occur on the "Oh," I hear a slight bit of clipping of the cymbal. In my mind, it gives the effect of a slight "raspy" sound to the cymbal rather than a pure, clear tone which the cymbal produces on much of the cymbal strikes. This minor flaw wouldn't "doom" the song as far as its being enjoyed; I would guess that many folk wouldn't notice the slight bit of clipping here and there. For that matter, I have heard some commercially-produced rock songs in which more clipping can be heard than that which is present on your recording. I understand, of course, that in mastering a song, one goal is to get the highest level possible without distortion; but if I were working on this project and heard what you have, I would probably want to reduce the level on the high cymbal or change its EQ just enough to prevent any clipping when it is struck. Again, if I were working on the song, I might even lower the level of the whole mix just enough to keep the cymbal strikes from driving the equipment slightly into the clipping range. As I write this from only what I hear, and having no access to the visual meters on equipment, I have wondered at times if a very slight amount of occasional clipping will show on the record meter. Having said all that, it is still a matter of what kind of sound you want overall. Had your song not come up in Mixing Clinic, I perhaps would not have mentioned it; there may also be persons here who don't agree with what I have pointed out. So at day's end, it is your call on the matter.
 

endlessrain

New member
Thanks Chili for your feedback. I really appreciate it.

The DAW software I'm using is Pro Tools. Yes, I should have definitely spent more time with the fading of the intro part as you mentioned (in order to make it sound more natural and not have it abruptly stop like it does).

Thanks also for pointing out the over-compression on the lead vocals. I do prefer somewhat uncompressed vocals with more dynamics as well, but in this song I felt like I had to over-compress the vocals. Now I know that that was obviously the wrong decision... Next time, I'm going to try using the limiter on the vocals like you recommended. The vocals (both intro and throughout the song) were recorded in very imperfect rooms with little or no acoustic treatment. Thanks again!
 

endlessrain

New member
Thanks hautbois16 for you feedback. I really appreciate it.

I will definitely pay more close attention to the clipping issues from now on. I hope that as I practice more, I will be able to hear and fix these (and other similar) problems in the future. Thanks again!
 
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