Some stuff for you to practice your mixing

foobalicious

New member
Hi all,

I recently was going to through my backup stuff and I found some raw tracks of a demo recording of a past band of mine. This song was never on the demo and actually never really mixed. I did some mixing of my own on it but I'm, like some of you probably, trying to learn how to do it.

I really like the idea of this forum: help each other out with mixing by either mixing ones tracks or providing raw tracks for practice. So I'd like to contribute by adding the tracks I found so you can learn from it.

Some notes to the tracks:

- From what I remember we had little time left in the studio when we recorded this song. The other songs on the demo were recorded in more takes, so less there is less spill in the mics from other instruments. In these tracks there is quite a lot of spill.

- I think we did only one take so you will here lots of mistakes :-) But for practicing your mixing techniques this does not matter I guess.

- The files are not named properly so you will have to figure out yourself what is the kick out, kick in etc track.

Have fun !

The link to the tracks:

STACK

Cheers,

Roel
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
Quick mix here (DropBox link).

I like that song!

Edit: SoundCloud private links don't work, OneDrive forces a download... :(.
 
Last edited:

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
Hey,
... Constructive criticism welcome.
..
You asked for it ;). Sounds like everything is pretty much in the center to me. There's a lot of stuff in the low-mids, so some EQ carving on guitars and bass probably. And I'd do a lot of panning to start with.
 

John Holland

New member
Thanks for the input. After listening again today it is a bit heavy on low end. But as for panning, the only things in the center are drums, bass and vox.
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
I just tried to clean up some noise in the beginning and give the bass a little more treble, and stuck a different compressor on the lead vocal and it all went south :). But, it's too late to turn on the speakers so I might give it another listen in the morning.

Bass is hard... This one wasn't too bad because they had both the DI and amp, and obviously the bass player knew what they were doing. The lead vocal seems hard to control sometimes. I probably need to use some automation there.
 

foobalicious

New member
Hi John,

thanks for you mix !

There are somethings I like about it and some that might need some work (in my humble opinion):

In general I think that it sounds a bit boxy, as if there is a pillow in front of my speakers. I agree with Keith that you might want to carve out some freqs so there is a little bit of air in the mix.

The lead vocal sounds a little bit far away, maybe because of the reverb you used?

What I do like it that sound of the snare. In the mix I made (which I'll add too) it sounds thin. Yours has body. I also like the kick sound. Also fuller than mine and nice attack.


Here is my mix. I put it on youtube so other bands can have a go at it as well :-)

Trouble
 

foobalicious

New member
Quick mix here (DropBox link).

I like that song!

Edit: SoundCloud private links don't work, OneDrive forces a download... :(.

Hi Keith,

you too thanks for the mix !

It's a nice mix. But here too I have some "criticism" (as far a a newbie mixer like me can give any)

What I like is the presence of the lead vocal, the space in the mix and the effect you added to the keys. Also the kick has a nice nice attack.

I do think however that the snare sounds too far away, as if they can only be heard through the room mic. And the guitar is a little to soft for my taste. Especially in the chorus where sax and guitar play the little melody. They blend nicely if on equal volume..


To both you and John: it's great fun to hear other people's mixes, thanks !

I have some more multitracks from this band. I'll put up some more if you like.

Cheers !
 

foobalicious

New member
One more question: do you guys mix with headphones? I noticed that since I switched to monitor speakers mixing became much easier. Especially when mixing bass/low end
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
...
What I like is the presence of the lead vocal, the space in the mix and the effect you added to the keys. Also the kick has a nice nice attack.

I do think however that the snare sounds too far away, as if they can only be heard through the room mic. And the guitar is a little to soft for my taste. Especially in the chorus where sax and guitar play the little melody. They blend nicely if on equal volume..
....
Thanks for taking the time to listen and comment!

The keys effect is a little bit of Leslie on slow speed, maybe a little weight to the top speaker.

I'll go back and look for the snare and see which track it is. I honestly didn't do a lot with the drums except group them (route all to a stereo bus) and do some quick pan and balance, though I did EQ the 2 tracks that were primarily kick (in my ears, anyway). The bus has compression (well, 2 - 1 general and a little on the 2nd, side chained to the lead vocal). As you mentioned, there's a lot of spill/bleed and the drums are kind of everywhere :). Could be a loose one is what's being primarily heard. I'll see what I can do.

As a guitar player (but about 50 years ago trumpet player in a couple soul bands), I wrestled with the guitar track(s). It does work well with the sax but it seemed like the timing was just so slightly off that when I brought it up I was afraid I was going to have to get into some timing tinkering to make me happy. I could have just been lazy though and didn't spend enough time there. I will give it another listen along with the sax and see if a little volume slider automation can make those balance more like you expected.

I saw you posted another song - I hope to have time next week (visitors coming this weekend and a trip to Austin early in the week, plus some recording tentatively the latter part of the week). This stuff is way outside of my 1-2 piece acoustic "bailiwick" so a great stretch. Thanks again.
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
One more question: do you guys mix with headphones? I noticed that since I switched to monitor speakers mixing became much easier. Especially when mixing bass/low end
Since I have my room treated now, I do my mixing with speakers, and check on headphones later. I might do a little tweak on a mix with just the phones, e.g., to automate some volume on a track that I notice later on, but I've found that making big EQ or mix level changes is a big mistake. Using speakers first and primarily saves me a lot of time.
 

foobalicious

New member
I've had a go at a mix. I had limited time and there are some further adjustments I would make, but this is the sort of sound I would have in mind.

https://trouble mix

Thanks for your mix !

I really like it. Well balanced in my opinion. Only the backing vocal sounds too upfront in my opinion. Too loud compared to the lead vocal.This is more noticeable in the first chorus than in later on.

But again. Nice mix ! Thanks !

Cheers,

Roel
 

foobalicious

New member
Thanks for taking the time to listen and comment!

The keys effect is a little bit of Leslie on slow speed, maybe a little weight to the top speaker.
....

As a guitar player (but about 50 years ago trumpet player in a couple soul bands), I wrestled with the guitar track(s). It does work well with the sax but it seemed like the timing was just so slightly off that when I brought it up I was afraid I was going to have to get into some timing tinkering to make me happy. I could have just been lazy though and didn't spend enough time there. I will give it another listen along with the sax and see if a little volume slider automation can make those balance more like you expected.

I saw you posted another song - I hope to have time next week (visitors coming this weekend and a trip to Austin early in the week, plus some recording tentatively the latter part of the week). This stuff is way outside of my 1-2 piece acoustic "bailiwick" so a great stretch. Thanks again.

I think I understand what you mean with guitar timing. The guitar player in the band back then had a natural tendency to play very laid back, whereas the drummer tended to play very in front of the beat. For me (as the sax player), I struggled with both.

Today I again play with the same drummer and a different guitar player. This is a better match, timing wise. Also, the drummer's playing improved quite a lot over the years. (And my playing as well, I hope :-) ).
We also have a trumpet player and he and I lock very well, even though our natural timing is not exactly the same, we played so much together that we can ' feel' each others timing and adjust for that on the fly. This works (most of the time :-) )....

Do you have some examples of your 1-2 piece recordings?
 

keith.rogers

Bobby'); DROP TABLE USER
....
Do you have some examples of your 1-2 piece recordings?
There's a couple recent things I've done at home - actually 4 folks tracking singly, and a couple live open mic tracks of me on the SoundCloud link in my profile (also a lot of backing track noodling noise - ignore that :)). Most of what I do is recordings at open mics for the performers there, and I haven't made up a "portfolio" of that stuff yet because I'm still learning!
 

mxw

New member
Hi, I took the challenge! This sort of stuff is way out of my comfort zone. I am a complete DIY amateur who has mixed hardcore punk bands - which usually means raw, no-frills, in-your-face sort of basic "bluff-my-way-through" mixing stuff. So I took this as a fun challenge. I would very much appreciate constructive criticism? Seriously, the harsher the better! :eatpopcorn: If you can't be arsed, that's cool too! :D I tend to prefer dry, bright mixes. Although I put some delay on the vocs. I did like her voice, she's very good. Thanks for the practice tracks!

Trouble
 

gecko zzed

Grumpy Mod
Hi, I took the challenge! This sort of stuff is way out of my comfort zone. I am a complete DIY amateur who has mixed hardcore punk bands - which usually means raw, no-frills, in-your-face sort of basic "bluff-my-way-through" mixing stuff. So I took this as a fun challenge. I would very much appreciate constructive criticism? Seriously, the harsher the better! :eatpopcorn: If you can't be arsed, that's cool too! :D I tend to prefer dry, bright mixes. Although I put some delay on the vocs. I did like her voice, she's very good. Thanks for the practice tracks!

Trouble

My impression: I listened through headphones, which will give me a strange perspective. However, my two observations were that the delay was too much, and tended to garble the vocals, and the bass was a bit too prominent for my taste. Otherwise I thought it was fine.
 

mxw

New member
My impression: I listened through headphones, which will give me a strange perspective. However, my two observations were that the delay was too much, and tended to garble the vocals, and the bass was a bit too prominent for my taste. Otherwise I thought it was fine.

Thanks, gecko zzed!! Thanks for having a listen! I think you may be right, I could tone those 2 things down a notch or 3 maybe... That's most probs my subjective "punk" ears distorting my objective mixing/hearing ha ha. That's why I did this, to hear some feedback like yours. Thanks! :)

I like the "immediacy" of a dry, bright mix with lots of "presence". I hardly ever use reverb on instruments. Each to their own, of course. Yeah, it was a fun little project!
 
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