Surf's Up (Cover) [Mixing Feedback Requested]

Matthew M.

New member
Hi guys,

Looking for some mixing feedback on this cover I did of The Beach Boys song, "Surf's Up". It's just a piano demo, but it's a track I wanted to try in order to practice mixing piano. Unfortunately, listening back, it all feels a bit sloppy, unfocused, and not quite there, and the more I tweak it, the worse it gets. Because of that, I'd like to have another pair of ears give it a listen, and see what other changes I need to make (either performance of mixing related) to make this sound better.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Surf's Up (Cover) by The Academic Thugs | Free Listening on SoundCloud

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Having to put up with loads of Beach boys songs in the studio here as we've done quite a lot of backing tracks of their popular songs, this one was always thrown out even when one of the band wanted to do it. It wasn't even popular with the Beach Boys themselves! You've stripped it back to the piano, which has one of the most plodding and dull roles in any of their recordings. Still, if you like it..........

I think what you've done though is messed up the pedalling, so the murk is coming from the left hand when you mistime the pedal release, and two bass notes get sustained together. For personal preference, you also play it very angrily. I'd probably play it much quieter and less rigid fingers. It was a dream song, meant to flow, and making it more like a Beatles angry piano song doesn't suit it. The falsetto section is also a bit pitchy. In fairness the beach boys version is pretty dreadful. Some loved it but most just didn't get it. It is also very difficult to sing, and Brian Wilson couldn't manage it live once he got older. One of those songs that's clever and thought highly of by the writers but just too weird for the public. If you do versions of these songs they're very revealing.

My suggestion is rerecord the piano to a more gentle style and less stiff fingers and sort out the tuning in the falsetto. Other than that, it's just a weird song.