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Andrew Cole - Dead Roses
19-02-2016, 04:06 AM
Post: #11
RE: Andrew Cole - Dead Roses
This mix has some cleanup and tightening in the low end and smoothing of vocals.


.mp3   Andrew Cole - Andrew Cole - Dead Roses.mp3 --  (Download: 3.61 MB)



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20-02-2016, 05:33 PM
Post: #12
RE: Andrew Cole - Dead Roses
Looks like there's a lot of back and forth here. But the biggest points that I picked up is that there is too much reverb on the vocal, which there is, and that you're adding that reverb directly to the channels as an insert.

A couple of quick notes. The music sounds very clean and true to the style that it's written in. I saw mention that the drums were too far in the background, I disagree. I think the drums are exactly where they need to be. I commented on another version that having the drums up front in this song sounds more like a rock mix than what it is. This is an acoustic song and I'm glad to hear that you have treated it that way.

As far as the vocal reverb, it is a bit thick. I think your biggest issue is not using your sends. If you were to create an FX bus and send the two vocal channels to it, you would have a tremendously more detailed level of control over the wet mix and the color of the reverb. This is true for most effects, especially spatial FX and compression. As well, with this technique, both vocals will now be occupying the same "space" giving them a more congruent sound.

As a rule of thumb, you shouldn't be able to hear the reverb in the mix. It should just add a subtle sense of space. You can hear it when the track is soloed, but not when the other tracks are added back in. An exception to this would be if you want the reverb to be an obvious or artistic feature, but I'm not sure this was your intention here.

Kirk Farmer
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21-02-2016, 12:58 AM
Post: #13
RE: Andrew Cole - Dead Roses
(20-02-2016 05:33 PM)k14studios Wrote:  Looks like there's a lot of back and forth here. But the biggest points that I picked up is that there is too much reverb on the vocal, which there is, and that you're adding that reverb directly to the channels as an insert.

A couple of quick notes. The music sounds very clean and true to the style that it's written in. I saw mention that the drums were too far in the background, I disagree. I think the drums are exactly where they need to be. I commented on another version that having the drums up front in this song sounds more like a rock mix than what it is. This is an acoustic song and I'm glad to hear that you have treated it that way.

As far as the vocal reverb, it is a bit thick. I think your biggest issue is not using your sends. If you were to create an FX bus and send the two vocal channels to it, you would have a tremendously more detailed level of control over the wet mix and the color of the reverb. This is true for most effects, especially spatial FX and compression. As well, with this technique, both vocals will now be occupying the same "space" giving them a more congruent sound.

As a rule of thumb, you shouldn't be able to hear the reverb in the mix. It should just add a subtle sense of space. You can hear it when the track is soloed, but not when the other tracks are added back in. An exception to this would be if you want the reverb to be an obvious or artistic feature, but I'm not sure this was your intention here.

Kirk,
Thanks so much for your feed back. I agree with you on some of your points and disagree on others. Yes, the reverb on the drums for me puts them in their proper place IMHO for this song. As far as a rule of thumb on vocal reverb, all I can say is there is not rule of thumb. I can give you countless examples of reverb and how it is used on male and female vocals, especially in ballads. And while using reverb in-line as opposed to an FX buss is really a matter of choice and/or the capabilities of the effects plugin used, this particular one has all the control needed to make minute adjustments as needed including EQ, decay times, mix saturation, early reflections and RT times, etc. The room and delay settings were identical on both voices. the only thing changing being the decay times and EQ for the most part. In my mix, they turned out just the way I wanted them and IMHO the voices are not lost in reverb at all and retain all the presence they need for the mix and the song. At the very end of the song I purposely wash the male voice in reverb to help it fade away in the fade out. There was a lot of automation used to accomplish that effect which was unique to the ending male vocal phrase. All of the decision I made I am happy with. Is it the perfect mix for this song? Certainly not as that paradigm is squarely in the ears of the beholder. I like it and I had fun doing it. For me, that is all that matters. I am very happy this has spurred a lot of discussion and I have learned from it and the mix has improved because of it.

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21-02-2016, 01:11 AM (This post was last modified: 21-02-2016 01:14 AM by The_Metallurgist.)
Post: #14
RE: Andrew Cole - Dead Roses
sadly, there's only 10 percent of your original mix here to engage with; is there a technical reason why you are only posting 128kbps? the issues of 128kbps mp3 warrant some research so you can understand the issues it presents for critical listening, including how it's messing with ambiance, bass, and treble generally, losing stereo information and 'pushing up' the mid channel (by making it more mono) etc etc. and i won't even begin to mention distortion deluxe.

the acoustic guitar has a major problem at about 2000Hz because my ears are burning from it, even at a very modest audition level. this can actually be a difficult zone to pin down during mixing depending on your monitor speakers because it's where the woofer and tweeter cross-overs [generally] occur and phase issues subsequently arise. you might want to check out how you missed it because i think it's a far bigger problem than all the points so far discussed due to the issues of fatigue, primarily.

i couldn't hang in to the rest of the mix past the first ~15 seconds for these two reasons, so i'm not going to be much good to you beyond the above.

i will flag up briefly the problem between the male and female vocal in the tracking though. despite using the same mic, clearly it suits one singer better than the other, even putting aside any mic-address differential which is no doubt aggravating things. getting past this inherent mismatch issue is quite a struggle (no thanks to the recording engineer who also managed to distort the fem' vox somewhat during the vamp!). so, creating a subjective illusion where both are sharing the same depth-field and placement needs a lot of careful thought regarding amplitudes, compression, presence/proximity-effect and resultant spectral composition between the two singers vis-a-vis the band.

actually, just typing that last paragraph has me thinking back to the 2000Hz'ish problem? given that any depth parameter judgements are fundamentally shaped by the monitoring environment as a whole i.e. the room, it's treatment or not, and how the monitoring system interacts with it, if we take the general theme of ambiance from the interesting discussion, one might actually be seeing only the top part of the iceberg? for example, if you can't hear the 2000Hz resonance despite working on v2 which takes habituation out of the equation, and you are unable to discern the quality difference between a 128kbps file and 320kbps, then assessing finer and more subtle details concerning psychoacoustics will be challenging. sooooo, i'm now wondering even more if your monitoring environment is hampering critical assessment and judgements perhaps?

any thoughts?

Beware...........Cognitive Dissonance!
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21-02-2016, 02:12 AM (This post was last modified: 21-02-2016 02:14 AM by Mixinthecloud.)
Post: #15
RE: Andrew Cole - Dead Roses
(21-02-2016 01:11 AM)The_Metallurgist Wrote:  sadly, there's only 10 percent of your original mix here to engage with; is there a technical reason why you are only posting 128kbps? the issues of 128kbps mp3 warrant some research so you can understand the issues it presents for critical listening, including how it's messing with ambiance, bass, and treble generally, losing stereo information and 'pushing up' the mid channel (by making it more mono) etc etc. and i won't even begin to mention distortion deluxe.

the acoustic guitar has a major problem at about 2000Hz because my ears are burning from it, even at a very modest audition level. this can actually be a difficult zone to pin down during mixing depending on your monitor speakers because it's where the woofer and tweeter cross-overs [generally] occur and phase issues subsequently arise. you might want to check out how you missed it because i think it's a far bigger problem than all the points so far discussed due to the issues of fatigue, primarily.

i couldn't hang in to the rest of the mix past the first ~15 seconds for these two reasons, so i'm not going to be much good to you beyond the above.

i will flag up briefly the problem between the male and female vocal in the tracking though. despite using the same mic, clearly it suits one singer better than the other, even putting aside any mic-address differential which is no doubt aggravating things. getting past this inherent mismatch issue is quite a struggle (no thanks to the recording engineer who also managed to distort the fem' vox somewhat during the vamp!). so, creating a subjective illusion where both are sharing the same depth-field and placement needs a lot of careful thought regarding amplitudes, compression, presence/proximity-effect and resultant spectral composition between the two singers vis-a-vis the band.

actually, just typing that last paragraph has me thinking back to the 2000Hz'ish problem? given that any depth parameter judgements are fundamentally shaped by the monitoring environment as a whole i.e. the room, it's treatment or not, and how the monitoring system interacts with it, if we take the general theme of ambiance from the interesting discussion, one might actually be seeing only the top part of the iceberg? for example, if you can't hear the 2000Hz resonance despite working on v2 which takes habituation out of the equation, and you are unable to discern the quality difference between a 128kbps file and 320kbps, then assessing finer and more subtle details concerning psychoacoustics will be challenging. sooooo, i'm now wondering even more if your monitoring environment is hampering critical assessment and judgements perhaps?

any thoughts?
I think the mp3 argument is a bit moot when it comes to frequency balance. When this was being mixed and mastered the only thing MP3-ish was the final output. the mp3 output file is not the arbiter of the final mix. That is somewhat pointless as the mp3 format sucks, regardless of the sample rate. I will admit to just taking what is given in the mp3 output without auditioning it. This is the only place I post mp3. My Soundcloud entries are posted up as 24 bit .wav but then Soundcloud does its own thing to that file. It sounds significantly better than what is listenable here, but here, you can only upload mp3s. I will check on the difference between the 128k and 320k files. As for my monitoring I use all manner of monitors to check my mixes from Yamaha HS5s, to Dell desktop speakers with a sub, to ROR/Visonic David's, AKG K44 headphones and my Jeep Cherokee's audio (the best of the lot!). I do know that if my mix sounds good on the RORs, then it will translate to pretty much everything else. Honestly I do not listen to the mp3 output files on the other systems, preferring .wav or Soundcloud. I will pay more attention now that you mention the issues you have enumerated. I would also say that a good majority of the mixes posted here sound muddy when played back on my RORs

You are correct about the distortion of the female vocal at one point where it just seems to get squashed and gravely. Being that that is common for all of the mixes here, it is also moot when it comes to the freq. balance and instrument balance of a mix. Otherwise I really liked her vocals.

I truly wish I could afford some really good monitors but alas, I cannot and must make due with my meager choices.

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29-02-2016, 11:17 AM (This post was last modified: 29-02-2016 11:22 AM by The_Metallurgist.)
Post: #16
RE: Andrew Cole - Dead Roses
(21-02-2016 02:12 AM)Mixinthecloud Wrote:  That is somewhat pointless as the mp3 format sucks, regardless of the sample rate.

i think you mean bit rate, not sample rate? your statement is incorrect because there is a huge difference in the amount of data reduction that occurs at lower bit rates and the artifacts and their nature which arise as a consequence. i recommend you inform yourself.

Quote:This is the only place I post mp3. My Soundcloud entries are posted up as 24 bit .wav but then Soundcloud does its own thing to that file. It sounds significantly better than what is listenable here, but here, you can only upload mp3s.

soundcloud streams at 128kbps, 16bit, 44.1kHz, so your assumption is wrong.

unless you are making available downloads, then you aren't achieving anything better than you have here! but if you post 320kbps files in this forum, most people won't be able to tell much difference between this and a CD unless they are using good quality playback devices and know from critical listening skills, what to look out for.

Quote:I will check on the difference between the 128k and 320k files.

i'm amazed you haven't already done this....as an aspiring audio engineer for one thing.

you might find this article of interest:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr12/articles/lost-in-translation.htm

Quote:I will pay more attention now that you mention the issues you have enumerated.

cool Wink

Quote:I truly wish I could afford some really good monitors but alas, I cannot and must make due with my meager choices.

that's a shame, because it's going to impair your judgement regarding audio quality assessments.

i tried a pair of HS50's a while ago now, because someone recommended them to me as the modern NS10. for your information, i found them pretty crippled. they compress like hell, and communicated depth poorly, for example. and because of the port, gave the wrong cues for assessing bass during mixing...not that a 5 inch woofer is good at communicating bass anyway, other than perhaps indirectly via the harmonics, i hasten to add. the problem you are going to have with the accumulated impact of your monitoring environment, is that what you are hearing isn't what's in the mix. trying to make up for this in guess work when dialling in a parameter, will compromise your work. nevertheless, it's good that you have a number of different playback devices because this can help with the "averaging out" process. i'd steer clear of using the headphones during mixing....but they have validity in helping to assess some mix parameters which have been set when using speakers. but that's my experience....it's what works best for you that matters.

laters,,

Beware...........Cognitive Dissonance!
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29-02-2016, 03:51 PM
Post: #17
RE: Andrew Cole - Dead Roses
(29-02-2016 11:17 AM)The_Metallurgist Wrote:  
(21-02-2016 02:12 AM)Mixinthecloud Wrote:  That is somewhat pointless as the mp3 format sucks, regardless of the sample rate.

i think you mean bit rate, not sample rate? your statement is incorrect because there is a huge difference in the amount of data reduction that occurs at lower bit rates and the artifacts and their nature which arise as a consequence. i recommend you inform yourself.

Quote:This is the only place I post mp3. My Soundcloud entries are posted up as 24 bit .wav but then Soundcloud does its own thing to that file. It sounds significantly better than what is listenable here, but here, you can only upload mp3s.

soundcloud streams at 128kbps, 16bit, 44.1kHz, so your assumption is wrong.

unless you are making available downloads, then you aren't achieving anything better than you have here! but if you post 320kbps files in this forum, most people won't be able to tell much difference between this and a CD unless they are using good quality playback devices and know from critical listening skills, what to look out for.

Quote:I will check on the difference between the 128k and 320k files.

i'm amazed you haven't already done this....as an aspiring audio engineer for one thing.

you might find this article of interest:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr12/articles/lost-in-translation.htm

Quote:I will pay more attention now that you mention the issues you have enumerated.

cool Wink

Quote:I truly wish I could afford some really good monitors but alas, I cannot and must make due with my meager choices.

that's a shame, because it's going to impair your judgement regarding audio quality assessments.

i tried a pair of HS50's a while ago now, because someone recommended them to me as the modern NS10. for your information, i found them pretty crippled. they compress like hell, and communicated depth poorly, for example. and because of the port, gave the wrong cues for assessing bass during mixing...not that a 5 inch woofer is good at communicating bass anyway, other than perhaps indirectly via the harmonics, i hasten to add. the problem you are going to have with the accumulated impact of your monitoring environment, is that what you are hearing isn't what's in the mix. trying to make up for this in guess work when dialling in a parameter, will compromise your work. nevertheless, it's good that you have a number of different playback devices because this can help with the "averaging out" process. i'd steer clear of using the headphones during mixing....but they have validity in helping to assess some mix parameters which have been set when using speakers. but that's my experience....it's what works best for you that matters.

laters,,

Quote:i think you mean bit rate, not sample rate? your statement is incorrect because there is a huge difference in the amount of data reduction that occurs at lower bit rates and the artifacts and their nature which arise as a consequence. i recommend you inform yourself.

I stand corrected.

Quote:i'm amazed you haven't already done this....as an aspiring audio engineer for one thing.

Who said I was an aspiring audio engineer? However, thanks to your snide comments I have auditioned the 128k and 320k bit rates and yes, the 320k does sound a lot better. I am now uploading only 320l bit rate files to here.

Quote:soundcloud streams at 128kbps, 16bit, 44.1kHz, so your assumption is wrong.

Regardless of my assumption's correctness, I will tell you the quality difference I hear on Soundcloud with my uploaded 24 bit .wav files is significant compared to what I hear even with the 320k .mp3 files here. My critical listening skills are surprisingly intact, thank you very much. And I do not allow downloading of the original files. so whatever processing Soundcloud does, it seems to do a pretty good job of it, IMHO.

Quote:that's a shame, because it's going to impair your judgement regarding audio quality assessments.

Explain that to people using Auratones. NS10s, M-Audio, JBL, PreSonus, etc. and have created hit music on them. BTW, I returned my HS 5s to GCPro because they did not offer any appreciable advantage over my existing monitors. It sounds to me you have specific preferences. Would you care to share?
I would love to have a pair of MM27s or Westlakes, but $10K a pair is not feasible, especially for an "aspiring" audio engineer.


One last comment. I appreciate your comments but please try to couch them in a better tone. You have no idea who I am or what my audio skills may or may not be nor the experience I have in the industry.
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28-04-2016, 10:28 PM
Post: #18
RE: Andrew Cole - Dead Roses
I decided a kinder, gentler mix was due this wonderful duet so following is my latest mix.

I re-balanced the drums and especially the snare against the acoustic guitars which were given a slight bump in the low mids for some added beef. A slight re-balance of the piano parts with some minor pan changes and a new position for the electric guitar. I believe this results in a more dynamic mix and a better ensemble against the vocals.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks for everyone's input.


.mp3   Andrew Cole - Dead Roses.mp3 --  (Download: 9 MB)



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