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Uncle Dad - Who I Am (Update V4!)
03-11-2016, 06:40 PM (This post was last modified: 18-11-2016 08:43 PM by chantelle777.)
Post: #1
Uncle Dad - Who I Am (Update V4!)
Edit 3:
Been doing a LOT of reading, listening to CLA on Youtube, and tweaking the hell out of this song. I broke a few rules—mainly to never pan hard LCR (I'm eating my hat, Roy, if you're listening). Panning "hard" seemed to open up the space a lot more, so I've done that with everything. Adjusted a few EQs to add body back into the guitars. I also added compression through the bus and added slight EQ boosts to low & high end, plus slight (-0.30 dB) limiting to the Master.

By no means perfect but I feel better about it at least.

Cheers,
Chantelle Smile

Edit 2:

Okay, so I had my lesson yesterday, and well, my instructor reeeeallyy doesn't like me mixing on headphones. When played on the studio monitors the song sounded muddy, and she was correct. So…

Here's what I did today (Nov5):
• Removed reverbs & EQ'd from scratch, removing unnecessary low frequencies from the other instruments to boost the bass
• Corrected volume/EQ of drums as they were WAY too quiet
• Muted room mics as they were adding to the muddiness.
• Adjusted panning to re-balance instruments
• Removed side-chaining from vox/guitar as it wasn't really doing anything
• Added a small "ducking" or a pocket EQ on the guitar group to clarify lead vox
• Re-Added reverbs
• Lead & Background Vox, ironically, were the one thing my instructor liked, so I've left them alone

Anyway, I'll be working on this song in the studio next week but I couldn't resist trying to correct things on my end and see if the teacher's advice worked. I'm still training my ears to find the perfect balance and troubleshoot discordant frequencies. Got lots of reading to do for the next couple weeks.


Edit 1:
I've added an updated version of the song. I adjusted panning and levels to combat "competing" sounds, and lowered low-end frequencies on the lead vox to help bring out the bass, which was also boosted slightly. I also lowered the volume of the room mics slightly. Boosted overall volume by 1db. Better? Worse? The same?

Hey Folks;

I'd welcome feedback on this mix. I'm working with Ableton Live 9, mixed on Audio Techniqua headphones.

I'm pretty happy with it, except for parts where the lead Vox sounds a little sibilant at peaks. Putting very mild compression on it helped. Trying to resolve it further without making him sound too strained or muffled.

I also sidechained the guitar group through the lead vox as they were competing a little at the peaks. I'm a n00b at side-chaining so it might be my imagination that it improved anything.

Of note: I've been taking audio engineering lessons in ProTools and have struggled with my mixes; it's an acoustically unbalanced studio environment with an audio engineer who has admitted to hearing loss (!!!!). So I've been working at home to see if it's really me or the environment/instructor.Undecided

Before I began taking lessons I was working independently in Live since 2008—strictly on a laptop & headphones!—and have received good feedback on my personal work (country music isn't usually my forte but I love this song).

Thanks in advance!Smile


.mp3   UncleDad_WhoIAm_Nov4.mp3 --  (Download: 7.12 MB)


.mp3   UncleDad_WhoIAm_Nov3.mp3 --  (Download: 5.39 MB)


.mp3   UncleDad_WhoIAm_Nov5.mp3 --  (Download: 7.1 MB)


.mp3   UncleDad_WhoIAm_Nov18_V1.mp3 --  (Download: 7.02 MB)


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03-11-2016, 07:13 PM
Post: #2
RE: Uncle Dad - Who I Am (Feedback Welcome!)
As I listen, it sounds good. The bass could hold down the low end a little better. I hear it and it's distinct but the bottom of it comes and goes. It's not bad though. It would be an improvement as oppose to fixing a problem. Check to see if there are certain frequencies in the lows/low mids that resonate more than the rest and knock them back a little. Then you could bring up the overall level without notes popping out. I don't know what you might be doing compression wise but that might help as well.

The lead vocal has a fair amount of lows in it. Cutting at some of those out might free up some space for the bass.

The violin (sorry, fiddle) competes with the guitars. You might be able to pan it around and find a spot where it pops out.

Maybe wider panning of the instruments overall would help open things up.

I never really side chain so I can't say if how well it's working but that means I don't notice it so it's not doing anything bad.

It sounds great and the mix definitely would work for that song.

I only have earbuds to listen and mix with at the moment. Take everything I say with a grain of salt.
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04-11-2016, 01:19 AM
Post: #3
RE: Uncle Dad - Who I Am (Feedback Welcome!)
Great advice, Roy, thanks!

I'm always paranoid about emphasizing the bass too much so I'm glad you thought it was actually too muted in areas. The fiddle was a bit of a bugbear so I hope your strategy will work. I will definitely give your tips a go and see what works.

Cheers,
ChantelleSmile

(03-11-2016 07:13 PM)RoyMatthews Wrote:  As I listen, it sounds good. The bass could hold down the low end a little better. I hear it and it's distinct but the bottom of it comes and goes. It's not bad though. It would be an improvement as oppose to fixing a problem. Check to see if there are certain frequencies in the lows/low mids that resonate more than the rest and knock them back a little. Then you could bring up the overall level without notes popping out. I don't know what you might be doing compression wise but that might help as well.

The lead vocal has a fair amount of lows in it. Cutting at some of those out might free up some space for the bass.

The violin (sorry, fiddle) competes with the guitars. You might be able to pan it around and find a spot where it pops out.

Maybe wider panning of the instruments overall would help open things up.

I never really side chain so I can't say if how well it's working but that means I don't notice it so it's not doing anything bad.

It sounds great and the mix definitely would work for that song.
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04-11-2016, 06:37 PM
Post: #4
RE: Uncle Dad - Who I Am (Update V2!)
The new version sounds brighter than the old version and I think I prefer the warmer sound. I don't know country music but your first mix is from the 70s and the new one is from the 2000s.

The player on here is acting up so I'll have to download both versions. To really go through them. I'll let you know what else jumps out at me.

I only have earbuds to listen and mix with at the moment. Take everything I say with a grain of salt.
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04-11-2016, 07:34 PM
Post: #5
RE: Uncle Dad - Who I Am (Update V2!)
Ok. I took both versions and threw them in Logic to swap back and forth. I definitely think your first instincts about the mix were right and the first version is better. It fits the tone of the song. I know, I'm a jerk. Maybe it was too late in the day for listening.

So Version 1:
I like the vocal with more body and in retrospect the vocal should be the most important thing and to just fit the bass around it. I'd still consider filtering some of the very lows of the vocal but keep it big. I think the bass and vocal might share a certain low mid space that can be notched out of the bass so there isn't a build up when they both hit the same frequencies.

Version 2:
This version does move a little more. The drums are more present but still tastefully back. I like the fiddle being more centered. I still think it can pop out as a lead part when the melody plays. On both versions the guitar on the right has a high end ring that could be cut and it'll free up some room especially during the melody sections.

Bass feels a little better.
Less room makes sense.
Is there a banjo on the right? I think it might work better on the left opposite of the right side guitar that plays the melody.

I dunno. Both versions sound pretty good. I keep going back and forth between both versions. Both are great. Version one just supports the song better. The melody sticks out more. The instruments are more dynamic. It's more old school but that it's a bad thing. I think if you can go back and tweak the original version that would be the best option.

I'm overthinking and ranting on. Sorry if I'm confusing things more.

Lastly, what are you using on the lead vocal? Just curious.

I only have earbuds to listen and mix with at the moment. Take everything I say with a grain of salt.
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06-11-2016, 01:50 AM
Post: #6
RE: Uncle Dad - Who I Am (Update V2!)
Hiya;

See my edit, above, for what I did with the song. I'm HOPING I'm starting to find a happy medium at least, haha! Biggest problem is that I didn't remove enough of the low-end frequencies and they were all competing with the bass, among other issues.

My ears are tired by now so I'm gonna TRY and leave it till next week to do any more edits (preferably in studio).

Thanks again for your feedback!

Cheers,
Chantelle Smile

(04-11-2016 07:34 PM)RoyMatthews Wrote:  Ok. I took both versions and threw them in Logic to swap back and forth. I definitely think your first instincts about the mix were right and the first version is better. It fits the tone of the song. I know, I'm a jerk. Maybe it was too late in the day for listening.

So Version 1:
I like the vocal with more body and in retrospect the vocal should be the most important thing and to just fit the bass around it. I'd still consider filtering some of the very lows of the vocal but keep it big. I think the bass and vocal might share a certain low mid space that can be notched out of the bass so there isn't a build up when they both hit the same frequencies.

Version 2:
This version does move a little more. The drums are more present but still tastefully back. I like the fiddle being more centered. I still think it can pop out as a lead part when the melody plays. On both versions the guitar on the right has a high end ring that could be cut and it'll free up some room especially during the melody sections.

Bass feels a little better.
Less room makes sense.
Is there a banjo on the right? I think it might work better on the left opposite of the right side guitar that plays the melody.

I dunno. Both versions sound pretty good. I keep going back and forth between both versions. Both are great. Version one just supports the song better. The melody sticks out more. The instruments are more dynamic. It's more old school but that it's a bad thing. I think if you can go back and tweak the original version that would be the best option.

I'm overthinking and ranting on. Sorry if I'm confusing things more.

Lastly, what are you using on the lead vocal? Just curious.
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06-11-2016, 02:14 AM
Post: #7
RE: Uncle Dad - Who I Am (Update V3!)
To be fair, I'm listening on headphones so take it all with a gain of salt.

Cleaning out the low frequencies from the other instruments is always a good call. This version does feel a little thin though. The drums are still too quiet. And yeah, those room mics didn't really help besides maybe the "fathead" one. The other ones definitely don't add to the drum tracks at all.

The balance and panning of the instruments definitely work better. There feels like there's some movement there which is a good thing. I can hear the piano now.
Bass sounds good. Uprights are always tough.

The mandolin (I think) on the right has a high end resonance that's annoying but that might just be me.

FYI, I did a version of this that might be too much in the other direction from yours but it might be interesting to check out the difference. http://discussion.cambridge-mt.com/showt...?tid=16984

In the end it sounds pretty good. The drums could be bigger/more present.

I only have earbuds to listen and mix with at the moment. Take everything I say with a grain of salt.
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