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#19 Blue - Sweet and Smokey (and the Bandit)
05-09-2018, 12:04 PM (This post was last modified: 15-05-2019 07:23 PM by Deliza.)
Post: #1
#19 Blue - Sweet and Smokey (and the Bandit)
Classy act and a joy to mix. This is my first try on anything relatively close to jazz and, ironically, that means a modern, overdubbed DAW creation with lots of MIDI parts. Very well programmed drums (too busy, though) and bass was pretty neat, too; I had heard about Trillian before but this was beyond my expectations.

I'm fearing bass may be too boomy and resonant on some notes, especially for a panned part, I'm pretty careful with that most times but this one slipped me by.

Does somebody know where these drums come from? I’d say BFD, because of those 3 stereo tracks (OH, Room and Ambience, if I remember correctly).
(Forget it, I just found there's a thread by the author, pretty nice of him to give out his secrets... so it's SUPERIOR DRUMMER, and a Variax guitar plugged in a Kemper, so it hardly can be more "virtual"!)

.mp3   19 - Ghostly Beard - Blue (Deliza).mp3 --  (Download: 10.26 MB)

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05-09-2018, 12:27 PM
Post: #2
RE: Blue - Sweet and smokey
Quite a magical listening experience, Deliza. Very creative and tasteful use of space. Bass was a little off putting at the start but I soon warmed to it's placement. The drums for me however, sounded somewhat confused and a little all over the place. (listening with headphones) I think I would have liked a little more grounding here, if that makes sense. That being said, great work on a great mix! I'm always eager to listen to the work you present here. You have an ability to reinvent the music you mix. Well done
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05-09-2018, 08:35 PM
Post: #3
RE: Blue - Sweet and smokey
Wow, that's Beast Level encouragement, Dave! I thought that this was that rare tune where you can pan bass and see what happens (I wouldn't be doing that on a dance track).

I take note of your thoughts on the drums 'cause I was trying to keep them pretty low profile, kinda back of the stage, dismissing some of the mics to keep it focused... but then you can be thinking you're doing something while getting just the opposite! Maybe I was fighting the nature of the samples, which have quite some more bite than I thought fit for the tune.

Again, thanks a lot!
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06-09-2018, 05:22 AM
Post: #4
RE: Blue - Sweet and smokey
Hi Deliza

Cool Mix .. really nice tones. Sounded great on the headphones, Ill probably listen at a later time on the monitors, Im interested in seeing how the L panned bass translates on the speakers. Worked nicely on the headphones.
Super Job!

Gear:-Zoom R24 interface, controller - Cubase/Reaper - Assorted Waves, Airwindows suite, AKG K240 Cans, Event TR5 reference monitors.
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18-09-2018, 01:32 PM
Post: #5
RE: Blue - Sweet and Smokey (and the Bandit)
Deliza, have you altered the drums from my first post? The mix as it stands is working for me now, with the drums playing the roll beautifully??? The sound of that bass in the left ear is truly divine.
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20-09-2018, 09:51 AM
Post: #6
RE: Blue - Sweet and Smokey (and the Bandit)
Hey Dave, it's all the same. For the moment, I'm not revisiting mixes. Perception changes, I guess!
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18-10-2018, 11:29 AM
Post: #7
RE: Blue - Sweet and Smokey (and the Bandit)
I understand what you are looking for with the bass placement here. Unfortunately, bass below about 100Hz, is supposed to be non-directional.

Another problem with it, is that it puts a huge amount of energy in one speaker, meaning the mix will clip far sooner for a given loudness. You need to spread the bass load between the woofers. There’s no reason why you can’t make the harmonics directional though, because in life they would be and it’s those harmonics that give the information necessary for the brain to localise the source.

Besides being technically incorrect, it also skews the balance of the frequency response in a fatiguing way in headphones.

However, it appears that Patrick may have low passed everything far more than he should have (the upper mids, 1-5kHz are completely missing to my ears). The bass, if devoid of harmonics, will put up a fight when it comes to localisation. Furthermore, the mix will sound muddy and congested unless you can find some harmonics on everything else. If you add gain, the chorusing comes up, and of course, everything is saturated in the stuff, so we can’t balance it properly. Most tracks are in stereo too, which adds to the “over abundance” crisis.

I totally agree about the drums being busy. I’d suggest compressing the dynamics out of them completely. It would enable them to be pulled forwards in the mix, but at a low amplitude without things disappearing. Depending on your compression approach, you could also use it to smooth out the abrupt attacks which I think would help blend them into the groove in a way that’s more to your liking.

You must fix the vocal though, one way or another.
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18-10-2018, 11:36 AM
Post: #8
RE: Blue - Sweet and Smokey (and the Bandit)
Another thought. I'd mute the vocal for a verse and let the instruments play the emotion. The toy piano is perfect for the role of lead instrument for such occasion and this concept especially. At well over 4 minutes, I found it too long for my attention span, and the lack of variation (MIDI isn't helping, neither is copy-paste). I can imagine that an instrumental section would give the feeling that the song isn't as long as it is, by raising the interest level.

Wanna try?
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18-10-2018, 03:04 PM
Post: #9
RE: Blue - Sweet and Smokey (and the Bandit)
I approach mixes from a kinda imagined real life scenario and muting vocals for a whole verse would be too bold of a move for me since I'm trying the client not to hate me. But it's true that the song feels as if it has one verse too many; I fancied an arrangement compromise (though for some reason I didn't do it in the end): vibes coming in verse 2, EP coming in verse 3 and save piano for last verse (4). Still wonder why I didn't do that.

Raw bass track wasn't lacking mid frequencies at all, quite the opposite so if it sounds muddy that'd be me cutting a lot going after a smoother, more vintage bass sound.

Thanks for the input.
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12-11-2018, 04:50 PM
Post: #10
RE: Blue - Sweet and Smokey (and the Bandit)
Why on earth should being impartial cause someone to hate you? Crucially, we bring fresh ears connected to a brain that is not emotionally directly connected to the material. This gives us insights the artist might miss through their involvement with the subject. That's invaluable to any artist that strives for a happy, abundant audience, surely?

Now, the image shows a total absense of upper mids, the range where our hearing works best (1kHz-5kHz). The record comes over as being excessively muddy and heavy for this reason. Let's not forget that frequency is emotion. And there's not a darn thing above 4kHz whatsoever! Vintage is no excuse, sorry Wink

Considering the ear's non-linear characteristics with this skew, a louder playback will make it go really pear shaped because of the way bass is perceived to lower in frequency with increasing loudness. This is desperately missing overtones in all respects. The lower mids are not balanced by the upper elements, so they appear even more congested.

The image is taken of the average spectrum with Span, upto the point where the vocal commences.

Just something to think about.

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