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Dry Clean Only Mix Critique
04-02-2019, 08:56 PM
Post: #1
Dry Clean Only Mix Critique
Here's a mix I just did of this track for a little practice. Any helpful critiques would be super appreciated. I'm looking for some advice on how to tighten up my snare sound, as well as the overall tonality of the mix. Thanks!


.mp3   ironsheik_drycleanonly_02.mp3 --  (Download: 5.37 MB)


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06-02-2019, 07:30 AM
Post: #2
RE: Dry Clean Only Mix Critique
Hi unknown_passage,

Cool mix!

The levels are ok but indeed the drums sound a bit behind and the snare lacking "in your face" punch.

By no mean I am an "expert" but just going to drop some stuff I do often, you can try just to check, it might be "wrong" but I love exploration and whatever gets me to the results I want so there you go:

First:
- Check the phase (the low end might have been cancelled so you need to flip the phase to check if the snare sounds thin)
- Gain level: simple but sometimes, the snare has been recorded with a weak signal and you need to boost it first thing (or the drummer is a bit light handed)
- If bottom and top mics: get a good balance between the two, you may want more of the bottom mic to get less ring and a more compressed sound, for instance if you check snares like Tame Impala or Pond's albums you can hear the bottom head (very compressed in the mix though), or more ring bearing in mind it might sound thinner but will cut through, can clip easier etc., best and worst example being St Anger's snare.

Once happy, you can (in no particular order that's just a set of stuff I've tried out):
- EQ: Play with the EQ to spot the frequencies you like and the ones you dislike
- Compress (you may want to parallel compress to keep it more "live) the more attack the more you'll hear the impact so best not not to have a too fast attack (in today's world most snares are heavily compressed)
- Distortion (you can use a parallel distortion to get the original sound but add some grit behind)
-- Try maybe the decapitator or running the signal through a sansamp, sometimes I re-amp the drums for instance, try guitar distortion pedals or get the EQ to get there
- Use a transient designer to add a tail (that might work well) that kind of adds the explosive factor to the snare (if you're using Logic I'm using the "Envelopper" plugin, adds a distorted sustain)
- Reverb / gated reverb (there's a lot to try here to get to something you're happy with, play with the pre-delay, gate, EQ, even distorted reverb, type of reverbs, amount of reverb etc.)
- Slight delay might create depth
- Triggered sample: this might be in the background or upfront, get your snare track to trigger samples, it might be drum samples or electronic drums or even noises like distortion / pink noise etc.
- Limiter: try cranking up the gain and adjusting the output by using a limiter if you want the snare to "explode" more

Again this is stuff I've tried not golden rules or even rules at all.

Hope it helps,
Quentin
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11-02-2019, 06:28 PM
Post: #3
RE: Dry Clean Only Mix Critique
(06-02-2019 07:30 AM)Zbat Wrote:  Hi unknown_passage,

Cool mix!

The levels are ok but indeed the drums sound a bit behind and the snare lacking "in your face" punch.

By no mean I am an "expert" but just going to drop some stuff I do often, you can try just to check, it might be "wrong" but I love exploration and whatever gets me to the results I want so there you go:

First:
- Check the phase (the low end might have been cancelled so you need to flip the phase to check if the snare sounds thin)
- Gain level: simple but sometimes, the snare has been recorded with a weak signal and you need to boost it first thing (or the drummer is a bit light handed)
- If bottom and top mics: get a good balance between the two, you may want more of the bottom mic to get less ring and a more compressed sound, for instance if you check snares like Tame Impala or Pond's albums you can hear the bottom head (very compressed in the mix though), or more ring bearing in mind it might sound thinner but will cut through, can clip easier etc., best and worst example being St Anger's snare.

Once happy, you can (in no particular order that's just a set of stuff I've tried out):
- EQ: Play with the EQ to spot the frequencies you like and the ones you dislike
- Compress (you may want to parallel compress to keep it more "live) the more attack the more you'll hear the impact so best not not to have a too fast attack (in today's world most snares are heavily compressed)
- Distortion (you can use a parallel distortion to get the original sound but add some grit behind)
-- Try maybe the decapitator or running the signal through a sansamp, sometimes I re-amp the drums for instance, try guitar distortion pedals or get the EQ to get there
- Use a transient designer to add a tail (that might work well) that kind of adds the explosive factor to the snare (if you're using Logic I'm using the "Envelopper" plugin, adds a distorted sustain)
- Reverb / gated reverb (there's a lot to try here to get to something you're happy with, play with the pre-delay, gate, EQ, even distorted reverb, type of reverbs, amount of reverb etc.)
- Slight delay might create depth
- Triggered sample: this might be in the background or upfront, get your snare track to trigger samples, it might be drum samples or electronic drums or even noises like distortion / pink noise etc.
- Limiter: try cranking up the gain and adjusting the output by using a limiter if you want the snare to "explode" more

Again this is stuff I've tried not golden rules or even rules at all.

Hope it helps,
Quentin

Thanks Quentin! Gonna work on it
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