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Fytakyte: 'Outa Control'_mix Tommy M.
09-10-2019, 06:40 PM (This post was last modified: 11-10-2019 01:44 PM by tjmtruth.)
Post: #1
Fytakyte: 'Outa Control'_mix Tommy M.
Angel

Great rock tune! Now I know I shouldn't make "arrangement" decisions since this is a mixing forum and we should just use the tracks as provided. However, if I were the producer and wearing my producer's hat on this one, I would have left out some tracks, which I did. The acoustic guitars just didn't feel right in a song with this feel...just my opinion, so they are not in my mix. Some of you have done a great job in keeping them in there and cutting through the mix, but again, they seemed wrong for this genre and style. Since nobody is going to judge me on that I made the decision to do that. A few other tracks were superfluous and just did not "add" anything to the song, but rather, cluttered it up, so again.....gone.

General thoughts: I made this mix tight and without too many effects. I know a lot of you are making this a very "big" sound with lots of reverb and such. I just took a different approach. I wanted the lead vocal to sit nicely and be the center of the song, which it should. The guitars (electric) didn't have to take over the mix and so they are there with the appropriate amount of rock flavor, in my opinion, and not in there like they are in a stadium. You all can beat me up if you want. I just listen critically to these songs and mix them as if they were my own project. Hence, sometimes I make "executive" decisions in my mixes.....not always, but this time I did. To the artist: I apologize.

Sincerely,

Tom

------------------UPDATE-----------------

After talking with Andrew, the artist for the song, I went in and put lots more work into this project and produced what I think is a much better mix. I hope you all like it. Sounds like rock and roll to me! :-)

Tom


.mp3   OuttaControl_7M.mp3 --  (Download: 9.26 MB)


.mp3   OuttaControl_10M.mp3 --  (Download: 9.31 MB)



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09-10-2019, 08:41 PM
Post: #2
RE: Fytakyte: 'Outa Control'_mix Tommy M.
I'm in a too noisy place to judge a mix but I did want to comment on your post.

I do agree mixers should cut unnecessary fat from a song. And maybe you're right in this instance. That said when approaching this song I did find the Acoustics as 'out of place' and then thought maybe they're in place and I'm just not seeing it. They're an element that maybe are correct and my perspective might be wrong and I have to adjust to mix with them in focus. (aside, my mixes does not do this). But the artist recorded the tracks and for a purpose.

These Acoustics aren't just following the rhythm guitars. They're completely making their own statement. As a mixer that's a clue that maybe that statement is important and should be a focus. As well as GTR 9. But it's easy to focus on the heavier guitars 1-8 (give or take).

They might " wrong for this genre and style" but that might also be saying something.

In the end I'm not sure we're fully embracing the intent of the artist. Technical arguments of a mix aside. There is an emotional aspect to explore.

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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A mix doesn't have to be good, it just has to sound good.
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09-10-2019, 10:05 PM
Post: #3
RE: Fytakyte: 'Outa Control'_mix Tommy M.
(09-10-2019 08:41 PM)RoyMatthews Wrote:  I'm in a too noisy place to judge a mix but I did want to comment on your post.

I do agree mixers should cut unnecessary fat from a song. And maybe you're right in this instance. That said when approaching this song I did find the Acoustics as 'out of place' and then thought maybe they're in place and I'm just not seeing it. They're an element that maybe are correct and my perspective might be wrong and I have to adjust to mix with them in focus. (aside, my mixes does not do this). But the artist recorded the tracks and for a purpose.

These Acoustics aren't just following the rhythm guitars. They're completely making their own statement. As a mixer that's a clue that maybe that statement is important and should be a focus. As well as GTR 9. But it's easy to focus on the heavier guitars 1-8 (give or take).

They might " wrong for this genre and style" but that might also be saying something.

In the end I'm not sure we're fully embracing the intent of the artist. Technical arguments of a mix aside. There is an emotional aspect to explore.

-----------------
I agree with what you have said. That's I why I so vociferously apologized to the artist.

Peace,

Tom

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10-10-2019, 12:31 PM
Post: #4
RE: Fytakyte: 'Outa Control'_mix Tommy M.
Hi Tommy, first of all - I quite like the decisions you made in your mix. I have no problem with them at all, and there is certainly no need to apologise. Your decisions are respectful to the concept of the track and honour the intention of the song - so well done with that!

I've mentioned this before regarding the tracks I have posted for mixing here, but I'll mention it again: These songs are generally conceived originally in my mind to be played and sound "complete" with a three piece lineup - guitar, bass and drums (& vocals, of course). So the backbone is there, and theoretically, they could be stripped back to that and still remain intact.

However, artististically at the point when I recorded these tracks, I was more interested in developing a fuller, more elaborate style of production, and a more engaging and intricate soundscape - one that rewards repeated listens by revealing more layers of detail and interest. Of course, this results in a fairly hefty track count, which can be quite a challenge to mix - I get that - I mixed the album!

Some seem to interpret this as a lack of decisiveness and direction in the production. I find this puzzling, because I can assure everyone that no such state of mind has ever plagued me - even for a second. I don't say that because I'm arrogant about my production skills - To the contrary, I continue to learn and grow with each song I produce - It is just the plain truth about my decision-making process for these tracks.

The fact is, each track, instrumental part and each vocal layer are there for a very specific purpose, with the goal of achieving the sonic vision/outcome that I had in my mind's ear.

Of course, the difficulty with someone else mixing the track is that they are coming at it from an outside perspective, without my(very specific and personal) focus. Following that line of thought, one thing I've read many times about tracks mixed on this site (when decrying the lack of apparent direction in the multitrack files) is "we don't have input from the artist'. To which I would respond "yes you do - it's called the Preview Mix!"

The preview mix is in almost all cases the one the artist approved. The fact is, mixing is really all about listening first and foremost. If anyone wants to learn how to mix professionally, (and that is, I gather, the goal of many who frequent here) then learning how to listen and carefully analyse the preview mix so as to determine the intent of the artist/producer, is an absolutely vital skill that needs to happen before a fader is touched, or a plugin instantiated.

One of the reasons I also made available premixed stems taken from the preview mix premaster along with the multitracks was because I thought it may help dissect the preview mix in a more insightful way. I was hoping it may give more clues as to the roles intended for each of the parts of the song. I'm not sure if anyone is taking advantage of this sort of "forensic mix deconstruction" (as I see it), but I know I would love to have that sort of assistance when mixing a complex track that I hadn't been party to producing... Anyhoo... rant over! Big Grin

To your mix...
I like the tighter, dryer presentation of the soundstage - it works well, and gives the song a slightly rawer edge.

The overall frequency spread is good too. Clear in the top and mids, tight and punchy in the low end.

The prechoruses hit nice and hard, and you retained the more flowing essence of the chorus in a more minimal way, which made a lot of space for the backing vocals.

The one thing that I think could improve is the compression on the bass. The attack of the bass notes seem to jump out very noticeably, and in a slightly uneven way. In fact, at times I wonder if it might be exacerbated by some "pumping" in the mix buss compression. Without knowing exactly what is going on, it's a bit hard to put my finger on it what is giving me the impression of things "pumping" and jumping out in a slightly distracting way.

Overall though, I quite enjoyed your take on it - nice work!

Links to some of my recent mixes:
Shore
Iron Sheik
Band Website: https://fytakyte.wordpress.com
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10-10-2019, 01:30 PM
Post: #5
RE: Fytakyte: 'Outa Control'_mix Tommy M.
(10-10-2019 12:31 PM)FytaKyte Wrote:  Hi Tommy, first of all - I quite like the decisions you made in your mix. I have no problem with them at all, and there is certainly no need to apologise. Your decisions are respectful to the concept of the track and honour the intention of the song - so well done with that!

I've mentioned this before regarding the tracks I have posted for mixing here, but I'll mention it again: These songs are generally conceived originally in my mind to be played and sound "complete" with a three piece lineup - guitar, bass and drums (& vocals, of course). So the backbone is there, and theoretically, they could be stripped back to that and still remain intact.

However, artististically at the point when I recorded these tracks, I was more interested in developing a fuller, more elaborate style of production, and a more engaging and intricate soundscape - one that rewards repeated listens by revealing more layers of detail and interest. Of course, this results in a fairly hefty track count, which can be quite a challenge to mix - I get that - I mixed the album!

Some seem to interpret this as a lack of decisiveness and direction in the production. I find this puzzling, because I can assure everyone that no such state of mind has ever plagued me - even for a second. I don't say that because I'm arrogant about my production skills - To the contrary, I continue to learn and grow with each song I produce - It is just the plain truth about my decision-making process for these tracks.

The fact is, each track, instrumental part and each vocal layer are there for a very specific purpose, with the goal of achieving the sonic vision/outcome that I had in my mind's ear.

Of course, the difficulty with someone else mixing the track is that they are coming at it from an outside perspective, without my(very specific and personal) focus. Following that line of thought, one thing I've read many times about tracks mixed on this site (when decrying the lack of apparent direction in the multitrack files) is "we don't have input from the artist'. To which I would respond "yes you do - it's called the Preview Mix!"

The preview mix is in almost all cases the one the artist approved. The fact is, mixing is really all about listening first and foremost. If anyone wants to learn how to mix professionally, (and that is, I gather, the goal of many who frequent here) then learning how to listen and carefully analyse the preview mix so as to determine the intent of the artist/producer, is an absolutely vital skill that needs to happen before a fader is touched, or a plugin instantiated.

One of the reasons I also made available premixed stems taken from the preview mix premaster along with the multitracks was because I thought it may help dissect the preview mix in a more insightful way. I was hoping it may give more clues as to the roles intended for each of the parts of the song. I'm not sure if anyone is taking advantage of this sort of "forensic mix deconstruction" (as I see it), but I know I would love to have that sort of assistance when mixing a complex track that I hadn't been party to producing... Anyhoo... rant over! Big Grin

To your mix...
I like the tighter, dryer presentation of the soundstage - it works well, and gives the song a slightly rawer edge.

The overall frequency spread is good too. Clear in the top and mids, tight and punchy in the low end.

The prechoruses hit nice and hard, and you retained the more flowing essence of the chorus in a more minimal way, which made a lot of space for the backing vocals.

The one thing that I think could improve is the compression on the bass. The attack of the bass notes seem to jump out very noticeably, and in a slightly uneven way. In fact, at times I wonder if it might be exacerbated by some "pumping" in the mix buss compression. Without knowing exactly what is going on, it's a bit hard to put my finger on it what is giving me the impression of things "pumping" and jumping out in a slightly distracting way.

Overall though, I quite enjoyed your take on it - nice work!

------------
Andrew (I think that's your name),

Thanks so much for your detailed response. I know exactly how you feel and I agree about everything you said regarding what is in YOUR (the artist's) head. We all have that same thing going on in our heads, well, those of us who write music as well as produce it, etc.

I recall a recent project where I produced an entire CD for a friend who re-wrote 8 songs from an old cassette of his brother's songs from the 80's. His brother died some years back and the cassette was going to be thrown in the dumpster when he grabbed it and listened to it. In his memory/honor, he literally reproduced every note from scratch (and even managed to bring in the original singer) and the project was off to the races. Since he lives kind of far from me, we WERE able to do most of the project with me sitting here at a distance. But, when it came to the final "tweaking," he drove down here and we had a massive session ironing out a bunch of things. My point is, I needed him here, with HIS ear, so that HIS idea of the final mix could be achieved. I valued that greatly and the final product was what HE heard in HIS head.

You see, there were things I tried during that project that he didn't like and asked me to try something else. I had originally sound-replaced the toms altogether and he hated it. So, I buried myself in my studio for days on end getting the original toms to sound right.....was worth the effort because the drums really were recorded pretty well and I was just not yet able to work out the toms correctly. The drums were recorded in the Acme Studios in New York where Boz Scaggs had done some recording as well as the Spin Doctors and many others. My friend wanted THAT room sound (THAT drum sound) and I had to give it to him, so I know exactly what you mean in every respect.

What was great about actually being in constant communication with him and sending him the pieces of the project as it evolved, was that I got the feedback I needed from him to keep the project going in HIS direction. We all have our own ideas on how things should sound. The project was reviewed by some biggies in the industry and they said my mixes were great and so I'm very proud of the endless hours of work I put into that project, but I digress.

Anyway, this is getting really long so I'll sign off. To close, I so appreciated your song and like it a lot! Perhaps I'll go back in there, put in the acoustic guitars, correct the bass issues and submit another mix. I want to thank you for the props and I wish you all the best in your endeavors. See ya again on here in this forum. :-)

Tom

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11-10-2019, 09:07 AM
Post: #6
RE: Fytakyte: 'Outa Control'_mix Tommy M.
(10-10-2019 01:30 PM)tjmtruth Wrote:  Andrew (I think that's your name),

Thanks so much for your detailed response. I know exactly how you feel and I agree about everything you said regarding what is in YOUR (the artist's) head. We all have that same thing going on in our heads, well, those of us who write music as well as produce it, etc.

I recall a recent project where I produced an entire CD for a friend who re-wrote 8 songs from an old cassette of his brother's songs from the 80's. His brother died some years back and the cassette was going to be thrown in the dumpster when he grabbed it and listened to it. In his memory/honor, he literally reproduced every note from scratch (and even managed to bring in the original singer) and the project was off to the races. Since he lives kind of far from me, we WERE able to do most of the project with me sitting here at a distance. But, when it came to the final "tweaking," he drove down here and we had a massive session ironing out a bunch of things. My point is, I needed him here, with HIS ear, so that HIS idea of the final mix could be achieved. I valued that greatly and the final product was what HE heard in HIS head.

You see, there were things I tried during that project that he didn't like and asked me to try something else. I had originally sound-replaced the toms altogether and he hated it. So, I buried myself in my studio for days on end getting the original toms to sound right.....was worth the effort because the drums really were recorded pretty well and I was just not yet able to work out the toms correctly. The drums were recorded in the Acme Studios in New York where Boz Scaggs had done some recording as well as the Spin Doctors and many others. My friend wanted THAT room sound (THAT drum sound) and I had to give it to him, so I know exactly what you mean in every respect.

What was great about actually being in constant communication with him and sending him the pieces of the project as it evolved, was that I got the feedback I needed from him to keep the project going in HIS direction. We all have our own ideas on how things should sound. The project was reviewed by some biggies in the industry and they said my mixes were great and so I'm very proud of the endless hours of work I put into that project, but I digress.

Hi Tom,
Yes, working in person with the artist is an ideal situation, and it's great to hear your experience, and how well it turned out. It is something that is becoming rarer these days, with the advent of the internet. I've been mixing for other bands/artists off and on for the past 10 years or so, and that has mostly been done via the internet. The few times I've actually gotten in a room with a band for recording and production have really added another dimension to the process. it certainly was much more immediate and exciting.

Quote:Anyway, this is getting really long so I'll sign off. To close, I so appreciated your song and like it a lot! Perhaps I'll go back in there, put in the acoustic guitars, correct the bass issues and submit another mix. I want to thank you for the props and I wish you all the best in your endeavors. See ya again on here in this forum. :-)

Tom

No worries. As I said, I quite like where you took the song by leaving out the acoustics, so I wouldn't sweat that. Cheers, Andrew

Links to some of my recent mixes:
Shore
Iron Sheik
Band Website: https://fytakyte.wordpress.com
Visit this user's website
Quote this message in a reply
11-10-2019, 01:42 PM
Post: #7
RE: Fytakyte: 'Outa Control'_mix Tommy M.
(11-10-2019 09:07 AM)FytaKyte Wrote:  
(10-10-2019 01:30 PM)tjmtruth Wrote:  Andrew (I think that's your name),

Thanks so much for your detailed response. I know exactly how you feel and I agree about everything you said regarding what is in YOUR (the artist's) head. We all have that same thing going on in our heads, well, those of us who write music as well as produce it, etc.

I recall a recent project where I produced an entire CD for a friend who re-wrote 8 songs from an old cassette of his brother's songs from the 80's. His brother died some years back and the cassette was going to be thrown in the dumpster when he grabbed it and listened to it. In his memory/honor, he literally reproduced every note from scratch (and even managed to bring in the original singer) and the project was off to the races. Since he lives kind of far from me, we WERE able to do most of the project with me sitting here at a distance. But, when it came to the final "tweaking," he drove down here and we had a massive session ironing out a bunch of things. My point is, I needed him here, with HIS ear, so that HIS idea of the final mix could be achieved. I valued that greatly and the final product was what HE heard in HIS head.

You see, there were things I tried during that project that he didn't like and asked me to try something else. I had originally sound-replaced the toms altogether and he hated it. So, I buried myself in my studio for days on end getting the original toms to sound right.....was worth the effort because the drums really were recorded pretty well and I was just not yet able to work out the toms correctly. The drums were recorded in the Acme Studios in New York where Boz Scaggs had done some recording as well as the Spin Doctors and many others. My friend wanted THAT room sound (THAT drum sound) and I had to give it to him, so I know exactly what you mean in every respect.

What was great about actually being in constant communication with him and sending him the pieces of the project as it evolved, was that I got the feedback I needed from him to keep the project going in HIS direction. We all have our own ideas on how things should sound. The project was reviewed by some biggies in the industry and they said my mixes were great and so I'm very proud of the endless hours of work I put into that project, but I digress.

Hi Tom,
Yes, working in person with the artist is an ideal situation, and it's great to hear your experience, and how well it turned out. It is something that is becoming rarer these days, with the advent of the internet. I've been mixing for other bands/artists off and on for the past 10 years or so, and that has mostly been done via the internet. The few times I've actually gotten in a room with a band for recording and production have really added another dimension to the process. it certainly was much more immediate and exciting.

Quote:Anyway, this is getting really long so I'll sign off. To close, I so appreciated your song and like it a lot! Perhaps I'll go back in there, put in the acoustic guitars, correct the bass issues and submit another mix. I want to thank you for the props and I wish you all the best in your endeavors. See ya again on here in this forum. :-)

Tom

No worries. As I said, I quite like where you took the song by leaving out the acoustics, so I wouldn't sweat that. Cheers, Andrew

--------------
Andrew....

After our conversation in here I WANTED to go back in and make the mix better. I was not happy with the fact that I cut the acoustics out. In fact, I'm putting up my newest mix right after I write this. The fact is I LOVE THE ACOUSTIC guitar parts, I just didn't know quite how to deal with them in the busy mix at those sections. Well, it was quite simple to create space for them after all. What I did was carefully and surgically fade in/out a couple of the electric guitar parts and brought up some other elements. The clarity was achievable by doing these things. Also, I tamed that bass down like you suggested. Some other things were bothering me too....the electric guitar parts. Some of them were buried a bit and didn't bite enough so I needed to beef them up in sections. So, to make a long story short, along with these changes I made other improvements in the mix and I think it sounds great now. I really think it's punchy and has the feel you were looking for although still on the dryer side compared to other mixes on here. I'm happy with the overall tone and the preservation of the relative dynamics while still maintaining a reasonably loud mix. I don't hear much pumping, if any, and the physical shape of the final wav form is nice....you can see the dynamics in it. I hope you like the new mix.....version 10M.

Peace.....

Tom

http://www.TweetTweetMusic.com - Tommy Marcinek
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11-10-2019, 01:45 PM (This post was last modified: 11-10-2019 01:47 PM by RoyMatthews.)
Post: #8
RE: Fytakyte: 'Outa Control'_mix Tommy M.
I didn't mean to start a ruckus earlier. I'm all for leaving parts out and all that jazz. Whatever makes the song better. That said I personally approach most of these songs as a challenge to mix what's provided. If I leave something out it's usually a really redundant part or really poorly played. I too have issues getting the acoustic to fit but I just feel like they're a part of the puzzle that helps fill out the entire picture.

I was pontificating more about mixing in general than the particular mix.


As an aside it's interesting how things change. Back when I started I would have loved the band to not be around for mixing. There's nothing like four guys crowding up to a relatively small console and each wanting something different and dealt with right now! I've learned to tell people to come in later or go get a sandwich or something. I sometimes think mixing is like sausage, you don't want to see how it's made.

I only have earbuds to listen and mix with at the moment. Take everything I say with a grain of salt.
-
A mix doesn't have to be good, it just has to sound good.
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11-10-2019, 01:53 PM
Post: #9
RE: Fytakyte: 'Outa Control'_mix Tommy M.
(11-10-2019 01:45 PM)RoyMatthews Wrote:  I didn't mean to start a ruckus earlier. I'm all for leaving parts out and all that jazz. Whatever makes the song better. That said I personally approach most of these songs as a challenge to mix what's provided. If I leave something out it's usually a really redundant part or really poorly played. I too have issues getting the acoustic to fit but I just feel like they're a part of the puzzle that helps fill out the entire picture.

I was pontificating more about mixing in general than the particular mix.


As an aside it's interesting how things change. Back when I started I would have loved the band to not be around for mixing. There's nothing like four guys crowding up to a relatively small console and each wanting something different and dealt with right now! I've learned to tell people to come in later or go get a sandwich or something. I sometimes think mixing is like sausage, you don't want to see how it's made.

-------------------
Roy, see my conversations with Andrew. I wanted to give him what he wanted and I chickened out with the acoustics on my first mix. See the above UPDATE and my newest mix, version 10M, in which I put those beautiful sounding acoustic guitars back in where they belong. It was a simple matter of fading in/out other parts to create space for them. I wasn't working when trying to other methods or creating space such as eq, compression and/or other methods. The fix was simple, and now I'm so much happier not having to cut those out. I loved your comment "I've learned to tell people to come in later or go get a sandwich or something. I sometimes think mixing is like sausage, you don't want to see how it's made." ......Had me on the floor with laughter!!! You rock!

Later,
Tom

http://www.TweetTweetMusic.com - Tommy Marcinek
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11-10-2019, 01:56 PM
Post: #10
RE: Fytakyte: 'Outa Control'_mix Tommy M.
Awesome. I could only give it a quick listen because i'm out at the moment but it feels good. I think the acoustics in 10M definitely add something to the chorus and I think you have them at the right level. Works for 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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A mix doesn't have to be good, it just has to sound good.
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