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Loud And Clear - HB Mix
12-10-2014, 11:32 AM
Post: #11
RE: Loud And Clear - HB Mix
can i ask what monitors you're using now? what did you have before?

one of the challenges of a full arrangement, is finding the room to work the levels in order to address the emotional elements in the song. the more instruments, the lower each must sit in the mix otherwise our meters start popping. it also calls for more rigorous EQ and a greater emphasis on losing the irrelevant material as much as possible and of course masking becomes a major obstacle to try and negotiate in this regard. i'm wondering if you had a look at the arrangement to determine which elements were emotional drivers and which were providing the rhythm, before you launched into the mixing process?

there's a great example here where he sings "...reach into the mic and set you free" and a violin comes in @0:50'ish. i think your eagerness(?) to balance the mix and make everything audible in the arrangement might have prevented you from working the emotional delivery. this violin had a job to do but i felt you didn't give it the responsibility of emphasizing and supporting the lyric? it depends on the song...and not all are equal, but if the lyric is communicating a storyline, the instruments are there to support the story rather than simply play and fill up empty spaces. not all instruments are meant to be in the spotlight all of the time, depending on where we are in the lyric and what is being asked emotionally. if it was me, i think i'd be pulling some instruments back and giving others the spotlight here. sometimes we might want the lead guitar upfront and delivering, other times we don't and pulling it back at the right moments (what's "right" though?) will help give space to other stuff. there's a situation also, to help illustrate the point, where the trumpets are blowing, but their levels are stifled by the fader position. trumpets are loud beasts - if you listen to a live Big Band you'll note the trumpets have an ego larger than the band AND the audience combined! they have a role.....they offer major emotional drivers in a song.....great opportunity to exploit them.

i'm finding the acoustic guitar troublesome. i fully understand your strategy was to help make it cut through the mix and be heard. i'm not sure this was a good idea though, because of the outcome - it's highly brittle and a major source of fatigue in my Ovations. it sounds like you hi-passed while pushing the EQ in the treble range where it's harsh harmonics sit and this brought the devil into my ear. the solution to this isn't revisiting it's EQ (there is scope for this perhaps during the verses where it's less busy) but in reflecting on your vision and mix strategy may be? as above...find the elements which are doing the emotional thannng....work them. what was the role of the acoustic guitar? was it necessary to have it playing all the time, say? the other stuff? mute whatever it takes, drop stuff back in the mix with applicable EQ (roll off the treble the further back you want them), pull the fader down, and make sure you use the right reverb to give the illusion of depth... e.g. less and less pre-delay. how big is the space you want to convey; width, depth, height and where is each instrument sitting within it and with respect to the other instruments? create the illusion.

indeed, depth is THE opportunity here to exploit, so the stuff up front is garnering my attention (rather than everything fighting for my attention which will never work because of it's close association with the cause of fatigue), while the other stuff....the stocking filler, is dropped back (or muted....or even deleted totally?). work it and this mix will rock.

did i detect "instrument bias"? musicians can give their instrument-of-choice greater priority in a mix without even knowing it, and i suspect this is happening here. @0:42...the LG is loud, and it's sustain (duration and level) is in the way of the vocal to me. is it also too up-front? these things can be a bit subjective.....so on that note i'll bid you a good day and great mixing Wink

laters
Dave

PS thanx for your Howlin' feedback....i must get back to you chaps on that. so much to do in this place, eh?

Beware...........Cognitive Dissonance!
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17-10-2014, 04:32 AM (This post was last modified: 17-10-2014 03:37 PM by HbGuitar.)
Post: #12
RE: Loud And Clear - HB Mix
Hi Dave,

thanks for dropping by

(12-10-2014 11:32 AM)The_Metallurgist Wrote:  can i ask what monitors you're using now? what did you have before?

I just got some new monitors, Focal CMS40's. I was going to get a pair of KRK Rokit 5 G3's for $500 but then I saw these little beauties on sale for $700 down from $1000 so pushed the boat out a little. Prior to this I was mixing exclusively on headphones, KRK 8400's and using my crappy 15 year old Dell PC speakers as references

(12-10-2014 11:32 AM)The_Metallurgist Wrote:  one of the challenges of a full arrangement, is finding the room to work the levels in order to address the emotional elements in the song. the more instruments, the lower each must sit in the mix otherwise our meters start popping. it also calls for more rigorous EQ and a greater emphasis on losing the irrelevant material as much as possible and of course masking becomes a major obstacle to try and negotiate in this regard. i'm wondering if you had a look at the arrangement to determine which elements were emotional drivers and which were providing the rhythm, before you launched into the mixing process?

there's a great example here where he sings "...reach into the mic and set you free" and a violin comes in @0:50'ish. i think your eagerness(?) to balance the mix and make everything audible in the arrangement might have prevented you from working the emotional delivery. this violin had a job to do but i felt you didn't give it the responsibility of emphasizing and supporting the lyric? it depends on the song...and not all are equal, but if the lyric is communicating a storyline, the instruments are there to support the story rather than simply play and fill up empty spaces. not all instruments are meant to be in the spotlight all of the time, depending on where we are in the lyric and what is being asked emotionally. if it was me, i think i'd be pulling some instruments back and giving others the spotlight here. sometimes we might want the lead guitar upfront and delivering, other times we don't and pulling it back at the right moments (what's "right" though?) will help give space to other stuff. there's a situation also, to help illustrate the point, where the trumpets are blowing, but their levels are stifled by the fader position. trumpets are loud beasts - if you listen to a live Big Band you'll note the trumpets have an ego larger than the band AND the audience combined! they have a role.....they offer major emotional drivers in a song.....great opportunity to exploit them.

i'm finding the acoustic guitar troublesome. i fully understand your strategy was to help make it cut through the mix and be heard. i'm not sure this was a good idea though, because of the outcome - it's highly brittle and a major source of fatigue in my Ovations. it sounds like you hi-passed while pushing the EQ in the treble range where it's harsh harmonics sit and this brought the devil into my ear. the solution to this isn't revisiting it's EQ (there is scope for this perhaps during the verses where it's less busy) but in reflecting on your vision and mix strategy may be? as above...find the elements which are doing the emotional thannng....work them. what was the role of the acoustic guitar? was it necessary to have it playing all the time, say? the other stuff? mute whatever it takes, drop stuff back in the mix with applicable EQ (roll off the treble the further back you want them), pull the fader down, and make sure you use the right reverb to give the illusion of depth... e.g. less and less pre-delay. how big is the space you want to convey; width, depth, height and where is each instrument sitting within it and with respect to the other instruments? create the illusion.

indeed, depth is THE opportunity here to exploit, so the stuff up front is garnering my attention (rather than everything fighting for my attention which will never work because of it's close association with the cause of fatigue), while the other stuff....the stocking filler, is dropped back (or muted....or even deleted totally?). work it and this mix will rock.

I think you're probably spot-on with all your observations. I just listened to mix-03 again having not heard it for 3 -weeks, and much of what you say jumps out straight away.

The devil is often in the fine detail and lots of what you say can be rectified relatively easily by automation, either fader levels or muting altogether for sections. Looking at my session file, there is a relative lack of automation so I have to hold my hands up and admit my laziness in this regard. Blush

I think i spent most of my automation efforts reigning in the discordant vocal harmonies that pop up from time to time and moving the piano in and out. The acoustic could certainly do with being pushed back during choruses as a break, the violin allowed to sing more and the horns should build to a crescendo as a herald for the chorus

(12-10-2014 11:32 AM)The_Metallurgist Wrote:  did i detect "instrument bias"? musicians can give their instrument-of-choice greater priority in a mix without even knowing it, and i suspect this is happening here. @0:42...the LG is loud, and it's sustain (duration and level) is in the way of the vocal to me. is it also too up-front?

It's way too loud..! Blush I actively try and mix with an anti-bias towards guitars..but I do have a high tolerance if I'm not consciously listening....The level in mix01 is probably nearer what i was looking for, but i think i increased it in mix-03 for more presence during choruses.......the best solution would be to automate for both situations...

so many school boy errors in this mix.....but that's ok....its nice to get reminders from time time

(12-10-2014 11:32 AM)The_Metallurgist Wrote:  these things can be a bit subjective.....so on that note i'll bid you a good day and great mixing Wink

laters
Dave

PS thanx for your Howlin' feedback....i must get back to you chaps on that. so much to do in this place, eh?

Thanks again for your detailed, thoughtful comments. I know how much effort goes into truly listening to other peoples mixes and offering constructive suggestions. I feel quite inspired now to dive back in and have a go at mix-04

cheers
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17-10-2014, 05:10 AM (This post was last modified: 17-10-2014 05:18 AM by thedon.)
Post: #13
RE: Loud And Clear - HB Mix
Hi HB
I haven't tried this one yet ,I cant seem to find the stems on the audio technical website Huh.
The krk 8400 are great headphones a little bright in the top end I use them for tracking when recording ,recalibrating your ears to your monitors can take some time Big Grin.


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17-10-2014, 05:35 AM (This post was last modified: 17-10-2014 08:36 AM by HbGuitar.)
Post: #14
RE: Loud And Clear - HB Mix
(17-10-2014 05:10 AM)thedon Wrote:  Hi HB
I haven't tried this one yet ,I cant seem to find the stems on the audio technical website Huh.
The krk 8400 are great headphones a little bright in the top end I use them for tracking when recording ,recalibrating your ears to your monitors can take some time Big Grin.

Hey Don - you're not wrong. Listening to lots of my earlier mixes done through phones now sound a little dull on my monitors and listening to mixes done on monitors now seem a little bright when checking on phones....the horror!

Also big difference in bottom end too, but i'm trusting my monitors over phones and slowly re-calibrating my ears...it is taking a surprising amount of time...and i have to listen to reference tracks all the time to make sure im hearing what i'm hearing...

re tracks from audio technica....the link mike put up works..i just checked...

at the bottom of the page, underneath the table there is a link that reads - "Zum Herunterladen aller Audiodateien mit den Informationen zur Aufnahme, der Songstruktur, dem Liedtext und technischen Angaben zu den Mikrofonen klicken Sie bitte hier."

which translates roughly as - "To download all the audio files with the information on the recording, the song structure, lyrics and technical information for the microphones please click here ."

I couldn't find it either originally so i Google translated the page .... so you're not alone

cheers
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17-10-2014, 03:22 PM
Post: #15
RE: Loud And Clear - HB Mix
New version - Mix_04

various tweaks here and there, mainly adding automation to control levels and and EQ for acugtr, elecgtr, violin & horns - was a bit too static before


.mp3   Loud And Clear_HB Mix_04_Master.mp3 --  (Download: 10.27 MB)


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19-10-2014, 12:09 AM
Post: #16
RE: Loud And Clear - HB Mix
Listening to version 4 sounding good, the only thing that jumps out to me and on other mixes too is I think the vocals could have a little tuning as in the intro for example when they sing "and " sounds out of tune with piano and bass Big Grin .

Cheers.


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20-10-2014, 03:19 AM
Post: #17
RE: Loud And Clear - HB Mix
(19-10-2014 12:09 AM)thedon Wrote:  Listening to version 4 sounding good, the only thing that jumps out to me and on other mixes too is I think the vocals could have a little tuning as in the intro for example when they sing "and " sounds out of tune with piano and bass Big Grin .

Cheers.

I did a bit of vocal tuning in mix-02 but wasn't overly happy with the result - it caused as many problems as it solved - so got rid of it in mix-03 and tamed most of the dis-chord with fader rides. I'm pretty tolerant of small amounts of natural "pitchiness" rather than tuned "pitchiness" so let the rest through to the keeper Tongue

Cheers
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22-10-2014, 04:57 AM
Post: #18
RE: Loud And Clear - HB Mix
Guitars sound great and the dynamic management of the vocals is fantastic. I really like the ambiance you've got working, but I feel the vocals are quite a bit high in level relative to the drums.

The violin is nice and warm, but could be a bit rounder and a little lower in level. I'd like to hear a bit more contribution from the horns, personally.

I didn't bother with tuning the vocals at all... I'm a wacko musician and like a little dischord/wibbly wobbly timing in stereo vocal tracks. To me it adds personality and liveness in a pleasant way.

Is the mix a little bass light? Could the vocals be fine tuned in the mids a little?

I'm grateful for comments and suggestions. Thank you for listening!
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29-10-2014, 10:13 AM
Post: #19
RE: Loud And Clear - HB Mix
Latest version feels a bit too middly in that kind of 2-3kHz shouty kind of way. I think it's partly that you've chosen this frequency to cut the lead vocal through the mix, then all the rest of the vocals come in and it gets a bit much. The horns and electri guitars are also strong in that region in your mix, so there's a bit of a battle going on there.

Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio | Recording Secrets for the Small Studio
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03-11-2014, 03:54 AM
Post: #20
RE: Loud And Clear - HB Mix
(29-10-2014 10:13 AM)Mike Senior Wrote:  Latest version feels a bit too middly in that kind of 2-3kHz shouty kind of way. I think it's partly that you've chosen this frequency to cut the lead vocal through the mix, then all the rest of the vocals come in and it gets a bit much. The horns and electri guitars are also strong in that region in your mix, so there's a bit of a battle going on there.

Hey Mike - thanks for the feedback, appreciate your comments
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