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Color Me Red - JeffD - Printable Version

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Color Me Red - JeffD - jeffd42 - 02-11-2016

Sounds like something that should be in a Western Smile

44.1/24 download at: https://soundcloud.com/jeffd42/diesel13-colour-me-red

Went for a slightly more electric, grungy feel, vs. the more acoustic focused version Diesel13 (mixed by Joe Public Studios) has up already. (Incidentally, a great mix. Hard to top that one!)


"Color Me Red.mp3" - first version
"Color Me Red - For comment" - version commented on by Mike Senior
"Color Me Red (Mastered)" - version that went into the mixing competition
"Color Me Red (Final)" - came back a few weeks later and made some tweaks to balance and EQ

... And now I shall, really, truly leave this mix alone ... must go do a powerpoint ... must :-)

RE: Color Me Red - JeffD - joelonsdale - 03-11-2016

I can here a very loud and obvious pitched resonance (G) on the acoustic guitar (it's on the recording) that is prevalent throughout - get rid of that and the track will sound MUCH better! Great aggressive take on the track, but watch for artifacts of the process - guitar amp rumble, exaggerated string squeak etc. Lovely bass sound! Strange 'click' at 2:54 - sounds like something catching your compression out!

RE: Color Me Red - JeffD - jeffd42 - 04-11-2016

(03-11-2016, 11:58 AM)joelonsdale Wrote: I can here a very loud and obvious pitched resonance (G) on the acoustic guitar...
watch for artifacts of the process - guitar amp rumble, exaggerated string squeak etc. Lovely bass sound! Strange 'click' at 2:54.

Many thanks joelonsdale for listening, and the comments:

Thank you for spotting the resonance there. I have it notched now.
Left a few string noises etc. in for some authenticity on guitars, but tamed with a C4.
The bass EQ I learned from the CLA Mixing Tutorial (that one a real eye opener).
Tracked down that click. It was a snare hit. I mention as others will come across it!

RE: Color Me Red - JeffD - Mike Senior - 19-11-2016

Listened to the 'final' version, and it certainly has that grungy quality you were looking for, which does work rather well with the mood of the lyrics and vocal performance, so no problems about that from my perspective. It's also the wettest version of the mix I've heard so far, I think, by which I mean that you're wearing your delays/reverbs more on your sleeve than most other mixers here. I love the way this works on those Mid-section guitars, where it steers the mix well clear of trad-rock -- to its benefit I think. That said, I think maybe you could be a bit more choosy about how you apply these effects. I'm all for audible reverbs as creative additions, but for every ounce of reverb we're consciously hearing in your mix, I think there are several other ounces (to use the technical term...) that are simply clouding the picture by adding mix mud and concealing sonic details, as well as distancing the ensemble in general. (I don't think it helps in this respect either that the backing vocals seem significantly more forward-sounding than the rest of the ensemble, as this makes the subjective distancing more stark by virtue of the contrast.)

I like that there's plenty of movement in the compression, especially on the drums (love the fill at 2:11!), which helps add to the general excitement for me. I do wonder whether you've lost a bit too much mid-range punch in the process though -- all the snare and kick attack elements sound quite slender, somehow, rather than meaty. Yes, there's low end on the kick, but it's rather soft-sounding and sub-heavy, and doesn't seem to really punctuate that nice round-sounding bass guitar you've created. Speaking of which, although I do like the warmth of the bass in general, I think the guitars seem rather thin by comparison, so I'd be tempted to scoop a bit of LMF out of the bass and give it back to the guitars.

The distorted vocal sound is another great addition, which again keeps this mix quite rootsy, despite the more electric sound you've gone for. I also like your vocal balancing -- it's not too loud, but it does maintain its position in the balance very solidly nonetheless and demands the attention it deserves. On the other hand, the clean acoustic-guitar transients in the verses seem to sit over it, which is maybe not ideal -- I'd either take some transient off, or balance them lower... or maybe even distort them too! Smile

Thanks for posting -- you've suggested a lot of interesting new approaches to this multitrack, which is one of the things I really love about being able to hear so many different mixes of this song!

RE: Color Me Red - JeffD - Shul - 19-11-2016


I overdid the mids in my mix but In my opinion your mix needs a boost in that area.
Every instrument is well controlled so good job on the balancing.
The guitar reverb fx in the chorous destroyed that part for me. It's too overwhelming and it produces a bit of a chaos.. perhaps more controlled on the brightness in those fx will be beneficial because it sounds good as an idea but the brightness on the fx really bothered me.
At 2:38 the fx fadeout is too short making me notice how prominent they are.. you might want to make a smoother longer fadeout so that the change is not so drastic.

Just minor complains on the reverb work but you did good.

RE: Color Me Red - JeffD - jeffd42 - 19-11-2016

Many thanks for the comments:

What I really liked about this track is that it asks a number of questions up front: on the arrangement (to leave intact, as I did, or to move parts around, as others have done very effectively); how acoustic vs. electric to make it; and what genre to aim for. It leaves open options to mix for country, rock or a more acoustic feel.

I usually take my lead from the content of the lyrics. In this case, my feeling was that the vocal sets the mood, and it's not a "polite" song. I particularly liked the call-and-response aspect to the backing vocals—hence why I consider them a co-lead.

I use the vocal treatments to suggest something more to the country & western side of the house (there’s a fair bit of automation there both in, and out, of the distortion chain to get the right phrases to hit), but then there is the question of what do do about the band...

I went more for a “sum of all parts” rather than highlighting any one instrument too much: so it’s more vocal + band, as distinct to vocal + drums + bass + guitars + banjo + rhodes. There’s no question that is a stylistic choice, but it does track a little back to the chosen genre — where vocal (with a fair bit of plate reverbs and tape slap) have historically dominated the sound, then the band builds in the color behind. (The exception, perhaps, the rather obvious acoustic strums and the chorus electric -- #3 from memory -- that does create a bit of chaos with the ping-pong delay.)

A few technical notes:

a) There’s a fair amount of reverb in there, but it’s probably more the length of the pre-delays and timing (it’s not 1/4 or 1/8 synced) that’s creating the sense of a “wet mix". I was looking for the 15ips tape slap feel, with some vintage plates, and even longer pre-delays sitting in mono on certain things (most notably the lead vocal).

b) There’s a distorted copy of Guitar 1 placed behind the verses (with an excessive amount of sustain). No question this dirties up the mix, and slightly defocuses the soundstage. However, that’s by design. Might be that, more than reverb or delays, which gives the feel of a slightly cluttered (or, as I would say, dirty) mix.

My hope was to split this across three different genres: Western, Alt Country and Rock; in a way that shouldn’t be too offensive to a listener from any of the three. But perhaps challenge a few assumptions in each case. (One of the recent great mixes, from a different genre, was "Uptown Funk" which, although entirely modern in mix styles/tastes, still manages to convey its roots.)

Noted the comment on the vocals (I consider it as two leads, rather than lead and BV). In my case, I tend to hear them more as “above and below”. (Some, like me, tend to hear higher frequencies as more of an arch, so cymbals are higher than, say, kick drum; for others, I understand it’s all on the one X plane).

I also wondered a bit about the drums and base, and how punchy to make those. Tried a few approaches, but settled on having those a little more muted and letting the bass speak. Otherwise, it rather clearly crossed the line to rock-n’-roll rather than country (to my ears at least).

I do like that some of the decisions on depth placement (for example the acoustic strums forward of the vocal) came through—although, I defer to others on whether they are good or bad decisions, arrangement-wise—but, it’s nice to see that the EQ/delay/reverb placements were convincing as to where the instruments sat!

I very much like a number of the other mixes. Dangerous' one in particular.

It has been great both to tackle this track and to see the variety of treatments and approaches.

My thanks to Mike/Joe for arranging this, and of course, to Diesel13 for the most important part.

Cheers, Jeff

RE: Color Me Red - JeffD - jeffd42 - 19-11-2016

(19-11-2016, 09:24 PM)Shul Wrote: At 2:38 the fx fadeout is too short making me notice how prominent they are.. you might want to make a smoother longer fadeout so that the change is not so drastic.

Two options I tried there: first, to take things dryish on the end (lots of good examples, the most recent I heard was from CLA/Halestorm (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hkmuTvkp_s). The other is to leave wet, as I did. That one suggests more reverb than was present (as the submixes and 2-bus compressors let off, so probably 4-5db more gain than during the song).

I tried both, in this case, but the abrupt cutoff didn't seem to suit the song. So, I left it with the natural fadeout (including the compressor releases). I seem to recall that being a bit more common in 60's and 70's tracks. (I'd guess pulling all the faders down in a hurry was a tad more difficult back then!)

Cheers, Jeff

RE: Color Me Red - JeffD - jeffd42 - 22-11-2016

New (and hopefully improved!) mix, uploaded on first post.

RE: Color Me Red - JeffD - jeffd42 - 07-12-2016

(02-11-2016, 09:42 PM)jeffd42 Wrote: "Color Me Red (Final)" - came back a few weeks later and made some tweaks to balance and EQ... And now I shall, really, truly leave this mix alone ... must go do a powerpoint ... must :-)

Updated .MP3 on the first post in thread.