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Diesel13: 'Colour Me Red' mix/master by IRONWORK - Printable Version

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Diesel13: 'Colour Me Red' mix/master by IRONWORK - IRONWORK - 05-11-2016

Another great set of multitracks to play with, thank you Mike (and Joe and Diesel) !

[v7.2, 25.11.16] FINAL MASTER - CONTEST ENTRY
Thanks to everyone for the extremely helpful comments, which I feel brought this track a long way from v1 to v7.2! Strangely though, I still kinda prefer v1... I guess that's the "don't lose the freshness" thing, and as I get better at this, my first mixes will, I hope, keep the freshness but have fewer of the technical problems. Mike's ears and insight are astonishing as always - I'm not disappointed! Thanks also to Diesel and Joe for the best Americana from Barnet song about spanking I've ever heard ;-D. And for everyone who said "I like it but it's a bit squashed" - thanks! I got there in the end (I think). Comments welcome!

Tech notes: ditched the addictive but uncontrollable Lurssen 'final polish' and dug into Izotope instead, bringing back a lot of the lost dynamic range. Plus all the other changes that Mike, MixInTheCloud and Roy suggested below, and a bit of much-needed help from Ian Shepherd's Dynameter.

[v3, 10.11.16]
The changes I made in v2 to the acoustic guitar didn't work so well for the intro, so I changed it back and made a final adjustment of -1dB at 200hz on the bass guitar [which I'll probably rethink for the contest entry... I'd like to make the overall mix a bit less mid-range... Or I'll just call it the 'Mastered for Bose Mini Soundlink' version ;-)]. Comments welcome!

[v2, 09.11.16]
Taking into account the helpful feedback below (thanks folks!), I gently boosted the cymbals and the bass, worked on the eq of the overheads, room and vocals, reduced the scratchiness of the acoustic guitars, attempted to improve the de-essing and re-worked the gain-chain... And here we are. I think it sounds richer than v1, without sacrificing any clarity.

[v1, 05.11.16]
On first download my admin' side said "readme file says 57 tracks and there are only 55... Must have lost 2 of those backing vocal tracks... I hope 24 will be enough!" ;-) .

Bad surprises were the SnareDown track and the difficult overheads. Good surprises were the (already great) vocals, which leapt out and sounded absolutely amazing as soon as they hit an 1176 emulator.

For that reason I chose to make the vocal performance absolutely central to this, while going for a fair bit of drum replacement and plenty of eq carving, panning and level automation to bring clarity to all the instruments. Running kick and snare in parallel through an LA-3A plugin brought a nice smooth boost to the drums, while the vocals got some 'valve plate' and a hint of slapback plus more eq-ing.

I had fun with the 'virtual choir' of backing vox, panning them all around as if a bunch of weirdoes popped up surrounding Diesel from time to time, and later I did battle with the Master for iTunes stuff (including the hack to make their tools work with El Capitan https://youtu.be/F-FrPOW_Fn4), having somewhat misunderstood Mike's mixing brief comment "the way in which the mix responds to loudness processing may be taken into consideration" :-D.

I felt that the bass and drums drove this along very well, with no need to alter the arrangement. However, the bass needed work, and as I wasn't keen on the mic'd amp, I ran the DI through the GTR Ampeg SVT emulation (the setting called SuperTube), which adds pleasing grit. There's a tape hiss kind of sound under the clicks at the start which I really like, probably for nostalgic reasons, so I decided to leave it in there in v1.

Finally I referenced some other mixes here, including those by Olli H, dcp10200 and jeffd42 who have my respect, not least for helping me nail Angels In Amplifiers's 'I'm Alright' a while back! Then to check Joe Lonsdale's mix on Diesel's Reverbnation page... Which was a rude shock... Damn, how did you get those vocals so silky smooth, Joe?! But anyway, here we go, v1. Comments welcome :-).


RE: Diesel13: 'Colour Me Red' mix/master by IRONWORK - RoyM - 05-11-2016

Sounds great. Some minor comments.
The vocals are occasionally sibilant but I might be overly pick about sibilance for some reason.
Overall it feels a bit too compressed. A nice sounding compression but with a song as driving as this it just needs those spots where it can breath. Especially when the group vocals come in.
I think it can use some louder (or maybe just brighter) crashes to accentuate sections a little more. Just to add some salt to the meat of the song.

All the instruments sound great. Even the rhodes which is saying something. Maybe a hair more lows on the bass? I hear it just fine but a something to make it felt in the chest.

Overall it sounds great. Rocking without being fatiguing. All I'd say is if I had to be fussy and try to look for any improvements I'd say it could breath some more. Excellent work.

Cheers.





RE: Diesel13: 'Colour Me Red' mix/master by IRONWORK - IRONWORK - 05-11-2016

Thanks so much Roy!

Yep, I think one of the two (!) de-essers I have on him could be tweaked a bit better. That 'standalone' crash near the start is also asking to be re-used, I do agree... You heard the Rhodes?! Yes! Success!

For the bass, I'll look into that... I'm super-careful on bass because my monitors are slightly weak in that area, so it's tempting to pile loads on... But I may have overcompensated for that here. One of my 'other system' checks was on a Bose Mini Soundlink, but that has outrageously hyped bass... It sounded nice and tight on my main hifi though.

Re the compression, mix buss compression is something I really need to ear-train on a bit more as I struggle to hear when there's too much. But now you mention it, I could certainly back off a bit in the last few bars.

Extremely helpful comments, thanks again!
Graham.


RE: Diesel13: 'Colour Me Red' mix/master by IRONWORK - RoyM - 05-11-2016

I'm sure I used two de-essers on this track as well. The need a multi band de-esser. Multi band compressors never work for me in that context.

I totally understand about the bass. I'm the same way. Maybe that's why it jumped out at me.

Maybe one solution to the mix bus compression is doing a parallel set up. The compression you have on there sounds great tonally but keeps the whole song in check too much. Maybe blended with an uncompressed bus you might get the best of both worlds.

In the end though the mix sounded really great.

Cheers.


RE: Diesel13: 'Colour Me Red' mix/master by IRONWORK - IRONWORK - 06-11-2016

Thanks again Roy! Your comments really help, as does your encouragement! New version coming soon :-). Have a good weekend!


RE: Diesel13: 'Colour Me Red' mix/master by IRONWORK - coldvodka - 06-11-2016

i like your mix. it feels like each instruments has its personality.


RE: Diesel13: 'Colour Me Red' mix/master by IRONWORK - IRONWORK - 07-11-2016

Thanks coldvodka! Can't wait to check out your mix and Roy's :-)


RE: Diesel13: 'Colour Me Red' mix/master by IRONWORK - IRONWORK - 09-11-2016

Mix v2 up above! Comments very welcome!


RE: Diesel13: 'Colour Me Red' mix/master by IRONWORK - Memphis Black - 10-11-2016

Hi Dude

new mix sounds great , great sound and drive . guitars have a great tone

Keep rockin

Memphis


RE: Diesel13: 'Colour Me Red' mix/master by IRONWORK - IRONWORK - 10-11-2016

Memphis, thanks man!

v3 up above and now I'm committed (until the next comment!) :-D

Cheers, Graham