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This is the official Headwound Harry - XXXV mix!
*cracks neck* Big Grin

Thank you for the thorough reply! I'm glad you took my comments in the right way. It's always hard knowing who you're writing to and how they'll react, especially when posting a wall of text. I'll try and keep it a bit shorter this time.

First thing I want to say is that just listening to stem tracks, it's easy to get some pre-conceived ideas about the recording process. At first I actually thought the drums were midi-based. Having little experience with heavy editing and quantization it was kind of puzzling, but reading your notes has really helped me understand where you're coming from!

Ok, now that's out of the way, let's get into it!

(11-01-2017, 10:59 PM)JadeWilliamson Wrote:
(11-01-2017, 03:00 PM)RobWo Wrote: "Listen to the OH track in the first fast part (0:58-1:02). Those are some impossibly fast hits on the china."

I didn't listen to the solo'd overhead track like you said but referring to the drum fill leading into the next part, I would point out two things for you to consider:

1) This is called a euroblast...

Right, "impossible" was not the right word to use here. I should have said that it sounded very stiff and unnatural to me. Like how midi drums sound before the velocity is adjusted. I attributed this to the quantization/editing. I'll admit that I haven't listened to a lot of extreme metal drummers and am somewhat unfamiliar with what they're capable of. This leads into the next part...

(11-01-2017, 10:59 PM)JadeWilliamson Wrote: 2) Despite having a solid drummer, we still wanted the tracks gridlock edited. If there were flammy parts of the euroblast that still needed to be edited I edited them the best I could.

If I feel a bad edit goes unnoticed when the entire song is playing, I'll generally leave it. I ask you to consider that the layman (and honestly, many engineers) won't hear an artifact like that in the final product.

Very true. It does go unnoticed in the final product. If I listen closely I can hear the cymbal stretching sometimes but that's about it. I guess the solo'd drums caught me off guard with how processed they were (loud and even flams sound weird) but they cut through nicely in the final mix.

(11-01-2017, 10:59 PM)JadeWilliamson Wrote:
(11-01-2017, 03:00 PM)RobWo Wrote: "...there's some strange panning going on 1:04 with the snare shifting to the left."

The snare track is panned at zero (center) the whole time. You may be hearing the snare in the overheads.

Yes, this panning effect occurs in the OH stems. You may want to go back and listen to them solo'd to hear it. It's noticable in the final mix as well if you listen for it. There's suddenly more snare in the stereo field during this part. Still not sure what might have caused this.

(11-01-2017, 10:59 PM)JadeWilliamson Wrote:
(11-01-2017, 03:00 PM)RobWo Wrote: "The low tom track is pretty distorted with clipping around 2:10."

I'm going to assume you mean my mix and not the raw file.

Actually, I did mean the raw stem file. Tongue It's mainly under that pre-breakdown tom-part. I ended up replacing the low tom in my own mix because of it.
But that stuff can be hard. I recently had a similar problem while recording my own band where the low tom was producing these strange clipping sounds (but not clipping the input) almost like the mic itself was distorting. Could be a crappy mic, or some sort of resonating frequency thing.

(11-01-2017, 10:59 PM)JadeWilliamson Wrote:
(11-01-2017, 03:00 PM)RobWo Wrote: "Bass: Just arrangement wise- Having the bass tremolo-pick along with the guitars (2:31) makes that whole passage pretty muddy and must have been a pain to record. I think it would've been enough for it to just play the 8th-notes or even quarter notes to fill out what the guitars were doing."

Agreed. The bass player kicked ass otherwise. I remember sitting with them for a few minutes talking about it and I made the executive decision to just match the guitars because that's what the man was used to playing and I didn't want to dwell too long on small things.

Good call. I can totally understand that. A lot of mixing/clarity problems are usually best solved in the arrangement, but if it's a lot of work to redo that part you just have to go with it.

(11-01-2017, 10:59 PM)JadeWilliamson Wrote: I did have a crossover setup for the bass (two identical tracks, one high-passed and one low-passed and each processed differently and bussed together).

Cool, that's one way to solve it! I like side-chaining the bass off the kick to get them to blend better, without having to spend too much time making space with EQ.I my mix I bussed the bass out to 2 tracks: First with a low pass @150hz and a side-chained comp, and the second with a just a highpass that was unaffected. This way the bass is still present the whole time while still leaving room for the kick.

(11-01-2017, 10:59 PM)JadeWilliamson Wrote:
(11-01-2017, 03:00 PM)RobWo Wrote: "I hear the vocals cutting in a lot in your mix. I'm guessing this is the gate opening but it could be a good idea (if you have time) to manually fade..."

I definitely don't use a gate on vocals. (...) I manually edited and faded all of these tracks but I have to admit I didn't know a ton about what I was doing at the time. I think I've got the hang of it now. Editing is one of my stronger skills at this point.


(11-01-2017, 10:59 PM)JadeWilliamson Wrote:
(11-01-2017, 03:00 PM)RobWo Wrote: "Mastering:

The only thing I knew about mastering when I worked on this was that it existed. I definitely didn't know what a brickwall limiter was.
Well there's your problem right there XD

(11-01-2017, 10:59 PM)JadeWilliamson Wrote: I honestly can't even tell you what I used on the master here. Probably a 4:1 compressor with 30 ms attack and 10 ms release taking off 3 dB at the loudest parts, solely because that's what I know Joey Sturgis does.

Hey cool! I didn't know that. I'll have to try it Smile Also I'm downloading the Saturation Knob as I write this. Thanks!

(11-01-2017, 10:59 PM)JadeWilliamson Wrote: I'm certainly no mastering engineer and always recommend to my bands that they master through someone else but they never do.

Haha, yeah. I have had to explain the importance of mastering and having someone else master so many times to my bandmates. Tongue

(11-01-2017, 10:59 PM)JadeWilliamson Wrote: Rob, It means a lot that you reached out and took the time to help me out. I tried to reciprocate by responding thoroughly and respectfully, but I'm sarcastic and cynical by nature and I hope a negative or condescending tone doesn't come through, because it wasn't intended! I appreciate that there are things I need to pay more attention to in tracking and then more things in editing and I feel like I'm on the way there. Thanks for reaching out, my friend!

No problem man. Hahaha! So am I Wink I tried extra hard to make sure it didn't come off as aggressive or condescending. It's especially hard to convey tone through text and people seem to read things in a more negative tone.

I admit that I'm new here and this was my first real big post, but I feel honesty is important and I tried to give the sort of feedback I'd like to receive myself. Complements are good and all but I think that through questions, discussion and critique we improve our craft faster and more efficiently. That being said, congratulations on still delivering a pretty massive end result. It's a lot of work for just one person to do, so props!