Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Waves-Tune on every horn mic.
So the band was a little shaky compared to the Abletones, in which the trumpet section was a tad overpowering. However in this mix I felt boosting the trumpet levels in a lot of places helped to cover some mistakes in other parts of the horn section and was the way to go instead, and I feel like it never sounds wrong to have the trumpets dominate a big band. In the raw tracks the 2nd or 3rd trumpet player seemed already louder than the lead by default in a few places, and of course as the register gets high enough it becomes harder to project at the same volume, in all of the reed and horn instruments, there was plenty of automation to compensate for that.

Halfway through my first horn automation pass I found that the tenor saxes were weak and needed tuning, but I ended up applying at least 50% tuning to all of the horns when it was said and done, just because a few trombone notes were so flat they seemed almost like the wrong note, so some horns were tuned for pitch strengthening and others were tuned to correct mistakes. You can tell the difference between a hyper-professional band like the abletones and this one a lot by the tone of the bones and the saxes, as well as the trumpet's ability to project. Some of the bones in this recording have a bit of a derpy tone.

There wasn't too much of this though and it went pretty well.

I found that the bass player seemed eager to speed up and the guitar player seemed too laid back on the beat. I chopped them up in a few places and made them play with the drummer, and chopped a few horn notes back in line with what I'd done from there.

The vocal seemed to fit really well right of the bat so all I did was notch out some "telephony" frequencies, (some stuff in-between 1200 and 2600 Hz,) which I feel can either be a defining characteristic for a voice in a mix or it can be gross, depending on the voice. The lower "boxiness" I left flat and I put a punchy boost in the low-mid range, right above where the bass was playing. Something like 30 ms of attack. Afterwards I found some things I didn't like above 3-4K, and some clarity that I did like around 8600. I gave this a generous boost and some punch, (multiband compressors are sweet,) and then I sidechained a dip in the horn mics at the same frequency from the lead vocal. I feel like this solved the problem of how to get the horns to be big without burying the vocal.

For a finishing touch I put some stereo widening effects on a few horns and the guitar, and then put 2 reverbs on the vocal that put different frequencies of her voice in the center and panned wide.

In mastering I did some light eqing and then sidechained everything over about 180 Hz and then limited it like normal before sending it all to the print so the bass wouldn't be pushing the limiter at all. I still feel like my mastering skills aren't as polished as my mixing skills so I never feel if I'm really doing amazing things with the mastering but it is what it is. For comparison I printed a version with extra mid-range saturation, and a version with a slightly less wet vocal mixed up about 0.8 dB.

I feel like the second version "Mid-range Saturation," is closest to right, but there's too much of something inbetween like 600-2000 that's coloring the vocal in a weird way. EITHER THAT, OR the vocal up version has too much high end on the vocal and it's skewing my perspective on what it should sound like. The guitar maybe could get turned up in the whole mix, you can hear it, but I could have given it more treble on the left side, even more than where it's at.

Regardless, the first version represents the original mix best I think, I can't decide. It depends if you want to hear the band more like you would live, or if you want to hear the vocal over them. I like the loud horns.

Changing my opinion, vocal up is right, could even sneak the vocal up more.

Snuck the vocal up another 0.4 dB and put 1.5 dB of something above 3000 Hz but below all the high harmonic notches in the guitar, the 24 bit sound file is here:

I feel like I could have got a better bass sound maybe, not enough definition and a bit too... "Round," if that makes sense. I want to also get a more extensive library of snare, kick, and tom sounds. I have 2 really nice snare samples but I'd love to also basically re-sample the whole kit minus the cymbal, add a hi-hat instead of the 2 and 4 snare drum, ect. That would really a lot to this recording. I feel like there's only so much you can do with the bass and drums as they are given the quality of the recording. With virtual instruments you could even print a bass midi file from waves-tune and then mix a bass sound with more articulation in with this one, which is super nice low resonance and not the most definition. I'm going to take a longer look at the bass and drums in the next cut of this band.

.mp3    Normal Mastering.mp3 --  (Download: 8.93 MB)

.mp3    Mid-range Saturation.mp3 --  (Download: 8.89 MB)

.mp3    Vocal Up.mp3 --  (Download: 8.92 MB)