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Hannes Keseberg - You Know Better - DaveArrowGtr mix
Here's my first attempt for the comp. Psuedo-masters of my mix, mp3 and iTunes+ formats. The mix is available on request.

Had some great fun doing some guitar re-amping in this, trying to bring in some of the John Mayer reference. Feedback welcome!

.m4a    You Know Better mix by davearrowgtr.m4a --  (Download: 6.67 MB)

.mp3    You Know Better mix by davearrowgtr.mp3 --  (Download: 8.24 MB)

-- Dave Arrowsmith
Hey! Nice mix! Good balance and depth! I liked it a lot Smile

Some notes I would like to appoint:
a) Maybe the lead vocal needs deessing or automation on some esses, also some low mid cut as I think it's fighting with the bass
b) I think there is too much reverb on the drums (especially on the verses, you could just use automation)


Very nicely done. Great sounds and subtle and good use of re-amped guitars. Very tasteful. Creative arrangement choices as well. Well done.
PreSonus Studio One DAW
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Thanks for the feedback!
-- Dave Arrowsmith
Hi davearrowgtr -- nicely open, ambient presentation here. Some issues that occurred to me:
  • Overall there's seems a little too much lower midrange around 300Hz.
  • I like the way the Outro opens up from the final chorus -- nice long-term dynamics there.
  • The vocal tone is very scooped, with lots of low end and lots of extreme high-end. A little more true midrange around 1Hz would make it translate better on different systems. The HF fizz also makes the vocal sibilance rather overbearing. Plus there's something amiss with the vocal rhythm at 0:56-1:03.
  • I like the tempo delay on the solo guitar, as it adds subtle interest during the sparse arrangement of the verses.
  • The kick seems underplayed and lightweight, which makes the Reintro and Outro feel a bit lacking in rhythmic drive. The hi-hat is rather bright too, which brings it a bit too far upfront, and makes some moments a bit spitty.
  • Shortening the intro as you have makes good pop sense, in terms of getting to the vocal as early as possible. But the implementation feels disconcerting, because you don't really know where the downbeat is as a listener until well after the vocal's entered. It's almost like the singer's missed his entry, and should have come in with the cymbal hit.
  • Those whistles work quite well in the choruses, but it seems like it's unnecessarily gilding the lily a little, because the Hammond and BVs already create plenty of impact at those moments. It's nice to hear those whistles before the Outro, but I'm not sure that's the best place to fly them in.
  • I like the Chorus 3 drop-down, especially the tempo-delay guitar and bass interjections, but it does seem to lose momentum when it goes on for so long, so it almost feels like the song's ending early.

Hopefully those will be some use. Thanks for posting your mix!
Firstly, what a great contest! Thanks for organising it, Mike and to Hannes for the multitracks. Some great mixes and I learnt a lot. Unfortunately I didn't have time to tweak my mix before the deadline, but I've addressed some of the issues now:
  • Trimmed out some lower mid in a couple of parts to address the 300Hz problem.
  • Added some de-essing to the vocal and hi-hat (the latter was tricky because of the overspill in the snare mic)
  • Re-shaped the lead vocal tone slightly. I didn't want to lose its lovely mellowness, but boosted subtly at at around 1k as Mike suggested. Unfortunately my over-zealous "add air" during pseudo-mastering was partly responsible for the scooped tone, so I removed that too!
  • Added some weight to the kick drum - hopefully not too much! I wanted the fabulous bass guitar part to own sub-100Hz, but I agree I went too far with this in the first mix.
  • Fixed the vocal rhythm mistake! I had slightly adjusted vocal rhythm in a couple of places where it didn't sound quite natural to me. Probably an error while I was doing that.
  • I respectfully disagree with Mike on my intro. I think the 2 bar lead guitar part and the bass guitar give clear indicators on the downbeat. Or maybe that's because I'm so used to it now... if I had time I might edit the drums with a simple fill to make it clearer.
  • I didn't really like the whistles poking out of verses in others' mixes, but agree they needed to be somewhere before the end. My solution was to put them in the second chorus, and I stand by that! However I did find the quantity a bit annoying, so removed 2 of the 4 I originally had. (To be truthful, I don't really like the whistles at all, but defer to the artist here! I guess it's a personal preference thing)

Thanks again!

.mp3    You Know Better mix3.mp3 --  (Download: 8.21 MB)

-- Dave Arrowsmith