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James May: 'On The Line'
Hey people,

with this one I tried to get a big and lush sound, while still being somewhat natural. Let me know what you think.

Lukas Angel

.mp3    JamesMay_OnTheLine_v2.mp3 --  (Download: 3.94 MB)

I think have done a pretty good job. I haven't mixed this song yet, so I don't know what struggles you might have dealt with from the source material. I think there is a nice sense of space, the stereo image is nice and the overall frequency balance of the mix is good. I like the treatment of the mandolins. It's not too bright, too dark and I don't hear any buildup in any frequency range. That's something that I always struggle with.

Some specific comments:
- In the intro, the guitar sounds more up front than the vocal, so the ear is drawn to the guitar instead of the vocal. I would try rolling off the high frequencies on the guitar with some EQ, add some reverb to it and perhaps control the peaks with some compression, and maybe turn it down a db or two to help it sit behind the vocals. It could also help to add more predelay to the reverb on the vocals.
- There are some nice cello fills before the verses, but I can barely hear them since the cello sounds muffled and very quiet. Bring it up with some volume automation.
- The drums sound too bright and spiky to me. Try taming them with some fast parallell compression and a low pass filter. This will make them sound bigger and push them back in the mix. This way, EQ and compression can help add depth to you mix.
- The low end sounds a bit muddy. Perhaps some more compression and some EQ eq cuts in the low mids could help. You could also try adding some more presence to the bass with EQ or by distorting it a bit.

General comments:
- Use volume automation to direct the listeners attention and bring out little gems like the cello and mandolin fills.
- Bandpass your reverbs to avoid low end buildup and distracting highs (you are probably already doing this, but I think you can take away some more of the high frequencies in the vocal verb). Combine the reverbs with delay. This will let you use more reverb without it sounding too fake to get more of that lush sound you are going for.
- Reduce the transients of some instruments with compression and roll off the high frequencies with EQ to help push back some instruments in the mix and add depth.

I hope this was helpful! Remember that this is all very subjective, so feel free to ignore anything I said Smile