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SpedeMIX of Downtempo
Hi. Here's my mix of this moody tune. Unlike some of the stuff in the electronic subcategory, this one didn't need nearly as much mangling, only small things here and there. I did work on the kick drum(s) quite a bit to make them a bit more snappy; the original ones were lacking in punch. Didn't really add any reverb to most of the tracks except that 10 second lexicon reverb on the strings. The percussion seemed happy dry.

.m4a    Downtempo_SpedeMIX_Mastered.m4a --  (Download: 9.39 MB)

Overall balance is good, and I like how fearless you've been with the levels on the esoteric SFX... often they're the most interesting bit going on at any given time, and I think you've done a very good job blending them into the moody backdrop. There's a clicking noise that autopans from side to side, sounds sort of like the amplified insect noises on a nature program, maybe that could use a little smidge of transient reduction to help it blend just a bit more. SFX01 could be taken for a really interesting glitch-hop loop if brought a little further in the mix, but I'm not sure how possible it is to do that without some surgery.

I keep using that word "blend" but how important is that to this music?? It's very open to interpretation. Great job handling that "found sound" effects loop at the end, and THANK YOU for the appropriate fade out... glad I'm not the only one who feels that's necessary.

In my humble opinion, while this song isn't an obvious candidate for lots of fine-fader automation (the arrangment basically takes care of that... refreshing, huh?), the "main loop" track would benefit from some moderate EQ automation, mainly to make room for the very greedy bass where it's present.

I appreciate that you've tried to introduce a bit more transient to the bass drum.. that's the first thing I attacked when I opened this session. As presented it kinda sounds like someone's kicking a suitcase, and the tendency of the bass to swallow absolutely everything from 300 hZ south doesn't help matters. I feel like I hear a squeak or a creaking noise has been introduced to the transient that's a little distracting, partly because it's a bit out of time, but I really can't say for sure where it's come from... from time to time in the raw tracks it seems like the additional two kick layers are a bit out of time, subjectively if not mathematically, so that could be what I'm hearing. Or did you perhaps use a resonant LPF of some kind? If it's of any interest to you, I used the good old highpassed parallel distortion to help the kick cut.

Distortion is something I tend to rely on in electronic mixes... I use it to some extent in almost every mix I do regardless of genre, but electronic music loves it... having said that, few of these tracks respond to it very well... most of them develop a really grainy fizz before you're able to dial in enough distortion to get the character/effect you want. So I'm not really sure how to help the bass out on this song without programming another layer to add some more midrange interest. Pitch shifting, modulation... none of that seems to help without introducing too much noise. It's subjective as to whether or not it needs it in this case, I think so personally, but it seems worth mentioning.

On the subject of reverb, yours is an interesting approach. My first instinct with a tune of an ambient nature is to reach for a reverb to help blend the percussion in with the pads... but the only thing you're using reverb on... is that pad!!! It's not my cup of tea, but the lack of reverb particularly on the snare truly emphasizes the "glitchy" character of the song, so I really can't argue... it works. Finding an appropriate reverb for the cymbals, metal hit, and that timbale-ish SFX-08 track seems impossible anyway, since all three seem to have a bit of gated reverb or cut off in the middle of their sustain to further enhance the glitch-factor... but what about a little bit of plate on the snare for some sustain?

Last little observation... I've been criticized in the past for under-cooking songs that could use a bit more production, mainly because it's too easy to overproduce once I get started down that road... every added element seems to demand something else until it's not the same song anymore. What's funny is that you mentioned you didn't feel the need for additional production on this song, but something feels missing to me.. do you have any opinions on that?

Anyway, great job as usual, Spede. Lots of cool ideas and I love the mood you've achieved with the SFX.
I'm grateful for comments and suggestions. Thank you for listening!
Yeah nice interpretation. I quite liked the lusher sounding original mix but really like your blend of that side of things with the grittier upfront sounds. Good stuff. btw did you get my pm on GS?
sounds very nice ,very flat man keep it up..
The climax at 1.50 ish is very cool.