1st Song I've Produced For My New Band, Soltré

Soltre - Loose Change final version

edit: put final version right above for quick downloading

Hey everybody! I’m needing some mixing advice on my band Soltré’s song, “loose change”. I have spent a lot of time with this, trying to get the levels and everything right and I just wanted to get some feedback before I release the final version. this is the first song i have produced with other musicians. all of my other stuff before has been solo works

Questions I have:

Does the vocal sit well in the mix? are the harmony vocals a good volume? does it sound ok dry? i haven’t even tried putting reverb on it yet
Does the Kick/snare sit well?
are the hihats too loud?
how is the level of the bass?
the trombone sounds a little bit “distant”, and i can’t figure out how to get it to sound more upfront… any ideas?

main question:
on the guitar track, our guitar player was dragging his hands on the strings a lot and there is a very percussive sound in the guitar track. it interferes with the drums sometimes pretty bad in parts (worst part is around 2:20-2:30). in an attempt to fix it, i tried lowering the EQ around 2.5khz and up but it ended up making the guitar sound too dull. … right now i have settled for bringing 2.5 up to almost normal level and reducing everything around 4khz and above by about -3db… but i am still getting some of that percussive quality. re-recording is not an option at this point. is there anything i can do to minimize this effect while still keeping the guitar sounding clean?

mike = guitar
cami = vocals
scott (me) = trombone, drumtrack, production

all feedback is welcome, positive and especially negative


Yer nice.

Vocals are a little light at the start but yer
start to shape up REALLY REALLY nicely by 1:30

Harmonies are good levels

Kicks/Snares - Good
Hihats - Some of the rides or splashes are loud. (but i guess they are)

awesome breakdown with the trumpet/ or trombone nice nice

Gets a little messy rythmically etc around 2:30 like ya said.

Really interesting sound man. I like it
sure there be other replies.


by “light” on the vocals do you mean too quiet? … but just at the beginning? i think she sang at a different level during different parts so i have had to try to compensate for that by adjusting the volume level during different parts, but i am having trouble telling if its @ the right level throughout the whole song

thanks for the positive words!!

This is very impressive. I am afraid I cannot comment on the mastering itself seeing as though I cannot seem to master my own material. It sounds very good for what that’s worth on my end.

Very unique sound and it surely doesn’t sound like your first attempt with others. I like when I hear a creation with a tracker that doesn’t have that typical tracker sound.

You managed to make things sound very realistic which I really like. The integration of traditional instruments, your excellent percussion programming, it all comes together well.

I hear what you mean about the harmonics. I wouldn’t know where to start. Not sure how much eqing will get rid of all of that without sacrificing the ovrall fidelity of the guitar. Is it sloppy guitar playing causing that or is there a way to perhaps mic the guitar that allows you to record the guitar sound without those other unwanted sounds? I don’t know enough about recording a guitar.

Would “dby” and or “hai nguyen dinh” be kind enough to offer some suggestions?

You both seem to have done a great job with recording guitars.

Good work my friend!

try to send the trombone to a send channel with the original signal still on.
set up mda tracker in send, pan ca 40%left, fx wet ca.20-30%
tweak until it’s real subtile. im thinking sawtooth form with lp filter.
it’s gonna fatten up the sound some…

and yes, the cymbal clash was a bit high 00:43.
other than that. nice track man :)

what is most probably the final mix is now finished…


the main differences are: changed a couple of harmony notes on the vocals, increased the volume of the harmony vocals, fattened up the trombone, took out a couple of drum hits that weren’t helping very much, lowered the volume of a couple of the drums

annide, i tried your advice on the trombone and it seemed to help. thanks a lot man! i have never used any kind of tool like that, but it seems really useful. i will try it on other stuff in the future. you can really f**** up some sounds if you overuse that thing!

trepain - thank you so much for your kind words!!! i was surprised to hear that you of all people liked the track since your music is so hard, but it’s always difficult to predict peoples’ tastes as one day i’ll be listening to dixie chicks and the next it’ll be atari teenage riot or somesuch nonsense :)

It’s true while most of the stuff I make is a little on the harsh side, I do from time to time compose “pleasant” music.

Hopefully Henriette will help me with my image with the “I See” song she was generous enough to provide lyrics for.

If you have not heard it, check it out on the profile


My tastes are much like yours, all over the place.

I have spent the last week immersed in listening to music composed on the c64 and gameboy.

Someday could be Slayer and Death, the next the Housemartins or Portishead.

I am exciting to hear this newer version of the song. The lyrics are definitely more up front and sound great. The beat is cool as hell man. Got this jazzy, folky fusion going on. Very unique.

I would proud and I imagine you are of it!

Cheers. Your creation is worth every bit of praise recieved.

Thank you for sharing my friend,


Liked this, well done! :)

VERY NICE I really dig this a lot :) I really like the chorus and could have heard a bit more of it.

i forget to post back on this sry man.


its got such an organic / alternative feel to it


Firstly… GODDAMN BUGGER CRAP BUGGEr… I closed the window with my original reply so I’m going to have to make up all that crap again!

Well :)

Firstly, great tune!

I think it could use some help though.

Your lead singer has a nice voice, though a little too piercing around 2.3-2.8kHZ. I’d dip that freq range and multiband compress the range…

I’d add slight chorus to the harmonies and pan them. i’d even go as far as to pipe them to reverbs with reverb on an opposite channel to even it out and make it a little wider. ie %30:%70 for L:R for dry, then %70:%30 for wet signal.

You don’t want too wet a reverb, roll off above 2.3kHZ since this is where her voice seems to be over powering. You may want to bring up say 625Hz then to give a little more body to her voice - but only slightly.

I’d compress all the vocals up + reverbs together slightly to gel them together.

Also try a very slight stereo imaging - say with MDA Stereo. Make sure you don’t get the delay audible, just slight expansion. Combined with a wide subtle reverb on the guitar too the whole track will jump out a bit more.

Taking your latest mix, I ran it through some mastering doing the above as best I could with a linear single track rather than multi-tracks. Ran it through a bit of tube compression too and a limiter to pull the whole mix up by about 1dB.

I love the texture on the guitar. BUT, the scratches are a little overbearing. Perhaps some EQ to drop out those harsh scratches and warm it up a little. You’ll need to automate the EQ there as it’s only those sections you want to smooth out a little.

You can also multiband compress the final mix - get the sub under control - ie 60Hz and under to bring up the thump of the kick. The snare I’d EQ as well to warm it up a little, but it sits well in the mix at this volume. Possibly too much 2kHZ in it.

This is more how I’d envision the final mix to sound without having the individual tracks to play with : Mastered Version 7meg

wow, thanks everyone for the positive comments.
groovyone, thanks a bunch for the mixing tips. i will try those out sometime this week.
remastered version sounds great, although i haven’t been able to A-B it with the original since i’m at work…
unfortunately, i already burned 50 copies onto expensive business card cds for distribution … :( but the next batch will be remastered for sure.

I must say I like the one mastered by groovyone, it sounds even better.
Seams like you really know what you are talking about.

he really does… check out his entry in round 3 of the sdcompo… http://www.sdcompo.com/votepack.php (go to the bottom and select round 3 votepack and click download) … really great song with excellent production values

I’d really like to hear the song, but I can’t load even the main page at myfilehut.com. I don’t know whether it’s my location, or whether they’re just having problems right now, or what. Do you have it at any other locations?

it’s the fact that myfilehut sucks a big fat celery stalk … it goes down quite frequently. but hey, it’s 250 megs of webspace for free, so i’m not complaining. unfortunately i don’t have it anywhere else, however, groovyone was kind enough to remaster it for me and it appears to still be up on his webspace… http://home.comcast.net/~533neholladay406/…nge-Finalv2.mp3

What a strange instrumentation, original, i must say

It sounds very good, you should double the singer´s salary. Great voice.

ummm there´s something about the guitar that … how to say in english… it´s excesive “scratchy”? (blame the guitarrist) :lol:

The overall sound is great, good reverb and wide sound. Maybe more stereo separation in percusion channels? you know, a hat here… a snare over there…

it´s a good song :)

This is really really good. I’ll definately be adding this to my normal playlist of music I listen to.

The only thing I can hear sometimes about it is that just once in a while, the vocals seem to come in just a hair late. I like her vocal style though, and the harmonies are really cool too.

Great stuff!

The excessive scratching sounds like this thing was done through pickup rather than mic’d, but the tone sounds mic’d. Next time you record, an acoustic guitar like this, use 2 mics at different positions pointing at the port. Monitor while the guitarist plays something and find the position which “rings” in each microphone. You can then choose the better recording, or even blend the two together (with or without phase inverse).

If you mic this way you won’t get so much scratch as you’ll pick up more of the guitar’s resonance and the scratching will be off to the side of the mic field.

The problem with picking up too much scratch is that once you start compressing, the scratch as well as the tone is brought to the front.

Try pointing the mic down towards the port from where the fingers are playing the fret, this way it will be masked naturally by the mic’s pickup field.

As far as mixing this sort of music, really the best way is find a song that is similar in style that you like the mix of and then analyse it. Figure out what they’ve done and then try to replicate it yourself. Once you do this a few times you’ll start to know what sort of things will bring out your track rather than mixing in the dark.

yeah actually i wasn’t the one who recorded the guitar… our guitar player is a recording enthusiast and has way better recording equipment than i do, so he brought his computer with cubase and his nice ass firewire mixer and some mics. i think he said that he usually likes to record with a mic and direct line (acoustic electric guitar) at the same time and blend them together… so i think that’s probably the .wav track he gave me.

i’m sure we will get the hang of this later on. we’ve got about 5 or 6 other songs lined up that we’re going to try to get recorded and produced over the next 6-10 months… we will probably put together some kind of EP.

i tried to listen to some Michelle Branch tracks to get an idea for the mixing since our style is pretty similar to that – female vocals with acoustic guitars, plus electronic drum tracks… but i didn’t spend a lot of time with it or do any A-B comparison.