Hello Goodbye

One bit 80’s inspired, one bit rock and a whole lot of bits.


Trying out some different techniques in an attempt of getting a more exiting sound. It’s a bit rough perhaps and the drums is maybe a bit boring. What do you think? Any difference compared to my previous work or is it the same old crap sound?

I always tend to think my production sounds pretty good, that is untill i hear a “similar” track produced by someone who knows what they’re doing, it drives me fucking mad. :stuck_out_tongue:

I know, i should use a reference track, but the thing is i have no clue what i’m going to make when i start making it and that is how i like it.

To start with: I’m no pro but a bloody novice myself at mixing and such, but constantly trying to train my ears and knowledge in these regards, so take with a grain of salt.

Two things I immediately noticed:

The drums lack punch and directness massively, like a feel close to fainting. And bass frequencies also suffer this effect, like there a bit but inside a partially noiseblocking bag of plastic. What have you mixed this with? I know these problems from my experiments, when the ears are burnt in after a long session you would make more and more wrong decisions because they get more and more acute and sensitive to the sounds you are working with all the time and give impression of something being totally there that is in reality much too much too weak or too strong. Only cure (apart from becoming a guru with infailable ears after many years of practice) I know is to go forth and back like a boxer in his training business, between your mix and the spectrum analyzer peaks and phase corellation - and a reference track to constantly recalibrate your ears, and also watch the spectrum analyzers for the ref. track to compare. And focus on different frequencies, like you could even go as far as temporarily filtering out everything else but the freqs you’re just mixing. Remember to turn down the reference track to approx the baseline you’re mixing your track with, like -6db or -12db to not make the mistake of trying to get it loud while mixing, while this step should be reserved for the master. Also I found a lot of electronic stuff will be mastered to make an even line at like minus something db peaks throughout the used spectrum with an applied slope like a few db per octave with rising frequencies, and you need not aim for this perfection and compression in mixing, just the overall direction of feel needs to be ok and balanced like the tune you’re reffing with. And - just use a track that is roughly into the direction you like, at the point when you are putting everything together, ie the instruments are designed and ready and sequenced and just need to be put together & carved to fit.

The other point: it feels very messy somehow. There is stuff all round the stereo image, also panning around wildly so it is just bearable with headphones, and this could be ok (but for the lower freqs which I definitely wouldn’t pan around this hard). But elements are constantly clashing with each other, destroying attention focus on them. And when elements clash, it gets muddy and you aren’t able to discern the sounds well anymore, and the elements clashing loose big time of their focus and impact on the listener. I think the real pros do the audio “3d space” (stereo position/width, frequency, “foreground/background”) more like a nerdy game of tetris. Every element has its own space, even if just temporarily or constantly hopping to and fro. And sometimes it is like…some elements just don’t go well with each other, because they have the same focus area, and need to be replaced or altered to get together really well, because cutting their clashing areas (with eq or sidechain for example) would destroy too much from them. When elements get too close together in a space, they kind of “merge”, which can be a wanted effect in sound design, or it can make all clashing instruments loose big time focus in that area. If the the area clashing is one defining the main character of an instrument that is defining its impact, it will - loose impact even more, up to the point where you aren’t able to recognize the timbre anymore, so it will be “away in the mud” for that moment. And imagine it like a real good dancer. And I find music is a bit like dancing, it is actually dancing with sounds, be it driving like edm or slow like chillout stuff, or spasmic audible drugs like breakcore. The dancer does his moves, some body parts moving to accompany and give the main feel, and some do make the killer moves that suck in the attention, and it can vary or hop to and fro between leg and arms moves for example. But if the dancer does movements that aren’t in one line of expression, he will look clumsy, or also if he is turning the back to the watcher, so he can’t see the cool hand movements he is doing to his front…it is a lot like this, I believe. Once you break the simple and effective structures too much, it will either become mess, or if done in a cool way it will become very artsy and nobody would be able to dance to it anymore.

Thanks OopslFly for your thorough reply! :slight_smile:

In your view it certainly seems very far from a good mix and maybe most people would agree with you. There are quite a few things you pointed out that i have a difficulty hearing at all though. To me the stereo seems quite allright, i can’t see what you mean by saying it’s all over the place, are you exclusively talking about the stereo width? The only panning effects i used was on the drum breaks and i thought i didn’t over do it? The stereo width however could probably have been better, i guess reverb is something i should learn to get right.
I also think the bass has a pretty nice drive and sounds quite allright in my ears. I don’t think it sounds all that messy to be honest. It’s a bit frustrating as it seems like i have very specific and weird musical preferences compared to most people, i have a hard time figuring out the difference between a likeable track and what most people would see as total crap. :smiley:
Maybe my love for noise rock and heavy metal just don’t work well together with my urge to make electronic music…

I do agree the drums sound flat, aren’t very well defined in the mix and lacks character.
This song is based on the last part on my previous track
which is quite different i know it’s far from a perfect mix this one too, but now if you compare the last part of this track and the “Hello Goodbye” track, would you say it sounds worse or better? Or do they both sound hopelessly wrong?

A funny thing is that i have given some of the same advices to other people and i can’t even follow them myself. It’s easier said than done. :rolleyes: