I’ve been studying mixing quite a lot lately, and here’s another remix of my old song. There were several issues I was struggling with, especially:
- kick sound
- stereo widening
I’ve had a couple of very helpful comments here in this forum previously. (In SoundCloud I get “great track”, which is better than “this sucks”, but does not help much in improving the mix).
So any criticism and honest comments what works/does would be again much appreciated!
Nice job with the volume and texture. It feels like it could use some more atmosphere or layering (though it’s nice around 2:25), and I think that might have to do with the positioning of the instruments as well as the number of sounds in the spectrum. The bass drum, clap, and bass all seem to be right up front. The pad is off to a great start, but it feels like it’s being too restrained, or maybe it needs some company. The guitar seems weaker than the first three. The voice at the end seems like a big contrast with the rest of the track…maybe let the pad linger during that part, or something like that, to smooth things over. The voice is rich and has a mystical quality to it, and I wonder if that could give you some tips on different types of percussion that could spread throughout the track if you wanted to enhance that mood.
Reference tracks I played for comparison: Cobra remix by Thomas Detert - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJip56hisxg
Big Log by Robert Plant - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZQL22xOmUM
I also wondered if the rhythm at the beginning robbed the track of a bit of momentum. The “dum…da da dum” part. It’s a tad stop-and-go. Not sure how else to put it, but listen to Robert Plant’s track above–it feels laid back and it’s not fast, but it rolls along a bit more smoothly, feels less like a march.
I really, really liked the piano sound and I think that might be nice to use in the intro or outro. Likewise with the distort guitar May be helpful in transitions like the one at :35, for which the toms sound a little bit lonely to me.
Great job so far. Hope this isn’t too much, but you did ask for it.
Marc, first I’d like to thank you for probably the most honest and useful comments I’ve had so far.
You’re right about the drums. I wanted the kick to be loud, and even I blended it a little with reverb, it is a bit too rough. Especially in the beginning. In overall, smoother drum sounds like in Big Log would fit better.
I am also quite happy with the guitar sound compared to my previous efforts. The piano is Spectrasonics “Burning piano”, although I had to make several EQ cuts to put out the fire a little.
The end and some fills are a bit surprising in the song. But I won’t probably change that now, since I have a strong artistic opinion why the song structure is like that. I can break the smoothness rules as long as I do it on purpose
But I am going to try something for the drum sounds. Thank you so much for listening my song, reference tracks and helpful thoughts!
Phuture, thanks for listening and direct feedback. It is a big help to have more ears for evaluating the mix. I think I learned something when fixing the mix. Some thoughts about it…
Intro was changed and also some fills as Marc suggested. I feel this has improved.
Drum panning in Addictive Drums by default leaves everything pretty much center. Panning in instrument mics didn’t do much, I had to pan overhead and room mics for toms and cymbals to widen stereo image, which feels kind of weird? Kick and snare are still in center like it probably should be.
Some EQ tricks suggested by Phuture was done (snare, lead). I think it helped to clarify the mix without sacrificing the sound.
This song ends as it should. I appeal to my higher artistic sight about this. Listen to DT Pull Me Under, there’s no better ending
About overall balance: EQ, sidechaining etc. I know I’ll never be Tony Maserati.I just want my tracks to sound “decent”. So if/when I’ll compose a good song, it would sound good via different standard speakers. I don’t know how far I am from there. I probably have bad ears and too small room anyway (going to fix the room, not sure what to do with the ears though). But all concrete suggestions what I could try to improve are probably helpful.
Surely there still are mixing mistakes in this song still. Even I can hear still some flaws I could tweak, but I think it’s time to move on with another track.
Anway, I definitely still appreciate any comments / improvement suggestions. The original track can be found here: My Love Instrumental 2013 (first mix)
And the new one can be found in SoundCloud below. Is it any better now?
I think the hihat and open hihat should be panned a bit their own way, or just at least the open hihat a bit.
Maybe the snare sounds a tiny bit boxy? or is it just overcompressed or too loud?
I panned hihat slightly to side, maybe could try more? But I wouldn’t want to pan hihat sounds differently, my “drummer” has only one
On snare I had high pass filter around 100 Hz, then moved it up to 200 Hz to clean the mix. Also, I added slight NYC compressor to drums. I think that increased overall boxiness on snare. Perhaps I could use more velocity but I just flattened that because the snare was very unsteady (behind other sounds from time to time). Probably I should learn to program better or try another VST. Or just tweak the mix. Not sure which way to go…
Like the part at 2:24. I more of a heavy metal lover.