Old 03-06-2012, 05:15 AM   #41
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Always do what the client wants, but tell them that part of the arrangement is you get to tell them if you think they are wrong. They will not be happy unless it's what they imagined. You will not be happy if you think they think you think that it's a good mix

If I reach an impasse in this methodogy, I do exactly as the client wants, until they are happy, but stress that they are the production credit and I do not want my name associating with it as engineer or mix.

If this is not earning you anything (fiscal or kudos otherwise) I suggest you put it down to experience.


>
The outcome of this will give me kudos and a sense of fulfilment and potentially more "paid" work.

Thansk for the input.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:54 AM   #42
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Actually gna have to admit this sounds a whole lot better already >.>

I guess I was blinded by my own intentions for the song. Rather glad it turned out like this though.

Can some one just clarify something for me please. I still think it could do with some added high end because most of the instruments are acoustic and have that airy/grainy sound texture to them and I would like to emphasize that a little. Whats your opinion
/?
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:23 AM   #43
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Somebody slap me! It turn outs my sub had been fiddled with and it was louder then what I usually have it. It sounded thin and weak because I was overcompensating for the extra bass... So much wasted time -_-
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:07 AM   #44
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I think I was trying to do too much...
I think you've made a breakthrough. That was exactly what I was thinking when I referred to your previous comments about time spent, two days and still working, that you were probably trying to do to much.

The hardest thing for me to learn (and to remember, mmv) is that mixing isn't really an "art"... despite what people believe .... it's a service, like building a garage. It's not the mix engineers job to put an artistic imprint on a client's music, unless they specifically ask for that.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:11 AM   #45
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I think you've made a breakthrough. That was exactly what I was thinking when I referred to your previous comments about time spent, two days and still working, that you were probably trying to do to much.
Yeah I really have, it sounds so much better now (Sorry for my bad attitude yesterday by the way)

Would really appreciate it if you could critique for me if I upload it please?#

EDIT: I also got the chance to listen to it on some studio monitors which helped iron out some of the kinks.

Last edited by fealow; 03-06-2012 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:17 AM   #46
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I'll listen but my opinion wouldn't be of any more value than anyone else's tbh.

What I'd do if I were you is turn on the cartoon network for about a hour and listen to what those kinds of songs actually sound like and compare yours, maybe even play it through the TV. I assume that's a track for a cartoon or children's book or something?

I mean, it doesn't seem to be a typical pop song so I wouldn't approach it that way.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:21 AM   #47
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I'll listen but my opinion wouldn't be of any more value than anyone else's tbh.

What I'd do if I were you is turn on the cartoon network for about a hour and listen to what those kinds of songs actually sound like and compare yours, maybe even play it through the TV. I assume that's a track for a cartoon or children's book or something?

I mean, it doesn't seem to be a typical pop song so I wouldn't approach it that way.
I need your opinion mainly on the low end of the spectrum because its not my strong point. I have some good references for what it should sound like as its a parody of my little pony lol. There tends to be a fair amount of separation between the vocals and the music on the actual Tv show.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:42 AM   #48
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Here is the latest mix, much better I feel

http://www.mediafire.com/?ih5r3x1pdf6eool

Feedback welcome.

Thanks.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:49 AM   #49
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Maybe it is time to have them come in to the studio and sit in on the mix? Just a suggestion.

Mark
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:50 AM   #50
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Maybe it is time to have them come in to the studio and sit in on the mix? Just a suggestion.

Mark
Would be nice, but its an overseas thing unfortunately.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:05 AM   #51
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Here is the latest mix, much better I feel

http://www.mediafire.com/?ih5r3x1pdf6eool

Feedback welcome.

Thanks.
Sounds good to me, listening on small USB speakers. The clarinet or whatever in the break from 1:25 - 1:31 sounds a bit far back in the background through but its probably the speakers I'm listening on. Hard to get a total feel for how that all sits without the vocals.

If I may ask... if this has an actual video sequence for it (cartoon intro / title sequence or something?) I'd think you'd have an easier job if you mixed it against the actual video... for context.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:16 AM   #52
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Sounds good to me, listening on small USB speakers. The clarinet or whatever in the break from 1:25 - 1:31 sounds a bit far back in the background through but its probably the speakers I'm listening on. Hard to get a total feel for how that all sits without the vocals.

If I may ask... if this has an actual video sequence for it (cartoon intro / title sequence or something?) I'd think you'd have an easier job if you mixed it against the actual video... for context.
Ah that bit of violin pizzicato, its supposed to be that far back as there are no vocals over that part. its what the client wants, I think it sounds kinda nice to be fair though. I've listened to it through two pairs of headphones and my sub and it sounds good to me too. got a mate to listen to it on his laptop with a built in sub and he says the bass sits in quite nicely and everything sounds balance.

Good point, it mat help to watch teh sequence a few time. Thanks.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:24 AM   #53
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Good point, it mat help to watch teh sequence a few time. Thanks.
Yeah, I was thinking that maybe (maybe, dunno) the video itself might imply dynamic changes in some places... depending on what's actually happening in the vid... it might imply a certain context in some places... if characters are bouncing around.

But it sounds good to me. He still might not like it, so try not to take it personally if he doesn't. Sometimes you make love to your wife and she doesn't reach orgasm. It happens.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:27 AM   #54
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Yeah, I was thinking that maybe (maybe, dunno) the video itself might imply dynamic changes in some places... depending on what's actually happening in the vid... it might imply a certain context in some places... if characters are bouncing around.

But it sounds good to me. He still might not like it so, try not to take it personally if he doesn't.
I'm ready to make changes as he requires so I'm not worried there. I've learnt quite a lot from this to be fair.

Most of the dynamics come from the vocal hence why the music is fairly consistent in level. most of my work has gone into cleaning the vocal and making it sound fuller and it really completes the mix. I'll upload a vocal mix in a minute so you can hear.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:30 AM   #55
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You should shout out to Airon. He's the resident post expert here. I imagine he's probably done a good bit of this kind of for TV work.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:47 AM   #56
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Just to reply to mercado i meant to add that although being a clients bitch is probably wise,im very bad at it, to my detriment!

Glad the OPs mix fog is clearing btw
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:57 AM   #57
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Just to reply to mercado i meant to add that although being a clients bitch is probably wise,im very bad at it, to my detriment!

Glad the OPs mix fog is clearing btw
I'm quite negotiable, but this is uncharted terrain for me haha. hence why i was a bit hostile.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:02 AM   #58
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Here is the mix with the vocals added. I cleaned it up and gave it some fullness. Also I added a subtle reverb which is mixed into the music to bridge the amount of separation between the music and vocals (which the original mix lacked). Hopefully he wont notice it and yank my head off haha.

http://www.mediafire.com/?1p6d7bmidy5bvm9
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:11 AM   #59
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Man, I hate to be their bitch when working with new clients but once you've gained their trust, it's funny how everything you do sounds great for them heh
truth.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:42 AM   #60
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Well, I do believe that what we have here is a failure to communicate....

There are clearly valid criticisms which can be made about the original draft. The client's actual stated objections, however, are complete bollocks IMO.

The client has clearly gone for a vibe known around here as "extreme cheese". You could probably use music like this to force Jason Brian Merrill to confess to every murder ever committed, but I kinda like it. The client might prefer the Super Morrisey Bros version of This Charming Man to the original, and he'd be dead wrong; he might also prefer a low-fi version of the work in hand, and he'd have a point. He might come to increasingly dislike the mix the more polished it becomes. A compromise might be possible....

However, all of this is academic at the moment. The client hasn't even really heard the mix until the client has heard the mix with vocals, on a variety of different systems, including at least one good one. And neither had you.

The client's original mix is crap, by the way.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:48 AM   #61
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Well, I do believe that what we have here is a failure to communicate....

There are clearly valid criticisms which can be made about the original draft. The client's actual stated objections, however, are complete bollocks IMO.

The client has clearly gone for a vibe known around here as "extreme cheese". You could probably use music like this to force Jason Brian Merrill to confess to every murder ever committed, but I kinda like it. The client might prefer the Super Morrisey Bros version of This Charming Man to the original, and he'd be dead wrong; he might also prefer a low-fi version of the work in hand, and he'd have a point. He might come to increasingly dislike the mix the more polished it becomes. A compromise might be possible....

However, all of this is academic at the moment. The client hasn't even really heard the mix until the client has heard the mix with vocals, on a variety of different systems, including at least one good one. And neither had you.

The client's original mix is crap, by the way.
I like the way you put it haha. I did over kill it a bit first time round with FX and my subwoofer level had been tampered with (significantly) prior to my knowledge so my mix may not have been sonically pleasing. But I felt the actual relationships between the instruments worked better.

I'm just waiting to hear back from the guy now as to what he thinks of the new instrumental.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:29 PM   #62
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I'm just waiting to hear back from the guy now as to what he thinks of the new instrumental.
Judging from the original mix, you may have a fight on your hands once you add the vocals, I do hope you make a better job of it.

>
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:33 PM   #63
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Judging from the original mix, you may have a fight on your hands once you add the vocals, I do hope you make a better job of it.

>
I'm hoping he won't notice the reverb. It's barely audible to be fair (like its there to be felt rather than heard if ya get me?)

I honestly think it makes it sound better and more professional with the hint of space between the vocal and music.

Could you elaborate a little for me please though as I was not sure if you were referring to my instrumental mix (which has been mixed to work with the vocals), his original mix or the vocal mix I uploaded here?
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:43 PM   #64
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This is true, however 1) I'm not being paid 2) I'm doing the song for my portfolio as well as his/her own benefit.

I think this person just hates reverb :/
Your portfolio shouldn't be full of songs you mixed, it should be full of happy customers to whom you can refer future customers.

"Well, I did this one for this guy. It's not how I would have mixed it, but he loved it," is what you should be after.

And everyone should hate reverb abuse.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:04 PM   #65
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"Well, I did this one for this guy. It's not how I would have mixed it, but he loved it," is what you should be after.
I can't agree with that. It sounds like a noble work ethic for a hooker, but I'm looking to work with artists.

You can't say "It's not how I would have mixed it" about something that you have, in fact, mixed.

Both parties should be happy with the end product. Mixing should certainly be about unveiling the client's intentions, but if a person will only mix in accordance with a client's misinformed directions, then what's he doing that the client can't do for himself?
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And everyone should hate reverb abuse.
Sure, but did you listen to these mixes? I don't hear any reverb abuse....
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:10 PM   #66
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I hear reverb on vocals, but I think you got just the right amount. They need some pressence though imo to come a bit more in front. And I still think you have a bit too much low end.
Just trying to give some constructive criticism, don't take me wrong please
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:28 PM   #67
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Now, that I can agree with. I think the vocal should come up just a sniff, and the bass should come down two tads. There's also an ugly noise underlying the final sigh, which should be filtered out.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:51 PM   #68
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I can't agree with that. It sounds like a noble work ethic for a hooker, but I'm looking to work with artists.
That's all well and good, but as has been noted, you are not the artist here, you're the engineer. You're also working with someone else's art, not your own. You should be looking to fill the artist's vision, not yours.

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You can't say "It's not how I would have mixed it" about something that you have, in fact, mixed.
Sure you can. That is what being a professional is all about. You're performing a service for someone else. You don't have to agree with them, you just have to ensure they're happy.

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Both parties should be happy with the end product. Mixing should certainly be about unveiling the client's intentions, but if a person will only mix in accordance with a client's misinformed directions, then what's he doing that the client can't do for himself?
No, only the customer needs to be happy with the end product. You should be looking to create happy customers. He is using you because you have tools and expertise that will help realize his vision. You weren't asked to produce the song, you were asked to mix it. Those are very different roles.

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Sure, but did you listen to these mixes? I don't hear any reverb abuse....
I haven't, and I'm not saying you've abused the 'verb. I'm saying that if you can discern it as an effect, it's probably too much. It shouldn't be obvious. If it is, you should hate it, too.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:57 PM   #69
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Um... it sounds like you think I'm the OP. I'm not.

As an artist, I would not choose to work with a mixing engineer who would blindly follow my instructions. I prefer to work with mixing engineers who will call me on my bs.

As an objective observer, I think that the reverb here, while discernible to us musical types, is not excessive.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:32 PM   #70
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Thanks for all the advice everyone, its all very insightful as you all have varied opinions on what it is we do

AS for you're criticism's igorpan I do agree about the bass being a little to much in the mix, it was hard to find a balance as there are two different basses in the mix so I had a hard enough time trying to keep that boomyness in the same frequency band for both bass instruments. "They need some pressence though imo to come a bit more in front" Are you referring to the vocal or the vocal reverb there?

Thanks for pointing out that noise under the sigh Fex, but I think its just her breath on the microphone. I'll see if I can high pass it.

I've still not found the right balance or tone for the vocal reverb yet, but I feel what I have is a good starting point. Hell the guy could even turn around and say he hates the idea of ANY reverb on the vocal lol.

The client has still not gotten back to me about the latest mix... It's been about 8 hours since I sent it to him :/
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:17 PM   #71
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"They need some pressence though imo to come a bit more in front" Are you referring to the vocal or the vocal reverb there?
Given that he also said:
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Originally Posted by igorpan View Post
I hear reverb on vocals, but I think you got just the right amount.
I guess igorpan thinks that the vocal itself should come up, and I would concur. It might be necessary to dial the reverb down a little at that point, and it might keep your client happy if you take jerome_oneil's advice:
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I'm saying that if you can discern it as an effect, it's probably too much.
I don't think that's at all true here, but it is a good rule of thumb (well, for noobs, anyway), and your client does seem to hate reverb....

I'd usually advocate leaving it completely dry for one mix just so that the client can see the error of his ways, but I think that would be a huge gamble here. The bugger might actually like it.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:39 PM   #72
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Ah right, I see. I was thinking the vocal could do with a little more bite. And yeah I'll make sure the reverb stays where it is now if not a tinsy little bit further back.

I know what you mean about the client being a bugger haha. I reckon I could clear all the fx and reset the faders so its exactly the same as the original and he would still say he does not like it!

By the way, here is an example of a reference song I am using... I'm sure you will all LOVE IT! haha

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOVDu7etQlc

This is the kind of sound the client would have been originally going for. The amount of sonic spacing achieved here using short reverb is far greater then anything I'm "allowed" to do with the mix though :/

Do you notice how there is always one instrument that jumps up in dynamics to meet the vocal from time to time? I feel thats not so much present in the clients song as he wont allow me to bring the parts that work like that up in the mix to meet the vocal when appropriate.

It's also what makes me think the vocal needs that touch of reverb under it as its present in the cupcake song as well.

Last edited by fealow; 03-06-2012 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:57 PM   #73
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I think the French over did it with the reverb and compression lmao!!! (or you can blame the moron who uploaded it in mono)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru0j8...eature=related
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:25 PM   #74
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I think the French over did it with the reverb and compression lmao!!!
I think you're right.... but I doubt that the target audience is as critical as we are....
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:44 AM   #75
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I actualy tought that vocals aren't enough present in english version. But in french they are really way too in front. Some golden middle would probably be the best.

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but I doubt that the target audience is as critical as we are
Hahahahha, absolutely true

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or you can blame the moron who uploaded it in mono
If its TV show shown outside of EU where french language is spoke, it can actualy make sense. In some 3rd world countries (including mine), all TV broadcast audio must be in mono because TV signal is still analog and doesn't support stereo.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:10 AM   #76
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If its TV show shown outside of EU where french language is spoke, it can actualy make sense. In some 3rd world countries (including mine), all TV broadcast audio must be in mono because TV signal is still analog and doesn't support stereo.
That is true, I forgot that French is not just native to France haha. I also did not realize which country you are from.

The client has still not replied with his thoughts on the new mix yet... -_-
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:57 AM   #77
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serbs have french as their native language??????????????????????
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:48 AM   #78
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Hahahahaha, god no. We have serbian

I don't remember history and geography from high school that good, but I think there are many African countries which were colonised by France? So if show was translated to be broadcasted there, it might have been converted to mono for that purpose assuming they still don't have digitalised TV broadcast signal in all of them.

Also, I know that TV channels like MTV, Fox (life, crime....), Discovery and others which have their shows and commercials adapted to serbian region for example need to have all of their shows *monoed* to be broadcasted. They announced to digitalise TV here in few months, so thats why I read quite a bit about that subject because I didn't have any idea what they were talking about.

Anyway, we are going offtopic here.

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Old 03-07-2012, 04:20 PM   #79
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Thats a nice little story igorpan, don't worry about being off topic for the time being. Can't really say much else until the client gets back to me... Still waiting -_-

Actually there is one thing we could discuss, the vocal has some very light clipping in two or three places on the recording, anything worth while I can do about that? I've tried different filters etc... but its just an annoying little pop and crackle that cuts through the mix in the first verse.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:53 PM   #80
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Are vocals recorded clipping or is it only in your mix ? I guess its in the mix?

If so, I strongly suggest you to stay away from even being near clip area. But easiest solution if its only on 2-3 places is to apply a limiter on vocal track. I always use "masterLimiter" (JS plugin that comes with reaper). Just make sure you set threshold to 0.0db if you only want to get rid of those clips.
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