Old 11-29-2016, 05:23 PM   #321
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For me, the first thing when opening the project was "What the ^&*( am I going to do with all these guitar tracks!"
Mute.
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Old 11-29-2016, 05:31 PM   #322
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Actually thank you for that confirmation, I recently moved and am experiencing some bass issues in my room. I kept reducing the kick and somehow it snuck back up before final render.

On the guitars, I'm still fine with those. Hmm, I did pull the distorted guitars back some so that's plausible too - too mushy for my tastes at the time - I don't really mean too distorted as I do too mushy.

I'll make my list later when I'm home.
listening again I think your guitars are fine actually - but I'm thinking since your kick takes up so much sonic space, you just weren't able to get the levels up without hitting that -14 range. my mix and Tod's mix for example (the tracks above and below) feel louder to me than yours, since there is more (relative) energy in the mids.

#9 suffers the same thing (didn't mention it in my notes) Kick too loud (plus the mix is really scooped in the lower mids) so at -14db it seems to lack a bit of... forwardness. Seems far back.
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Old 11-29-2016, 05:37 PM   #323
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listening again I think your guitars are fine actually - but I'm thinking since your kick takes up so much sonic space, you just weren't able to get the levels up without hitting that -14 range. my mix and Tod's mix for example (the tracks above and below) feel louder to me than yours, since there is more (relative) energy in the mids.
This has been great actually because I stressed quite a bit about the low end being loud while mixing and lost some objectivity because I haven't mixed much in this room. Just hearing you bring it up answers concerns I had before posting so again, thank you.

Listening back earlier today, I would immediately reduce that, so much so it pisses me off a little. I'm going back through some of my SWS snapshots to see how long it was that way because I swore I had fixed it and if it snuck back in. I need to find root cause when I can... room/ears/burned out whatever, I shouldn't have let that through.

On dealing with all those guitars, I did actually mute some stuff, especially since some were just SIM versions of the DI IIRC. AKA I felt the same way you did, wtf with all these guitars. I still have to say thanks to everyone, hearing all these different versions of something I mixed is outstanding, really gives perspective we just can't get any other way.
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Old 11-29-2016, 05:39 PM   #324
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I went to their website but the free plan has only 10GB
I think your space issue is mostly self-inflicted. In other words, there should be no reason why anyone has to bounce any files (and subsequently make the archives bigger by uploading new files) for this particular and somewhat limited purpose or goal.

Like "Only use Reaper plugins", make another rule, "Only use the original source files that everyone has downloaded already."

Then all of the uploaded projects will be RPP text files only... and a few reverb impulses maybe.
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Old 11-29-2016, 05:44 PM   #325
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wtf with all these guitars
Whoever said that read my mind.
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Old 11-29-2016, 05:45 PM   #326
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Then all of the uploaded projects will be RPP text files only... and a few reverb impulses maybe.
I'll let Dave chime in but I'm pretty sure that's what we did other than a slightly discouraged exception if you just had to glue something. IOW, I only uploaded the RPP + JS FX + a couple impulse files I used. I could be wrong though.
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Old 11-29-2016, 05:53 PM   #327
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I went to their website but the free plan has only 10GB
Oh, weird. I don't pay and I have 50GB... maybe I got a referral bonus years ago and forgot about it or something. Sorry for the confusion. Maybe this'll be handy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compar...sting_services
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Old 11-29-2016, 05:56 PM   #328
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Like I said earlier I forgot all about this thing. I went back and printed a snippet of what I had worked on (being community spirited and having listened to a few of the submissions), about 20-30 minutes when I first downloaded, to share out of fairness. Not my wheelhouse by any stretch, this genre.

I hadn't put much of any automation or EQ or anything on it yet really. I spent most of that time trying to find a good IR for the vocals... and EQ'ing the vocals. This was all done on my MDR 7506's at my dining room table, I never made it to the studio... so the bass content might not be what it should be.

http://theaudiocave.com/mixes/Mix%20Off%20Snippet.mp3

Turn it up. It's not "loud".

P.S. I recall there being an annoying frequency in the lead vocal that I struggled to cut out.
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Old 11-29-2016, 06:00 PM   #329
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Sounds like a fine start to me and would have been a great addition to the contest maybe you can make the next one.
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Old 11-29-2016, 06:01 PM   #330
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By the way if anyone is curious, the December contest is already online
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Old 11-29-2016, 06:05 PM   #331
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Sounds like a fine start to me and would have been a great addition to the contest maybe you can make the next one.
Thanks. I know the MDR's pretty well so when it doesn't matter much like in this case I always start on the desktop, and then finish in the studio later, maybe, if it matters. I kinda hate turning all that shit on when I'm not getting paid.

But yeah, that's as far as I got. I always mix horizontally in sections and I hadn't even touched the first chorus yet.
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Old 11-29-2016, 06:06 PM   #332
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Thanks. I know the MDR's pretty well so when it doesn't matter much like in this case I always start on the desktop, and then finish in the studio later, maybe.
I have others but I've used and still use 7506s since the 90s.
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Old 11-29-2016, 06:10 PM   #333
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I also use the 7506's for casual listening when laying around the house, plug them into my iPad with an adapter or whatever, so I'm pretty attuned to them, what they sound like.

But again, my little snippet might suck on real monitors. I've never heard it on anything else.

The 4 submissions I listened to sounded good. Good work guys.

Here's a screenie of where I was at the time. There's almost nothing on it plugin wise. I spent most of that early time trying to get the sound I get with Waves Doubler for the lead vocal with ReaPlugs... and searching my computer and the web for some good IR's to use.

http://image.prntscr.com/image/32c4f...b461538b2c.png

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Old 11-29-2016, 06:24 PM   #334
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mega.nz offers 50gb free.
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Old 11-29-2016, 06:25 PM   #335
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mega.nz offers 50gb free.
opened an account 30 minutes ago
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Old 11-29-2016, 09:15 PM   #336
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#2 feels like I'm listening to this being played back through a guitar amp. there might be some monitoring issues to address here. There mix does have focus though, will give it that.
If I ruffled a few feathers - sorry #notsorry
I'm not ruffled in the least. Now, if you'd just said, "Dude, your mix sucks." And, no other specific, then I'd be offended. I think I made a really stupid mistake while trying to do something different with "mastering" prior to my submission which I did not do last month, and I suffered for it in votes, for sure.

I kind of rushed this one out too, due to the upcoming holiday weekend. And, I was getting ready to start mixing for the contest on Indaba (my first experience there) which had a deadline shortly after this one. Although, I don't think the overall mix would have been much better, just that some of the stupid mistakes may have been caught if I had spent, even just a little, more time before submitting.

And, yes, ultimately I do have a problem with my monitoring environment. I'm using headphones only to mix, as that's my current situation at the moment. And, I haven't done my due diligence in properly acquainting myself with the headphones I'm mixing on. But, I'm getting more familiar with them as we go.

I'd appreciate if anyone else has time to offer some criticism for my mix. You don't have to bother mentioning anything you like about it. Even the number-one thing that sticks out to you immediately is very helpful feedback. Unfortunately, I'm concerned that much useful mixing feedback can come through after that horrible mastering I did. If anyone is willing, and has time, to review my mix from my project file while disabling the FX on the "Pseudo Master" track, rather than from the submitted MP3, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Thanks!

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Maybe some words about my equipment: I think my monitors are helping me a lot. I’m using two ADAM A7X and a Wavemaster MX3+ 2.1 System. Yes, the A7X are not cheap - but the MX3 System was. The important thing to me is: I know them! (at least I think so) I’m listening to some chillout tunes with my MX3 as I’m typing this. They’re sounding so pleasant to my ears and costed only 80€. Over time I got to know them both. That makes a decision easier with your sound-notion while comparing to pro mixed songs. Also important: my room is not treated acoustically in any way. That’s on the ToDo list…
This here goes to show that familiarity with the monitors and the room can go a long way.

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For me, the first thing when opening the project was "What the ^&*( am I going to do with all these guitar tracks!"
...
And then the drums - honestly at this point I had a really hard time getting them to fit right. So not really into my drum sound. A consequence of really focusing on them last - not my usual way of working, but wanted to find my roadmap first. The whole time I just wanted to fire up AD and replace that kick and snare, but oh well.
This is pretty much exactly what I thought initially when first examining the available guitar tracks. Although, when I got to mixing I didn't seem to have too much trouble with them.

For me, the drums had me all flustered. No matter what I did, I just did not seem to have the skill or experience to get the drums to sound like I wanted them to. I'm really interested in looking into how a lot of you all did your drums on this one. Definitely, were there no restrictions I would have used drum replacement. But, I didn't think doing so fit the nature of this endeavor.

Finally, as Lawrence said. I had a lot of trouble nailing a really annoying resonance, or whatever, character in the lead vocal. It's like I wanted to take out a lot of 3 & 5 kHz to make it less abrasive, but doing so killed the intelligibility of the lyrics.

I hope that most of you will still follow this thread for some time, because it may be quite a while before I have time to review the various RPPs and formulate my questions for you all.

I'm not certain if I'll have much time for the December contest due to Christmas and work. I will be following and downloading for sure, submission or no!
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Old 11-30-2016, 09:21 AM   #337
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DaveKheel, can you put back the final score ? The link to the image is broken. Thx.

So, here are my quick comments :

zacki: clean and balanced. The wonderful idea here was the echo on "better". I'm less fond of the "apaaaaaart".

BJORG: the guitars sound aggressive and the drums and bass a bit muddy. Otherwise, dynamic track.

karbomusic: clean and balanced, except for the kick which is boxy.

EpicSounds: very dynamic track, very professionally processed. The bass sounds great. I was not fond of the reverb on the voice at first, but it grows on me. Drums a bit muddy though (or is it my room ?). Overall very good mix.

Tod: very clear mix. Interesting effects on the voice. I like it. But why cut the sound way before the end of the song ? I think this has cost you a lot (if not all) of your points.

lolilol1975: Drums and bass are severely underpowered. :/ Like everybody else, I noticed how groovy the bassist was in this song, but I failed to give him/her the space he/she deserved. Questionable decision on the voice and how did I send a mix where the voice covers everything else like that ?

James HE: Slightly overdone drums. Otherwise a good mix, with nice guitars.

soundguy84: excellent mix, clear and dynamic. This sounds Just Right to my ears. You managed to make the song interesting until the end. The bass is great, the drums and the guitars cut through. My favorite mix.

germano: I was confused as to why the voice is suddenly twice as loud. I think what you wanted to do was bitcrushing effect at the beginning. But here, it doesn't work for me. Else the balance is way too bright for me. Can someone confirm this ?

InSub: balanced mix but too much reverb in my opinion. Drums sound a bit similar to mine.

martinmadero: Clean, balanced and dynamic. What else to say ? I like this mix.

Otto Tune: balanced mix, but a bit boxy, and I feel it lacks a bit of something special that makes it stand out. Or maybe my ears are tired at this point.

JH4094: sounds a bit darker than the other mixes, which isn't bad. I like that bass.

richie43: balanced mix, with the right amount of reverb on the voice. However I feel the bass is a bit on its own here, the mix is very clean but lacks a bit of cohesion/glue.

VinodXAgent: This one is a radical take on the song. Actually, it's almost another song, so not sure if it fits the rules of the contest but I think submissions like this should be allowed. Some great ideas, like the gating on the bass or the adding of lyrics at 2:16:00 and 2:38:00. Some ideas that I like less like what's going at 1:30:00 or the concluding guitar. But overall, this one is hands down the most interesting submission artistically speaking. Also, lots of interesting JSFX used here.


Overall, I thought that the musicians were good in this song, the lyrics weren't that interesting but the singer was good enough. This allowed for an interesting song to mix.

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Old 11-30-2016, 10:51 AM   #338
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Default Finally had a chance to really dive into all the mixes

Overall, really fascinating to see how everyone handled different elements in such drastically different ways. Some used extensive automation, while others created copies of tracks or aux tracks. I hope i offered my comments in a construtive and positive way; I sincerely hope no one misunderstands my intention - but apologies if you do. In any event, a few quick notes now that each has had a fairly detailed listen:

zacki: Really balanced mix, your use of reverb and delay was tasteful and placed just where the song required it. I was impressed how well you dealt with the harshness of the ride in the latter half of the song.

Tod: I was most impressed with how well you handled the bass tracks within the context of the mix, and by doing very little. Looks like most of it was riding the volume automation, keeping transients in check.

karbomusic: Two things really stood out to me; three actually. First, your session is really organized! Beyond that, your kick really punches through giving the track a great classic "disco" feel, not unlike modern bands like Franz Ferdinand and The Killers (both of whom I used as references while mixing!). The other thing was your treatment of the acoustic and the slight bit of panning. There is a little hammer-chord thing he does just as they enter the chorus which I honestly overlooked while listening to my mix. But it's such a cool moment, and it really made a difference to getting your mix to really chug along nicely. Really danceable mix.

BJORG: Admittedly at first, it was difficult to listen to your mix as it is rather harshly bright. But in repeated listening, and delving into your mix session, I see what you were going for. You totally gave plenty of room for the bass and kick, all the while letting the vocal shine. I also liked how you used automation to your advantage volume-wise.

EpicSounds: I'm thinking your a Chili Peppers fan (or at least someone who digs classic funk). You got that bass right up front (which as a bassist, i can dig it) - definitely going to get butts shaking on the dance floor. I also dug your tasteful use of automation. Also, that js50Hz kicker you employed really brought out the attack of that kick pedal.

germano: The acoustic really drives this mix - skirting the line of extreme, but the rhythm and attack do propel the track nicely. Though overall a tad bright, the drums seems EQ'd to really pronounce the lower mids. It does get you right in the chest, but would have liked to hear the crack of the snare rather than the thud. I did love your tasteful bits of plate verb that came in during the verses.

InSub: To me, what makes your mix stand out is your treatment of the lead vocal. It's one of my favorites of all the mixes. And isn't that the goal of any good mix of a song - get the vocal in front and leading. And the acoustic right along with the vocal - nice blend. I think your bass is a little heavy handed and too prominent in the mix, but I think the bass is something with which we all struggled a bit!

James HE: I thought overall your mix was well balanced during the choruses and bridge bits. That amp convolution you used during the verses was overwhelming and seemed to have all the treble and hi-mids rolled off. I saw that track hitting the red quite a bit while watching your session run. Honestly, if you could tame that amp sim, the rest of the mix really kicks ass.

JH4094: You took some chances in making your mix individual. The way you treated the lead vocal with all that flangy-chorusing, and the saturation during the choruses was a refreshing take. I also enjoy employing some tape-saturation goodness on vocals to help them stand out. Also, I see you too looked for innovative means to deal with the bass. Definitely stood out and sounded very dance-floor friendly. Admittedly, after a while, the vocal treatment seemed to be too much - maybe something used as a little "spice" to drop in?

lolilol1975: I think the vocals on your mix were the real standouts - clean and attention grabbing. The drums were really slamming - but for the toms which seemed lifeless compared to the rest of the kit. While running your session, I played with some phase-shifting of the snare top/bottom and the OH verses the kick drum - in some instances that really made things glue together.

martinmadero: I was most taken with the rhythm electric guitars, most especially during the choruses. I thought they sounded defined and cut right through the mix. My only gripe was your heavy-handed compression. Looking at your session and seeing almost everything redlining at one time or another, I saw you attempted to keep everything in check on the master track. That really messed with the dynamics of the song overall. When I went through and solo'd individual sections or tracks, the clarity and nicely tuned sounds were there - together they just competed for attention.

Otto Tune: Overall, the mix sounded a bit lifeless. Until the chorus kicked in and the OHs really brought in the ride and crash cymbals, it was all a bit thuddy. I wondered why you decided to use so many multiple instances of the limiter on the kick alone. And then multiple uses on the master track. One thing that seemed to work as I solo'd through your tracks was phase-shifting on the OHs. Flipping the phase on that really brought the kicks into focus - the time delay often between the kick mics and the OHs is so extreme that it can almost sound like slapback sometimes.

richie43: I really liked your electric rhythm guitars; I thought they drove every chorus when they kicked in - some of it was the panning, but I thought they were treated nicely. Unfortunately, your acoustic got completely buried in the mix - when I solo'd those tracks, there was some nice stuff there, and the attack of those guitars being more prominent would have made a difference in the overall push of the track.

soundguy84 One of my favorite mixes overall. Well-balanced, clean, dynamic. I liked that little "stutter vocal" track you created. I couldn't hear it in the mix - was it in the right place? When solo'd it sounded really cool, but it came during the instrumental bit between chorus and verse 2.

VinodX Agent: I wasn't able to listen to your session as it kept "glitching" out. I tried soloing the master, soloing individual track, yet no matter what, a few seconds in and it would glitch and stutter. I'm sorry I'm unable to give feedback as I did for the others.

Of course, I did not offer comments on mine. I'll look forward to reading through the other feedback, and to December's contest!
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Old 11-30-2016, 11:03 AM   #339
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@thunderboom - I must commend you on your high attention to detail when listening. FWIW which may not be much, the high majority of my mixing philosophy is based on the concept of finding new stuff each time you listen. So, again thank you so much for that, made my day.

I need to make my list soon, I got started but pulled way with other things, maybe tomorrow as I have rehearsal tonight.
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Old 11-30-2016, 12:04 PM   #340
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My general observation listening to a few is the lack of a "spotlight" on anything. Things just are where they are and stay there, where maybe elements need to move forward or backward in real time, putting a spotlight on certain phrases.

The way it was explained to me, the concept, is analogous to a theater show where the spotlight focuses in certain places. Most pop music rarely does that, it all just kinda lays there in a static way.
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Old 11-30-2016, 12:11 PM   #341
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The way it was explained to me, the concept, is analogous to a theater show where the spotlight focuses in certain places. Most pop music rarely does that, it all just kinda lays there in a static way.
It is but IMHO much of that should have happened during the composition. I'm not saying a mixer shouldn't do it, they should, but I am saying if the mixer finds themselves automating the shit out of it to do so, I start questioning the composition - I guess as a musician I place a hell of a lot of expectation on them.

I had to remove any and all guitars starting with the first verse for example (at least I think I did). There are a number of others but no need to mention since I don't think they were noticeable enough to discuss - they are visible in the project anyway.
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Old 11-30-2016, 12:16 PM   #342
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^^^ True. ^^^

If you're recording a live band you get more of that interaction by default so the trick is not to kill it in post with compression, to take something where the band did that and you removed it all by making everything "level" all the time. Otoh, overdubbed pop tracks kinda end up differently so you more often have to inject some of that in post.

The other part of it in post is automating reverbs along with the volume to move things forward or backward in the mix in real time. I mean, "louder" is just louder while louder and maybe dryer is "more forward".
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Old 11-30-2016, 12:19 PM   #343
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This contest taught me that I'm spoiled.

Meaning, it's the first mix I've done in a very long time where if I heard something I didn't like, whether that be the tone of a track or something compositional, I just replayed it. I didn't realize just how much difference that makes, well I guess I did because I always did that instead of turning knobs.
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Old 11-30-2016, 02:31 PM   #344
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DaveKheel, can you put back the final score ? The link to the image is broken. Thx.
mmh not sure what's the problem because I see it as usual...
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Old 11-30-2016, 03:07 PM   #345
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@thunderboom - I must commend you on your high attention to detail when listening. FWIW which may not be much, the high majority of my mixing philosophy is based on the concept of finding new stuff each time you listen. So, again thank you so much for that, made my day.

I need to make my list soon, I got started but pulled way with other things, maybe tomorrow as I have rehearsal tonight.
Well, I think there is some good in every mix, and yours was no exception. It was really weird, though, how different everything sounded via each session than the submitted mp3s, which is why I held off on responding. Seeing the actual work, and trying to determine why someone made a choice is easier that way.

I've always taken the same approach as I do to being a session bassist - serve the song, and you'll never be wrong. And it's rare that an artist will hand me a mix and say "do whatever you want - totally your call!" By the time we get to mixing, our relationship should be such that we both share the same idea of the end product; we just might have different ideas of the path to get there.

And you're right about the philosophy idea. I listened intently to both the studio and live versions of the song provided, and immediately heard Franz Ferdinand and The Killers, mashed in with some Nile Rogers "Chic" stuff. So that's how I made my decisions. Had I more time, I would have gone through several passes, allowed days between, rinse lather repeat, you know? But a contest isn't reality. And the best part for me was getting to us all of these stock and JS plugins that I've rarely used because I've never spent anytime to learn them.
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Old 11-30-2016, 03:22 PM   #346
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And the best part for me was getting to us all of these stock and JS plugins that I've rarely used because I've never spent anytime to learn them.
Exact same thing here. I should have used more but kept forgetting they were there. There was one instance (don't remember where) where I wanted to EQ something and grabbed some JS EQ, moved one slider and bam, did the trick and it was obvious I wouldn't have arrived there in the same way with even ReaEQ - even if that were due to the distraction of the extra choices AKA why didn't matter, the JS effect did the job wonderfully.

On a side note, although it never crossed my mind during this contest, I've been a fan of Franz and the Killers at times.
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Old 11-30-2016, 03:56 PM   #347
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It is but IMHO much of that should have happened during the composition. I'm not saying a mixer shouldn't do it, they should, but I am saying if the mixer finds themselves automating the shit out of it to do so, I start questioning the composition - I guess as a musician I place a hell of a lot of expectation on them.

I had to remove any and all guitars starting with the first verse for example (at least I think I did). There are a number of others but no need to mention since I don't think they were noticeable enough to discuss - they are visible in the project anyway.
Yeah I totally agree Karbo, there really wasn't anything to spotlight, at least I had a hard time trying to find anything.

I did try to change up some on the guitars with panning and volume but with those, there wasn't a lot of room.

Something else that kind of comes out at me with all this, although it may not apply so much in this situation because it's a contest where the musicians themselves aren't visible. However, one thing I've learned over all my years as a producer and audio engineer, is to be very careful with other musician's and artist's material. Like I said, this doesn't really apply here, but, heh heh, with my old brain I have a hard time forgetting it.

Also, I don't know if it's because of my age or what, but I like some things, like vocals for example, to be natural, at least as natural as possible.

Incidentally, I've already taken a look at December's contest project and it's a total different thing, a nice little 6 piece jazz composition. One thing I can tell you though, it's not a walk in the park for mixing, it's got a lot of bleed to deal with.
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:12 PM   #348
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Tod: very clear mix. Interesting effects on the voice. I like it. But why cut the sound way before the end of the song ? I think this has cost you a lot (if not all) of your points.
Thanks lolilol1975. Yeah, Dave warned me about the fade, and I did try, but that ending is so awful it kinda hurt, not just my ears, but it affected my soul as well.

I faded it exactly like the original studio cut, because I think they faded it for a reason.

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Tod: I was most impressed with how well you handled the bass tracks within the context of the mix, and by doing very little. Looks like most of it was riding the volume automation, keeping transients in check.
Thanks thunderbroom, yeah I put a lot of work into that bass track, mainly because it was so important for the groove. I tried desperately to balance it with the guitars and drums, but I could have done better.
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:31 PM   #349
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Incidentally, I've already taken a look at December's contest project and it's a total different thing, a nice little 6 piece jazz composition. One thing I can tell you though, it's not a walk in the park for mixing, it's got a lot of bleed to deal with.
I'm really curious how the jazz submissions are gonna sound compared to the others. Until now, there were really a lot of differences, but for this I have no idea!
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:45 PM   #350
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Incidentally, I've already taken a look at December's contest project and it's a total different thing, a nice little 6 piece jazz composition. One thing I can tell you though, it's not a walk in the park for mixing, it's got a lot of bleed to deal with.
I'm probably gonna break an unspoken rule by saying this. I've already mixed the December track (with phones anyway, great song btw) and (imo, these things being somewhat subjective and all) I would suggest not mixing this like a rock or pop song, mix it like a live performance and embrace the bleed.

Let it breath... and resist the urge to deploy the "mix tricks". Easy track to mix actually. The goal is to avoid doing too much, not trying to inject "you" into what is already a good set of tracks.

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Old 11-30-2016, 04:48 PM   #351
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Yeah I totally agree Karbo, there really wasn't anything to spotlight, at least I had a hard time trying to find anything.
There is/was. It's more that to identify those things (in that song anyway) you have to more view it from a performance perspective, not so much a technical mixing perspective. The spotlights in that track would be in and out pretty fast, nothing really lingering.

The thing I dislike most about modern pop is how "level" everything is. If you listen to old R&B you'll notice things (correctly) occasionally jumping out at you, as what actually happens in live music. This is not me talking btw, this is from people much better than me, one of their common critiques of "our" mixes, that they're static, and lifeless.
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:04 PM   #352
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InSub: balanced mix but too much reverb in my opinion. Drums sound a bit similar to mine.
Thanks for the feedback. I never can seem to get the overall reverb amount dialed in just right. When I think it's too much I pull it back and the response is "mix is too dry." When I put in the amount I like, I get "mix is too wet." So, I'm going to try harder to find the sweet spot for the reverb. I really had a hard time with these drums. More so than usual, and the problem was that I couldn't really figure out why I was having so much trouble. I think I ended up remixing the drums from scratch more than once because I couldn't get it where I wanted to.

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InSub: To me, what makes your mix stand out is your treatment of the lead vocal. It's one of my favorites of all the mixes. And isn't that the goal of any good mix of a song - get the vocal in front and leading. And the acoustic right along with the vocal - nice blend. I think your bass is a little heavy handed and too prominent in the mix, but I think the bass is something with which we all struggled a bit!
Thanks a lot! I had worked pretty hard to get the vocal to sound the way I envisioned, and I'm really glad someone noticed. Your comments are very detailed and elegant. I hope that I can critique the others in a similar way. I knew even before I had rendered my MP3 that I had not given the bass enough effort, but I was simply out of time. Still, excuses aside, that is an area where I seem to struggle and I feel like part of that is my current monitoring method (headphones) with the rest just inexperience.

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My general observation listening to a few is the lack of a "spotlight" on anything. Things just are where they are and stay there, where maybe elements need to move forward or backward in real time, putting a spotlight on certain phrases.

The way it was explained to me, the concept, is analogous to a theater show where the spotlight focuses in certain places. Most pop music rarely does that, it all just kinda lays there in a static way.
I really like the analogy here, and it's something I had considered, but didn't ultimately spend time to accomplish. In some interview I watched an engineer said something like, "The listener can only focus on 3 things at a time. So, at every moment as the song progresses the 3 most important parts of the performance should be brought to the front."

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It is but IMHO much of that should have happened during the composition.
I very much agree with this as well. I didn't feel like this song was produced well. Then I assumed that the arrangement was intentional for the genre and should be viewed as such. But, ultimately...

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Yeah I totally agree Karbo, there really wasn't anything to spotlight, at least I had a hard time trying to find anything.
This was how I felt about the performance and production. Not enough was there that made me want to spotlight it in the first place. Particularly, in the first half of the song. There were a couple of riffs in the end that I automated up on one of the guitar tracks, because I thought it deserved to be heard in the mix, but that was as far as I went with the idea.

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Well, I think there is some good in every mix, and yours was no exception. It was really weird, though, how different everything sounded via each session than the submitted mp3s, which is why I held off on responding. Seeing the actual work, and trying to determine why someone made a choice is easier that way.
I really admire your point of view here, and I'm glad you gave my project a chance and a listen. I felt like my mix prior to the Master track was better than my submission.

I want to give my comments in this fashion, by listening to the RPP's rather than the crummy notes I took in the beginning based on the streamed MP3's. It may be a few days before I can get around to it though. I'll try to get started tonight.

Unfortunately, I voted in a hurry, so if something in the mix was glaring to me then I automatically discounted it as a contender. Definitely, the vocal is VERY important to me in any mix, so major mental points were deducted when I didn't like the vocal or its FX. I suppose my voting evaluation approach was very close-minded, but to some degree that is the way most consumers will listen. I will try to listen more attentively and open-minded for my comments. I'm rather glad that I didn't have those notes available to me to post right away. I think they may still have some value as an initial reaction, but not as constructive as they should be nor with appropriate amount of consideration or perspective.
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:05 PM   #353
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I'm probably gonna break an unspoken rule by saying this. I've already mixed the December track (with phones anyway, great song btw) and (imo, these things being somewhat subjective and all) I would suggest not mixing this like a rock or pop song, mix it like a live performance and embrace the bleed.

Let it breath... and resist the urge to deploy the "mix tricks". Easy track to mix actually. The goal is to avoid doing too much, not trying to inject "you" into what is already a good set of tracks.
exactly! it's sounds amazing without doing anything!
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:09 PM   #354
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I'm really curious how the jazz submissions are gonna be compared to the others. Until now, there were really a lot of differences, but for this I have no idea!
I gotta say, thanks Dave, this is a good departure from today's normal situation. And I'm also curious how others approach this mix, it's a very different thing.
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:10 PM   #355
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it's sounds amazing without doing anything!
It really does. My only nitpick is the (I suppose) choice of how the sax was mic'ed or whatever, otherwise, it sounds pretty great.

Who is that btw?
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:25 PM   #356
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It really does. My only nitpick is the (I suppose) choice of how the sax was mic'ed or whatever, otherwise, it sounds pretty great.

Who is that btw?
who do you mean?
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:28 PM   #357
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who do you mean?
Who played the tracks?

Oh, duh, never mind. It's on the thread first post. Maurizio Pagnutti Sextet. I hadn't even read it when I grabbed the archive, sorry.

P.S. My first inclination was to ask you (for every contest) to post an mp3 of the song so people could listen to see if it was something they were interested in mixing before downloading... but when I thought more about it... that's a bad idea, because it probably would influence mix decisions, especially if the sample mix was really great. Probably better to not hear any mix of it first and go in "ear blind" as it were.

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Old 11-30-2016, 05:45 PM   #358
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I'm probably gonna break an unspoken rule by saying this. I've already mixed the December track (with phones anyway, great song btw) and (imo, these things being somewhat subjective and all) I would suggest not mixing this like a rock or pop song, mix it like a live performance and embrace the bleed.

Let it breath... and resist the urge to deploy the "mix tricks". Easy track to mix actually. The goal is to avoid doing too much, not trying to inject "you" into what is already a good set of tracks.
I totally agree with you Lawrence, but even in the old days with tape, we tried to bring out the best of each instrument, and then put them all together.

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The thing I dislike most about modern pop is how "level" everything is. If you listen to old R&B you'll notice things (correctly) occasionally jumping out at you, as what actually happens in live music. This is not me talking btw, this is from people much better than me, one of their common critiques of "our" mixes, that they're static, and lifeless.
Again, I totally agree with you Lawrence, but today's songs are not the old R&B or even the old R&R. Today's performances, for the most part, come at you "IN YOUR FACE". The difference is the performance, along with what, I presume, is the loudness factor.

For myself, I'm an old fart from back in the 60s, 70, & 80s, and I think from what I've heard you say, you're probably not far behind me. I miss the old days, but things are the way they are. I'm just here to have fun and play along with everybody else, many of whom I'm sure are young enough to be my grandkids (I've got grandkids in their 30s, ).
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:53 PM   #359
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Today's performances, for the most part, come at you "IN YOUR FACE".
Not all genres... or at least they all shouldn't be... but that seems to be the path many people take, yes.

I mean, some genres actually shouldn't be in your face for 3.5 minutes like... a gangster rap song.
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Old 11-30-2016, 06:10 PM   #360
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By the way let's hope the admins remember to switch to sticky the December thread
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