Old 08-07-2019, 06:34 AM   #1
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Default REAPER CONTEST - AUGUST 2019 (FEEDBACK)

REAPER CONTEST - AUGUST 2019
(ONLY REAPER PLUGINS ALLOWED!)



OFFICIAL WEBSITE


MIXING: 7-21 August
VOTING: 22-29 August
RESULTS: 31 August
FEEDBACK: 1-4 September


AUGUST 2019 PROJECTS
REAPER CONTEST ANALYTICS



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This month the song is called 64 Bristol by the band The Wess Meets West, chosen by user EpicSounds that won in July.

At the end of the year, there are going to be small prizes:

1st prize: Track Inspector (VIP) by Heda + Premium Themes Bundle by Blankfiles
2nd prize: Premium Themes Bundle by Blankfiles

... so try to get as many points as you can from now on if you're interested in getting something for free

As always you can download the multitrack from the website or clicking on this link.

Happy mixing!
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:49 AM   #2
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Welcome fighters
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:29 AM   #3
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Dave, one question...

The rules say to send any "custom JSFX"...does that include any that are in the ReaPack as well?
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:58 AM   #4
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Dave, one question...

The rules say to send any "custom JSFX"...does that include any that are in the ReaPack as well?
Yes. You can find them in the reaper resource path
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:10 PM   #5
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I got it set at 155bpm, but what time signature is this one in? I know it doesn't matter as far as mixing it is concerned, but I'm just curious...
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:18 AM   #6
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Only rendered file or project ? Which one will we upload ?
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:14 AM   #7
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I got it set at 155bpm, but what time signature is this one in? I know it doesn't matter as far as mixing it is concerned, but I'm just curious...
No idea
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:15 AM   #8
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Only rendered file or project ? Which one will we upload ?
Project because this month only reaper plugins are allowed
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:27 PM   #9
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just mixed this today for a video, using the AIR fx bundle. Might do it again with reaper plugs.

The number of tracks will be a challenge a lot of the participants I think. I feel like most of what is there is actually useful though.

Instead of running out of things to do at 50 minutes, this one took 2.5hrs.
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:48 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jelloman View Post
I got it set at 155bpm, but what time signature is this one in? I know it doesn't matter as far as mixing it is concerned, but I'm just curious...
Time signature is 5/4 as far as I can tell. Just downloaded and did a faders up listen.

* it changes though.

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Old 08-11-2019, 09:20 AM   #11
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Default FINISHED!

I have to admit that I was pretty intimidated when I first loaded the project...but I spent some serious time organizing all the tracks before I started mixing and that really paid off...

This was fun...
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:31 PM   #12
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Default DISASTER or no big deal?

Well...in trying my best to comply with the rules I have found yet another thing to Obsess about. Youlean Loudness Meter!!

So the PROBLEM is this...in Reaper I use the plugin in the Master FX slot as the final plugin. I get solid -14 LUFS and a limit at -1 however...when I render the numbers are slightly different (a bit looser in that the numbers go up a bit on the LUFS and down a bit in the limit to around -1.3)...but then when I PLAY the item in Groove and run the Youlean Loudness stand alone the numbers are WAY different!

I just played my recent render and the number outside of Reaper are -12.2 LUFS and +1.2dB...compared to the -14 LUFS and -1 dB on the limit in Reaper that's a HUGE difference don't you think?

WHY is this happening...any guesses, thoughts, suggestions, any work-arounds?
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:26 PM   #13
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Well...in trying my best to comply with the rules I have found yet another thing to Obsess about. Youlean Loudness Meter!!

So the PROBLEM is this...in Reaper I use the plugin in the Master FX slot as the final plugin. I get solid -14 LUFS and a limit at -1 however...when I render the numbers are slightly different (a bit looser in that the numbers go up a bit on the LUFS and down a bit in the limit to around -1.3)...but then when I PLAY the item in Groove and run the Youlean Loudness stand alone the numbers are WAY different!

I just played my recent render and the number outside of Reaper are -12.2 LUFS and +1.2dB...compared to the -14 LUFS and -1 dB on the limit in Reaper that's a HUGE difference don't you think?

WHY is this happening...any guesses, thoughts, suggestions, any work-arounds?
I'd guess that the Groove player is boosting the signal...either there's an EQ or stereo processor active or just the nature of the player's encoding is adding levels to the signal...

Did you check your rendered track in the Loudness Penalty Analyzer? If not, try uploading the track that's rendered at -14LUFS/-1db here:

https://www.loudnesspenalty.com

...and see what their analysis shows...if you get 0.0 penalty then your render is fine and it's the Groove player that's at fault...

My track was rendered at -14LUFS/-1.5dB (in order to keep the TruePeak below -1.0) and it gets 0.0 penalty every time...
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:59 AM   #14
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I'd guess that the Groove player is boosting the signal...either there's an EQ or stereo processor active or just the nature of the player's encoding is adding levels to the signal...

Did you check your rendered track in the Loudness Penalty Analyzer? If not, try uploading the track that's rendered at -14LUFS/-1db here:

https://www.loudnesspenalty.com

...and see what their analysis shows...if you get 0.0 penalty then your render is fine and it's the Groove player that's at fault...

My track was rendered at -14LUFS/-1.5dB (in order to keep the TruePeak below -1.0) and it gets 0.0 penalty every time...

Yep...never considered the EQ and settings in Groove Player. Big thanks for the "Loudness Penalty" site link! That's exactly what I needed for confirmation.

I echoed your choice of limiting and wound up with -14.3 LUFS and -1.5 limit. I got a ZERO (actually showed up as -.-) penalty. So I believe that I'm at least where I want to be with the finished product with regard to volume which was a huge issue in the last month's contest.

I won't make the same mistakes I did last time. I intend to wait until the last minute to upload. Last time I couldn't wait to participate and wound up cutting my own throat with a rushed product. There's no time limit by which I wind up costing myself money here...so I'll take my time and get everything right. Or at least do my best and upload on the 21st or 22nd.
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Old 08-18-2019, 05:16 AM   #15
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Dave, one question...

The rules say to send any "custom JSFX"...does that include any that are in the ReaPack as well?
I was unable to find the JSFX that I used...they appear to either not be in the JS folder or they are named something different than their name in Reaper? I have just uploaded and did NOT include the JSFX because I could not find them and because I assumed the word CUSTOM meant that they were something we created that was NOT available in ReaPack?

So the question is...NOW what?!
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:44 AM   #16
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Or at least do my best and upload on the 21st or 22nd.
Please don't upload after the 21st unless you really can't make it (check the countdown on the website to be extra safe ). Also keep in mind that entries IDs get shuffled, but if you send your submission late you automatically end up at the end of the list.
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:01 AM   #17
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I was unable to find the JSFX that I used...they appear to either not be in the JS folder or they are named something different than their name in Reaper? I have just uploaded and did NOT include the JSFX because I could not find them and because I assumed the word CUSTOM meant that they were something we created that was NOT available in ReaPack?

So the question is...NOW what?!
By custom I mean anything that doesn't come with a fresh installation of Reaper. What you could do is to open your project in another computer or on a usb stick with a mobile installation of Reaper and see what effects are missing.
If you can't those it's fine... I can always include them if I have them.
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:22 AM   #18
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By custom I mean anything that doesn't come with a fresh installation of Reaper. What you could do is to open your project in another computer or on a usb stick with a mobile installation of Reaper and see what effects are missing.
If you can't those it's fine... I can always include them if I have them.
I think they are inside the jsfx.dll maybe? No idea. I just recently installed reapack and installed all 2800+ effects that come with it. Al JS stuff. It's in the JS folder in Reaper but I can't find the fx names in the physical JS folder?
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:26 AM   #19
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You need to go in the Reaper resource path, then Effects. You'll find them all there
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:49 AM   #20
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You need to go in the Reaper resource path, then Effects. You'll find them all there
WOW...those suckers were hiding for REAL! I had to do some serious searching to find them. But I was finally able to find every one of them. So I went ahead and reuploaded hoping that you won't mind ignoring my previous upload from earlier today?

Thanks for helping me figure out where these were. That's not a place where I look really ever and it's not in the paths listed inside of Reapers FX Preferences. So I saved a shortcut to that folder for any future plugins that need to be located or managed.

Looking forward to the 'Feedback' phase and of course to listening to the other entries and voting!
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:52 AM   #21
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Submissions will be online in about 2 hours!
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Old 08-22-2019, 04:33 PM   #22
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Ring ring ring

It's time to vote
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:14 PM   #23
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OOOOOH....Daaaayyyyyyyymmmmmm

That new design on the site is slick...
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:49 AM   #24
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OOOOOH....Daaaayyyyyyyymmmmmm

That new design on the site is slick...
thanks
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Old 08-29-2019, 05:37 AM   #25
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Last day of voting!
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Old 08-29-2019, 06:23 AM   #26
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How many times can we vote? Never read or asked that and don't want to be inappropriate...?
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Old 08-29-2019, 06:34 AM   #27
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Single vote per user!
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Old 08-31-2019, 04:42 PM   #28
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Default RESULTS!

New month, new winner...
User RASH is the winner for August 2019! Congrats Please choose a song from this website and send me a PM when you're done.

Huge thanks to anyone that participated, voted, commented and shared. It really means a lot

Updated analytics (click it)

August 2019 ranking:



August Top 10:

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Old 09-01-2019, 03:02 PM   #29
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Please post your feedback if you feel like helping the participants out
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Old 09-02-2019, 12:49 AM   #30
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This month was pretty challenging but that made for a great experimental playground and a straight-up valuable learning experience. Got a good idea of what to work on going forward.

1 – It always pays to double-check your mixdown before submission. Then again, presenting a mix at 1.5x speed surely can't be unintentional, surely?

2 – Very strong lows on the bass part in this one. Some elements such as guitars doing more melodic riffs and bells could be boosted, even if they’re only meant to add texture rather than to be in the spotlight.

3 – I think the midrange of the bass is given too much energy, where it’s too prominent but still lacks in authority. The keys also poke out too much around this range. The top end of the drums has a kind of ‘splatty’ character from a boosted presence region also.

4 – Nice clear balance on this one. I’d say it has a quite forward and dry image to it. Some carefully placed reverb could help to bring out some depth to your soundstage without it becoming overly washy like mine did. I’d like to hear a little more density and volume on the vocals too. Was my #1

5 – This mix sounds overly band-passed. The percussion needs more low-end punch and top end sparkle. It also sounds like there’s some quite aggressive compression happening too.

6 – I like the balance and energy of this mix the most of all of the submissions, except for the kick. It’s way too loud and draws too much attention away from everything else imo. Was my #2

7 – Interesting direction for the drums, with the crunchy lo-fi effect. I think your overall balance puts too much focus on mid-bass, which combined with the lo-fi quality means you end up with less definition and clarity.

8 – This one has a crazy hyped top end that makes it fatiguing to listen to. You could put a 10dB high shelf cut on it and it’d still be enough treble. I think what’s really missing is midrange and level in the guitars you’ve mixed quietly.

9 – This one is mine. I went overboard with the reverb, and feel it became too dark and cloudy. I did some experimentation with saturation FX chains that avoid aliasing, but ended up with oversaturated lows instead. Drums should have been mixed louder too.

10 – The low end here is beefy! A bit too much I think. There’s also a guitar part that sounds like it’s been heavily distorted and adds a loud film of fuzzy noise floor over the second half of your mix.

11 – I’d say this one has the most aggressive ‘attitude’ to it. To that goal I think you did a nice job. But for this track I think the ambience should be the focus instead, so I think there’s a mismatch. The pumping compression is a bit too noticeable I feel.

12 – Sounds decent but has a hollow kind of feeling to it. A broad shallow dip around the overlap of upper-midrange and presence regions would help to reduce that effect and give a more balanced presentation, though doing so will also narrow the perceived soundstage too.

13 – The kick has a bit too much thump and top end has a graininess to it too, but the mix overall feels decent though a bit fatiguingly bright and crispy. The top end of the guitar in the second half with the grungy distortion exacerbates this imo.

14 – The tell-it-like-it-is mix. It sounds very natural and with a perfectly competent balance but is decidedly lacking in emotion for me. Still, there’s always something valuable in simplicity—something I often struggle to do Was my #3
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:46 AM   #31
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Here are my very short notes. This week it was hard to decide which track is best.
At every listen my ranking changed but my favourites always were 6,10,11,12,13.

#01 is there a reason why your mix plays so fast?

#02 good drum sound, bass seems to be too loud and boomy

#03 nice balance between instruments, drums could be more in front, nice work with delays,
interesting ending

#04 my mix (mixed with earbuds on holiday, quite happy how it turned out)

#05 low end is missing, sounds like coming from very small speakers

#06 very good mix, punchy and balanced, the vocals don't stick out (very good)

#07 bass and drums are too distorted and pumping, i like your guitars

#08 very thin sounding mix, i'm missing low end and warm mids

#09 i like the noise in the beginning, guitars sound a bit far away, the silent
parts are also a bit far away, but overall a good balanced mix

#10 good mix but for my taste too much low end almost pumping in some parts, vocals stick out
a bit, too much compression in the loud parts, so some details get lost

#11 good punchy mix, good vocal mix, guitars could be a bit more featured

#12 good mix, vocals stick out a bit, nice work in the quiet parts

#13 punchy drums, very good full sounding mix, should have reached a much higher rank

#14 snare a bit far away, kick a little small, balance is ok


I voted 6 - 11 - 10 or 12 - 11 - 6 (sorry I have two lists, don't know which i chose)
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Old 09-04-2019, 01:37 PM   #32
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Thanks for the contest Dave.
Thanks for taking time to feedback Tiny Tortoise and Grundton, fair comments that will help me further.
Pleased I scored a point this time!

TinyT, can you expand a little on your observation about the bass on my track. I was ID3 and you said it lacked authority as well as being too mid heavy.
What would give it more authority? I think I might have overly squashed the initial attack but not sure whether this is the problem you've identified?

I don't feel qualified to give feedback on each track, I'm just not experienced/knowledgeable enough yet. I found it difficult to pick out three favourites but I settled on 11, 9 and 12 in that order. Glad to see these three featured high up the table, my ears are in the ball park at least.
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Old 09-04-2019, 04:08 PM   #33
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Here's my feedback. I hope it's going to be helpful for all the participants
  1. Man what happened here... I opened your project and every item is sped up. Not good.
  2. Nice overall sound but bass is way too loud and rhythm guitars in the choruses are way too quiet.
  3. Very muddy. Drums could be a bit more upfront. Balance is ok but not great.
  4. Nice overall sound. Good balance.
  5. Very muddy. Very thin sounding. Balance is odd in the choruses. Snare doesn't cut.
  6. Nice sound, I like the warmth. Keys at the beginning could be a tiny bit louder. Balance could be better and more effective in the choruses (automations).
  7. Muddy and doesn't have a lot of low-end. Drums sound very compressed in the chorus. Vocals could be glued in the mix with reverb and other fx.
  8. Very harsh sounding drums, watch out. Balance could be a lot better. Kick can't almost be heard, snare sounds panned left and some guitars are buried into the mix.
  9. The mix is good... but the overall eq is a bit weird. Needs some extra top-end for sure.
  10. Nice overall. Kick lacks some attack and top-end. The mix is good but lacks that little spark to be next level.
  11. Veeery good sound! Love it! Similar tastes as mines in terms of mixing.
  12. Nice sound and balance!
  13. Nice sound, balance and energy. I like it!
  14. The mix sounds a bit dark. Good overall.
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Old 09-05-2019, 12:59 AM   #34
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Thanks for the contest Dave.
TinyT, can you expand a little on your observation about the bass on my track. I was ID3 and you said it lacked authority as well as being too mid heavy.
What would give it more authority? I think I might have overly squashed the initial attack but not sure whether this is the problem you've identified?
Yeah no problem. I'd say it's more of a tonal thing than an envelope attack thing. Take a listen to the quiet bit around 2:20 in the master submissions project and compare the sound of your bass with the bass of some of the other mixes. If you look at it through an analyser, you'll notice some differences in the harmonic content of the bass part (it's clear for lows, but higher up there's too much interference from other tracks). For convenience I attached 2 screencaps: teal is yours and orange is Grundton's 2:22-2:26.

With yours I'd liken it to a vocalist singing a round 'ooh' vowel: there's a lot of 2nd harmonic (AKA 1st overtone) and the higher harmonics are weaker, lending to a round and smooth tone, but one that doesn't convey so much bite or aggression despite it being quite loud. If you look at the orange one, you can see a more even distribution of harmonics. This gives it a different timbre which I'd liken more to an "uhh" sort of vowel. It has a more balanced sound with both stronger fundamental and 3rd order (and almost certainly also higher-order) harmonics relative to that 2nd harmonic.

You could approach balancing out the bass's spectral content a couple of different ways:
- Moderate saturation to bring out higher overtones--particularly useful if you put it before an EQ. Some 'analog-style' vibey compressors might have a useful saturation component though I'm not sure with regards to Reaper's stock JSFX comps.
- Static/dynamic EQ or multiband comp, dipping roughly around the 100-200Hz area. Regarding dynamic EQ/multiband comp I prefer the sound from modulating ReaEQ bands over using ReaXComp, but it's fiddly to set up.
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File Type: png bass overtone1.png (49.7 KB, 7 views)
File Type: png bass overtone2.png (56.5 KB, 6 views)
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Old 09-05-2019, 04:53 AM   #35
Dyl
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Yeah no problem. I'd say it's more of a tonal thing than an envelope attack thing. Take a listen to the quiet bit around 2:20 in the master submissions project and compare the sound of your bass with the bass of some of the other mixes. If you look at it through an analyser, you'll notice some differences in the harmonic content of the bass part (it's clear for lows, but higher up there's too much interference from other tracks). For convenience I attached 2 screencaps: teal is yours and orange is Grundton's 2:22-2:26.

With yours I'd liken it to a vocalist singing a round 'ooh' vowel: there's a lot of 2nd harmonic (AKA 1st overtone) and the higher harmonics are weaker, lending to a round and smooth tone, but one that doesn't convey so much bite or aggression despite it being quite loud. If you look at the orange one, you can see a more even distribution of harmonics. This gives it a different timbre which I'd liken more to an "uhh" sort of vowel. It has a more balanced sound with both stronger fundamental and 3rd order (and almost certainly also higher-order) harmonics relative to that 2nd harmonic.

You could approach balancing out the bass's spectral content a couple of different ways:
- Moderate saturation to bring out higher overtones--particularly useful if you put it before an EQ. Some 'analog-style' vibey compressors might have a useful saturation component though I'm not sure with regards to Reaper's stock JSFX comps.
- Static/dynamic EQ or multiband comp, dipping roughly around the 100-200Hz area. Regarding dynamic EQ/multiband comp I prefer the sound from modulating ReaEQ bands over using ReaXComp, but it's fiddly to set up.
Thanks, I can certainly see the difference. Appreciate the extra feedback. I'm checking out the audios now.
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:15 AM   #36
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I was ID08 and I very much appreciate the feedback. I am primarily a LIVE sound engineer who had the brilliant idea to grab a DAW and record the bands I mix so that I could practice mixing.

That all turned into a passion for mixing ITB and really getting to know frequencies and effects and panning and to see how I might use mixing ITB to get better at mixing LIVE.

The payoff from this for me is the feedback from you fine people.

Having said all that...my first reaction to the comments is defending it which I know is wrong. However in listening I simply don't hear what you have pointed out. THAT is precisely the problem that I need to overcome. I'm hoping to get some direction to that end from you all.

Would those of you who reviewed mind to please explain the issue as clearly as possible and steps you would take to remedy the issues?

I really appreciate any help and advice!
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Old 09-05-2019, 09:32 AM   #37
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I was ID08 and I very much appreciate the feedback. I am primarily a LIVE sound engineer who had the brilliant idea to grab a DAW and record the bands I mix so that I could practice mixing.

That all turned into a passion for mixing ITB and really getting to know frequencies and effects and panning and to see how I might use mixing ITB to get better at mixing LIVE.

The payoff from this for me is the feedback from you fine people.

Having said all that...my first reaction to the comments is defending it which I know is wrong. However in listening I simply don't hear what you have pointed out. THAT is precisely the problem that I need to overcome. I'm hoping to get some direction to that end from you all.

Would those of you who reviewed mind to please explain the issue as clearly as possible and steps you would take to remedy the issues?

I really appreciate any help and advice!
The only advice I can give you is to listen to a lot of music and get a grip of how instruments are supposed to sound together how's your mixing environment like? Maybe it's a monitoring issue.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:12 AM   #38
Dyl
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Originally Posted by PVinKC View Post
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I was ID08 and I very much appreciate the feedback. I am primarily a LIVE sound engineer who had the brilliant idea to grab a DAW and record the bands I mix so that I could practice mixing.

That all turned into a passion for mixing ITB and really getting to know frequencies and effects and panning and to see how I might use mixing ITB to get better at mixing LIVE.

The payoff from this for me is the feedback from you fine people.

Having said all that...my first reaction to the comments is defending it which I know is wrong. However in listening I simply don't hear what you have pointed out. THAT is precisely the problem that I need to overcome. I'm hoping to get some direction to that end from you all.

Would those of you who reviewed mind to please explain the issue as clearly as possible and steps you would take to remedy the issues?

I really appreciate any help and advice!

Try picking out the common threads in the written responses and really focus on those. I've looked at the comments on your mix and I can draw out a couple of consistent issues. I did this on mine and made progress. Maybe it will help you focus on potential improvements. Certainly stopped me getting too hung up on what was wrong with my mix and my lack of skill.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:19 AM   #39
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Would those of you who reviewed mind to please explain the issue as clearly as possible and steps you would take to remedy the issues?
Regarding the bit about your initial reaction--there's nothing particularly wrong with wanting to defend the merit of your work if you have reason to believe the decisions you made were the right ones (or close enough to the intended effect). Critiques from others are coloured by subjectivity and someone else's sensibilities don't always align with your own. Of course, it's also always worth figuring out where a piece of criticism might be coming from and how much of it you can use to improve, whether you completely agree with it or not.

Now with the comment about too much high frequency content, I really did try a [10dB high shelf cut @ 2750Hz, bandwidth 0.9, output gain +4.1dB] and the top end sounds much closer to the other mixes as well as other random music in my library. I think this one is going to come down to your monitoring. There are some questions worth asking in that case: what are you monitoring on; are you using a volume-matched reference track (or multiple) to use as a rough balance target; and how loud are you monitoring while you work or playback a render?

As for other elements, I think most of your guitars really just need a volume boost. For example, they're much quieter than your keys and bells--elements that I'd consider more background-ish. That said, there is one guitar at 2:45 doing a repeated riff, that sticks out a lot from the rest of them and dominates the entire mix when it's playing. The keys and bells could be lowered in volume and the keys high-passed. If you feel that makes it sound too thin, saturating first might help to keep it sounding rich and full even with the HPF. Your bass has a nasal-ish honk ~900Hz to it that sticks out and uses midrange 'headroom' that could be better served instead by replacing some of it with more midrange in your guitars, or your drum kit, or even a reverb ambience.
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Old 09-05-2019, 02:55 PM   #40
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I really enjoyed this song! Here are my very short notes:

1. Tracks are not in sync and playback is to fast!

2. Background guitars very light, nice and pleasing overall sound, a little bit heavy on the highs. Snare very prominent.

3. Drums too far in the background, guitars nice but also very loud. Needs a bit more bass.

4. Balanced, could have a little more dynamics.

5. Drums too much in the background and sound mono. Loud guitar parts crushed.

6. Very good balance, heavy low end on the kick, nice drums, nice guitars. A little more dynamics between soft and loud parts would be nice. One of my favorites.

7. Heavy compression and distortion on the drums. Sounds very mono. Guitars have a lot of mid range.

8. Drums have extremely loud highs and no low end. Guitars very soft.

9. Drums need more air. Balance is good, guitars on the heavy side.

10. Compression on drums obvious. I like the hollow sound of the bass.

11. Mine, hihat and cymbals a bit too loud.

12. Good balance, drums could have more definition.

13. Cymbals heavily filtered. Guitar fx loud, but else good balance.

14. Good balance. Wooly sound.
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