Since my last little project, I have had some thinking time and have decided to go a little different direction with this one and use different means of getting there.
First off, it’s worth noting that yesterday I picked up a pair of Mackie MR5MK2 monitors at Guitar Center, and coming from those cheap Samson multimedia monitors, I couldn’t be more happy. So now this mix was done on something other than headphones. Feedback on the mix would be great–hopefully drums aren’t buried this time.
For the past few projects I have programmed all the instruments using note input, which gives everything a pretty lifeless feel. This time, I performed the recordings for all the instrument parts save for drums.
Any kind of musical or mix feedback would be appreciated!
HALion Elec Guitar, Bass, and Strings
The Grand 3 Steinway D (Close Mic)
nice tune ,you should get a collaboration going with a singer ,cause your tracks are crying out for some vocals , mix is good ,i like ez drums ,they sound nice, but id still maybe lose a bit more room ambiance. the guitar solo part sounds good ,interesting sequence going off ,almost sounds classical, it sounds ok apart from the last sustain note, it needs some vibrato or bend cause it sounds at the moment a bit un-natural and have you got a C# in the end part of the solo section over the Dsus4/D7 chords ,you should check it to a C......if im wrong just tell me to put a sock in it . nice one Bane.
Thank you for the kind words and constructive feedback. Honestly I could not find a C# anywhere near that section in the piano or guitar, so not sure if you ran it through Melodyne and it lied or something, or if you have a really good ear and it’s some kind of stretched tuning or something! I’m not sure!
I think you were around for my last song, which I tried to sing, and it didn’t turn out well. Fortunately, I’ve had this realization that I need to return to my strengths, which would be in this area with piano instrumental-like songs. Great singers are hard to find around here, but I’m definitely going to keep looking.
As far as the final sustain, I’m not sure I know what you mean. My ear is not near as disciplined as yours, how would you recommend remedying this? Just like a light vibrato plug-in?
And to anyone: where do you think I should go from here? I have demos on Soundcloud showing different styles and tempos. I’ve started a little jazzy one at the moment, as I’m a little apprehensive to take up solo piano once more. The hard thing is without a vocal line keeping things exciting and constructing a main melody that’s catchy. But based on what you’ve seen, where do my strengths seem to lie and which would be the best direction to go?
More feedback on this song is definitely welcome too! Thanks guys!
The hi-hat and cymbals are incredibly brittle sounding. This is either due to the sample quality or 16-bit project settings rather than 24- or 32-bits. (This is different than mixing down to 16-bits of course.)
I occasionally hear some comb filter effect / phasing on the piano. It may be the layering with the pad that you have going on too.
The intro is played at a different tempo than the main song, so when the main song kicks in at 0:27 the difference was a tad difficult to transition to from a listening perspective. I’m not saying that you can’t change the tempo, but the change may have been too drastic.
The piano is often played ahead of the beat, which contradicts the great laid back mood that you’ve establishing.
I know this sounds like a lot of stuff, but this song has great potential. Like Firestamper said, this tune is really crying for a ballad-style vocalist so write up some lyrics and sing for it!
Hi, better and better, there’s a good ballad in there somewhere…definite timing issue from 0.27, not sure that you need a “great” singer…(as you say in one of your posts) just someone who can carry a ballad…nice to see you raising your game…Kevin
yes ,sorry i thought i heard a C# ,its my ears seeing things , as regards the last sustain note of the solo ,its all down to taste realy, a typical guitarist at that point would give it some big vibrato and turn on the wind machine and get their long locks flowing , a wammy bar type vst might work or the standard cubase vibrato . one effect i like is the rotary/leslie simulator you could maybe fade it in at that point.
Not bad, but main theme sounds very much like a Starship song (the name of which I can’t recall). There are a couple points where piano and drums aren’t together. BTW – what in the world IS that that comes in at 1:30? Surely it’s not a guitar! That really needs to be redone – sounds like a sick mosquito or something. I think the fact that you’re inputting in realtime has made an improvement.
I’ve made another mix based on what I’ve heard here:
(taken down) Much better version on the way in a few hours.
I believe I addressed all but the hi hats and cymbals here. The most notable change was in that of the guitar to a pad, I’m not sure if it sounds a little too random or not. Still searching for that perfect fit.
The hi hats, I believe, were compromised by Soundcloud compression of some sort. Many artists on Soundcloud have some pretty phased sounding hats and cymbals. Some of Kevin’s earlier stuff I noticed had it a little bit too, its really weird. I’ve found that it only appears on Soundcloud uploads, even 320kbps ones. Strange.
Firestamper, I’ve spent like 2hrs playing with vibrato, rotary, and autopan settings to no avail, even automating inserts and FX sends for long periods of time. The vibrato seemed to modulate everything really badly or do nothing at all. Do you have any go to settings with included plug-ins that I could try? Thanks.
I think this is sounding better though I think the piano is to “big” for want of a more descriptive word…agree with you regarding soundcloud botching up the quality of uploads…my stuff always sounds different(worse) on soundcloud…I reckon the piece needs a M8, maybe a return to the intro but with a bit more goin on but it’s a good piece…write some words and get a singer on it…Kevin
no i dont have any solutions cause i never used a guitar vst like that before ,i am only speaking from the experience of adding fxs to a real guitar track ,but it is sounding smoother now ,but i think i preferred the guitar sound though, cause it separated its self from the rest of the keyboard sounds.but it`s always your call as the day fades away soz
@Kevin: Totally agree about a M8, just trying to find a nice place to add one in. Since the intro is essentially the same as the chorus, I may have to make part of the chorus the M8, though once I bring the synths in it’s really hard to slow down. Hopefully I can find something. Any ideas where you’d like to hear one?
@Firestamper: You are very right–the guitar sound was much more distinct from the piano. That’s mostly cuz of the way I was able to EQ it and still get good results. But like Twilightsong mentioned, all my VST guitars suck, and believe me I played around with every HALion preset and amp plugin available with compromised results. To sound legit, I will have to get a true guitarist to record.
So I may give vocals a go in the future and will definitely keep trying to find a suitable M8.
in my opinion the solo sounded very guitar like ,the only part that didn`t was the section 1.53 to 1.56 that part sounded like a wrist watch alarm ,thats because of the lack of movement of the note , to play keyboard like a rock guitar you have to think like a rock player and that means vibrato when ever a note is sustained ,i think you can waggle the modulation (pitch ) wheel on a keyboard to get this effect. you want to waggle the wheel about 10% either side of zero (the middle position ) rapidly ,think Italian opera singer type vibrato .
well I reckon an M8 could be around the 1.23 mark then the lead into the guitar break could follow, If it was me I’d use the intro as a M8 and make it fit…maybe change the order of the chords or even a key change which would maybe lift the rest of the song, it’s not uncommon to change key into a lead break, Kevin
ok the 1.53 to 1.56 section sounds better ,but you dont need the vibrato for the rest of the solo,plus i think you are now getting some phase cancellation . what were talking about here is, emulating how a person plays a guitar ,so if the solo is busy and this piece is , playing 16 notes per bar ,so id class it as too busy to do any vibrato ,but section 1.53 to 1.56 the notes are longer, so you can give these notes vibrato .if you use the pitch wheel on the keyboard you could even bend into some of the slower notes and finish them off with some vibrato by waggling the wheel,this can be automated in cubase . most of the time something like this is down to good technique and the physical tools at hand ,sorry if i sound like im preaching ,for this type of playing check out Jan Hammer on utube he`s a master .
Well that seems like a good idea but the problem is that the intro is almost exactly the same as the chorus and following the chorus with another slowed down chorus isn’t really sounding right. Transpose didn’t sound great either and it makes the guitar (which is already out of it’s range lol, even higher). Thanks for the advice, I’ll keep working with it and see if anything shows, but I’ll definitely be sure to work it in on this upcoming song.
@firestamper: I actually used the modulation wheel in HALion and only on the long notes. The strings in the background may be doing something to the phasing, but no modulation whatsoever was used on the 16th notes.