My first mix. Any comments appreciated

Hi all. If this works, this is my first real mix with cubase. It’s not complete by any means. The lyrics are repeated throughout because I’m a bit pants with words and the drum track is basic and needs some fills and stuff.

Any comments/criticism would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers and thanks for listening.

Gaz

Here you go :-

http://soundcloud.com/gazwaz-1/tell-me-why

Nice tune, but it seems pretty harsh in the upper frequencies over my system

Cheers twilightsong,
My current output is going through a sony hi fi so I’m constantly finding that on different systems the mix is way off. Just listening to this with headphones sound nothing like it does in my studio through the hi fi. Any recommendations here for tight budget monitors would be appreciated.

However, I can’t totaly blame the tools I’m working with. It’s more lack of experience than anything else but I’m working on that.

Would I be looking at EQ to calm the top frequencies down and would I EQ the whole mix or are we talking total remix of all 14 tracks. All the instruments are VST including the drums apart from the guitar parts which I run a Boss GT6 direct to a stereo channel on Cubase.

I’m enjoying all this but it does get a tad frustrating when it sounds great on the system you record it on only to find it sounds pants in the car or on headphones. I’ve noticed as well the whole mix seems to have lost it’s stereo width to the point it almost sound mono. On the hifi it sounds wide and BIG.

Any advice is very welcome

Many thanks

Gary

Hiya Gary. The drums need beefing up some on this, especially the snare. Bit tame at the moment. They drop out towards the end was that intentional? If so, they need to go back in again as that’s where the song is supposed to be peaking.

Cheers
Phil

KRK RP6.
Great sound considering the price.

Cheers HornForHire, I’ll have a look at those. May get a deal on the bay if I’m lucky.

Philter2011, I’m going to do the drums this weekend. I’ll probably use ezdrummer and see what it comes up with.
They were supposed to drop out towards the end but I’ve got so much automation going on there I need to check out exactly where they’re fading. I’ll look at putting them back in though at the end as you suggested,


Cheers

Gaz

Hello Gary and welcome to the forum. :smiley:

I listened twice.

What struck me both times was the absence of a kick drum. :confused:
Maybe what you want is the current soft sound. Dunno.

I also think you could probably benefit from further EQ-ing of both
top and bottom ends to eliminate anything not needed.

But that begs the Q as to what environment you are mixing in.
Monitors alone are only so useful unless you can be more certain of your
monitoring environment.

But I liked the song and your vocal treatment/arrangement.
The delays in the open spots were nice too.

Cheers!

Jet

Thanks for your comments Jet, Much appreciated.

I’m going to spend some time on the drums for experience more than anything. If I don’t like them I can always take em out or hide them in the mix. I’m going to EQ the top and bottom ends though as you say. Would it be ‘normal’ practice to try an overall EQ on the main stereo out or should I not bother and just delv into each track and EQ individually?

If I’m honest, a lot of the results I get are purely trial and error. If I had to emulate the feeling this song gives to another song I’m not sure I could do it because the amount of processing and editing is immense. I suppose, again, experience is the key to learning techniques to get certain results that can then be applied to any song as required.

As much as I’d love to be able to, I can’t sing to save my life so on this track the harmonies are well hiden behind layers of pitched/reverbed/delayed copies. I couldn’t call myself a rapper either but I quite like the result I got here. This being the case, my inspiration comes nearly always from a guitar riff because that’s what I’m best at.

Seriously thinking about buying a cheap bass guitar though. I’ve always used VST’s but they will never sound like a real stringed instrument.

Cheers again

Gaz

Some pieces are meant to be a lot more powerfull I think, the part where you rap (around 0.40) There you use a very subtle guitar lick that doesn.t really fit the piece.
IN the end you start a guitar Solo, then the chorus is dubbed over it. The vocals are distracting the solo, maybe wait a bit longer with the vocals and start them in the more dying notes of the solo.

I like the different elements that you blend, at 1.20 using different percussive sounds, really freshens up th arrangment.

Fot a first mix it’s not bad at all. I think it’s possible to get great mixes out of ordinaire speakers. But you’ll have to learn them by heart and go through a lot of trial and error.
I mix on Alesis monitor one for 12 years now, and it took me years to get to know them.
To make surcical descisions I use a pair of AKG K272 headphones, not right for stereo mixing because you need the interaction between two monitors. But good enough to check the bottom end High end.

The loss of stereo image on other systems can have a lot of reasons. Maybe because you listen MP3, that compresses a lot of the stereo image to free up memory. And most consumer systems just don’t have a very good sweetspot that can differentiate the two channels. Also a lot of systems have preset EQ’s and widening presets that can bring havoc.

For now most of the problems in your mix lie in the bottom end (lack off). The overall sound is convincing, maybe a bit 80ties wetness for my taste.
Good use of riding levels and compressors could elevate your mix, make it more alive.

The vocals in the first piece, your rap and behind it the chorusline are difficult to seperate, maybe do the rap dead centre and the chorus super stereo.

Greetz Dylan.

Greetz Dylan.

I too mix on Alesis M1’s together with some cheap headphones for reference. They’re like €200,- new and I feel no need upgrading just yet. Latest tune I posted sounded great on people’s silly expensive systems so they work for me. Took some time like Dylan said but that’s worth it.

You might be able to achieve the same thing using your current setup. Check if the amplifier has some post processing going on. There could be a stereo enhancer in your setup for instance, which would explain why the mix sounds so wide on your system and doesn’t elsewhere.

The song is really cool btw, I really like it! :smiley:

“maybe a bit 80ties wetness for my taste” Lol… My wife says that everything I produce has an eighties twang to it. I keep trying to shake this off but I guess it’s been imprinted into me being from that era and all. My music tastes stem from rave to maiden but my influences always have an eighties twist to them.

Thanks for all the comments and advice though. I wasn’t quite sure what feedback I would receive but I’m pleasantly surprised and I feel armed with tips to try now. I’ve always been a bedroom music kinda a guy so not many people get to here anything I do. I’ve only been using cubase for a few months really and I’ve got myself on a course to learn some of the more intricate stuff. Before this I did all my music on a Roland 1880. Loved that machine and swear I’d never go all out computer recording. What was I thinking!!!

Weekend I’m going to play around with this tune and get it where it needs to be. I’m still in the virgin stage of finding as many VST instruments I possible can and trying them out. Trouble is now, I find I spend more time scrolling through vst presets trying to find the right sound than actually recording the damn music. I’ll get there.

Thanks again all. I really do appreciated it.

Gaz

Don’t spend too much money on getting plugins. I find I always go back to a few instruments I know very well.

Yeh… I know what you mean. To be fair, most of the VST’s I own are free from sites such as VST planet. I’ve bought EZdrummer and love it. I’ve got Base Station but that came free with my Novation Keyboard controller. I keep going back to the same ones though. EMV Baseline has always been a favourite.
Maybe I need to learn to use the ones I have properly and get sounds I want from Halion Sonic and Grove Agent. Are these reputable instruments and do people use them lots?
I tend to record the midi part then spend the next 2 hours trying to find the right sound that fits the mix. I then often find myself settling for something because I’m fed up with searching.

I need to sort this out…

If it’s synth sounds you’re after I suggest you read up a little about subtractive synthesis. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. The result is that you can then use your synths very effectively because you know exactly what to expect when you turn a knob. This is something that takes some time but I’ve found that tremendously useful. I can now hear a sound and now exactly what to do with it to get it right.

If its acoustic sounds you want, things are a little more difficult if you aren’t able to record them yourself. In that case Halion is a good start but not the best. The problem is that you’ll need dedicated samplesets for a specific instrument to get really good ones, and that’ll get very expensive quickly if you want several instruments.

Halion is very workable though, with some effects and automation it can sound really well.
Searching for long doesnt work for me either. I just skip it and move on to something else when that happens. Chances are the part isn’t really good to begin with if you can’t get it to sound right. That’s what I usually find out anyway.

Good luck with it!