I promised to help a friend get a few tracks together for a demo (lead singer ‘Robert Sharp’ from UK band ‘The Coroners’); the caveat - a short turn around (a few days for tracking/mixing /mastering) no posh studio, just a living room recording with inexpensive mic’s (Rode NT3/Shure SM58a Beta), Cubase 7 and some plug ins - so I just thought that I’d post a link as any feedback is useful (and appreciated).
I’ve replaced the original link(s) above with the final master:
I think the guitar is playing a tad too loud for this guy’s voice and for my taste it is panned too far to the left, feels a bit unbalanced since the guitar is the only instrument. Other than that, great guitar playing, I didn’t hear a single mistake or glitch, it’s just perfect. Michael.
Good song. Guitar sounds really nice but, I agree, it may be a little too high in the mix and panned too far left. I could notice the compression/automation of the vocals during the “Go” in the phrase “never let go”. Unless that’s just how it was sung
Honestly guys thank you so much for taking the time to provide some feedback - I really appreciate it! I’m from an electronic music background as far as mixing recording goes, so I’m out of my comfort zone but enjoying the hell out of it same!
The issue for me is working with mono sources - I’m really not used to it, but because there is only voice/guitar there’s very little to space around, so currently voice is central but I then used a faux mono ->> stereo technique on the guitar (duplicate mono track with a small mono delay on one channel) to wrap the guitar around it.
It produces a dramatic spatial result in comparison to the original mono source (especially when picked up by the IR Reverb), but I agree with you guys totally its too pronounced in its current state (I need to reduce the delay and recheck the mono compatibility - pull it back in a bit)!
Its a strange psycho acoustic effect, in that it draws emphasis towards the left channel, I just wish there was a simple way of getting a convincing/pleasant mono to stereo effect without too much psycho acoustic weirdness (i.e. I wish I owned an Eventide Harmonizer)!
I have another 3 tracks to mix, and I’m going to be using a similar treatment on the others (this one was the guinea pig) so I’ll be sure to try some different approaches (and address the level imbalance you mentioned).
I checked the compression effects on the voice through an A/B comparison with the untreated source and it is how its sung, though I did consider using a level rider plug-in (prior to compression) because the dynamics are intense and I wanted to keep it sounding as natural as possible - its still an option at least!
I really appreciate your feedback anyway, many thanks guys!
A lot was said about vocal/gtr mix already so I will skip that. Not sure about why you use echo on the Gtr or even worry about a large stereo aspect. You can always copy the track and do left right summing to stereo Buss. There are also several plugs available that will allow you to create a stereo image from mono track. I often do this with my fender rhodes and it works great. Check out this video from UAD for SPL Vitalizer, SPL (plugin alliance) also makes this plugin so you dont need to go with UAD http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEIdZrEgQLs
Also the Crysonic Sindo http://www.crysonic.com/sindo.html does this. The important part is setting which freq you want on edge that way it doesn’t create an unrealistic stereo image the SPL is just so easy but the crysonic is effective and inexpensive but harder to not over use in track. I have seen my friend use sindov plug on drums with great success
Hope this is clear, its often said if you can’t explain easily you really don’t understand it yourself lol. This maybe the case for me here
sounds good , but if you if your thinking of something like the SPL Vitalizer buy the hardware version ,they are cheap as chips now (cheaper than the plugin )and use it as an external fx as the UAD version is very unstable and very choosy on which system it will work on , ive had 2 daw’s that it would not load on so beware !
I like your track it is pretty clean and quite well balanced this end ,different people different ears … sounds good
Wow comments/feedback (much needed/appreciated) though I think I’ll have to do a group reply!
Hi kzarider, thank you very much for you reply, I’m just used to working with lush synths and lots of electronic polyphony, so when I was confronted with a couple of mono sources I was crying out for space/depth, plus the artist was open to me trying different things so I though I’d try the old skool mono/mono 10ms delay technique, and I have to say it was instantly gratifying, but I knew I would need a more elegant solution as you essentially have no control over what it does really, its just there (in yer face)! But it definitely wet my appetite, just need something less dramatic with more control!
As such I was considering what other approaches are out there such as the Waves PS22 etc (which is complex as hell and comes with a 50 page book to prove it) but I really appreciated your feedback and the links you sent. I always loved the SPL Vitalizer, we had an original one in my friends studio and used it on everything so it was interesting to see that they had created a plug in (yummy), and I was blown away by how cheap the SINDO V4 was - look seriously funky too (they match my surf board)! I’ll be sure to examine them in more detail - thanks for your feedback!
Hi G-string, yikes sounds likes SPL plugin has some kinks (to say the least) its awesome to hear that hardware version is mega cheap though, I was practically weened on that thing, so I’d love to have one around in my rack - thanks for the heads up and feedback I’m glad you enjoyed the track your comments are very much appreciated! I’m hoping it will improve further with some refinements and mastering (albeit rushed within the space of a few days)!
Hi shadowfax (awesome profile name - big LOTR fan here) Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated, I do have some fascination with bright mixes, I put it down to frying my ear drums at a D&B club many years ago, but its definitely prevalent in mixes I produce and I agree it is bright as there are some sibilant frequencies that ring on some of the guitar slaps (which need to be notched out). I know the Rode NT3 mic is very bright, and I’ve not rolled any frequencies off the top end so I appreciate your feedback and will be sure to pass on your appreciation of the guitar playing to the artist Kevin!
Hi foolomon, thanks for your comments I’ve heard great things about Sound Toys and if one of their widgets emulates the Evantide Harmonizer then its got my attention!
I just wanted to say a big thanks all for taking the time to reply and provide feedback, it is all helpful and very much appreciated!
I understand the need to make music sound bigger, but I believe in the innocence of certain mix . about the SPL software vs hardware thing. I am using the Plugin Alliance version and it works great w/no issues, I tried the UAD (during version 6) and I had problems so that’s is why I went w/native, I am sure issues are fixed though. If you have UAD you can confirm operation of it and same with plugin alliance as they allow 14 day free demo so you can see for yourself.
Its a very valid point, and I do appreciate that over zealous widening is an abused process and there is indeed much to be said for innocence in recordings especially regarding simple acoustic setups. As such I appreciate your opinion and will keep this in mind as I work on this material! Thanks for the heads up on the issue with the UAD versions, and its great to hear that they provide a 14 day trial, I think that will be the strategy - pick a suitable plug in and use this project to trial it! Thanks for your reply.
Thank you for your feedback/comments, the artist would very much appreciate that as it was his motivation to produce a few modern folk songs for an EP (i.e. he plays folk individually and with others as well as punk being lead singer of The Coroners). I know he loves artists such as Bob Dylan etc. I agree his approach to singing is a little peculiar being intentionally wobbly (he loves to modulate his voice etc)! This track is the first of 4 and I’m editing the second as we speak, and I will post them up here as well because I’ve found the feedback really helpful, its one of the wonderful things about being a part of Cubase community, so I should have another track online later today. Thanks again for your feedback, much appreciated!
Thanks for your feedback, I’m going to putting the next version of the mix up shortly, its not radically different but smoother/more balanced (hopefully) with some low end analogue warmth and I got rid of the original faux guitar stereo effect (mono/mono 10ms delay) and replaced it with a more elegant mono to stereo solution (i.e. Waves PS22 X-Split which is truly amazing/natural).
As it creates a stable (mono compatible) wide image I’d be interested in hearing your opinions on the difference, but I really appreciate your feedback and suggestions which are very much appreciated and your right about the drums/bass, this is part of a series of initial acoustic versions but he hopes to do others with the rest of his band in the near future - I’m glad you like the song anyway!
PS - By the way, I listened to ‘Awakening’ man and it really sounds totally awesome - the arrangement/production is sick!
Thanks for your feedback, I found the opinions and replies really helpful, there is such an awesome community of people here on the Steinberg forum, its great to be part of it! Thank you for your reply which is very much appreciated!