Two Tablets and a Burning Bush

This is my first mix with Cubase 7.5, having upgraded from 4.5
It’s also my first mix without my Pulsar soundcard & with my new PC.

I’d appreciate a bit of feedback:
Basically, coming from a midi background and from Cubase 4.5, I’ve been learning 7.0 & 7.5 from video tutorials & studying the manuals. Wow, big change.
I’ve incorporated some of the things I’ve never used (even those that were in 4.5)
For instance I’d never used much lane automation, mainly midi cc’s.
I’d never used the handles on audio events to fade in & out or reduce the levels (really !! always used CC7 before exporting!)
Never used folder tracks and the power they have for editing etc.
And as I came to the end of this track I tried the channel strips.
Also it was a chance to try out my new Nexus synth, Camelspace and a few other things.

The mix sounds okay to me in headphones & ipod but not from the speakers - it’s a bit too busy. Having said that, I have moved my monitors since my last track and I wonder if this has had an effect on hearing my mix. They now sit in between my speakers, whereas before there was nothing in between the speakers.

So, I’d appreciate feedback on the mix, so I can improve my little studio setup & mix a bit better next time.

Musically - it’s okay. Nothing to write home about & the piano is a bit medieval & wooden. Again, feedback would be appreciated.

Two Tablets and a Burning Bush (Far & Away Uplifting Trance Mix)


I’ll just begin from the first thoughts that I had. The first four chords have a clearly defined progression (Cm, Ab, Bb, Gm) and I can tell what they are. However, the next four do not. I can hear it’s descending C, Bb, Ab, G. But I can’t really tell whether that second chord is a Bb or G minor 1st inversion. It sounds too ambiguous and undefined in the harmony at the intro. Though at the later part of the track with the arps it sounds more defined.

Then you end on G minor again, which is fine, though it doesn’t quite sound resolved to my ears ending on the G minor the second time round instead of the dominant though (G C D G then G B D G.) I feel that is a point worth noting as it is the harmony/chords that meander off somewhere for those 2 chords I mentioned that loses my attention and not the mix or anything else. Nearing the end of the track now and every single time my ears expect to hear that resolve from the dominant chord. ;p

I liked the auto-panning pulsing sound at 1:44. Thought it was a bit early in the track to take it down and then build it up, but no rules really I guess.

The piano melody is nice, though I think as an instrument choice it works well at the very end, but not so much in the previous section where the electronic instruments are denser. Perhaps sound even nicer with a touch of ping-pong delay I think, as long as it’s fairly subtle. Though a better piano library, such as 8Dio’s 1969 Steinway, would probably help too. I wish I had that library, the body to the sound is fantastic.

As for the mix, I can’t really say much. Sounds alright, though not that clear. Seems to me that the reverb is making it sound more blurry than anything else, and the type not particularly the wet level. I’m not that well versed in mixing though and I only use earphones for listening/mixing/mastering myself, so I’m not the best critic for that.

I like this and agree with Jonathans micro analysis of the track…from my point of view also I reckon the piano melody is underused and the drums are to far back in the mix…listening on my monitors (in my sig) and the part after the short choirish bit needs to have a little bit more goin on or needs to be shorter…but it’s a very nice melodic track and would go down well in any club IMHO :slight_smile:

well done…Kevin

Thanks both and I agree with it all.
Personally, I didn’t like the pumping pads being “the lead”. I think I prefer more of a Robert Miles approach to have let the piano be the lead, supported by the pads.
The mix was fine without the pads but I just couldn’t get it right once I added them back in (without lots more work anyway). I think that was partly to do with the varying frequencies of the pads as the filters opened.
It wasn’t supposed to be a special track - simply testing all my new rig out and mixing without my old Pulsar II card and all its facilities.
I am convinced that moving my monitor screens in front of me, and between my speakers has changed how I perceive the mix. Must try it with my eyes shut next time :slight_smile: , although if the positioning of the screens is affecting how the sound moves around the room… !!!
Overall it is probably a case of having lots of new toys to play with & not being fully focussed !!
Kevin possibly likes it more than me, but go down well in any club?? You do flatter people :slight_smile:
Again, thanks for the feedback.

Hey Neil…not trying to flatter you, with not a lot of attention this would be up there, (when you consider the crap that Will.I.AM is producing and being very successful with)…this is way better, you should give it a go using the "Robert Miles " approach…you’ve got a good chord progression and a good melody on the piano, I think it’s worth a bit more work…Kevin

hi Neil ,yeh sounds like a club track ,could do with some big female vocals shouting out some typical lines a bit like m people kinda thing ,drums need a bit more attitude i think,the big deep tom sounds a bit half hearted like it cant be bothered .but theres a good dance track in the makin .

I only have a limited supply of vocal lines on my hard rives & I don’t think the Vocaloid range do “big female vocals” :slight_smile:
As much as anything, it was to get me going again after the December disaster and get me into Cubase 7 and all the other new bits. That doesn’t mean I didn’t try to get a better mix. Limited skills/knowledge & I simply couldn’t improve it this time.
The big deep tom was my biggest problem. Sounded great on headphones but push the level up & it ruined the mix, even with a brickwall limiter. Couldn’t figure it out, so I had to drop it back to prevent too much spiking.
May come back to it in the future, but I’ve got a better one on the go at the moment (we all say that don’t we!?!?!)
Thanks for the comments.

Hi Neil as regards The big deep tom ,i dont know if this will work ,you could try sidechain a compressor on the bass track and set the tom to pull down the volume of the bass when the tom hits,you could maybe put a sidechain comp on the synths with bass tendencies as well so you dont have a build up of 110 ish htz ,you could maybe even pull some 110 out of the tom and have a look at it in voxengo span make sure it isn`t pushing up lots more dbs than every thing else , i think a way to feature something is to pull everything else down or out just for that brief moment without it sounding too obvious hopefully. strange title to the song.

Thanks for the tips. I tried quite a few things that you mentioned apart from the sidechain on that particular track. All to no avail. I’ll try it again though, looking at your tips.
Strange title? Most of the tracks I do are loosely based on the Bible, scriptures or simply Christian living, without becoming “gospelly”. This one is loosely based on Moses receiving the 10 commandments & on Soundcloud at the moment, I Am Love was “very” loosely based on John’s revelation (or a part of it) and Urban Street Angels was just a thank you for the terrific work that street pastors do in supporting the police etc when the clubs empty.
Just my thing but I’m not pushy about it, but since you asked heh heh.
Have a good day

ok :smiley:

First off I gotta say I love the title :smiley: Now the intro sounds great to me, other than the kick sounds a bit muddy to me? Especially for this more House/Trance feel. I would think perhaps a kick that was a bit sharper would fit a little bit better. I really liked some of those ambient synth-noise sounds you brought in at the beginning of the bridge. Then later with the piano and synth arps it sounded great! Good buildup, but in my ears at least it seemed to be lacking some bass right afterwards, especially when there was a lack of those faster synths in the background. Maybe in the future just add a low-end bassy sound and sidechain it with the pads? I am not sure but I think that might help finish off the mix in the future. Other than that, a great song overall and great chord progressions in my opinion. And I am guessing soundcloud lowered the overall quality as well… awesome job!

Thanks for all of that Ethan.
Intro wise it’s 2 Nexus pads with filters slightly different to each other side chained with the kik.
The muddy kik at the start (and in other places) is perhaps due to a white noise hit also side chained at the same time.
The ambient synthy sound at the start of the bridge was Symphony of Voices “Aaahs” in Kontakt 5, run through CamelSpace, side chained & autopanned, with the master mix of Camelspace reducing to allow the choirs to come through.
Most of the white noise effects were simply using Vanguard, as were all the arpegg bits (I still love Vanguard)
The bass was a Trilian Bass, simple one at that. The problem was that I wanted to keep a straight sort of cello pad going, even when the other pads were pumping with the sidechain, so the bass didn’t really contribute.
The final effect at the end was a moogy patch I created in Omnisphere and autopanned it. Quite a warm sound, but I used to use my Miniscope Moog synth for this sort of sound when I had my Pulsar card.
All your tips gratefully received and in the end, it WAS only a “get to know my new Cubase & Nexus” track. I’ll try harder next time - promise :slight_smile:
Oh, and thanks for your comments on Soundcloud

Why don’t you try what Blake (bane) did and get a female vocalist to put a vox on it…he did pretty well with the vocalist he got, he might even put you on to her,


It’s too busy as it is and really, it’s an instrumental. Without major surgery, I can’t see a vocalist being transplanted into this track, but you are more than welcome to the stems :slight_smile:
In the end it’s a hobby, and I enjoyed the journey of writing this one, even if the end location wasn’t the best.
Anyway, telling my wife of 40 years that I wanted to pay for a young woman over the internet might cause me some problems :slight_smile:

I have got 2 more tracks underway, one in 7 for more research and one in 7.5 as I find my feet with that and one of those tracks has a vocal track. Looking forward to that one, but I’m going on holiday for a while soon so it won’t be finished until late May at a guess.