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Michael Martinez

Seeking critique on this mix

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This is my first attempt at mixing a song, at using things like compressors, reverb, etc. I also tried mastering it but I bungled that so I  sent it to an automated online mastering service for what you hear below. It sounds ok to me but I'm sure an experienced audio engineer would take one listen and immediately find faults. I'd like some feedback on any glaring things that need improvement regarding the engineering mix aspect of it.

https://clyp.it/dnrufymb

 

Edited by Michael Martinez

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Hi Michael. 

This is a great song and there's not much to criticize from my point of view.   My loudness meter tells me the integrated LUFS of the song (when normalized to -1 db) is about -17 dB and that seems to be just about right for a piece in that style. (Myself, I shoot for -14 LUFS, but what the heck).

I think the mastering service you used did a good job.  The problems (if any) lie in the mix. The vocal is taking somewhat of a back seat to all the synths. It's a great lyric with heartfelt delivery but it's a bit buried with very slightly unclear diction. I'm not talking about big issues here. It's minor stuff but you shouldn't have to strain at all to hear a clean lyric in a quiet tune.  The drums are also a bit low and lack some crispness.

But still.  It's excellent work and I'd listen to it just as it is, and so would a many others, I think.    Thanks.  - Dan

 

 

 

 

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Dan -  Do you recommend using a loudness meter? Is that a plugin that I would put on a bus somewhere, or a piece of hardware?

Regarding making the vocals better - what would be the recommended course? Increase volume a little? Back off the delay a little? The vocal track on this song was given to me with effects printed in. Is there a way to improve the clarity given that fact?  I compressed the vocals a little and I added a little delay to it.  Maybe I should disable these?

I think I can improve the drums easier, probably by turn ingup the volume a little on the drum track.

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Sound reasonable here, mix wise perhaps a little to much reverb on the vocal, reverb can make sounds blurred.

For levels and relative loudness you might want to checkout the Youlean loudness meter I find it very useful, there is both a free and a paid version, I purchased it after using it for about a month.

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thanks for the tips on loudness, I'll check that out.

regarding the mix, I'll redo the song, I'm going to play with levels, and I'm going to remove all the processing I'm doing on the vocals. If it's still slightly unclear at that point, I wonder if EQ-ing would help?

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4 minutes ago, Michael Martinez said:

thanks for the tips on loudness, I'll check that out.

regarding the mix, I'll redo the song, I'm going to play with levels, and I'm going to remove all the processing I'm doing on the vocals. If it's still slightly unclear at that point, I wonder if EQ-ing would help?

Always worth a touch of EQ on the vocals, just to clear the way for the bottom end Bass and Kick.  A lite slap-back delay on the vocal can be used to thicken it.   Use reverb to create a space for all the "voices/instruments" to sit within.  For that I tend to use a global reverb over the whole mix with the bottom end rolled off below around the 150hZ mark.

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9 minutes ago, Wookiee said:

Always worth a touch of EQ on the vocals, just to clear the way for the bottom end Bass and Kick.  A lite slap-back delay on the vocal can be used to thicken it.   Use reverb to create a space for all the "voices/instruments" to sit within.  For that I tend to use a global reverb over the whole mix with the bottom end rolled off below around the 150hZ mark.

You mean send all tracks to the same reverb aux?

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6 minutes ago, Michael Martinez said:

You mean send all tracks to the same reverb aux?

@Michael Martinez 

Basically yes, I have a Global reverb buss, which consists of the N-type Channel emulation then the  quad Curve EQ set as described followed by Breverb with a hall type patch, totally wet no dry.  Then using the track sends I just send enough to create that gel on the whole mix.

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18 minutes ago, Wookiee said:

@Michael Martinez 

Basically yes, I have a Global reverb buss, which consists of the N-type Channel emulation then the  quad Curve EQ set as described followed by Breverb with a hall type patch, totally wet no dry.  Then using the track sends I just send enough to create that gel on the whole mix.

Ok, so the reverb buss filters out the low end *prior* to applying the reverb.

A couple questions:

- the level on you reverb buss is set to 0db?

- what is N-type Channel emulation? how do I set this up?

- do you recommend Breverb over Sonitus reverb? (I've been using Sonitus, but I did notice I have BReverb also)

Sorry, I keep asking questions. Thanks for your quick responses, it's very helpful.

Edited by Michael Martinez

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Having just listened to your other song on the forum, I had to listen to this one, too.  I really like this song, and I believe you don't need to do to much with it.  The vocal(s) are very good, and I wouldn't mess with too much EQ, as they sound fine, to me.  I would back off on the reverb or f/x a bit, but the tonality if good.  What I'm missing is a bass guitar to glue this song together, as it almost has a reggae/calypso feel to it.  I like the sound of the synth, but you could dry it up a little without losing the depth.  Otherwise, this is another gem waiting to happen.

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Lynn: thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you mentioned the bass - I myself already was feeling a lack of bass, in the back of my mind was thinking how to fix that. I've got a couple synth basses in there, but they are on the off beat and they aren't deep, so they are acting more like twangy synths. I'm going to try adding a regular reggae style bass guitar and see how it sounds. Thanks for that catch.

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