Author Topic: Anyone want to mix a song for me?  (Read 22679 times)

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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Anyone want to mix a song for me?
« Reply #60 on: May 15, 2015, 09:46:13 pm »

I heard this today and realized, if it helps, this is sort of the sound I'm going for ultimately, though I realize this is professionally recorded and all that. 


I've been wondering what you actually wanted it to sound like. Yes, it's always a good idea, if you have a desire, to let people hear or otherwise try to explain to them what you hope it will end up as.

The other approach is obviously just turn people loose and tell them to do whatever they want.

Rachel, here is a similar TS song. This is about 75 tracks..... ( closer to 100 with things they omitted from screen capture of ProTools session )




You can read the background on it here..... It might give you some idea of what exactly is going on. You can look up each individual piece of gear and listen to what it does on youtube. But at least read the article.
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb11/articles/it-0211.htm

ETA: From what I see.. it looks like 5 tracks minimum of lead vocal and the article says 31 tracks of background vocals. Countless guitars...

Here is what the guy said about the vocals.... remember this is almost 40 tracks of vocal.

Quote
"The two main challenges in this mix were that Nathan had overdubbed a lot of cool guitar parts, and I wanted to make sure that a high level of honesty was retained. Taylor had thrown on lots of background vocal parts [the screenshots show 31 backing vocal tracks], and it was fun for me to explore these and put each in their own sonic space and still have a degree of innocence and believability, so it didn't sound over-produced. Once again, it's all about the lead vocal communicating with people, and if it sounds too slick, the sense of honesty may be diminished.


That's 40 tracks of the same person's voice made to sound intimate and sort of 'as one' .... and how many times do you think she sang it to get those 40 keepers?







« Last Edit: May 15, 2015, 10:18:41 pm by TB-AV »
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Offline marcusmarkmus

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Re: Anyone want to mix a song for me?
« Reply #61 on: May 15, 2015, 10:15:08 pm »
@scooter:
Damn, those drums really made it come alive. Well balanced volume aswell imo. Is it a loop though? The drums sound really good but there is very little variation  :P
Did you do anything to my strings? Is there some master effects going on?  Because I felt they were a little bit sharper now, maybe too sharp.
But I like how that whole thing sounded dude.  8)

@diad:
Ok, so you are basicly saying that the vocal and guitars doesnt work together rhythmically? There is not alot to do about that in a mix, except turn down the guitars alot. Which you did. But thats taking the whole thing away from the original cute girl with acoustic guitar singing a love song imo.
I like the bass you added. Just check the bridge again around 3:04, you are off key or something. Also some odd notes other places. Actually the rhythm of the bass is a little strange for some parts of the song.
Did you play the drums yourself with midi/keyboard?
The fills sound a little random, and some of them are out of rhythm and end to early, they should lead to the first beat of a new measure?
One more thing about the drums, whats up with the totally random cymbal hit off beat?   :P

@hollywood:
though I realize this is professionally recorded and all that.
High quality of what you want to sound like is not a problem, that's just a good thing.
What might be a, well, lets say challenge instead of problem, is that your goal has several acoustic guitars, a full drumset + percussion, probably some synths in the background and electrical guitar.
Without telling you what you should and should not do, just maybe think about if you want to do it simple with acoustic guitar/vocal and make that good, or try and put something together you get recorded from crazy strangers on the internet (like myself lol)  ;D
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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: Anyone want to mix a song for me?
« Reply #62 on: May 15, 2015, 10:25:46 pm »
@scooter:
Damn, those drums really made it come alive. Well balanced volume aswell imo. Is it a loop though? The drums sound really good but there is very little variation  :P
Did you do anything to my strings? Is there some master effects going on?  Because I felt they were a little bit sharper now, maybe too sharp.
But I like how that whole thing sounded dude.  8)

Yeah, it's just a loop. I had planned to add drum fills and also had planned to slice and quantize the rhythm guitar parts that drifted from the tempo.. But that takes more time than the couple hours I had available yesterday. Yes, I added some high mids because there was a lot of sustain on the bass part and with the bass and strings together, the strings just got burred. Planned to automate the EQ on it but ran out of time.
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: Anyone want to mix a song for me?
« Reply #63 on: May 15, 2015, 10:29:16 pm »
Scooter - I hope my last post didn't give the impression that I think you guys aren't professional.  If it did, I apologize, because that's not at all what I meant.  By "professional" I mean recorded in a professional studio (versus my bedroom, where I'm recording) and with higher quality gear (versus my $100 dynamic mic and cheap interface).  I'm just saying that, given the equipment I'm able to work with right now, I don't expect it to sound like that.  The video is just for if it helps anyone in terms of how I generally want the song to sound in the end, simply because there's a million different ways you can make one song sound just by using different mixing techniques and FX.  I didn't realize it until today - I should've shared it with the original post.  I did not at all mean that as an insult to any of you guys, and I truly apologize if it came across that way.  :(

75 tracks!?  Yep, that's exactly what I mean, haha! I'm simply not at the level that I could even imagine what 75 different tracks could even be, let alone be able to handle that many on my own.  I'll check out the article.

And yes, I agree, I really love the drums added to it.  Makes it a whole other level.


Marcus - I was just thinking about that, actually.  I really love having the other instruments added, like you guys have been sharing.  It just makes it feel more like a complete song and I really love it.  But at the same time, all I have on my own is acoustic and electric guitars, a piano, ukelele, steel drum, and bongos.  And this song in particular is lyric-focused.  So, do I:

A) Add all of the cool instruments and make it sound more like a complete recording
B) Stick to a stripped-down acoustic version and just make it sound as good as I can
Or
C) Make 2 versions - one acoustic and one with the other instruments added?

I'm kinda leaning toward doing one version as acoustic, very light mixing, and doing another version that's more creative, letting you guys add instruments to it and change the sound in different ways and not worry about making it sound a particular way.  Then it would be much more creative for you guys.

What do you think?
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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: Anyone want to mix a song for me?
« Reply #64 on: May 15, 2015, 10:37:52 pm »
Scooter - I hope my last post didn't give the impression that I think you guys aren't professional.

We aren't. I don't think anyone here records professionally. My Background is in live sound and I don't own a professional studio. AFIK, no one here does. Which is why I suggested Gearslutz to get some other input.

A lot of the stuff in  live sound is the same as in recording.. and one thing in particular is that it's only as good as the weakest link. If you start with a professional arranger and producer. Then professional musicians. Then professional equipment and engineers. and then have each of the musicians record their parts several times with the mics and preamps that are best suited for the job, and take the best parts from each of those recordings and then mix them. And then take them to a great mastering engineer then maybe you can have a great recording.

To give you an idea: here's a song I mixed that was sang by a professional singer and tracked in a studio:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/irg3nxgxemgrghj/Bringing%20Me%20Down.mp3?dl=0

I used the same equipment and plugins to mix it that I'm using to mix your song. But I didn't have to notch put most of the presence range with an eq and multiband compressor to get rid of the nasal sound. 
« Last Edit: May 15, 2015, 10:55:31 pm by Scooter Trash »
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Offline diademgrove

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Re: Anyone want to mix a song for me?
« Reply #65 on: May 15, 2015, 10:52:52 pm »
That is a good point, diadem, about keeping the vocals and lyrics at the front and not letting them be overpowered by the music.  I hadn't really thought of that, but you're right. In my own mix, I've been using essentially 4 guitar tracks (one recorded through the mic, one through the pickups, and both duplicated.)  Maybe I need to cut it down to 1 or 2 for an acoustic version?

I'm not really talking about the production or how you use the guitar tracks. When I heard your vocal I heard it in 8th notes, 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. Your rhythm guitar is in 16th notes 1 (e) and a 2 (e) and a etc, where the (e) is silent. What that does is compete with the pulse of the vocal and, for me distracts from the song. The more the production highlights the guitar the more it competes and obscures the vocal. If the vocal is the most important part of the song then the music should support the singer and not get in the way.

If the rhythm of the vocal and music is together you can add track after track and you'll not notice.

There are at least 4 guitars on this, plus pianos, strings and drums but the music complements the song.





Another example of how the pulse and the words work together






To me this is an example of the music and rhythm being more important than the vocal. The vocal is further down in the mix and the bass, drums and guitar take the lead.





So it comes down to what is the most important part of the song and making sure everything else complements it and doesn't take your attention away.

Hope that helps.

Offline diademgrove

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Re: Anyone want to mix a song for me?
« Reply #66 on: May 15, 2015, 11:10:20 pm »
@diad:
Ok, so you are basicly saying that the vocal and guitars doesnt work together rhythmically? There is not alot to do about that in a mix, except turn down the guitars alot. Which you did. But thats taking the whole thing away from the original cute girl with acoustic guitar singing a love song imo.
I like the bass you added. Just check the bridge again around 3:04, you are off key or something. Also some odd notes other places. Actually the rhythm of the bass is a little strange for some parts of the song.
Did you play the drums yourself with midi/keyboard?
The fills sound a little random, and some of them are out of rhythm and end to early, they should lead to the first beat of a new measure?
One more thing about the drums, whats up with the totally random cymbal hit off beat?   :P


Marcus,

I'm not a drummer or bass player so the errors are all mine. If I'd have had more time I may have gone back and re-recorded them. The fills are where they should be, whether they are played properly is another matter, but they indicate where I think the heart beat should quicken a little. A proper drummer would have known what to play. Most of them where drawn in my DAW.

The rhythm of the bass also changes to reflect where the heart quickens. I was playing against the rhythm of the guitar rather than with it which may explain why it went a bit strange. Again with more time (or skill) that would sound a lot better.

The cymbal is me being me, totally random, but it introduces the bridge and a change in tone. John Densome did it a lot in The Doors.

I liked the vocal and if we were all in your rehearsal room in Norway I'd have asked Hollywood to play a straight 8 rhythm guitar with lots of space in the verses and straight 8s in the chorus. That would have highlighted a woman in love singing to her beau with an acoustic guitar. Without that I just hid the rhythm guitar behind the drums and bass. I think it brings out the joy of the vocal better.

Hope that explains a bit more where I came from.

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Anyone want to mix a song for me?
« Reply #67 on: May 16, 2015, 12:31:45 am »
One more thing about the drums, whats up with the totally random cymbal hit off beat?   :P

LOL, yeah, I had a wtf moment on that one too..... I think that's called the 'if anyone goes to sleep punch in'

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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Anyone want to mix a song for me?
« Reply #68 on: May 16, 2015, 12:35:47 am »

I liked the vocal and if we were all in your rehearsal room in Norway I'd have asked Hollywood to play a straight 8 rhythm guitar with lots of space in the verses and straight 8s in the chorus.

Well she's sitting right there..... ask her... it's not like she can't make more tracks. If you make something better, then she needs to re-do her part to fit the better thing... not simply live with what exists.
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Anyone want to mix a song for me?
« Reply #69 on: May 16, 2015, 12:38:59 am »
We aren't. I don't think anyone here records professionally.

I know I don't, that's for damn sure.... However if she feels bad enough about it she can buy us all drinks!

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Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Anyone want to mix a song for me?
« Reply #70 on: May 16, 2015, 01:06:34 am »
Scooter, those driving drums are great. Suits the song very well. I'd join in on some banjo and mandolin picking and edge it into country territory.

Me, I'm gonna see if I can pull a Shattered Matter on this one i.e. semi-experimental acoustic approach. :P
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Offline Hollywood

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Re: Anyone want to mix a song for me?
« Reply #71 on: May 16, 2015, 01:26:38 am »
I'd join in on some banjo and mandolin picking and edge it into country territory.

Seriousl though, if you want to try adding a mandolin track... I love those!  They're high on my list of instruments to buy someday. Actually, I think it might be #1.  #1 would be a drum set if I had a decent place to put it and play it.
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Anyone want to mix a song for me?
« Reply #72 on: May 16, 2015, 02:56:24 am »
When I heard your vocal I heard it in 8th notes, 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. Your rhythm guitar is in 16th notes 1 (e) and a 2 (e) and a etc, where the (e) is silent.

Her strumming pattern is basically 1 ah (bump)  & -- 4 ... that is basically 1/8th strumming. the ah is just a pickup but she's playing percussion on the 2 backbeat.  That's the bump I heard in Marcus mix.

The in time stuff is 1 ah 4 , the rest drifts around. that's why you can't get a lock. It's guitar and percussion with nearly 50% of it drifting.


ETA:
@Cue... if you play a mando will you try at least a take or two like this.... You know how bluegrass can be tight and intense and up front... Not that... imagine jimiHendrix on mando playing a lilting more free and easy, happy but not 'yee haw" type feel..... like the pressed back sad mando but not sad... IOW, not the lonesome mando but not the yee haw mando..... the one that is smooth and there but not in your face.

Hard to explain what I am hearing in my head... btw... this would be for that melody line that is through the song. I would love to hear that.





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Offline diademgrove

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Re: Anyone want to mix a song for me?
« Reply #73 on: May 16, 2015, 08:15:09 am »
Well she's sitting right there..... ask her... it's not like she can't make more tracks. If you make something better, then she needs to re-do her part to fit the better thing... not simply live with what exists.

I was asked to mix the song, so that's what I did. I removed and reduced the bits I thought didn't work and added a basic drum and bass pattern. I've listened to the rhythm guitar part and you're right most of it seems to be  1 2 a (3) a 4 with the odd bar of 16th note strumming. I may have misheard it as I get a quarter note feel from the vocal.

If Hollywood had said how can I make this better then I'd have suggested changing the guitar pattern. It's her song and she's free to take what she likes from my mix and get rid of what she doesn't. For all I know the rhythm guitar might be an most important of her song.

I'm glad you like the cymbal. I followed the thoughts of Jim Morrison in his Granada TV interview at the Roundhouse. Jim Morrison plus Hollywood's words explains why you have a solitary cymbal crash on the "and" of 4.

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Anyone want to mix a song for me?
« Reply #74 on: May 16, 2015, 03:51:42 pm »
I've listened to the rhythm guitar part and you're right most of it seems to be  1 2 a (3) a 4

No, what I said was she is playing 1 - - ah (2) - & - - - - - 4. Where the (2)  is a percussive slap.
The parts (2) - & - - - - -  vary as to where they land, often being late and falling on the following 32nd division

That is very different from 1 - - - 2 - - ah - - - ah 4
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