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Author Topic: IMP5 "OTO" mix discussion  (Read 6264 times)

j.hall

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IMP5 "OTO" mix discussion
« on: July 24, 2006, 11:55:29 pm »

chat it up fellas
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garret

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Re: IMP5 mix discussions
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2006, 12:37:29 am »

Alright, lemme try this again.. this time in the right place.

I'd hoped to get a good listen to the tracks tonight, but my brain's just mush after a long day of work... so I'll post comments tomorrow sometime.

Some details on my mix of OTO....

general plan
I heard the song as a classic metal/hard rock number, with a few modern hardcore (atari teenage riot-esque) touches in it. Listening to the raw tracks, I was struck by how much .low rumbly stuff there was, so I started scheming right away to find stuff to drop. I shoved a few tracks aside that I knew weren't core elements of the song (moog, crazy guitar, digital bass, freq gtr, synth drone) and focused on mixing the most important tracks. Eventually, I ended up using everything at least a little bit. Er, except the drum sub track which seems to be a quick drum bus mix... I chucked that entirely.

tools
mixed in the box with Sonar
main reverb: voxengo impulse w/ emt plate impulse
special long reverb: ambience
eq/compression: wavearts trackplug
vocoder: mda vocoder
mangler: multilens
tape-compression emulator: voxengo tapebus

vocal
From the first listen, I loved the chorus part, but thought the verse was a bit unconvincing... The low growl seemed a bit put on... so I tried something new to thicken it up. I took the moog track, and vocoded it with the vocal, so during the verses, you'd hear the gurgle of the moog rumble through the vocals... I used an envelope so it would only kick in during the verses, since i liked the higher singing in the choruses “as is.”

the main vocal track was heavily eq'd to lose the mud and get a very biting, mid-rangy sound... High pass at 200hz, 2.7 octave wide 20db boost at 1khz (!), and 10db shelf at 5khz. No compression on the vocal... it was already mashed enough in the original source.

bass
simple mix here.. about a 50/50 mix of the “bass” and “xxx”, each eq'd to taste and compressed a little bit (maybe 3db gain reduction on the peaks).

guitars
hit gtr and gtr uzzy are panned 100% left and right. I put an envelope on gtr uzzy to drop it out when it lost the plot at times, and made my ears hurt, and to boost it when it hit something really essential. Both of these tracks got a little 2khz boost.

Rm gtr is dead center, lower in the mix, no eq or compression.. .just a little bit of envelope stuff for variety.

DRUMS

kick ball – flipped polarity, high pass at 37hz, boosted 6db at 88hz, and 6db at 4khz for a snappy beater. Without that last boost, I found the rhythmic counter-play between the snare and kick was getting lost in the mix.

snare – high pass at 125hz, really wide (4octave) 4db boost at 1k, compressed to get 6db on the peaks. Gobs of plate reverb.

sm2 overheads – mashed with voxengo tape bus to thicken it up. A bit of a rolloff with a low pass filter at 11khz to calm down the hats. Little bit of plate verb.

... I found the arrangement got a bit repetitive at 2:35, so for variety, I dropped out the drums entirely for a few measures, then brought just the kick back in, then the whole kit at 3:01.

OTHER STUFF

freqgtr – on a whim, I ran this through some presets in multilens and found one I liked a lot... it's kind of a chopper/helicopter counter rhythm.. you can hear it panned right at 1:22 or so. It's too much to have on all the time, so I used an envelope to slide it in whenever the vocal and guitars left a void.

digitalbass – I probably could have used more of this... but I liked it enough as just some extra fuzz in the noisy break at 1:27 or so.

crazy guitar
After getting the core mix grooving, I took another look at the castoff tracks. I listened again to crazy guitar, and though the first 20 seconds or so was a perfect intro to the tune... so I slid it earlier in time so it wouldn't get covered up by everythign else.

snare whitenoise effect
After I had my mix basically done, I found the snare a bit flat, lacking in something... trying out a technique I saw mentioned here on PSW (in whatever works), I tried to set up a trigger for some whitenoise with the snare track. I couldn't figure out how to set up a drum trigger in sonar, so instead I used a white noise sample, another vocoder, and some heavy comp/gating to get a similar result.

As some others have mentioned, I find it best to put a little bit of limiting on mixes when sending em out for review. This mix has 2db of peak limiting on it, complements of buzzmaxi3.

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scott volthause

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Re: IMP5 mix discussions
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2006, 10:57:00 am »

My OTO mix.

Tools
PARIS daw, mixed ITB

WTF was I thinking...
This song spoke, nay, screamed at me to smash it's head agaist the wall repeatedly while swilling PBR. Reminded me of a sprinking of King Crimson, FuManchu, etc.

I, like garretg, saw the third verse as getting a little long in the tooth as far as repetition goes. I liked the way the drum pattern changed in that part, so I stripped everything out except the drum sub, and two of the noise guitars and the vox. Drum sub was smashed with a PARIS compressor with the attack and release set to zero. It'll do interesting things when pushed most of the time, and I was't dissapointed.

I saw the intro and outro of the song to be largely self indulgent, so I nixed those, and aimed to get to the meat of the song as quickly as possible. I thought the final build needed some vocals, so I borrowed parts of the last chorus to throw in there.

The moog track got tossed because I just didn't find it musical. Actually that's not entirely true. While placing audio out on the grid, I totally overlooked it and mixed the song completely without it. When I was finished I noticed that it was still in the unused audio bin and I froze. Luckily it didn't add anything to the song in my opinion, so out it stayed.
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Fibes

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Re: IMP5 mix discussions
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2006, 01:29:33 pm »

Well guys i took a listen to what was up last night and yes, i missed the deadline. That's what happens when you re-open your room smack in the middle of something like this, saturdays session lasted until 11:55 last night at which time I ran the (country) client off with the mixes of OTO. I sure am pissed that i never got a shot at Garrett's song but life (and a pile o' bills) got in the way.

I'm glad to see some of you "got" what the XXX track was for by treating the bass with some fuzz and am just as glad some of you didn't go there. FWIW the reason the guitars are not big and doubling the bass like a Mofo is 'cause that's what XXX was for at mix time. Noise noise noise.

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Fibes
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Fabricoh35

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Re: IMP5 mix discussions
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2006, 01:30:18 pm »

Mix = OTO
Tools = Adobe Audition

To me the tracking was so good on this especially the drums that I didn't really need to do much.  Based on the crazy composition I thought it needed to have a main body of the song with the supporting "effect" tracks moving around all over the place under it.  I think it works with headphones but may not translate as well over speakers.  I used the moog part in the intro but felt it needed some high end freq's added so I duplicated the intro part of it and ran one through a pitch shifter and blended with the regular one.

The rest of the tracks have a little eq and some have a little compression on them.  The one of the bass tracks has a little flange added.

The end I thought needed something.  Had I been producing I woudl have suggested a lead part or soloish type guitar track for that section.  But since we could not add parts I decided to add a flange part.  I bounced the end tracks to a stereo track and added the crazy flange to it and blended with the main tracks.  As you can tell there is a bit of a volume jump.  That's because the end part was a bit of a last minute thing and I would have blended that a bit better under other circumstances.

Is it okay to ask fibes about the tracking now?  I'd love to know how the drums were tracked.
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cerberus

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Re: IMP5 mix discussions
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2006, 01:39:09 pm »

i have not mixed in six months. so i took a too conservative approach.  

i intended to not be manipulative...to present "oto" as a similar listening experience to hearing the band play it live. i started with the idea that it's mainstream enough so that anyone who likes rock should be able to relate...

the main issue for me to solve was dynamics and density... so i regret not filtering some guitars heavily, not using any delay or reverbs on the "fuzzy" elements to bring them out but allow them to be turned down more.   in fact i used no reverbs at all, almost no eq, no buss compression, no peak limiting.

instead i expanded the dynamics of almost every track, especially the drums, while compressing copies of the tracks and runnning these in parallel so that the dynamic range of the mix got larger sounded more like i imagined their live sound would be.  

then i ran each track backwards through each process, and this gave me an opportunity to flip the polarity on some and crossfade them to affect what i refer to as "the yin/yang continuum"... it turns out that a compression setting that pulls inward slightly will tend to push outward when run backwards... to blend the copies together can afford very strict control over microdynamics, often just a touch of the reverse version can be enough...sometimes the reverse version sounds better, particuarly on drums where the envelope shape for attack and decay are very similar.

this process also affects the phase rotation and the amount of transient smearing on filtered processes, so i can use very mild eq settings and then apply their inverse as well for more control over nuances in frequency curves.  if your'e thinking it's radical or something,...i learned it from steve albini!  he ran tape backwards through compression for some tracks on the page-plant album.

i did use serveral modulators and delay effects to change the texture of some instruments... particularly the vocals (which also employ pitch correction).  also crazy guitar and freq guitar needed to have their tone adjusted, more tubelike overtones were added here...and some transistor ones... because i took these as lead instruments, so they had to sound sonically rich and deep,  and also more organic...which these two tracks themselves lacked.  i treated the other guitars that make the repeating riff as rhythm guitar elements.... though i agree they are also "lead guitars", something had to be turned down or filtered or panned out of the way, so i felt the main riff was strong as a background element.. but i do like the mixes that put it more up front.

i used q-clone to convolve transfer functions made from vintage analog devices onto some tracks such as the overheads, to make the cymbals sound less digital-like and more "real" as in "tape"...pseudo tape is what i used, i know real tape and i don't have it.  the snare got mildy saturated with mageneto, (which is technically a peak limiter) on a parallel snare track (there are five parallel snare tracks) because i wanted to keep the snap and the skin... i really wanted to have skin here...so the snare is parallleled so i could try to have both... the microdynamics are arranged carefully so that on some hits there is more skin and some hits have more snap. this instrument and the kick ball are intentionally spiked up with expanders so that they should hit a peak limiter well before the guitars vocals and other drum sounds, which i think i distorted enough. those i made  less dynamic so they wouldn't tend to distort easily under a limiting process.  

i also used the ssl listen mic compressor on the room drums... a technique which i think kevin said he tried on the recording but did not work.... probably  i should have thrown this track out and made my own drum submix,  why do i think it contains some "special dna" of the recording because the artist included it?  knowing what to throw away is important...i missed that opportunity here.

some of the compression processes i applied were on stereoized components and on the overheads which were stereo... those were all done as m/s processes. but i did mostly monaural processes and panned the results after the dynamics, just before summing.

i used bass enhancement in small amounts, but bass as an instrument is sacrificed somewhat for density... in retrospect and after hearing some other mixes, i'd think i would have been better off filtering some low freqs out of the guitars to let the bass breathe..... i spent so much time on the kick drum instead, but the kick ball track would have popped out more easily if i had cleared some low end space for bass instead of letting the guitars cover most of the bass.  what was the bass ?  i love bass so much i could only decide that the synth bass was not really a bass... but that "xxx" was indeed a bass... so there are two basses here as well as a thick array of growling guitars.... i didn't want to have to resort to "thinning" anything but the synth bass... thinning is for wussies!

i had always thought to set up a ducking thing, but in the end, i was not sure which track i really wanted to duck and under what... so i did some fader automation to make the final buildup after the break and the ending seem more dramatic... here you will find the moog synth finally emerges again as a lead instrument (i left most of it in the intro)..also i have done some panning to make the players seem more animated in this part alone.  now i wish i had given more of this specific kind of attention to each part, not just the final thirty seconds...

jeff dinces

Fibes

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Re: IMP5 mix discussions
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2006, 02:13:37 pm »

Fabricoh35 wrote on Tue, 25 July 2006 13:30

Is it okay to ask fibes about the tracking now?  I'd love to know how the drums were tracked.


I'm not J. and personally i think y'all need to concentrate on your hard work for at least a little while, if J wants to start a thread then so be it but I'm getting into the mix aspect of this excercise and wouldn't want it to lose THAT focus.

You will all get a kick out of it when we get there however.
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Fibes
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"You can like it, or not like it."
The Studio

  http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewArtist ?id=155759887
http://cdbaby.com/cd/superhorse
http://cdbaby.com/cd/superhorse2

LSilva

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Re: IMP5 mix discussions
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2006, 03:22:16 pm »

For mixing, I used Sonar (badly).

From all the OTO submissions that I've heard so far, it seems like I'm the only one who distorted the living shit out of the drums. Either I'm an idiot or all of you are. Laughing

I felt like they sounded too 'nice' for the rest of the tune.  I used Cakewalk Amp Sim and distorted the whole drum sub (except for the actual drum sub track).

I took Fibes cue and distorted the XXX track as well.  

I used a bunch of reverb on the kick and snare tracks (pre distortion).  I thought it would be cool to have kind of an 80's cannon ball snare type of reverb on there and make the drum sound cavernous.

The only other thing I did was to 'stereoize' the vocal with a hard  panned delay. It's probably too much, but I thought the vocal was too 'in your face' before that.

This was a great time.  I hope we can do it again soon.  It's always a treat to mix someone else's material- especially in this case since it was such a non-typical song.

Thanks guys (and thanks J for posting my mix),
Lou



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Lou Silva

cerberus

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Re: IMP5 mix discussions
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2006, 06:34:46 pm »

LouMan wrote on Tue, 25 July 2006 15:22

I used a bunch of reverb on the kick and snare tracks (pre distortion). I thought it would be cool to have kind of an 80's cannon ball snare type of reverb on there and make the drum sound cavernous.

oh that was you! well it certainly took me back in time. it may seem  out of fashion or out of place, but is it wrong?  i do notice some pre-dx-7 synth tones are popular again now. the thing to do is to listen to yours fresh and see if it seems wrong and not creative when the other mixes are not in the front of your mind.  it is too familiar a sound for me not to be reminded of other music by it; so it's hard for me to know what percentage of record buyers would really identify it as an "80's trap kit sound", or if it would distract them.

jeff dinces

j.hall

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Re: IMP5 mix discussions
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2006, 07:12:29 pm »

Fibes wrote on Tue, 25 July 2006 13:13

Fabricoh35 wrote on Tue, 25 July 2006 13:30

Is it okay to ask fibes about the tracking now?  I'd love to know how the drums were tracked.


I'm not J. and personally i think y'all need to concentrate on your hard work for at least a little while, if J wants to start a thread then so be it but I'm getting into the mix aspect of this excercise and wouldn't want it to lose THAT focus.

You will all get a kick out of it when we get there however.




this actually is the thread for all this discussion......

start asking every one all the questions you want, and start answering questions.
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Fibes

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Re: IMP5 mix discussions
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2006, 07:54:18 pm »

j.hall wrote on Tue, 25 July 2006 19:12

Fibes wrote on Tue, 25 July 2006 13:13

Fabricoh35 wrote on Tue, 25 July 2006 13:30

Is it okay to ask fibes about the tracking now?  I'd love to know how the drums were tracked.


I'm not J. and personally i think y'all need to concentrate on your hard work for at least a little while, if J wants to start a thread then so be it but I'm getting into the mix aspect of this excercise and wouldn't want it to lose THAT focus.

You will all get a kick out of it when we get there however.




this actually is the thread for all this discussion......

start asking every one all the questions you want, and start answering questions.


Well you heard him.

Anyone care to guess what format OTO was recorded in?
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Fibes
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"You can like it, or not like it."
The Studio

  http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewArtist ?id=155759887
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http://cdbaby.com/cd/superhorse2

NelsonL

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Re: IMP5 mix discussions
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2006, 08:19:07 pm »

Fibes wrote on Tue, 25 July 2006 16:54

j.hall wrote on Tue, 25 July 2006 19:12

Fibes wrote on Tue, 25 July 2006 13:13

Fabricoh35 wrote on Tue, 25 July 2006 13:30

Is it okay to ask fibes about the tracking now?  I'd love to know how the drums were tracked.


I'm not J. and personally i think y'all need to concentrate on your hard work for at least a little while, if J wants to start a thread then so be it but I'm getting into the mix aspect of this excercise and wouldn't want it to lose THAT focus.

You will all get a kick out of it when we get there however.




this actually is the thread for all this discussion......

start asking every one all the questions you want, and start answering questions.


Well you heard him.

Anyone care to guess what format OTO was recorded in?



ADAT?
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LSilva

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Re: IMP5 mix discussions
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2006, 08:21:37 pm »

Fibes wrote on Tue, 25 July 2006 19:54

j.hall wrote on Tue, 25 July 2006 19:12

Fibes wrote on Tue, 25 July 2006 13:13

Fabricoh35 wrote on Tue, 25 July 2006 13:30

Is it okay to ask fibes about the tracking now?  I'd love to know how the drums were tracked.


I'm not J. and personally i think y'all need to concentrate on your hard work for at least a little while, if J wants to start a thread then so be it but I'm getting into the mix aspect of this excercise and wouldn't want it to lose THAT focus.

You will all get a kick out of it when we get there however.




this actually is the thread for all this discussion......

start asking every one all the questions you want, and start answering questions.


Well you heard him.

Anyone care to guess what format OTO was recorded in?



Evil?


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Lou Silva

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Re: IMP5 mix discussions
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2006, 10:31:54 pm »

D.P.
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scott volthause

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Re: IMP5 mix discussions
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2006, 12:35:23 am »

Fibes wrote on Tue, 25 July 2006 19:54



Well you heard him.

Anyone care to guess what format OTO was recorded in?



Nope. I'm definitely not going to play that game. I will say I thought the source material sounded good though, no matter what the format.

If I recall correctly, I think I've read around here before that you've used the Blue Ball on kick, and since the kick track was called "kick ball", I'm curious if you used the Blue Ball on that. If so I'm astounded. I never thought it would sound that nice, although it's somewhat apparant that whatever followed it (pre and comp) was decent as well.

I'd love to hear your "intended" mix of the song, just to see how badly I reamed your tune. (this is a superhorse song, right?)
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