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Author Topic: IMP7 discussion.  (Read 20862 times)

Vladislavs Korehovs

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #75 on: September 21, 2006, 06:36:49 am »

Hi,

I was really surprized by these IMP's comments.
Because thease was really constructive and not just a Glance saying like "sounds good", "sound very interesting" etc.

I would say what all the comments are very precise, even if acoustics can affect oppinions:)

In fact i'm mixing at home on BM5A monitors. Then i came yesterday to studio and listened them on Genelecs i found bass and AG's lows were muddy. But i haven't noticed it at home because my room modes affect bass response and ultra lows are taking attention from middle lows.
And then i had a brilliant idea why don't let my home monitors sound like Geneles? i took Waves Linear Phase EQ lowband and performed low cut at different frequences. Then i have tried to clean muddnes. Making such low cuts make really simulate how music is heared: On Desctop speakers, headphones, in car, etc.

I decided to try 2 new techniques: Process Overheads with Mid/Side for stripping Snare and Kick from middle only and adding Cymbals sustain to middle only while keeping side intact.

Play with Bass and Add Sub-Bass in Chorus.

Resoults of both experimets are dissapointing:(
OH: Maybe because such processing affects Phase of cymbals and summing back don't sounds good.

Sub Bass: Adds just a rumble and muddness:( i should not use it as much:(

Originally i made a note what chorus has same harmonic structure as verse, so it is really hard to make it sound different:(
Then i decided to make a change by making more bass energy in chorus, that was a wrong choise. I could be better if i was using fountation parts (Compressed AG and Compressed Piano) for this contrast and leaving bass line not different.

As for mine comments, i cannot really find time to listen to all songs as i'm working 10 hours a day.
Glad what you liked vocals, it is just 3-rd mix there i really understood how to mix vocals:)))
I sill not quite understand how to mix backing vocals:(

I found perfect combination:

1) EQ (i use Waves Q10) to give vocal a shape at 1k and 1.8k this time (it could vary with each vocaliset sweep to find best points) theis is verry narrow Q about 10..30, so REALLY narrow.
This brings up a harmonics. Then i remove some of "cheep" frequencies at 800 by applying a dip with Q about 5.
Add very much Air with about +4..6 db and wide Q at 8k..16k just not to affect shape.

2) Compress it with Waves RVox i used 10db setting this time.
3) Delay is used to make vocal sound bejond the speakers. i use quearter note or eigth note but it is reaaly to stretch the image not as FX.
4) Reverb is usually transparent, i like Lexicon PCM91 impulses for Vocal, like "Bright Vox" etc.
I could post my Nuendo project if you are interested.

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dikledoux

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #76 on: September 21, 2006, 09:36:56 am »

I'm still waiting to go through all with some real attention and comment, but I'll say these things...

IMP should include a "scope and vision" statement from the artist or producer so that we don't have to guess.  If we don't have that, we have to go with our gut and it sounds like that's what people do.  Likewise, IMP should include ending comments from the artist to see if we hit the mark or missed it hugely in any way.

It's an interesting phenomena to read comments from people about the mixes when we're all like the blind guys describing the elephant.  Honestly, the rough crits aren't invalid from the standpoint that we're all going on our own take.  But even the roughest of comments would come across differently if it came from a client, because then we could always say "OH... I didn't realize that's what you were going for... give me a couple days and I'll have another go".

As it stands, reactions to CHOICES about the mix (as opposed to easily spotted technical issues) are just armchair quarterbacking without some reaction from the artist.  What one person thinks stinks, others like and so it doesn't tell us anything we don't already know - people like different stuff.

Still, hearing other peoples approaches is hugely beneficial for me.  And while I understand that there is a serious dose of subjectiveness and personal taste with some of the comments... I STILL think it's beneficial.

Oh, and another thing.  I think we should have a separate thread for crits only and one for general discussion.  Just to keep it clean.  So much info and I don't want to miss stuff because I'm skimming.  But that's the anal/organizer goober in me <g>.

dik
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j.hall

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #77 on: September 21, 2006, 10:07:10 am »

OK, fair enough.

Nizzle:

iin the intro, you chose to use the the electronic drums right out of the gate.  not bad, but leaving them relatively dry isn't really propelling me to listen further.  if this mix were on the record i would promptly hit skip.

the lead vocal has so much energy and passion to the performance, this need to be capitalized on.  your vocal sound is good, but it needs to be more up front, which means more control......more compression.  i'd also add a touch of bite to it so it pops off the speakers more.

once the band comes in your bottom end is too big, mainly the kick drum.  might be a rooom acoustics issue, or you just like it that big......with the kick drum being that big it detracts from other elements.

without that huge wall of vocals the song loses a lot of momentum that makes me want to keep listening.  it's something you don't hear much.  modest mouse did it, but in a different way.  the song itself isn't really anything special.  the vocals are where the whole thing is at.  nothing in the musical performance is necissarily "inspired".

when your distortion guitars come in, they are dark and muddy, it doesn't add any lift.  when these guitars come in, the whole thing should explode.  the vocal gets a twinge grittier when the distortion guitars come in and wihtout them being up and bright you sorta lose why he's singing more aggressively.

are you using the upright bass and electric together in certain parts?

i think there is a sonic vibe you need to expand upon overall.  everything you've done works, but it doesn't "breathe".  

if i were to take your mix and expand upon it, i would tighten up the low end first and give the whole mix more air to move.  then i'd freak out that drum loop.  mayabe thin it out, a bit of distortion (not much) and a tight focused room verb.  then i'd zero in on those vocals.  first i'd tune the lead vocal smoothly making sure any artifacts weren't around, then i'd compress it A LOT with something that made it feel edgier, and de-ess the piss out of it.  i'd copy all those setting to the BGV and balance them all out.  i might add a touch of that room verb to the lead vocal and see what it did for me.....but i'd lean more towards a dry in your face vocal.  then i'd work those distortion guitars till they created a huge rock thing.  

IMO, you balanced the mix well and stopped there.  getting a good balance is not easy, i'm not slighting you for being able to do that......that's something to be proud of.  the last little bit of "mojo" that separates mixers is the vibe.  i think you need to expand upon your vibe.
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j.hall

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #78 on: September 21, 2006, 10:16:31 am »

UnderTow wrote on Wed, 20 September 2006 20:23



In contrast to what J. says (who btw is just projecting HIS vision of the song), most great albums and musical pieces have loads of stuff stripped and/or redone/replaced out before the final mix is approved.



not true at all......you know what happens when you make assumptions............
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UnderTow

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #79 on: September 21, 2006, 10:33:27 am »

j.hall wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 16:16

UnderTow wrote on Wed, 20 September 2006 20:23



In contrast to what J. says (who btw is just projecting HIS vision of the song), most great albums and musical pieces have loads of stuff stripped and/or redone/replaced out before the final mix is approved.



not true at all......you know what happens when you make assumptions............


Oh stupid me. I just went back and checked and it wasn't you making those comments. I was actually responding to this comment from iCombs:

iCombs wrote


also, and I mean this with no offense to anyone, but I heard a lot of mixes that had TONS of tracks stripped out. I'm not any kind of genious, but I think that for the most part, if they sent it to mix, they want it in the mix.



My apologies for the confusion.

My comments to what iCombs wrote still stand though.

Alistair
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j.hall

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #80 on: September 21, 2006, 10:48:02 am »

OK, lots of posting, I?ve been crazy busy with multiple projects in pre-production, some in tracking and a few in mixing?..

Let me wade through this a bit, I haven?t the time to copy and paste posts you?ll have to bare with me and possibly find the posts I?m referencing.

TomC:

You make fabulous points.  Ya'll might not be thrilled with my work, but to be honest, I think I do have more experience and skills then most of you, not all?..

It's a bit neglectful of me to simply start this whole thing and then not be the "teacher", and help guide people through it to actually better themselves.  Even if you hate my personal approach there is a lot I can probably teach you that can be adapted into what it is you individually do.

Also, point taken about the acoustics thing, I'll do better at trying to point out problems.

Scottoliphant, sorry to make it sound like I expect you to have good acoustics, not the case, I'm just trying to point this out so some poople can add this "weight" to the comments they read.

Chrisj, YES!!!!!!  Don?t just sling me a bunch of criticism that goes no where.  Qualify it with what you think?..that's what I?m after to a certain extent.  A critique does me no good unless I can properly judge if I agree with where you are coming from.  My #1 comment from all of you is "over-compressed", but I listen to your work and think, "not compressed enough".

Some one said something about not being able to talk to the artist, therefore my idea of mixing for the song is basically impossible.  NOT TRUE.  I very RARELY get direction from an artist.  Granted I'm allowed to call and chat, but at the same time, I?m expect to do my thing.  And that's exactly what I do.  Personally, I don't really care what the artist wants until after I do the mix.  It?s my job as a mixer to also be one part producer.  Some one said I just don't believe in editing or something like that........HAHAHAHA  oh man, you just don't know how I normally work.  If I dig the vibe of a song, I won't touch it and I'll increase what I think the vibe is.

Some one else mentioned mixing all the tracks that come in.  no way man, if you don?t dig the part, mute it.  That?s the whole point.  Your job as a mixer is to focus the song to it?s purest form and present it to the public in a way that makes them feel compelled to keep listening.  If that means muting a mandolin part, then DO IT!

Rankus:  yes you are supposed to critique the tec hnical aspects of the mixes, but you also need to get personal with it.  Like I said above, telling me my mix is over-compressed does me no good?..adding how my over-compression makes you feel about the song is exactly what people need to hear.

Spoon: yeah man, you are right, we have to do what the artist wants.  But you are wrong too.  If you think for one minute that bob clearmountain or andy wallace hesitate for one second to "sell" a mix, you are mistaken.  Those guys get hired because when they were us, they had big enough balls to do what they felt needed to be done.  If you think people hire you because you are some blank slate that can do anything anybody wants, then I can't help you with that.

i?m also starting to see a lot of excuses about your own mixes being posted.  That's crap guys.  You did it, you posted it, own up to it.  If some one else did a better job, work harder next time.  Don't sell us some sob story about what went wrong for you.  Be proud that you participated and get a chance to better yourself.  

I?ll do a better job commenting on the mixes.  Honestly though, there are tons of mixes, and my family life has little to do with my silence.  Here are my reasons.

1.   I waited to see how these things were going to go between all of you first.
2.   My current work load is drowning me, I hardly have enough time to post more then a few lines.
3.   I sorta assumed people would be much more inquisitive about other people?s mixes.  No one asks questions till recently.  All we get is feedback and no one asking, "how the hell did you get the snare drum to do that". Or whatever.

So, I've been asked a few things about my mix.  I?ll answer those shortly, now, I have to cut some vocals and recall some mixes.
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UnderTow

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #81 on: September 21, 2006, 10:54:13 am »

j.hall wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 16:48

 Some one said I just don?t believe in editing or something like that??HAHAHAHA  oh man, you just don?t know how I normally work.  If I dig the vibe of a song, I won?t touch it and I?ll increase what I think the vibe is??.

Some one else mentioned mixing all the tracks that come in.  no way man, if you don?t dig the part, mute it.  That?s the whole point.  Your job as a mixer is to focus the song to it?s purest form and present it to the public in a way that makes them feel compelled to keep listening.  If that means muting a mandolin part, then DO IT!



As I pointed out in my last post, I had these two mixed up in my brain. It actually seems like we agree on this.

Alistair
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scottoliphant

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #82 on: September 21, 2006, 11:05:07 am »

I'm not sure how this would be done, or if we'd even want to, but the "learning" aspect of imp could be improved if there was smart way to post an "improved" mix based on comments, and try to address some of the critical comments. It could end up just being a train wreck though, would have to be organized. Each mix almost needs it's own sub thread or we get off track.

dconstruction

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #83 on: September 21, 2006, 11:14:13 am »

What an interesting conversation!  I'm learning so much; thank you all for tackling these tracks.

A few points, as the producer/engineer of this track:
1.) I hate the pizz. violins; they're ported straight from the artist's bedroom demo because he's still in love with them.  In all my mixes, they're muted.  I threw them in because they're there, and I was interested in what you guys could do with them.  In general, I've heard some very interesting approaches, but I think the consensus is that they shouldn't be there, and I agree.
2.) The accordion is the same (ported from the demo), but since it's more of a pad, it doesn't bother me much.  We'll be replacing this track with an old pump organ I found.
3.) And yes, the banjo is from the demo, too, though it is perhaps the most successful.  I've got a banjo player coming in this weekend to record a replacement track.  The bells are from the demo, too.  Don't really have an opinion about them.  They're probably superfluous.
4.) The background vocals are, as I opined earlier, the key to this song.  Even if I had prepared a creative brief to outline the vision for this song, I think I might not have mentioned this point, as it is so obvious to me.  I was very interested in those mixes that deemphasized them, have listened to them over and over, and just cannot like them as much as those where a wall of vocals hits me in the chorus.  Maybe I'm too close to the material.
5.) Acoustic bass.  What a nightmare.  So very out of tune.  I threw it in, really only because it might sound nice on the break.  Some of you picked up on that.  Others ignored it completely, which is probably what should happen.
6.)
Quote:

Straight away I noticed that alot of instruments just kept playing through out the whole recording (or alot of it) and all came in at the same time. I had two explanations for this: 1) They were intended to play throughout the whole track 2) They were played throughout the whole track for practical reasons.

By practical reasons I mean that if you are in the studio, you have everything miked up, the musicians are there and ready to play, why not just record too much and cut out the superfluous stuff later on? It only takes a couple of minutes extra to keep recording at this point while having to add stuff later would take an immense amount of work comparatively. This was tagged as a project on a budget. To me that means maximizing time and resources.


Yep.  Option 2.  This is nearly always how I work.  I've got the disc space so, by God, I'm going to use it.

Thanks to Under Tow for such a specific description of your mixing process - and documenting the perceived flaws in the source tracks.  "I had major difficulties with the way the drums were played."  Me, too.  But we had two Sundays to track drums for twelve songs, cold.  I did what I could.  I'm going to go back and source out where that distortion was coming from (if I can even hear it).  I suspect the overheads.  I'm pretty careful when tracking, so I'm fairly certain there isn't pervasive clipping at the converters, but maybe the mic is squashing, or else the preamps get ugly when pushed.  If you have a specific suggestion for tracking these better, let me know.

Overall, Under Tow, I was the most amused by your mix (I'm not being condescending).  I found it fun, and laughed out loud at that huge, cavernous drum hit coming out of the bridge into the breakdown.  All in all, I felt you brought a "dance" sensibility to the track, which I enjoyed.  I don't think I agree with your direction, and that's a matter of taste (so there's no accounting for it), but I will tell you I might steal some ideas from your outro.

Thanks again!
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scott volthause

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #84 on: September 21, 2006, 11:30:21 am »

cerberus wrote on Wed, 20 September 2006 22:32

volthause - the bass sounds a bit weird like it is stereo? i love your analog sound dude.. i forget if you use analog, but i do like your sound.. notice that the transients on the top end, such as vocal sibilants, where harshness can easily creep in... it's very sweet on top... sweet sound all over in fact... full dynamics, full range of the spectrum, nothing is muddy or smeary...interesting break treatment....... oh no, not another fade out... a longer fadeout is just longer agony for me! but what is the main identifying characteristic of your unique sound here? even order harmonics ? tubes ?


Don't know where the stereo bass track sound comes from. It's definitely a mono tracked, and treated as such panned straight up the middle.

I'm glad you think it sounds analogy, but it's all digital in the box. I don't like trying to hype upper frequencies to get things to shine through. A lot of trimming EQ work was done to get things out of the way of one another.

Fades are best left to the ME, but in this case I just decided to do it. To me it served the song.

Thanks for the comments.
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chrisj

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #85 on: September 21, 2006, 11:51:36 am »

j.hall wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 10:07

OK, fair enough.

Nizzle:


*snip*

J- do THAT with mine. That is exactly what I was talking about. So far I have 'usually everybody is too compressed but with you it's not compressed enough'. more, dude! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

j.hall

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #86 on: September 21, 2006, 11:55:41 am »

band is outside smoking in between recalls and printing new mixes.

i need to add after further thought.  i will start commenting on mixes.  however, i doubt i will get to every single mix with the level of detail i want to do per mix.

i'm thinking i should take notes on whose mixes i've commented on so in furture IMPs i can continual comment on different mixers.  that way, you can get feedback from me, eventually.

i know it's kinda lame.....but is this ok?

PS- unter tow, i was typing my post when you corrected yourself so i didn't see it till after i posted.
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j.hall

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #87 on: September 21, 2006, 11:57:09 am »

chrisj wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 10:51

j.hall wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 10:07

OK, fair enough.

Nizzle:


*snip*

J- do THAT with mine. That is exactly what I was talking about. So far I have 'usually everybody is too compressed but with you it's not compressed enough'. more, dude! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


the "you" is universal in there, FYI.
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Tom C

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #88 on: September 21, 2006, 12:12:46 pm »

j.hall wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 17:55


i need to add after further thought.  i will start commenting on mixes.  however, i doubt i will get to every single mix with the level of detail i want to do per mix.

i'm thinking i should take notes on whose mixes i've commented on so in furture IMPs i can continual comment on different mixers.  that way, you can get feedback from me, eventually.

i know it's kinda lame.....but is this ok?



For me that's perfect, better have a couple of in-depth comments
each time than lots of shallow ones.
And BTW leave mine out this time, with all the syncing problems
you'd wasting your time.
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spoon

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Re: IMP7 discussion.
« Reply #89 on: September 21, 2006, 12:15:23 pm »

chrisj wrote on Wed, 20 September 2006 18:35



spoon- Drum treatments, huh? Against a good strong lead vocal which feels like the focal point. More drum treatments. Then woohoo, more drum treatments! It feels sort of experimental- if the voice wasn't consistent and upfront this wouldn't really work. It always sounds like the only thing we care about is the vocals and the snare.


I am glad it feels experimental.  I like that sort of stuff.
I only did some drum treatments at the very begining and the very end (outro).  I am not sure what you are hearing in the middle.

dikledoux wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 08:36



IMP should include a "scope and vision" statement from the artist or producer so that we don't have to guess.


Good idea.

Quote:


Still, hearing other peoples approaches is hugely beneficial for me.  And while I understand that there is a serious dose of subjectiveness and personal taste with some of the comments... I STILL think it's beneficial.
dik


Yes that is very, very important.  Probably the best part of IMP.

BTW, I really liked your mix.  I thought it was top notch.

j.hall wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 09:48


Spoon: yeah man, you are right, we have to do what the artist wants.  But you are wrong too.  If you think for one minute that bob clearmountain or andy wallace hesitate for one second to "sell" a mix, you are mistaken.  Those guys get hired because when they were us, they had big enough balls to do what they felt needed to be done.  If you think people hire you because you are some blank slate that can do anything anybody wants, then I can't help you with that.


I hear ya.  I very much agree those guys "sell" a mix.  And of course it works.
But. I am not sure that is the best approach for the indie scene.

To me, indie artists (vesus pop artists) have a darn good idea of what they want to hear from their music.
That was what I was thinking when I wrote about delivering the ARTIST's vision and not my vision (this being the indie forum).

But to each their own, as it can all work.  And by work I mean deliver paid gigs.

I dont feel I am a blank slate as I have opinions and will offer if asked.  Either way, I do not need help with that.
I like that approach.


I love this stuff.  Good ideas exchanging.

Regards,
David
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