R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 10   Go Down

Author Topic: IMP 11 OFFICIAL discussion thread  (Read 16848 times)

ShakesTheClown

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 161
Re: IMP 11 OFFICIAL discussion thread
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2007, 05:19:47 pm »

Maybe this is a discussion for another thread but...How big does the low end need to get!?  I've never been in a room with a kick drum that sounds as big as I've been hearing in these mixes.

I too usually decide on huge low end but decided against it this time as it sounded unnatural to me.

However....bigass kick drums is where it's at.
Logged

grantis

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1407
Re: IMP 11 OFFICIAL discussion thread
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2007, 05:21:11 pm »

hey guys,
just to clarify..........

the only thing i tuned was the lead vocal.  maybe a bit artifacty, but not near as much as the background vocal.   the background vocal was sent to me like that.  those were the result of editing multiple takes together to make up one phrase (as i understand it).  

i've been discovering my mixing vibe to be developing into a very very FM radio sound, just cuz that's the kind of music i write.

myspace.com/grantrichard  
j mixed those tracks (except for "can't you see")

this was not my band, it was a friend's band who volunteered this mix to me simply because i had nothing to do, and i wanted something to practice on.

the bass player is a one-taker, the best player i know....SERIOUSLY.  you guys ever need a session player (drums or bass), PM me, i'll hook you up with them.  they are incredible players.

and in his own words: j's mix 'slays'.  haha

here is the band:
myspace.com/motorcarcourtney

the name of the song is fantasy.  it was mixed by the lead singer jonathan dimmel (he also played the drums on this track).

i'm very new to mixing and this forum is a God-send for me!!!!  you all rock!

grant
Logged
Grant Craig
Nuovo Music (Me)
Skiddco Music (Where I work)
Work History (Well, some of it anyway)

chrisj

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 959
Re: IMP 11 OFFICIAL discussion thread
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2007, 05:34:41 pm »

j.hall wrote on Mon, 23 April 2007 14:23

garret, your mix is dark, but chris j's is DARK!!!!


All the better to match my black, scheming heart  Twisted Evil

Downloading everything and looking forward to hearing everyone's mixes in the next couple days. I got mine the way I wanted it, at least from where I was standing the other day when I mixed it- no apologies for pissing J off with it Wink that said, one thing I did NOT do this time was use the clock-radio type monitors- it was big mains all the way. Everything actually has different kinds of treble boost, it's just that I was extremely wary of making the mix sound obnoxious and post-90s because I thought that would suck Smile

If J's mix can not piss me off in turn even though his yen for treble was much greater than mine, I'll be very very interested in how that was done. I wanted big, not bright. More in the critiques, not to get into a big mix-direction wrangle before I even hear anyone else's tracks...

Tom C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 377
Re: IMP 11 OFFICIAL discussion thread
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2007, 05:36:04 pm »

j.hall wrote on Mon, 23 April 2007 20:23


to date, this is the best rhythm section IMP has seen/heard.



Yep, besides the sound of kick&snare it was very tight, and that
bass player is a hack. What a nice groove and the melodies support
the song perfectly. Way to go.

Let the listening marathon start...

Tom
Logged
Tom

.signature failure

garret

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1012
Re: IMP 11 OFFICIAL discussion thread
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2007, 05:36:05 pm »

grant richard wrote on Mon, 23 April 2007 17:21

hey guys,
just to clarify..........

this was not my band, it was a friend's band who volunteered this mix to me simply because i had nothing to do, and i wanted something to practice on.




Aha!  sorry for the confusion.  
Logged
tomorrow is already here - http://www.worksongs.net/

Careful Collapse

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 321
Re: IMP 11 OFFICIAL discussion thread
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2007, 05:51:12 pm »

Quote:

How big does the low end need to get!?  I've never been in a room with a kick drum that sounds as big as I've been hearing in these mixes.
 

I usually opt on the side of more bass than less bass, with the understanding that a mastering engineer will have an easier time removing bass than adding it (as was already suggested.)  Plus, I don't think this particular kick drum had a lot of mid range to it, anyway.  I tried pushing up 3k or so but it took a LOT just to get a worthwhile change so I just ended up just focusing on what it already had.
Logged
Billy V
I have my very own space on the nets http://www.myspace.com/carefulcollapse

grantis

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1407
Re: IMP 11 OFFICIAL discussion thread
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2007, 06:39:26 pm »

Quote:

I tried pushing up 3k or so but it took a LOT just to get a worthwhile change so I just ended up just focusing on what it already had.


IMO, we should do what is required to get the sound we want.  Push up as much 3k as needed.  Use two EQ's if necessary.  A wise man once said 'stop watching the meter'.
Logged
Grant Craig
Nuovo Music (Me)
Skiddco Music (Where I work)
Work History (Well, some of it anyway)

Careful Collapse

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 321
Re: IMP 11 OFFICIAL discussion thread
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2007, 07:48:14 pm »

Well eventually I thought "maybe there's no beater because they don't want a beater sound?"  So I went with it.
Logged
Billy V
I have my very own space on the nets http://www.myspace.com/carefulcollapse

chrisj

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 959
Re: IMP 11 OFFICIAL discussion thread
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2007, 08:21:06 pm »

Okay, here comes Evil ChrisJ... not really, but what with feeling defensive about J's initial remarks, and also with a lot of 'WTF???' moments in some of the mixes, this wasn't one of my happy happy joy joy crits. Remember, I'm just this bozo with a copy of Logic Express, not even Logic Pro: if you LIKED what I did, woohoo, if you hated it, feel free to ignore all of my ravings. That said, I went on a real tear this time and am talking at length about practically every entry, and have publically disagreed with J's choices in gruesome detail  Twisted Evil

Enjoy- and I look forward to getting my own public floggings over MY choices, which however I've hopefully shed some light on. This is gonna be an interesting discussion, the mix authors SPLIT into at least two major camps, both of which found support in the tracked material. Serious bloodbath potential Smile I ask only this: flame me back but go into equally gruesome detail as to why I'm wrong!  Laughing

IMP 11 crit thread

briefcasemanx- Feels good, relaxed. Stiffens up a bit in the choruses, and starts to sound crunchy and modern, which everybody knows I'm not a fan of Wink The drums feel a little bit like they're a drum machine, and I'm not sure why except that the tones have an aura to them that feels clicky. I don't like all the high percussion, it tends to become just 'sizz-sizz-sizz-sizz'- makes me wonder if the original tracks really were 44.1K and SRCed to 48 poorly. That's a crit of the tracks, though, you just haven't fixed it for them.

Fantomas- Feels nice and polished- things sit well. I'm hearing the details of the organ more than usually, which is neat- the chorus thickens up nicely with the guitars. I'm finding the vocals are sitting back a bit- by which I mean, they're part of the whole 'everything in its place' thing. There's a problem with that which Boedo also ran into, and it's this: too slick and it slips right by without the listener noticing anything. What bits do you think ought to stick out obnoxiously? Because I'm not hearing ANYTHING stick out. In a way that's an amazing feat of polishing, and if you're listening critically there's less to fault, but the song gets boring with too much of that, and there's no worse fault really. Also it's an odd thing to do, making a half-fade and half-ending. I think that's about downplaying the slightly wonky ending so it's less noticable, but I don't think it worked.

Grant Richard- Compression pumping the snare- yeah, this is gonna be a RAWWWK mix. Boy, it sure sounds modern. I have a problem here because I'm not wanting to hear this, the way about five different things are going 'poke-poke-poke-poke' at me with extreme highs, the way the background of the chorus is a wall of white noise guitars. I think it's a pretty decent take at a 'modern rock' mix- for a better take, listen to what J does- with some lapses like the band-mute trick and various studio tricks flying about. I also think this is a terrible thing to do to an emotive song, because it turns it into a goddamn fleet of chrome jet bombers cruising along, and I totally don't connect with the point of the song that way. Maybe it's just me.

iCombs- Whoa, high impact snare man! However, the whole top end of the track is acting like a giant scissors. snikt-snikt-snikt-snikt go the hat/bells/ac.guit etc. I hear this mix setting new records for everything louder than everything else, I'm just not that into the way that feels here. I always figure there's something really wrong if I want to turn it off, and it's not as bad as that but everything is just... too... loud (yeah, I'm just too OLD, ok, carry on then). I could hear cookie monster vocals over this background without too much trouble, but damn- I just can't agree with this one. It's almost in that 'XTC Oranges and Lemons' zone which I do like, but it has a more rocky feel and less poppy. I like the skill just not where it went...

macbraddy- Ow! Loud much? If you're hotter than modern hot CDs out of Sterling Sound, something's wrong. So aggressive... I can get behind the way you're not obliterating the vocal, that's a saving grace for me, and I'm impressed that you're not dynamic inverting even when at this level, but the whole thing is making me really tense. Even bits that are supposed to feel _relaxed_ are making me tense, both from sheer loudness and from the aggression of all the mix elements. It makes me wonder if the mix would still hold together if it wasn't smashed totally flat. Bear in mind I'm not shy about extreme hot level myself- but it has to be used so the relaxed bits aren't dropping out. When the relaxed bits are beating your head in, this is called unclear on the concept Smile

TomC- Pretty big and pounding. This time instead of going snikt snikt snikt, it goes whump whump whump with a throbbing bass and kick. VERY LOUD VOICE. I can't disagree with that, I make similar choices, but not quite as much as this I think. It's right on the brink of TOO loud, which for a lead vocal is really getting up there. I don't want to have to cringe back from the vocalist. Funny qualities in the acoustic guitars. In general, sort of 'packed up'- it's squished into too small of a space like what you'd expect from mastering, I'm not feeling any depth and space to speak of out of this. I'm not sure this would balance that well if everything was quieted down so you could hear it.

Shakes the Clown- Turned it right up- this one isn't bus-smashed. Right away I hear a huge yen for bigness. I respect that. Echoing vast snare, those funny vocal verb tricks- oh yes, we have the big soundstage going on here. I do like that, what I'm missing is the impact, for instance on the backbeat. It gets lost in the size a bit. I'd also like to have the singer even more in my lap to contrast with all the distance elsewhere. I also note that here's someone else who got fond of that organ backdrop! I think some of us went rather dark by modern standards specifically to try to blend things with that organ without killing it. You got the organ sounding and feeling full-size, Shakes- kudos. The trick then becomes getting drums, vocals, lead guitars etc to still jump up and be upfront and aggressive, because everything can't sit back with the organ. You _can't_ stay aware of the organ all the time, as cool as it is. Almost anything in the foreground will mask it. That's life as an organist in rock settings Wink

ATOR- Ow. (just the edge on the guitars, no biggie). Hey, I'm loving the backbeat- that is a MONSTER snare sound. It's kind of bigger than the lead vocal, though. I'm constantly wanting the lead vocs to be bigger, but liking the groove on the drums anyway. The chorus starts hurting my head again- purely as a factor of how loud it is, not anything too specific. Neat arrangement trim! If the song had to be shorter that's a good way to do it. I'm less fond of all the vocal drop-ins everywhere, though I can tell why they're there. Some VERY COOL guitar layering, especially the bit where the screaming high note comes in. All in all, I don't like the _concept_ of compressing all the spaces of this song, but I sure am impressed by this _way_ of doing that. Very very slick. The only thing to watch out for is this- with every moment packed with exciting stuff, there isn't the contrast and it all sort of blurs together. There's some of that here, for exactly that reason- no breathing space. I wonder how brief breathing space could be and still work as a contrast?

ChrisJ- Yeah, it's black as the heart of hell. Somebody spank this boy and take his pipe organ away Wink

Garret- Okay, immediate need to do weird thing Very Happy not bus smashed. This feels kind of sparse in the verse, naturally what with the drums missing! I like some of this aggressive arrangement, other parts not. Nice introduction of drums, annoying reverb hit on the vocals. Most of the time I like the sound of the voice, though. Boy, that's an aggressive remapping of the harmony vocal but that's like changing the song- are you that sure that the new part is better and that you've tried to appreciate the intent of the old one? I had to get crazy with automation to make the harmony be heard at all times, but I still liked the notes used. I just get the sense that it's possible to dig deeper into what the original music was attempting- like with the vocal verb sting, when the voice gets that loud, is the song really trying to make it suddenly be far away, or is the vocalist more hitting that line super hard and emphasizing it? What would be a line where the song would like it to be suddenly far away? (not 'YOU'RE GOOONE', reverb would be saying 'I'M gone! see ya!')

Nizzle- Loud. Right. Bright, also. We are clearly as modern as next week. That said, the tones sound okay. I think we have another 'remap the chorus harmony' and again I'm not convinced the new line is better for the song- why would that bit lift, to be cheerful? The original line resolves on 'for me', except you have to crank the fader to hear it because the track dies. The overall mix is kind of glossy but I could do with more body and upfrontness from the vocals- I want them to come off more like people and less like additional harmony instruments. They blend in very slickly and I tend to like lead vocals to not merge with the song so much. Check out TomC's mix to hear just how loud vocals can be in a pop song. You can clobber the song with the vocals, it's great Smile

Rankus- Hit-you-in-the-chest kick! This is gonna be drum-centric. They sound real good, I'm loving the balance, and I'm not losing the vocal too much. I like. The chorus gets softer, though- it washes out, without doing anything especially wrong- unlike say J's mix, the wall of guitars isn't there. I don't actually mind that much here, because this song feels softer to me- reminds me of Journey or something. I _hate_ Journey and Rush guitar walls because they're processed and bland, but on a song like this maybe that's just the thing. I just have a feeling that this mix works with the feel of the song really nicely. OH yeah. This one I'm truly enjoying. There's a sort of expensive, slick, polished quality to it that suits it right down to the ground. Huge respect Very Happy

SingSing- Immediately turned it down! Ow. The immediate feeling I get is of a sort of wild abstract sound picture- the guitar pick brite is super hot, the vocal's all reverbed (and strangely hacked up in arrangement- WHY lose 'with no-one to rescue me', that's the whole point of the lyric!). Everything's a cocaine nightmare, very glamorous, resonant with strange atmospheres. I can easily imagine songs that would be great like this, but I totally can't get it about this one. The meaning goes away, it's a chrome shell of sound, the song as a chrome android. Which is to say, I didn't like this mix Smile

Boedo- Much more normal. I'm feeling the contrast between the upfront dry vocal and elements like the reverberating snare crack. It feels solidly polished- maybe a little static. The polishedness is like a 'don't touch, you'll get fingerprints all over it' sort of polishedness, there's something sort of empty here. Maybe it has a lot to do simply with the fact that the snare verb feels SO empty and cavernous? I do think the 'it drives me crazy every night' part stepped up and put out an extra effort, though- I felt it dig into that bit like it meant it, and that helps a lot. Still, there are other places that feel like they're just so polished and controlled that they're on _cruise_ control, the energy doesn't have any surprises in it. I'm a big fan of the sheer artistry of this execution, it just worries me that the song can end and I can be like 'next!' without any hesitation. If the energy surged along with the meaning of the words it can go to a place where you want to listen to the song obsessively over and over- when it's so utterly polished nothing catches. Too slick, man, it slips through your fingers and is gone...

carefulcollapse- Heavy. The bass and kick here are really dominant. It's a problem that they dominate even the lead vocal. If the bass and kick together can beat up the lead vocal you have problems. Yikes, they kicked the lead vocal out of the verse and went to another part! Eek. Not good! Bad to have the rhythm section beating up the lead vocalist and the song. It was totally about 'HEY GUYZ, listen to what we can do! BA DA DOMMM'. The poor guy was trying to sing a song, you guys, and you booted his ass off the stage. Nope. Oh look, they kicked the vocals off the chorus too! *ROFL* oh MAN... no, not okay. Next time work WITH the vox and the song, not throwing all kinds of modulations and stuff at the hapless song. This is right in that 'you can't DOOOO that' zone, like the guys that remapped the harmony vocals, only worse. There's a song there- maybe it doesn't do such exciting things, but it IS the song. This mix dismays me as bad as mine dismayed J Very Happy

jdier- Whoa, captain buss compression! Why is the intro guitar way louder than the full band? By the time the vocal comes, it's settled down some, and I'm liking the feel of it, though this is not a heavy feel at all- it's very yacht rocky- but then so is the song, no wonder I like it. The vocal steps back when it gets loud- and the chorus steps back too, instead of getting loud. That's not good, you can't have your quiet bits upfront and loud, and the loud bits quiet and suppressed, it's backward. There's a lot to like here, always in the quiet bits, but as soon as things try to get loud it just sucks back into the depths of the speakers. Total, total dynamic inversion. I do think I'm hearing a nice springiness in the lows probably as a result of this compression, but it's at too high a cost if the dynamics invert that bad. If I was mastering this I would SO ask for a no-comp version, just because it sounds quite good except for the extreme dynamic inversion. That's something I'd almost never do because I figure mixers are going to get it the way they want it using whatever they got, but in this case it's like auto-gain-control, it's not helping.

J Hall- Best guitar wall of the lot. No question. I'm not getting into the ambience on the vocal- with the intimate delivery of these vocals, why aren't they dry? That's me not agreeing with the choice of a more 'live concert' feel. It gives the mix an 'empty' feel like Boedo's, and in a way I can see why that would make sense, but the thing is, the song and the emotions of the singer are NOT EMPTY, totally not. The guy's drowning in feelings- dude, you try it, my life has paralleled this song more than I like in recent months. In a way I feel like interposing a 'rock and roll gig' vibe over the top of this track is way off base. I'm hearing it on the lead guitar solo as well. Before you dis on my tonal balance because it doesn't crackle like a live performance (as yours DOES, really well), check that- like on the guitar solo, from about 3:33. Your lead guitar sounds more like a stage performance, but the changes in tone it undergoes are a lot less than the track has to offer because it's focused around that bridge-pickup, screaming-guitar moment it does, the shred area. There's a whole warmth-and-intimacy thing the lead guitar does, and this is a tradeoff, you lose it in exchange for the wall-of-PAs live sound. Just because the song has potentially big guitar walls doesn't mean that's what the point of the song is, I don't agree with that choice. I'm being kind of fierce because, well, the first thing I heard out of you sounded like 'you guys all suck, and ChrisJ REALLY sucked!'. More like, you chose something that was VERY different from some of us, and I'm not at all persuaded that the song had to have it. It's damn well executed, like Boedo except he was 'uber slick' and you are 'uber RAWWWK'. But that's not the only way to approach this song, seriously. I count maybe six guys who went for that intimacy, warmth thing in various ways and five who went for the RAWWWWK thing. I don't call that a mandate, so try more to understand what the duller mixes are trying to do. For instance, you'll hear way more top-end on the acoustic guitar and high percussion than on the dirt guitars in the wuss mixes, and you might also hear (I counted two guys here) a really big full bed coming from that pipe organ. You get that going, there's no room for dirt guitars at all, and if you brighten it it sounds totally wrong.

But then we can fight this out further down the thread, I gotta give J a chance to explain how wrong I am Very Happy

Bottom line- maybe the biggest range of possible mix spaces and vibes yet! In a lot of ways, the different vibes actually WORK, too. We have to be patient with the enemy vibes amongst us Smile

That should set the cat among the pigeons!

rankus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5560
Re: IMP 11 OFFICIAL discussion thread
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2007, 09:23:49 pm »



Great post Chris.  I agree with all your perceptions ...

I am in the middle of two albums, so I may not have a chance to do a detailed critique of everyone's this time around... I am dloading everything though and will have a listen to them all again tomorrow night at the studio (day off today)... Hopefully I can write a couple of lines for each...

PS:  Thanks for the props Chris... I really connected with this tune ... the electric guitars were irritating for me, hence they were tucked in (agreeing with your comment on needing more of them in the choruses.) Loved the tuning on the vocal by the way.. made for a "modern" esthetic. Smashed the crap outta that and put her right out front.



Logged
Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

jdier

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 78
Re: IMP 11 OFFICIAL discussion thread
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2007, 10:23:14 pm »

chrisj,

Thanks for the input.  I am just learning how to mix so every mix is a struggle and lesson for me.  on my last imp I was the guy who could not control his reverb and this time it is the compression.  

I am also still struggling with my monitoring set up.

Thank you very much for the comments.

Jim
Logged
jdier - Home recordist

(currently selling one of my dual Great River preamps)

grantis

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1407
Re: IMP 11 OFFICIAL discussion thread
« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2007, 11:53:09 pm »

thanks very much for your comments chris!  i appreciate them a lot!  

i totally agree with the high end thing, now that i'm hearing everybody's stuff.  that is something i struggle with: carving out space for things.  

thanks for keeping me in check, this is a good learning experience!
Logged
Grant Craig
Nuovo Music (Me)
Skiddco Music (Where I work)
Work History (Well, some of it anyway)

garret

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1012
Re: IMP 11 OFFICIAL discussion thread
« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2007, 12:07:31 am »

Alright, after listening to my mix and some references again, I think my mix does need a few db more of top end (5khz and up),  but that's it.. To my ears and aesthetic, I'm pretty close to what I want to hear.  

It's interesting to me how much variety there is in the tonal balance of the mixes... I guess that's mastering territory, so we should ignore it, but it's hard for me to get past.   J, I like your mix, but I find it fatiguing to listen to because there's so much going on around 4khz.  But maybe that's part of the rawk fury, gotta make the ear drums bleed, etc.

Chris, I hardly touched the harmony bg vox, honest... I moved around four notes to add some variety to a couple of the repeated holds, that's all.  One mistake I realize now is I should have featured the bg vox in the last bit, when starts doing something interesting... other mixers caught that and I missed it.  Ack.

The change I made to the intro might not work, but to my ears the original doesn't either... with that little guitar trill, the tune just seems to stumble together, rather than beginning with intention.  I swear there aren't enough notes, like something got cut short in the editing process... Thanks for your feedback, and three cheers for the dark mix gang.

-G
Logged
tomorrow is already here - http://www.worksongs.net/

maxim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5828
Re: IMP 11 OFFICIAL discussion thread
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2007, 02:28:18 am »

lots of deleting of guitar parts for me

thanks for the tracks

(as usual, would love to know what you think, chris...)
Logged

Antman

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 39
Re: IMP 11 OFFICIAL discussion thread
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2007, 04:52:51 am »

Wow, this makes the weaknesses in my mixing horribly apparent.

This is my first one of these I've done, what a learning experience. If I had more time I probably would have ditched that kick and snare though and replaced it with something else. But regardless, it was cool trying to make those work.
Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 10   Go Up