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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => j. hall => Topic started by: j.hall on February 27, 2007, 11:31:41 am

Title: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on February 27, 2007, 11:31:41 am
bingo....
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: henchman on February 27, 2007, 05:24:51 pm
This was so much more enjoyable to work on, even though I had no time.
It's nice to be able to not have to re-trigger drums, edit parts in time, or autotune bad vocals.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Red Tape on February 27, 2007, 05:33:17 pm
Yeah, good tracks, nice phase on the kit mics.
The room mic sounded cool.
Good choices of sound overall, everything fitted together pretty well with all faders up.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: SingSing on February 27, 2007, 05:55:44 pm
I'm really looking forward listening to the results.

Let's hear it guys...


Take care,
Stefan
SingSing
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on February 27, 2007, 05:56:15 pm
iCombs

i can see where you were going, but honestly, this feels like a rough mix done right after the bass player tracked.  the drums are there, they just are getting pressed down by the bass......as is most everything.

you've got too much bottom on the bass.  overall the vocals sound good, but lack any real connection to the music.  they are just kinda hanging out.

all that is easily fixable.  i think your overall blend is pretty close, just needs a nip and tuck here and there.  here's my bigger problem.  i think your mix is WAY too conservative for the sounds that were printed (mainly guitars) and the overall vibe of the band.

that big dry in your face sound you went for is cool, but there needs to be something that explodes off the speakers in a song like this.  the song itself is boring.  it isn't all that inspired of a performance, and it doesn't really go anywhere.  thatn's why i chose it.

every one was praising the sounds that were printed, and rightly so.  but great tracking can't save a boring song.......but great mixing can at least help.

scott oliphant

i like how you've placed the band ina physical space.  the space you picked is cool, sounds like a practice space or an empty small club.

my question is......what happened to all the bottom end in the tracks?  your mix sounds just rounder then a telephone.

WHERE's THE BEEF?????????? (you might be too young for that line......but it still makes me laugh)

Rankus

your vocal effects are nice.  i like the subtle changes in them through each section.  they are placed into the music and married to it nicely.

kick drum.....where's the beef????????

the one hole in your tracking is the kick.  it didn't have much bottom in it.  the tone was great, just not very round.  i made it happen, if you like what i did, i'll share......i did not use a single sample on this track.

i think all the textural guitar dubs you were to nice too.  that end section witht he stopping drums and repeating vocal loses me.  i got super bored.

ATOR

man, you almost had me with the intro.  i could totally see that as a pre-roll segue on the record.  but we never came out of the spacey lo-fi thing.  the drums are in the other room, and feel soft.  the background vocals are louder then the lead.  everything just feels soft.

now, if you turned up the guitars i could be sold on this mix.  the song is total album filler....and this isn't all that bad of "connector" song.  it just doesn't rock.  

what was your vision for the mix and the song?  i'm curious how you got to this mix.

SingSing

that guitar melody at the top is cool that loud, but when it stops it a very abrupt change.  a touch of trailing off delay would ease the problem.  see my comments on ATOR's drums and apply them to your mix.

aside from the drums, everything feels overly mono.  that's not a bad thing, but perhaps not a good choice for this tune.

i really like what you've done with the guitar melodies and noodling.  i like how loud you mixed them.  it's makes them jump out of the mix and grab my attention again.

the vocal feels like it's in a cathedral.....not sure how i feel about that, just commenting.

Maxim

very dry mix.  for this style and what i think the band is after, i think that's a good choice.  your mix is not nearly compressed enough for the big sludgy rock mix you went for.  to me, this feels like you tried to extract a more beautiful side of the song.  IMO, there isn't one.  

Red Tape

great vocal tone.  it's compressed well and EQ'd well.

where's the beef?????  the drums are dark, distant (not verb, volume) have no bottom and aren't propelling the mix forward.  the drummer in this recording is the only one with any feel.  that in mind, your snare sound is good, just needs a some more high end.  you want your snare drum to be as bright, but not any brighter, then the lead vocal and vice versa (that's a real gem there.........so don't blow me off......)

i'd guess you as a bass player based on this mix.  guitars and drums are fairly back, bass and vocal is up front.  if you have a pair of headphones you trust, i'd be curious how the mix would change if you did it in headphones.

Tom C

i like how you are leaning on the bass amp/distortion more then the DI.  i don't like how dark the drums are.  the vocal effects are an interesting choice, but i think the rest of the music isn't matching it.  you need your elements to meet each other "where they are".  if you want to go with that vocal effect (which i kinda of like) you should find where each element fits into that.  right now, the singer is on saturn, while the band is in route to get there.

the FX on the guitar leads are great, just crank them up.  with the vocal like this, you should make those guitar leads just slightly louder then the vocal.....it would give the listener the illusion of the singer trying to sing over that guitar.  making the mix feel bigger.

overall, i think it's not hitting hard enough.  you should compress the drums quite a bit harder and see if the pumping works with the vocal effects.

thus far, i like your vocal the best, but i don't like your mix.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: SingSing on February 27, 2007, 06:52:39 pm
Interesting to read that Jason.

I was just thinking that perhaps it would be of interest for us all if those who want could give some additional info about their mix choices.

Me? I went for a "Mike Johnson"-sound.  Twisted Evil


Stefan
SingSing
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: henchman on February 27, 2007, 06:53:52 pm
I jut tried to not f$#k it up too much.  Very Happy
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: maxim on February 27, 2007, 07:32:39 pm
i agree with j

this was a hard song to keep interesting

i tried to play around with reverse boomerang (mix of backwards and forwards in peak) over the bits of the whole mix in the freakout section, and i agree i may have made it altogether too polite

the context of the song is also very important

it doesn't really sound like a single, so the rest of the album, and its position on the record would be relevant


pete wrote:

"...nice phase on the kit mics"

i had to flip half the mics' phase (i had to choose between going with kick coherent or snare coherent (i went with the snare...probably should have gone with kick...))



j wrote:

"...beautiful side of the song. IMO, there isn't one."

funny

i always had a soft spot for satanic pop-rock

when i listened to your mix, i thought i was listening to a different song...

it's what this is great for!


Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: henchman on February 27, 2007, 08:03:01 pm
maxim wrote on Tue, 27 February 2007 16:32


i agree with j

this was a hard song to keep interesting


j wrote:

"...beautiful side of the song. IMO, there isn't one."





Interesting, because I found this one so much better than the last IMP. Which I found extermely bad allround from a songwriting and recoridng perspective.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: maxim on February 27, 2007, 08:58:25 pm
i think it's a better recorded song, but there isn't much movement and variety within it
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: chrisj on February 27, 2007, 09:48:44 pm
I just glommed onto the vocal immediately, as hard as I could, and did everything around that. The vocal had to come forward, the kick had to come forward, to make them be where I wanted them to be. I still don't know what the guy's singing about, exactly, but everything else took a back seat to him.

I'll do a crit on every track listed on the discussion thread by tomorrow morning- that's when I'm going to go through and DL everything. I think this time it'll be a combination of insta-reaction and nice. That would be an unstudying, 'basic vibe' take on what each track makes me think of/feel about it, but spun in such a way as to describe the things in an unjudgemental way. 'cos why not?
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on February 27, 2007, 10:18:40 pm
This one certainly reiterates the fine line between capturing the sound of a band vs. taking creative liberties in the mix without the band's input.  So far it seems like most of us went towards the same thing and kept it pretty conservative.  

Did anyone else have a hard time making the chorus open up and get big with the rhythm guitars?  that was the biggest challenge for me, it was hard to give them any weight, and I kept wanting more excitement out of them not matter how hard I rode them.

The one thing I wish I'd paid more attention to is the kick sound...
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: jdier on February 27, 2007, 11:23:35 pm
J, Thank for sharing my email with the group.  I mixed IMP9 after the official submissions, but this is my first time submitting with the group.

I guess I am all alone in that I loved the song and the arrangement.  In fact, I loved IMP9 AND IMP10.

I worry that my mix is pretty boring but since I am really just learning how to mix, it was a great exercise for me.

Looking forward to hearing everyone elses mixes.

J, Do you ever share who the bands are and who tracked the songs?  I would probably like to buy each band's full album with the real mixes that these were released on (if available through CD Baby or some thing)

Thanks again for everything.  

I think I am becoming and IMP junkie!

Jim
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: maxim on February 27, 2007, 11:49:17 pm
chris, did you use your monsterizer plugin?
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Greg Dixon on February 28, 2007, 12:14:52 am
Nice work everyone.

Let me be the first to confess to using Soundreplacer on the kick. For the first time ever, I used the sample only. Normally if I use it, it's to augment the original sound, but in this case it seemed to sound better with just the sample.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: PaulyD on February 28, 2007, 01:06:51 am
I'm 1 minute late on my submission...I'll understand if the rules are strictly enforced. I'll pull it if you want.

EDIT: withdrew for technical reason. Sad

Paul
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: NelsonL on February 28, 2007, 01:34:26 am
Dang, I was done and uploaded last night. Long day at the studio, where we currently lack internet so I didn't get a chance to link.

10:29 PST just ain't good enough.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: henchman on February 28, 2007, 01:40:01 am
jdier wrote on Tue, 27 February 2007 20:23



I guess I am all alone in that I loved the song and the arrangement.

Jim



No your not. I liked it as well.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Tom C on February 28, 2007, 04:45:50 am
Hi J.
first of all thanks for that detailed feedback!

j.hall wrote on Tue, 27 February 2007 23:56


i like how you are leaning on the bass amp/distortion more then the DI.  i don't like how dark the drums are.  the vocal effects are an interesting choice, but i think the rest of the music isn't matching it.  you need your elements to meet each other "where they are".  if you want to go with that vocal effect (which i kinda of like) you should find where each element fits into that.  right now, the singer is on saturn, while the band is in route to get there.



I fully agree with you. The single subgroups (vox, drums/bass,guitar/rhythm guitar) of my mix sound IMHO good, but I never managed to put them all together and still like the song, I always feel a bit disconnected from the song. Dunno why...

j.hall


overall, i think it's not hitting hard enough.  you should compress the drums quite a bit harder and see if the pumping works with the vocal effects.



I'm still a bit chicken-hearted when it comes to compressor (ab-)use. I wanted to ask you that anyway, so how did you put drums and bass in your mix together that nicely?
I don't want detailed settings, just the general idea how to build such a good mix basement.

j.hall


thus far, i like your vocal the best, but i don't like your mix.


That's good to hear, because normally vocals are the weakest part of my mixing.

I don't like my mix either (in fact originally I didn't want to submit it at all) but figured I could learn a lot from a not-so-good feedback.

Thanks again for your time.

Tom

[Edit:] my review of the mixes will follow ASAP.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Red Tape on February 28, 2007, 05:00:48 am
j.hall wrote on Tue, 27 February 2007 22:56

Red Tape

great vocal tone.  it's compressed well and EQ'd well.

where's the beef?????  the drums are dark, distant (not verb, volume) have no bottom and aren't propelling the mix forward.  the drummer in this recording is the only one with any feel.  that in mind, your snare sound is good, just needs a some more high end.  you want your snare drum to be as bright, but not any brighter, then the lead vocal and vice versa (that's a real gem there.........so don't blow me off......)

i'd guess you as a bass player based on this mix.  guitars and drums are fairly back, bass and vocal is up front.  if you have a pair of headphones you trust, i'd be curious how the mix would change if you did it in headphones.


Haha, thanks dude.

Everything here is telling me what I'm already going crazy about - ie sorting out my monitoring and room!

It did occur to me that I forgot some general brightening as I was uploading.. oh well Smile
I tried to stick the guitars and bass together as much as possible, but I'm guessing the nasty low end response in my room was lying to me about how much bass I had going on.
Ditto on the no-low-end drums. It sounded like I was almost overdoing it in the room.

Gotta get me some headphones in the meantime!

maxim wrote on Wed, 28 February 2007 00:32


pete wrote:

"...nice phase on the kit mics"

i had to flip half the mics' phase (i had to choose between going with kick coherent or snare coherent (i went with the snare...probably should have gone with kick...))


Haha!
I should have done more than casual flipping then Smile


Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: maxim on February 28, 2007, 06:15:43 am
the first thing i do is line up the drum tracks and zoom all the way into a bass drum hit

this is where the eyes really help the ears

you can see exactly what's in phase and what ain't...
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on February 28, 2007, 08:06:42 am
That's funny, I didn't feel like I had to do any phase flippage at all.    I usually don't look for that sort of thing unless I hear it.  

that was probably the least amount of work I've ever done on a kit.  Maybe it shows, I dunno.


Matt
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Red Tape on February 28, 2007, 08:52:27 am
I'll always flip phase around a bit on a kit, but unless I'm hearing big changes in the low end, or obvious swooshy crap on the cymbals, I figure it's good.

Also, did anyone hear any pop/click stuff on some of the tracks.
There was one at 0:48 on the non-rat bass track as far as i recall.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Red Tape on February 28, 2007, 08:54:46 am
By the way, any tracking info available for this tune?
What mics where and so on?
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on February 28, 2007, 09:35:53 am
red tape.....sennheiser HD-580.  that's what you want.  they are pretty cheap, and they sound amazing for mixing.  they are open backs so you can't track with them.  comfortable, and great sounding.

some one asked about me sharing details about the bands.

all the tracks we mix are from posters here on the forum (thus far).  if they choose to tell people the band's name and that they tracked it more power to 'em.

how do i build a drum and bass blend.  oh man, that's like asking me how i write songs the way i do.

let me think about this, so i can give you a well thought out answer with the hope of actually being helpful.  right now, my answer would be, "i don't know, i just do it"

i need to review the rest of the submissions.....it'll take some time, but i'm going to review every single one this time.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Adam Miller on February 28, 2007, 01:07:28 pm
I'm going to attempt to review all of the submissions.... all of this is on a strictly 'first impressions' kind of basis, so apologies if I miss anything or anyone.

First off, I liked the track, not just sonically but musically too. It might not be single material, but I wouldn't agree it's boring, or that the drummer is the only one playing with any feel.


A couple of things- minus points go to anyone who didn't flip the phase relationship between overs and snare mics, and (personal preference time) anyone who didn't shift the timing on that very last bass note.
 
Without further ado, in the order wot I downloaded them in...

Rattleyour- Not bad at all. I think the mix is too kick heavy; it also needs a more agressive and forward midrange to make it kick more in the choruses. Good vocal tone and blend. For my taste, I would have used far less of the DI tracks in the chorus and really cranked up the amp tracks.

Jdier- That ambience is a bit distracting to my ears. Kind of feels like the drummer playing in an empty hall. The mix sounds like your monitoring situation is very bright; you could pretty much lowpass the mix at 10k and not really miss anything.

JHall- Great mix. Lowend feels a bit too enveloping- IMO it could do with a little more focus, but nothing that couldn't be done in mastering. The whole thing also feels a bit too reticent in the himids and overall treble- it just doesn't cut quite like it could. Otherwise, I love the way the whole thing kicks, and the balance between elements is pretty spot on. Did you replay the guitar solo on a kazoo?

Scott oliphant- Sounds like there might be some monitoring issues going on here. I get where you're going with that bright, compressed snare, but it just doesn't quite sit right to me. Guitars sound great in the choruses, but the lowend and the drum sounds aren't quite there.

Rankus- My favourite mix by quite a stretch. I'm guessing you tracked this one? It just kicks right; and I wouldn't agree with J's kick drum assessement, seems to have plenty of meat to me, even if doesn't have the 60hz thud going on. The drums are maybe a little too high in the mix, and my personal preference would be a little more low mid action in the guitars... but I'm nitpicking here!

ATOR- Not keen on the intro; it just feels a bit gimmicky to me, sorry! The vocal starts off sitting on top of the music in the verse, but then the hi-end kind of gets consumed by the chorus and it moves right to the back. The effects in the last chorus could be really cool, but the perspective on them isn't quite right on in this case.

ICombs- more monitoring issues I think. The lowend is all-consuming! Beyond that, I think it's actually quite a cool mix- nice vox and guitar tones; could do with more overs and room mics. Balance-wise, it sounds pretty good.

Singsing- That guit line at the top sticks right out; it also has a little midrange thing that almost sounds like feedback going on with it that should have been filtered out. Your tones are pretty cool, especially in the chorus, although a bit too much guit DI for my liking. Not a bad mix, it just feels 80% of the way there to my ears.

 
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Adam Miller on February 28, 2007, 01:30:38 pm
Max- this just loses me very quickly. It needs the aggression from the distorted guits in the chorus to work as a song, and I think it sufferes very heavily without that.

Redtape- The verses here feel a bit lofi; like a band recording in a rehearsal space, rather than a 'proper' recording. I like the idea of the repeating vocal lines towards the end of the track... nice touch.

Tom C- more monitoring issues? No hi-end at all. Sounds like your speakers have a massive smiley-face EQ over them.

GregDixon- The verses here sound really promising- a bit heavy on the bass lowend, but otherwise a pretty cool blend of stuff. The choruses just lose all the impact though, mainly on account of the guitar sounds; I could pretty much have run the amp sounds flat in the mix and got away with it- the sounds here just don't quite have the kick the song requires.

Henchman- Interesting, and quite different from most of the others. Sounds like you've dipped all the mids out of the track, but I think that's where the essence of this kind of music lies. The discrete sounds are pretty good, and balance-wise everything sounds in place (vox could come up a little), but the overall thing just sounds a bit anaemic. And mono!

Nizzle- Those drums just don't sit right in the verses, and there's a weird dip across the whole midrange to my ears. I do like the ambience you've got on the drums, the snare sounds cool in the choruses. I think the track as a whole just misses the 'chunk' it needs in the midrange to make it rock.

Grant Richard- Yeah, that bus compressor can be a dangerous weapon! The vocal tone sounds properly cocked, I don't know how else to describe it! The balance in the choruses is actually pretty cool, if a little lacking in attitude (that's not just a compression thing...). Without wanting to sound too patronising (and probably failing), it's pretty good for a first effort!

ChrisJ- Did you change the timing on the kick? Sounds like it's been shifted 10-20msec forward, and it completely screws the groove of the track, sorry. Looking beyond the kick (the tone needs serious surgery too), the rest of balance is not bad at all; maybe a bit more ambience on the lead vox wouldn't go amiss?

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: chrisj on February 28, 2007, 02:10:13 pm
ChrisJ (me)- Boy, that kick drum pokes out a lot. It's all about the vocal- everything that isn't boring or the vocal is ultra-subtle.

Henchman- Sort of glossy, like looking down through the surface of a clear pool on a sunny day. I can see the light show, but there aren't any spotlights on the singer. There's no star, it's a concert experience.

iCombs- The rhythm section are boring. Singer is the star- kinda. I like how the singer's the focal point here, but some of the other stuff isn't clicking- like, the heavy guitars in the choruses seem PODlike. I'm fighting to come up with good stuff when the band (I agree with J here) isn't carrying its weight. Things feel natural, and honest. Honest isn't proving to be that exciting here. Oh- with this you can pick up on the small shifts in energy level like towards the end, but it only illustrates how the energy is mostly not very high...

ATOR- Startlement! Here we're using the RAT bass, probably because it's another unusual element. It seems like the singer is being cut off perhaps from his stash of psychedelic drugs, maybe. I think this is a good psychedelic mix. It knows when to get out of the way, it's got the vibe, the treatment fits the song and the presentation. I keep warming to the sheer over-the-topness of this. You get the Hunter S Memorial White Rabbit At Dawn At 120 DB award Very Happy

Rankus- Hey, an AC-DC mix! Or at least the band and the drums are pure hard rock. It's a nice trick to make the drums hit this hard. It leaves the vocal not carrying its weight, the vox is weak compared to the drive of this rhythm section mix. I actually had to scoot the vocal forward in time to put it in front of the band. The band is _flattening_ the poor bastard this way.

SingSing- Big thumping thing, all hihat and kickdrum rumble. The annoying guitar riff keeps popping up but it's neat when it shuts back off and changes the whole texture of the song that way- manufacturing arrangement in mix. You get the Mute Button Dancer award Smile

Spoon- Pretty straight here. I think it helps having the RAT bass reinforce the guitars, and I like where the vocal sits. He seems a little distant and weak, but there's still a space for him, I can believe that I'm supposed to be listening to him. I like the spaciousness.

Adam Miller- This comes from the hard rock direction. The color of the lead vocalist's voice is being more important than his actual performance, which is a bit dangerous- like relegating him to being just another instrument, just another color. Okay, don't kill me for this- I'm thinking Def Leppard here, a bit. Something about how neatly everything is laid out. Some people puke over Def Leppard, but it IS Mutt Lange after all.

Grant Richard- The poor vocalist, he's really being squished between the guitars and things, it sounds like it hurts Smile I think the main thing to remember here is that if we heard this level of compression confined to just certain elements like the snare drum it would kick ass! Got to address the individual tracks more, that's all. I've recently found that it works much better if there is always a BIT more volume available for new instruments coming in, no matter what. This is totally the opposite, the full band is constantly squishing down to be quieter than, say, a stray hi-hat beat, and it's all buss compression. Do that with the individual tracks, not on the buss so much.

Greg Dixon- Yikes LOUD. Is this buss compression done entirely as peak limiting? There's a weird spaciousness here in a boxey way. It reminds me a little of the way some good records (Hotel California, say) had weirdly overspacious, peak-expanded mixes that could be practically unnatural. In this one, the dynamic throb is expanded so much that I can't hear it anymore. It's spectacular, but sort of distracting. It's not making me want to listen to this, even though I can hear any detail I like, effortlessly. Nothing appeals very much. That has to be the expandeyness working, nothing else is so wrong with it.

jdier- Everything's there- sort of distant- extra reverb producing a big space more from added verb than from tricks like compressing individual drums. I don't think any of the performances really carry this style of mixing. If it was The Who, lots of stuff would be popping out of the mix just because it was played that way, but this sort of sits there. This is why sometimes more aggressive mixing techniques have their merits. Compare with ATOR's weirdathon and notice the way brightness, compression and the aggressive presentation of bizarre elements keep the song from just sitting there.

Nick T- I'm liking the energy on this one- I feel the intensity of the lead vocal in this context. I'm finding the hihats and cymbals pretty distracting, but it's right on the edge of what I can keep listening to. I like that I'm able to believe it's an interesting song.

redtape- Very straight. Very nonjudgemental mix- not being very opinionated about what things need to take the focus. Can't be doing that when the song is trudging along like this Smile You get the Steve Albini Truthfulness award Very Happy now, if the band were setting the studio on fire you'd have something here. But, nice echo vocal arrangement trick assuming it's right for the song to have the fellow singing 'love a losing fight' and NOT pausing while the chord breaks... I do actually like him pausing there. Rats, I'm doing badly on the merry-sunshine crap Smile

Scott Oliphant- Drums: a raging bull Oliphant Very Happy Damn, that is some impressive pounding drum sounds. Dominates the song, it does. It's a good thing the vocalist is mixed to be able to compete with the loudness of it- though he does NOT quite have the personality presence to compete, and that's what's not clicking. I want to hear a superclose, frayed-nerves hear-every-spittle vocal in front of a backdrop this dramatic, especially the way the buss compression is causing it to roar and surge. The guy can't  be sitting in the middle of it, he drowns even if he's very clear. He drowns in the synesthetic overload of rock mayhem. Gotta be a super-present, Bowie-like self-indulgent spotlighting to balance out the sheer overload of the backing music... or the backing music has to tone down to not drown the poor guy.

Look at me talking like I know things. Hee. Very Happy ignore the man behind this curtain. Moving right along...

Will F- Very solid, very dense. Something's resonating, VERY MUCH, what the heck is it, will it stop? I gotta see if it will stop. It's a treatment on that three-note guitar riff. The resonatingness went away, oh now it's back. In mono it gets reduced to a fairly ordinary loudish guitar. In stereo, it hurts my head surprisingly much. Too wide, too steady-state with everything... The rhythm and variances in energy levels have to be made MORE, not flattened out.

Anonymous- Pretty straight... another one where it doesn't seem very opinionated, like it's important to balance each player fairly and equally so nothing really stomps all over anything else. I just don't think this material survives that type of treatment, because too much of it is, as J says, boring. You'd have to have a better song and the band really putting in an effort for this to work. It only conveys their disinterest.

Fantomas- Pretty straight here too. More attention for the vocalist, which helps. I think I'm hearing reverb on him- part of the reason I didn't put any verb on him was just to try and get him as much upfront as I could, but it's also because I'm more interested in the little frayed edges of his performance than in the richness of his vocal tone, which isn't that special on this song. I didn't think the song was carried by the singer-ly-ness of the fellow, but by whatever wonky stuff I could scrape up. Here it's like the song is carried by the guy as a crooner, and he's not being passionate enough to sell that idea. If you crank him until the little asides jump out and he's distorty on the loud notes, it at least sounds like he's emoting all over the performance.

J Hall- This time, primo compression amounts Very Happy it produces an effect like the track is a big surging wave but any given element can burst out as the white-cap on the wave. The voice rides the wave very well. I'm less fond of the verb on the vocal, but since I tried to do something very different of course it strikes me that way. It changes drastically from verse to chorus- I like the idea of building the interesting-mix-stuff off the lead vocal, specifically, and the way the weird stuff is selected. Sounds like a rock video with lots of distracting imagery Smile

Nizzle- Well, I did not expect those noises! Very Happy Then, suddenly, we're a metal song. Actually, it's pretty convincing. Kinda squashed on the 2-buss, like Greg Dixon's. I wonder if it's simply that peak-limitey factor that makes me find that, and this, sort of unappealing to hear. It's like everything is smashed so loud that the point of the attack disappears completely. Some of these mixes just make me want to duck, or perhaps cringe back from the intensity of the sound coming out. I like bringing stuff out with dynamics processing and distortion so it becomes upfront, but some mixes go SO in your face it just hurts your head. Please less of that k? I can't headbang and wince at the same time.

3'6"- Oh, MAN! Sorry dude. *click* Only guy so far where I just gave up. I thought Nizzle was loud but yours REALLY hurts. Less plz k?

M Carter- Back in the land of the living, we are enjoying spaciousness and reverb. Very deep and big. The vocal's clear enough, I just keep wanting him to be standing well in front of the band. Doing reverb stuff with him makes him not stand in front, unless you use really big predelays. Also, here we have experimental confirmation of a Charles Dye theory! You get the Verb On The Snare Defines The Size Of The Mix award Smile

Maxim- Hmm, strange dissonances. Fairly straight other than that, but it was pretty cool how the dissonances set up an expectation of a frazzled sort of song- that's what I thought it wanted to be, too. Also, the arrangement changes are highlighted, I hear stuff being taken out in some places to exaggerate the way the arrangement density shifts. This one doesn't hit me very hard but I'm finding a lot that I think are good ideas, good judgement calls. Makes me want to keep hearing Maxim-mixin.

Tom C- Sort of big trashy feel. Reminds me a bit of Steve Albini, except the vocal is the anti-steve. With backing tracks this visceral, I want the vocal dry and nose-to-nose with me. Other than that I like it- another bass fan I see, very heavy bass-end on this one.

Whew! Hope I hung on to some of the positivity I wanted to bring. I had a lot of fun with the track, and look forward to the next one Smile
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: rankus on February 28, 2007, 02:17:10 pm
Red Tape wrote on Wed, 28 February 2007 05:54

By the way, any tracking info available for this tune?
What mics where and so on?


Hi Red,

Time to come forwards I suppose...

I'm the one who tracked this song.  Here is a list of tracks etc.:


Song = Losing Fight

Artist = Cosmedic

Professional Demo



Tracks to the best recollection:



Bass Di - Music Man Stingray into SansAmp Bass Driver DI (Pedal) - Brick Pre

Bass Amp - Re-mp DI into - RAT Pedal - Galleon Kruger 400 amp - Rode NT2000 - Brick

KICK - Sen 421 - RME Octo Mic Pre

Snare - SM 57 - RME Octo Mic Pre

Snare Under - SM 57 - RME Octo Mic Pre

Shit Mic - Stromberg Carlson Carbon Crystal Mic - RME Octo Mic Pre

Rak Tom - AT 4033 - RME Octo Mic Pre

Flr Tom - AT 4033 - RME Octo Mic Pre

Ovr Hd L - Rode NT2000 - Brick Pre

Ovr Hd R - Rode NT2000 - Brick Pre

Drm Room L - Royer 121 - RME Octo Mic Pre

Drm Room R - Royer 121 - RME Octo Mic Pre

Rhythm Gtrs DI - Radial JDV

Rhythm Gtrs - Marshall JCM 2000 - Royer 121 - Brick

Lead Gtrs - Marshall JCM 2000 - Royer 121 - Brick

Lead Vocal - Sound Elux E47 - Brick - DBX 160x comp

BU Vocals - ? - Brick




Drums = DW kit With Zildian Cymbals

Gtrs = Gibson ES 335 , Fender Jaguar, Gibson SG

Bass = Music Man Stingray

+ 1 Good Song

This was a song demo for Chris of the Band "Cosmedic" before he formed the band.  The demo was intended to up the anti for prospective future members IE:  You have to be this good in order to join.

We hired in Scotty Sexx to play drums.  Scotty is the drummer from the Bif Naked Band who are pretty popular in Canada.

Chris played all the guitars, and sang.

Rob the bass player was the first member to join the band...

Some folks mentioned the Josh Holme thing... Yes, this was one of my first thoughts when I heard Chris's music as well.  We were going for a stoner rock meets the Beatles kinda vibe on this song.  The song reminds me of "Dear Prudence"  from strictly a vibe point of view.

You can check out more of Chris's stuff on MySpace at:

Cosmedic / MySpace

He's the one on the left.  Bass player Rob second from left.

We did a five song EP, and are currently seeking funding to complete the album.  One or two of the mixes on MySpace were not mine.

Chris is shopping for a label deal.

NOTE: some people commented thet they found the song boring... I should note that this is a tendancy with "Stoner Rock" / "Desert Rock" to be a bit "drone" ish ....

All I can say is that there are MANY folks that are going crazy over his sound in these parts... including me... I love this band!

Anyway, I will download the submissions and try to critique over the next few days...

Thanks everyone!

EDIT Chris and Adam:  You missed my submission in your critique... although I had more time to mix than you guys, it would be nice to hear what you think. Link:

Rankus - Losing Fight

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: chrisj on February 28, 2007, 02:19:15 pm
Adam- exactly right, I pushed the kick forwards, I'm also compressing the crap out of it and gating it with reverse lookahead so the gate is actually chopping the front of the transient off. I did evil things to that kick  Twisted Evil the reason is, I thought the groove was boring and the kick lagged, so I did evil things to make it hit well forward of where it was, hoping that would liven things up. If I liked the groove enough to worry about ruining it I would have left the timing alone Smile that said, one thing that happened was I had trouble making a fine enough adjustment- it was only slipping tracks in Logic's arrange window, and there seems to be a little dead zone forcing you to make a certain minimum slip. I'd have used a _bit_ less than what I had, if not for that- but I would still have slipped it anyway.

Rick- I didn't miss you, you were in the song submission thread. I said "Hey, an AC-DC mix!" and talked about how the rhythm section was so strong it was flattening the vocalist, personality-wise.

Cheers Smile
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on February 28, 2007, 02:24:25 pm
Adam Miller wrote on Wed, 28 February 2007 12:07



JHall- Did you replay the guitar solo on a kazoo?




nope,  just tried to make it interesting.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: scottoliphant on February 28, 2007, 02:30:28 pm
chris J wins for consistently delivering descriptive / fun comments, you should write  record reviews =) I'll get to comments tomorrow maybe. fun again. (did anyone else use the shit mic? I ran it through a pair of 1176 and used it quite a bit in the verse, accounts for a lot of my low end loss i imagine, that and I've been shying away from boosting my lows as of late). nice job everyone.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: NickT on February 28, 2007, 02:35:51 pm
Quote:

(did anyone else use the shit mic?


Yeah...I did. Crushed it with an 1176 plug.  Razz
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Adam Miller on February 28, 2007, 02:47:20 pm
rankus wrote on Wed, 28 February 2007 19:17


EDIT Chris and Adam:  You missed my submission in your critique... although I had more time to mix than you guys, it would be nice to hear what you think. Link:

Rankus - Losing Fight




Nope, it's there! Further up the page.

Dinner break, on with the rest of the submissions....

M Carter- It sounds a bit thin overall. Another one that trades the DI'd guitar sound for the amp... I can't say that approach really does it for me, but maybe I'm just weird. The verb on the snare becomes slightly distracting- it's just too big for the mix.

MacBraddy- the drums seem disconnected from the rest of the mix, it becomes a bit distracting.

Fantomas- A tight mix, I like it, although it maybe needs something 'more' to kick it up a gear. Just a bit more attitude and a bit more ear candy. Not bad at all though.

WillF- nice bottom end, but maybe a bit OTT! I like where you're going with the vox ambience, but maybe a bit too much. The guitars are quite reticent in the chorus, but the ay you've blended the whole thing works quite well. Just a bit too heavy on kick and snare.

Anonymous- The verses really don't work to hold my attention, but the chorus kicks along nicely. The mix is a bit kick-centric.

NickT- the brightness on the drums isn't working for me; the hihat becmoes the focus of the mix; the stereo image also seems a bit skewed. Otherwise, an alright mix, it just doesn't 'nail it' for me.

Sppon- BIG guitars, a man after my own heart! The lack of depth in the snare makes the drumsound a bit cheap to my ears. The whole thing has a bit of a lowmid/bass tilt to the freq balance that becomes quite dominant.

For my own mix... well as Chris mentioned, it's very much a hard rock thang- I couldn't really visualise how else to spin it. I thought about doing something to seperate it from the QOTSA references, but i decided in the end not to fight it.

Really enjoyed doing this one, cheers guys!

Ad
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: rankus on February 28, 2007, 02:55:48 pm


Thanks guys,  I need to pay more attention...In a big hurry this morning, only had a chance to scan...
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on February 28, 2007, 03:00:43 pm
Adam - those are actually the amped guitars.  one of the DI's was unusable (to me) because of the hum, so I went for consistency and tried to just let the song be what it was.  I agree that there could be a little more excitment in the low end though.  As far as the reverb, I dunno, a day later and I'm still feeling it.  I can see your point though. For me, it was kind of a nod to the 90's sound this track reminded me of.

Thanks for the input.

How did everyone treat those rhythm guitars anyway?  I ended up doing some minimal EQ, with no compression since it just kind of mucked em up, and riding the faders in a couple of places.  In general, I feel like big distorted guitars are where many of my problems lie.

Matt
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on February 28, 2007, 03:28:38 pm
NickT wrote on Wed, 28 February 2007 13:35

Quote:

(did anyone else use the shit mic?


Yeah...I did. Crushed it with an 1176 plug.  Razz



me too.  UAD 1176, input all the way up, adjust output to taste.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: ATOR on February 28, 2007, 05:23:35 pm
Jhall

ATOR

man, you almost had me with the intro. i could totally see that as a pre-roll segue on the record. but we never came out of the spacey lo-fi thing. the drums are in the other room, and feel soft. the background vocals are louder then the lead. everything just feels soft.

now, if you turned up the guitars i could be sold on this mix. the song is total album filler....and this isn't all that bad of "connector" song. it just doesn't rock.

what was your vision for the mix and the song? i'm curious how you got to this mix.


Actually I was going for a big direct hardpounding rock track with some fx here and there to have a change of scenery Very Happy

But I couldn't get there. As if I was trying to blow up a balloon with a big hole in it, the more I did the weaker it started to sound. I'd still like to make this a powerful sounding mix but right now I don't have a clue how to get there.
Title: IMP10 reviews (spoon)
Post by: spoon on February 28, 2007, 05:44:49 pm
As a whole I noticed a couple of globals:
-The main vocal track was compressed abit much that it sounded pressed at various points in the song.
-Most seemed to have the same idea on the mid-song lead treatment (pong echo) which I thought was interesting in itself.


Adam Miller -
Very nice, balanced mix.  Vocals are clear, with nice BG mix.  Bass forward though not bass heavey.  Nice stereo spread.
Lead still rings.

anonymous -
Good balance, but overall song has a masked quality to it.  Weaker/untreated kick.  Narrower mix.

ATOR -
Nice creative intro.  Vox is a bit dark, where it affects some intelligability.  Nice vox echo on bridge.
Balanced mix overall.  Fun lead treatments at the break.

ChrisJ -
Boxy vox (mid range and essey).  Darker and flater drum treatment.  Lead guitars are _very_ background, to the
point of being non-existant.

Cosmedic -
Nice balance. Vox abit low at times.  Leads are very low.

Fantomas -
Balanced mix. Sounds very polished.  Very good...maybe the leads could be a bit louder (for my tastes).

Grant -
Good balance, but the entire mix is fairly pressed/mash into distortion.  It makes the drums sound small and reduces thier impact (kills the snares attack). But it sounds like the toms were saved from this processing.  After listening to it for a while I think I would like to hear this effect on just the vocals alone. I like the exchange of tom for kick during the brigdes.  The vocal effects before the two leads come it were nice.

Greg Dixon -
You have this LFO hanging around which is distracting. Makes the overall mix sound darker than it
probably is.  Ground loop somewhere? Nice vocals and good overall balance except where the hum
drowns out the bass (chorus parts).

iCombs -
Bass is muddying up the mix. It drowns the drums out a bit more than I would like.  Otherwise this is a
very nice sounding mix...nice polish to it.  I like the vocal treatments during the first chorus (echoes).
and before the two lead solos.

Jdier -
Spacious drums make the vox sound overly dry and dull. Vox gets buried during the chorus.  Nice lead FX.
Ending leads are drowned out abit.

JHall -
You like that pumping thing.  I think it was present on all the IMPs I have been apart of.  Not my bag, sounds
too much like modern radio music.  The mix feels a bit muddy (maybe guitar volumes) in the low end.  
I like the vocal treatments as well as the "leads" treatments.

Rattleyour -
Nice balance, maybe a hair bass heavy.  Interesting spacing.  Fuzzed up the left channel rythmn guitar?  Provides a very distinct definition (especially when hearing this song 60 times). Ending leads are so low they are missing.
Good vox treatement.

H Carter -
Nice instr balance...vocals are a bit low in relation to the FX during the verse.
To much additional compression too?  Leads are very low.  Almost not there.

MacBraddy -
Very nice balance...very polished.  Limited use of the Rythmn Gs which is cool, but it leaves the "chorus"
parts a bit empty and unenergized.

Maxim -
Doubling of Lead1 is different.  Didnt use the Rythmn guitars for the verse.  On the chorus did you use
the clean version of the rythmn tracks? Lead doubling is distracting to the middle reverse lead.  I like
the no drum break-down.  Very nice.  Balances are pretty good, but the chorus sections are abit lacking in
energy (non use of the rythmn guitars).

NickT -
Good feel...like the distant Lead1 track.  Drums are very dry, didnt use the room mikes? Gives them that
70's drum feel.

Nizzle -
Good energy from this mix.  Vocals are good if a tad low sometimes. Drums pump a tad.

redtape -
Nice vocal forward mix.  The drums are too small for my taste.  Like the bridge vocal delay.

Scott Oliphant -
Like the snare treatment, but it makes the kick sound even more flat/dry/boring/whimpy. I would figure
the nuke setting would help this out, but no.  The vox is abit low for my tastes.

singsing -
Lead1 track rings a bit much for the volume you have it at.  Drum FX muddy the low end up a bit.
The drums dont sound nuked but they feel pressed (snare specifically).  Vox is nice.

spoon -
By comparison, mine sounds very low in RMS volume...I should smash it more<g>

TomC -
Lead1 track ringing is a bit much. Nice balances.  I dig the vocal FX, but the eq is more midrangy
than I would like.  I would like a bit more oomp from my kick.  Middle and end leads are too low.

Will F -
Nice balances, the effected Lead1 track distracts from the verse vox.  Good energy from this mix.


Please excuse any spelling errors...It was busy at work today.

Regards,
David
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Gabriel F on February 28, 2007, 07:22:51 pm
Thank you Adam Miller i went for a josh homme desert session vibe and my self critic its pretty much what you said.

I must back off the vocal a little and automate the different sections so they hit harder and some ear candy but i did it with little time.

In a couple of days i will comment about all the mixes.

-----------
Gabriel Fonts.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: grantis on February 28, 2007, 09:05:42 pm
spoon,
thanks for the comments.  i trying to understand why you say the compression i used makes the drums sound small.  i think if anything, the kick drum should come up in my mix after listening to it again...that mix is huuuuge

i listened to yours, and i'm thinking...it could use a touch (meaning...a lot) more compression on the overheads/room mics.  the snare kind of sits back in the mix a bit, and doesn't really grab me from the get-go.  the bass seems to lack punch as well.

i liked how the lead lines sound at the end though....very tasty!

if anyone else would like to comment on mine, please feel free, i'd love the input!
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Greg Dixon on February 28, 2007, 10:26:09 pm
Reading these comments and listening to the mixes, for me, reinforces the need for mastering. Not everyone has a great room to mix in and that effects the overall 'tilt' of the mix, but must also 'skew' the way they hear the other mixes.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on February 28, 2007, 11:01:43 pm
henchman

nicely balanced mix.  that snare drum is not doing it for me and it doesn't matchthe boomy toms at all (which i really like).  good choices with the noodling guitars.  i like it.

Greg Dixon

i dig the dry and almost completely untreated sounding drums.  it sounds like they are in a small room balanced well.  the slap on the vocal is fitting in well too.  i've got some weird ground hum, or resonating note....something killing my buzz (pun intended)  the guitar melodies are uneventful.  i think you got really close to something special but backed off, or just didn't go far enough.

nizzle

yeah man, this is probably my current favorite.  i like the pumping off the kick.  makes the mix feel a bit andy wallace-ish.  he's a master at making his big rock mixes pump in a cool way.  nicely done.

Adam Miller

this strikes me a bit like my own mix just less amped up.  i think my mix is a good rough with vocal effects placed.  i feels like you pushed up the faders, got a good blend going, threw some effects at it and walked away.  not that that is wrong, but i think what you and i did is more the job of the tracking guy at the end of each day.

Grant Richard
vocal effects are too much.  i would have used that effect and blended it with the original vocal.  i like the idea, but it sounds like the 100% wet return.

you treated your kick drum almost identical to mine....in fact your drums are very close to mine.......hmmmmmmmmm, i wonder who taught you how to do that??????

the 2buss compression is pumping too hard.  the idea is there, you just went too far.  since i know you i can say that you are still too green to pull off buss compression this extreme.  you need more practice.

guitars are too dark and too quiet.  i went dark on this mix intentionaly and i sorta missed the mark on what i was after.  to me, this mix feels like you went more for the ear candy then you went for the right moves for the song at hand.  the ideas are solid, just not all geling with one another.

M Carter
gentle??????  is this a massage?  you can't learn if i'm gentle.

kick has no bottom and is easily 5 dB quieter then the snare (including arena verb)
the snare is brighter then the vocal, thus drawing too much attention to it.  also, the snare is the loudest element in the mix.  that's not a bad thing, but it's not good in this case.  in the big sections, the kick is just gone......it needs a serious level increase, a big boost at 60Hz.  from what i can tell, your mix is mono minus the stereo panned guitars.  if you are gonna do mono, it has to just flat blow me away, at least IMO.  the guitar melodies are totally burried.  to the point of turning the mix off cause i'm annoyed by not hearing them.

you need to look around the song, find what elements are making it "magic" and zero in on those.  ditch all the effects......ALL OF EM, and start over.  make your drums and bass and lead vocal absolutely slam!!!!!!!!  then add to that.

i'm not tossing that out for a thought....i'm saying....DO IT.  bring this mix back up and do that.  

you are a meter watcher, and an EQ graph watcher.  stop it!!!!!!!

compress till all the vibe and cool comes out, EQ till it sounds awesomer....(yeah i just said awesomer).  the difference between me and you is.......i don't stop till i get what i want.

if you can make the mix POUND without any effects you will be right where you want to be.  from there, the effects are just icing, smoothing things out, and placing things better.

ok, i'm tired i'll do more tomorrow after i post about drums and bass for Tom C.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on February 28, 2007, 11:18:38 pm
Tom C, you asked.....and i hope i can communicate this well.

drums and bass relationship as it relates to j.hall's brain.

i start every mix with the overheads.  i make them ROCK.  i'd say 95% of the time no matter the style of music i'm making the overheads slam.  it seems very common to get overheads that have NO bottom end and have splashy high end.  this makes life miserable for about 15 minutes....but i'll just EQ it till the cows come home.

it is not uncommon to see a UAD 1176 crushing the overheads.  if it isn't that, it'll be my dbx 162 (yes that's hardware) or the chandler abbey road limiter plug-in.

once i'm moderately happy, the kick comes in. the very first thing i do is boos the bottom WAY up and flip the phase.  one way or another will yeild more lows.  i go with that and move on.

j.hall is addicted like a crack head to making his kick drums shake the mix.  i don't always get it.....but i go for it every time.  most of this is 2 buss compression, but setting up the levels is crucial.

from here i get the snare popping (which there isn't a chance i can type about all the mthods i use to pull this off.....i'd have to show you)

now...the drums are basically balanced.....keep in mind that i'll spend the rest of the mix tweaking EQ, comps, and level until i print the mix.  i'm CONSTANTLY adjusting the drums and bass to fit the rest of the mix.

at this point though, the bass comes in.

i destroy it with slow attack and fast release compression, EQ ahead of the comp till i'm happy.  i do all of this while the drums are going.

now, i'll rough this in and get the lead vocal in very soon.

now is where i start working it.

to me, the drums, bass and lead vocal are the most important pieces to the entire mix.

i'll make the lead vocal get right up front (at least for the time being) and i'll spend all the time i need to make the drums and bass absolutely POUND.  i will not waste any time on the kick and snare if they just aren't doing it.  samples will come in rapidly.  i very rarely replace, i'm typically blending.

here is what i think you want.

in my mind, drums are like lightning.  they happen VERY fast.  they can be insanely loud in a mix due to this.  and i'm happy to crank them up as you can probably tell based on what you've heard of my work.  bass is the thunder, it rolls along filling in all the gaps the kick leaves.

now most guys will go for the 80Hz and below.  i get that area dialed in very early on.  i spend the majority of my time working the mids.  150 - 500.  this is the most crucial area of the entire mix.  it holds all your power.  it will make your kick and bass work together, or not.

some times, i'll thin out a bass (in the subs) to get up and more aggressive int he mix and let the kick do all the "heavy lifting"

other times, i do the opposite.

but if you go back and listen to my work, you'll realize that my entire mix is defined by my drum, bass and vocal relationship.  guitars are subjective....what sounds good to one guy sounds horrible to the next........effects are the same within reason......(though i pride myself on being fairly tasteful with my FX).

i easily spend the most time on the drums, bass and lead vocal.  from there, things just fall into place rapidly.

did that help at all?
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on February 28, 2007, 11:21:47 pm
ATOR wrote on Wed, 28 February 2007 16:23



Actually I was going for a big direct hardpounding rock track with some fx here and there to have a change of scenery Very Happy

But I couldn't get there. As if I was trying to blow up a balloon with a big hole in it, the more I did the weaker it started to sound. I'd still like to make this a powerful sounding mix but right now I don't have a clue how to get there.


wanna do some recalls?
Title: Re: IMP10 reviews (spoon)
Post by: j.hall on February 28, 2007, 11:26:52 pm
spoon wrote on Wed, 28 February 2007 16:44



JHall -
You like that pumping thing.  I think it was present on all the IMPs I have been apart of.  Not my bag, sounds
too much like modern radio music.  The mix feels a bit muddy (maybe guitar volumes) in the low end.  
I like the vocal treatments as well as the "leads" treatments.



what is it with all you chicago guys????????

seriously, every one i know from chicago (xonlocust aside) is this big compression hater.......

i'm honestly curious.......i can't for the life of me figure out whay engineer from chicago are so against compression.

every time in come up there assistants and other engineers say the same thing, "you sure you want to use that 1176 like that?"

YES, I"M F'ING SURE

if you saw me cut drums you'd probably have a heart attack right then and there.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: grantis on March 01, 2007, 12:32:08 am
j, thanks for the comments.  I NEED MORE IMPS!!!! hahahahaha.  i can see the validity in all your comments.

i ran all the fx on the vox through aux channels, and blended.  the distorted vox was really cranked on the high end though, so i think i know what you mean.

and i seem to have a bad habit of mixing guitars too far back.  it seems to be a recurring problem, which is odd because i'm a freakin guitar player.  isn't it supposed to go the other way???? Smile haha

NIZZLE

i dig your mix!  couple of questions.

1. how did you treat your drums? specifically the snare and the overheads/rooms?  did you use samples?  did you replace or blend?  what about the toms?

2. how did you treat the rhythm guitar?

thanks!

grant
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on March 01, 2007, 12:35:18 am
J - advice taken to heart  (you may be right about the meter watching, but I avoid EQ graphs like the plague).

did you drink a pot of coffee before replying with all that?  those were some of the more passionate replies I've seen from you.

Title: Re: IMP10 reviews (spoon)
Post by: spoon on March 01, 2007, 12:55:52 am
j.hall wrote on Wed, 28 February 2007 22:26


what is it with all you chicago guys????????

seriously, every one i know from chicago (xonlocust aside) is this big compression hater.......

i'm honestly curious.......i can't for the life of me figure out whay engineer from chicago are so against compression.

every time in come up there assistants and other engineers say the same thing, "you sure you want to use that 1176 like that?"

YES, I"M F'ING SURE

if you saw me cut drums you'd probably have a heart attack right then and there.


That is funny.  I dunno.  I love compression...really I do.
I smash tons of things...really...I just dont have any examples now.

For most songs I prefer to have them breath on their own rather than make them breath...not that some things cant/shouldnt have life breathed into them...

I am just not a fan of an entire track pumping (just me).  The radio does that too.  It creates a false feeling of my ears compressing (you know when the rock show is dangerously loud) which is probably why I am not into that.

Sometimes I cut drums on nuke, but I am doing it to a mult(s) so I can keep clean and dirty versions.

I would think Chicago would have plenty of AEs into that sort of thing (Aside from Albini and his crew).

I dont get out much...Cheers J.


David
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: spoon on March 01, 2007, 01:01:15 am
grant richard wrote on Wed, 28 February 2007 20:05

spoon,
thanks for the comments.  i trying to understand why you say the compression i used makes the drums sound small.  i think if anything, the kick drum should come up in my mix after listening to it again...that mix is huuuuge



The compression is killing the attack on the snare so that when it hits, the impact is reduced.
When the toms come in, they sound like they were not routed to the compressor/limiter in that they explode.

Quote:


i listened to yours, and i'm thinking...it could use a touch (meaning...a lot) more compression on the overheads/room mics.  the snare kind of sits back in the mix a bit, and doesn't really grab me from the get-go.  the bass seems to lack punch as well.

i liked how the lead lines sound at the end though....very tasty!



The lack of heavy compression is by design (there is some on it, I assure you).  I prefer it that way...the snare, yeah it is lower.  I think it is in response to the 80s, where the snare seemed like the loudest thing in the song.  I am not a fan, so I think it shapes the way I mix.

Thanks for the comments.

Regards,
David
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on March 01, 2007, 01:14:32 am
did somebody say recalls?
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: scottoliphant on March 01, 2007, 02:09:18 am
we have to respect spoon for his "style" of mixing. our personal flavor comes out over time. J (and others) love compression! it's not a bad thing, just his style, others don't. Some things can be right, or wrong, other things are totally subjective. just because a track doesn't have the snot squeezed out of it, doesn't mean it can't work in a different way. It's actually kind of nice listening to someones take that didn't immediately go for the comp. balances things out. Can a compression lover make a track really hum along without heavy comp, and vice versa? good thing to keep in mind

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: grantis on March 01, 2007, 02:35:49 am
i hear that.  i'm having a hard time making any mix 'hum' with heavy comp so maybe i'll try backing off and see what happens with the next imp

my ears are new to this indie rock thing
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Tom C on March 01, 2007, 05:04:43 am
j.hall wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 05:18

Tom C, you asked.....and i hope i can communicate this well.
[...]
did that help at all?


That was perfect, exactly what I wanted to hear.
In internot forums you most often hear 'use this gear or that
setting and bla bla' and the general approach, the philosophy,
the thinking, the general principle gets lost in the communication.

Helps a ton more than any 'I use reverb XY' statement ever could.

2 thumbs up for you!

Tom

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Red Tape on March 01, 2007, 06:03:50 am
rankus wrote on Wed, 28 February 2007 19:17

Red Tape wrote on Wed, 28 February 2007 05:54

By the way, any tracking info available for this tune?
What mics where and so on?


Hi Red,

Time to come forwards I suppose...




Where were the overheads and royer rooms placed?
Was that an edit at 0:48 on the bass di - I hear a click/pop thing there.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: NelsonL on March 01, 2007, 11:09:52 am
Spoon, thanks for the comments. I'm actually not sure if I made the deadline.

J-- my mix is on the server as you know, but I'm not clear on whether I made the deadline or not because I didn't get a chance to post in the submission thread on Tuesday.

What's the rule?
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Nizzle on March 01, 2007, 11:16:19 am
You know - I haven't taken the time in past IMPS to write up my thoughts on  everyone's mix and that's lame seeing as alot of you take the time to do it.

So - here are my thoughts. Please assume that when I write a crtique in the definitive sense - I'm really speaking from my opinion only and not presuming my sensabilities are "the truth" rather just my opinion.

best.

-t


JHall - Sonically, it sounds well balanced. Not a whole lot of vibe going on.....The use of the delay vox in the pre-chorus is a little distracting for me....the arpeggio gtr sound is pretty boring on it's own - I think you could have vibed it out to make it cooler sounding. Really like the spooky gtr sound in the verse after the 1st chorus. Overall - this is a well balanced, good sounding mix that could have used some more vibe...Sounds like a "quick mix" done by someone who knows what they're doing.

iCombs - Low end is out of control - it needs to be reeled in. Vox treatment is lacking...Remember - a "dry vocal" is rarely totally dry - a 65ms delay with a low pass filter just barely mixed in will do wonders for a boring vocal sound AND still be percieved as dry to the listener....Drums - need some excitement...compression, maybe room sound - something is needed....generally speaking the levels of the tracks are balanced nicely, but the balance of frequenciees in the mix aren't...Overall - kind of a boring mix.

Scott Oliphant - Too much Mids information(as well as bottom mic)  on the snare....Vox are abit loud for this style of music....Kinda garagey sounding - which is appealing to me even if I think  it isn't totally appropriate for this style of music...Generally - mix needs some vibe.

Rankus - One of the few mixes that got the Bass gtr "right"(IMO). the bass track had lots of low end but sorely lacked mids definition - the solution was to enhance the 700-900hz area - nice choice. Chorus falsetto Harm vox level is skewed...first half is too loud and second half isn't loud enough....Arpeggio gtr needs some love....Generally speaking - It's my opinion that this is the first mix I've heard so far that is convincing and believable. nice job.

ATOR - Intro - interesting but not serving the song(IMO). Drums are dark and not bringing the rock as this style of music requires....I like the Vox treatment....the Toms sound way to dead, way too loud, and I can hear the gating(whether it be manual or with a plug)....Like the reverse gtr treatment as well as the "spooky gtr" after the 1st chorus....don't love the same effect on the arpeggio gtrs....The balance between the cymbals and drums is out of whack....this mix doesn't really work for me.


Singsing - the subs need to be tamed...Intro arpeggio gtr is too loud in the beginning and goes away so abruptly.....Re-entrance of the arp gtr is way too loud. Vox treatment is pretty cool....Vox harmonies are kind of missing.  There is definitely some phase issues with the snare - the top and bottom mic were in phase, but something you did(probably plug-in wise) messed with the phase....The kick isn't doing it's job. This mix is close to working - just needs some tweaking....

Maxim - Low end is out of whack....the delay arpeggio gtr is creating a mino second interval that's pretty dissonant...not working for me, but may work to someone elses sensability.....kick has zero low end...it was traccked with very little, but some gratuitous EQ can take care of that..... The drums are not rocking in any way - very wimpy and idiomatically innapropriate for me. Vox sound nice, but are at karaoke levels....i like the drop out of the the band in the prechorus - good idea. Vocals are just wy too loud and the music has no sack....this mix isn't working for me.

Redtape - Where's the kick drum? snare sounds nice. Toms aren't doing anything. The drums need some sack(comp/ EQ/Volume)...Vocals are too loud...There is very little rock going on....the mix is lacking vibe....

TomC - Drums are cloudy sounding - very little definition or attack....Arpeggio gtr sound is too loud and safe sounding...I like the vox effects, but they are too loud for me.....Too much DI in the Bass track....This mix isn't working for me.

Henchman - Low end needs to put in check. Too much bottom snare mic(too much high end)...Vox sound nice. Appegio gtr can use some vibe....kick needs some subs.  I like the rhythm gtr sound and level. The Toms might be a touch too loud....This mix is very close to working for me...

Greg  Dixon - Low end needs to be tamed. Drums are kind of week sounding(although the levels are right) the treatment lacks power and definition. Arpeggio gtr sound could be cooler. I like the Rhythm gtrs, although I think you may have EQ's the upper mids too much. Vox are nice but I think the effecs are too heavy handed with reagrds to volume. The Bass has too muxh high end for me. Idiomatically speaking, that "String Flap" high end is appropriate for a band like Korn, but not necessarilly for this style (QOTSA) of music. Consider using a low pass filter staring at 3k and see if you like it. Vox aren't sitting in the mix well...they are abit too on top for me.

AdamMiller - Musically  - this one works for me. The vocal do not....too heavy handed on the vox effects...the drums are pretty good, but they aren't rocking enough for my taste - but that may be just a taste thing - I think this mix is almost successful - just tweak the vox abit.

Grant Richard - The snare drum is getting obliterated with squash....the drums are too compressed...try using some parallel compression by blending in an uncompressed mix of the drums(try it with the snare track too) Low end needs to be put in check.... Vocals are totally pinched and there is a high end distorto-sheen that hurts me. The hard panning of the toms kinda bums me out....Vox effect choices don't make sense to me.....I think if you pull back on the compression and vox effects you may have something there. I like the gr sound BUT they seem to bee overmodulating in the high end.

M Carter  - Where's the kick drum? Drums need some work - the snare reverb seems innapropriate  for this style of music.....the levels seem way out of wack(listen to the vamp between the 1st chorus and 2nd verse) Generally speaking - this mix lacks any power or command of my attention....this one isn't working for me.

Chris J  - Whoa. What's going on with the kick drum? It's way too loud, but more importantly it's timing has been purposefully or mistakenly moved way ahead of the beat...The groove is completely destroyed...the gtrs need to be WAY louder. The vox are at Karaoke level. Where's the reverse gtr in the vamp between the 1st chorus and 2nd verse? This mix isn't working at all for me.

Fantomas - Kinda wimpy sounding ffom the get go. The vox seem to loud, but other than that the levels are pretty good. I would focus on figuring out how to get more power out of the drums...they are pretty weak sounding. Time stat trying some more"extreme" things(ie: drum bus comression, more aggressive EQ...) Sounds very safe and kinda boring.

Will F - Pretty goof from the get go. I don't care for the effect on the arpeggio gtr and I think it is way too loud...The drums could use some more sack(the snare seems too loud in relation to the rest of the kit)....the Vox arent quite right....the falsetto harmoniy vox in the choruses are not balanced properly.....Lead Vox effects are too heavy handed....this mix needs some tweaking.

Anonymous - The  levels sound right. Sonically it seems balanced...I'm not  a fan of the arrangement choices....all of the elements seem to be disconnected...the hard panning of the gtrs isn't working for me....Overaall - kinda sounds wimpy and disconnected.

Nick T - Drums are weird sounding and seem to be heavy on the right channel. Snare drum needs some power....Vox aren't doing anything for me...Overall lack of vibe.

Spoon - Low end is out of balance. Snare drum has too much bottom mic...Drums lack power. Vox effect doesn't seem right for this style of music. Balance of the traccks seem right with exception to the bvox(too loud for me)...This one is on the right track...just lacking sack in the drums and overall vibe.


Nice work everyone.

-t
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Adam Miller on March 01, 2007, 11:52:07 am
chrisj wrote on Wed, 28 February 2007 19:10

 Okay, don't kill me for this- I'm thinking Def Leppard here, a bit. Something about how neatly everything is laid out. Some people puke over Def Leppard, but it IS Mutt Lange after all.



Boy, are you gonna get a whupping....




...I kid, I kid! Can't say I had Def Leppard in mind when I mixed it, but I'll take that as a big complement. Now if only I could shift 10 million units with that sound...
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Adam Miller on March 01, 2007, 11:58:02 am
j.hall wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 04:01


i feels like you pushed up the faders, got a good blend going, threw some effects at it and walked away.  


Well, I can't argue too much with that assessment! I thought the printed sounds were of sufficiently high quality and performed well enough not to warrant too much dicking around. I could have gone to town with automation and ear candy, but at a certain point i think that becomes distracting, and doesn't really fit with the genre.

Just my tuppence worth- thanks to all for their comments.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: NickT on March 01, 2007, 12:15:17 pm
I thought I would give some quick "opinions". That is all they are.

TIA for any comments on my mix.

Nick

ChrisJ - The kick throws me a little. Vox sound good. I liked the RAT in the verse two  into.

Maxim - Overall a good mix. I liked the use of the lead tracks. Vox lose a little focus for me.

M Carter - Like the Intro. Verb on the snare and vox is heavier than I like. The verb tends to ring. Nice energy in the chorus.

Adam Miller - Chorus vox get lost. Song does have good energy. Phat sound!

MacBrady- Like the snare tone. Loud mix, but I like it like that.

iCombs - Bass heavy. Vox sound nice. It does thump well. Verb in chorus is a little much for me.

Henchman - Open feel to the mix. I like the chorus. Creative use of lead tracks.

Red Tape - Could use a little low end.Very dry and clean mix. Tracks are well balanced.

Greg Dixon - Low rumble/hum. Other than that the mix is very good.

Liam - I like the kick thump! The verb/delay on the right vox throws me. Chorus sounds good.

Fantomas - Image seems left heavy. Could use some low end. Even mix otherwise.

Jdier - Lots of verb makes it a little boxy. Vox sound good but get lost in the chorus.

ATOR - Intro is cool. A little more contrast would have been cool. Nice open mix. I liked the delay on the solo.

Will F - Nice full mix. The vox get a little buried.

Jhall - Pumpin'. Overall even mix. I like your kit sound.

Scottoliphant - Very bright. Vox sound good. Mix is a little harsh to my ears.

Rankus - Nice full mix. Vox a little wide in the chorus. Overall one of my favorites.

Sing Sing - Lead drop is a little abrupt. I did like what you were going for. Good mix.

TomC - Sounds a little boxy to me. Might be the verb.

Nizzle - Monster Kick! Vox sound good. Very "Big" mix. I like it.

Grant Richard - Another Pumpin' mix. Too much air in the vocal. Other than the vox, I like this mix.

Anonymous - Very stark mix. Clean drums. Once my ears got used to it, I liked this.

3Foot6 - A little harsh. Could use some low end warmth. vox are clear. The 3-4k is kinda hot.

Spoon - Smooth mix. Kick is thumpin'. Kicks a little hot but overall mix sounds nice.

Nice job all!

Nick
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Nizzle on March 01, 2007, 12:16:00 pm
grant richard wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 05:32



NIZZLE

i dig your mix!  couple of questions.

1. how did you treat your drums? specifically the snare and the overheads/rooms?  did you use samples?  did you replace or blend?  what about the toms?

2. how did you treat the rhythm guitar?

thanks!

grant



Glad you dig the mix.

First: I mixed this in Protools on my powerbook (Loaded with RAM) with Sony MDR-7506 headphones.

The Drums - snare has a gate on it but only using about 10-15% of bleed reduction. A Tape emulator plug in is being used(Massey TapeHead) and I'm compressing it at 3:1 qith 3 dB of reduction with the digi compressor(sounds like a DBX 160X to my ears). I also have an L1 brick wall limiter on it using it sparringly with barely a dB of reduction. I'm using this track in parallel with a "dry" snare track(with TapeHead) - blending the two to taste and bussing them to a new fader where I applied the Ohm Boys "Hematohm" plugin and pitched the snare down to taste(to add sack). There is a snare sample that is triggering a Waves rennaisance reverb....
Oheads - I used a Rennaisance Compressor at 5:1 with a fast attack and med release. About 6dB of reduction(just to duck snare and kick hits) - Doing this brings the cymbals closer, but more importantly - it vibes out the high end of the kit.

Rooms - Put a gate on the "shit mic" and sidechained the gate with the snare track(it opens only when the snare hits). I used the snare Rennaisance reverb for the rest of the room sound.

The overall drum mix was then subbed to 2 stereo faders. One was squashed and limited and the other was left as is. I then blended the 2 stereo traccks and sent the result to yet another stereo fader where I applied final EQ (Just a little Pultec sheen at 8k and at 60Hz)....strapped an L2 on the result and that's the drum sound.

Gtrs - I didn't care for the amp sounds - I heard what they were going for(AmpegV4b with a D12 on it - QOTSA sound), but it didn't hit the mark for me  - too flabby. I used the DI's (one of which had serious 60 cycle hum on it)..I used the Waves Restoration X-NOISE plug and removed 60 cycles and it's octaves until it's almost gone. I "re-amped" the DI's with the Amplitube plugin and tried to approximate what the initial intent of the gtr sound was.....I Eq'd to taste and put the Massey Tape Head plug on them. No compression - I rarely compress saturated gtr sounds as it seems uneccesary to my ears.

Also - The 2 buss has alot to do with the sound of the Drums and Gtrs - I used the Massey TapeHead, then a Pultec Program EQ plug - I enhanced 30Hz and 15K to taste. After that, I used the T-Racks Compressor at 3:1 with not quite 2dB of reduction - then an L2 to raise the over-all level BUT with absolutely NO Gain Reduction...I mix (and trackfor that matter) at relatively low levels(-6 peaks). so - my mixes are very low in level - I used the L2 to get the level to a point where I feel the program audio is hitting the amplifier for the speakers enough to drive them properly.

With all of this said - I used alot of "heavy handed" approaches to get the sound I got - Every song is different, every style of music requires different things....I try to approach every mix with as little processing as posible BUT I will man-handle, beat down, and ravage any piece of audio if it helps me achieve whatever it is I need to have happen.

Hope your well.

-t

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: spoon on March 01, 2007, 01:19:54 pm
Nizzle wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 11:16


Also - The 2 buss has alot to do with the sound of the Drums and Gtrs - I used the Massey TapeHead, then a Pultec Program EQ plug - I enhanced 30Hz and 15K to taste. After that, I used the T-Racks Compressor at 3:1 with not quite 2dB of reduction - then an L2 to raise the over-all level BUT with absolutely NO Gain Reduction...I mix (and trackfor that matter) at relatively low levels(-6 peaks). so - my mixes are very low in level - I used the L2 to get the level to a point where I feel the program audio is hitting the amplifier for the speakers enough to drive them properly.



Nizzle, I have a question.

It seems clear that you have/had experimented with your tools enough to come up with these techniques...

What have you found the L2, as a makeup gain device, offers over say just pushing the output up.  This sounds interesting as a technique.

Regards,
David
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Nizzle on March 01, 2007, 01:50:46 pm
[/quote]

Nizzle, I have a question.

It seems clear that you have/had experimented with your tools enough to come up with these techniques...

What have you found the L2, as a makeup gain device, offers over say just pushing the output up.  This sounds interesting as a technique.

Regards,
David
[/quote]

Hey David - I guess I'm using the L2 instead of raising the master fader just so I have the added security of setting the brick wall at .1dB which ensures I won't have any overs...Remember, not all transients are reflected in the digital meters and it's easy to F-up and go over...So - when submitting mixes for artist approval - I'll strap on the L2 and  raise the level without causing any gain reduction(or very very little)....Because I  mix at such low levels - I wouldn't dream of submitting a mix to an artist for sign off without raising the level enough so that the preamp/amp for the playback system is getting hit hard enough by my program audio...a super low level out of a CD player - into a stereo sounds very wimpy to my ears AND let's not forget the psychology behind volume and perceived excitement to the listener.

best,

-t


Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on March 01, 2007, 02:01:35 pm
so Tom -

done all in the box?  

getting levels up is where I have the most problems.  do you start with the limiter across the 2 bus, just to keep overages under control?  Or do you slap that across later?

Matt
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: rankus on March 01, 2007, 02:05:04 pm
Red Tape wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 03:03


Where were the overheads and royer rooms placed?
Was that an edit at 0:48 on the bass di - I hear a click/pop thing there.



Hmmm ... I would have to re-open the files to have a look at that pop... they have been archived though... My guess is that it was either an edit that was missed, or more likely the bass player hit the string a little hard and smacked a pick-up....

The Overheads were placed using my secret technique (not really a secret...Andy Johns used this as well, but I only found this out later)

I place one overhead directly over the snare looking straight down just high enough to avoid stick swing.  In most cases this comes out to be about 38-42 inches... This mic picks up the Hi Hat and crash on this side of the kit as well.

The second overhead is placed directly above the floor tom looking straight down.  This will pick up the ride and right side crash as well. (Here's the important part)  The mic should be equal distant to the snare as the first OHD.  You can use a tape measure, or a mic cable to measure this.  This overhead will end up a lot lower than the first one. That is OK.  The reason for the measured distance to the snare is to ensure that the snare ends up in the center of stereo image.

The room mic(s) .. was a Royer placed about 4 feet out from the front of the kit facing away (but it's figure 8 so it picks up both sides anyway)  The height was about chest level.

No compression or EQ on the way in... I even leave the phase until mixing. (as long as nothing is obviously out of whack... then I move a mic or two)

My room is about 15 x 12 with 10 foot ceiling, which I consider to be small, so it has been pretty heavily padded with carpet, broadband absorbers in all the corners and the ceiling has some "clouds" of office dividers... I mention this because I have been tweaking the room for three years to get a good drum sound out of it... gradually adding more absorption until it was just right. (it's not just a great kit good drummer, and good micing... the room is a big player too)

Thanks for the question! Smile
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: spoon on March 01, 2007, 02:08:19 pm
Nizzle wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 12:50


Hey David - I guess I'm using the L2 instead of raising the master fader just so I have the added security of setting the brick wall at .1dB which ensures I won't have any overs...Remember, not all transients are reflected in the digital meters and it's easy to F-up and go over...So - when submitting mixes for artist approval - I'll strap on the L2 and  raise the level without causing any gain reduction(or very very little)....Because I  mix at such low levels - I wouldn't dream of submitting a mix to an artist for sign off without raising the level enough so that the preamp/amp for the playback system is getting hit hard enough by my program audio...a super low level out of a CD player - into a stereo sounds very wimpy to my ears AND let's not forget the psychology behind volume and perceived excitement to the listener.
best,
-t



Oh, that's clever.  I like that.

Am I correct in assuming if the material is getting sent to Mastering, you do not apply this technique?



Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Nizzle on March 01, 2007, 02:13:39 pm
spoon wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 19:08

Nizzle wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 12:50


Hey David - I guess I'm using the L2 instead of raising the master fader just so I have the added security of setting the brick wall at .1dB which ensures I won't have any overs...Remember, not all transients are reflected in the digital meters and it's easy to F-up and go over...So - when submitting mixes for artist approval - I'll strap on the L2 and  raise the level without causing any gain reduction(or very very little)....Because I  mix at such low levels - I wouldn't dream of submitting a mix to an artist for sign off without raising the level enough so that the preamp/amp for the playback system is getting hit hard enough by my program audio...a super low level out of a CD player - into a stereo sounds very wimpy to my ears AND let's not forget the psychology behind volume and perceived excitement to the listener.
best,
-t



Oh, that's clever.  I like that.

Am I correct in assuming if the material is getting sent to Mastering, you do not apply this technique?








Correct - The L2 is never instantiated when rendering 24bit mixes(whether ITB or to 1/2")that are to be sent off the ME.

best,

-t
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: chrisj on March 01, 2007, 02:21:43 pm
M Carter wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 01:14

did somebody say recalls?


If J asked me for a recall I already know it would be to fix the kick (haven't been asked though). Honestly, I didn't find a groove to ruin- I must not be understanding the stoner/dirge rock thing, because most people did seem to think there was one, even a good one. It sure isn't very peppy.

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Tom C on March 01, 2007, 02:35:44 pm
Disclaimer: I'm in a (acoustically) completely new room now with new speakers,
so I still have to get used to the new (and still changing daily) environment.
Take everything with a grain of salt]


[Names below are taken from the file name, so they may differ
from your nickname]

adammiller:
Love the drums and the deep dark bass. Nothing to complain, maybe making
it overall a bit more dirty would make me feel more 'with the band'.

iCombs:
Nice low end (albeit could be a tad cleaner), maybe a bit to dominating.
Vocals could be a bit more wet in the verses to lead me better into the
chorus.

Nizzle:
Again love the low end and that you use the amped bass, could have a
bit more mids, when I close my eyes I see a singer behind some big
drums and a bass player. I'd love to see a lead guitar player as well.

redtape:
Sounds honest and on the save side, that makes the verses a bit boring
(what they are anyway) but works good in the chorus.
Love the vocals.

grant_richard:
For my taste dominates the bass/kick to much, this wall of low end makes
the singer tiny. The sound itself isn't bad, less bass and more mids
would present the whole band better.

Anonymous:
Similar to redtape, great chorus but the verses could bite more.

maxim:
Lead guitar in the verses sounds a bit de-tuned, but I love the overall feel
it creates. Low end a bit muddy in the chorus. I like your vox/bg vox a lot,
especially the idea at the end of the second verse. That creates dynamically
a nice counterpoint to the following chorus.

NickT:
I like this one a lot. Toms could have a bit more low end, but overall
nothing to complain from my side.

Fantomas:
I like this one, the singer's finally here without being too much in may
face.

JHall:
As I already told you, I'm in love with the way you've married drums and
bass, that makes your mix big and interesting to listen to and pushes things
forward, especially in the verses which are the weak point in most mixes.
The vocal reverb differences between verses and chorus could be a bit less
drastic.

Rankus:
This is my favourite so far. The only thing I'd change is I'd make drums
a little less bright, but that's just personal taste.

singsing:
Overall good mix, but I see the band in a big room with not much
audience here, I'd like to see it more in a small club.
Chorus could more bite compared to the verses, there's not much
difference dynamic wise.

ATOR:
Losing fight psychedelic version. Different but interesting interpretation
of the song. Vocal levels a bit of sometimes, but I like your overall  
interpretation. Makes me feel like 70ties again.

3foot6:
Sounds a bit thin, I'd like to be more pushed by the bottom end

ChrisJ:
Kick sounds somehow broken and out of time. I had similar timing issues
last IMP and it broke my mix, too.
I like the vocals a lot (especially the verses)

M_Carter:
Lacks a bit dynamic wise, I'd like to hear more punch in the vocals
and the drumers kick. The overall balance isn't bad, but too
much on the save side (I'm known to make that error often, too).

will_f:
I like this a lot, lots of energy. That guitar panning/FX is a bit
annoying, tho.

Greg_Dixon:
Very raw and good. I know that the tracks need some processing
to make them sound good, but you managed to do it in a way as
if not much processing was done, great job!

jdier:
A bit to much ambiance, especially compared to the vocals.
Nice vocals but not loud enough to attract my attention.

scott_oliphant:
A bit harsh and bright, competes to much with the (very good)
vocals.

spoon:
I like the verses a lot, but the chorus seems a bit unbalanced,
the rhythm guitars and bg-vocals are louder as the main
vocals. I like your drum sound.

Henchman:
Lots of energy, low end is a tad to much, but I like it.
Nice vox, too. Overall sound maybe a bit too clean and
polished for that song.

Liam_Rattleyr:
Very cool kick sound, and the vocals aren't bad, either.
Vocals in the chorus could be a bit louder, tho.

Thanks a lot to everyone for the time to comment on the
songs, I appreciate this a lot.

Tom

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on March 01, 2007, 02:44:12 pm
@ Recalls

I admittedly didn't really put enough in to the mix because of other pressing life matters.  After taking J's advice and running with it, I'm already much happier with the results.  I appreciate the lack of technical speak in the reply in lieu of attempting to convey the approach taken in the mix.

back to the work grind....

So far my favorite mixes are J's, Adam's and Nizzle's.  So far though none of the mixes are impressive as far as the guitars go, and I kind of feel like it's mostly because of the source material, meaning the player.  It just doesn't have any kind of punk rock swag to it.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Will F on March 01, 2007, 03:34:13 pm
Thanks for all the comments so far. This is awesome and the feedback so far is well....upon listening back, pretty spot on. It's amazing how much something stands out after it's been pointed out to you.
I did the mix at my day job during my free time on a Mac I normally use for video editing. I used all the standard digi plugs plus some Massey stuff which I love.
Even though I can't re-submit I am going to do a mix at home where the setup is much nicer and I can run through a console and some nice outboard. I really want to compare the results from mixing at different locations on different gear. Plus I won't have to rush.
Again I love this, I'm learning a lot and can't wait for the next one!

-Will
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 01, 2007, 03:43:04 pm
M Carter wrote on Wed, 28 February 2007 23:35

J - advice taken to heart  (you may be right about the meter watching, but I avoid EQ graphs like the plague).

did you drink a pot of coffee before replying with all that?  those were some of the more passionate replies I've seen from you.




HAHAHAH.  actually, i was in a huge hurry last night, but forced myself to pay attention and give each mixer something useful....or hopefully useful.
Title: Re: IMP10 reviews (spoon)
Post by: j.hall on March 01, 2007, 03:45:35 pm
spoon wrote on Wed, 28 February 2007 23:55



That is funny.  I dunno.  I love compression...really I do.
I smash tons of things...really...I just dont have any examples now.

For most songs I prefer to have them breath on their own rather than make them breath...not that some things cant/shouldnt have life breathed into them...

I am just not a fan of an entire track pumping (just me).  The radio does that too.  It creates a false feeling of my ears compressing (you know when the rock show is dangerously loud) which is probably why I am not into that.

Sometimes I cut drums on nuke, but I am doing it to a mult(s) so I can keep clean and dirty versions.

I would think Chicago would have plenty of AEs into that sort of thing (Aside from Albini and his crew).

I dont get out much...Cheers J.


David


HAHAHA, nice.

well, my biggest influences are tchad blake, rich costey and andy wallace.  all of those guys have puming mixes.  are mine pumping as cool as theirs.....not yet....but i'm getting closer.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: ATOR on March 01, 2007, 03:46:11 pm

Here we go, hold on to your seats  Twisted Evil


3foot6
underwater guitar has got the spotlight here, louder than leadvox and everything else. Drums have a boxy rehearsalroom sound. The mix would be better if you put the spotlight on the interesting things, like on the end where the rhythm guitars mask the solo parts

Adammiller
Nice open sound, good leadvocal, good balance, at the end the lead role rhythm guitar wash makes it boring

Anonymous
empty mix at the start, I can see you want to make a good buildup but the track loses me at the start. You've made too little use of the mix elements too keep it interesting

ChrisJ
The kick sounds strange as if the compressor crapped out. Vox lead is lonely because it’s too loud. I like the space in the mix. The drums get buried at the end. I miss some DI bass body.

Fantomas
Nice ambience on the vocal. Vocal stands out from the band too much, it makes the band play at a low level.  Band balance is good. Kick could use more low end to ground the track.

GregDixon
I like it, big sounds, huge guitars. When the band gets loud the available space gets a little cramped. The guitars push down the drums and bass in a ducking style.

Henchman
Heavy deep bass, good drums, toms could use more gating and eq, they don’t fit the tighter drums. The rhythm guitars seem distant, did you use reverb on them?

iCombs
There’s something that gives me an out of phase feeling, I think it are your rhythm guitars The reverb on ‘love losing fight’ makes it messy and turns the big ending into a wash of mud. This mix could use some more eqing to give the elements their own space.

Jdier
Very big reverbs, too big for my taste. middy overall sound. This mix loses me because it’s all too distant, nothing stands out.

JHall
Big kick. I like the different treatments of the leadvox in different parts. The rhythm guitars duck the drums in loud parts. Good balance, everything has it’s place.

Liam Rattleyr
Crispy guitars, good drums. Vocal gets a little buried here and there. Nice use of fx.  Kick could lose some boxyness, it’s distracting me. Overall this could use some more lo-mid body.

M Carter
Big snare, makes the vocal seem small. It makes me wanna pan the vocal to the side to make more room for the snare. The delay on the lead rhytm guitar in the chorus makes the mix hazy.  I gotta say the snare is great, it’s the star of the show.

MacBraddy
Drums have a strong rehearsal room ambience. The vocal is very small. I like the stereo RAT bass. I’d like the guitars to be louder, it feels  kinda empty now.

Maxim
I don’t like the harmony created by the delay in the intro. Drums are too distant  and weak. Arp guitar is too loud. Basssound draggs the tempo down.  Nice idea to put the bg vox to the right. I’m not shure about muting the drum before the last chorus it’s really empty now. The finale sounds very tame with the rhythm guitar level like this.

NickT
Leadvox it a little too small and unnaturally dry. The drums sound weak. Sounds are unfinished. This sounds almost like a faders up mix.

Nizzle
This is a mastering engineers nightmare. Blasted to oblivion. Too bad ‘cause there might be a good mix underneath.

Rankus
Vocal could use some more body. For some reason this mix makes the vocal sound more dragged in tempo. Overall I’d like more lo-end en body.  Balance is pretty good, OHs are a little loud.

Redtape
Balance is way off. No kick/bass. Individual sounds need more attention and eqing. Like a bad faders up mix.

Scott Oliphant
Drums are completely fucked up with way too much compression. Vocal is small and no match for the drums, actually nothing in the mix is.

Singsing
No punch left and that’s needed pretty bad to keep me awake. Otherwise a good mix.

Spoon
Too much reverb it makes it hard to hear what the individual instruments are doing. Bass (Rat) is very prominent and thick. The mix is rather messy, needs more eq to give every instrument it’s own space.

Will F
Yes, a snare that smacks. Nice big mix.  I like the triple 8ths delay. Good balance. Yup I like this one.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 01, 2007, 03:49:18 pm
Nizzle wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 10:16




JHall - Sounds like a "quick mix" done by someone who knows what they're doing.



BINGO!!!!!!!!!!!!  well, minus the "knows what they're doing" part.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 01, 2007, 03:51:01 pm
Adam Miller wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 10:58

j.hall wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 04:01


i feels like you pushed up the faders, got a good blend going, threw some effects at it and walked away.  


Well, I can't argue too much with that assessment! I thought the printed sounds were of sufficiently high quality and performed well enough not to warrant too much dicking around. I could have gone to town with automation and ear candy, but at a certain point i think that becomes distracting, and doesn't really fit with the genre.

Just my tuppence worth- thanks to all for their comments.




fair enough, and i don't disagree at all.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 01, 2007, 03:59:33 pm
M Carter wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 13:44

@ Recalls

I admittedly didn't really put enough in to the mix because of other pressing life matters.  After taking J's advice and running with it, I'm already much happier with the results.  I appreciate the lack of technical speak in the reply in lieu of attempting to convey the approach taken in the mix.

back to the work grind....

So far my favorite mixes are J's, Adam's and Nizzle's.  So far though none of the mixes are impressive as far as the guitars go, and I kind of feel like it's mostly because of the source material, meaning the player.  It just doesn't have any kind of punk rock swag to it.



i need to add this to the rules thread.

early on in the IMP experience people asked if they could do recalls.  the answer was first no.  then i thought about it and made this rule, which seems to work well.

the past few IMPs i've only reviewed a few mixes (due to time).  i really dug into them and tried to meet each mixer where they were, and try to help them find a new way of thinking, or new technique they could easily adapt into their work flow.

at that, i decided if it's worthy, i'd ask for a recall. mainly so i could hear how well my comments went over.  the rule is this.

i'm the only one that can request a recall, AND, who ever i ask has the choice to do it or not do it.  that way, no one is stepping on any one elses schedule and work flow.  if i'm working for free, there ain't recalls.....and i refuse to treat people any differently then i want to be.

so.......for you, if you want to upload a recall, i'd love to hear it.

i'm not done reviewing, and i'm far from done with this IMP, but i'd love to hear where you can take this.

i want to dig in with ATOR as well, but he has yet to accept.....which again, is completely up to him.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: ATOR on March 01, 2007, 03:59:43 pm
j.hall wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 05:21

ATOR wrote on Wed, 28 February 2007 16:23



Actually I was going for a big direct hardpounding rock track with some fx here and there to have a change of scenery Very Happy

But I couldn't get there. As if I was trying to blow up a balloon with a big hole in it, the more I did the weaker it started to sound. I'd still like to make this a powerful sounding mix but right now I don't have a clue how to get there.


wanna do some recalls?


I had already reserved some time next week to try and get it right. Biggest hurdle for me is getting great drums and a good kick/bass relationship. I'll see where I end up when I start with overheads like you described.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Nizzle on March 01, 2007, 04:10:37 pm
M Carter wrote:

"so Tom -

done all in the box?

getting levels up is where I have the most problems. do you start with the limiter across the 2 bus, just to keep overages under control? Or do you slap that across later?

Matt"


This mix was done all ITB. Specifically 12" Powerbook w/ Headphones.

the L2 limiter is the last thing on the 2 buss. Just to be clear - it is used solely as a way to raise level as transparently as possible. There is no gain reduction. I choose to do this when I submit mixes for approval as my mixes are very low in level(because the mix buss in my rig sounds better when not driven hard). Although I deliver my mixes to the ME at this low level, I find that it is too low for playback on a consumer device...I don't care for the way audio sounds when it is not engaging the amplifier of the playback device enough - my work around is to do a "pre-master
" Which simply entails raising the overall level WITHOUT any dynamic gain reduction.

best,

-t
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Nizzle on March 01, 2007, 04:17:53 pm
ATOR wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 20:46


Here we go, hold on to your seats  Twisted Evil



Nizzle
This is a mastering engineers nightmare. Blasted to oblivion. Too bad ‘cause there might be a good mix underneath.





I assure you I would not submit a mix to an ME at this level(dB), however my mix sounds the same whether played back at the level I posted or if you were to hear the mix without the Limiter(which is engaged in such a way that it is merely raising the overall level WITHOUT any gain reduction).

So sadly, I can assure you there WOULDN"T be a "good mix underneath" so far as your concerned.....We all have our different tastes - that's what makes Music so F'n great.

best,

-t  
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on March 01, 2007, 04:18:59 pm
J -

AH, gotcha.  I was thinking the 'wanna do recalls' comment was a general thing.  

I'd definitely be interested to hear what you'd think if i did a recall though.  When's the deadline?  I'm kind of in the middle of an indie hip hop record that's been kicking my ass due to poor production (guys sampling from like... mp3's.... lots of sample rechopping from better sources, etc)... and having the office gig @ Legacy makes time management a must for any outside endeavors.  Blah blah blah, excuses aside, I couldn't get it done by like, tomorrow or anything, but I could probably make something happen over the weekend.  would that fly ?

Matt
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Nizzle on March 01, 2007, 04:19:47 pm
j.hall wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 20:49

Nizzle wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 10:16




JHall - Sounds like a "quick mix" done by someone who knows what they're doing.



BINGO!!!!!!!!!!!!  well, minus the "knows what they're doing" part.



HA!
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on March 01, 2007, 04:20:45 pm
tom -

what I meant by 'start with the L2' was, do you put it on the mix before you even start mixing, to compensate for the levels and potentially save yourself some headroom?

Matt
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Nizzle on March 01, 2007, 04:31:26 pm
M Carter wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 21:20

tom -

what I meant by 'start with the L2' was, do you put it on the mix before you even start mixing, to compensate for the levels and potentially save yourself some headroom?

Matt


Definitely not...at the very end right before I render the mix. I need to be able to "see" how I'm hitting the master buss at all times. During the course of a mix - I'll routinely have to do a "global level attenuation" so as to keep my mix buss level where I like it.

I do however strap on the Tape Emulater soon after the mix begins and soon after that I bring the 2 buss compressor into the mix. I usually don't add the "program EQ" until the end of the mix.
The order of plugins(as the audio hits them) is
Tape Emulator
Program EQ
Compressor
Brick Wall(only when renderring mixes for the artisst to sign off on and NOT when creating the FINAL MIX which will be delivered to the ME.

best,

-t


Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on March 01, 2007, 04:36:49 pm
Yeah, I go through the same thing with levels and headroom.  I'm doing most of my mixing ITB for the fact that none of my indie clients can afford going to a real room.   It's definitely a different skill set than mixing on a desk.  

I'm a little skeptical of tape bus plug ins though.  

excuse me for hijacking the thread.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 01, 2007, 04:43:07 pm
Chris J

i haven't been reading any other reviews but those about my mix.  this way i stay neutral.

ok.....you've gotten A LOT better.  i can hear the biggest improvements in your work over the past few IMPs.

a few things to consider.  the kick needs more bottom, but what you did to the upper mids is reallygreat considering the rest of the aesthic in your mix.  this mix is the only one i've heard thus far that has a dry vocal that works.  it's perhaps a touch too loud....but it feels pretty good to me.  the snare sounds good but is too loud.  remember, in a rock mix the kit needs to be balanced.  the kick and snare and toms all need to be about the same level.  your snare matches your vocal nicely.  i thnk over all it could be a touch wider (stereo field).  one thing i do dig a lot is the pumping off the kick drum to the rest of the kit.  the mix seems unaffected by it.  but for a split moment each kick hits actually cuts out the cymbals......i have some distortion boxes that do with when they get over loaded with bottom, and i LOVE that in certain places.

fantomas

there is some thing popping out in the vocal in the upper mids.  it isn't bad (might be verb or whatever).  however, your lead vocal is all that matters to the common public.  so, to pick on you for a minute.......don't stop working the lead vocal till it's smooth as glass.  i don't think you were aggressive enough with your compressor, but you need to EQ ahead of your comp and use your EQ to smooth out what the comp doesn't.  it sounds weird, i know, but trust me......your EQ will infact become a dynamic tool.

your snare seems soft to me, but really not bad.  overall, this feels like a rough mix with the vocal fairly up.  the more i listen to this song the more i'm agreeing with wo ever keeps saying the guitars aren't cutting it.  your guitars are a bit quiet, but honestly, i'm just not digging them anymore......

Jim Dier

holy arena batman.....  i would expect this from the band sound checking at the local arena before a gig.....not their album mix.  listening through the FX, the mix is pretty good.  back al the effects WAY down and see if you dig it.  also, those toms need to sustain more.  slow attack, fast release compressor, get them to rig more and feel larger then life.  see if that makes your drums feel bigger then they are.....sometimes it's just that simple.  your kick is getting lost in the bigger parts.  turn it up and get some point on it (5k maybe)  i hope your traveling was good....welcome back....HA

Will F
minus the delay, i love the "chimey" character you brought out in the guitar lead in the verses.  the vocal isn't dominating, that's bad.  you even set your drums up to support the vocal, but didn't deliver.  the toms are too far back....let them sit at the same table with the kick and snare......

to me, it sounds like you are unsure of what to do with vocal compression.  am i right?  i'll give you some ideas if you want them.

AnonymousUser

this is my favorite drum sound.  i want a touch more top end in that snare. and more bottom int he kick, but over all, i think this drum sounds NAILS IT.  to focus on that for a minute.......and i've talked about it before, you want the snare to mathc the vocals high end.  it's so close it's bugging me.....but not that bad.

i like how you really work the dynamics.  those quiet parts before the chorus really are quiet, and they feel almost pretty.......that's cool.

anything i would do to this mix would be very minimal and nit picking.  the thwacky kind of vibe is killer.  i think this mix nails the vibe the song needs.  great compression on the lead vocal, and overall.

nicely done

Nick T

intro is interesting.....at least it's different, not sure it serves much of a purpose, but that's not up to me.  the top end of your mix is making my filling rattle out.  12.5k and up......what is going on with the artifacts on the kick drum?

your bass guitar tone fits your drums and vocal nicely.  sorry man, i can't take anymore of that top end.  the vocal is so close minus this top end thing......

3 foot 6

am i hearing playback through the phone?  despite that, i kinda like this mix.  after hearing the song 10 thousand times, it's refreshing to hear something this different that the mixer fully commited to.  i think you could easy up the lead vocal filtering, and perhaps get some really deep subs going on withthe bass and kick......that filtered vocal starting to get to me.

can you tell me why you went this route, or did you just do it with out much thought?  i hope you planned it, cause i want to know what you were thinking (not in a bad way, ina good way.....i really want to know)

spoon

based on our tongue and cheek back and forth, i really expected to hear your best steve albini here.  not the case at all.  the bass guitar is freaking me out a little bit.....in a good way.  man it's aggressive....NICE.  i think you could go bigger on the toms...the kick is really hitting well.....why not match it with the floor tom?

nice mix....i like it.  i just think you could get those drums more amped up then they are and i'd be sold.

Pauly D
you should have submitted

holy crap i reviewed all the mixes
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: AnonymousUser on March 01, 2007, 04:54:50 pm
j.hall wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 15:43


AnonymousUser

you took the time to mix the track and hit the deadline and you couldn't register an account???????  i'd love to talk about this mix for a lot of reasons, but it's really unfair to the other posters (a few who regiestered accounts JUST to submit for IMP10)




Errr...I'm not sure what you mean J.  My user account IS AnonymousUser.  While I do regularly read this board, I didn't have an account because I don't tend to add my input to any threads for a lot of reasons.  I created an account just to submit to IMP10.  

I like the idea and intent behind IMP and I really enjoyed participating and listening to everyone's mixes.  There are a ton of good ideas in a lot of them.

I like the song that was mixed and would probably buy the album it appeared on.  I haven't had a chance to follow the myspace link Rankus posted yet...

I am interested in your thoughts on my mix J.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: bblackwood on March 01, 2007, 05:01:07 pm
AnonymousUser wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 15:54

j.hall wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 15:43


AnonymousUser

you took the time to mix the track and hit the deadline and you couldn't register an account???????  i'd love to talk about this mix for a lot of reasons, but it's really unfair to the other posters (a few who regiestered accounts JUST to submit for IMP10)




Errr...I'm not sure what you mean J.  My user account IS AnonymousUser.  While I do regularly read this board, I didn't have an account because I don't tend to add my input to any threads for a lot of reasons.  I created an account just to submit to IMP10.  

I like the idea and intent behind IMP and I really enjoyed participating and listening to everyone's mixes.  There are a ton of good ideas in a lot of them.

I like the song that was mixed and would probably buy the album it appeared on.  I haven't had a chance to follow the myspace link Rankus posted yet...

I am interested in your thoughts on my mix J.


*points at J and laughs*
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 01, 2007, 05:02:08 pm
AnonymousUser wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 15:54



Errr...I'm not sure what you mean J.  My user account IS AnonymousUser.  While I do regularly read this board, I didn't have an account because I don't tend to add my input to any threads for a lot of reasons.  I created an account just to submit to IMP10.  

I like the idea and intent behind IMP and I really enjoyed participating and listening to everyone's mixes.  There are a ton of good ideas in a lot of them.

I like the song that was mixed and would probably buy the album it appeared on.  I haven't had a chance to follow the myspace link Rankus posted yet...

I am interested in your thoughts on my mix J.



 HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

i'm on the phone with Brad Blackwood who's howling laughing, for the life of me, i couldn't figure out how you posted.........J. Hall is  GENIUS
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: jdier on March 01, 2007, 05:13:35 pm
j.hall wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 15:43


Jim Dier

holy arena batman.....  i would expect this from the band sound checking at the local arena before a gig.....not their album mix.  listening through the FX, the mix is pretty good.  back al the effects WAY down and see if you dig it.  also, those toms need to sustain more.  slow attack, fast release compressor, get them to rig more and feel larger then life.  see if that makes your drums feel bigger then they are.....sometimes it's just that simple.  your kick is getting lost in the bigger parts.  turn it up and get some point on it (5k maybe)  i hope your traveling was good....welcome back....HA



J, and everyone else who provided some feedback for me... THANKS a million.  I am just starting to work on some of my first mixes and struggling to learn more about how compressors work.

This has to be the best learning experience ever for me.  I travel quite a bit, so it is tough for me to get back at it and rework stuff but I really appreciate the comments and suggestions.

The advise on the toms is perfect.  It was one of the things that I really struggled with.

Regarding the big reverb on the snare, I have been called out for making mixes too dry, so I wanted to see if I could go the other direction.  I obviously went overboard.

As I was running out of time at the end, I ran the mix through wavelab and compressed it to bring up the volume... I think this exagerated the verbs a bit.

Again, thanks a million for all the comments and help.

Can anyone give me some guidance on how to make a mix PUMP or BREATH?  I struggle to hear it in the mixes you all did and I definately cannot get it to happen on my mixes.  I guess I am curious which instruments you are applying this to, how you route them, and what the approximate settings are that you use on your compressors.  I do not have the Waves stuff as it is out of my budget, but I would imagine if I was smarter or more experienced that I could achieve it with what I do have here.

Thanks to all!
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 01, 2007, 05:15:05 pm
M Carter....the weekend is fine...IMP10 will be going on for a while.

AnonymousUser

this is my favorite drum sound.  i want a touch more top end in that snare. and more bottom int he kick, but over all, i think this drum sounds NAILS IT.  to focus on that for a minute.......and i've talked about it before, you want the snare to mathc the vocals high end.  it's so close it's bugging me.....but not that bad.

i like how you really work the dynamics.  those quiet parts before the chorus really are quiet, and they feel almost pretty.......that's cool.

anything i would do to this mix would be very minimal and nit picking.  the thwacky kind of vibe is killer.  i think this mix nails the vibe the song needs.  great compression on the lead vocal, and overall.

nicely done

i updated the main post this was in as well.

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Will F on March 01, 2007, 05:34:01 pm
Thanks for the comments J. (and everyone so far)

It's true I had the most trouble with the vocals and I just ran out of time. I would welcome suggestions on better compressing them. I found myself really fighting with them.
I do like the delay but you're right I think it is a bit much and others have said the same. I am a guitar player and I really wanted to re-amp the DI tracks but time constraints killed me.
I am definitely taking another whack at this at home if just for my own benefit. Plus I'll have a tuned room, a console and some outboard to play with instead of totally ITB. Big fun!

-Will





Will F
minus the delay, i love the "chimey" character you brought out in the guitar lead in the verses.  the vocal isn't dominating, that's bad.  you even set your drums up to support the vocal, but didn't deliver.  the toms are too far back....let them sit at the same table with the kick and snare......

to me, it sounds like you are unsure of what to do with vocal compression.  am i right?  i'll give you some ideas if you want them.

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on March 01, 2007, 05:37:37 pm
Hm.  

Is it too late  to change my username ?

being called M Carter freaks me out, and I wouldn't want to be accused of ripping of j. hall.  

although it's all so much cooler lower case.........

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Gabriel F on March 01, 2007, 06:05:10 pm
Thanks for the advise J.Hall. My problem is working with plug ins because the dont react like the real thing and it feels wrong to eq or compress that much in a DAW. I must trust my instincts and do what it takes.
I dont like my snare sound its pretty soft to my ears too. i was tempted to blend a sample but i dont know why i didnt do it.
The vocal is my error i didnt pay too much attention (even knowing that drums, bass and vocals defines if a mix sounds like a demo or a record) i just lost focus and didnt trust my decisions anymore having heard this song 100 times.

Just one question what do you search when you compress the overheads, whats your goal?. I ask this because i almost never compress overheads.  

thanks.

----------
Gabriel Fonts.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: chrisj on March 01, 2007, 06:13:15 pm
Quote:

ok.....you've gotten A LOT better. i can hear the biggest improvements in your work over the past few IMPs.
a few things to consider. the kick needs more bottom, but what you did to the upper mids is reallygreat considering the rest of the aesthic in your mix. this mix is the only one i've heard thus far that has a dry vocal that works. it's perhaps a touch too loud....but it feels pretty good to me. the snare sounds good but is too loud. remember, in a rock mix the kit needs to be balanced. the kick and snare and toms all need to be about the same level. your snare matches your vocal nicely. i thnk over all it could be a touch wider (stereo field). one thing i do dig a lot is the pumping off the kick drum to the rest of the kit. the mix seems unaffected by it. but for a split moment each kick hits actually cuts out the cymbals......i have some distortion boxes that do with when they get over loaded with bottom, and i LOVE that in certain places.


Coolbeans Very Happy if you look at other people's crits you'll see that I have a lot to address with that kick- interesting that the timing didn't throw you as bad. The kick is violently gated- I think the deal is, this mix shouldn't move that way in the low end, and I wanted it to hit harder than it should have in the lows. New toy syndrome, 'look, Ma, I made a gate!'.

A lot of the reason the kick is doing that to the cymbals is that lots of the cymbals are built off a plugin I sell, 'Pressure', which does a vari-mu thing but you can crank it up until it's ridiculous... this more than anything is what's causing the cymbals and the bigness of the snare and the pumping- nothing else is pumping, no buss compression, no drum submix, it's all about the room mics being obliterated by this one plug. If you like I can put up an mp3 of just that track, but my example for the plug on my site does the same thing (only in a more controlled way), it's this plug here: http://www.airwindows.com/m/Pressure.mp3

Again, that's just the room mics causing that perception, the overheads are carrying practically nothing but very highpassed compressed cymbals and the snare and kick are gated to death and then compression smashed with another compressor (called Compressor). Vocal was also Compressor, very slow attack, and an 8K boost from a dedicated high-Q boost plug called Boosts. I bet you figure my cat's called Cat now Wink Anyway, without the room mics, all the drums would sound like the way the kick sticks out.

Pimpin' plugins, telling how I got the bits that were good and what I did. I'm glad you think I've improved a lot- gonna continue hammering away at it so I can keep on improving. Got some ways to go Smile
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: NickT on March 01, 2007, 07:02:50 pm
Thanks to everyone that took a listen. This was an experiment, not just an IMP run but a few other things I would like to point out. I got hit pretty hard on IMP 8 and 9 for crushing the mix. So I thought no mastering at all. My bad on that because I would have caught the 12k plus on this that frankly didn't bother me. I know I have some hearing loss so I should have visually checked.

Also, I compress the hell out of most drums, bass and vox, And I am from Chicago j.hall!  Twisted Evil  So I thought I would back off a little.

Now This Is The Interesting Part!

Although I own some great software...This mix was done completely with free software.

DAW - Reaper Evaluation (learned as I went)
Modern - vst plugs
Voxengo - vst plugs
Glaceverb - Reverb
Sweetboy Dither
Fish Fillets - vst
Kjaerhus - vst plugs
Beta Bugs - vst
Audacity - editing.

With that in mind, I was hoping to hang with the big boy toys. Thanks

NickT

Quote:

ChrisJ -
Nick T- I'm liking the energy on this one- I feel the intensity of the lead vocal in this context. I'm finding the hihats and cymbals pretty distracting, but it's right on the edge of what I can keep listening to. I like that I'm able to believe it's an interesting song.


I put an exciter (never use them) on the overheads. That is the strangeness. Thanks for the comments!

Quote:

Adam Miller -
NickT- the brightness on the drums isn't working for me; the hihat becmoes the focus of the mix; the stereo image also seems a bit skewed. Otherwise, an alright mix, it just doesn't 'nail it' for me.



Same as above

Quote:

Spoon -
NickT -
Good feel...like the distant Lead1 track. Drums are very dry, didnt use the room mikes? Gives them that
70's drum feel.



Thanks Spoon.

Quote:

Spoon-
Nick T - Drums are weird sounding and seem to be heavy on the right channel. Snare drum needs some power....Vox aren't doing anything for me...Overall lack of vibe.


Again...The overheads.

Quote:

TonmC-
NickT:
I like this one a lot. Toms could have a bit more low end, but overall
nothing to complain from my side.


I did gate and comp the toms, but not using my usual suspects for plugs, I just couldn't get it right. Thanks for the kind words!

Quote:

ATOR-
NickT
Leadvox it a little too small and unnaturally dry. The drums sound weak. Sounds are unfinished. This sounds almost like a faders up mix.


Not happy with the drums...i did like most everything else. And the vox! Thanks.

Quote:

j.hall-
Nick T

intro is interesting.....at least it's different, not sure it serves much of a purpose, but that's not up to me. the top end of your mix is making my filling rattle out. 12.5k and up......what is going on with the artifacts on the kick drum?


Intro...no purpose but to change it up. That is that exciter on the overheads. my apologies,,,just didn't catch it. I see it with the span plug. The artifacts on the kick is actually some distortion from a vovengo plug. It was a "for the hell of it" addition.

Thanks everyone!

NickT

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 01, 2007, 07:29:58 pm
fantomas wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 17:05

Thanks for the advise J.Hall. My problem is working with plug ins because the dont react like the real thing and it feels wrong to eq or compress that much in a DAW. I must trust my instincts and do what it takes.
I dont like my snare sound its pretty soft to my ears too. i was tempted to blend a sample but i dont know why i didnt do it.
The vocal is my error i didnt pay too much attention (even knowing that drums, bass and vocals defines if a mix sounds like a demo or a record) i just lost focus and didnt trust my decisions anymore having heard this song 100 times.



OK, this is perfect.  you couldn't have written a better script.  you just addressed one of my major goals for this IMP.

the difference between you and me is i don't stop, i don't hesitate, and a i don't care (specifically regarding compressing "too much")

you have to stop second guessing yourself.  how do you ever expect a client to put full faith in you if they can clearly see you have none in yourself?????

if i wanted to blend a sample with the snare, i wouldn't have waste 2 ms thinking about it.  i would have been into my library searching for the sample i wanted.

if the kick wasn't filling out enough.  i'll grab a low shelf and twist that knob till it sounds the way i want.  even it it's 15dB of boost.........I DON"T CARE!!!!!!!!

if you KNOW your snare is soft and you let it slide, that's on you.......and EVERY mix you let out the door is another piece of your reputation and how people think of you.

so......INSTINCT is a HUGE portion of mixing.  all the mixes here sound wildly different.......that's each person's opinions and instincts.....and in a lot of cases, it's you guys not following your instincts.

stop thinking, start listening and INSTANTLY reacting.  when you learn to do that......you'll have made a major step.

USE THE FORCE LUKE!!!!!!!!!!

it sounds funny (pun intended) but i'm dead serious.......

Quote:


Just one question what do you search when you compress the overheads, whats your goal?. I ask this because i almost never compress overheads.  



that's two questions......

1.  i search for something that ROCKS.  sorry, but that's the honest answer.

like i said before, that's typically an 1176, dbx 160 or abbey road limiter.....all three of the boxes are wildly different, and all are FAR from subtle...  subtlty is not in my rack or plug-in list....TRUST ME.

2.  my goal is to get the overheads to be a killer overall picture of the drum kit.  from the bottom end through the top.  i want the toms to rock, the snare to pop and the kick to boom.

slow attack, fast release, CRUSH THEM.

it is VERY common for me to have 8 - 12 dB of gain reduction on the OH......many times i'll go further with an 1176.  the dbx 162 just can't hang past 10dB but the bottom end of that box is just amazing

the abbey road will make your snare explode and not touch the cymbals at all......how does it do that???????

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 01, 2007, 07:32:06 pm
Will F wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 16:34

Thanks for the comments J. (and everyone so far)

It's true I had the most trouble with the vocals and I just ran out of time. I would welcome suggestions on better compressing them.


start with a slow attack (70 ms - 100ms) and a really fast release.

get about 6dB of GR on them and see what you think.

add a de-esser at the very end of your chain and de-ess the crap out of it.

on this vocal i have about 12dB of GR on the louder parts.

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 01, 2007, 07:32:55 pm
granted, many of you had issues with my mix....but i'm getting lots of comments on my drums and bass.

would you guys like to hear a stereo file that's JUST drums and bass from me?

will help you at all?
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Cosmedic on March 01, 2007, 08:06:48 pm
 Hi Guys, Chris here, the singer of the band.
Just spent the last couple hours listening and reading.  Shocked

Some nice mixes out there, creative. I dont know how much time you guys have to mix this, but I read about someone who nudged the vox forward a bit? Im surprised more of you didnt nudge here and there. I hear it all over the song where that would help alot!
The song was tracked quite fast. I know the more time we would have spent tracking, the easier all your mixes would have been. Specifically, the vox mic wasnt hot enough tracking IMO, so gave me trouble singing as dynamically as I would have liked to. All my songs are vocal oriented, so those that picked up on it and got the vox up and out there..good job!
Its a fun song, and like Rankus said, is basically a tool to move forward with. The song was written in a day or two but had a nice enough feel to drag along with the band.
I should add, the sound we were going for was a very dry, present sound...like the QOTSA reference, vocals right up in your face. Now this would demand better performances I understand, but well...this is what you get in 2-3 takes.

If anyone has any comments musically or whatever, I believe you can PM on here ?...or can i post my email?
www.myspace.com/Cosmedic

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: iCombs on March 01, 2007, 09:04:59 pm
Alright...I suppose it's time for me to speak up...7 pages in...

*looks sheepish*

We're in the middle of what looks like it's about to be 15 inches of snow...I've been shoveling...yeah...

Anyways, I saw that the universal gripe with my mix was the bass.  Now, I saw some that said the "bass" was out of control, and some that said "bottom end." I think.  At any rate...I went and looked...only 4.5 dB at 92 hz...with the widest bell that the REQ will do...

That was the first thing that struck me about the whole track.  I didn't really give a shit what the guitars were doing.  I thought that the dirty bass was the real guts of the mix.  It just felt like that's where the depth was, and that everything else built around that.  The guitars do this kinda fizzy, fuzzy thing, and they by no means drive the groove sonically...with all the shit on them, it's hard to tell in the mix when the pick is hitting the strings...the drums are laid back and solid, but again, aren't dominating the groove.  The bass is where this song is at, and I'm kinda suprised that more mixes weren't bass-centric.  

I guess I did get a little crazy with the vocal level...it's a bit out there.  I wanted them to stay DRY.  Like, DRY dry.  I just wanted to hear a big, flat wash, I guess.  I didn't even carve up the snare the way I normally do...just a cutting low shelf and a boosting high one...lotsa compression, but other than that...

I thought that, for once, I had mix that was pretty much spectrally what I wanted to hear.  I wanted the mix to be bright, and I think I made that happen.  I know my mixes tend dark, and I think that for once I got the high end right.  I'm going to go through the other mixes in a day or so...sorry to be so selfish... Smile
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: rankus on March 01, 2007, 09:42:24 pm
Cosmedic wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 17:06

 Hi Guys, Chris here, the singer of the band.
Just spent the last couple hours listening and reading.  Shocked

If anyone has any comments musically or whatever, I believe you can PM on here ?...or can i post my email?
www.myspace.com/Cosmedic




Hey Chris, good to see you here bro!

The IMP-ers rarely get to communicate with the artist, so please stick around... Your input is most valuable.

For instance, It would be cool to hear your thoughts on individual mixes etc. if you have the time to do a quick one line critique of each etc. that would be cool.  It would be a first for the IMP if I'm not mistaken.... Feedback from the artist is such a big part of this mixing game.

And folks I encourage you to ask questions of Chris as well.

Skip the PM's , public discourse is what this is all about... even if you want to slag my work... no biggie.... I'm a big boy and can take it!  
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: PaulyD on March 01, 2007, 10:01:40 pm
j.hall wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 13:43

Pauly D
you should have submitted



I wanted to!

I actually did have a file posted but, in my last-minute haste, I forgot to set the locators of my DAW to bounce out the full song to MP3. Still not put off, I quickly tried to bounce out a new file when my heretofore reasonably reliable SSL Duende decided to give me the silent treatment...*sigh*...Relatively speaking, it didn't take me long to get it going again, but it was 10:30 by that time. I figured that wasn't fair to everyone else.

I still really enjoyed playing around with this song though and look forward to the next IMP.

And oh yes, overall, I'm really impressed with everyone's mixing skills. Good job, guys.

Gosh, I feel so...IMPish. Har! Surprised

Paul
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Gabriel F on March 01, 2007, 10:03:07 pm
Thanks jhall especially about the "better script" thing because english is my second language and posting right here is not only a great way to improve my mixing skills but my english too, so anyone feel free to correct my grammar Razz .

And i will try your approach to overheads (i do this when i am tracking, i try to get my drum sound with the overheads) but when i mix i usually hipass them but not to much.

--------
Gabriel Fonts.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 01, 2007, 10:09:08 pm
fantomas wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 21:03



And i will try your approach to overheads (i do this when i am tracking, i try to get my drum sound with the overheads) but when i mix i usually hipass them but not to much.




your english is better then mine.  i speak and write "american"

stop hi-passing.  you want the overheads to fill out the bottom as much as possible.

at least in my world, that's what i want.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: chrisj on March 01, 2007, 10:42:29 pm
Cosmedic wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 20:06

Some nice mixes out there, creative. I dont know how much time you guys have to mix this, but I read about someone who nudged the vox forward a bit?


That was me- not sure anyone else did. I got that both from knowing how nudging things forward and back in time puts them forward and back in space (you saw how most people hated me putting the kick forward, so it's not a magic bullet) and from Charles Dye's thinking on lead vocals, combined with J's.

Dye always wants the vox to be on top of everything, and bases everything around them. I like that idea. J showed me why and how to make a vocal's upfrontness and activity match that of the music, and I loved that, it really worked. Now that I have a compressor that will do this as much as I like, it was all about starting with the vocal and building everything around that- and nudging the vocal forward specifically so it was right out front without having to subdue anything else. I liked the vox-centric thing for this one.

J- I for one would like to hear and study your bass and drums mix. Dunno why everyone else isn't all 'yes please!' but I still have stuff to learn. It will be a very helpful thing to listen to that stem 'soloed', especially I'm going to study your kick since mine didn't really work this time.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Tom C on March 02, 2007, 05:10:54 am
NickT wrote on Fri, 02 March 2007 01:02


Now This Is The Interesting Part!

Although I own some great software...This mix was done completely with free software.

DAW - Reaper Evaluation (learned as I went)
Modern - vst plugs
Voxengo - vst plugs
Glaceverb - Reverb
Sweetboy Dither
Fish Fillets - vst
Kjaerhus - vst plugs
Beta Bugs - vst
Audacity - editing.




Wow, that's pretty cool.
After all the information I got from J.Hall I decided to do a recall
of the mix, and one idea to do this with a fresh mindset was
to use Reaper so I wouldn't go the same route again.
If nothing else comes in this weekend will be the 'Reaper weekend'.

Tom

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Tom C on March 02, 2007, 05:16:48 am
j.hall wrote on Fri, 02 March 2007 01:32

granted, many of you had issues with my mix....but i'm getting lots of comments on my drums and bass.

would you guys like to hear a stereo file that's JUST drums and bass from me?

will help you at all?


Can't answer for the rest of the gang, but I'd appreciated this A LOT.

Tom

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Greg Dixon on March 02, 2007, 05:51:05 am
I must say that I'm feeling a bit thrown by the comments on the bass problem in my mix. I have what I thought was a fairly well designed and tuned control room. I've been using a pair of JBL 4411s as my main monitors for over 15 years and occasionally use my NS10s as a reference.

I had a quick listen to the mix this morning, before my clients arrived and couldn't hear any problems with the bass oscillating or sounding like there was an earth loop. When my mixes go to mastering (whether I'm there or not), I always get compliments from the engineer.

When it was first mentioned that it sounded like there was an earth loop problem, I ignored the comment, as the audio was downloaded, put into a PT session, mixed (no outboard used), bounced to disk and then converted to an MP3 in iTunes. It never left the digital world.

I need to listen to it with headphones, but I'm not expecting to hear a problem. Any thoughts as to what else could be causing this?
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Tom C on March 02, 2007, 06:29:44 am
Greg Dixon wrote on Fri, 02 March 2007 11:51

When it was first mentioned that it sounded like there was an earth loop problem, I ignored the comment, as the audio was downloaded, put into a PT session, mixed (no outboard used), bounced to disk and then converted to an MP3 in iTunes. It never left the digital world.

I need to listen to it with headphones, but I'm not expecting to hear a problem. Any thoughts as to what else could be causing this?


If I remember correctly there was one track (rhythm guitar? Can't
check right now) with a big hum in it, maybe your processing accentuated this.

Tom
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: NickT on March 02, 2007, 10:00:05 am

Quote:

When it was first mentioned that it sounded like there was an earth loop problem, I ignored the comment, as the audio was downloaded, put into a PT session, mixed (no outboard used), bounced to disk and then converted to an MP3 in iTunes. It never left the digital world.



Greg,

One of the rhythm guitars had a nasty 60 cycle hum going. I did a high pass at about 125 on that track and it was clean enough.

Check those first. I think in my review I stated I enjoyed the mix. Would be better without that hum!  Smile

Nick
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: NickT on March 02, 2007, 10:25:03 am
Quote:

Wow, that's pretty cool.
After all the information I got from J.Hall I decided to do a recall
of the mix, and one idea to do this with a fresh mindset was
to use Reaper so I wouldn't go the same route again.
If nothing else comes in this weekend will be the 'Reaper weekend'.

Tom




Well, considering I learned it over the weekend, Reaper did fine. The routing takes a little playing with (This is where I messed up the overhead tracks and balance).

I am a Sonar 6PE guy. The curve actually wasn't that steep.

Good Luck!

Nick

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: spoon on March 02, 2007, 11:28:43 am
Yeah, that was me that mention the LFO.  I posited a ground loop in question format as I wasnt sure.  I didnt bother with the dry guitar tracks or else I would have known it was that.

That is where the LF came from.  

Greg, knowing that, do you still not hear the LF on your setup?


Regards,
David


Tom C wrote on Fri, 02 March 2007 05:29

Greg Dixon wrote on Fri, 02 March 2007 11:51

When it was first mentioned that it sounded like there was an earth loop problem, I ignored the comment, as the audio was downloaded, put into a PT session, mixed (no outboard used), bounced to disk and then converted to an MP3 in iTunes. It never left the digital world.

I need to listen to it with headphones, but I'm not expecting to hear a problem. Any thoughts as to what else could be causing this?


If I remember correctly there was one track (rhythm guitar? Can't
check right now) with a big hum in it, maybe your processing accentuated this.

Tom


Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: spoon on March 02, 2007, 11:33:59 am
NickT that is cool.

I always wanted to try something like this but on a linux box.

Kudos to you Tom if you do pull it off.  You should post that somewhere and let us listen to the results.

Cheers,
David

Tom C wrote on Fri, 02 March 2007 04:10

NickT wrote on Fri, 02 March 2007 01:02


Now This Is The Interesting Part!

Although I own some great software...This mix was done completely with free software.

DAW - Reaper Evaluation (learned as I went)
Modern - vst plugs
Voxengo - vst plugs
Glaceverb - Reverb
Sweetboy Dither
Fish Fillets - vst
Kjaerhus - vst plugs
Beta Bugs - vst
Audacity - editing.




Wow, that's pretty cool.
After all the information I got from J.Hall I decided to do a recall
of the mix, and one idea to do this with a fresh mindset was
to use Reaper so I wouldn't go the same route again.
If nothing else comes in this weekend will be the 'Reaper weekend'.

Tom



Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: rankus on March 02, 2007, 01:40:24 pm
Greg Dixon wrote on Fri, 02 March 2007 02:51



bounced to disk and then converted to an MP3 in iTunes. It never left the digital world.




Could this be part of the problem with the bottom end?  I have heard that iTunes defaults to have the "enhancer" turned on... Perhaps the enhancer boosted the bottom during conversion?  I don't use iTunes, so this is a shot in the dark.

PS:  Chris sent me an email.  He is planning to do a critique of the mixes...  This should prove valuable to the gang, to hear back from the "client"... So, stay tuned.

I am going to do my reviews this evening, and post tomorrow (i hope)

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 02, 2007, 04:51:58 pm
drums and bass mix
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: NickT on March 02, 2007, 06:05:18 pm
I have probably learned more in this thread than any other IMP. People actually giving some "tech" talk. J, Nizzle, Rankus and all the rest.

J's descriptions and then the stem really helps.

Thanks for sharing,

NickT
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: grantis on March 02, 2007, 07:01:51 pm
YES, the iTunes 'Sound Enhancer' boosts low end just a touch.  It ALSO de-separates the stereo image...meaning it takes L and puts about 20% in the R and the same for the R.  It took me months to figure that out, haha.

grant
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 02, 2007, 08:59:10 pm
NickT wrote on Fri, 02 March 2007 17:05

I have probably learned more in this thread than any other IMP. People actually giving some "tech" talk. J, Nizzle, Rankus and all the rest.

J's descriptions and then the stem really helps.

Thanks for sharing,

NickT


this imp is much different specifically for my involvement level.

we aren't done yet.......i still have a handful more objectives to get to on this IMP.

i've asked for recalls froma few people, i'll wait for those before i go much further.

i'll throw this challenge out for anyone who wants to do it.

do a stems mix of drums and bass and make it sound exactly like mine.

don't mistake this for arrogance.......i'm not saying mine is awesome.

there is A LOT to be learned for trying to mimic some one else methodology and "sound".  the critical listening skills required are VERY high.

we all have the same tracks and i didn't use a single sample in this mix (which was very intentional)

name your stem:  imp10(your user name)DrumsBass

i'll start another thread for those submissions.  no deadline.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Greg Dixon on March 02, 2007, 09:58:38 pm
Thanks for the replies. They are very helpful. I haven't had a chance to listen to my mix on headphones yet. That should be revealing.

I didn't spend much time on the guitars, so the hum that was on one of those is probably the start of the problem and then it looks like itunes 'enhanced' that problem. I didn't listen to my mp3 in the studio, but it still doesn't explain why I completely missed it.

I always try to get the sounds right when recording and rarely mix anything I haven't tracked, so I guess I need to be thinking more about things like that hum. I certainly heard it, but once I'd cleaned it up before the track started, I didn't think about it and it obviously didn't bother me.

Can you turn off the enhance feature Mad  on iTunes? I very rarely need mp3s, but if you can't turn it off, I'll obviously need to look for something else. Man I hate it when companies decide that they can improve the sound like that. Like those stereos with the settings for Jazz, Rock, Classical etc.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: NickT on March 02, 2007, 10:01:01 pm
Quote:

i'll throw this challenge out for anyone who wants to do it.

do a stems mix of drums and bass and make it sound exactly like mine.

don't mistake this for arrogance.......i'm not saying mine is awesome.

there is A LOT to be learned for trying to mimic some one else methodology and "sound". the critical listening skills required are VERY high.

we all have the same tracks and i didn't use a single sample in this mix (which was very intentional)

name your stem: imp10(your user name)DrumsBass



I started that this afternoon. I realized I spent the majority of the time trying to dial in the vox until "I" liked them.

I still want to do it with the free stuff. Smile I know it can be done.

The only thing I'm missing is the ssl master buss comp, but I am sure I can get close.

Nick
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: chrisj on March 02, 2007, 10:37:12 pm
Hah! You're on! Good thing there's no deadline, though, I'm going to be away from home Saturday. Don't give any more hints, we already know you're using overheads fullrange including boosting lows on them possibly quite a lot Very Happy
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: ATOR on March 03, 2007, 10:34:56 am
j.hall wrote on Fri, 02 March 2007 22:51

drums and bass mix


Great! Just what I needed, getting down to the core.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: redfro on March 03, 2007, 09:58:48 pm
Man, this sucks! No time for IMP this time, and it looks like J.'s gonna go all out. Full on class...

If I get a break this week I'll give the drum and bass stem a try...
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on March 04, 2007, 11:05:25 am
Here ya go, chop it up.

http://www.prosoundweb.com/imp/files/IMP_10_M_Carter_Recall. mp3

Matt
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: NickT on March 04, 2007, 01:42:13 pm
Matt,

I like this mix. You got a fat sound and managed to keep the vox in focus. Nice job.

Nick
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: rankus on March 04, 2007, 01:52:26 pm


Yes, Nice job on the recall Matt!  Really like that snare!
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: rankus on March 04, 2007, 02:10:18 pm


OK, First some global thoughts and comments.

I hope you will have another listen to my mix with these comments in mind. (A/B yours with my mix)

In discussion with Chris, The Vocals were to be the primary focus of the tracks.  With everything else taking a back seat  supporting role.

I  think in terms of marrying the vocal to the supporting tracks... This mindset helps to focus on the  song and the mix rather than the just the mix if you follow.  Rather than thinking of the mix as several separate components, try to think of it as two: the instruments and the vocal.  Either should kick your ass when soloed, and when together should become greater than the sum of the parts.

Chris and I had talked quite a bit about the way we wanted things to sound.... we wanted to go for an organic  drum sound.  Not quite 70's but more of a 90's sound with a hint of 70's. We wanted to keep them dry-ish , punchy, but natural, typical  of this genre.

For the bass:  we kind of wanted the bass to be a low extension of the guitars, rather than out on its own. Hence  aggressive distortion for the bass. I tend to stay off the low end on the bass on most of my work, trying to leave  more space for the kik... Lots of bottom sounds great in the studio , but on 3" car speakers, computer speakers,  ear-buds etc... it just masks the thump of the kik.  Face it most of the time your mix will be listened to on  these types of systems.............. . I made Rob go out and get a new set of strings on just before hitting the record button... Same with the guitars... New strings give you the harmonics you need for a rich sounding mix.

Guitars: we had talked about a Josh Homme sound, but only in the fact that we wanted them to sound a little  muffled, not really a copy of Josh's tone., but hinting towards that...  We tried several guitars and screwed around for a couple of days trying shit out.  

Overall,

For inspiration I listened to Kyuss, QUOTSA, Core, Fu Manchu, and Orange Goblin ....  (Orange Goblin is one of my favorite bands in the "desert rock" genre ... check out their tune "Blue Snow" if you want a rush)

Although, I should mention, this song (Losing Fight") is not too much in the desert rock genre, but the other four songs on this EP were. Losing fight reminded me of QOTSA doing the Beatles...

------------------------------------------------------------ -------

J mentioned that he liked the subtle effects changes on the vocal as my mix progresses...  Thanks for noticing,   the intention is to keep the vocal up front emotionally and to "re-set" the listeners attention at the transitions.  I always to to  create a different space for each section of the song...  A different ambience... This helps keep things from getting  boring.  This song really needs the mix moving to sell it. I try to make the listener forget the previous section by distracting them... Each section is "new" if you follow.  (Which I know J does by listening to his mix)

------------------------------------------------------------ ----------

To the comments:

I am listening to tracks in my studio on KRK V6's with sub.... but I am going to switch up and down to my Radio Shack Minimus Sevens as well... I want to see how these translate to real world 3" speakers....

NOTE: I am strongly thinking that the downsampling from 24/48 to  16/44 (for the upload to imp) then to mp3 has caused the guitars to get weird (irritating) in the distortion... I really hate digital when it  comes to distortion.  Not just amp sims but recording distorted signals like gtrs onto digital too... I throw this out for discussion....


------------------------------------------------------------ ------------

Chris J
Pretty good mix.  the bass and kik seem to be competing for space... Vocal sibilance issues.... made good use of the shit mic, which I may have shied away from in my mix. Sounds good but it may be introducing too much snare bottom that’s taking a lot of space in the mix.

Henchy
Sounds good!   I could have used less snare bottom.  Is that the shit mic?  ... 1db more on the backwards gtr. I love the effect on that...  Is that the kick or a sample?   Sweet!  Yer talking to me ... I dig it

iCombs
Sounds pretty good Ian. Bottom end be a bit overdone. Could have used a little less verb on the end vocals, but I'm nit picking.  Gotta watch those sibililants.  Vocal  nice and  "dry and in your face"    ... nice mix.

SIDE NOTE:  I would use two de-essers: one at the beginning of the chain, and one on the end on this vocal track..... Or spot de-ess them.

adammiller
Another good mix... this is a tough IMP.  I like the vocal treatment. nice job.  Perhaps the bass is a little detached sounding...  Need to get some variation in there

Grant Richard
Samples?  This is one freakin good drummer... Samples?!!! ....  Bass sounds good... Vocal effect has a high end whine that’s killin me.  Two bus is pumping...  You tie the mastering engineer’s hands when you do this,  But it seems to be a trend, so I will spare everyone the rant.  Pretty good other than that vocal thing.

Greg Dixon
Drums could use some work..  This mix would work better if the drums were a tad  louder maybe. Nice job on the sibilance.

jdier
I see where your going with this ...  vocals need to be brighter ... breakdown sounds  good .... way too much verb on the snare, it distracts  too much. Verb rule: turn it up till you like it, then back it down till you can barely hear it... then maybe even turn it down some more.

Liam /rattle
Bass is a tad tubby for my tastes... I respect the fact that this is not a smashed mix. A good mastering engineer could make this shine.... (but would accent those sibilants.)

NickT
Your floor tom mic is too loud and is throwing off the overhead balance?  My micing technique is to use the floor tom mic as a ride catcher or as a "low over head" ... when she's too high in the mix it drags the snare/HH to the right etc. (I snip and boost for the hits) This mix has a nice balance (aside from being lopsided).  The instruments support the vocal well without getting in the way ...  Lots of room for the mastering engineer.

redtape
Need to punch up the drums.  Arpeggio gtr a tad too loud in first verse.

will f
I see where you were going with this.. If the vocals were drier it would work better. Nice job on the bass, it sounds like mine! Smile  I Iike the vocal effects after the lead break to the end.... perhaps start drier and work your way up.  

Anonymous
I like the sparse intro / first verse that  sets up the for the first chorus.  I really like the cross panned echo on the backwards gtr leads.  Could have used more BG vocals.... This is a good place to mention that in mixing it's not critical that you wring every ounce of "phat" out of each section of the song folks... sometimes you need to clear out sections simply to set it up so the next section comes in big, and vice versa.  Also don't be afraid to let shit "stick out"  many of the mixes here are playing it safe and kind of flatten the song.  Rock n Roll is not supposed to be safe. Overall a good mix.

Ator
That intro treatment is interesting, but perhaps over done...   Stereo widening pluggin (?)  overdone. (The guitars disappear when mono button is hit).... Some L/R phase issues going on there I think.  I do give you extra credits for taking chances though....

Fantomas
I like this mix.  It has good balance.  If I had to find something I would want the vocal/snare a bit brighter.  Need to take some chances ... a change of ambience here and there.  Good stuff though.

Jhall
Good stuff.  I would want a little less verb on the vocal in the chorus.  Your approach to drums is a lot different than mine but I can dig em. I think the vocal effect gets weird when it is pumping with the mix.  I  really dig this mix. I think if it weren't for those pumping vocal effects it would be great. Less vocal effect would cure that though...  Translates real well down to the 3" Minimuses.   Could have used a tad more snare, but I'm digging to find something to come up with that.  I'm gonna have to listen to that drum stem you posted....

Nizzle
Yes!  Right from the first amp hum this one grabbed me.  (take note folks, amp hums etc. can give things a more "real" "raw" "rock" feel) (Or: "if you can't lose it use it")... This mix takes some chances in the right way.  Definitely picked up on the Beatles influence guitars Smile  Nice treatment there....  Not super fond of the kik but I can live with it. (Sample?) (maybe just a tad too much 10k ?)...  This mix really "sells" the song... well done.

SingSing
Kick drum is a bit woofy.. tends to be a bit distracting.  Weirdness with the arpeggio guitars... hmm... Vocal feels detached.... Decent mix if these items were fixed up.

Spoon
Again kick is distracting.... A bit too much sub I think...  Overall a decent mix. Need a bit more compression on the vox, and work on your drum EQing a tad... but this is a listenable mix... just needs a few little tweaks ... see J's drum tutorial that he's doing.  

3foot6
Too effected. Too compressed.  I'm seeing peaks at about -3 or -4 db rms!...  this making the mix way to brash to listen to. Keep at it.... hang out here for future IMP's  

Mcarter
For some reason the mp3 I have here is only four seconds long... just a few beats and a bit of intro gtrs.  I wonder if my download fucked up... I'm at the studio, with no internet connection, so I can't check the server .... sorry.  But for what it’s worth the intro sounds promising...  UPDATE:  Listened to the recall you posted….. Love it… one of my favorites

Maxim
Love the humor!  Chris sings: "cut me off" and so you did! LOL ...  I respect the fact that your mix is delivered without compression and plenty of headroom for the mastering engineer.  I compensated by cranking the shit out of the monitors.... Not bad.  some weird stuff with the gtrs.... if it weren’t for a couple of spots it would work.  Drums need a little more oomph .. J's handling that so I won't go into it here.

TomC
Vocal sounds "tubular",....



Thanks everyone this has been a lot of fun... and a lot of work!

Cheers, Rick
















Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 04, 2007, 03:55:21 pm
I'm a little late to the game, but thought I'd take a crack at a mix. Don't know if this is the right thread but my mix is on the pro sound web server labeled IMP_10_mix1_mcsnare.wav Lemme know what ya'll think.
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: NelsonL on March 04, 2007, 04:24:20 pm
mcsnare wrote on Sun, 04 March 2007 12:55

I'm a little late to the game, but thought I'd take a crack at a mix. Don't know if this is the right thread but my mix is on the pro sound web server labeled IMP_10_mix1_mcsnare.wav Lemme know what ya'll think.
Dave


I think life's not fair...

Did you create those harmonies or did I completely miss them (like the end gtr solo)?

Sounds sweet Dave!!!
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 04, 2007, 04:34:51 pm
no one jump down mcsnare's throat.  i asked him to do this.  it's part of my "goals" for this particular IMP.

mcsnare is a pro mixer with 25+ years experience.  there is a lot to be learned from his mix.....dig into it befor you ask him any questions.

i've also asked him to submit a mastered version as his primary gig these days is mastering........

great mix macsnare, did you mult the snare and some crush, or is that sound all from the overheads?

the drums have killer space and the vocal is stunningly in my face.  
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on March 04, 2007, 06:09:16 pm
thanks for the love guys...
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 04, 2007, 06:42:18 pm
Thanks guys.
I didn't listen to anyone else's before I did this, so I'm gonna really enjoy going back and seeing what kinds of stuff ya'll did.
ASFA the harmonies, I didn't add any parts, but did move one of the gtrs around a little. I used a bass drum sample, and beefed up the main rhythm gtrs by using Amp Farm on the DI tracks, besides that nothing else additional was added. I did do a few little tricks like offsetting the drum room tracks by 10ms to get a little bit better stereo vibe from them. I also edited the tune a bit to make the arrangement move along a little better. Obviously in a real situation this would be up to the client, but I do stuff like that without asking and see what they say. That's what undo or revert to saved is for!
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: maxim on March 04, 2007, 08:24:35 pm
rick wrote:

"...Chris sings: "cut me off" and so you did! LOL ... "

it was originally an automation accident, but when i heard it, it made me laugh, so i left it in


"I respect the fact that your mix is delivered without compression and plenty of headroom for the mastering engineer."

i'm often tempted to limit the mix, but i somehow feel it would be against the spirit of the exercise

any mastering comments that dave might make on this subject (even as general guidelines, rather than specific comments) would be great (as punishment for submitting both a late and a mastered mix....  only kidding, you're all right, good to see you here, dave)


edit:  just listened to the mix, great job, dave!  (and a wave file to boot, you cheat)

you gave the tracks power, depth and made me want to keep listening

is there anything else a mixing engineer needs to do?

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 04, 2007, 08:49:24 pm
Ooops. I'm putting up an mp3 now. I guess I was in ahurry the first time. J, you can delete the wav file that I mistakenly put up. Thanks.
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 04, 2007, 09:50:07 pm
maxim wrote on Sun, 04 March 2007 19:24


you gave the tracks power, depth and made me want to keep listening

is there anything else a mixing engineer needs to do?




No, that's why i invited dave to do this for us.

no one "hits" 100% of the time.  but dave has a killer way of focusing a song to it's essential parts and drawing your attention to them.  

i REALLY want you guys to dig into his mix and study it.  Dave will not supply stems as that is not the point here.  the point is to hear a seasoned pro mix a song that we all have the source tracks to.  you get to dig into his mix knowing what there was to start with.

my goal with this is to show two things that relate to each other.

1.  to show you what can be done with "x" sounding tracks
2.  to show you what can not be done with "x" sounding tracks.  

you need to look at his mix from both sides of the coin

and feel free to ask him any question you want, that's why he's here.

methodology is key, technical sounds are secondary
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 04, 2007, 10:57:31 pm
A few notes for those interested. Mixed entirely ITB, PT's HD2. All eq's except for a UAD Pultec on the bass are Digi eqIII's. Cranesong Phoenix is used on almost every track including the stereo buss. The stereo buss has a Massey CT4/Phoenix/Massey L2007(only for make up gain)/powr3 dither. Snare is multed with diff eq and compressors. I used a drum submix buss added in with a Massey CT4. The vocal is multed and bussed to an aux track with eq/compression/Phoenix/d'esser on each track and more of the same on the aux return. The backwards gtr has an Eventide Instant Flanger on it. The arpeggio gtr(which I moved) is sending to a Voce Leslie plug. Echo is EchoBoy on the SpaceEcho setting(inspired by the tracked Roland echo). Some sections of the tune has stereo H910 plugs on the vocals. I'll put up a mastered version for fun tomorrow if I get time. Thanks to J. for letting me participate after the deadline. I'll be on time next time, promise.
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: maxim on March 04, 2007, 11:22:40 pm
dave wrote:

"I'll put up a mastered version for fun tomorrow"

so this is unmastered?!

amazing!
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 04, 2007, 11:48:04 pm
It is not mastered. Yet!
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: maxim on March 05, 2007, 12:37:26 am
wow!

can't wait
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on March 05, 2007, 08:29:25 am
mcsnare -

Great mix!  How did you approach it?  I'm working ITB (in Nuendo) as well, and the thing that I feel holds back my mixes the most is figuring my work flow.

Matt
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 05, 2007, 10:23:51 am
I spent about 3 hrs on that mix. I'm afraid speed and confidence only comes with doing it a lot. Like years a lot. One thing I will tell you is that in my earlier days, I would hem and haw trying to decide what to do. A heathy amout of experimentation is good. I'm always discovering new techniques and aproaches, but at some point in youe mix career you need to formulate a basic method and approach. Why? Because a better mix is to be had when you work quickly and confidently. This allows you to get the basic things out of the way and have inspiration left to see and alter the big picture. You can't expect to have a valid reaction to the tune/mix if you've been laboring on it for 8 hrs, 12 hrs, a day, whatever. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be flexible enough to change your mind about a sound or some other aspect of the mix as it progresses, but pick a direction and get there quickly so you can have the objectivity to make the best change later on.
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on March 05, 2007, 10:45:58 am
Good answer - I agree that there's really no substitute for experience.  The best advice I've got so far from this exercise has been from J. to get the mix where I want it before using any FX, and then using the FX tastefully to bring out the things that need it.  I think approaching the mix that way resulted in a big improvement from my previous mix, I also got it done a lot faster.

Thanks for the great advice -

Matt
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 05, 2007, 11:30:21 am
M Carter wrote on Mon, 05 March 2007 09:45

Good answer - I'm aware that there's really no substitute for experimentation.  The best advice I've got so far from this exercise has been from J. to get the mix where I want it before using any FX, and then using the FX tastefully to bring out the things that need it.  I think approaching the mix that way resulted in a big improvement from my previous mix, I also got it done a lot faster.

Thanks for the great advice -

Matt


slow down a minute.  don't apply my comments to your entire workflow just yet.  i made those suggestions strichtly based on your mix.  i just felt you needed to re-focus on the dry sounds, and make them work better before you brought FX into the scene.

you HAVE to pay attention to Dave's comments about experience.  i've been doing this about 9 years, and i'm just now scratching the surface of what i'm seeing "the j.hall sound" to be.  Dave has around 25 years of doing this in world class studios (many of them).  one single methodology is not the answer.  Dave has a very large arsenal of thechniques he's learned developed and mastered.  he's also one of the best critical listeners i've met in the mixing arena.

there is much to be learned, but also apply the experience factor to new things you take in.

anyway.  your recall is WAY better.  i still think the kick needs work.  it's a bit boxy sounding.  the toms are great.  the vocal could use more attention.  still too dynamic for this style.  listen to dave's mix again and see how his vocal simply doesn't move.  he's got three channels dedicated to just the lead vocal!!!!!

you don't need to do another recall.  from what i can hear, you've made a great improvement....and that's the key here.  now you need to continue to apply what you've learned to your normal work flow.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on March 05, 2007, 11:44:19 am
Ah.  I just realized that I typed 'experimentation' when I meant to type 'experience'.  That's what posting while I'm at work will do for me, I suppose.

J. - I figure I'll apply said advice to this spat of projects I've got going on, and see how much/little tail chasing I do.  If anything, it helps me focus on what's there and what needs to BE there. That's more of what I meant.

Dave -

So you had 3 vocal tracks going for the lead, all with similar/the same settings, or did you vary the settings on each and then send them all to an aux track w/ some final processing to the main?  

Matt
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 05, 2007, 11:56:40 am
I had 2 vocal tracks feed an aux return. I'm not at home right now so I'd have to look and see what I did, but I think one track had some eq, a UAD 1176, a Phoenix and maybe a Renn Desser. The other track probably had eq,Chandler limiter, Phoenix, and possibly a desser. I forgot what I had on the buss for a comp, and another Phoenix and maybe a Renn Desser set to band compress.
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on March 05, 2007, 12:02:55 pm
and those all run concurrently through the song, or do some go in while others go out, etc?  What made you decide to treat the vocal this way?
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Adam Miller on March 05, 2007, 12:14:45 pm
Is that a dodgy vocal edit I hear in Dave's mix at 0:45, or is that a superior vocal chain bringing out something I hadn't heard before?

Nice cut at the end of the 1st chorus... very smoothly done, took me a couple of listens to pick up on that one!
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: henchman on March 05, 2007, 12:25:10 pm
rankus wrote on Sun, 04 March 2007 11:10




Henchy
Sounds good!   I could have used less snare bottom.  Is that the shit mic?  ... 1db more on the backwards gtr. I love the effect on that...  Is that the kick or a sample?   Sweet!  Yer talking to me ... I dig it






First, sorry for not responding so far, but I had to fly back east to visit my Dad, who had a heart attack (he's doing fine) which is why I didn't have time to review my mix either before posting it.

I agree on the guitar. For some reason the lead guitar parts were suppsoed to be louder, I don't know what happened when I output the mix.

I really wanted to hear the snare shuffles. I rarely use that much bottom mic, if any at all. I usually don't like the sound of it, but in this case I kinda did.

No samples at all on this one. Didn't need it IMO. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. I wanted to keep the original drum sounds. Otherwise everything starts to sound the same.

In general, I didn't think this song needed any work other than a mix. And I'm the first to start changing and moving parts if I think it can improve the song.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 05, 2007, 12:25:29 pm
That was the extreme compression picking up some kind of edit/punchin/performance anomaly. I heard it but didn't take the time to fix it like I would in a real situation. The vocal treatment I did goes through the whole song. It's not something I always do, but in this case I was trying to bring out more vibe from the vocal. Sometimes I hardly use any compression on the vocal.
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: grantis on March 05, 2007, 02:02:37 pm
dave,
great mix.  i'm struggling with this snare.  how did you treat yours?

vocal sounds killer!!!
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 05, 2007, 02:25:45 pm
I duplicated it so I had 2 of the same snares, exactly like what happened with the vocal, but I didn't combine them to a buss. Different eq and compression on each. Also a compressed submix of all the drums, using a Massey CT4. Probably Phoenix on the drum sub also. The overheads got Chandler limiters and Phoenix also, which like J. said, the overheads are a big part of a good drum sound.
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: rankus on March 05, 2007, 02:27:26 pm


Sweet mix Dave!~ Thanks! ~ Love that snare there mcsnare :0)

Any comments / tips / suggestions for the tracking engineer?

(I'm the one that tracked it BTW)

Thanks for joining in!
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: grantis on March 05, 2007, 03:17:46 pm
rankus, i haven't yet said.......WAY TO GO ON THOSE TRACKS DUDE.  they rock hard.

maybe you've already posted this somewhere, but where did you put the overheads and the rooms?

grant
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 05, 2007, 04:17:49 pm
Rick, I thought the tune was generally very well recorded. Except for the hum on the DI of rhythm gtr 2,(which was easy to filter and a mistake I have made myself more than a few times) I can't think of too much I'd change.  I usually eq and compress things to how I want them when recording, so when I mix my own tracks I eq and compress less, but in PT's there is really no penalty for eq'ing later. One thing I'd suggest is try to spread the room mics. I'm never crazy about a coincident pair enless it's to capture things in a very purist way, which can be cool sometimes. For rock drum room, I like to have a wide stereo spread to the ambient mics. Try a pair of 57's at vocal mic height, spread apart several feet pointing away from the kit. Never fails.
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: henchman on March 05, 2007, 06:44:14 pm
I do miss the picking guitar in the Mcsnare mix though.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: maxim on March 05, 2007, 07:04:13 pm
dave, what was the intention/concept behind multing and re-combining the lead vocal?

i hear the result, and am very interested in the process

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: rankus on March 05, 2007, 08:00:34 pm
mcsnare wrote on Mon, 05 March 2007 13:17

Rick, I thought the tune was generally very well recorded. Except for the hum on the DI of rhythm gtr 2,(which was easy to filter and a mistake I have made myself more than a few times) I can't think of too much I'd change.  I usually eq and compress things to how I want them when recording, so when I mix my own tracks I eq and compress less, but in PT's there is really no penalty for eq'ing later. One thing I'd suggest is try to spread the room mics. I'm never crazy about a coincident pair enless it's to capture things in a very purist way, which can be cool sometimes. For rock drum room, I like to have a wide stereo spread to the ambient mics. Try a pair of 57's at vocal mic height, spread apart several feet pointing away from the kit. Never fails.
Dave


Thanks Dave,

Your opinion means something, to me.

I will try your suggestion on the room mics.  The reason there's not much spread there, is that the room is only about 12 feet wide and I don't want to get too close to the walls... but I will try the 57's out as far as I can go next time. Thanks for the tip!

And yes... that hum.... That is embarrassing ... how the hell I missed that I don't know.... I will blame that on the assistant!~ (PS: I work alone)

And yeah, I kind of miss the arpeggio gtr as well, but you made up for it with that intro....
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 05, 2007, 09:54:48 pm
Thanks guys. I muted the gtr in the first verse for a couple of reasons. If the essential elements are really happening, in this case the drums, bass, rhythm gtr, and lead vocal, you shouldn't need any secondary parts that early in the tune. Most people don't listen with the ears of an engineer and too many things happening can dilute the vibe. Waiting to bring a part in later also adds interest anmd makes a somewhat redundant sounding 2nd verse seem like the tune is going somewhere. In this case, the arpeggio didn't come in as I would have liked, so I moved it from the first verse. Of course all my fancy reasons don't mean squat if you just plain like the gtr where it originally was better. If that was the case in a real situation, I would have left it in and either de emphasized it in someway during the 1st verse and/or made something additional happen during the 2nd verse. I also edited out the repeat section on the end of the 1st chorus because I felt it wasn't taking us anywhere. laso if it had been a real gig, I would have tried to find a way to revisit the chorus in some way toward the end, I just didn't feel like spending any more time on it. Being sensitive to the 'shape' of the arrangement and enhancing that whenever possible, is one of the most important things a good mixer brings to the party.
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: rankus on March 05, 2007, 10:23:21 pm

Well put Dave.... I agree 100%

I must admit that I have listened to this tune sooo many times I have lost all meaningful perspective...  It was really hard doing my comments on all the mixes due to this as well.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: henchman on March 05, 2007, 10:45:25 pm
mcsnare wrote on Mon, 05 March 2007 18:54


Of course all my fancy reasons don't mean squat if you just plain like the gtr where it originally was better. If that was the case in a real situation, I would have left it in and either de emphasized it in someway during the 1st verse and/or made something additional happen during the 2nd verse.
Dave

have ahve done was have it start with the arpeggiated gtr part, and then have it stop going into the 1st verse.
Not used it on the prelap of the 2nd verse, because there's already that weird/cool guitar part there, And then have it in the verse.
Kinda opposit of the way it is now.
Had I had more time to spend on it, I would have done that. However personal reasons prevented me from tackling that extensive of a mix this time.

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 05, 2007, 10:45:27 pm
It's not that the mics have to be that wide, they just have to be far enough apart or aim in different directions to get a more individual look at the room. A coincident pair(X/Y or in this case X/Y in a stereo mic) hears too much of the same signal in a room situation. The room tone is too random for a close pair to 'hear' much difference so it ends up sounding almost mono. Try a pair spaced about 4 or 5 feet apart pointing at different locations(away from the drums) in the room, and NOT in a symmetrical way. Small rooms do not always equal small drum sound. Happy room micing!
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 05, 2007, 10:55:24 pm
p.s. on IMP 10 I time shifted one of the rooms about 10 ms to get a kinda fake spread. Not quite as good as the real thing because the tone of each track is still very similar which means it's only a little better than duplicating a mono room mic and offsetting it.
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: maxim on March 05, 2007, 11:03:37 pm
dave wrote:

"Being sensitive to the 'shape' of the arrangement and enhancing that whenever possible, is one of the most important things a good mixer brings to the party."

quoted for emphasis!
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 07, 2007, 12:16:53 pm
That's why it's a good idea to work quickly so you CAN be sensitive the shape of the tune. If I start to get bogged down on one particluar sound, I leave it and work on some other aspect of the mix. I try to constantly be moving forward, maybe cause I bore easily!
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: garret on March 07, 2007, 12:33:58 pm
Dave.. first off, thanks for participating.  J talks very highly of you...

How much do you find you have to be careful when mixing not to go too far with "creative mixing" like adjusting arrangements, adding harmonies, etc?

I'm not a professional ae/mixer (yet).... but I find it difficult when mixing other people's stuff to stop at "balance mixing."  I wonder how often you get negative reactions from clients when you cut out a verse to tighten up an arrangement, drop out some instrumentation, etc.  Is there a line in the sand you try not to cross?   Or is it just the old rule that if it sounds good, it is good.  In other words, it's better to be do what you think improves the tune, and ask for permission and forgiveness later.

-Garret
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on March 07, 2007, 02:04:37 pm
You could always unveil it as 'the remix'   Surprised
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 07, 2007, 04:01:21 pm
If I hear something that I think will improve the tune, I do it. It doesn't matter what it is. People usually like what I've done about 80% of the time. The 20% that like it the original way, I'm happy to accomadate, without any ego on my part. Unless I think they are making a huge mistake and then I get out pistols and challenge them to a duel.
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: typek on March 07, 2007, 10:39:50 pm
maxim wrote on Tue, 27 February 2007 18:32


pete wrote:

"...nice phase on the kit mics"

i had to flip half the mics' phase (i had to choose between going with kick coherent or snare coherent (i went with the snare...probably should have gone with kick...))




could someone explain that to me?
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 07, 2007, 10:47:31 pm
OK I had a minute today to do a quick master of my mix. Check it out. It's a 192 mp3
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: maxim on March 07, 2007, 11:29:12 pm
kellen wrote:

"could someone explain that to me?"

i'll have a go

sometimes (as in this case) the kick and snare are out of phase with each other as well as the other mics

in this situation, the kick and the room mics were in phase, and the snare and the overheads were in phase (if i remember rightly)

so i had to decide whether to flip the phase on the drum tracks to be either coherent with the bass drum or snare drum

i went with snare (although normally i'd go with kick, in order to get its waveform moving forward first)

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: maxim on March 08, 2007, 12:05:06 am
dave wrote:

"OK I had a minute today to do a quick master of my mix. Check it out. It's a 192 mp3"

brilliant

i sat with my head between the speakers, turned it up and dissolve....

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: typek on March 08, 2007, 11:26:24 am
Maxim...
thanks for the answer.. so.. then.. what exactly determines if the mics are in or out of phase? Doesnt it have to do with the direction they are faced in relation to eachother? Also, what do you use to flip the phase?
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: garret on March 08, 2007, 11:39:18 am
typek wrote on Thu, 08 March 2007 11:26

Maxim...
thanks for the answer.. so.. then.. what exactly determines if the mics are in or out of phase? Doesnt it have to do with the direction they are faced in relation to eachother? Also, what do you use to flip the phase?


If you're using a DAW, chances are you have polarity reversal buttons on each channel.   Or you can find a plugin to do it.. or if you're working on an analog mixing console, you might have polarity switches.... or if you use an external preamp or mixer, it might have polarity switches.

Quick pedantic aside:
Polarity switches are often labeled "phase", but that's technically not the correct term.  Phase refers the measure in degrees that two waveforms are apart.  (360 degrees is a whole wave).  So you could say two wave forms are out of phase when they're 45 degrees apart.   Polarity is a 180 degree swap.   Flipping the polarity of one wave form doesn't fix phase cancellations, it just makes them sound different.

How the phase of two tracks matches up is mostly luck... sometimes you can predict phase problems, like if you close mic the front and back of a guitar amp... or top and bottom of a snare.   But for two mics that are further apart, like overheads that will include some kick, matching up with the kick itself, you just have to experiment.

One method is to just try it and listen to the results...  flip the polarity of one of the tracks, and see if the combination is better or worse.   Listen for a tonal difference, like the snare gets fuller/fatter.   Keep whichever polarity sounds better to you.

You can also zoom in and look at the wave forms.  Check where the zero crossings are, and whether the waveform of one track goes up while the other goes down.  If so, they'll cancel out somewhat.

Stealing a graphic from somewhere...
http://www.mediacollege.com/audio/images/wave-interaction.gif
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: maxim on March 08, 2007, 06:13:32 pm
thanks garret for the succinct explanation and jumping in before the grammar cops get here

please replace all instances of "flipping phase on a kick" with "switching polarity on the bass drum"


"what exactly determines if the mics are in or out of phase?"

the relative distance of the microphones from the source

i determine it by looking at the waveform, if i can

otherwise, it's done by ear

imo, visual assessment is more precise and a helluva lot simpler..


"Doesnt it have to do with the direction they are faced in relation to eachother?"

no


"Also, what do you use to flip the phase?"

dp5 has an "invert phase" plugin, which is all it does

most software has something like it
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 08, 2007, 07:22:31 pm
by no means am i trying to offend, but phase and it's application to mixing is not really something i want to derail this thread/topic/educational experience.

you can find more then you care to know about phase coherency by searching google, or you can even start another thread on my forum to discuss.

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 08, 2007, 07:23:46 pm
Mcsnare,  i know you typically avoid mastering your own work, but purely froma critical listening stand point, what are you listening to differently when you master a track you mixed?

and knowing you are going to master it, how does that effect your mixing process if at all?
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 08, 2007, 07:38:58 pm
Well just from a practical standpoint, my home monitor setup is not as high res as in the mastering studio, so at the very least I'm hearing it differently there, because the playback system is so different.
I just try to make it sound good at home and then make it sound good in the mastering studio! I don't mix differently if I know I'm gonna master it. I do know from experience, I usually mix a little big on the bottom and sometimes slightly darker than would be perfect. For me, those are the easiest mixes to master, because adding a bit of top and tightening up the bottom is easier than trying to make bottom or tame wild high end. I also have noticed a tendency for stuff I mix at home to be a little honky in the mids. I don't think what I came up with for IMP 10 had that honky mid, but frequently it does. I guess my monitors are a little mid shy plus all that mid that piles up using Dark Essence on everything....
Dave
btw the biggest source of phase issues in recording is whether pin 2 or 3 is hot on different mics or the phase was unknowingly flipped somewhere in the recording chain
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: maxim on March 09, 2007, 12:10:28 am
"phase and it's application to mixing is not really something i want to derail this thread..."

fair enough

i still want to know about the reasons/goals behind the vocal mults

separate compression? eq? both?

also, i'd love to know more about dave's use of echo in this mix

as long as it's no bother, of course (or a trade secret...)
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: Tom C on March 09, 2007, 05:24:19 am
maxim wrote on Fri, 09 March 2007 06:10


i still want to know about the reasons/goals behind the vocal mults

separate compression? eq? both?




Can't speak for mcsnare, but in my not so long experience vocals
often get more impact when I use 2 vocal tracks and process each
one differently. Often one track is heavily processed, the other one
more on the save side, but that depends on the vocal performance
of the singer.
After that I blend to taste, often with automation. Oh, and if you
do that double check mono compatibility.

Tom

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: maxim on March 09, 2007, 06:41:28 am
right

sort of like adding a smashed drum submix mult?

i find it interesting that dave then ran both channels into an auxiliary to recombine them

Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on March 09, 2007, 10:43:43 am
Dave -

O/T, but i was browsing your credits - did you work with Brad Leigh on that Five For Fighting record?

back to the grind...
Matt
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 09, 2007, 01:00:20 pm
I didn't work with Brad, but I know him. I think Brad cut the basics on that record. John is an old friend. I used to do demos with him when he was like 21. I mixed his first album that never came out a fews years after that. We got together on his EMI record and I did about a week of overdubs, strings and misc gtrs. It was fun. I thought the mixes sucked, but many times on major label records there are a lot of polics involved....
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: ATOR on March 09, 2007, 02:46:17 pm
I made a recall:

ATOR IMP10 Recall

Credits go to JHall and McSnare, I tried to copy their sound and there's a big difference between imitation and creation.


I'd still like to make things bigger without them taking up more space in the freq spectrum and in headroom. Dave McSnares snaredrum is a great example of this, it's huge but doesn't seem to take up a lot of space.

Most of the time when I try to make something big I:
- eq the sound fatter and thereby make the mix muddy
- compress harder and make it sound lifeless ('pffft' snare instead of 'PAF')
- turn it up louder but actually end up making the rest softer


Dave could you share your snare treatment/settings, it's simply amazing. It's big but without all the side-effects I mentioned above.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: M Carter on March 09, 2007, 03:49:40 pm
Dave -
Ah, gotcha.  Brad is a friend of mine/works with me.  The world gets smaller everyday.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 10, 2007, 09:47:22 am
ATOR, that recall sounds pretty good.
As far as what I did on the snare, it's just lot's of compression and eq. One of the snare mults got a DynIII gate to clean up a bit of the cymbals that get sucked in to all that compression. Also the overheads and room get compressed and don't forget all the drums go to a buss and get compressed AGAIN. There is also a bit of compression on the whole mix. Some of the sound is the most excellent Chandler EMI comp/limiter plug(a must have IMO), and also the UA 1176, which is KILLER. Those and the Massey CT4 are about 90% of what I use for compression. I could do what I do with just Bomb Factory and Waves stuff, but it's just harder and takes longer. Remember, anything that makes the job harder and take longer is taking away from your overall sense of what is happening with the mix.
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: ATOR on March 10, 2007, 11:09:07 am
mcsnare wrote on Sat, 10 March 2007 15:47

ATOR, that recall sounds pretty good.
As far as what I did on the snare, it's just lot's of compression and eq. One of the snare mults got a DynIII gate to clean up a bit of the cymbals that get sucked in to all that compression. Also the overheads and room get compressed and don't forget all the drums go to a buss and get compressed AGAIN. There is also a bit of compression on the whole mix. Some of the sound is the most excellent Chandler EMI comp/limiter plug(a must have IMO), and also the UA 1176, which is KILLER. Those and the Massey CT4 are about 90% of what I use for compression. I could do what I do with just Bomb Factory and Waves stuff, but it's just harder and takes longer. Remember, anything that makes the job harder and take longer is taking away from your overall sense of what is happening with the mix.
Dave


Thanks Dave. I hope you don't mind me picking your brain a little more  Cool

With all that compression going on, how do you keep the drums so clean and separated. I noticed you still have the snare ghoststrokes so you didn't gate that very heavily. When I tried that I got a lot of ugly spill which ruined the kick and cymbals.

When you route your snare to multiple groups, do you use the different groups for different areas, like one to get the body and one for the snap. Or is one normal with the transients left  and the other crushed to fatten up the first.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 10, 2007, 12:44:02 pm
All I can say is you just have to play around with it. I did not combine the snare on my mix of IMP 10 to a buss, just the original and a duplicate, both with varying amounts of eq and compression. I only gated one of the snares. Yes, the general idea is to have one more dynamic and one more crushed for tone.
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: j.hall on March 11, 2007, 10:36:18 pm
sorry guys, i've been tracking a 5 song EP with a friend of mine.  it's been a rather intense few days of two engineers working our fingers to the bone......although i can say that his charter oak mic is blowing my mind currently........

anyway, i'll catch up on the thread and listen to ATOR's recall.  i'm stoked to see what you came up with.

i'll be pulling doubles mon- wed. then i leave for Memphis on thursday through the weekend.....so i might be a bit absent

going 10 - 8 then 8:30- 2am gets old REAL QUICK.  but i gotta work while the workin is good.
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: maxim on March 11, 2007, 11:43:12 pm
dave wrote:

"I did not combine the snare on my mix of IMP 10 to a buss"

dave, i'm still struggling to understand why you did with the vocal

sorry for repeated questioning but i love what you did with it so i'm keen to find out

i gather from your explanations so far that you like to add compression in series and parallel

does the vocal auxilliary receive extra compression as well as the mults along the way?

if yes, what sort and how much?



Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: mcsnare on March 12, 2007, 10:53:40 am
It's really simple. If I want to do something to 2 or more tracks as a group, I combine them into an aux return. Somtimes I just run out of insert spots on a track and send it to an aux so I can insert more processing. No hard rules.
Dave
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: briefcasemanx on April 01, 2007, 10:23:02 pm
Damn I keep seeing these things after the deadline is over. I need to keep my comp connected to the internet more!
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: UnderTow on April 02, 2007, 11:35:23 am
briefcasemanx wrote on Mon, 02 April 2007 04:23

Damn I keep seeing these things after the deadline is over. I need to keep my comp connected to the internet more!


Same problem here. I seem to be very busy when the IMPs come and then when I have a few days off, after a couple of days doing nothing I get bored and start checking the web and this site and then I'm too late. Lol  Very Happy

I'll have to pay better attention...

A pitty. This was a nice track. I'll probably do my own mix just for my own fun.

Alistair
Title: Re: IMP10 discussion thread
Post by: UnderTow on April 02, 2007, 04:07:36 pm
Damn. I've just been reading through the whole thread and listening to various entries. It seems this was a great educational IMP.

And mcsnare, your mix rocks. Smile You bastard. Wink It isn't just the mix but also the decisions you made on a musical level. Good stuff.

Jason,  about notifying people of a new IMP, you could post an announcement in the " IMP (what it is, and what the rules are)" thread. Anyone subscribed to that thread would get an email notification that a new message is posted. As it is locked, you are the only person that can post there.

Alistair