Anyone who records pop-rock songs, critique my mix?

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by HelloImDavidHaha, Dec 24, 2017.

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  1. HelloImDavidHaha

    HelloImDavidHaha Has back problems

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    I've been working on this demo for over a year and i've picked up a lot of lessons and techniques during the time. I was wondering if there's anything I can do to improve my mixes later on.

    https://soundcloud.com/helloimdavidhaha/idolize

    What I used: Axe-FX for guitars/bass, Superior Drummer 2, Slate Trigger for snare/kick, MXL Blizzard 990 for vocals, Fender strat with Bareknuckle Juggernauts, Music Man Stingray 4 string bass.

    Any feedback or criticism is welcome! Thanks! :wavey:
    (I know I don't have the best singing voice haha)
     
  2. Guitarmiester

    Guitarmiester Awesome-O

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    Listening on an iPad at the moment so I'll give this another listen through monitors later on. The mix on here is nice and clear. Also, very well balanced. The overal vibe reminds me a bit of Hit the Lights meshed with another band I can't quite think of their name.

    My only criticism revolves around the vocals. Your voice sounds great, so please don't let this knock you down. The vocals could really shine with some dynamics. Once the chorus kicks in there's no added energy or emotion to make the chorus hit harder even though the music changes.
     
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  3. schwiz

    schwiz Lefty

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    Overall I think that the balance is really good too. You could use a little more bass in the sub region, but the song is still punchy! A little too much verb on the guitars for my taste, they also could use some more eq work to really bring them out, especially when you have the rhythm guitar and the delay going. The vocals are the opposite - a bit too dry. Do you have any delay on the vocals? Overall nice job, I like the mix.
     
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  4. billinder33

    billinder33 SS.org Regular

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    I know you have some doubling of the vocals here, but it's kind of way back in the mix. I would record 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x the vocals in the chorus and add some harmony (not just unison) so that you get that big pop music 'wall of sound' effect... Same for he spots where you need emphasis... for instance "You're the only one that makes me feel this way" and " some things will never change" at the end.

    I would wet up the vocals a little more overall as well. I'm a big fan of iZotope Nectar and VocalSynth for adding FX to these kinds pop vocals.

    Sounds great though, really does.
     
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  5. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied :: 2077 ::

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    Great start. I think the mix is TOO balanced. The vox in pop music sit way out front usually and the music is in behind. Some of the words get lost in the mix as well so I think you need to work on some automation of the vox to really make them stand out since the mix itself sounds pretty killer. I'm on a laptop though so that is the best I can do atm.
     
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  6. KingAenarion

    KingAenarion Resident Studio Nerd

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    The mix is really, exceptionally good in many ways. Realistically at this point, if you've made this mix yourself, you need to back yourself and your own decisions about the mix and not come to a mostly amateur forum for validation. Like there are many LITTLE things that could be done differently, but whether or not they're improvements is a matter of opinion. Generally with pop music styles, subtlety isn't needed. e.g. The line "I'm not anything that you want" could be far more obviously effected, the guitars could be thinned out a bit so that when the bass comes in it's effect is adding depth and thickness, using a more modern reverb sound with a mix of short delays and plate/halls layered in parallel.

    But again, I think if you're happy with this mix, and where everything sits, as its producer you need to back yourself and your decisions about the importance of different layers. If you have more specific questions about how to do something, happy to help there.

    Not once did I struggle to hear the most important elements, and while with my critical ears on there's probably things I would say like "turn that lead guitar line up, make the guitars less wide in pop, make the guitars less and the drums and bass more for more dancy energy", when I sat back and just listened I was bopping my head along.

    If anything, what I'm most interested in, is what you're mixing on (speaker wise and room wise), what you're referencing on, and what songs particularly you have used to reference. I have some suspicions about how that's influencing your mix.

    I think you'd actually really benefit from sending the track to a really good mastering Engineer and hearing how their processing affects the track, but also someone who has pre-mastering mix listening services. I use this guy at the moment http://matthewgraymastering.com/ and he will do a free mix evaluation and tell you how, as a Mastering Engineer, he thinks you might need to make changes.
     
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  7. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    Oh I remember you from when you posted that track Nudes and its electronic version! That was a fun song. Your mixes sound great to me, so that's all I got to say!
     
  8. HelloImDavidHaha

    HelloImDavidHaha Has back problems

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    Thanks for the feedback, guys! I'll definitely try to work on the vocals and see where that takes me.

    I'm using M-audio BX5s in a semi treated room (garage). I actually didn't use any reference tracks but I based the sound on what I liked from each particular instrument. For the vocals I just made sure it was clear enough and audible even if I turned down the volume really low. I balanced the track by turning off one monitor and set the levels in mono.
     
  9. oddcam

    oddcam SS.org Regular

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    This mix is fantastic.
    Only things I notice (maybe just opinion) are the hi-hat sounds a bit weird (soft?, maybe), some of the lowest vocal notes, including the lower harmony notes, take over a little.
    Also, I might like the sound of your mix a little TOO much. The mid-range is so sweet. A lot of people don't love the mids like I do, so that might say something about your mix - I don't know. I love it good job!
     
  10. KingAenarion

    KingAenarion Resident Studio Nerd

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    Yea honestly then your next step is referencing. The low volume trick is really useful, as is checking things in mono. Also check on consumer systems and in a car.

    But also check it against similar mixes to see what works and what doesn't.
     
  11. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    0:31 hear sibilance and clipping / click on the vocal or de-esser going nuts.
    I like the production, I think the vocals are still a bit off, too sibilant and and not as polished as I'd like to hear them. I think a new performance on vocals might improve the feel.
    Bass can go up 1-2dbs but I don't miss it, sounds almost radio ready but for vocal.
     

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