Mix feedback: why is it bad?

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Durin, Mar 8, 2016.

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  1. Durin

    Durin SS.org Regular

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    Hello,

    I'm working on a mix and I can hear that it's a little bit crappy but I just can't figure out why. Can you please give me some feedback?

    Thank you very much!

    Distant.mp3
     
  2. charrondev

    charrondev SS.org Regular

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    To start with I think the vocals are not very good. Just the style doesn't do it all for me so I can't really comment on how their mixed, although I think they should come down in volume a bit.

    The overall balance seems a bit off though. I'd bring up the kick drum for sure and lower the vocals a little. My main question is where is the low end? This kind of music cries out for a strong and powerful bassline, and I can't hear it at all.
     
  3. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    My thoughts:

    - Guitars are a bit harsh to listen to. Maybe they're high-passed a little too much.

    - Bass need to come up for sure. Everything is super loud and up front, but the bass sounds like it's way in the back of the room trying not to be noticed.

    - The vocals sound very dry, sort of uninteresting outside of the performance itself, which is exacerbated by being suuuuuper upfront. I'd back the volume down for a vocals a bit, and mess with some reverb/delay to start with.
     
  4. Mo Nodehi

    Mo Nodehi SS.org Regular

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    Hey Durin.

    Bring down the vox a little bit, and send it to a verb/delay aux just a tad. Guitars have too much mid and high, either scoop out around 750Hz, and also throw a low pass maybe around 6-7KHz, or use a multi-band compressor. And where is the bass guitar?! Bring the bass up a little bit, duplicate the bass track, on one track high pass around 500Hz and throw some distortion and lower the volume, on the other track high pass around 450Hz, and add in some low end to it if it doesn't have enough by itself. Make sure your kick and bass guitar have distinct frequencies as their main low end. For example raise couple db's at 80Hz and reduce couple db's at 60Hz on your kick, then on your bass guitar reduce couple db's at 80Hz, and increase couple db's at 60Hz. Also if you use this numbers high pass guitars around 100Hz so they are not too separated from your low end instruments(kick and bass guitar). You can also send your guitars, snare, and cymbals to the same reverb aux you send your vox to, just a little bit to glue things together.

    Don't forget to send updates for us to listen ;)
    Mo
     
  5. Durin

    Durin SS.org Regular

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    Thank you so much for all the feedback. I tried what you suggested and here's what I came up with. I used the 750 Hz scoop out for guitars and I think it really brought down the unpleasant harshness. However, I found out that I need to hi-pass the guitars quite high because of some weird low noise happening in there. I pan the guitar tracks 80 % to the left and 80 % to the right. Would you suggest different settings? I also lowered the vocals a little bit and added a little bit more reverb as Mo Nodehi suggested. The bass needed a little bit more, that's true! I use EZDrummer 2.0 and the sounds are already very good so the drums didn't need very much mixing. That's the reason why the kick's EQ is very mild.

    Distant.mp3


    Here's also the EQs of guitars, bass, kick and vocals and reverb of vocals.
    EQ and Reverb screenshost
     
  6. Drackulis

    Drackulis SS.org Regular

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    I'm by no means an expert but try and reduce the kick at 100hz to make room for the bass where you're boosting it. Or, rather than boosting, reduce the kick and leave the bass at 0db. As a rule of thumb, it's always better to do subtractive EQ rather than boosting. I also find 170hz to be a bit too high of a highpass, maybe try lowering it to about 120-150. Of course it depends on how it will sound when you do this, so just try it out, if it doesn't work, go back to how it was. And also, not sure about that shelf at 8k for the kick, theoretically that should be just sizzle which needs no boosting. Try and find the slap at about 3k-4k, maybe you were looking for that when you boosted it?

    Anyway, again, I'm not an expert but these are some of the things I've learnt along the way. The mix ain't bad by any means, so all you can do is keep improving it to make it sound great!
     
  7. Mo Nodehi

    Mo Nodehi SS.org Regular

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    Much better IMO, sounds more produced. Obviously you can fine tune it even more, play around with frequencies between 3KHz and 4KHz on the guitars, usually there's a frequency there that sounds harsh, most of the time it's around 3.1Hz, take out some 5-6 db or even more with a very narrow cut, gotta experiment and see how it affects the tone. Also experiment with duplicating the bass track and adding distortion to one etc.(I explained it in my first post) to help glue the bass guitar with the rest of the mix, cause right now I feel like your bass guitar is too separate, that might help with this issue. Oh and cutting bass guitar on 250Hz, narrow and deep, will remove a lot of mud, can try that too.

    I almost always pan my guitars 100%, but I think that's a matter of preference. Also one thing about the playing, not sure if it's you playing or not but anyway play(or ask the player to play) with more power/intensity, specially when playing power chords and/or single notes on low strings, for example on the section that starts at 1:50~.

    Nice improvement, looking forward to the next one.

    Mo
     
  8. Durin

    Durin SS.org Regular

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    Amazing, there really had been some bad harshness at around 3k. I made a narrow cut at 3.2 kHz and now when I bypass it I can definitelly hear the harshness going back in. I added the distorted track for the bass. The cut at 250 Hz did just a minor help for this track but it did something. I'll post the finished track soon.
     
  9. Durin

    Durin SS.org Regular

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    Here is the final mix. I guess that's the best I can do with my current proficiency. Thank you all for the help!

    Distant.mp3
     

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