Pop Rock Mix for my portfolio - The Millennium

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by schwiz, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. schwiz

    schwiz Lefty

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  2. Stijnson

    Stijnson SS.org Regular

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    Hey Jes! Sounds good man! I would say my only point of critique is that I feel like the snare could be more punchy and upfront, (Bare in mind, i have not listened to the original mix) but overall the mix gels well and sounds as like a finished product. Good job!

    Really gotta get started on those portfolio tracks myself, and I will after hearing this! Kind of reminds me of the 1975, which is something I'd love to mix!
     
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  3. pipelineaudio

    pipelineaudio SS.org Regular

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    Love those dynamic filters!
     
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  4. schwiz

    schwiz Lefty

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    Thanks guys!!

    I definitely agree on the snare. When you open the multi-tracks you'll notice there is the main drum kit, but then at the beginning and end of the song there is a loop with a snare. What I should have done is tried to sample the loop, as that snare is very dull. I think I could have picked better samples to help reinforce the snare in the kit as well. Generally, snare is the piece that I struggle with the most. I have a hard time trusting my gut and figuring out how much ring I should keep in, how much 200 to boost, and how to get the snap without making it boxy. I just need to keep working at it! Thank you.
     
  5. Stijnson

    Stijnson SS.org Regular

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    Snare is always my biggest problem too man, probably just because it's so damn important, but I'm generally not happy with my own snares. your mix still sounds good nonetheless though! Going to start on the AA mix today myself!
     
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  6. KingAenarion

    KingAenarion Resident Studio Nerd

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    Hey man, can you show your snare processing chain, might be able to help you get some ideas about how to make it sit better.
     
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  7. schwiz

    schwiz Lefty

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    Let me preface this with saying that my intention for this mix was to not over complicate things. I also separated my drums differently than I normally do. Instead of kick, snare tom busses going to a KST bus, then a Drum bus, then the Mix bus, I separated the kick and toms together, and the snare and the cymbals together. From there, they each go to the Mix bus where I have the SSL compressor, tape machine, EQ, and ozone.

    First screenshot is of the 3 snare tracks. Snare top, bottom, and sample. I'm only boosting the sample at 200hz. All 3 of these tracks are bussed to the Snare/Cymbals bus.

    The 2nd screenshot is my Snare/Cymbals bus. Preamp in, then slamming the shit out it with the compressor and adjusting the mix knob to taste. I like the results of this method more than I do when I stack multiple compressors and only have a little gain reduction on each going on. This way I can control how much dry signal I want to poke through. After the compression I'm adding some top end and some more 200hz. After that, FF saturn (fking love this plugin), then verb, then finishing it off with JST clip.

    Have at it! I'd love some suggestions.
     

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  8. isotropy

    isotropy SS.org Regular

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    I feel like the 1176 style comp is too fast for snare unless it's done as a parallel effect. I DO see that your mix is not at 100% on that so you are obviously using it as a parallel effect ;) but maybe consider using a traditional compressor as well on the main snare track to get that SMACK to punch through just a LITTLE bit more. The clarity and sustain of the snare sounds spot on, it's just that it's not punching through. Seriously like 1-3 db with slow attack , med release, 3 or 4:1 would make it pop just that much more.

    I'm only saying this because people here were talking about improvements to the snare. I think the mix sounds dope as all get out. If anything else, I'd say maybe back off between 150 - 200 on the bass just a tad.
     
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  9. schwiz

    schwiz Lefty

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    Thanks for chiming in and for the feedback!! What would you say would be a good compressor for this application? Something like the stock Cubase compressor? The snare just needs that little bit extra smack like you mentioned.
     
  10. isotropy

    isotropy SS.org Regular

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    Sure thing! Personally, I almost always rely on my stock comp for this.

    Ratio 4:1, start with attack around 30ms, release around 100ms, bring threshold down until I can hear the transient poking out, then play around with the attack and release to taste. I aim for 3db reduction for a subtle pop or 6 for a more aggressive smack.

    I know some people are fans of Metric Halo's channel strip for this as well. Any comp that gives you control over attack and release really.
     
  11. KingAenarion

    KingAenarion Resident Studio Nerd

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    I disagree. On the slowest setting it lets the transient through nicely and squashes it so you get a nice crack.


    Do you not have VCC in Slate? Because if you do you should definitely be using it. Great saturation, as is a Tape saturation.

    Also I find that for a more polished sound you tend to need 3 compressors on a snare, whether in parallel or on the track. 1 VCA or TLA style with slow attack fast release to bring the body up. Then a FET style or VCA with a faster attack and a slower release to get the snap of the transient really punchy, then a smashed something or other. Like an all buttons in 1176. I like having the last one definitely on a parallel bus. I also like to have a clipping limiter as you do.

    Also ALL your reverbs should be in parallel, and should be mixed so as to separate them from the source, it cleans everything up and makes your reverbs more impactful and lets transients shine. For bonus points put a transient designer in front of the reverb on the bus.
     
  12. schwiz

    schwiz Lefty

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    I stopped using VCC all together. I also stopped using the VBC all together as well. Why? Because it was adding a bunch of noise to my mixes. On intros, outros and points where things settle down in a mix and build up, I hear a bunch of crackling. This was mostly due to VBC, but I also get it when using VCC as well. I've tried adjusting my gain staging on the 2bus so it doesn't come in as hot, and the VBC still generates a bunch of noise. Since switching to using the ssl bus compressor on my 2bus, I should go back to VCC and see what my results sound like. I realllly like the FG-73 though; it adds warmth to everything.

    Interesting points on the compressors. I don't think I own any VCA or TLA style compressors - is something like the LA2A similar? I'll give your suggestions a try on a mix that I'm working on.
     
  13. KingAenarion

    KingAenarion Resident Studio Nerd

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    If you're getting too much noise from VCC, hit the "Noise Reduction" button. Also lowering the drive, and setting your gain staging so that you're hitting closer to 0dBVU. As for VBC, I only use the FG-Grey.

    An LA2A style is a TLA, the Red Comp in VMR does VCA style, or the new distressor plugin.
     
  14. isotropy

    isotropy SS.org Regular

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    I'm not saying it can't be or shouldn't be done, but the slowest attack setting is less than 1ms if I recall correctly. Yeah that can give you that instantaneous "crack" from the transient, but by itself I feel like that kinda kills the character of the snare. Maybe not, if it's used very subtly. I'm not saying I wouldn't use it on snare, just not by itself and not as the main "punch" compressor. Moreso as a "sustain" compressor. Again, just my personal feeling on the matter.
     

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