Does this sound radio-ready? (120+ tracks, female vox, something different)

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by JohnIce, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    Thanks, I'm glad to hear that! :) Yeah it was an interesting collab for sure, we're not in the process of starting a real band or anything but we do have another song picked out to work on next :)
     
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  2. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Still haven't gotten a chance to listen to this, but I will, for sure.
     
  3. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    If anyone still cares, I figured I might as well post the final version :) This has been sent everywhere now so this is what it's gonna be.

    I referenced it to some really current radio hits and noticed they typically have a bit more of an edge in the 1-3k region than I'm used to, which I imagine is because they want to use Fletcher/Munson to hit the casual radio listener as hard as possible :lol: So I tried it, also boosted a bit of sub and took out some low mid buildup from the snare reverb and guitars in the 180Hz area. A few dB made a big difference down there, made it sound more open and less rumbling. It definitely sounds louder on low volume now that it's a bit more nasal. Probably wouldn't master an album track this aggressively though, it's pretty squashed at this point.

    LINK: https://soundcloud.com/jntzero/jolina-exhale-final-master/s-AQE5o
     
  4. MSS

    MSS SS.org Regular

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    sounds great! nice job.
     
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  5. PunkBillCarson

    PunkBillCarson SS.org Regular

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    Okay so first of all...

    This isn't my kind of music at all. That said, this track was very well done and I found myself restarting the song quite a few times to listen to it and the more do, the more I think it's less due to the quality and because I like the song. Thank you for sharing this with us and being more diverse than the average poster here, including myself. This is a great piece of work, in my humble opinion, and I'm honestly interested to see what you do in the future if you do anything. I would legit fucking buy this track if given an option. Bravo is all I have to say about it.
     
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  6. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    Wow, thank you so much! I really appreciate that :)
     
  7. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    Cool, I am also hearing more nuances popping up. Good job man, Toni Maserati watch out! :)
     
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  8. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    Still sounds great! I'm still loving the song. If you wanna give us links to where else it's available so we can boost the ratings, that'd be cool. :)
     
  9. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    Haha, thanks man! :) And thanks for all the feedback, it's been helpful! :cheers:
    Thanks, really glad to hear that :) We'd really appreciate that, I think the release date is April 24th if I forget to post about it :)
     
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  10. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    STILL haven't had a free night to listen. :lol: Hopefully tonight!
     
  11. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Ok, finally got a chance to listen to this last night. I think I'm going to echo a lot of the critiques here earlier, but with the caveat that I also think they're all production decisions that totally work for the genre, and it's just a lot of stuff I don't really listen to, lol.

    I don't really love the timbre of the vocal here - was it a little too much proximity effect you were wrestling with? It's got a sort of muted, throaty, almost washed out and lisp-y quality to it, but it also sounds very "pop," so you're totally within the range of what works here - the performance and vocal tone do sound very "radio" to me. I like the slightly more rock elements that come in for the chorus, which was kind of unexpected in the rest of the mix. A couple nice little touches here and there - the ticking clock sound right before the second chorus, for example. I also wouldn't have guessed this was nearly 120 tracks, so well done in keeping everything tight - a mix of performance and mixing, I suspect. The only other thing that really jumped out at me is that the whole mix (except for the a capella vocal section, and I dig the wet/dry contrast there) is very wet. Again, I suspect that's the norm for the genre, but there was a lot more reverb decay than I was expecting here. Then again that's definitely something that comes down to mixing style - I've been erring a lot more on the drier/shorter decay side lately myself which is coloring my judgement for sure.

    I'll be curious to hear the rest of this. :yesway:
     
  12. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    Thanks for listening :) Just to be sure, did you listen to the latest version I posted?

    The vocals were definitely a struggle, we used a mic that didn't suit her voice very well, and her vocals are so quietly sung that we ended up with a lot of noise in the signal. There's actually a bit of de-noising on it, which is a bizarre thing to do on lead vox but I needed to do it to make the first verse and bridge section work. I'm "ok" with how they turned out in the end, but will definitely be more picky with vocal mic auditioning in the future.

    As for the large verb, that was really the singer's preference, I dialed it back in an early mix and she didn't like it as much. I've noticed big verbs being trendy now but I don't think that had anything to do with it really, as personally I tend to like effects to be really standout anyway. I find that when you use them subtly and "tastefully" it can too easily slip into generic elevator music territory :lol: A lot of cool things can happen when you just floor it instead, I think. For example, sending the lead vox and backing vox and several synths all into the same huge reverb (which is a very filtered reverb) created this additional legato melody that wasn't actually sung by anyone, it was entirely generated by the buildup of reverb :) If I muted any of the sends, the melody went away, all the tracks had to play at once and the result is purely accidental but it's my favourite part of the chorus :) This mentality is also why the verse vocal is completely dry, as having some verb "just in case" feels like a cop-out to me. I'm not really someone who spends too much time fine-tuning dry/wet balance, I pour it on there and if it doesn't work I take it off altogether instead or try a different effect, usually.

    I've had the problem like many others that once you get some experience you feel like you "know how it's supposed to be done" and focus on being tasteful and balanced and neat and "industry standard" according to the sound engineers' echo chamber, which can ultimately lead to a somewhat uneventful track, I think. Something has to be distinctive, a little annoying, questionable or jarring to make you pay attention as a listener, I think :lol: It's very hard to resist the urge to make it "perfect" but when you think about it, you hear "perfect" mixes all the time and they just go in through one ear and out through the other because they're just so unobtrusive.
     
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  13. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Definitely listened to the last mix you posted. :yesway:

    Honestly, this was my favorite aspect of the mix, the way you consciously manipulated the wet/dry balance for intentional effect. It's also a bit thought provoking - for me, ambient effects (especially reverb) tend to be "set it and forget it" things, where I create an ambient space, plop a band in, and that's that. You kind of upend that here, and the effect is incredibly intimate when the band drops out, the reverb drops out, and you have this isolated, bone-dry voice right up close and personal, naked and alone. It's a really effective move that would never have occurred to me on my own.
     
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  14. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    Cool :) Yeah I used to be more about treating reverb like a "virtual room", but found that it signals the idea of a live band playing in one space in a way that isn't always what I want. It's all context-dependent, the more I do this the more I realize the "tried and true", "good practice" and "go-to" mixing methods always come with an air of familiarity that may make what you're doing more generic, it's that constant balancing act between making something sound "good" and making something sound "interesting" :lol: Sometimes you can only pick one.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
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  15. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Yeah, that's the cool thing about places like this - I'll likely continue to treat reverb as a "virtual room" myself - it kind of fits overall with my philosophy when putting a mix together, I guess - but that's certainly no reason you can't sometimes step out of that room, and that's a cool trick to have in the back of your mind here and there.

    Cool mix, and cool thread.
     
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  16. penguin_316

    penguin_316 SS.org Regular

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    I liked everything, and well it’s pop so the louder vocals is how the genre is done. I would have kept them that way. It’s just how it’s done.

    My main issue was the bass though, it’s way too muddy in my opinion. Maybe pull the shelf up to like 90hz...it sounds much lower like in the 50hz range. I dunno it makes it sound muddy to me. Maybe get some low mids out of the bass tone as well. You said you notched 500hz a bit, but maybe use a bit wider Q and take another 0.5db out.

    Badass song, just nitpicking about the bass.
     
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  17. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    Thanks! Yeah I think it's really a matter of various tracks fighting for the same space. The room mics have tons of sub in them, and there are a few layers of bass that may be the reason it sounds muddy. It's hard to tell for me cause I don't have a subwoofer, I didn't notice anything in my phones but you may be right.
     
  18. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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  19. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

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    Yuss! This will get many more listens!
     
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  20. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    Great to hear, I really appreciate that! :cheers:
     

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