Mix test for nu-metal track.

zenshin

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Just testing the current mix state of a song I've been working around with for awhile. My ears are tired so I'm no longer capable of a reasonable objective judgment for the evening so while I rest, I figure I'll seek some outside opinions on what's working and what isn't. All thoughts welcomed.

[SC]https://soundcloud.com/zenshin-2/end-the-silence-3[/SC]
 

IdentityDevice

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I think it sounds great man. Love that snare. Really enjoyed that change of pace at the end as well. Takes you "somewhere". Good job man.
 

zenshin

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Hey I really appreciate the kind words. If you want to know where that snare came from, I recently switched from Superior Drummer to GetGoodDrums. It's a project from the Periphery guys and so far I'm really liking it.
 

zenshin

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Love it man, how's the workflow with Getgood Drums like ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sG5oHYUrtQs

I think Nolly explains it here :). He has videos for all the big DAWs. The setup isn't that bad and I like using my EQs, compressors, etc. instead of the ones that SD2 gave me.

That being said, I need to do some more clean up on the drum sound. Got too focused on them and weakened the guitars and bass in the process. But I have an idea to fix that. Looks like the room mics need to be turned down then carve out some more EQ space to let the guitars and bass come through. May also master a bit louder next time simply because my car won't let me turn the volume up as high as I want to actually feel the bass impact of the music (unlike my previous loud mixes).
 

zenshin

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To everyone who has sent all the kind words, thank you so so much.

@duffbeer33: You know, I never even thought anyone would hear the Taproot influence. You're getting into one of my all time favorite bands there. They also put on the best concert I ever went to hands down (and I've been to some good concerts).

Again I'd love to go through and respond to each person one by one but I'm about to go do some mix work while I have the day off and see if I can hone this song in a bit. But I appreciate all the kind words!
 

MikeNeal

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to be honest, i really like the first one better. its almost perfect to my ears. the new one almost sounds too compressed
 

zenshin

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to be honest, i really like the first one better. its almost perfect to my ears. the new one almost sounds too compressed

Hey I appreciate the honest feedback. Unfortunately I'm also restrained by my car's odd sound system. For some reason the phone hookup is significantly quieter than the rest of the system and the CD drive is broken. So for me to be able to feel anything in the impact from the music, I have to master with more intensity. Otherwise it sounds really puny in there :-(.

I almost replaced the system, except my car has all this crazy GM anti-theft crap that won't let me install anything else so I'm screwed.
 

xfilth

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Listening to updated mix. All in all pretty nice!

The worst part about the mix is definitely the bass. The low end is not very full and seems to disappear when competing with the kick/guitars. Compress the lows harder and possibly hipass the guitars harder! The high end of the bass is just nasty (not in the good sense) imo, and it especially shows in the verses. Don't know what distortion you are using for the grit, but find something else, or dial it in way more gently.
 

zenshin

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Listening to updated mix. All in all pretty nice!

The worst part about the mix is definitely the bass. The low end is not very full and seems to disappear when competing with the kick/guitars. Compress the lows harder and possibly hipass the guitars harder! The high end of the bass is just nasty (not in the good sense) imo, and it especially shows in the verses. Don't know what distortion you are using for the grit, but find something else, or dial it in way more gently.

Ahh I hadn't thought about compressing the low end of the bass harder... nice idea! I'll give that a shot.

Unfortunately the bass distortion is a personal taste thing for me so that one will stay but I do agree that at the very least it should go down a bit so as not to get in the way of future vocal tracks. However, in the spirit of giving things a chance, I'll at least play with dialing the distortion back a little bit to see what I get.

Also, I'm thinking you're right about the guitars needing to be hipassed more. I'm noticing how much more boom there is in the bass during the verse compared to the heavier portions of the song. I'll dive in and see what I can do.

If it helps at all, I'm going to start A/B testing with Korn's Insane since that song has a similar dynamic nature to this one and has a similar end goal production style. I'm a long way off but it gives me a good reference point. After reading your comment I thought I might should do an A/B test and I realized how right you are about the bass still lacking. Also I can already hear the potential for some tweaking in the guitar tone to add more clarity and give more room to the bass.

EDIT:
Looks like I may be scrapping the guitar tone altogether. Decided to switch over to Bias and I think I'm on to something really good here.

EDIT AGAIN:
Abandoned the Bias experiment. Stuck with focusing on dialing in the bass. Was a tough task but at least my car seems to be happy now. Should have a lot more boom next time around. Going to wait till tomorrow or later to upload. Need to come back fresh and see where anything may be off.
 

zenshin

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Listening to updated mix. All in all pretty nice!

The worst part about the mix is definitely the bass. The low end is not very full and seems to disappear when competing with the kick/guitars. Compress the lows harder and possibly hipass the guitars harder! The high end of the bass is just nasty (not in the good sense) imo, and it especially shows in the verses. Don't know what distortion you are using for the grit, but find something else, or dial it in way more gently.

I'm afraid the bass is going to have to stay as it was with minor tweaks. Every attempt at trying to compress the low end more has ended in disaster. One second it works fine in the mix then I go to master and things just go haywire. Thought I was on to something to achieve what you were talking about but the low bass frequencies go out of control every time I try to apply any multiband compression to them. At the very least, I have had some success with a boost at the 60 hz range while reducing the kick at the 60 hz range to create some contrast between the 2 and that seems to be helping. As for the multiband, so far I'm only able to use it to pull the click portion of the tone down a few notches to sit better in the mix as a whole. Not changing the distortion though because of personal taste reasons. I did some experimenting and kept going back to the default. It was worth a shot though.

That being said, what does your process look like for processing bass? I noticed you get some massive tone from whatever you're doing. Maybe that could help. Otherwise I kinda have to manage my expectations with what I hope to achieve bass wise.

If it helps too, I'm just running a really crappy Squire P-Bass through DI. Signal chain is TSE Bod -> Compressor -> EQ -> MultiBandCompressor (wasn't there before). Tone goal for me is more or less a Fieldy-esque sort of tone. However I'm managing my expectations for the time being until I can get a bass that was actually meant for that sort of thing. Right now I'm just stunned I can at least get this far with this bass.

Additional note:
As I'm typing this I'm trying one last experiment with the multiband compressor to get the low end to have a little more push. But so far, even with me hipassing the guitars more, the low end still drowns out.
 

xfilth

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Definitely split your bass signal up into at least 2 tracks, if you aren't already; a compressed low end and a distorted high end for the grit.

When I'm doing DI bass and am too lazy to reamp with the B7K, I use a mix of some pretty standard compressors, EQs and saturators/distortions. Mostly FabFilter, but any kind will probably suffice

Could you post the DI track?
 

zenshin

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Definitely split your bass signal up into at least 2 tracks, if you aren't already; a compressed low end and a distorted high end for the grit.

When I'm doing DI bass and am too lazy to reamp with the B7K, I use a mix of some pretty standard compressors, EQs and saturators/distortions. Mostly FabFilter, but any kind will probably suffice

Could you post the DI track?

I would gladly post the DI track. However I'm retracking everything from the ground up. I think a huge part of the problem was not having the bass set up properly, not gain staging like I should, and playing the P-Bass in a way that it was not designed to be played (slap style). I'll have to save the Fieldy-wanna-be antics for when I fork over the cash to get an Ibby.

Just spent some time making adjustments on the pickups, neck, bridge, intonation, etc. on the bass and treating the bass recording way more seriously than I did before. While at it I'm also retracking the guitars too. Didn't gain stage properly for that and it showed with that garbage distortion of mine.

So far my initial tests are appearing far more promising.

I'll also be looking at implementing all of your suggestions xfilth. Just got Fabfilter's Saturn plugin and indeed it is looking promising. Their EQ is making life much easier as well.

I'm feeling more confident now though that the bass will work out. While I'm liking my newer guitar tone, I'll still be anxious until I get everything in the mixing stage again. If the tone doesn't work this time, I'm going all tube on the guitar.
 

Progfather

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Love this type of music! :) The song is great. I'd love to hear some vocals on this.

As far as the mix goes I think you're on to something. The bass tone has potential, but one thing I didn't like about it was "the fret clacking frequencies" (2-4k) need to be notched. Don't get rid of it completely, but there are definitely some harsh things I'd cut out in that range. The bass also needs a little more body. Now I am listening to this on Shure SE215's at the moment so as far as the low end goes I am not going to talk about the lower half of the bass and kick drum, but i just feel like between 100-600hz there's some meat missing from the bass.

I think the clean guitars sound amazing! As far as your rhythm tones go, I wouldn't be afraid to add some body to the source tone. I'm not sure what you are using, but I'd avoid boosting your low end on your track EQ, try boosting the bass on your amp or experiment with different cabs/cab impulses.

Also I would look into using parallel compression on your drums if you aren't already. It'll help get that kick and snare to cut through a bit more on those busier parts. Also I'm being nit-picky here, but in my opinion your room mics on the snare might be a little too hot. It sort of gives the snare this out of the room sound. I do like this sound of course and I think it fits that nu-metal style very well, but I would maybe back off the room mics 1db or so and give it a bit more top or bottom.

Love the song though! Keep it up! :)
 


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