My deathmetal mix sounds too "polite"

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Gmork, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    Working on my bands first ep.
    Just sounds... polite.... tame....weak, What gives? Mostly the guitars/bass (which are DI btw)
    All have distortion, and i tried to go light on it but i feel like there might be too much and theyre losing definition and punch. At the same time they sound too soft and not distorted enough. Uuugghgh. Also i think the volume of guitars could come up a tad and the bass vol down a smidge lol

    Please check it out and give me some pointers to make the guitars huge and ferocious! (But clear and tight of course)

    I suppose im not done yet since i plan to record with mic'd cabs as well. One DI track, one real micd cab for both guitarist.

    Listen to portal april14-8b.mp3 by Steven Winger #np on #SoundCloud
    https://soundcloud.com/steven-winger-221857034/portal-april14-8b-mp3
     
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  2. Cynicanal

    Cynicanal SS.org Regular

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    I'm at work and can't listen (post here some time later tonight to remind me to come back when I'm at home), but some general tips on this from my own experience:

    1. Ampsims still don't get transients right. Their attack is always neutered compared to the real thing; the Nameless is better about this than most, but it's still a thing.

    2. Try only double-tracking the guitars, and hard-pan them. Quad-tracking makes them sound "bigger", but also makes them lose attack. Slayer only double tracks. Harris Johns only double tracks the bands he works with (and when a band that I'm friends with went to him with completed tracks for mixing and mastering, the first thing he did was threw out two of the four rhythm guitar tracks they recorded). Don't fall for the cult of "quad tracking is the only way to sound big!"; double tracking tends to sound better. If you really need to fatten two tracks, experiment with panning their delays to the opposite channel.

    3. Play around with a large-bandwidth boost between 3k and 4.5k, and then surgically cut out the irritating frequency in that range (typically around 3.9k to 4k) with a narrow notch. 3 to 4.5k is where the really "mean" sounding harmonic content of a distorted guitar lives, you want lots of this.

    4. Distort the bass, low-pass it, and put it fairly high in the mix. Your guitar tone below 800 Hz should mostly be your bass tone.
     
  3. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    we have 2 guitarist, my plan was we each do a DI track hard panned L and R which is what u will hear, then i still plan on recording us with real mic'd cabs/amps and 95% panned L& R.
    So maybe that will fix it.
     
  4. MerlinTKD

    MerlinTKD EIght.Fold.Path / Hinge Theory Contributor

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    When you say DI, do you mean you're using an amp sim, or do you mean the actual dry signal? If the latter, I'm not sure just that with distortion is going to do much for you. The recorded amps will sound much better. Or you can pick a decent sounding sim like BiasAmp/FX or the NeuralDSP stuff for not too much $$; the NeuralDSP sims have a 14-day trial (IIRC), plenty of time to tweak it how you like and render it.
     
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  5. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    Oh, the DI is with amp/cab sims. Well technically one of them is all amp/cab sims and the other is the tightmetalpro into interface and then poweramp/cab sims
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
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  6. Cynicanal

    Cynicanal SS.org Regular

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    OK, had a chance to listen to it. Guitars are too low in the mix compared to the snare and cymbals, and like I suspected, need more frequencies in the 3-4k region. Consider running the treble knob higher on your amp(sims) to shift the midrange emphasis up. Also, I don't know what guitars you're using or what pickups they have, but consider using something less tight and with more hair; it may sound a bit harsh in the room, but it'll have more life in recording.
     
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  7. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    I've heard worse.

    I mean, I've heard worse on albums that are considered all time genre classics.
     
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  8. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    Haha, sure. Thanks. .... But please say something bad about it so i can focus on making it better !
     
  9. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    I agree with everyone who says double rather than quad tracking - quad tends more towards synth like wall of muscular sound than crispy, punchy attack.

    Try running one side less gainy to keep more of the attack. In general I would say experiment with what's the absolute minimum gain you can run and still get the character you want. Let the bass provide the majority of the body/girth.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  10. Mwoit

    Mwoit SS.org Regular

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    Sounds pretty good. The guitars could be louder for sure. I quite like a big and loud sounding bass, but most metal have bass pretty low or indistinct. Is there much panning going on with the drums? It sounds all very in the centre.
     
  11. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    I feel that too but ive literally hard panned the overhead mics, room mics, ride mic and hihat mic trying to widen it but there was quite a bit of bleed into the snare mic. Done my best to notch out those cymbal frequencies and LP filter without damaging the snare sound. Not sure what else to do
     
  12. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    I agree with several posts above that recommend raising the volume of the guitars and/or lowering the kick and snare a bit. But before you do that, play around with bumping the upper mids of the guitars up a bit, starting at around 2k and going up as high as 4k. These are the raspy, grindy frequencies that guitar tones need to sound aggressive. There's just not enough "gnarl" in your guitar tone. If you can dial-in a little more of that, then I'd be surprised if you needed very much more volume.
     
  13. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    What I hear in the guitars is not that they "aren't distorted enough" but rather than they have too much low end content. The whole mix has a whole ton of build up from about 200hz down, and it kind of sounds to me like a lot of the lower middle stuff is scooped out. It doesn't sound bad to me overall - I'd be focused on reigning in the low end and maybe playing with whatever dynamics processing you're using on the drums. Not bad at all though.
     
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  14. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    If the bleed is forcing you to make decisions with the rest of the drum mix that you're not happy with, replace the snare. I had to do this with toms on an upcoming release for one of my bands. They sounded great on their own and when we were getting everything dialed in for recording. Came time to mix and the mid and floor tom mics were basically cymbal vacuums.
     
  15. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Listneing on shitty earbuds, I'm not getting much info on the low end, but the high end sounds kind of attenuated... The whole thing seems kinda middy and boxy to me.

    Also, I'm not sure how actionable this is... But, the drums sound very "disconnected" from the guitars, like they're their own seperate part of the mix and somehow distant from and apart from the guitars. I'm not sure what I'm hearing that's doing this, maybe some sort of saturtation onm the drum bus...? But, the overall effect is that the parts of the mix are very "distinct" and aren't really gelling together.

    Can't tell you much about the low end on these earbuds, but I'm not really hearing much of the bass...
     
  16. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I was judging mostly on the basis of the vague shape I saw in an analyzer - There's a pretty big jump from 200 down. Keeping in mind that EQ is sort of relative - the high end being attenuated and the low end being boosted sort of mean the same thing in the end. If you listen right next to something else, I imagine the experience is "less high end than what was there previously" but it would be equally valid to say "there's not enough high end to match the low" as it would be to say "the relatively high amount of low end has eaten all the headroom".
     
  17. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Oh, I'm sure you're right about the low end; I just mean that I'm literally not getting much info on what's going on in the low end, since the low end reproduction on these earbuds is abysmal. :lol:
     
  18. isotropy

    isotropy SS.org Regular

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    idk man i like it. Got a cannibal corpse sound going especially love the bass tone. And the snare.
     
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  19. Seybsnilksz

    Seybsnilksz SS.org Regular

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    Guitars sound dull, as in missing high end and having too much low mids.
    Kick sounds very clicky and tiny. The click is important in this genre but it's very over-emphasized in this mix.
    Snare sounds like a lot of bottom mic and not hit very hard. Also lacks high end.
    Are the cymbals in mono?

    The tone on the solo is pretty good, but also lacks high end.
     
  20. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    Really really appreciate you all taking a gander at this and leaving feedback. Will read through this all again when i get back to it. Maybe tonight. Will post an update asap.
     

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