Need your opinion/suggestion/criticism of this song i made.

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by vejichan, Dec 10, 2019.

  1. vejichan

    vejichan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    118
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Location:
    New york
  2. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    29,691
    Likes Received:
    5,457
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    What, to YOUR ears, is currently wrong with it? What are you unhappy with? And, while you're at it, what do you think is working?
     
  3. vejichan

    vejichan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    118
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Location:
    New york
    I want to improve the sound and mix Drew. Any suggestions? Thanks for your help.
     
  4. kylendm

    kylendm Electrical Mercenary

    Messages:
    2,183
    Likes Received:
    395
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Absecon, NJ
    I'm with Drew. Elaborate a bit. Instead of saying you need help with the drums. What about the drums or guitars is bothering you? For example with the drums, do you feel the kick is weak or buried or maybe you can't get the cymbals to sound right? My main criticism is the playing could be tighter.
     
  5. vejichan

    vejichan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    118
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Location:
    New york
    Is the timing way off...If it is i will have to re record but it's been awhile and I dont remember what I played
     
  6. vejichan

    vejichan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    118
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Location:
    New york
  7. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    29,691
    Likes Received:
    5,457
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    That's just rephrasing your first question, though. We ALL want our mixes to sound better. To make them sound better, you have to figure out why they sound bad to you in the first place (and if they don't sound bad to you, congrats, you have a good sounding mix!)

    Do you think this is a great sounding mix? If so, awesome! Celebrate that!

    If not, what specifically is the problem? Is there something wrong with the sound of the bass guitar? Do you like or dislike the sound of the snare? Is there something that you're having a hard time "hearing" in the mix because it's being masked by something else? Say, the bass and the kick? The rhythm and the lead? The bass and the rhythm guitar? Do you like the sound of the rhythm guitar? If not, WHY don't you like the sound of the rhythm guitar? Too dark? Too edgy? Too muffled sounding? To thin sounding? Do you like the sound of your lead? If not, what do you hear in your lead that sounds "wrong"? Was there a reference mix you were comparing this to while you were working on it? If so, what, and what to your ears are the biggest differences between your mix and the reference?

    I'm going to assume you're not happy with this mix, if you're sharing it and asking for feedback. Why are you not happy with it? There's no one single "right" mix, so a huge part of mixing is simply learning to identify the things you don't like in a mix that you want to change, so you can address those things and gradually bring the mix closer to the way YOU want it to sound.

    You post a ton of threads here asking about mix advice, but the point I'm trying to help you understand that you don't seem to be getting is you can't rely on other people to tell you what to do to get a good mix, that it's not just some magic combination of presets that you need to figure out or be given. Being able to create a good mix involves two things - having some idea of what you WANT the mix to sound, and having an ability to listen critically and hear what in the mix is standing between you and the sound you're after.

    So, when you come back to this thread, try to give us as detailed as possible notes about what you see the major challenges in this mix are. Saying "I want to improve the mix" is meaningless, and frankly at this point is a little insulting, in response to a question asking for some specific challenges you're looking to solve.

    Saying (and I know there's no acoustic guitar in this song, this is an example that I'm making as unapplicable as possible just so you don't think this is a suggestion I'm making on this particular mix) "the acoustic guitar sounds a little brittle to me, but is fighting for space with the rhythm guitar and is getting masked, and I can't find a way to make it less brittle without having it get buried in the mix" is the sort of goal that we can give you some detailed, actionable, and concrete suggestions to achieve.
     
  8. vejichan

    vejichan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    118
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Location:
    New york
    Thanks for your insight Drew

    I want to create more separation in the low end between the kick drum, bass...how can get the bass and kick drum to have their own space in the low end without them fighting each other. Same with guitars and bass.

    Also how do I get the bass to stand out more in the mix and not get covered by guitars and drums. Lastly there are 2 tracks of guitars hard panned left and right and 2 tracks for guitars panned left and right at 80%...how doni get them to sound more distinct. So you can actually hear 4 guitars in this song. Any help and tips are appreciated. Thanks
     
  9. duffbeer33

    duffbeer33 metal finance guy Contributor

    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    151
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2016
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Hi vejichan, maybe post this in the Mix Critique Relay Thread that someone started yesterday. Offer some advice to someone else who posted a mix, then post yours. A little give and take could help you get more feedback...my 2 cents. -Duff
     
  10. NoodleFace

    NoodleFace Delicious Noodles

    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    355
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Location:
    Somerset, MA
    That solo sounded way out of place. Like it was being played in another room
     
  11. Adieu

    Adieu SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,142
    Likes Received:
    837
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Location:
    Moscow
    Criticism: soundcloud doesn't embed properly, and doesn't work reliably on old-azz android devices
     
  12. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    29,691
    Likes Received:
    5,457
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    So, this is something that's a bit more helpful, to tackle. :yesway: I'll go through in reverse order.

    Generally, when you're quad tracking, the idea is NOT to have it obvious that there's a ton of guitar tracks, so that (assuming all four guitars are playing the same thing) it just sdounds like one big guitar sound rather than four distinct ones. So, maybe start by rethinking what your objectives here are. Are you trying to make it sound like there's four distinct performances going on? Or do you just want stereo rhythm guitars, but bigger? In the first case, either trying radically different tones (honestly, taking a big thick high-gain rhythm part and layering a bright, only lightly distorted performance sounds awfully big if they're in sync) or, better yet, playing different parts, in different registers or with different inversions or something, to make it clearer that there aren't four tracks of guitars all riffing along together, there are two different guitars recorded L and R playing complimentary things. Barring that, if you just want "bigger" guitars, then maybe you'd be better off shifting your focus here and not wanting to hear distinct parts, but wanting them to all blend together and NOT sound distinct. I'll say specific to your mix, the most obvious poing where I could tell it was quad tracked was the beginning, where you had one L/R pair playing throughout, but periodically a second pair would join in for a bit before dropping back out. I found this kinda jarring, and would have rather heard this either quad-tracked throughout, or double-tracked throughout.

    So, think about why you want four tracks of guitars, and then re-think your arrangement acordingly. FWIW, I write insturmental rock, and I almost never use more than two tracks of rhythm guitar - saving space in the mix for a big-sounding lead is pretty important when that's the focus of the song, so perversely I don't always want a huge, epic rhythm sound.

    For the interplay between the bass and drums... I was listening on shitty earbuds so it's tough to say for sure, but the bass did sound a little buried here. Part of it is probably levels, I suspect your guitars are up louder, relative to the bass, than would be the case for a pro mix. A lot of it is EQ, though - for one, you have a fair amount of low end going on in your second set of rhythm tracks, probably more than you need, and that's going to cause some issues with the bass. I'm not sure if you're low passing them any, but being a little more aggressive there would probably help. Getting rid of them all together would probably help clarity here, too - I think your first guitar tone sounds better on its own than when the second set of tracks come in. After that, it's really the "clank" of the bass that helps it poke through heavily distorted guitars. There's some of that in your (synth) bass, but it sounds a little more muted than I'd expect. If you're rolling off the high end, maybe make that less aggressive. Some gain and grit can help here too, particularly in the form of a parallel track (copy your bass, high-pass it to get rid of all the low end below, say, 6-800hz, maybe higher, and lightly distort just that "treble" track).

    Kick sounds ok to me, as it should if it's a processed drum kit, and more to the point it sounds like one that SHOULD work well with a deep, rumbly rock bass. It has a good amount of "click" to the attack, though not so much as to sound harsh. I think the bass is your issue here. Bass is a pain in the neck to get right - what are you doing to the bass track at present? It probably helps if you're using MIDI bass because you have to worry less about dynamic control, but knowing what you're running the bass through and how you're EQing it would probably be a good place to start.

    Like anything in a mix, fitting the kick and snare together in a way where both sound articulate, but aren't fighting with each other, is usually a matter of finding complimentary tones and complimentary EQ tweaks. You've got two "high end" parts of the pair, the clank of the bass and the click of the kick, and both have a strong "low end" fundamental. Very likely both the high end and low end parts are falling at slightly different frequencies, which is a good thing - you should be able to fit the click under the clank or vice versa, and the low fundamental of the kick below the bass or vice versa. Use your ears, figure out where the energy is, and cut one and boost the other and see what happens. Kick drums in metal have very little midrange so a pretty big scoop there is common (and if you're not doing it here, the sample is likely already heavily EQd to do this) so that leaves a lot of room for the bass in the low mids - you'll often see a lot of 300-600hz scooping in metal bass these days, but for a rock sound it's not necessarily a bad thing to try to get away with a bit more of the bass energy in that range. Again, trial and error - I've boosted in there and cut in there, depending on the vibe I'm after and what else is going on in the mix. But, as a starting point, spend some time sweeping an EQ around on both the bass and kick, and try to get a sense where exactly the imporant things in each are happening, and then when it comes time to actually mix, you can choose exactly where you want to emphasise and where you think you may need to cut to leave space for the other.

    Think of it like a game of tetris, or a jigsaw puzzle - you need to create space for the two pieces to interlock. There are "fancier" solutions out there like using a sidechain compressor triggered by the kick to clamp down on the bass whenever the kick fires... But, IMO of course, that kind of stuff is a waste of time unless you've already created tones that fit together pretty well so I wouldn't bother with anything like that until you've already got mixes that, to you, sound 95% there.

    So, summary takeaways - I'd rethink the arrangement and if you even need four tracks of rhythm guitar, and if you do, then think about WHY you need them. Bass sounds like its a little muffled and that's why it's struggling to cut through, so I'd focus mostly there, though even muting the second set of rhythm tracks might make it sound more defined in the mix a little more.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
  13. vejichan

    vejichan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    118
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Location:
    New york
    Thanks for the detailed helpful response
    ..you gave me alot to think and work on. Also in regards to playing and my music writing what are 3 things you feel I should work on? I know I suck and have 0 talent and skill but boy do I love and enjoy mixing and playing guitar. Again sorry to torture you with my music.
     
  14. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    29,691
    Likes Received:
    5,457
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    #1) Stop telling yourself you suck and have no talent and skill.
    #2) Stop telling yourself you suck and have no talent and skill.
    #3) Stop telling yourself you suck and have no talent and skill.

    If you have no talent and skill, you wouldn't be able to play and record anything in the first place, and you certainly wouldn't share it with anyone if you did. You can't simultaneously believe you "suck and have no talent and skill," while recording music and sharing it with people.
     
    GunpointMetal and kylendm like this.
  15. vejichan

    vejichan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    118
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Location:
    New york
  16. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    29,691
    Likes Received:
    5,457
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    I mean, that's kinda what you're supposed to be asking here. Do you think the changes you made made it better? What's working in the new mix? What isn't?
     
  17. vejichan

    vejichan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    118
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Location:
    New york
    I think the drums are punchier and hit harder and bass is alittle more audible. Still needs work.
     
  18. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    29,691
    Likes Received:
    5,457
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Then, first off, pause and recognize that your mix sounds better than it did before you did some more work on it. That's awesome, and don't let the fact that you still think it could be better than it is detract from the fact that, to your ears, you did some stuff and you made it better. That's progress. \m/

    What, to your ears, still needs work? And why do you think it needs work?

    Sorry if I'm a broken record here, but mixing is one of those things that requires a tremendous amount of 1) listening carefully to the audio you have, and 2) thinking about what you're hearing, in probably pretty close to equal measure. Slapping a couple band-aid fixes other people suggest, in the long run, won't get you as far as doing #1 and #2 over and over and over again.
     
  19. vejichan

    vejichan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    118
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Location:
    New york
    It's all thanks to you and your words of wisdom. But i would like your personal opinion on the song and what you liked or don't like. That would mean a great deal to me.
     
  20. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    29,691
    Likes Received:
    5,457
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    I mean, that's very kind of you to say, but I don't know if it's exactly wisdom. Honestly, the best thing you can do for your mixing is to put what YOU think of your mix front and center, and not worry so much about what anyone, least of all a guy who does this as a hobby like myself, thinks about it. Listen on a few different systems, compare it to a few mixes you like, and if you think it holds up compared to them, then you're in good shape. Mixing is at least in large part a matter of figuring out what YOUR sound, style, and approach is, and owning that.

    Besides, I'm at work with a set of $20 earbuds at my disposal, and god only knows when I'll next be in front of my proper monitors. :lol:
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.