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-   -   The ONLY "Crit My Mix" Thread (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1510295)

axemanchris 01-08-2012 01:01 PM

The ONLY "Crit My Mix" Thread
 
Please post here if you want feedback on your recording techniques, mixing, etc. If you want feedback more on the "content" of the recording, please use the appropriate subforum.

A few hints:

1. If you offer to critique someone else's mix for them (common convention is adding "C4C" to suggest "crit for crit"), you will likely get more responses.

2. Mention the person's name, or the song, or pull a quote from their post or something so we know whose mix you are discussing.

3. Don't post and tell us it is awesome. That is a sure-fire way of either getting it ignored (hey, if it's awesome, then I don't need to critique it, then, do I?), or inviting more harsh criticism than it might deserve for an amateur recording.

4. The more you tell us about your techniques and stuff and what you're working with, the more the rest of us can help you to improve it with what you have. For instance, if you only recorded the drums with four mics (kick, snare, two overheads), then we won't tell you to fix the EQ on the floor tom. If you used an amp sim for the guitars, we won't tell you to try miking the amp a little closer.

Thank you.

CT

Odirunn 01-11-2012 07:26 PM

Just tracked a super heavy local band. Here's a rough mix:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16210823/Pa...Rough%20Mix.mp3

Whatcha think?

ChemicalFire 01-11-2012 08:07 PM

Sounding pretty awesome man. The stereo field is a personal favourite actually. You've somehow made it really heavy but not feel too claustrophobic either. Not sure if that was your aim but it was pretty cool.

My only criticism would be the vocals, they feel a little too far back for me.

Odirunn 01-11-2012 08:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemicalFire
Sounding pretty awesome man. The stereo field is a personal favourite actually. You've somehow made it really heavy but not feel too claustrophobic either. Not sure if that was your aim but it was pretty cool.

My only criticism would be the vocals, they feel a little too far back for me.


Thanks a lot man! And yeah, I like to make sure everything's got its own space but also gels with everything else. For the vocals, too far back depth-wise (too much reverb)? Or just too quiet?

OfCourseNot 01-11-2012 10:08 PM

I don't quite know what ChemicalFire is wanting, but I'm thinking the vocals may to warm for him/need more highs. Just a thought.

But wow. That sounds amazing. The band is good, and you have captured their sound amazingly well.

ChemicalFire 01-11-2012 10:27 PM

I can't really tell what it is tbh. But something about them just sounds a little mushed compared to everything else.

fc89konkari 01-13-2012 08:37 AM

Hey guys! Just finished a raw version of an original song of mine. I thought I'd share it here to get feedback about... everything :p:

I used some random samples gathered from the internet for the drums, the guitar was recorded with a POD HD500. Everything was done in Reaper. I'm pretty novice with recording btw :haha:

http://soundcloud.com/joneh/original-1

It's a little lacking for an instrumental. I'm just wondering, what could I do to make it more interesting (not adding vocals, at least yet)? How would I add synths or something?

All advice is welcome!

EDIT: I just couldn't bother doing any fills really with the drums. Sampling them is just a PITA. My drummer friend might be getting a recording set up some time later so I thought I wouldn't waste time on them. Not saying tips for drums aren't welcome! I just know about the lack of fills. Advice on making the drums sound better would be nice :)

lucidsirens 01-13-2012 11:08 AM

Needing some feedback on our recording quality for the song "Propaganda". Thanks, will critique your band if you critique mine.


www.soundcloud.com/sirens-metal

FireHawk 01-13-2012 01:33 PM

Hey guys I am about to head out so I will come back and take a listen to everyone above me when I get back home in a little bit. I will also make sure to comment on everyone who comments on my mix. The song is about 90% done (I haven't really messed with levels enough for vocals or recorded the guitar solo yet), but will still like a few comments.

1) Drums
-How do they sound. I didn't go into the detail as I have for previous songs such as this song to make it sound real. Should I spend more time on them? Mainly do the toms sound like utter crap? I have heard the song so much I can't tell anymore.
Programmed with Battery 3

2) Palm Mute Guitar tone
-Yay or nay?
Recorded with amp sim: Poulin SoloC

Song: http://soundcloud.com/jstorie/gone-unfinshed

Thanks for comments. Like I said I will hit you all back.

ChemicalFire 01-13-2012 01:42 PM

@fc89konkari
This is a mix thread, we're not here to give you composition advise. Your mix is pretty poor; while everything is clear the guitars lack any low end and are really fizzy and the drums sound terrible. It is very possible to make drum machines sound like real drums. It entirely depends on what you're using to make your drum tracks. I'd recommend getting a copy of addictive drums and a bass guitar. Both of these will instantly help your mix. As a demo it works, but I can't see it being anything more as it is atm.

@lucidesirens
The one thing that springs to mind is eq. It sounds muddy as hell. You need to work on giving each instrument their own space. Listen to Odirunn's mix compared to yours and it should become pretty clear. The mix isn't really that bad tonally it's just too muddy.

@FireHawk
Really enjoyed this, think the vocals need pushing back a little, but like you said you've not done that yet. I'd maybe cut a notch a little at 2k and add a touch of (more) reverb. The distorted guitar doesn't sound bad, but it sounds a little sterile, what amp sims are you using? I think really all you need to work on in perhaps more "movement" in your mix. This is quite a subtle thing and I'm not the best to tell you how to do it, but if I have any criticisms at all it's that it feels a little flat.

@Thread in general. We need more people to actually comment guys. This wont work if we just have people posting their mixes all day xD

fc89konkari 01-13-2012 02:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by FireHawk
Hey guys I am about to head out so I will come back and take a listen to everyone above me when I get back home in a little bit. I will also make sure to comment on everyone who comments on my mix. The song is about 90% done (I haven't really messed with levels enough for vocals or recorded the guitar solo yet), but will still like a few comments.

1) Drums
-How do they sound. I didn't go into the detail as I have for previous songs such as this song to make it sound real. Should I spend more time on them? Mainly do the toms sound like utter crap? I have heard the song so much I can't tell anymore.
Programmed with Battery 3

2) Palm Mute Guitar tone
-Yay or nay?
Recorded with amp sim: Poulin SoloC

Song: http://soundcloud.com/jstorie/gone-unfinshed

Thanks for comments. Like I said I will hit you all back.

At some parts the guitars sounded a little fizzy. Can't tell that much as I'm not listening through good speakers atm. I didn't really like the toms. Not like they bothered me, but (as you mentioned them) I listened to them more closely and they lacked that something. Sounded a bit loose... However, I don't know much about drums, like you can probably tell from my mix :haha:

Cheers
-Jonathan

MatrixClaw 01-13-2012 02:40 PM

@xFilth: For me, I think it has too much lowend.

The mix is fairly cohesive, but it's on the verge of sounding "too big," which makes the guitars seem a bit muddy to me. Needs more emphasis on high mids than low mids for that kinda tone IMO. Are you high passing your instruments? It sounds like a lot of sub-100hz tone is building up to me.

Other than that, a good start. Maybe a bit grainy in the high end of the guitars for me, but that should be a simple fix.

@fc89konkari: I think the main thing lacking here for me is bass. I can see where ChemicalFire is saying that the tone is poor, but that's not really the guitar's fault. I think that tone will work well if you add in some bass, because the mix IS missing a ton of lowend - Which is not what the guitar is there to do. A lot of guitar tone in a mix is actually the bass, and your mix definitely needs it.

The drums actually aren't too bad. They do sound fake, but that's just because I'm assuming you haven't adjusted velocities, the kick and snare I think work very well with the style. What I'm assuming is a China is just horrible though, get rid of that, replace it with a trashy sounding crash if you can't find a better china cymbal :p:

Overall, I like where you're going with this one. It definitely has potential.

@lucidsirens: I know this is a mix thread, but I really dig that intro, gives it a really cool spacey sound. The only issue I have with it, is once the rest of the song kicks in, the quality degrades. The samples you're using on the intro sound very clean and high quality, but your mix that kicks in after has too much lowend and loses the precise and clean sound, that the intro gave to the sound. Your vocals also seem a bit distant and not in your face enough for the music for me. The clean vocals need to be a tad louder as well.

Cymbals could probably come down a bit in volume. I usually like my cymbals to be a bit louder in the mix than most people, but I think your drums are a bit too upfront for the mix. Your kick has too much lowend and doesn't really cut through the rest of your mix, because it's mushing too much with everything. Try EQing everything a bit more so that they all lie in their own space in the EQ spectrum. Use High Pass Filters on everything, if you haven't already, to get rid of the lowend build up. Guitars really don't need anything sub-100hz, sometimes I'll even go up to 150hz if it's still a bit much.

@FireHawk: Really liking this, man. I think if anything, the vocals are a tad loud, but that's kind of personal taste, they're definitely more upfront than I'd probably have them, but it works with the mix.

Overall, I like where you're going with the mix on this. The only thing I'd say is the hi-hat on your drums sounds too fake for my liking (it also seems like it's dead center, which it shouldn't be?). How are your individual parts of the set spaced? The whole kit sounds too centered on parts, and not like you'd hear it in real life. The parts that are spaced that I can hear, sound like they're spaced oppositely of how I'd do it (I space from the drummer's perspective, unless you've got a left handed drummer, your snare is panned right, which is opposite of how most people seem to do it - Not a big deal I suppose, just not used to hearing it like that :p: ). Try panning your toms a bit wider, they mesh together a bit too much for my liking.

ethan_hanus 01-13-2012 03:16 PM

Alright guys, try this one, destroy the mix as much as possible, cause I'll be finishing this up today..hopefully. :haha:

This is what I did, I pushed my Valvekings volume to 10, and recorded line out of my DAG-150 attenuator into the line in on my soundcard, and mixed it in Reaper like I normally do. No OD on the guitars, just straight up amp distortion... I added some slight compression on the guitars only, just a quick attack with a medium release of 182 ms. High pass at 150 hz and low pass at 10,000hz.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8920099/Pushed%28demo%29.mp3

surjer 01-13-2012 03:54 PM

@ethan - This kicks ass man, im really digging the drum sound. Doesnt sound fake in the least like alot of recording ive heard lately. The guitars sound great but may be a bit loud leaving no room for vocals. As for the lead it sounds like their may have been a few bad notes in their. Also - just my personal opinion but i think it would sound great with some delay added and little more high end to it. Its pretty dark right now but that may be due to the LPF (wouldnt think so at 10k but im no pro. .

MatrixClaw 01-13-2012 03:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan_hanus
Alright guys, try this one, destroy the mix as much as possible, cause I'll be finishing this up today..hopefully. :haha:

This is what I did, I pushed my Valvekings volume to 10, and recorded line out of my DAG-150 attenuator into the line in on my soundcard, and mixed it in Reaper like I normally do. No OD on the guitars, just straight up amp distortion... I added some slight compression on the guitars only, just a quick attack with a medium release of 182 ms. High pass at 150 hz and low pass at 10,000hz.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8920099/Pushed%28demo%29.mp3

The rhythm guitar tone is much too grainy for my tastes. The tone is too loose from the power tube saturation and grainy from the breakup for me. You could try taming it with some EQ, but it might kill how the tone cuts in the mix. I think the tone could've benefited from an OD to smooth out the gaininess, but it's too late now. The graininess might not even be caused by the amp, though, but from plugging directly into your soundcard. I've heard your clips before, and your distorted tones all seem to have a similar grit to them that sounds too harsh for my liking, which could be caused by the poor AD/DA conversion of your card :shrug:

The lead tone sounds good, though. It's much more smooth and natural sounding, as I'd expect to hear from a neck pickup in the room. Don't really have much to say about that.

The kick doesn't cut through very well, try carving out some parts in the other instruments the let it come through more, it's getting jumbled up too much with the lowend of the rest of the instruments and doesn't have enough presence in the top end to cut through the top end of your guitars. Try adjusting the velocity a bit on the snare as well, it sounds a bit too one-dimensional, especially at the beginning when there's nothing else playing. I do like the general tone of it, though, nice and fat. The hi-hat is too centered for my tastes (or perhaps, it's just too loud), try pulling it a bit more to the side, because it's too focused in the center right now, that it kind of distracts from the rest of the song. Your toms could use a tad more presence, either in the actual EQ, or maybe just in volume; I like the general sound of them, but they get a tad lost in the rest of the mix when they come in. The drums sound nice though, aside from the snare, I probably wouldn't have thought they're programmed/replaced.

The bass meshes well with the rest of the song, aside from the kick, which I discussed earlier. Make sure you're not building up too much sub-frequencies by high passing your instruments. I can't tell if that's the problem here, but I suspect it might be, since the kick gets lost a lot in the mix.

Overall, though, a great starting point ;)

ethan_hanus 01-13-2012 04:59 PM

The drums are a premade track by a professional drummer from drumsforyou.com...I like to keep reusing the same old tracks over and over again. I may have to use a OD pedal to tighten it up, but I'm going for that heavy rock sound. I might track it again using an OD, but I just finished recording the entire thing without it, and it's sounding ok, I high passed the guitars at 200hz this time and it's cleaning the mix up a bit.

My Valveking is naturally grainy sounding, and I record everything pretty much the same way cause I'm too poor to get an actual interface. It sounds really nice in person out of the speaker, but the attenuator picks up the power amp too...so maybe I should lower the volume some..humms...so many things to try, so little time.

fc89konkari 01-13-2012 05:07 PM

Ahhh, I see. #1. I need bass. 2#. Get rid of that cat-slaughter china and adjust the velocities. Although I have adjusted the velocities already. Quite minorly though...

About the bass. I remember reading killrbuckeye telling that you can record bass with a guitar, just shift the pitch down an octave or 2. Could this work? Asking cause I don't own a bass, nor am I planning to get one.

Thanks!
-Jonathan

EDIT: I also have no idea what kind of a china/trashy crash should I be looking for. If anyone could bother giving a little example? Thanks! :)

ChemicalFire 01-13-2012 05:23 PM

I think another issue with the drums is that the sample is the same every time and it becomes quite obvious. I'm sure enough playing with velocities will help with that some what. There is also a humanize option in reapers Midi editor which is nice for giving it a bit of a timing bias. Sounds more natural that way.

You can do it that way, you don't end up with the rich harmonics that a normal bass has in it's normal tone. But I'm pretty sure the first AAL album had it's bass done that way. This video does a pretty good job with it:



Edit:

Just done a recording test with my new bass. Sadly my line6 UX1 can NOT deal with the active pick ups and the bass clips in a few places (most noticeably at the start) and I just can't cover it up D= So apart from that, how's this mix? Not too happy with the snare tbh.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/19504966/basstest.mp3

FireHawk 01-14-2012 05:36 PM

First off thanks everyone for the comments. I am reworking the drums this weekend from scratch. Here are my comments on everyone stuff, I kept it short on the early as about all that needed to be said has been said. I plan to try to listen to know mixes as they come through and give comments.

@Odirunn: Good mix cymbals are a bit dominate as said. I also fill there is usually more going on in the right than the left. I don't know much about this kind of music though lol.

@xFilth: I believe there is quite a bit to much low mids coming mostly from the guitar. Also put a high pass that will get rid of everything below 30Hz as well. Around 3:00 I am filling the guitars to have a bit to much of a combination of gain and low end. I think dropping your lows on guitars will fix the main problem in the mix.


@fc89konkari: As mentioned by everyone the mix has now lows. Of course that is a problem :P I do like the synth drum hit though that is cool. The drums synth and "acoustic" aren't going to sound well if you don't do velocities. I think bass will help your guitar tone a bunch, but right now there is just a huge hole in your mix without the bass.

@lucidsirens: Your problem here is clipping and frequencies invading themselves badly. The ideas and sounds are there, they just aren't audible. Might I suggest taking a look at http://www.audio-production-tips.com/music-mixing.html# also check out the articles on equalization and compression. They have helped me a lot.

@ethan_hanus: I am not a fan at all of the snare. Just not my taste. I also do not feel the kick comes through the mix well enough for my taste once the track really gets going (maybe just a tiny boost in volume +2-3 db?). At 0:55 there is some guitar feedback that you should try to automate out with an EQ, at least so it fades out instead of just stops. I feel the lead guitar almost sticks out to much in the solo, like someone just playing over a backing track (maybe don't take this to heart to much as I am not a fan of guitar centric music).

@chemicalfire: Does the UX1 have a "PAD" Instrument input? I know the UX2 does and it is for active pickups. It works very well for me. At first I don't like the snare in the early part (at least for this type of music I could see use for it though in other situation). Try cutting some of the reverb, as the snare reverb doesn't match the rest of "the room" the rest of song was recorded in if you know what I mean. Once everything comes in you suffer from the to heavy low end that it seems most people struggle with, of course your bass is clipping like a mofo. I also feel your guitars maybe a bit loud compared to everything else.

surjer 01-14-2012 05:55 PM

@chemicalfire - Agree with all Firehawk mentioned. As for the bass goes are you using that BOD plugin from TSE? If not check it out y0. As for the clipping its overwhelming!! Guess you'll have to turn the guitar volume down untill you can get the padding figured out. Those guitars are just a shreiking noise in my opinion. Sounds wayyyyyy to digital. You should check out that X50 plugin from TSE as well, pretty sweet sounding. I can tell thats a really nice bass tho and i look forward to hearing more of it soon (leveled properly) =)


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