#1
Not sure if this goes here or elsewhere. Seemed like the best place...

My band finally got into a studio (bassist is friends/neighbours with professional studio guy) and we got 3 of our songs down that we’re calling our first EP for now. We have a few other songs that were written to go with these, but that’s beside the point. We have the original unmastered tracks, as well as our finished 3 song CD, but we were wondering about touching up the mastering a bit ourselves/letting my dad have a hand at it as he also does this stuff semi-professionally (couldn’t record with him as he’s too far away for us to lug our gear/just moved so doesn’t have his setup down). We did 3 songs in 6 hours for $200 (CAD), so I’m pretty satisfied with the result regardless.

Anyway, I know some of you regulars have some production experience (and some of you have a lot), so I wanted to get some pointers on what you might change.

Here’s what we were thinking:
- Increase guitar volume in places
- More mids in the bass so it cuts through better
- Slightly less reverb on the vocals (maybe)

Also, this is more my personal question as I’m singer/rhythm guitarist (I’m the guitar mixed more to the left). I know autotune was used, but I don’t know how much, as I never heard the ‘dry’ vocal tracks (probably intentionally left out of that loop to keep my confidence up while recording). For those of you who can pick autotune out of a symphony: is it pretty heavily used, or seem sparse? I’m a decent singer, and I can hit the notes the way they are recorded, but I just want to keep myself honest. I can hear bum notes here and there, so I know it wasn’t just a generic blanket at least.

Although it isn’t really the point of this thread, if you like the songs, feel free to say so, and if not, I’d love to hear your critique.

The songs are my profile and on the myspace page link in my sig. My fav is Take Me Down.

TL;DR : Band recorded 3 songs in my profile. Hoping a critique from a production point of view in case we do some remastering.
#2
If you want to keep yourself honest, you shouldn't have used autotune in the first place.


edit:
The gain is too high, I hear "shhsshh" at high moments. Too much reverb on vocals I think. Guitar tone isn't exactly "killer". I'd really suggest you spend your money on setting up your own studio, you don't really need much.
Last edited by Zeletros at Sep 14, 2011,
#3
I really liked the songs man, good job!

I'm not an expert, and I know you are going for a certain type of sound, but the thing that got to me was the guitars. I feel like they're extra dirty. I like dirty, but it was a but incomprehensible at times. It seems like it was all layered, but not so organized with the mixing. It may just be that you didn't have long enough to work it out in the mix. I think bass would cut through nicely if the guitars were a little more honed, and I don't think vocal reverb would sound so intrusive. Not too sure about the autotune, but it never poked out in the few listens I gave each song.

Just my opinion, there's a bit of extra dirt in there, and it seems a little clashy, if that makes any sense. Overall really cool stuff man, good job and good luck.
#4
I personally think that distorted guitar tone, it sounds horrible. A combination of fuzzy, tinny and empty. However this could easily because you have a solid state amp with the gain all the way up.

As for the vocals, I think auto tune has been used prominently in parts where you're shouting more, just because it would be very hard to maintain that melody with that tone of voice. Add in heaps of reverb and it's actually pretty hard to tell where it has been used. Is it noticeable? Nah not really. If it's been used, it's been tastefully used. You will find very little professional albums where auto tune has not been used now. I personally would expect a difference in sound when you play live though, more mono tone shouting than a melody.

But the only person who can tell us the difference is you. I don't know what you guys are really like, and you've scored some pretty good demos at a cheaper price.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#5
Zeletros : The fact that autotune was used doesn't really bother me. It's either spend twice as much time than we did to get the same result for one song and a smug "I didn't use autotune" rather then doing what we did and getting a pretty good result with 3 songs. To me, it sounds exactly the way I wanted. I was just hoping for something like what AlanHB said : "Tastefully used, not drenched."

Guitar tone : I totally agree, it recorded a lot harsher than I thought it sounded when I set it up, and I wish it was fuller. I was recording on a VT20+, and the gain was only at like... half lol. I'll have to play with recording it and fiddling with the settings to get a recorded tone I like.

Cheers guys!
#6
Quote by Trisonic77

Guitar tone : I totally agree, it recorded a lot harsher than I thought it sounded when I set it up, and I wish it was fuller. I was recording on a VT20+, and the gain was only at like... half lol. I'll have to play with recording it and fiddling with the settings to get a recorded tone I like.


Generally speaking with gain, less is more. However I absolutely detest solid state distortion anyway.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#7
So apparently my band mates are all evil, and decided not to tell me that the producer didn't actually use auto-tune on the first two songs and only used it in a few places in the last one (Let It Go). Something about all singers being divas and not wanting it to get to my head .
#8
Maybe it's just myspace but all I could hear in my left ear at the start of Take Me Down was that horrible cymbal crashing away. It was so harsh it just felt wrong.

Also yes, the guitar tone. If I'm honest it sounds like a Virtual Amp with a speaker EQ on it.


In other words, crap.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



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#9
I thought the cymbals actually fit nicely in take me down, but that's not to say that there isn't something that could have been done better with the drums. I really like the first verse lyrivs and the way it's sung. The intro guitar, while having a kind of offputting tone, is actually a nice riff that fits nicely and kinda brings up the energy. Then it cuts out and has mellow singing. I like it.
#10
The songs are well recorded, but the mixing sounds very amateur, especially the drum sound. That's understandable, when you three songs in one session you're only gonna expect rough mixes.

If you can get the master tapes from the studio, I'd be happy to do a quick remix for you (I've just switched to a new DAW so I need to get some practice in with it before I start using it for serious projects!).