#1
Hi all;

I'm new to all this recording malarkey and have just recorded my first full track in Logic X and it sounds rather rough around the edges. It would be fantastic if all you veterans would be able to give me some tips on how to polish this mix and make it sound a bit more presentable.

https://soundcloud.com/harrisonatsix/you-belong-with-me-rough-mix

Cheers;

Harrison
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#2
Your guitar misses a lot of body.
Does this even have a bass?
I'm missing bass and sub-bass, find them somewhere and raise them.
The bass drum sounds a bit thump-y to me, like a felt beater on a coated heat, so try making it punchier.
Ow yeah I hear the bass now, though it's not really that low in frequency.

Bottom line, this thing needs more bass.
Find it where you prefer - your bass drum, your bass, your guitars, wherever it sounds better to you, and then make it heardable.

Plus it's a bit empty.
It may be what you're after, just 3 instruments and no frills, though mind that you should be adding some kind of bigger guitar and bass sound to make it fuller if you still wanna keep it low-frills, and some other guitar tracks plus maybe keyboards and maybe a pad and similar stuff.

Try taking your R U Mine cover, that sounds a bit fuller.
Your guitar sounds fuller, and the rest sound fuller.
It has vocals, the cymbals' sound last longer and the bass there is a lot bigger.

What speakers are you mixing the thing with?
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
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#3
Well i've now doubled the kick, re eqed added an extra guitar to each side of the mix with a very bass focused eq lower in the mix and added a suboctave to the bass, it's still not perfect though, what else could you recommend.

The R U Mine cover was done over the top of the original track, I'm currently using the drummer built into logic so can't do huge amounts about the cymbal sound.

How exactly should I go about adding a pad and where should I make it sit in the mix.

Here's the updated mix; https://soundcloud.com/harrisonatsix/you-belong-with-me-rough-mix-2

I'm mixing through Scarlett studio HP60 headphones as I don't own any monitors as of yet
AC30 C2 with greenbacks

Fender JA-90 Telecaster
Fender Mexican classic series 60's Telecaster

MXR Noise Clamp
Dunlop Crybaby
Pro-co Rat 2
Fulltone Plimsoul
Electro Harmonix Big Muff W/ Tone Wicker
Mooer Orange 90
Vox Delay Lab
Last edited by harrisonatsix at Feb 8, 2014,
#5
Quote by Cavalcade
You added guitars to the side? I'm not hearing them. They're all panned center, which defeats the purpose of layering them.
You shouldn't need to add any sub. Just EQ the low end of the bass into the 80-150 Hz range.

That's strange, the guitars are panned hard left and hard right
AC30 C2 with greenbacks

Fender JA-90 Telecaster
Fender Mexican classic series 60's Telecaster

MXR Noise Clamp
Dunlop Crybaby
Pro-co Rat 2
Fulltone Plimsoul
Electro Harmonix Big Muff W/ Tone Wicker
Mooer Orange 90
Vox Delay Lab
#6
Quote by harrisonatsix
That's strange, the guitars are panned hard left and hard right


Did you record 2 more takes or just copy pasted the tracks you already have?
#7
Quote by Reages
Did you record 2 more takes or just copy pasted the tracks you already have?

I copied and pasted, would recording a 2nd take make a lot of difference?
AC30 C2 with greenbacks

Fender JA-90 Telecaster
Fender Mexican classic series 60's Telecaster

MXR Noise Clamp
Dunlop Crybaby
Pro-co Rat 2
Fulltone Plimsoul
Electro Harmonix Big Muff W/ Tone Wicker
Mooer Orange 90
Vox Delay Lab
#8
^ yes.
Didn't you even change a bit the things?
'cause ya know, just coping and pasting and panning is equal to a volume raise of 6db.
Well 6db theoretically, if you didn't choose any other option, logic has a default compensation so you get a 3db raise, but you get the idea.
You don't wanna raise the volume, you wanna fill up the thing, or else you'd just raise the volume.
Double track the thing already.

Quote by harrisonatsix
1. Well i've now doubled the kick, re eqed added an extra guitar to each side of the mix with a very bass focused eq lower in the mix and added a suboctave to the bass, it's still not perfect though, what else could you recommend.

2. The R U Mine cover was done over the top of the original track, I'm currently using the drummer built into logic so can't do huge amounts about the cymbal sound.

3. How exactly should I go about adding a pad and where should I make it sit in the mix.

4. I'm mixing through Scarlett studio HP60 headphones as I don't own any monitors as of yet
Are you using logic's drum kit designer?
'cause that's funny and all, but you better go and find the studio tight kit unless you know how to tweak the right parameters the right way.
If ya wanna stick to the cool pictures and stuff, change the kick into something labeled as more rock/metal, something that sounds more like wood hitting on plastic than wool hitting on sand.
Get the drums level higher and compress it more but don't use too high of an attack so you still get some transients where needed, that should help making the whole thing fuller.

1. it's better, though it's still not that bassier.
If mixing with your ears isn't that good of an option, mix with your eyes.
Grab a spectrum analyzer or an eq with a built in one, then try and see if you like the curve.
Is the part between 60 and 120 hz missing something?
Is the part between 120 and 180 hz missing something?
Get yourself an idea of how things are there and correct it a bit.
Plus, mind that in general, ears are better if they are trained, and if they're not trained you should use them as much as you can to train them - raise and lower stuff here and there to see how you like it and maybe you'll find that you like something that'll come handy in the next mix.

2. yeah, I got that, but the guitar sounds better and fuller there.
Plus, telling you what was good about that, I meant to make you hear the thing, hear what was good there, and try to replicate in your track what was good about that.

3. the principle on which the idea is based is the following - you don't want empty space in the mix.
What do you do to fill something?
First, you find what has to be filled.
Does some frequency content lack in all the track or in some particular moment?
Good, you fill that with something.
What?
Well that's up to you.
You may decide to use a piano, a pad of some sort, strings, woodwinds, more distorted guitars, cleaner guitars, whatever instrument of which main frequency content is the one lacking in that particular track/moment.
The pad was a general idea - in this particular case you may just wanna raise some lows in your bass and playing some lower notes somewhere so you actually hear some low frequencies somewhere.

4. there are two main philosophies that I know of about mastering.
First one, you get speakers with a flat frequency response and mix the thing to sound best with them, so the track will sound in a certain way.
Second one, after you mixed your track you get a pair of cheap headphones, a pair of cheap computer speakers, and a pair of decent headphones or stuff like that, and then you mix the thing to sound the best with all of your cheap and expensive equipment.
Both are compromises, you can't get a perfect mix in a world where cheap computer speakers exist.

What you're doing now is among the worst things you could do - you're mastering audio to sound good with your not-really-that-good equipment.
You don't get expensive stuff?
You don't know how exactly the frequency response curve of your headphones is shaped?
Well then you try to find out listening to stuff with every equipment at your disposal, and then you get an idea of how things sound listened through each piece of equipment.
Then, you have an idea of how your headphones sound compared to the 10 years old earphones you got with your first mp3 player, and how those sound compared to what you could call an absolute reference - a perfect flat frequency response set of speakers, playing in a perfectly treated room.

Then you decide if you wanna follow the first or the second philosophy about mastering, and you master the thing good.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
Last edited by Spambot_2 at Feb 8, 2014,
#9
I hope you're not using a USB mic, cause it really sounds like it. If you had a SM-57 and the Focusrite Scarlett youd have to try and make it sound that thin and brittle.

What I always do is I low pass filter the guitars and bass at 10,000 hz and high pass the guitars at 50 hz, double track the guitars, run bass and drums up center, and run light compression on the guitars, bass, and drums, and then add a master limiter to the master track, making sure I don't peak over -1 db.

Usually gives me a solid sound.
#10
Quote by Spambot_2
^ yes.
Didn't you even change a bit the things?
'cause ya know, just coping and pasting and panning is equal to a volume raise of 6db.
Well 6db theoretically, if you didn't choose any other option, logic has a default compensation so you get a 3db raise, but you get the idea.
You don't wanna raise the volume, you wanna fill up the thing, or else you'd just raise the volume.
Double track the thing already.

Are you using logic's drum kit designer?
'cause that's funny and all, but you better go and find the studio tight kit unless you know how to tweak the right parameters the right way.
If ya wanna stick to the cool pictures and stuff, change the kick into something labeled as more rock/metal, something that sounds more like wood hitting on plastic than wool hitting on sand.
Get the drums level higher and compress it more but don't use too high of an attack so you still get some transients where needed, that should help making the whole thing fuller.

1. it's better, though it's still not that bassier.
If mixing with your ears isn't that good of an option, mix with your eyes.
Grab a spectrum analyzer or an eq with a built in one, then try and see if you like the curve.
Is the part between 60 and 120 hz missing something?
Is the part between 120 and 180 hz missing something?
Get yourself an idea of how things are there and correct it a bit.
Plus, mind that in general, ears are better if they are trained, and if they're not trained you should use them as much as you can to train them - raise and lower stuff here and there to see how you like it and maybe you'll find that you like something that'll come handy in the next mix.

2. yeah, I got that, but the guitar sounds better and fuller there.
Plus, telling you what was good about that, I meant to make you hear the thing, hear what was good there, and try to replicate in your track what was good about that.

3. the principle on which the idea is based is the following - you don't want empty space in the mix.
What do you do to fill something?
First, you find what has to be filled.
Does some frequency content lack in all the track or in some particular moment?
Good, you fill that with something.
What?
Well that's up to you.
You may decide to use a piano, a pad of some sort, strings, woodwinds, more distorted guitars, cleaner guitars, whatever instrument of which main frequency content is the one lacking in that particular track/moment.
The pad was a general idea - in this particular case you may just wanna raise some lows in your bass and playing some lower notes somewhere so you actually hear some low frequencies somewhere.

4. there are two main philosophies that I know of about mastering.
First one, you get speakers with a flat frequency response and mix the thing to sound best with them, so the track will sound in a certain way.
Second one, after you mixed your track you get a pair of cheap headphones, a pair of cheap computer speakers, and a pair of decent headphones or stuff like that, and then you mix the thing to sound the best with all of your cheap and expensive equipment.
Both are compromises, you can't get a perfect mix in a world where cheap computer speakers exist.

What you're doing now is among the worst things you could do - you're mastering audio to sound good with your not-really-that-good equipment.
You don't get expensive stuff?
You don't know how exactly the frequency response curve of your headphones is shaped?
Well then you try to find out listening to stuff with every equipment at your disposal, and then you get an idea of how things sound listened through each piece of equipment.
Then, you have an idea of how your headphones sound compared to the 10 years old earphones you got with your first mp3 player, and how those sound compared to what you could call an absolute reference - a perfect flat frequency response set of speakers, playing in a perfectly treated room.

Then you decide if you wanna follow the first or the second philosophy about mastering, and you master the thing good.


I will re-track the guitars tomorrow morning as it's too late now, drum wise I'm using the new drummer feature in logic X but I can fiddle around with the kits a little so I'll have a look at that. I'm now heeding your advise and trying to make it sound good through my laptop, earphones and flattish response headphones.

For re-tracking the guitars what do you recommend for mic placement on the amp, this is something I'm not really an expert on, the current guitars were recorded with the mic pretty much in between and above the two speakers and about an inch back from the amp

Thanks for all your help, it's much appreciated.
AC30 C2 with greenbacks

Fender JA-90 Telecaster
Fender Mexican classic series 60's Telecaster

MXR Noise Clamp
Dunlop Crybaby
Pro-co Rat 2
Fulltone Plimsoul
Electro Harmonix Big Muff W/ Tone Wicker
Mooer Orange 90
Vox Delay Lab
Last edited by harrisonatsix at Feb 8, 2014,
#11
Quote by ethan_hanus
I hope you're not using a USB mic, cause it really sounds like it. If you had a SM-57 and the Focusrite Scarlett youd have to try and make it sound that thin and brittle.

What I always do is I low pass filter the guitars and bass at 10,000 hz and high pass the guitars at 50 hz, double track the guitars, run bass and drums up center, and run light compression on the guitars, bass, and drums, and then add a master limiter to the master track, making sure I don't peak over -1 db.

Usually gives me a solid sound.


It's not a usb mic it's a focusrite own brand mic which comes with their basic kit, I've had a try with some of what you've suggested and have achieved what sounds a better mix to me, however it's still not great

https://soundcloud.com/harrisonatsix/you-belong-with-me-rough-mix-2
AC30 C2 with greenbacks

Fender JA-90 Telecaster
Fender Mexican classic series 60's Telecaster

MXR Noise Clamp
Dunlop Crybaby
Pro-co Rat 2
Fulltone Plimsoul
Electro Harmonix Big Muff W/ Tone Wicker
Mooer Orange 90
Vox Delay Lab
#12
Get the mic in a position similar to the one you already used, start from the setting you already used, and then with the big focusrite headphones over your ears, set your tone again.
Raise the bass indeed, a bit at least, and then set the EQ on the amp so that it sounds good in the mix and not only when listening to the amp in the room.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#13
I'm hearing a very thumpy kick drum. Not quite right for this genre.

Track the guitars twice - once per side.

Bass guitar should be the octave below the guitars.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#14
I think I've managed to get the guitars sounding better however now I'm struggling to make everything sit in the mix, what's the best way to go about this?

https://soundcloud.com/harrisonatsix/you-belong-with-me-rough-take
AC30 C2 with greenbacks

Fender JA-90 Telecaster
Fender Mexican classic series 60's Telecaster

MXR Noise Clamp
Dunlop Crybaby
Pro-co Rat 2
Fulltone Plimsoul
Electro Harmonix Big Muff W/ Tone Wicker
Mooer Orange 90
Vox Delay Lab
#15
Way better, though it still needs more bass.
Raise the damn lows in the bass guitar or use a compressor and compress it more and raise it or whatever you prefer to make it heard.

Again, change the kick drum sound.

And I kinda feel the un-amplified electric guitar strums heard here and there are out of place.
Your choice though to keep it or not.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#16
I've changed the kick and tried increasing the bass in different ways and am not sure which is better;

Here is a take with just the level and compression increased https://soundcloud.com/harrisonatsix/you-belong-with-me-rough

and here is a take with the bass frequencies boosted in the bass and reduced in the guitars, with the mids and higher frequencies of the guitars being risen to allow them to sit better in the mix
https://soundcloud.com/harrisonatsix/you-belong-with-me-rough-1 (sorry about the bad bounce I seem to have cut off the start and end but you get the gist)

The final thing is trying to make the lead guitar sit better in the mix as it sounds a bit distant yet there is no reverb or delay placed on it, any recommendations?

As regards to the acoustic guitar I've moved it lower down in the mix as I think it adds quite a nice percussive feel but is fairly unintrusive
AC30 C2 with greenbacks

Fender JA-90 Telecaster
Fender Mexican classic series 60's Telecaster

MXR Noise Clamp
Dunlop Crybaby
Pro-co Rat 2
Fulltone Plimsoul
Electro Harmonix Big Muff W/ Tone Wicker
Mooer Orange 90
Vox Delay Lab
Last edited by harrisonatsix at Feb 9, 2014,
#17
If you liked the acoustic guitar, by any means keep it, that's my opinion but you're the one mixing.

Anyway, the last one's pretty good.
The kick's not really heard though.

If ya wanna make the lead guitar stand out more change its sound to something different or else it'll get a lot more drowned out in the other guitar sounds.
Also, get its level higher.
It overdrives something that isn't to be overdriven?
Compress it.
Don't wanna loose dynamics?
Lower everything else.

Yeah, anyway, I'd raise the low stuff even more but at this point it sounds fairly decent even with this kinda level in that zone, so again, your choice.

Other than that it sounds pretty good if ya ask me.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#18
I like it. The changes from the first version to this last one are really good.I still think the bass has been lost. What kind on monitors are you using? Maybe what you are hearing is not what I am hearing. Keep at it, it sounds good. Nice snare, if possible I personally would like more of the snare. It's good and bright but not overly so.
#19
The snare feels like it's not being hit hard enough.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#20
Thank you everyone for your help it's been a brilliant lesson in how to do it, anyway I've managed to sort out a mix I'm actually really happy with so now just need to find a vocalist.

https://soundcloud.com/harrisonatsix/you-belong-with-me-final-mix

Thanks again
AC30 C2 with greenbacks

Fender JA-90 Telecaster
Fender Mexican classic series 60's Telecaster

MXR Noise Clamp
Dunlop Crybaby
Pro-co Rat 2
Fulltone Plimsoul
Electro Harmonix Big Muff W/ Tone Wicker
Mooer Orange 90
Vox Delay Lab
#21
cool mix man, I listened to them all from the first mix to the last and theirs a huge difference, personally I dig the last mix sounds nice coming through my iphone 5s apple headphones lol
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