#1
Yes, this song is long. I hadn't intended it to get to the 11+ minute mark, but the song kind of wrote itself, so to speak. Hopefully, there is enough variety and movement to keep you interested -- in my mind there is. This song's completion was somewhat emotional for me, as the riff ideas have been bouncing around in my head for the better part of a decade. To hear it in a complete package in which I am satisfied with the production, tones, and vibes is a very gratifying experience to say the least. I won't say there aren't problems; there are a few, but I won't disclose them because I want to see if anybody else picks up the same issues in listening. Looking forward to any comments you guys might have. The mix is what it is -- this is black metal, not clinically-produced djent/modern metal. I was not going for absolute clarity between instruments -- I wanted them to work together to create a texture that is not only brutal, but emotionally moving and beautiful. Hopefully, my mix quality falls somewhere in the middle between Darkthrone and Dimmu Borgir.

I present to you: Famine and Desperation

EDIT: NEW version with a lot less compression -- much better: https://soundcloud.com/kailm-1/famine-and-desperation-1
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
Last edited by KailM at Sep 3, 2016,
#2
The length of the song is not a problem itself, the problem is in my opinion that sometimes it sounds like another song is beginning, like at the last transition between distortion and clean, the sound fades out, I think you should not fade it out that much and introduce the clean riff a little bit earlier than it is.

The clean tone is very nice, the metal tone too but this one is too much compressed (or EQed I don't know which) , less compression would be very very nice.
The riffs are cool , emotional as you said, some riffs sound alike but it's not that bothering, lacks some depressive screaming in my opinion.

Keep up the good work and keep posting it dude !
#3
^^^Thanks for the comments. I'll play around with that outro at the end and see if I like it better if it comes in earlier. However, it is a variation on a riff played earlier, just clean instead of distorted and some volume swells over the top of it -- so it should sound like it belongs in the same song. It's funny you say the cleans are very nice because I used an amp known for its terrible cleans. Not too terrible, in my opinion, either. Anyway, I uploaded a new version with a lot less compression and it sounds a lot better to me now. Let me know what you think if you have time.

New version: https://soundcloud.com/kailm-1/famine-and-desperation-1
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#4
Hi KaiM,

I can hear the emotion in the song which is great.

I would lower the volume of the distorted guitar as it is way louder than other instruments. I like your riffing and how it transits to the clean part.

I agree with Demonskiller about the compression, I still feel it is overcompressed after you adjusted it. It would be nice to bring out more clarity to your guitar.

Great job!
#5
Hey so after having a listen, I think your biggest issue here is the volume and EQ of the distorted guitars. The guitars are overpowering everything else, and I think a big part of that is that they really need a low pass filter. I know you said that you're not going for over-the-top production, however the amount of high frequency content in the guitars distracts from the overall feel, and can become tiring on the ears. Putting a low pass filter on the guitar bus around 9-10kHz will cut all of that noise out (I usually go 8-9k, but that's just me). The actual playing is great, but I think if you spend a little more time with the EQ, you will see a lot of improvement in your mixes.

I think the clean sections are very well written and the ambient guitars all fit together really nicely. The reverb really helps to make everything sound big and full, but not too loud, which I like. The drums sound good too, but like I mentioned earlier, it was a bit difficult hear them under the guitars. Same thing with the bass, but during the clean sections, the bass was very clear. Listening to it again, I can't tell if that's the bass guitar, or just low string on the guitar. but either way it sounds good.

Speaking of compression, I would suggest focusing on EQ before worrying about that aspect. EQ'ing the instruments is what creates the balance between the instruments and makes sure they blend well. Compression (on the master) would be useful for helping to balance the loud and quiet sections of the song. (for example, the clean sections feel louder and more upfront than the heavy sections). All in all, I think it's a great song, it just needs a little work production-wise in order to reach it's full potential. Also I don't consider myself a pro at this stuff (not even close), I'm only speaking on what I know from experience. Hope this helps, keep creating!
#6
^^^Thank you for the critique. I think some of the issues you mentioned have to do with my upload to Soundcloud; I may even try uploading it again. I burnt it to a CD (the same exact mastered version), and the heavy/distorted parts are definitely way louder than the clean sections, which is how I recorded it and mixed it. But the other day I listened to it on Soundcloud with computer speakers and it was as if Soundcloud really compressed it and brought the clean sections' volume WAY up and reduced the volume on the heavy parts. The really weird thing is that it doesn't sound this way with my headphones -- the heavy parts are appropriately louder than the cleans. That's also definitely not the way it sounds on my CD. Also, on the CD, the drums are plenty loud and definitely not overpowered by the guitars. It's almost as if I need to create a separate mix just for Soundcloud/Youtube that is tweaked to account for their compression. So I don't know...

In mastering I did create a slight boost at around 2khz to account for some high-end/mids loss from Soundcloud. Maybe it would be better to reduce that. I low-passed it at around 12.5khz; I'll definitely try your suggestion and lower it to around 8-9khz and see what happens. Thanks again for your input!
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
Last edited by KailM at Sep 9, 2016,
#7
Yeah, Soundcloud has a habit of altering the sound of your mix and you kind of have to learn to deal with it. What I have found that helps the most in keeping the sound closest to the original is to filter out below ~30Hz and above ~16kHz on the master. Even though you may already have these ranges filtered on all of your instruments, it still helps to eliminate extra noise that won't be useful anyway. Also are you uploading wavs or mp3s? I always use wav so that when Soundcloud does it's compression, the degradation and artifacts will be less noticeable.
#8
^^^Thanks for the tip -- I'll try that filtering and see what happens. Actually on my other masters I think I set a high-pass at around 60hz but I didn't use one at all on this one's master (though drums, bass, and guitar were all high-passed in the mix). I only low-passed it at ~12.5 khz. BTW I am uploading in .wav format. It's weird that my other songs didn't have any problems going into Soundcloud (other than mild degradation of the original tone), because I largely give everything the same treatments before uploading -- but Famine and Desperation is a little more dynamic than some of my other songs -- maybe that's it.

Any idea why it sounds so different between headphones and speakers? On my headphones it sounds pretty much just the way I mixed it -- but on speakers it greatly pumps up the volume of the clean sections and reduces the volume of the heavy parts.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#9
Quote by KailM
^^^Thanks for the tip -- I'll try that filtering and see what happens. Actually on my other masters I think I set a high-pass at around 60hz but I didn't use one at all on this one's master (though drums, bass, and guitar were all high-passed in the mix). I only low-passed it at ~12.5 khz. BTW I am uploading in .wav format. It's weird that my other songs didn't have any problems going into Soundcloud (other than mild degradation of the original tone), because I largely give everything the same treatments before uploading -- but Famine and Desperation is a little more dynamic than some of my other songs -- maybe that's it.

Any idea why it sounds so different between headphones and speakers? On my headphones it sounds pretty much just the way I mixed it -- but on speakers it greatly pumps up the volume of the clean sections and reduces the volume of the heavy parts.


Headphones will always give a false representation of sound when recording and mixing.This is not a major factor when,"Tracking" e.g laying down a guitar/instrument sound so long as you have got your sound as you want before recording and are just using the the Headphones to monitor your performance.

Headphones overload the ears and and physically compress the ear-drums distorting perception.Professional sound engineers,"Never" mix using headphones.

I liked the guitar sound on your song and the general feel etc but the Wind/Synth noise or whatever effect hurt my ears.It was way too high in the mix and too many harsh frequencies.

If you need a reasonably priced set of decent monitors to mix through I can recommend the Alesis M1 Active speakers.They give a great flat response but are also good for just general music playing.

Tip:When you are getting close to a final mix walk away with the mix running and make a cup of tea(I'm English) and see how it sounds as you distract yourself from the aural fatigue of recording/mixing and how the mix travels.

This is not in your style but just to show you one of my mixes,

https://www.reverbnation.com/pauldouglas/song/26629062-azeusguitar-instrumental
Last edited by sheppola1 at Sep 10, 2016,
#10
Sounds good. The guitar tones and the riffs all sound great. I would be interested to hear the full album with vocals.

I would say that the kick drums and snare are too loud, so you could lower them a little in the mix.
Last edited by LeeAlacoque at Apr 11, 2017,