need mix help on classic RnR tune - updated mix again

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johnlewitt
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need mix help on classic RnR tune - updated mix again

Post by johnlewitt » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:45 am

Here's my attempt at writing a classic, loose sounding rock track.

https://soundcloud.com/john-lewitt/the-common-good

It was deliberately written quickly and recorded quickly. I tried to make it sound like a raucous, spontaneous recording (even though I'm playing everything). Basically I tried to avoid overthinking any part.

I don't usually record tunes likes this so I'm having some issues with the mix. It seems to me that the louder you get, the harder it is to have everything sit properly in the mix.

How do I make that piano stand out more in between the chorus and second verse? I've tried tonnes of different sounds, compression, etc. and I'm not sure it's working. I'm thinking of all the stuff Benmont Tench plays, which is always mixed really well.

Secondly, how is the vocal sitting in the mix? Does it sound authentic?

And as long as I'm here, are there any a la's that pop to mind?

Thanks for listening.

John
Last edited by johnlewitt on Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:17 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: need mix help on classic rock n' roll tune

Post by funsongs » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:55 am

johnlewitt wrote:Here's my attempt at writing a classic, loose sounding rock track.

https://soundcloud.com/john-lewitt/the-common-good
I don't usually record tunes likes this so I'm having some issues with the mix. It seems to me that the louder you get, the harder it is to have everything sit properly in the mix.

How do I make that piano stand out more in between the chorus and second verse? I've tried tonnes of different sounds, compression, etc. and I'm not sure it's working.
John
Like the solid Garage Band feel; good song; worth putting the polish to it.

Re the piano: it's getting muddied by the fuzzy/distortion of the guitar. For these ears, I would back out the supporting instruments and leave 'space' for the instrument you want to 'pop'. Maybe less volume and clean guitar in that section... and just play 'less' there. That may also help the piano to sound brighter just by doing that; if not, it could use some brightening.

Possibly a bit more panning/separation of the individual instruments?

2 cents.
hth - Cheers,
Peter
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Re: need mix help on classic rock n' roll tune

Post by Piewackit1 » Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:00 am

I really like your songs John. You've got a nice Chris Issac type voice.


The drums sound pretty good but please, please, please get to the ride during the chorus. It will make them sound more real. At least get to the ride in the double chorus at the end. I play all my drums tracks so I have no idea what's available in regards to programing, but these small details can really make your recording sound more like a band. Just my .02 worth.

Everything else to me sounds great.

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Re: need mix help on classic rock n' roll tune

Post by johnlewitt » Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:32 pm

Peter - Thanks, I will try backing off the other instruments to see if it brings the piano out.

Jeff - So you want the ride cymbal brought in on the choruses? That I can do.

John

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Re: need mix help on classic rock n' roll tune

Post by Robtoons » Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:14 pm

Really cool John!
It gave me a Steve Earl vibe at first, but then it morphed a bit- very nice!
Yeah the guitars seem a bit overloaded, some clarity would clean out the soundscape a bit like Fun says, maybe a clean guit in one ear and dirty in the other?
Really cool tune tho, I always like your stuff! Ciao! -Rob

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Re: need mix help on classic rock n' roll tune

Post by wta » Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:02 pm

Have you done an EQ bad frequency sweep on each of your instrument and vocal tracks?
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Re: need mix help on classic rock n' roll tune

Post by johnlewitt » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:37 am

Okay, I've made some changes.

I put a cleaner guitar in the right channel.

I dropped the levels of two guitars during the piano and eliminated another one completely.

I put the ride in the chorus. Does that sound work or should I put more of a bell ride in there?

And I did a frequency sweep at 300 Hz. Let me know if this works:

https://soundcloud.com/john-lewitt/the-common-good

Thanks,

John

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Re: need mix help on classic rock n' roll tune

Post by funsongs » Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:08 am

johnlewitt wrote:Okay, I've made some changes.
I put a cleaner guitar in the right channel.
I dropped the levels of two guitars during the piano and eliminated another one completely.
I put the ride in the chorus. Does that sound work or should I put more of a bell ride in there?
And I did a frequency sweep at 300 Hz. Let me know if this works:
https://soundcloud.com/john-lewitt/the-common-good
Thanks,John
ramblin' here:
1) much better, but to these old ears the piano still sounds a bit 'dirty' - I'm no techy, so perhaps the other boys'll help
(if they agree) maybe it's something clashing with the frequency of the bass and guitars behind the piano.
OR: maybe you want a little dirt in there for this rockin' tune, and NOT all clean and pristine like you'd hear in a
Nashville-Country production.
2) I'm gonna disagree with one of the other comments that was insisting/begging for a ride cymbal during the Chorus.

I'll give you an ala/example: so many cover bands get it backwards with they play "Light My Fire"
by The Doors.
The sloppy-hats groove all the way through the Chorus and instrumental break; while the delicate ride is only in the verses.
So: IMHO, your similar treatment FOR THIS SONG is working.
Not disagreeing to be disagreeable: just think your instincts were right from the beginning.

Good song, John; think you're REALLY close... the forum gurus will likely help you get it over the goal line. Again: your vocals sound really good, too.
Pardon my early-morning yammering... evidence that the caffeine is working! :? :shock: 8-)
Cheers!
Peter
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Re: need mix help on classic rock n' roll tune

Post by denalihighway » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:29 pm

Hey John, another nice tune from JL Factory HQ :)

Digging the track but that first piano interlude isn't sitting right in my (untrained) ears - maybe its since the other instrumentation was dropped out / reduced or perhaps is a mix/volume thing. It seems to sit nice at the end when there's more happening around it and there's a more chordy and percussive thing going, whereas the one noter start line feels a bit naked to me in the first interlude. To my ears it even seems to sit a bit better when the chords follow the two 1-note keys at the very beginning at 52/53 sec.

In fact for me , now that I listen again, just changing those 2 notes might make a huge difference - something that was a bit more musical and might blend better - like what comes it at 55/56sec. Those two notes are slightly jarring to me, but that could be just a personal thing.

Just my two cents - production aint my thing as you know so sorry I cant be of more help...

Good luck
Gar

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Re: need mix help on classic rock n' roll tune

Post by johnlewitt » Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:36 am

Okay, here's a new, hopefully final, mix.

Gareth, I changed the first bar of the first piano interlude. The take in the first mix was a one off take, so critical advice was probably needed. Let me know if you think that works better. I also brought up a couple of the guitars a bit - I guess I dropped them out a little too much.

Peter / Jeff. The ride cymbal now comes in on the ride out at the end only.

Peter. I kind of wanted a dirty piano sound, so I've left it as is - I didn't think a clean, pretty sound was appropriate for this tune.

Thanks all.

John

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