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  #1  
Old 04-15-2011, 01:02 PM
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Default Would you like to critique a mix for me?

Some of you may remember this song, by a band I play drums in, Hollow Moon. That version was mixed by the singer, Jake. Having procured all the files off him I had a go at doing my own mix last night, albeit just on headphones. I'd be really interested to see what you think. Obviously his one is on youtube, so the sound quality isn't actually as good, but I'm more after an emotional response than a technical one. Is my vision of how it should sound more appropriate or less?


Here's my mix.

Happy criticism!
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: Would you like to critique a mix for me?

I prefer the original, PQ. That clunk sound added a more unworldly vibe to it and pushing the acoustic up seemed to overfill the sound to my ear. I used to love riding the toms but it's hard to keep the mud out - that was achieved better in the original mix.

For some reason there seemed to be a few minor timing synch issues in the second mix too - not sure if that's an auditory hallucination or not.

Great song with rock solid drumming either way, though.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:11 PM
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Default Re: Would you like to critique a mix for me?

Yeah, I'm not sure what that was about. There were some files that didn't work as they should have done either, so bits missing.

To be honest I think the reason the other was less muddy is because there's hardly any bass at all, which is what I had hoped to correct.

What are you listening on, out of interest?

Now I come to think of it, the only reason I had the guitar up was because I thought that would be required...but it is becoming clearer all the time that this collection of sounds bears little relation to what we would be doing live, and I struggle to keep hold of what the objective is here.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: Would you like to critique a mix for me?

Both PC speakers and headphones. There's simply more clarity in the original.

Even though the bass is down in the original there's still plenty of bottom end. It's still enjoyably swampy.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: Would you like to critique a mix for me?

I'm beginning to suspect that there might be more elements missing from my mix than I had accounted for. One track was mysteriously out of tune by about a quarter-tone, and was thus rendered unusable...and I notice other things that are important but yet missing. There were 50 tracks to combine...not difficult for some to get lost. It was certainly one of the most confusing and illogically arranged projects I have ever seen in its raw form.

I can't dispute what they sound like on your system, and I trust your judgement, but I wonder if what you are hearing as low-end is what I would consider the low midrange, roughly 100Hz and above, because the original is lacking almost anything below that range. That's about where things like toms usually sit, and often bass guitar and the fundamental note of acoustic guitars as well.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Would you like to critique a mix for me?

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
I prefer the original, PQ. That clunk sound added a more unworldly vibe to it and pushing the acoustic up seemed to overfill the sound to my ear. I used to love riding the toms but it's hard to keep the mud out - that was achieved better in the original mix.

For some reason there seemed to be a few minor timing synch issues in the second mix too - not sure if that's an auditory hallucination or not.

Great song with rock solid drumming either way, though.
I would say that this is a good evaluation. The first one is tighter and clearer. I find the words hard to understand on both though. Cool song.
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Would you like to critique a mix for me?

I think I preferred the original as well. It's hard to describe why, I think the best way to sum it up is yours sounded like a slightly messy, emphatic live performance, the original was the real deal from the album. Most people would prefer to listen to an album track over a live performance.

Very nice song by the way, I'm a big Nick Cave fan and I can hear a lot of him in your sound. Kind of like an early alternative/punk vibe applied to a Lou Reed song.
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: Would you like to critique a mix for me?

Just listening on a hi-fi now. I can definitely see what you all mean...but I remain convinced that the original can be improved upon. Watch this space, I suppose.


EDIT: Aha! I think I may have found a clue. Mine sounds a lot better if it's played louder, it must be a Fletcher-Munson curve thing...because it's much less midrangy at quieter volumes it sounds like there's nothing there, while the original is all midrange like a 60s garage recording and so cuts through at any volume. However, if you turn my one up you get all the bass and high end that you would otherwise miss. It's not mastered and so is pretty quiet anyway.

Oh, I take it the 'clang' is the sort of honky-tonk piano sound throughout?
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: Would you like to critique a mix for me?

Honky tonk piano? In the original, it sounded kind of industrial. It really worked too.

No Fletcher-Munson effect with me because I raised the volume when listening to the remix to even things up (I didn't know the technical term) and the original still had more clarity. Mastering could make a difference, though.
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Would you like to critique a mix for me?

Oh, fair enough then.

Is it the thing on 2 and 4 in the beginning after the Ezra Pound sample? Sort of dissonant clangy sound? If so...that's a piano.
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: Would you like to critique a mix for me?

I blasted both through my studio monitors.

The 2nd one seems rather muddy.

The 1st one jumps out of the speaker. Although it's missing some low end, so I can see why you wanted re-mix it.

Cool tune though. It's not really my kind of thing, but I dug the vibe.
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: Would you like to critique a mix for me?

1. the first sounds like a typical shrill distorted and way too loud digital mix. very annoying.

2. the second one is in the pocket (mixwise) for these ears. nice and smooth and soothing. it could use a little clarity, but that can be fixed with the the treble control on one´s stereo.

3. not commenting on eq of individual parts, just the way the track hits the ear. mine anyway.
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: Would you like to critique a mix for me?

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Originally Posted by PQleyR View Post
Just listening on a hi-fi now. I can definitely see what you all mean...but I remain convinced that the original can be improved upon. Watch this space, I suppose.


EDIT: Aha! I think I may have found a clue. Mine sounds a lot better if it's played louder, it must be a Fletcher-Munson curve thing...because it's much less midrangy at quieter volumes it sounds like there's nothing there, while the original is all midrange like a 60s garage recording and so cuts through at any volume. However, if you turn my one up you get all the bass and high end that you would otherwise miss. It's not mastered and so is pretty quiet anyway.

Oh, I take it the 'clang' is the sort of honky-tonk piano sound throughout?
I think the issue is mainly a headphone one. What headphones are you using? I'm listening back on a pair of AKG K701's and there is a distinct 250Hz issue. I'm thinking your headphones, combined with a loudness monitoring issue would cause the mix problems others are describing. I have the advantage of VU Meters whenever I listen back so it's easy to set reasonably objective monitoring levels.
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:01 AM
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Default Re: Would you like to critique a mix for me?

Yeah, I would expect something in the 250Hz range, that's what I end up correcting when I do a monitor mix. My headphones are Sennheiser HD200s, and they're pretty good for everything but the extreme high and low end and a slight weakness in the low mids.

It sounds like we have the same ears, unfunkyfooted! That's pretty much exactly how I feel about it. I would want to bring out a few more elements in the high mids, but apart from that I prefer mine...in principle if not in practice, heh. There's obviously more work to do, but it was never meant to be anything more than an experiment at this stage.

Thanks everyone for your input, by the way.
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:04 AM
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Default Re: Would you like to critique a mix for me?

It's certainly a more laid back mix, but I just think it's lacking a forward presence in the vocal and a bit of clarity. Don't be afraid to go with dry!
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:23 AM
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Default Re: Would you like to critique a mix for me?

Haha, you were listening. I did go all-out on the reverb on this one, which I expected would produce some sort of fallout when I listened on other speakers.

The vocal is recorded in a really weird scratchy compressed way with not much body or detail but lots of abrasive high mids that I don't want to hear much of. Same with a lot of the mix elements actually, excepting the drums...which I recorded myself...
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: Would you like to critique a mix for me?

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...Same with a lot of the mix elements actually, excepting the drums...which I recorded myself...
Always the way, always the way...
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:34 AM
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Default Re: Would you like to critique a mix for me?

Duncan, you should see some of these files, half of them have got names like 01323_004564 01...and there's fifty tracks! All kinds of pops and clicks from dodgy edits where it's been consolidated...weird volume changes...nasty sounds you can't do anything with...no logical order of any kind. Nightmare!
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