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  1. 7 string metal remix of Adventure Awry from the Pony Island OST, originally written by Jonah Senzel. Pony Island is an interesting, clever game that you should check out and that is also entirely unrelated to other pony-containing franchises (just in case you were wondering, because I was). Download provides 320 kbps audio to avoid nasty Soundcloud compression ruining your life. All Feedback is greatly appreciated! See below for my own thoughts. Source track: https://soundcloud.com/jonah-senzel/06-adventure-awry Some of my thoughts going into and coming out of this mix: For better or worse, I didn't stray too far from the original source. I "transposed" it from D to A by which I mean my 7 string guitar is in drop A and I hit the open string really hard a lot of times (so sofisticated!). Also added an interlude that the main riff inspired me to and played around with the songs structure a bit, as well as with some weird glitchy effects. My aim with this one was to create a mix in the style of Keith Merrow (example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A2TeB9zikA) in terms of guitar tone and overall timbre. I admire his work greatly and I think his mixes are unique to say the least. I love to learn about artists by trying to emulate their style, and so far I've learned some interesting new tricks every time I tried that. As usual, my biggest bugbear was the guitar tone. I recently upgraded to BIAS desktop and used the "Haunted S'mores" amp modell by Marc Holcomb (Periphery, Haunted Shores) for this project as it lends itself to a modern, mid-focussed guitar tone. However, during this mix I discovered by comparing my raw DI tracks to raws from Ola Englund's "Synder" album (he provides all raws and stems for his albums online for a few extra bucks, a great way to learn!) that my biggest issue is in the guitar itself (ESP LTD MH-417). It has both an outrageous overambundance of low mids and to top that off, there are three domniant resonant frequencies at 330, 440 (root note obvsl.) and 685 Hz that will make the guitar super honky when left in (which I decided to do in case of 330 and 440) or absolutely unintelligible / muffled when notched out even just a bit. For the longest time I thought my 7 string sounded that bad in mixes because the software amps I was using were just plain shit, but as it turns out, the problem seems to be inherent to the instrument. That's a real bummer for me - I'm thinking about changing the pick-ups from EMG 707's (known to be a honk-fest!) to something more round sounding, but I'm still shying away from it so far as I don't know for sure that this will fix the problem. Just hammers home ye old "garbage in, garbage out" rule ... I think I managed to get the best-sounding drums and bass going that I've ever had. Bass sits nicely in its pocket and doesn't cloud neither bass drum nor low mids; drums would sound absolutely huge if I didn't have to shrink them a bit to let the guitars have their honk-apocalypse in the low mids =/ All in all I think my EQing is definitely getting better and I'm starting to use saturation to greater effect, meaning that this mix is far less digital sounding than my last efforts. Sometimes you just gotta distort stuff to make it feel more organic! I went all out on volume automation on this one. I don't think it's perfect and I'm still having a hard time actually stepping back from the mix and listening to "the song" as is to find what needs to be featured / phased back at any moment. But I'm aware of - and working on - it. Having bought studio-grade monitors (Yamaha HS7) definitely helps with judging space which I found almost undoable back when mixing on headphones. Btw. if you have tips to share regarding home-made accoustic treatment, I'd be glad to be at the receiving end of them! Judging by the discussions and posts I read so far, some of you will disagree with my choice of mastering, which turned out to be around -7 LUFS. If it doesn't affect the mixes eligibility to be on OCR too much (which I'm sure you will tell me), I would kindly ask you to glance over this fact. As I said, I tried to emulate Keith Merrow's mixes which are super hot (-5 to -6 LUFS) and since it is my secret hope to make music at least a part time profession one day, I want to learn how to get a master to that volume. I don't feel like commenting on whether I like this or not, as my opinion is frankly irrelevant, but fact is that loudness is still part of the reality in audio production. I will say however that in the case of a metal track with overdriven (and therefore fairly compressed) guitars, super tightly compressed bass and sampled drums, there's obviously less dynamic range to lose than in, you know, an orchestral piece. I would greatly appreciate any feedback on my mixing; I am willing to learn and objective opinions from people in the field are hard to find. I know metal is not a focus around these parts, but I'm hoping that one or two of you will have something to say to this. This is the fourth mix I post here but the first which I put up for debate to enter OCR's catalogue - and I gotta be honest, it's mainly to provoke feedback and not because I'm more confident in this one than in the others (okay yeah I am, it's an objective technical improvement without doubt, but you know what I mean). Cheers!
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