Jump to content

Need help with mixing short original composition..


Chlysm
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been working on a short electronica type of piece for a friends youtube channel, and I have the sequences and performances recorded, but I don't know alot about mixing.

Here is where I'm at now

https://soundcloud.com/chlysm/take-9

Which I think is an improvement over this from last night..

But I'm really not 100% sure of what I'm doing so some feedback would be nice.

Edited by Chlysm
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, some of my thoughts.

Very wide bass such as you have right now can be difficult for sound systems to reproduce. Typically a compromise is struck where the higher frequency content of the bass is given the neato stereo effects while the very low end material is pretty much kept in mono. There is no real cutoff for about where it should happen, but try experimenting around the 100 - 200Hz range for the crossover point. That is only major issue I hear.

Something else to be mindful of is the kick and the bass interaction. Right now the kick loses some of its low end punch when it plays against the bass too. This can be dealt with in a variety of ways. Letting the bass win, letting the kick win, playing with sidechaining, or any combination. It really depends on how you want the track to feel.

Now, to some of the more subjective things (aka my straight up opinion). I personally like the how the lead sits, but some might think it is too quiet or not aggressive enough. I would personally think some simple EQ to brighten it up would deal with that. Except for the kick I think the drums could do with a bit more power. Everything sounds fine, just so underplayed and understated in the mix. Again EQ and some light compression would help give them more presence in the mix. Except for the bass everything else sounds really confined in the stereo field, which is an odd choice especially since at the beginning the entire track shifts its stereo image. To a degree you've got things happening in different places, but try to rely on just panning instruments and their effects differently rather than on stereo wideners. Also, that resonant synth on the right in the beginning really should be more audible when the rest of the track kicks in. As it is the sound just fades into the background.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, some of my thoughts.

Very wide bass such as you have right now can be difficult for sound systems to reproduce. Typically a compromise is struck where the higher frequency content of the bass is given the neato stereo effects while the very low end material is pretty much kept in mono. There is no real cutoff for about where it should happen, but try experimenting around the 100 - 200Hz range for the crossover point. That is only major issue I hear.

Something else to be mindful of is the kick and the bass interaction. Right now the kick loses some of its low end punch when it plays against the bass too. This can be dealt with in a variety of ways. Letting the bass win, letting the kick win, playing with sidechaining, or any combination. It really depends on how you want the track to feel.

Now, to some of the more subjective things (aka my straight up opinion). I personally like the how the lead sits, but some might think it is too quiet or not aggressive enough. I would personally think some simple EQ to brighten it up would deal with that. Except for the kick I think the drums could do with a bit more power. Everything sounds fine, just so underplayed and understated in the mix. Again EQ and some light compression would help give them more presence in the mix. Except for the bass everything else sounds really confined in the stereo field, which is an odd choice especially since at the beginning the entire track shifts its stereo image. To a degree you've got things happening in different places, but try to rely on just panning instruments and their effects differently rather than on stereo wideners. Also, that resonant synth on the right in the beginning really should be more audible when the rest of the track kicks in. As it is the sound just fades into the background.

Thanks for your input. The thing is that I have an idea as to what I'm looking for, but I'm not skilled enough to make it happen. The lead is for the most part where I want it. I personally like leads to be at just the right level to where you can still hear distinguish the individual notes, pitch modulation/bends along with the characteristics of the sound itself without overcoming the rest of the song. I am trying to bring in both the bass and the kick in, but if that's not possible I'll just have to try a few of your suggestions and see what works.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Getting that bass and that kick to work together? In that track it is most definitely possible.

Look into something called sidechaining. Just go to google and type in sidechaining and your DAW and it should be quite easy to find out how to do it. From there it will be tweaking. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of the panning is leaning to the left. Try to balance that out a little more. Also, I'd say add a bit more compression to real add that punch, especially on that kick. However, I'm definitely feeling that "mmph" in the bass and kick for sure. I'd say bring up that lead synth quite a bit, maybe EQ specific frequencies to bring it out more. And put it more in the center, as it's also kinda leaning to the left.

Sounds pretty neat. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mostly agree with G-Mixer on the mix side of things, but the lead I don't feel really needs any more EQ. If it needs more just raise it a dB or two. I think you'd be surprised. But I don't think it is ultimately necessary.

Okay, so yeah the left channel is definitely poking out more than it really should. EQ can most definitely help in evening it out. However, I would say take it a step further. Instead of EQ because it sounds fine just too loud I would lower the level 2-3dB and then send it to a delay with zero feedback (basically 1 echo), fully wet, with a little bit of HF and LF rolloff, at about a 1/16th or thereabouts. However, just make the level of it lower. This will not only alleviate the issue of it being pokey in the left channel but also give the track more width. If you don't want it quite so wide lower the delay time :) If you do not want it interfering with the synth rise in the beginning simply automate the send level.

Now, for the kick. I would cut out in the 200-300Hz range by just 1-2dB and then give a sizable boost of 3-4dB around 5-7KHz to bring out some more of the click. Try that as a starting point. Adjust the freqs and cuts & boosts by what sounds right to you.

For the bass I would actually straight mono it and drop it in the middle. Then I would add a shelf boost of 2-3dB around 40-60Hz to give the sub some more power. Then I would do a 1-2dB boost at about 2KHz and then roll off around 11KHz (LPF). Then I'd probably give it some light compression. Thinking something like a ratio of about 3:1, attack around 75ms and a release about 100ms with a threshold that would achieve about 4dB of GR. Then I'd personally sidechain it to the kick for a bit of a pump. Sounds like it already is sidechained too.

But yeah I'd do that as a starting point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Then I would add a shelf boost of 2-3dB around 40-60Hz to give the sub some more power.

That's going to boost frequencies below 20Hz. Even though you can't hear them, they might be there depending on the synthesis method (Comb filters often bring sub-20Hz frequencies, for example), and if there's too much, a sound can feel more compressed than usual. So, if you're going to do a shelving boost to raise the subs, I would highly recommend doing a steep high pass near 30Hz to shave off the really low subs and get some headroom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's going to boost frequencies below 20Hz. Even though you can't hear them, they might be there depending on the synthesis method (Comb filters often bring sub-20Hz frequencies, for example), and if there's too much, a sound can feel more compressed than usual. So, if you're going to do a shelving boost to raise the subs, I would highly recommend doing a steep high pass near 30Hz to shave off the really low subs and get some headroom.

Eh, that is only a problem if you lose excessive amounts of headroom. If you really want to have fun you can use bells down there and then shelf below ~30Hz. I also would not use a very steep filter down there either. The reason for that is with steep filters you can run into issues of it resonating or ringing which can end up increasing that bit too. A 1 or 2 pole at the appropriate freq is more than adequate in most situations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eh, that is only a problem if you lose excessive amounts of headroom. If you really want to have fun you can use bells down there and then shelf below ~30Hz. I also would not use a very steep filter down there either. The reason for that is with steep filters you can run into issues of it resonating or ringing which can end up increasing that bit too. A 1 or 2 pole at the appropriate freq is more than adequate in most situations.

Shelving IS a problem when the song is turned up in volume, especially if you're boosting bass, so I still maintain exactly this---I would never recommend doing upwards shelving EQ in the bass. I just synthesize a bass with balanced low harmonics and use that because I can know exactly what I introduced into the sound. Steep filters have never created any issues for me, nor have they introduced any strange resonances. I never do upward shelving below even the midrange. In fact, I barely ever do substantial shelving EQ these days.

However, if I were to do an upwards shelving in the bass AND additionally do a steep high pass near 30Hz, I would also increase the bandwidth of the HP so that it cancels out more of the low shelf than it would by default.

Edited by timaeus222
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eh, that is only a problem if you lose excessive amounts of headroom. If you really want to have fun you can use bells down there and then shelf below ~30Hz. I also would not use a very steep filter down there either. The reason for that is with steep filters you can run into issues of it resonating or ringing which can end up increasing that bit too. A 1 or 2 pole at the appropriate freq is more than adequate in most situations.

Having frequencies at 20Hz can be a problem, especially with mastering. Every time I master, I completely EQ out 30Hz and lower because all that low unneeded frequency can cause clipping in the lower parts. But I think that's beside the point. :-P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shelving IS a problem when the song is turned up in volume, especially if you're boosting bass

If that is the case then the real problem is in how the mix is approached and nothing to do with extra amount of sub info. Additionally, in the case of this particular track, a shelf at around 40-60Hz would not bring up a dramatic amount of subsonic frequencies anyway, and if it did eat away a significant amount of headroom then a simple 1-2 pole filter is all that is necessary to rectify the issue. The shelf would simply give a nice lift to the amount of sub there. If it were my composition, I'd either resynthesize the bass or add a simple sine wave in the sub freqs.

Having frequencies at 20Hz can be a problem, especially with mastering. Every time I master, I completely EQ out 30Hz and lower because all that low unneeded frequency can cause clipping in the lower parts. But I think that's beside the point. :-P

Much like I stated before this is not so much the case. Clipping only happens when you go too far with limiters really. Excessive amounts of sub frequency can eat up a ton of headroom, but in reality there can be more than you might think. A relatively fine line to walk honestly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Much like I stated before this is not so much the case. Clipping only happens when you go too far with limiters really. Excessive amounts of sub frequency can eat up a ton of headroom, but in reality there can be more than you might think. A relatively fine line to walk honestly.

The issue is that sometimes you really need to boost that volume and often it begins clipping (specifically the kick and bass) and often the reason for the clipping is those pointless low frequencies.

Hardly ever is there a good reason to have low frequencies 30Hz or below.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If that is the case then the real problem is in how the mix is approached and nothing to do with extra amount of sub info. Additionally, in the case of this particular track, a shelf at around 40-60Hz would not bring up a dramatic amount of subsonic frequencies anyway, and if it did eat away a significant amount of headroom then a simple 1-2 pole filter is all that is necessary to rectify the issue. The shelf would simply give a nice lift to the amount of sub there. If it were my composition, I'd either resynthesize the bass or add a simple sine wave in the sub freqs.

Ideally, yes, unless you're in a situation like this, which as mentioned before, was possible in synthesized sounds. Even if it's a minimal shelf, it's really not necessary to have 20~30Hz left in a composition, because it's so inaudible, and additionally hard to mix properly without synthesized sounds since it would be optimal with a well-treated room, bass traps and all, and more-or-less flat-response subwoofers. Not to mention no headphones even produce frequencies that low accurately enough anyways. It's easier to leave it out (aside from synthesized sounds you trust, or samples from people like Spectrasonics, Impact Soundworks, etc., who know what they're doing with regards to providing sounds with polished low end) so you can mix as loudly as this.

Edited by timaeus222
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't agree with any sentiment of cutting out sub. Sub is not "pointless", just because you can't hear it doesn't mean it isn't there. It doesn't mean you can't feel it. Any mix you create will feel weak compared to an actual professional mix when you listen to it on any sound system that isn't your headphones.

If anyone tells you that sub is "pointless", they don't know what sub is. Sound is vibration, loud vibrations at 20-30 Hz is where physical power comes from. Ever been to a movie theater? Heard an explosion? All sub. Music has not just the power to move us emotionally, but physically as well. This is why expensive sound systems still exist and it's why people still go to concerts. It's not just "principle", it's a different physical experience.

It's fine if you don't want power in your music, but before you tell someone to cut sub you need to provide a disclaimer that you personally don't care for sound power, because then you're skewing your advice to a particular mixing style without making that clear. It's harmful to give people rules without understanding where they come from.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't agree with any sentiment of cutting out sub. Sub is not "pointless", just because you can't hear it doesn't mean it isn't there. It doesn't mean you can't feel it. Any mix you create will feel weak compared to an actual professional mix when you listen to it on any sound system that isn't your headphones.

If anyone tells you that sub is "pointless", they don't know what sub is. Sound is vibration, loud vibrations at 20-30 Hz is where physical power comes from. Ever been to a movie theater? Heard an explosion? All sub. Music has not just the power to move us emotionally, but physically as well. This is why expensive sound systems still exist and it's why people still go to concerts. It's not just "principle", it's a different physical experience.

It's fine if you don't want power in your music, but before you tell someone to cut sub you need to provide a disclaimer that you personally don't care for sound power, because then you're skewing your advice to a particular mixing style without making that clear. It's harmful to give people rules without understanding where they come from.

I never said sub was completely pointless. In terms of music, I usually don't wanna hear it. I absolutely hate those super low frequencies and plenty of producers will tell you to EQ out 20Hz because it's usually sound you won't hear unless you're at a DJ concert or want to make your ears bleed with way too much bass, hahahaha

I think sub is great for movies. But for music it's often not needed and kind of annoying. I wouldn't say always, but often.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, this sparked a debate.

G-Mixer,

Look the only reason you'll ever clip those low frequencies for the sake of turning up volume is if you're hard limiting. Simple as that, a DAW is perfectly fine and capable of producing a 20Hz sine at 0dBFS as it is a 20KHz sine at 0dBFS. It is the quest for loud that causes the clipping and is practically unavoidable due to the limitations imposed by most limiters. I see no reason why not to mix in sub ever. I will grant that HPFing 30Hz, 25Hz, 20Hz, heck even 40Hz occasionally can produce a truly monstrous sound. Increase in overall perceived level, higher overall RMS, etc . . .. But most of the time? Cutting those frequencies unless they're flabby sounding or feeling is basically pointless unless you absolutely need that extra level.

Timaeus,

20 - 30Hz is mostly inaudible, yes. But as Neblix pointed out quite finely is that these freqs are not necessarily heard they're felt. In the situation you showed, I'd honestly have to hear it before I would decide to cut it or not. Though I would at the very least throw something at 20Hz because it looks like that is going to DC which can have issues.

Now, it seems that I may have given the wrong impression of saying you need to keep those truly subsonic freqs. Never did I say I would keep them. All I said was I'd start there. Does that mean I'll keep them? Not if they sound wrong or are causing more issues than they're worth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I never said sub was completely pointless. In terms of music, I usually don't wanna hear it. I absolutely hate those super low frequencies and plenty of producers will tell you to EQ out 20Hz because it's usually sound you won't hear unless you're at a DJ concert or want to make your ears bleed with way too much bass, hahahaha

I think sub is great for movies. But for music it's often not needed and kind of annoying. I wouldn't say always, but often.

Neither did I (dude, you and I think alike, Garrett). That's just what I'm accustomed to doing because I've never badly needed those frequencies. Now, if I'm using sounds that contain those frequencies, then yeah, I'll keep in what I'm comfortable keeping in. Otherwise, it's a no for my purposes. Either way, going on about this would really be picking nits anyways.

As for the remark about headphones not going down that far, I mentioned that because it's so common to see people listening to music on headphones or earbuds these days. At least where I live, soooo many people use Skullcandy and Beats headphones that I probably do internal facepalms every time. :lol:

Oh, and APZX: Since I never really gave you the audio context, here it is:

http://oi57.tinypic.com/33275e1.jpg corresponds with https://app.box.com/s/pqp2xdtfu6aj3o7mrqe6

Edited by timaeus222
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mostly agree with G-Mixer on the mix side of things, but the lead I don't feel really needs any more EQ. If it needs more just raise it a dB or two. I think you'd be surprised. But I don't think it is ultimately necessary.

I agree. I think I took a little too much off the lead this time around so I'll bring it back up.

Okay, so yeah the left channel is definitely poking out more than it really should. EQ can most definitely help in evening it out. However, I would say take it a step further. Instead of EQ because it sounds fine just too loud I would lower the level 2-3dB and then send it to a delay with zero feedback (basically 1 echo), fully wet, with a little bit of HF and LF rolloff, at about a 1/16th or thereabouts. However, just make the level of it lower. This will not only alleviate the issue of it being pokey in the left channel but also give the track more width. If you don't want it quite so wide lower the delay time :) If you do not want it interfering with the synth rise in the beginning simply automate the send level.

Now, for the kick. I would cut out in the 200-300Hz range by just 1-2dB and then give a sizable boost of 3-4dB around 5-7KHz to bring out some more of the click. Try that as a starting point. Adjust the freqs and cuts & boosts by what sounds right to you.

For the bass I would actually straight mono it and drop it in the middle. Then I would add a shelf boost of 2-3dB around 40-60Hz to give the sub some more power. Then I would do a 1-2dB boost at about 2KHz and then roll off around 11KHz (LPF). Then I'd probably give it some light compression. Thinking something like a ratio of about 3:1, attack around 75ms and a release about 100ms with a threshold that would achieve about 4dB of GR. Then I'd personally sidechain it to the kick for a bit of a pump. Sounds like it already is sidechained too.

But yeah I'd do that as a starting point.

Gonna be honest that I don't really know how to do alot of these things. I personally use audacity to mix (I can hear you laughing lol). Personally speaking, I like to try to keem my lower frequencies on the right and my higher frequencies on the left to get achieve stereo widening. Not sure if that's a good practice or not TBH.

I'm not going to get a chance to hack at this again until the weekend, but if someone could explain in more laymens terms in regards to what I need to do I would appreciate it so that way I could read up on it and give this another shot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gonna be honest that I don't really know how to do alot of these things. I personally use audacity to mix (I can hear you laughing lol). Personally speaking, I like to try to keep my lower frequencies on the right and my higher frequencies on the left to get achieve stereo widening. Not sure if that's a good practice or not TBH.

I'm not going to get a chance to hack at this again until the weekend, but if someone could explain in more laymens terms in regards to what I need to do I would appreciate it so that way I could read up on it and give this another shot.

Alright, let's see what's up. APZX seems like a pretty technical guy based on what he said here, so don't worry if it feels that way.

Okay, so based on what you said here, I'm hearing the main issue. You said that you pan your low end (sub bass, bass, low-mids) to the right and high end (upper mids, presence, treble) to the left. That is, put euphemistically, unorthodox. Some instruments make sense to be narrow, some wide, some left, and some right. Just panning instruments of certain frequency ranges to the left or right is going to make things sound odd sometimes. One can argue that it could work for a live performance emulation, but this doesn't involve organic instruments (guitar, piano, etc.), so let's put that off to the side.

Let's break down what instruments you have in here:

0:01 - 0:03:

  • Left-panned, gated, sorta digital (or high-passed synth guitar-esque?) synth
  • Right-panned phasered FM sweep
  • Left-panned quiet kick drum (?)
  • Left-panned hi hats

0:03 - 0:14:

  • Center-panned dance-y kick drum
  • Left-panned, gated, sorta digital synth (quieter)
  • Right-panned phasered FM sweep (quieter)
  • Slightly left-panned distant lead synth
  • Wide bass (which is somehow more trebly on the right)

0:14 - End:

  • Slightly left-panned (?) soft 80's arp (cool sound, by the way)

With the mixing, I wouldn't personally feel the need to suggest really particular edits, since you might have somewhere near or over a year of experience based on how long it's been since you joined OCR, and doing a bunch of specific things can feel like adhering to someone else's personal preference, or maybe "so why am I doing this?".

I would pan the bass back to the center. If it's too mono, then there's a chance for a gap in the piece's stereo space when you scan from left to right, so I would leave it simply centered, and just narrow it a little; just enough, so you can tell it's not wide, but not completely, so that it's not too narrow. The reason why is so that there's more horizontal room for sounds that are more suited for wider panning (there are some exceptions to keeping bass centered, one of them being dubstep bass occasionally being wide, but that's beside the point).

The kick drum feels centered the whole time, which would be fine, though I'm not sure if there's another kick. The first 3 seconds seems to have a left-panned kick---unless it's the same one somehow and the treble frequencies weren't audible yet during the fade. It might be something else. Centering it helps to make it heard most often, considering this is a dance-like piece.

I'd also pan the lead back to the center; it feels near 10~30% left at the moment, and as it is, it contributes to making the piece as a whole feel lopsided. I would additionally raise its volume, and leave it at that for now. We'll see how it sounds then. Putting it center garners more attention than if it was towards the left, similar to the reasoning for the kick drum.

The FM sweep is barely audible (the gated synth is louder), so I would suggest either raising the volume on the FM sweep so that you can hear it alongside everything else, or just take it out if you want to make the gated synth on the left side louder and use that by itself instead. Personally, I would choose the gated synth, but whichever one you choose, try making a copy of its instantiation (cloning it), tweaking a few parameters to make it sound a bit different, then panning one instance left and one instance right (that way, there's less phase cancellation than if you panned the same exact sound left and right, and the sound remains intact). Alternatively, if your synth for the gated or FM synth has a Width knob, I would suggest raising it to 80~100%. It would do sort of the same thing, but with only one sound instance necessary. This widening makes use of the left and right, but not so awkwardly.

Edited by timaeus222
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, this sparked a debate.

G-Mixer,

Look the only reason you'll ever clip those low frequencies for the sake of turning up volume is if you're hard limiting. Simple as that, a DAW is perfectly fine and capable of producing a 20Hz sine at 0dBFS as it is a 20KHz sine at 0dBFS. It is the quest for loud that causes the clipping and is practically unavoidable due to the limitations imposed by most limiters. I see no reason why not to mix in sub ever. I will grant that HPFing 30Hz, 25Hz, 20Hz, heck even 40Hz occasionally can produce a truly monstrous sound. Increase in overall perceived level, higher overall RMS, etc . . .. But most of the time? Cutting those frequencies unless they're flabby sounding or feeling is basically pointless unless you absolutely need that extra level.

Timaeus,

20 - 30Hz is mostly inaudible, yes. But as Neblix pointed out quite finely is that these freqs are not necessarily heard they're felt. In the situation you showed, I'd honestly have to hear it before I would decide to cut it or not. Though I would at the very least throw something at 20Hz because it looks like that is going to DC which can have issues.

Now, it seems that I may have given the wrong impression of saying you need to keep those truly subsonic freqs. Never did I say I would keep them. All I said was I'd start there. Does that mean I'll keep them? Not if they sound wrong or are causing more issues than they're worth.

Just talked with a professional mix engineer about this. I get where you're coming from but I'm just gonna settle this hahaha! He told me that he never keeps in anything below 30 or 25Hz and if he doesn't do it himself, the mastering engineer always rolls it out. He did tell me (without me bringing it up) that it would be probably be used in a big DJ concert or a film or something of the sort, but it's basically useless and unneeded low frequencies that can actually sometimes mess with the mix or cause sounds that aren't wanted if kept in. But this can be avoidable, but he nevertheless usually gets rid of it because it's unneeded. And again, if he doesn't, the mastering engineer does.

Not trying to get in your face about it, I sure hope it didn't come off that way. Text can often be read the wrong way. :-P I just wanna settle this argument, because I'm pretty sure that's not the main topic of this thread. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alright, let's see what's up. APZX seems like a pretty technical guy based on what he said here, so don't worry if it feels that way.

Okay, so based on what you said here, I'm hearing the main issue. You said that you pan your low end (sub bass, bass, low-mids) to the right and high end (upper mids, presence, treble) to the left. That is, put euphemistically, unorthodox. Some instruments make sense to be narrow, some wide, some left, and some right. Just panning instruments of certain frequency ranges to the left or right is going to make things sound odd sometimes. One can argue that it could work for a live performance emulation, but this doesn't involve organic instruments (guitar, piano, etc.), so let's put that off to the side.

Let's break down what instruments you have in here:

0:01 - 0:03:

  • Left-panned, gated, sorta digital (or high-passed synth guitar-esque?) synth
  • Right-panned phasered FM sweep
  • Left-panned quiet kick drum (?)
  • Left-panned hi hats

0:03 - 0:14:

  • Center-panned dance-y kick drum
  • Left-panned, gated, sorta digital synth (quieter)
  • Right-panned phasered FM sweep (quieter)
  • Slightly left-panned distant lead synth
  • Wide bass (which is somehow more trebly on the right)

0:14 - End:

  • Slightly left-panned (?) soft 80's arp (cool sound, by the way)

That guitar esque sound is a keyboard voice I have called "psych noise" and it has a tendency to sound guitar-esque, especially when layers and phaser has been applied. In pure form, it sounds like a floppy disk drive when you run them with a midi controller.

I kinda have a thing for nasty and gritty sounds so I do use that voice quite a bit.

The drum track itself is layered and I did pan some of the high hats toward the left as they are a more trebly sound.

As for the bass synth. That is layered and I applied a treble layer to help the bass cut through everything else and preserve most of it's raw sound.

The lead itself is just a detuned sawtooth with portamento. I added a reverb layer and crossfaded that soft 80's arp at the end. But it's mostly pretty basic.

And that 80's arp is the same arp used in Rush's "The Camera Eye" from the OPX Pro II. I've been looking for an excuse to use it somewhere for a long time lol.

Anyway, I'm getting ready to start on this again. It's gonna be a little while because because I'm going back to the completely raw tracks.

What I have trouble with the most is that after I've heard the same track over and over for awhile, everything starts just blending together and I can't tell whether I made a good or a bad change in the mix. I guess it's part of the learning process.

Thank you for your patience.

The soft 80's arp

With the mixing, I wouldn't personally feel the need to suggest really particular edits, since you might have somewhere near or over a year of experience based on how long it's been since you joined OCR, and doing a bunch of specific things can feel like adhering to someone else's personal preference, or maybe "so why am I doing this?".

I would pan the bass back to the center. If it's too mono, then there's a chance for a gap in the piece's stereo space when you scan from left to right, so I would leave it simply centered, and just narrow it a little; just enough, so you can tell it's not wide, but not completely, so that it's not too narrow. The reason why is so that there's more horizontal room for sounds that are more suited for wider panning (there are some exceptions to keeping bass centered, one of them being dubstep bass occasionally being wide, but that's beside the point).

The kick drum feels centered the whole time, which would be fine, though I'm not sure if there's another kick. The first 3 seconds seems to have a left-panned kick---unless it's the same one somehow and the treble frequencies weren't audible yet during the fade. It might be something else. Centering it helps to make it heard most often, considering this is a dance-like piece.

I'd also pan the lead back to the center; it feels near 10~30% left at the moment, and as it is, it contributes to making the piece as a whole feel lopsided. I would additionally raise its volume, and leave it at that for now. We'll see how it sounds then. Putting it center garners more attention than if it was towards the left, similar to the reasoning for the kick drum.

The FM sweep is barely audible (the gated synth is louder), so I would suggest either raising the volume on the FM sweep so that you can hear it alongside everything else, or just take it out if you want to make the gated synth on the left side louder and use that by itself instead. Personally, I would choose the gated synth, but whichever one you choose, try making a copy of its instantiation (cloning it), tweaking a few parameters to make it sound a bit different, then panning one instance left and one instance right (that way, there's less phase cancellation than if you panned the same exact sound left and right, and the sound remains intact). Alternatively, if your synth for the gated or FM synth has a Width knob, I would suggest raising it to 80~100%. It would do sort of the same thing, but with only one sound instance necessary. This widening makes use of the left and right, but not so awkwardly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...