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Hi all. This is my first time posting an original piece on OCR. Feel free to give a critique. Please be nice! 

This started off as just an experiment to capture some 80's Synthwave style sounds so the composition is quite simple. Trouble was it got a bit stuck in my head, especially when out on a run, so needed to be finished. It's intentionally in a short, "Radio Edit" format which I quite like for this.

If I was to be critical of a few things myself, I think there's some EQ work to be done to crisp things up a bit. A certain amount of mud is needed for the 80's feel and heavy drums but some tweaks might lift it a bit and increase the power.

Have at ye!

Edited by GlacialSpoon
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Nice tune, a lot going on so it doesn't get boring. I found the low-end a bit overpowering and loose, not well controlled. It could do with some brightness, boosting the hi-hats and adding air to the arps could help.

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Thanks Voex, I can hear what you mean now that you mention it. Sometimes you need another set of ears. I honestly find the final mix, EQ and mastering to be the hardest bits.

I've uploaded another mix that hopefully tightens the bass a little by taking some of lingering boom of the kicks away and using a sub-sine to drive the bass lines more. There's some minor hat tweaks and some very subtle "presence" (mid-high reverb and widening) on some leads too.

Thanks for the tips, I'm ready for round 2.

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The kick certainly sounds better, that and the snare are more in-your-face. The highs are more noticeable too, but there's still the bassline which still sounds boomy. What headphones or monitors do you use to mix?

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Hi, I've had another go at it being much more aggressive on the de-booming:

Thanks again for the guidance Voex!

At the moment I'm using my HyperX Cloud Revolver II headset most of the time out of politeness for the others around me. It strikes a decent balance in mid-high but perhaps is messing with my bass. I've got some Audio Teknica and SONY cans I use sometimes too but they both do something in the mids that sounds great at the time but can result in mixes that sound worse on speakers or other headphones.

My speakers aren't great for music. They're just an old 5.1 Creative set where the balance changes depending on where your head is.

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No problem, happy to give some advice, though I'm by no means an expert. Bass is one of the hardest things to get right in a mix, this is just stuff I've learnt from studying and many hours of wrestling with it.

So the bass no longer dominates, but it lacks definition overall. I think the problem may be too much sub-bass e.g. ~60Hz and below, and not enough of the 100-200 range which gives bass it's "punch", if balanced in the right way.  It sounds like you possibly don't have the sub-bass in mono as well? This helps keep it in control. This article explains, and has other good tips: www.izotope.com/en/learn/5-ways-to-boost-bass-in-a-mix.html

Yeah that HyperX headset is for gaming, so it'll likely have an exaggerated low-end which would explain the bass issue, you'll want a pair designed for audio work for better results.

Also here's a useful guide for general EQ:

AVTZSxa.jpg

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Oh man, that's frustrating. Some of what you mention is exactly what I was trying to avoid.

The stereo bass thing is really interesting and I wondering if I've got a side-effect coming from somewhere. In 1d I specifically routed the new sine bass to bypass everything except the master channel (which has a limiter on it pretty close to the default for FL projects). There's a slight bit of side-chaining applied to duck some bass on kick but that's it. I'm using a simple 3xOsc to create this but only with 1 oscillator. There doesn't look like a whole lot going on around 60hz or lower from the sine so maybe there's some other sound to blame. Harmless is creating the main bassline but it's now highpassed with a gentle slope past about 120hz as it is a little wide. There's a whole load of stuff for the more complex bass bits but a similar approach has been taken to replace the low end with a simple sine. Some detective work is needed!

So what is "definition" in this context? Is it a way of describing the ability to discern the intended note?

That image is a great reference though. Cheers for digging that out, and thanks again in general.

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Harmless is creating the main bassline but it's now highpassed with a gentle slope past about 120hz as it is a little wide

An easy way to check the sub-bass is in mono is to use an EQ which has a side-only processing mode, which only affects stereo content. Melda has a free EQ which does that.

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There's a whole load of stuff for the more complex bass bits but a similar approach has been taken to replace the low end with a simple sine. Some detective work is needed!

Yeah, there could also just be a build up of frequencies in a certain range causing resonance. Can't really be sure without seeing the EQ.

 

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So what is "definition" in this context? Is it a way of describing the ability to discern the intended note?

Pretty much yeah. Bass generally has some mid range/high-mids content that gives it presence/definition. Depends what you want for the song, if you don't want it to be so defined that's valid too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Round 5:

Found some more contributors to some low end spikes whilst adding some 120hz-ish action. I think it works for the main arpy bits but I'm not sure it's done much to the to the more electro-house bass bits.

There's so much EQ going on now but it's pretty to watch :)

Cheers

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