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I started making beats for myself, many years ago. All my albums were sent off to be mixed by someone else, so I never learned how to do it, beyond rough mixes. Now I feel bad, but I am really trying to learn. I just recently made a full time switch to Studio One from FL Studio. I used to make my beats in FL, and record my vocals in S1. Now, I am doing it all in S1, and I absolutely love it. I don't know if it's just placebo, but I actually feel more creative, and able to lay things out like I couldn't before. It's weird. Anyways, I'm posting a few tracks, hoping for some feedback.

The limiter is killing me... I always wondered why my stuff used to sound so quiet, and how the people would make it so loud. I've watched lots of stuff on the limiter, but still can't seem to bring my levels up to what my previous work has been.

phpBB [audio]


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So, I'd love to hear your opinion on the mixes. I'd like to know if I am basically on the right track, at least. I've been practicing for about 2 weeks now, but have nothing to gauge if I'm doing alright or not. Thank you!

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by Black_Haus on Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:15 pm
Hey I like both of these especially the second one. It’s got a really good groove to it. Sounds pretty good listening on my earbuds.

I don’t know how accurate Soundcloud‘s depiction of the wav form is but I notice there are a lot of high peaks in it. If you could tame those peaks you could probably bring up the level of the whole mix with the Mixtool or output gain on your compressor.

I like to drag a song from a mix that I like into the project page, bypass all my processing and compare that to my tracks with the processing on. Maybe that will help get you to where you want to be

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by Bbd on Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:41 pm
Hey commonchild. Welcome.

Both production sound great on my end. I listen with Presonus Sceptre 6's.
Your bottom end is killer. I don't hear any issue with the mids and highs even at loud playback volume. It will sound different in earbuds but what I just heard is killer on both songs.

Keep up the good work!
:)

Bbd

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by commonchild on Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:51 am
Thanks to both of you, I really appreciate the time. Thanks for the positive feedback! Maybe I am being overly critical. They sounded really horrible in my car today, though. Like, I wanted to puke, horrible :) I'm super excited to keep going, and building in the community.

Thanks again.

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by miked7 on Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:25 am
+1 to what the other guys said. These sound great, and I especially like "Take My Hand".

You mentioned a limiter and loudness in your first post, and it immediately made me think of this tutorial.

https://youtu.be/E-qpQn8BQ2I

Besides all the great Studio One resources on this site, this guy's YouTube channel has been one of my absolute favorite the last couple of years. I could go on and on, but you really just have to listen to how well he explains stuff. Lots of really useful and helpful tips here.

https://www.youtube.com/user/mixbustv

Beside that, as @Black_Haus mentioned, it's really helpful to reference your tracks against commercial songs that sound similar or that have a sound you're going for. There are lots of different ways to do this, so it may be helpful to read up on that too.

Great job on these - looking forward to your next tracks!

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by Black_Haus on Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:00 am
commonchild wroteThey sounded really horrible in my car today, though. Like, I wanted to puke, horrible :
.

Maybe it’s time to buy a new car? What I heard caused no nausea whatsoever

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by jpsbuk on Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:30 am
+1 to the comments above for Take My Hand .. that is one serious bass line you have going there .. very full yet very clear and defined .. nice job!

I wasn't so comfortable with Before The Stars Burnout .. This one seemed a bit muddier to me, maybe something to do with the piano reverb. Maybe it was also because I didn't enjoy the tune so much, it seemed to ramble a little bit for my taste. Of course this is all a 'personal taste' thing.

Thanks for sharing.

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by commonchild on Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:58 am
miked7 wrote+1 to what the other guys said. These sound great, and I especially like "Take My Hand".

You mentioned a limiter and loudness in your first post, and it immediately made me think of this tutorial.

https://youtu.be/E-qpQn8BQ2I

Besides all the great Studio One resources on this site, this guy's YouTube channel has been one of my absolute favorite the last couple of years. I could go on and on, but you really just have to listen to how well he explains stuff. Lots of really useful and helpful tips here.

https://www.youtube.com/user/mixbustv

Beside that, as @Black_Haus mentioned, it's really helpful to reference your tracks against commercial songs that sound similar or that have a sound you're going for. There are lots of different ways to do this, so it may be helpful to read up on that too.

Great job on these - looking forward to your next tracks!


thank you for the resource, I will add them to my subs. Thanks for listening and the feedback, I appreciate it.

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by commonchild on Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:01 am
jpsbuk wrote+1 to the comments above for Take My Hand .. that is one serious bass line you have going there .. very full yet very clear and defined .. nice job!

I wasn't so comfortable with Before The Stars Burnout .. This one seemed a bit muddier to me, maybe something to do with the piano reverb. Maybe it was also because I didn't enjoy the tune so much, it seemed to ramble a little bit for my taste. Of course this is all a 'personal taste' thing.

Thanks for sharing.



thank you. bass lines are very new to me as well, I've always found them intimidating for some reason, so I either had other people add them, or just skip them entirely. Thanks again, your feedback means a lot.

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by miked7 on Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:58 am
Just curious, which instruments are you using?

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by commonchild on Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:32 pm
miked7 wroteJust curious, which instruments are you using?


In BTSBO, the main piano is a sample I chopped up and played through Impact. First time using Impact, and it was pretty fun. Then I have 3 instances of Presence for the other instruments.

Take My Hand is similar, the main loops are a sample I chopped up, only I think I used Sample One to play them out. The instruments are 1 Presence and 1 from Reason (combinator I think). The rest are samples.

I'm planning on getting more instruments...I used Dimension Pro for years with FL, because I got it with Sonar 8. But now I can't use it in S1 for some reason. I think it's because I only have it as 32bit, and I can't get into the old Cakewalk site to download the patch.

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by Black_Haus on Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:13 pm
Man I really dig this track (Take my Hand). Listened at home on My Klipsch 2.1 System and that Bass & Kick are really thumping together nicely!

The "Work Theory Music" part could use a little more space between the words "Theory" & "Music". The last syllable of theory seems to overlap the beginning of "Music" and took me a minute to figure out what you where saying. Maybe that was intentional iDK.

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by commonchild on Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:36 pm
Black_Haus wroteMan I really dig this track (Take my Hand). Listened at home on My Klipsch 2.1 System and that Bass & Kick are really thumping together nicely!

The "Work Theory Music" part could use a little more space between the words "Theory" & "Music". The last syllable of theory seems to overlap the beginning of "Music" and took me a minute to figure out what you where saying. Maybe that was intentional iDK.


Sweet thanks. It's comforting hearing positive feedback on the bass, since it's never been anything I've focused on before. This was the first time I threw vocal tags on a beat, so I'll definitely redo them at some point. Thanks again, Black_Haus

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by soerlema on Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:40 pm
I went through all your tracks on SC.
Like other people already stated, your mixes are certainly not bad. It all sounds very pleasant.
I have no experience with your genre, but I like the arrangements and sounds. Very original.
Excellent work! :)
Sam.

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by Lawrence on Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:06 am
Now I feel bad, but I am really trying to learn.

Here's my personal checklist for mixing, when I was mixing for a client or something where the expectations were a bit higher, which is a bit of a different thing than mixing for fun . I hope it helps.

1. Set yourself up for success:

Choose an optimal time to mix. My preferred time was early Saturday or Sunday morning after a good breakfast. I'd have fresh ears and be well rested and fed which made it a good bit easier to focus.

2. Always use a good reference mix:

A good sounding comparative same-genre commercial reference is your best friend for knowing when or if you start to go off the rails. A great reference mix will keep you humble and make you work harder and longer to get closer to it.

3. Don't be lazy:

Don't take shortcuts like compressing everything instead of digging in and doing a lot potentially tedious level and plugin automation. Also, find the patience to really dig into (for example) a "not very well" recorded vocal track and doing 30-60+ minutes of tedious editing so that it sounds as good as possible. It's (short of really well recorded audio stems) actual "work" in the literal sense, so just settle in and do it.

4. Live with it for a few days in the real world:

The first inclination is to let someone else hear it or post it on the Internet. Don't do it. Live with it for a few days and listen in the car, the home stereo, the iPod, everywhere, and make literal written notes and circle back and fix all of those things.

I typically didn't let a client hear the direction of a mix until it was at "personal revision 3" or so, then we'd start working on his or her requested revisions or changes if any. If you don't have a few regrets after the initial mix, you're not listening hard enough.

Hope some of that helps.

P.S. Don't use 100 billion plugins just because that's what some people on YouTube do.
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by commonchild on Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:21 am
soerlema wroteI went through all your tracks on SC.
Like other people already stated, your mixes are certainly not bad. It all sounds very pleasant.
I have no experience with your genre, but I like the arrangements and sounds. Very original.
Excellent work! :)
Sam.


thank you for listening and the positive encouragement.

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by commonchild on Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:21 am
Lawrence wrote
Now I feel bad, but I am really trying to learn.

Here's my personal checklist for mixing, when I was mixing for a client or something where the expectations were a bit higher, which is a bit of a different thing than mixing for fun . I hope it helps.

1. Set yourself up for success:

Choose an optimal time to mix. My preferred time was early Saturday or Sunday morning after a good breakfast. I'd have fresh ears and be well rested and fed which made it a good bit easier to focus.

2. Always use a good reference mix:

A good sounding comparative same-genre commercial reference is your best friend for knowing when or if you start to go off the rails. A great reference mix will keep you humble and make you work harder and longer to get closer to it.

3. Don't be lazy:

Don't take shortcuts like compressing everything instead of digging in and doing a lot potentially tedious level and plugin automation. Also, find the patience to really dig into (for example) a "not very well" recorded vocal track and doing 30-60+ minutes of tedious editing so that it sounds as good as possible. It's (short of really well recorded audio stems) actual "work" in the literal sense, so just settle in and do it.

4. Live with it for a few days in the real world:

The first inclination is to let someone else hear it or post it on the Internet. Don't do it. Live with it for a few days and listen in the car, the home stereo, the iPod, everywhere, and make literal written notes and circle back and fix all of those things.

I typically didn't let a client hear the direction of a mix until it was at "personal revision 3" or so, then we'd start working on his or her requested revisions or changes if any. If you don't have a few regrets after the initial mix, you're not listening hard enough.

Hope some of that helps.

P.S. Don't use 100 billion plugins just because that's what some people on YouTube do.


It helps, Lawrence. Thanks for the tips :)

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by Lokeyfly on Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:56 pm
Sounds good, commonchild.

Good list from Lawrence. . Yeah, being away from the mix and coming in with fresh ears even a day or two later is very important. Take notes as to your impressions, and compare your mix against several good references.

Also the genre or more importantly, where the music will be used is a real consideration. This is what Lawrence means by where you envision the music used. Seriously important. Not everything is slammin' or needs to compete with volume wars.

For my last released work "Reasonable Approach", the music was largely for film and the intention was a soothing element of simply that collection of songs. So the family of songs also get consideration when mixing, and not competing on any pop or mainstream groove.


My newest songs I am working on are on a more progressive side of things so levels are pushed more. Still, if I use something like a Neuvo flamenco piece, that's going to sit with that style, and level.

commonchild wroteThey sounded really horrible in my car today, though. Like, I wanted to puke, horrible :


Both BTSBO, and Take my hand mixes sounds good, and like Bbd says, the mix is kickin'. Particularly around 80hz. Tight even around the 50hz area as well on my Mackie HR824's. I also check mixes with Yamaha HS7's, or through a few good cans like my Senheizer HD650's. Don't worry what your car is projecting. It's likely some exaggerated curves that are defined with some things, and not others. Always try your mixes on different sources. Particularly some good near fields, where comparing with good references are critical.

Cheers.

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by Lawrence on Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:12 am
I'll add something that Matt will probably agree with as he mostly records live audio and I know he takes time to record good signals.

You'll notice that sometimes you'll download stems to mix from other people and it's really easy to get a really good end result. That's not a coincidence. That's because whoever did the recordings was patient and took care to record really good signals... making the mix stage much easier.

For an artist recording their own music, there's no excuse for "fixing it in the mix" too much, when you have all the time you need to get it right on the front end. If you need to put 8 plugins on a track that you actually recorded to make it sound halfway decent, that's not good.
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by commonchild on Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:39 pm
Thanks Lawrence and Lokeyfly,

Very valuable information. Lawrence, I have been learning about gain staging; I don't actually record anything live, only VSTs. I do bring in samples, though, which I have been adjusting the gain on. That's something I never used to pay attention to when I worked in FL, and I believe it has made a big difference on the way I even approach a song. You are all so awesome. Thank you for taking the time.


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