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I'm just getting back into recording/mixing after a few years off, so this might be rough on your ears. It's all done in S1 v3 pro.

https://soundcloud.com/craiger-3/trail-mix2

It's an attempt to mix a tune recorded by a friend, and the vox and sax are performed by his daughter and school friends. Drums are canned EZ-drummer loops, the rest is live.

I'm not doing the tune any justice with my mixing, so appreciate any advice on how to correct low-hanging fruit issues.

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by timmorris on Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:37 pm
Hi...well done for posting something !...thats a good start.

All the bits are there...but the mix is not quite...

I found myself turning up at the start only to get a shockwave when the crash and drums came in...

I would go through the tracks and check your peaks an levels, maybe think about some light compression to get a more even mix, there is also a bit of a mid range thing going on which is slightly nasty on my monitors anyway.

The instruments seem to be fighting each other, its like they kept getting turned up to cut through when its not volume they need its EQ .

Any how...who am I :roll: ...just my opinion...

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by soerlema on Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:24 pm
Not bad at all, but it could use more punch.
The bass needs a lot more power (some compression maybe).
The girl has a very nice voice, reminds of Norah Jones at times. But there are some pitch issues which I'm sure could be fixed.
I understand you had to mix with tracks that were recorded by someone else. This makes it extra challenging because the recording quality might be compromised.
I would pan the sax towards the left and the acoustic a bit more right with a bit of stereo reverb. The problem is that the EZ drums sound super stereo and roomy and the sax and acoustic are very 'mono' and dry.
I like the song though and it has a lot of potential.
Hope this helps. Just my opinion :)
Sam.

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by Black_Haus on Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:53 pm
I really like the song.

The singer has a great voice. I would add a bit of ambiance to her track and pan the backup vocals a little more to the center with a lower volume. Maybe panned like 50-60% right/left and add some reverb to them as well so they sit back in the mix a bit. Then certain sections of the backup vox could be panned out wider for some variety.

The low end of the Drums and the Bass could be more prominent to add some weight to the track and some of the cymbal crashes could be reduced in level by lowering the MIDI note velocity. Some slight panning of the Sax & Guitar to separate their spaces might be useful.

Some of these suggestions might be considered more production choices rather than mixing and all are just my personal opinion so take them as such.

Very nice performances by the musicians.

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by zzskhg on Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:23 pm
Thanks for the listen and comments! I'm going to attempt a remix from scratch this weekend with your comments in mind. My gain staging on the first pass was pretty lazy, I didn't keep in mind that the song changes levels frequently, and because there's so few tracks I didn't do any bussing.

I'm hoping better gain staging and bussing will allow me to level things out with light compression on the busses, that seems to be something everyone caught as an issue.

As far as EQ, I SUCK at it, but will try to address those issues as well. I'll post a v2 in the near future. Thanks again!

Windows 10 home, i7 quad core, 16 gig ram, studio 192, faderport 8, jbl lsr305 monitors. S1v3.2 pro.
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by zzskhg on Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:02 am
Sorry for the delayed remix. I really don't have an ear for mixing, so I appreciate the suggestions offered on the original mix, and I've tried to address them with this version (including asking the performers to retrack some parts).

Here's a new mix:

https://soundcloud.com/craiger-3/trail-3-9-mix

It sounds ok to me. My pre-master mix maxes around -12 db overall. I used a limiter on the master to push it up to -5. Should I be gain-staging the original tracks better to get the levels up instead of relying on make-up-gain from a limiter?


Thanks!

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by Black_Haus on Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:50 am
It has been a while since I listened to your original mix, but the drums seem to be a little more present and filling out the mix better in this latest version.

I would still like to hear a little more reverb on the lead vocal although she sounds good as is and i’d like the backing vocals to be a little further back, but again just a personal preference and it sounds good the way you have it.

This is a really good track . Especially the lead vocals . I’d like to have her sing on some of my songs

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by rscain on Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:55 pm
I think it sounds fine. I mean, if you're like me you could mix it forever and always think you could do better. At some point call it a done deal and move on. Of course, 6 months from now you'll have learned a bunnch of stuff and you might come back to it. :P

Tunes like this are tough to mix, different volumes and instruments coming and going. I think you've done a really nice job with it. All the elements are there, good tones on everything, good job!

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by boudie123 on Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:14 pm
timmorris wroteHi...well done for posting something !...thats a good start.

All the bits are there...but the mix is not quite...

I found myself turning up at the start only to get a shockwave when the crash and drums came in...

I would go through the tracks and check your peaks an levels, maybe think about some light compression to get a more even mix, there is also a bit of a mid range thing going on which is slightly nasty on my monitors anyway.

The instruments seem to be fighting each other, its like they kept getting turned up to cut through when its not volume they need its EQ .

Any how...who am I :roll: ...just my opinion...

bass drum needs more of low end . to click sounding, but i liked it

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by smueske on Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:44 pm
I listened to both mixes several times. The original mix is a lot louder and feels more present, but the drums don't feel properly gain staged. The second mix, overall, sounds better, but it's significantly quieter and therefore doesn't sound as full,

"It sounds ok to me. My pre-master mix maxes around -12 db overall. I used a limiter on the master to push it up to -5. Should I be gain-staging the original tracks better to get the levels up instead of relying on make-up-gain from a limiter? "

I think band-type mixes should be mixed to around -6db for the mixing stage (to leave headroom for mastering), and then mastered to about -.5 or so (that's negative point five) -- I think -5 for a ceiling on a finished, mastered track is overkill. My opinion, for what it's worth, is that it should be gain-staged without a limiter to about -6, then address the last stage of compression, EQ, and limiting in the mastering stage, as a separate process.


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