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Black Metal - mix/master

Discussion in 'Practice Room' started by Heabow, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. Heabow

    Heabow More cowbell!

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    Hey

    Here is a sample of an album I produced. I worked on the drum programming upon their parts to get something better. I don't do much Black Metal so I'd like to have opinions. My first attempt was more mid focused (guitars) and the overall stuff was not so bright but the band still wants more brightness especially on guitars...

    Edit - I was not able to upload the entire song so I prefer to send a "short" clip instead of a worse MP3 quality clip.
     

    Attached Files:

    #1 Heabow, Mar 1, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
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  2. Lupus1984

    Lupus1984 https://soundcloud.com/xenotype-mixing

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    Killer!!! Nice Mix. I'd leave it that way, more brightness would kill the atmosphere in my opinion. What did you use for guitars? Amp wise....
     
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  3. Heabow

    Heabow More cowbell!

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    Thanks for listening man, glad you like it. I used my trusty Engl Savage 120 and a brand new recto cab. Not so much processing actually.
     
  4. TRUIE

    TRUIE Member

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    Sounds good !
    Some things that bothered me a bit, but it's a matter of personal preference : guitars are a bit too upfront, and everything lacks a bit of ambiance/sounds too dry (mainly vocals and rythm dist guitars).
    You can try to use at least a room reverb bus and send a bit of everything in it ? (already hearing some verb on guitars, maybe a bit more ?)
    Maybe some longer reverb on vocals (plate or hall), at least on some parts ?

    Also, i think it's a bit too modern sounding for black metal, maybe try to experiment more with higher HP filters on everything ?
    Snare is a beat too meaty maybe (for the genre, still)

    Anyway, it sounds reallly good as it is, these are just some points, don't know if the band want to sounds über trüe or wants a more modern approach :D
     
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  5. MrBongo

    MrBongo idiot at work

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    i really appreciate any black metal that doesn´t sound as if it was recorded with a neon red tape recorder for kids, from 2 rooms´ distance :thumbsup:

    Please don´t add treble nor ambience to the existing instruments! If anything, record one or two layers of keys and mix them like -40dB
     
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  6. Heabow

    Heabow More cowbell!

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    Thanks for the feedback mates! Really appreciated ;)

    Truie, you have some good points here I think. I am a bit too shy with verbs as I'm afraid to ruin everything but I'll check taht out! The band wants and, to me, needs, a sound on the modern side.

    MrBongo, like you I don't think this mix needs to be brighter actually. Maybe just a touch of well managed verbs could do the trick.
     
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  7. AntonioPetrole

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    This is pretty cool, sounds pretty similar to Rotting Christ's older stuff which I definitely appreciate. I don't really have any criticism, I can't think of anything I'd change upon first listen. Perhaps making that clean bridge a bit more clear (it's kind of dark and washed out sounding, unless that's what you're going for). The blasts after it though are stellar :kickass: There's something about the way that black metal drummers blast that's just so organic and awesome sounding. If you need a reference mix (since you usually don't do this style), I'd check out Rotting Christ's "Theogonia" album. It's pretty similar to this stuff in a lot of ways and is really a great sounding production for black metal. They use a lot of cool effects and chants in certain parts (kind of similar to the backing during that blast after the bridge).
     
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  8. Heabow

    Heabow More cowbell!

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    THANK YOU!! Man, this makes me confident :)

    I will check Rotting Christ. I only know the name but never really listened to them. Also, the drum prog were pretty poor and the music was definitely deserving something better, so I'm happy you noticed that part of the job.
     
  9. sinquestsound

    sinquestsound SinMix

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    :thumbsup: Another :thumbsup: for Savage:headbang:

    Stay Metal!
     
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  10. Adee

    Adee Member

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    The mix is tiny overdone. I'd suggest to make more space, more clarity to the whole mix. Its too muddy for my taste. It sounds good but there is still lot of ear piercing mid range issues witch make the mix ear fatiguing in a short time of listening. Most of it come from guitars. Love the drum sound - nice and smooth. I'd suggest work on OH more to keep good and even stereo image. But overall good job.
    Compare to Ermin's or my productions - play both for some time and then play your song and make frequency comparison (by ear! Not by analysers!) - you'll definitely hear the differences I'am talking about:
    Song 1 Song 2
    Tested on: Adam A77x monitors, KRK Rokit8 III monitors, BD DT 770pro, BD DT880pro
     
    #10 Adee, Mar 2, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
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  11. Heabow

    Heabow More cowbell!

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    Thanks a lot Adee for your advices! You pointed at what I hate in my mixes tbh. I listened to the two songs you linked and I definitely hear what you're talking about but whatever I do trying to fix it in the guitar tone, it never sounds good to me. From what I hear, I think the problem lies in the 2-4Khz range and if I cut/reduce in that area (whatever Q I use) the guitars lack presence and clarity. Again, that's a weak point I try to get rid of for a long time now :/
     
  12. Adee

    Adee Member

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    I exactly know where the problem lays mate. I had the same problem in the past and fought with this for a long time. I have visited my friend in Germany (he runs his own, well known studio) and with litres of good German and Czech lager (very important) we talked a lot about guitar processing and he gave me plenty of lessons "how to". I spent 4 weeks practicing there. Since then my productions sound better and better week after week and now I'm ready to open my own recording studio.

    Important advice: good guitar tone lays at the source. Don't rely on post EQ too much.
    Obviously there are couple of standard EQ tweaks you must do such as HP, LP filters or cardboard zone etc etc
    You MUST be happy with your tone before you press "R" button :)
     
    #12 Adee, Mar 4, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  13. Heabow

    Heabow More cowbell!

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    This is supposed to be the finished product. Still gotta fix some minor details but it's 99% there. Tried to push a bit the vocals to the front as I tend to bury them everytime. Feel free to share you thoughts.
     

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  14. Heabow

    Heabow More cowbell!

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  15. He's Dead, Jim

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    Vocals need more reverb, but fine other than that. Needless to say it's way more polished than most black metal records.
     
  16. Heabow

    Heabow More cowbell!

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    Oh yeah the band wanted a more modern, cleaner mix. I'm not a BM purist at all but I think it fits their songs. Thanks for listening man
     

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