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Struggling with a mix - Need help ASAP (modern/melodic metal, no clean singing)

Discussion in 'Practice Room' started by TRUIE, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. TRUIE

    TRUIE Member

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    Hi all,
    I'm really having some issues at the moment regarding a mix I'm doing for a client.
    I'm on this projetc since too long now, I'm starting to loose all my objectivity and I need some fresh ears to help / give feedback.

    I bounced one song to show you where I am (mix only, not mastered yet)
    MP3 @320kb/s : https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6120012/Ultimate%20Metal/MIX2.mp3
    WAV 44,1 Khz 24bits if needed : https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6120012/Ultimate%20Metal/MIX2.wav

    EDIT
    V2 : https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6120012/Ultimate%20Metal/MIX3.mp3
    V3 : https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6120012/Ultimate%20Metal/MIX4.mp3

    Important things the band wanted :
    - modern polished production
    - vocals should'nt be too upfront and dry, but more blended in the music
    - solid guitars/bass block, they have to be the core of the songs

    Obiouvsly, I'm still far from there and I'm starting to getting mad.

    Can you guys help me to pick :
    - clashing frequencies
    - obvious issues I missed
    - how can I make it sounds more punchy, clear, and modern/polished ?

    I know the rythm guitars are far from ideal (tone-wise), but reamping everything again is not an option, as the mix have to be done very quick.

    Thank you all in advance !
     
  2. Nuno Filipe

    Nuno Filipe You talkin' to me?

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    I think the mix sounds quite good but the snare it´s a bit lifeless, and with a quite dark sound. Try to blend other snares, add some clarity and some sustain and I think it will be a good improvement.
     
  3. TRUIE

    TRUIE Member

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    Hi Nuno,
    Thank you for pointing the dark aspect of that snare, I hear what you mean, I'll work on brightening it more.

    About the sustain, it already has a lot (2-3 samples blended over the natural snare, some for crack, others for sustain + a sampled Slate room + a plate verb on the dry samples only).
    I think that the issue is that it sounds pretty good on it's own, but with the full song playing it's masked by other things like rythm guitars which took a lot of space, and only the crack come through.

    I'll see if brightening the snare bus will help with this too, and if not I'll try to do some cuts on others things to make the snare sustain breathe more.

    Still not satisfied with the rythm guitar sound on the mix though... I had to proceed it A LOT than usual to obtain this result, which is far from ideal and not "crushing" in the way I want.
    I'll start from scratch with it and try to apply less processing.
    And if it's still not OK, I'll try to submit a new reamp to the band, as I think it will be the only solution to make it sound "right".

    Thanks a lot for taking the time to listen, much appreciated.
    And of course, any more feedback will be welcome !
     
  4. WalhallaM

    WalhallaM Member

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    As far I can hear guitars are taking to much space and covering vocal ,bass guitar have same problem.Also drums are little buried (kick and snare).Try to decrease guitars for a couple dbs,add couple dbs on bass guitar (distorted track) and try to give a more space to the vocal. But nevertheless this is really good mix.
     
  5. TRUIE

    TRUIE Member

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    Hi WalhallaM,
    Thank you, very helpful, I'll try all of this and see if it's better.
     
  6. Harley Barley

    Harley Barley Member

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    sounds pretty good you can't beat what the recording/performance is, don't spend a million years turning something into something its not. Try adding some buss compression to the whole thing to add some glue i think. drums stick out a bit too much guitars might need to come up/ have some more presence but yeah SSL bus comp 4:1 attack 10ms release auto. bring the threshold down to where you hear the whole track start moving together better then rebalance but guitars need to be more in your face/have more presence. maybe after you do that add some EQ to the other all track/presence a little air. ps just listening on laptop can't comment on low end.
     
  7. TRUIE

    TRUIE Member

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    Hi Harley Barley,
    Thanks for the kind words !
    I know I won't be able to push these recordings a lot further in terms of mixing, but I'm sure it won't sound "expensive" enough for the band.
    Sometimes it's hard to make them understand that you can't reach any sound you like, it depends a lot on the recorded tracks.

    About the glue / 2bus compression thing, it's a good advice but I prefer to handle that on mastering as I'm not really used to mix into a compressor.
    Also, I don't think it's the right time for me to start learning to work that way, at the end of a project (but I'll try that on another mix for sure, doing it from the beggining).

    I did a new version using everyone comments.
    Started from scratch on guitars EQ, pushed more the natural snare and worked on balancing the different snare samples and reverb better, listening carefully to the sustain.
    I also balanced the bass differently and worked a lot on the EQ on everything, regarding masking frequencies...etc.

    I think it's clearer and better balanced now, and sounds a bit more alive, less flat/dull than the 1st version (the sustain on the snare makes a big difference, it's really obvious when comparing with the 1st version... hope I didn't went too far though).

    Anyway, here is the link :
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6120012/Ultimate%20Metal/MIX3.mp3
    What do you guys think ?
     
  8. WalhallaM

    WalhallaM Member

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    It sounds better ,guitars are even wider now and bass is more distinctive in mix also as you said snare have more sustain,only vocal could be even more upfront ,it's definitely get more space after you changed guitars.Butt again even like this it's really really good.
     
  9. mva801

    mva801 Member

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    I think you're pretty close man. It just needs a bit more 'excitement' and clarity. I think you could sculpt the guitar sound a tiny bit more to make room for the vocals and the drums in the right spot. You'll have to experiment but my guess is they could lose a little something in the low mids and a tiny bump somewhere higher to help them stick out but not overwhelm the snare ambience and vocals. I wouldn't mind hearing a little more life on the snare as well.

    Also the suggestion for buss compression will help. I don't know if you have anything on it but my mixes always seem to glue together and pop a bit more once I put FGX on there and push it a little bit. A little wideness will help.

    Overall though nice job! You're close bro.
     
  10. TRUIE

    TRUIE Member

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    @WalhallaM : thank you, your suggestion on bass was pretty useful !
    Even though I agree with you about the vocals, I don't think I'll push it more upfront as it's not what the band want (they thought it was too loud on previous version).

    @mva801 : thank you, I'll try to do some minor wide Q sculpting on the guitars and see if it helps.
    About snare life, do you have something particular in mind ?
    Playing a bit more with compression ? Saturation ?

    About bus compression, there's nothing on the 2bus right now (except Nebula loaded with AlexB CLC Master Bus program).
    I'll handle that later on mastering, I've got some decent outboard to play with (RND Portico 5043 comp + a tiny bit of RME FF400 clipping when going back to the DAW, usually it does the trick).

    FYI, this song belongs to a 7 tracks EP and it's the more mainstream one, the others songs are more agressive and there are some pretty nice riffs and guitar layers going on ! :headbang:
    I'll post the final result here when released if someone interested.
     
  11. Nuno Filipe

    Nuno Filipe You talkin' to me?

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    its better man! I think the guitars sound quite good but if you want polish more the sound, cut a bit of mids. It will give more space to other instruments.
     
  12. Narrillnezzurh

    Narrillnezzurh New Metal Member

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    Sounds like there's too much going on around 200hz or so. I'd try either cutting some of the low end out of the guitars or some of the low mids out of the bass and seeing how it sounds.

    Is this mastered at all?
     
  13. TRUIE

    TRUIE Member

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    What kind of mids do you think about ?
    Around 2-4 Khz ? Or more in the low mids region ?

    Not mastered yet,
    Thanks for the low end, I'll check that ;)
     
  14. TRUIE

    TRUIE Member

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    Cutted some lo mids on guitars and bass, adjusted slightly some levels and cutted a bit of mids and brightened a bit the guitars.
    Increased a bit the fx return on vocals, leads...etc to make them more wet.
    + some little adjustments here and there (mainly on drums)

    Link here : https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6120012/Ultimate%20Metal/MIX4.mp3

    How does it sound to you now ?

    Many thanks to all of you, you've been of great help comparing to the first version I posted here !
     
  15. Nuno Filipe

    Nuno Filipe You talkin' to me?

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    I was talking about low mids. I love guitars with a lot of mids but in this new version, everything breathes better.
     

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