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Thread: New at mixing - PRS McCarty is part of the mix! :)

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    New at mixing - PRS McCarty is part of the mix! :)

    I wrote, performed, and recorded this track by myself. The point was to NOT use drum loops (and NO, I'm not a drummer) or to 'fix' any vocal imperfections. I simply wanted to track a song entirely by myself, old school. It's not perfect - the timing drags a bit here and there, thanks to my drumming skills, but I'm kind of proud of the way it came out.

    The guitar solo was cut with my 2000 PRS McCarty (loaded with Tom Short's Tombucker pickups) into a Victoria Double Deluxe. I used a Tim pedal for just a teeny bit more 'hair'.

    I encourage constructive criticism, as I'm trying to learn the craft of recording. Thanks for giving a listen.

    https://soundcloud.com/donnie-kepley...broken-hearted

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    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    Overall, this is pretty fantastic. The guitars sound good, very clear. The bass guitar is full and fat and sits in just the right spot in the mix. The overall frequencies are correctly balanced, it's not muddy or too bright or harsh. So, my criticisms are relatively minor: I would say the drums need less overall compression, you're using a bit much and it's not natural sounding. Also, if you can coax a little more punch out of the kick drum, it would help keep the beat really well. I can hear a thump down there but maybe it's just the music I listen to, I like a little attack as well. I would say bring up volume in both the vocals and guitar solo, because those are the stars.
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

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    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Yeah buddy! Go get em'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Beef View Post
    Overall, this is pretty fantastic. The guitars sound good, very clear. The bass guitar is full and fat and sits in just the right spot in the mix. The overall frequencies are correctly balanced, it's not muddy or too bright or harsh. So, my criticisms are relatively minor: I would say the drums need less overall compression, you're using a bit much and it's not natural sounding. Also, if you can coax a little more punch out of the kick drum, it would help keep the beat really well. I can hear a thump down there but maybe it's just the music I listen to, I like a little attack as well. I would say bring up volume in both the vocals and guitar solo, because those are the stars.

    Hey, thanks so much. I didn't take as much time as I should have to get the drums sounding good before hitting 'record', so a lot of that compression is me trying to fix it. That, and again, this is my first ever attempt at doing a full 'band' recording. Curious - how were you listening to this? I ask because it sounds pretty cool on my home stereo and in my car, but through my Bose computer speakers it doesn't sound as good, and oddly through some cheap headphones on my other computer, it sounds bad in a different way. That, to me, seems to be the most challenging thing - trying to get a track to sound good EVERYWHERE.

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    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    Drums are by far the hardest thing to get right. I have recorded lots of live drum kits, and while tracking I always think "This sounds awesome!" but then while mixing, I'm thinking "What the hell was I thinking?"

    I was listening on my Sennheiser HD202 headphones. I like them a lot, they're very honest. My wife has this pair of Sony headphones (not sure of the model) that make everything sound good, and that's bad for mixing. It is very challenging to get it sounding great everywhere.
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Beef View Post
    Drums are by far the hardest thing to get right. I have recorded lots of live drum kits, and while tracking I always think "This sounds awesome!" but then while mixing, I'm thinking "What the hell was I thinking?"

    I was listening on my Sennheiser HD202 headphones. I like them a lot, they're very honest. My wife has this pair of Sony headphones (not sure of the model) that make everything sound good, and that's bad for mixing. It is very challenging to get it sounding great everywhere.
    Thank you for listening and sharing your thoughts - have a great holiday weekend!

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    Hey Taller!

    Fellow beginner here :-)

    Not too shabby for a beginning! There are a couple of things I'd put to your attention though :-)

    First off, especially the cymbals (ride) and maybe hihat are a bit overpowering. I don't know you recording setup (how many mics you have/use) or your recording space (how high you can place the overheads) etc, so I'm not sure I can give much feedback there (I haven't recorded anything live either). I would think, based on what you say, that the "problems" come more from the recording phase and possibly playing rather than the mixing - is that a fair assumption?

    Where you have limitations with regards to setup and space, you can sometimes alleviate in the playing (probably easier said than done :-)). Maybe hit the cymbals less hard, for instance.

    It must be a ***** to get drum mics placed just right if you're a one-man operation, haha :-)


    Anyway, on the mix itself. I was listening on my headphones, which are relatively good - but still headphones.

    I felt like the vocal was panned slightly right, which kind of threw me.

    The biggest thing I would point out is that to me, the 3d space/spectrum was a bit skewed - it seemed like the drums and the guitars were in front of the vocals. That can be a volume and/or compression thing, and it can also be a delay/reverb thing. It seems like the drums are pretty dry, and the vocal relatively wet (to my untrained ears). Maybe give the drums some verb, puch them a bit down in volume, puch up the vocal - or compress them some more, as some of the parts kind of disappear under the rest of the instruments.

    But overall, this is better than my first attempts :-) It's also doubly difficult to mix one's own stuff, I think :-)


    If you have any questions, or any further info about setup etc, shoot! :-)

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    Michael_DK - Thanks for listening and providing valuable feedback! Yes, doing the drums by myself has a special set of challenges.
    And the little things that you mention, such as the way in which I've panned the vocals or applied 'verb are things that I easily forget about when I'm trying to concentrate on some other little thing.
    I'm getting ready to begin working on another track and will try to keep these suggestions in mind (along with everything else!).
    Thanks, again and have a great day!

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    I wonder if maybe you've mixed while you've recorded (like levels, pans, other plugins?

    If so, I would encourage you to start over on the mix again when all tracks have ben recorded - i.e. all faders at zero, all panning in the center, all plugins removed. Of course, you can do a backup of the "original" session so you can reference back. But sometimes you need to start afresh in order to not lose perspective

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    That's exactly what I could do - I still have the raw tracks. I think the only thing I applied was a bit of very light compression as I recorded. The drums could have been recorded better, so I'm stuck with that.
    I'm going to begin another project from scratch this week and I'll come back and revisit this one some time in the future.

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