The last remix practice: Live the Role (2013)
For comparison, the original: Live the Role (2012)
I must have learned something?
Now, I should work on some new riffs.
Sounds like this: Global Sins – Instrumental
I decided to study little synth tweaking, so there are some surprising lead sounds. Although, I had to struggle to build a “stable” mix with that. Also, I’ve realized that violins are damn hard fit mix in this kind of music. But I want to be just slightly experimental, even though I would sound horrible occasionally.
The mix is getting wider, I hope that’s a good thing. Also, I tried completely different strategy when building the frequency spectrum.
Just one more mix practice before new stuff.
The next remix: What’s the News – Instrumental (2013)
I think that sounds damn good compared to the original: What’s the News (2012)
I’ve found again some small tricks that made the sound clearer (and also louder if I want to push the limiter). This time I added some saturation and distortion to several instruments via FabFilter Saturn. I also tried Noveltech Character, which worked pretty well, but that felt like cheating. I’d rather stick with plugins that I know (how they actually work). I think I am slightly a control freak, which means no magic enchancers in my mix.
But I really hate my room. I just read that I should calibrate my monitors and mix around 83 db. Hah, my kids don’t sleep that deep. In practice I mix with my headphones and that has obviously some limitations. We’ve been thinking about extending the house and build a proper home studio room, but that’s gonna take some time.
Some more remix practise: Hope Plaza – Instrumental (2013)
There were some fundamental mistakes in the original mix, as you can hear here: Hope Plaza – instrumental. I didn’t have a glue how to make EQ cuts then. I think I’m a little wiser now, although there’s of course still room for improvement. But I have a feeling my ears are getting just a little smarter in every mix…
Anyway, stereo widening, reverbs, EQ, ducking and few other tricks helped to clarify the mix (I hope).
Battle for better mix quality continues. There was some progress in Live the Role but most of my songs sound pretty awful. I believe the compositions aren’t that bad, but if it sounds like crap, it is crap.
So recently I have carefully read Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio by Mike Senior. I cannot praise that book enough. It includes plenty of tricks how to compete with commercial mixes. Also, it explains the process: how to build the mix right from the start.
It was very relieving to read that book. Instead of throwing effects back and forth like a monkey, I now have a glue how to put my tracks together. And the result should be a song that sounds great on every possible speaker (home stereo, car, laptop etc.)
So I opened Dark Ages in my DAW and deleted all plugins. I studied plenty of stuff that Mike Senior was writing about: mono compatibility, mix structure, doubling, ducking, EQ, distortion, compressor etc. I didn’t use my old monitors much, just concentrating on getting decent sound on my Avantones and ordinary speakers.
My vocal studies are still “in progress”, so I will now remix everything as instrumental. There are strings playing the vocal melody. This way it’s easier to concentrate just on the mixing and decide later how to do the vocals.
I have also learned that human ear adapts very quickly to what sounds horrible. Therefore, I’ve switched speakers and used reference tracks during the process all the time. But my ears alone are not telling “the truth”. Hope to get some feedback from SoundCloud.
I decided to give up my (depressing) vocal practices for a while and learned to play some cello! Hear Live the Role.
Ok, that’s EastWest taking care of lead melody. It is actually singing melody and I have the lyrics, but now it’s just instrumental. I wanted to concentrate on my sounds without making it too hard with vocals. I am probably going to make more instrumental remixes of my songs to learn secrets of mixing.
Because I have noticed that my mixes really suck. My tracks generally sound ok with my monitors but pretty awful with everything else. This time I tested VRM Box when trying to find decent sound for every device. I think it sounds ok now, but it might be total crap when I play it tomorrow with my laptop (done that).
I see there’s a long path to go before I can trust my ear and make solid mixes. And learn to sing. But I don’t have any other more interesting hobby at sight right now
Yeah, another melodic rock song saving the world!
Global Sins starts with some progressive synths and strange sounding rhythm in the first verse. But after all it turns out to be quite “easy-going” rock song with a catchy melody (I hope).
During the composing I added EastWest strings in my rig. The sound is pretty great (best orchestra in the market?), but damn I hate the installation process. It took a whole evening to get it work with buggy iSh..Lok! And though this is the most expensive VST I have, it is the most unstable! I do IT for work, I’d rather compose in my freetime instead of installations.
And the vocals.. my favourite subject! I am devastated at the fact that I still cannot perform solid vocals in my tracks. I have probably little more relaxed voice in high notes, but in general I don’t hear the progress I hoped for. Although I realize that this one is quite hard for my range. I just started vocal lessons, so maybe my singing teacher will bring me some hope. We’ll hear in the future songs.
Some progress here I hope is in the mix. I hear all the instruments, no boomy or muddy sounds. Maybe the guitar sounds right too. Although I’ve been wrong in this before, let’s here the what the “audience” thinks of it…