Thoughts on the mix

Technic Tone
Technic Tone
@technic-tone
2 months ago
55 posts

Hi everyone,

would love to get any feedback/thoughts on the mix of my latest song. I've used more reverb/delay than I usually would as I was trying to create a more haunting atmosphere to fit the theme of the track:

https://community.producertech.com/technic-tone/uploaded_audio/417/the-cry-of-the-banshee

Thanks,

Tone

Petter
Petter
@petter
2 months ago
61 posts

Wow Tone! That's a pretty darn cool song in my opinion. Kind of reminds me of something a-ha could have done (and that's a huge compliment coming from me!).

Is that you singing? It's really nice.

I'm no professional, so the following should be taken with that in mind :D

Mix sounds overall quite good and balanced to my ears. There might be a little harshness in the uppers here and there (some of the synths)?

I also think you probably could try adjusting a bit the volume and/or panning of some instruments, there are some percussion hits in the chorus that could possibly do with a bit of haas delay for instance (I feel they crash a little with the vocals). Same with synths in second verse (try pan out or lower volume).

And a final thought to consider, I feel the synths coming into the bridge is too abrupt and harsh. You might try them real low going in and automate them gradually along with the noise-sweep (might also try to take them out wide in the stereofield). I really like that arp bass-synth there but it drowns a little imo, and also think the contrast would be better between the choruses and really let that haunting vocal shine.

As for the delay, I don't think it's too much. Do you use gated reverb/delay on vox?

Well, at least some things there you might try out and see if it works for you :)

Technic Tone
Technic Tone
@technic-tone
2 months ago
55 posts

Hi Petter,

Thanks so much for such detailed feedback. I'm glad you brought up automation as I really ought to start using it more. I seem to spend a lot of time these days trying to get vocals to sit better in the mix - Rob's tutorial on the subject really helped - but it often feels like a battle between trying to get the lead vocal to shine through while still retaining a reasonable amount of the accompanying tracks. I think your suggestion of low filtering that gradually builds could help in this area.

I recently purchased Synthesizer V, along with the Natalie voicebank. It can take a little bit of tinkering to get it to sound how you want, but I think that's the beauty of the software as there are a lot of elements that you can control. Having previously used Emvoice, which was a great placeholder until finding a real singer, I'm very impressed with how natural you can get this virtual voice to sound.

Thanks again for your feedback - certainly a lot there to think about :)

Petter
Petter
@petter
2 months ago
61 posts

Holy cow! That vocal is all synthesised? That's pretty amazing. Will need to check that out. If it's that good, it should be excellent for making demos. Thanks for that tip.

SamuelClouston
SamuelClouston
@samuelclouston
2 months ago
245 posts

Hi Tone

Another banging track and improvement from ya - big congrats. I'd say this is your most accomplished and confident track yet! Love the synthesized vocals too, pretty amazing what the tech can do now

I won't repeat anything Petter said as that's all good advice.

I'd say it sounds a little over compressed in certain parts, although that may be a volume thing. It sounds like the whole track is kinda being squashed at times, so maybe check on your compressor limiter and check that you're not over compressing stuff (I often find that somewhere between 2-4 db of reduction is the sweet spot where you are actually doing some compressing, but you can't notice it).

I'd also recommend bringing the vocal down, or the rest of the track up at 1:04, as there's suddenly a jump from the section before, which is well balanced, to a big gulf in volume between the music and the vocal.

That being said, great track, incredibly musical (love the key changes) so keep it up :)

Technic Tone
Technic Tone
@technic-tone
2 months ago
55 posts

Hi Samuel,

Yes, I couldn't believe the quality of the synthesized vocals compared to what I've used before - I'd even say they're better than a few of the real singers I've hired on Fiverr!

Even now that I understand what compression does and how it works, I still seem to struggle to hear it at times. With most of the sounds being electronic (and even the singers too now, I guess!) I don't tend to use compressors that much, other than on the vocal tracks and during the mastering stage, so if it's getting a little squashed it must be during that part of the process.

I recently saw a cool technique using soothe2 where a producer side-chained the lead vocal to the instrument bus and then got the plugin to carve out some space, which seemed to work really well, but as I don't own soothe2 I'll have to keep at it manually for the time being!

Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated :)

Petter
Petter
@petter
2 months ago
61 posts

Tone, you don't need Soothe for that technique. Loads of other options. Trackspacer is one of the best, there's unmask plugin in Izotope Neutron, Fuser from mastering the mix - but you can also do well with just sidechaining a dynamic EQ. Even a free one like TDR Nova:

https://youtu.be/Ggdnjt46evs?si=9fKE8TvPkjmE36k9

Use it on synths, guitars and that sorts, don't think it should be used on drums or bass buses. 

And as I already mentioned, moving instruments wide in the stereofield can also give some space for vocals in the middle. 

Technic Tone
Technic Tone
@technic-tone
2 months ago
55 posts

Hi Petter,

That's great, thanks for the info. I was surprised in the video how high he'd got the side-chained dynamic EQ set to duck the vocal (almost 5 kHz), although I suppose it did have quite a wide Q.

Thanks again,

Tone

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