Shadows - Test Mix - feedback requested

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edisonbaggins

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Hey QQers,

Thanks for your long-suffering support of my little underdog project. Here is the latest output.
This is a test mix. After some helpful suggestions via PM, I want to open it up to the QQ public.
Things to bare in mind:

1) This is the band MotH doing something a little out of the ordinary for them. Not MotH doing what they do best.
2) Some of the sounds might be a little "cheap." That just is what it is, as they say. We used what we had available.
3) This is a test mix! Let me know what you really think! I'll make a laundry list of suggestions, compare it to my actual capabilities and try like hell to deliver!

So far, my project has received a great deal of QQ encouragement and I couldn't be more grateful.
Again, I'm a nobody. I just happen to have been involved in some cool music over the years and I want to present it in the best surround format possible.
That is all. David vs. Goliath.

Again, thank you for your support.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zwv96orymvfxim0/Shadows-test-51-3.flac?dl=0
 

Snood

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Edison, Snood have yet to listen to the previous 4 or 5 songs, but yeah can burn flac 5.1 to dvd - will try to get to them all this weekend - So sorry man
 

edisonbaggins

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Edison, Snood have yet to listen to the previous 4 or 5 songs, but yeah can burn flac 5.1 to dvd - will try to get to them all this weekend - So sorry man
Is so koo buddy! I hope you like! But mostly just want good feedback. :51banana:
 

GOS

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Got it downloaded bag-man. It's 7:30am here and Mrs Gos is still asleep. I'll give a listen later this morning. Cool.....
 

Neil Palfreyman

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I downloaded it and gave it a couple of plays and quite enjoyed it. I think you have the channel balance all pretty good and the fidelity is fine. imho the lead vocal needs something to help it sit better in the mix. Maybe a touch of compression to even out the transients and possibly a bit of (or a bit more) reverb. If that works you could boost the level of the lead vocal a touch in the centre channel. The backing vocals work pretty well in the surround field, but again may need something to level them a bit and in the case of those I think they actually need to be very slightly lower.

There's a couple of percussive sounds that need work; there's a bell and what sounds like a single tambourine (?) hit that are used together as as accents. I get what you're trying to do with them and it works, but they sound way too isolated to me. Makes them sound a bit out of place. It may just be a level thing but I suspect not, so that may need more work.

Other things? Maybe try bleeding a bit (and I mean a tiny bit) of reverb from the acoustic from the rears to the fronts, just to open it up a bit more?
 

edisonbaggins

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Great feedback guys. This only my 3rd mix, so I have a lot to learn!
When I get it sounding ok and balanced I might try a little more surround fun, like auto-panning the cymbal shimmer around the room.
Otto, what did you do to soften the kick drum? EQ? Is there a freq range you cut or boosted?
I'll be able to listen a little later.
 

0tto

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no EQ/compressors. just lowered level and moved sort of to background.
b.t.w. i would advise you prior to use multis in mixer, put the track with vox through some de-esser tool
and remove sibilance effect of voice. that's the main problem with 99% of all available recording.
 

edisonbaggins

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no EQ/compressors. just lowered level and moved sort of to background.
b.t.w. i would advise you prior to use multis in mixer, put the track with vox through some de-esser tool
and remove sibilance effect of voice. that's the main problem with 99% of all available recording.
Gotcha. Any particular tool you like? My DAW might have something native.
 

Neil Palfreyman

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softened kick drum
I quite liked the kick - I thought it had a Sigur Ros feel to it. :)

btw edison what did you use for the mixing? I have a few songs that I always fancied mixing in 5.1 sometime. Still trying to decide on what to use to mix.
 

0tto

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perhaps you do have. i usually use one from VSTs Ozone or Wave packs.
but always better to do de-essing on raw voice before mix. other way it has impact on another elements in mix, sound of which you don't wanna to change.
 

0tto

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I quite liked the kick - I thought it had a Sigur Ros feel to it. :)

btw edison what did you use for the mixing? I have a few songs that I always fancied mixing in 5.1 sometime. Still trying to decide on what to use to mix.
i like too but in this case being in center quite overwhelming it kind of does lead vox less prominent. but it just mine perception.
 

edisonbaggins

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Neil, I'm probably an example of what NOT to do. :D

I'm using Sonar Platinum, mostly because I have friends who use Sonar (free help, if only emotional help, and I can open their projects, etc.) and because my cost path to Platinum (with features like auto-panning) was affordable. I also put together my monitoring situation on a shoe-string budget (old Kenwood with analog ins). To crazy-check mixes I take a usb stick down to my main system and play them via my Oppo BDP 103.

Regarding the kick (and btw, there is a dry "four on the floor" kick and a more ambient, boomy one that plays much less often, only at significant moments) I could try isolating it less in the center. I believe it is assigned somewhat to the fronts and even a tiny bit in the rears, but I can draw it out of the center a little more. Maybe that would help?
 

0tto

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Regarding the kick (and btw, there is a dry "four on the floor" kick and a more ambient, boomy one that plays much less often, only at significant moments) I could try isolating it less in the center. I believe it is assigned somewhat to the fronts and even a tiny bit in the rears, but I can draw it out of the center a little more. Maybe that would help?
in this song nothing wrong with kick in center. it just shouldn't be upfront of voice.
 

edisonbaggins

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Regarding the project and this track, musically, I'd say this is the weakest track being considered. So, I thought it would be a good one to mess around with.
If I never get it release-worthy, no biggie. Or maybe some or all of my mixes can be included as an alternate song list, as bonus tracks or something like that.
Still, I appreciate the feedback you all are giving. Maybe I can whip this sucker in to shape. At least I'm not hearing that my attempt at this mix is a total train wreck!

My thinking has been to start out as ultra-discrete as possible, then get some feedback and see what everyone actually likes and what works for the piece.
As we all know, sometimes the most aggressive, gimmicky thing isn't the best decision.
 

edisonbaggins

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Took in to account as many suggestions as possible. Main vocal has some reverb on it and I brought up the level some.
De essing attempted. It's mostly during the intro that the esses are overly harsh, I think. The harshness is reduced here. But enough?
Guitar is less aggressively assigned to the rears. Tambourine and bell as less aggressively panned and a little lower in volume.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2gm8ajj0h4rvyfj/Shadows-test-51-4.flac?dl=0
 

edisonbaggins

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Ugh. There are still problems with this, to my ears. Now I hear esses everywhere! Oh well, I hope it's progress. I'll try again soon. :confused:
 

Frogmort

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First of all thanks for sharing and asking for opinions on this! I used to be a semi-pro drummer and had my own fairly decent home recording studio years ago, but I'd love to get into surround mixing. It's my dream job. It's so awesome to have a peek into the inner-workings of someone actually doing this!

Anyway, what stands out to me is that there seems to be too much separation from the fronts and the rears, and I'm a man who likes his engulfing surround mixes. In particular, the timp/toms in the rears should have at least some presence in the fronts. The main vocals also seem like they could use some compression to bring out the quieter parts and tame the more sibilant parts and a bit of reverb or something (wrote this sentence before hearing v4). Also, some parts should be more in the fronts, others more in the rears, but there should be at least some elements that blend them all together.

After comparing v3 & v4 I'm pretty sure I like v3 better overall. v4 seems a bit more reserved and a bit too dry on the vocals and maybe too compressed and "front & center" overall maybe. v3 might be a bit more out of control, but it's more lively and dynamic. The chime sound seems more balanced on v4.

I've also had 6 beers & a bowl or three, so don't pay too much attention to me. Also, while I really appreciate your humbleness to a great degree, what you are doing is not an exact science, so don't be too quick to change your own tastes and opinions to suit others. If there is a reason you chose to do a certain thing for artistic purposes, then screw everybody else and do it your way. :D

Thanks again!
 
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