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Existential country/Quantum hillbilly (mix content)

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by woodman, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. woodman

    woodman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free + Supporter

    Age:
    71
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    This is the first fun song I've written and produced since the long crawl back from vascular surgery last summer. ... I'm always looking for ways to take country out of the rhythmic rut and this is the latest attempt. This is pretty much an advance mix, close to done but some fine-tuning issues still hanging — chief among them being lyric intelligibility.

    For this one, I tried vocals with my CAD condenser ... it sounds like angels singing when my wife sings thru it, so I thought, what if it sounds like angels singing when I sing thru it? ... :lol: Hahahahaha! Nothing could be further from the truth!

    But by the time I realized I'd made a bad mike decision, I was too invested in the vocal track to turn back. And so it goes. My request to you the jury is to help me pin down the spots where you start losing the words. I'm not averse to going back in on the vocals if that's what it takes, but delivering the lyrics is job one for this one, so lemme know how it sounds on your rig!

    All other mix notes welcome as always!

     
    Gunerius and popthree like this.

  2. woodman

    woodman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free + Supporter

    Age:
    71
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    Dang, I can already tell that the snare's way too proud! Probly won't be able to get a remix done til tomorrow afternoon, though.

    EDIT:::
    Tucked the snare in a bit, thinned out some fills that were masking the vocal, and made a few other tweaks. [2/14, 1:48 EST]
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017

  3. suthol

    suthol Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 15, 2010
    Sydney - Australia
    G'day Woody,

    I like that a lot and I think it would be a fun song live but to my ears it sounds like there's a bit too much going on instrumentally which crowds the vocals.

    Sort of a bit like we've got 20 instruments and they need to all be there 90% of the time.

    I've got a track that I haven't shared with you yet that one of my band mates released back in about 1974 that we have reworked, just before christmas he reaquainted with the pedal steel player that was in the band back then and we put down a steel part.

    There was a fair bit of brown & red cordial consumed during the jam session and when we got to recording it seemed like Wes had a million ideas which just had to be jammed into the song, long story short some of the parts were beautiful and really spoke to the song and the other 80% was a disaster in both tone and style.

    I guess what I am suggesting is a bit of thoughtful culling in places might not harm the song and allow the vocals room to breathe
     

  4. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 8, 2010
    Montreal
    My favorite opening for these discussions --- No insult intended...but since you asked:

    I like it, agree with post above am getting too much guitar on the left side for much of it plus something seems to be breaking the groove/rhythm. "Feels awkward" would be a good way to explain it. IMO all the parts work but when everything is put together it's too much or too busy. Bed track not strong enough to stand-up by itself ? Love the guitar on the left by the way...great playing but it's all over the vocals in places.

    Mix is pretty close to OK thru Minimus 7 speakers on this PC. They have a depressed mid-range and the sound is flying out at me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017

  5. woodman

    woodman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free + Supporter

    Age:
    71
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    Yeah, I hear ya, Dave. I started paring it back with today's cursory remix, knowing full well that trying to push the vocal up wasn't the way to go. ... I'm not real confident about how the piano's sitting in the mix. And the acoustic, I'm out of my depth here because it's the first time I've tried the old stereo-widening trick:

    • Copy the acoustic part to a new track
    • Pan one hard left, one hard right
    • Find the sweet spots and accentuate the left in the lower freqs (200-600 Hz) and the right in the higher mids (800-2K Hz) — or vice-versa (subtractive EQ is best)
    • Knock one or the other off-time by dragging the region a few milliseconds right or left
    • Try to mix them so they sound centered most of the time, but the subliminal L-R is creating a huge soundstage. At times it can take on a 12-string feel, I guess a phasing thing.
    So lots of this is unplowed ground. It's gonna take another few go-rounds, but I'd rather be flogged for my sins now than advance it and realize its flaws later! ;)
     

  6. w3stie

    w3stie Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 19, 2010
    Brisbane
    That was the first existential quantum country track I've heard - as far as I know - so I don't know what the vocals are supposed to sound like ;) Re your request, it does get a little difficult to hear the words around 1:05 for a couple of bars, but I thought the mix was very clear listening through my computer Focal XS speakers.

    Re the mix I agree with Dave, too much going on if you can accept that, I felt it needed to breathe more - a bit more dynamic contrast. Possibly could lose the tail after the vocals finish and end it short and sweet. I also thought the vocals could really use a female harmony in the second half - you mentioned an angel in your house - maybe get her to sing harmony.

    Very clear and good recording though!
     

  7. wayloncash

    wayloncash Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 7, 2012
    Houston, TX
    I dig it, nice work. If one criticism, the lead is a little heavy, drowning the vocal.
     

  8. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

    Jan 10, 2013
    CT
    This sounds great Woody.
    The vocal could come forward a little I think you're right about that. Is a more prominent kick drum legal in existential quantum country? If it is you could boost it a little. Or even just make it punch more somehow. If it's one of the key aspects to making it quantum then leave it low. The kick drum might be both too low and too high simultaneously in quantum country. Which of course means where it is is just right :p

    You could also try tracking it twice, playing the same thing. The tiny differences will give the big stereo effect. You can double it as exactly as possible to sound more like one big wide guitar, or vary it slightly for two balancing parts. Putting the guitars out wide might open up more space for the vocal too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017

  9. woodman

    woodman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free + Supporter

    Age:
    71
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    LBK, the fake doubling technique was to save my arthritic old hands ... playing acoustic now is an ordeal by fire, due to not only stiffness but also physical, bone-on-bone pain. That simple part, a half-hour's work 10 years ago, took me over a half-day to get down, in four and eight-bar chunks. So I took the easy way out and fake-doubled it! I'm thinking carve out the acoustic at the key vocal frequencies and automate section by section to give the vocals more room. Need to fine-tune the Tele fills too, keep 'em off the lyric lines.

    Now that you mention it, I hear what you mean about the kick. It's about where a conventional classic-country kick should ride, but the quantum half-time feel needs more fat. I'll be working on that unless the space-time continuum shifts.

    Thanks to all for your constructive criticism! Hope to post the next update by early afternoon.
     

  10. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

    May 27, 2013
    California
    Woody my friend, didja bury the acoustic guitar so deep because
    it was your first track and ya just kept piling instruments on top of it?
    Or was there another reason?

    Your explanation of the dual acoustic tracks made some sense
    until I listened to the track. I can't hear the acoustic in the mix.
    Is it just me, or did you mean for it to be so subtle?

    Also, along those same acoustic tracks, have you considered copying/cloning
    another one of those tracks and reverse phase on one of them so you have
    the center channel, the right channel and the left out of phase channel?
    would that suffice your search for an all purpose punch yet wide acoustic track?

    Some have mentioned the piano and the fill guitar being too in front of the mix.
    Well sir, I've heard a lot of your mixes, and I love them dearly.
    In all seriousness, have you checked your hearing lately?
    Have you been taking a different batch of meds that might affect
    spacial or sonic perception?

    Remember when I had my thread about All Along The Watchtower
    a year or two ago? Well, I had just started a new high blood pressure
    medication and it made my voice sound like Froggy from The Little Rascals
    and it also played havoc with my fatigue level and in turn with my ability
    to mix the way I knew. No excuses really, just the reality of the moment.
    During that time I couldn't get anything done the way I wanted.

    Maybe I'm projecting, but I hope it's just my flea bitten ears who sometimes
    have a mind of their own.
     

  11. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 13, 2011
    UK
    Listened to the track which followed "Your mind is on vacation", that had a good instrumental balance. But the first track had too much going on. At about 1:10 and 1:30 I lost the clarity of the lyrics, not sure if they don't quite fit or it is the competition with the instrumentation? The vocal just needs to be given a chance.
     

  12. woodman

    woodman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free + Supporter

    Age:
    71
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    Thanks for all comments! Had to put it on hold as my wife's taken sick — a sore throat, as fate would have it — so I'm on duty as housekeeper, cook and bottle-washer for now. Afraid it'll be tomorrow before I can get much done.
     

  13. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

    Jan 10, 2013
    CT
    Woody, have you ever seen the editing trick where you take verse two, copy it, and use it as a double with verse one, then copy verse one, and use it as the double for verse two. Same idea for choruses. As long as you have two of the same or similar, they should pair up for the big stereo sound.
    Hope your wife feels better soon.
     

  14. woodman

    woodman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free + Supporter

    Age:
    71
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    Finally got a chance to jump back into the fray this morning. Weird week! At any rate, I junked the rhythm guitar part and retracked — butt-simple, no artistic flourishes. That's probably what Bartholemew was hearing (post #4) throwing the groove off. Also rearranged the soundstage, putting the guitar fills on the right, the acoustic rhythm on the left, and spreading the piano across the middle. Made major efforts to clear out the weeds around the vocal, but of course every time you tear a mix apart, new weeds pop up to be cleared later! :D

    My ears gave out after about four hours, but I wanted to get this update posted today. I'll be diving back in with fresh ears in the morning.

     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
    Gunerius likes this.

  15. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

    May 27, 2013
    California
    Totally different!
     

  16. Tobias

    Tobias Tele-Meister

    117
    Dec 2, 2015
    Amersfoort
    And - imho - better! Much more intelligible.
     

  17. woodman

    woodman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free + Supporter

    Age:
    71
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    Yeah, that first acoustic track was contaminated with evil humors! :twisted:

    Sometimes it's worth tearing a mix apart and starting over again.
     

  18. suthol

    suthol Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 15, 2010
    Sydney - Australia
    Much better Woody, it's all still there but a much better balance with room for each instrument to have it's own space and not crowd the vocal.
     

  19. woodman

    woodman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free + Supporter

    Age:
    71
    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    That pretty much sums up what I think too, Dave. When you build on a flawed foundation, nothing ends up right. I'm gonna work on it some more tomorrow, but at least it's holding together now.
     

  20. w3stie

    w3stie Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 19, 2010
    Brisbane
    Sounding a lot better!
     

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