Honky Tonk Night Time Man Mix

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by Lerb21, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Lerb21

    Lerb21 Friend of Leo's

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    https://www.box.com/s/xwwjemye7dl0bhx6rsf1

    Hi fellas, here the latest that I came up with.

    The only thing that I'll say is that the pitchiness in the vocal on the last turn around I do was intentional and I like it. :D At least I think it gives it some character to my ears, but it may sound bad to you guys', so let me know.

    The rest, I could use a general critique on the mix, I'm not going for anything amazing, just something that sounds good enough to play in the truck and enjoy.
     
  2. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Fun - some hot pickin' there!

    I'll refrain from commenting on the mix for now cuz I just listened on the computer speakers but it sounds ok. Maybe the rhythm elements could come up a tad, but sounding pretty good.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  3. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    Nice! All I noticed by way of critique is either that the vocal is a little out-front or (as Geoff commented) the rhythm elements are a little weak ... also, there are some tasty guitar fills that could be pulled up to match the voice. All in all, a rip-snortin' piece of work!
     
  4. 64Strat

    64Strat Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    holy cow! what a ball of fire! :lol: unbridled youth, I think.

    Great guitar and steel playing. Agree with the above thoughts and I think I would do something about spicing up the drums and bass guitar to reduce the repetitiveness a bit.
     
  5. peteycaster

    peteycaster Tele-Meister

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    Nice! Some great playing on that one. I only have my computer speakers hooked up at the minute so cant say too much about the mix. I did feel there was a harshness to the vocal, nothing that couldn't be fixed with eq I wouldn't think. Other than that really enjoyed it.
     
  6. doublee

    doublee Tele-Meister

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    Awesome string section....
     
  7. walleyeman

    walleyeman Tele-Holic

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    I really enjoyed the playing. To me it sounded like a mixture of Ricky Skaggs and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
     
  8. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Okay, finally had a listen on the real speakers.

    It's a bit of a good news/ bad news situation.

    The good news - the performances are great. That's the hard part. And you've nailed it.

    The bad news? Well, the mix needs some work. But did I mention the hard part is already done?

    Ok, I'm hearing the "lead" stuff way out front - vox, lead guitar and steel right up front like they're right in front of me, and the rest of the instrumentation in the next room. Distant. That needs a better balance.

    I'd start by going back to the drums. In fact, start with the drums. It's a fast tune, so you want the drums to have some snap and impact, but you probably don't want them real ringy. To me that means more of the stick hitting the skin and not too much of the body and overtone of the drums. But the kick in particular and the snare still have to have some meat on them. I don't know how they were recorded and how many tracks you've got them mixed down to. But, I'm gonna suggest you get your eq and put it at the narrowest band you can and sweep between 200 and 600 at maximum boost. Is there a spot somewhere in the middle where it sounds like the drums are made of cardboard? If so, cut there. The width and depth of the cut will depend. But it's all about making a bit of space for the meat of the guitars and vocals. So they can have just as much impact (maybe more) but at a lower volume.

    If they need more cut/ stick hitting skin, try a boost around 2.5 or 3ish.

    There are other tricks, but those would be my first suggestions.

    Then go back to the bass. To get it to cut more try a boost around 800. To get more pick (or finger) on string definition, 2.5 (ish) can help. Again, small boosts in those freq ranges can pull a bass forward in the mix - it ain't really all that much louder, but it has more impact.

    And once the bass and drums are working together, then turn to the other stuff.

    Somebody else suggested the vocals are a little harsh. You need to watch the 3- 5 or so range. Yes a lot of vocal (and guitar etc) definition comes from there. But too much, or too narrow, a boost there can get hard, harsh, peaky - whatever you want to call it - fast.

    Anyhow, this mixing thing is like anything else, it takes practice. Lots of it. I've been doing it for 30 years now (never really pro though) and I still suck!

    So anyhow, I hope I've given you a couple of ideas. Or things to try. That's really all they are. If you try them and it doesn't work- for this tune, or for how you want to hear things - then move on!

    One more suggestion though. TRy listening to the mix down the hall. A good way to check the overall balance. Also, take a break and slip in a cd of an artist or song with a vibe similar to what you were trying to achieve.

    Looking forward to hearing what else you come up with. Like I said, honestly the hardest part is done. You caught some great performances to (digital I'm assuming) tape. Now you just need to massage the mix a bit.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  9. Lerb21

    Lerb21 Friend of Leo's

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    Guys, first off thank you all for the input it's greatly appreciated!

    And Geoff, first off, thank you a million times for the in depth critical listen, and suggestions, it helps me out LOADS.

    https://www.box.com/s/xwwjemye7dl0bhx6rsf1

    I'm working off your suggestions (as well as everyone else's) on this latest mix.

    I did notice something odd about my drum tracks when I went back and looked at the audio data... sometimes random notes would be dampened a whole lot. Sometimes back beats on the snare, sometimes hits on the kick drum, but so much so that I feel like it could actually wreck the groove of the song. I have no idea how that happened, but I'll have to either go back and even out the velocity of those particular notes or just redo the drum track. Odd.

    I need to drag out my big boy speakers out of the garage, because everything sounds "okay" through this normal computer speakers. I never realized how much easier it is to mix through big speakers because you can actually hear what's wrong!

    Thanks again fellas!
     
  10. onenotetom

    onenotetom Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi Clint, I enjoyed it! How are you coming with your backing track project?
     
  11. Lerb21

    Lerb21 Friend of Leo's

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    Absolutely terrible, the drum tracks are completely messed up on that too, probably going to have to start from scratch. :lol:
     
  12. onenotetom

    onenotetom Tele-Afflicted

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    Oh no! I was hoping you were almost there. Scale the project back and make like 5 at a time available for us to buy.
     
  13. Lerb21

    Lerb21 Friend of Leo's

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    I was thinking of doing them in small batches, or even individually at a time. May be a good idea.;)

    IE I have no idea what I'm doing :D
     
  14. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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  15. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Alright - a better mix for sure.

    And yes, get some "monitor" speakers or decentish headphones.

    Basically, if you're making choices about the tones you're recording (and when you're mixing) if you're not listening to something that at least gets you in the ballpark of what's actually going on on the average kind of system. Then you're just guessing. You gotta hear what you're doing. And in this game it's a million little things all along the way that end up being big differences at the end of the day.

    Ok, just giving the mix a quick listen, the bass is much more prominent, although a little uneven (some notes being a bit more prominent) and the kick is getting buried. If you're just listening on computer speakers - it will be virtually impossible to get a handle on this.

    And, even if you have a great monitoring environment and great gear etc - it's still hard to get a handle on this. That bottom end stuff is tricky - crucial - but tricky. It's gotta sound big and full on systems that can reproduce it. Without getting all boomy and woofy - and yet still cut through and feel like it's there on earbuds and computer speakers. If you can figure it out, let me know. (Although I always liked to add a bit of 2.5 to the kick and 800 or so to the bass- so even if you can't hear the low stuff, they have something going on).

    Ok, the lead guitar and vocal still seem too "pointy" to me - too much and too narrow a boost in the 3 kHz (+/-, by which I mean @ 2 - 5 kHz) range. Around that frequency makes things jump out, but gets harsh real fast.

    If you can, I'd go right back to the drums and bass and get them totally happening. Thick but defined, and really even, bass. Probably compressed. A fair bit. The bass. This is your foundation. It needs to be SOLID. On this tune, for me, that's the bass. (I'm a guitar player. It pains me to say this. But. It is not only true of this song, but many, many songs in the pop/ rock realm). The drums are there too, but again, to me, the bass is where the foundation of the rhythm section on this one lives. The drums are busy, so they can't really be big. Well, not huge. So the bass is the instrument here that is gonna rule the low end. And, there isn't anything else but the kick happening down there - no B3 through a Leslie etc, minimal toms. But I still can't hear the kick impact down there. So, I'd say try and tighten up the bass a bit (compression, perhaps eq as well, maybe even a bit of distortion/amp sim) but also have it balanced with the kick. They both need to have an impact, but if I were producing, the bass gets to be the big kahuna on this.

    Anyhow, nobody said this is easy!

    But it's also a lot of fun. When it isn't being so frustrating you want to pull out all your hair.

    But somebody smarter than me said the best mix is a great performance of a great song.

    And you've got a great start on that here.

    Clinton, I think it's time for some monitoring devices. You and your music deserve it.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  16. chabby

    chabby Friend of Leo's

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    It sounds okay, just doesn't interpret a thing I like about that tune, or even the tune itself.

    That for me requires more of a growl or bluesy feel to the vocal.
    You know, so it sounds like there's actually some thruth to the fact the singer is a Honkytonk Night time Man. Maybe slow it down, don't sound so happy and pure and cop an attitude, because that's what that tune sez to me.

    I can't stand no lies Dammit, and damn if the guy doesn't have the blues too.
    You lean more toward the rendition that would be done on Lawrence Welk.
    Some may preferr that and you certainly are sonically exuberant, if not tinny.
    Its an interpretation and its yours, and its well done if thats the way you like your country blues songs, I just like a bit more edgieness to vocals with a different feel of worldliness. You sound almost innocent, thats fine, almost a broadway feel to it.
     
  17. HOBBSTER01

    HOBBSTER01 Friend of Leo's

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    I can say one thing.
    Aside from the minor mix issues, your playing has improved tremendously from the first project I heard from you 3 or four years ago.
    Keep up the hard work. It's definitely paying off.
     
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