Critique my Mix....

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by eXACT_Beats_, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. eXACT_Beats_

    eXACT_Beats_ Producer

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    I always rattle off five hundred versions of the same track, and this is the mix that I think I'm going to settle on for the instrumental album version (e.g.; no headroom for vocals.) It was quickly mastered so opinions/thoughts on dbs/LUFS/etc. aren't necessary, I was just wondering what your thoughts on the track overall were, as well as on the mix in general and, of course, anything that you think needs work, specifically. The only thing that I may change is the prominence of the bass, but I'm not sure if I want it any punchier or in-your-face.
    Everything was laid out and played on a 16 pad, except for the keys I played.

    (Also? If you want to try and guess what samples I used, feel free. I figure if someone can figure it out on here, then so can some people who might want to sue me. :hahaha: I'll only respond if you guess correctly.)

     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
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  3. Kirby

    Kirby Noisemaker

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    I likes it! IMHO the drums are too harsh and upfront and the trumpet is too far back. The trumpet also hits a lot of wrong notes.
     
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  4. Kwissbeats

    Kwissbeats Rock Star

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    Like it! And yes, the bass could be more prominent.
    matter of taste I guess
     
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  5. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Nice tune.
    I agree, the drums are too upfront. Good sound, no doubt, but atm it sounds like the drums are in front and (all) the other instruments behind. This would look strange on a stage.
    And, yes, the bass could be more prominent. Would fit to the genre.
     
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  6. dbmuzik

    dbmuzik Platinum Record

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    Leave the horns in the back. That's just hip hop style/vibe/flavor.. nothing wrong with that.

    A "simple/easy to do" suggestion that will give this track more character:

    Let the track intro with the first 16 bars proportioned the way you have it mixed now. At bar 17.. put your keys/chords on a separate track, raise the volume 1-2dB, and cut the audio track so the chord tails end right when the 2nd snare hits in every bar. EQ and/or compress this new chord track if necessary for it to be warmer and closer. Doing this might automatically cause you to want to warm the entire bass track up a bit as well.. which is a good thing. So again, the way the chords are mixed now would be for a 16 bar intro, and you could also inject it in a 4 bar break, etc. later on in the mix. It's a simple thing to do, but it will still make a big difference on the foundational character of your mix overall.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
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  7. eXACT_Beats_

    eXACT_Beats_ Producer

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    Both of these are valid. The horn samples are too far back, but they were supposed to kind of be buried--distant--and the wrong notes are there purposefully as they were in the sample; I could have fucked with them or chopped them out, but I decided I like them a bit off the mark in spots. As for the drums, even though being up front is more "Hip Hop" to have them in your face, but I also thought they might be a bit *too harsh, as well. Though I am keeping the overall tone of the break I chopped, plus the additional studio drum layers I added, I was considering taming them with something other than compression (like a lot of people use to "solve" everything,) and getting a bit creative with something like the McDSP tape channels and some warm EQ-ing. Thoughts?

    Interesting. That never crossed my mind. I was, however, thinking of exporting just and audio track of the basic keys/background with out anything else and chop-stopping it every so often in connjunction with the drums, kind of like you hear Khrysis do a lot; making the background almost a rhythm instrument. The problem with a lot of these tracks I make (Soul-ish, vybe joints or "straight" Hip Hop,) is there is always a million things that you can do to them, but, if I have learned anything in my long, musical journey, it's that sometimes less is more. Either way, interesting (and well explained.) I may have to fuck with that general idea some more for the overall feel of it. Thanks.
     
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  8. korte1975

    korte1975 Platinum Record

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    sorry man but it's boring .
     
  9. saltwater

    saltwater Rock Star

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    nice one, many enjoyable things inside :chilling:
    i like how it is for the most part beside:

    the drums, is there some strange time-stretching going on?
    at times its perfect, at times its, well, strange/unnatural...
    kinda kills the groove when it happens

    maybe soften a bit the harsher parts of the cymbals
    the hard part there is to soften without making it dull :bow:
    on top of the usual suspects you could try some tape fx :winker:
     
  10. saltwater

    saltwater Rock Star

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    i somehow missed the "everything was played on pads" part

    hmm, you could just quantize everything and then apply a groove
     
  11. Kinghtsurfer

    Kinghtsurfer Rock Star

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    @eXACT_Beats_ Nice track! Would work really well with some rap over it mixed with a smooth laid back vocal melody every now and then... good work.

    In terms of mix, I agree with all that's been said above... the drums are far too overpowering and the bass could use more definition.

    Also, is the drum groove just a wee bit not matching the rest of the elements? Like its not "in the pocket". Perhaps shifting the groove a bit or a small amount of re-quantize would make the drums smoother in the song?

    Good one! :like:
     
  12. eXACT_Beats_

    eXACT_Beats_ Producer

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    I appreciate the feedback, but where's the fun in that? It's not a puritanical thing (....not entirely,) I just enjoying playing stuff. No one does that anymore. I try quantizing stuff, adding swing, "humanizing" it, it still doesn't sound like me playing it. I have been listening to a lot of Khrysis' stuff lately and he isn't always on beat, but it has feeling and he always lands on his feet. The beat is supposed to be a little bit spastic, but maybe I need to work on the landing-on-my-feet part. Thanks.

    The main thing that I was looking for was the drums and the bass. I am mixing on monitoring headphones alone (not by choice, believe me,) so the bass and the drums were difficult to gauge. The drums are still in the shop, but the bass has been reworked. As I mentioned, I wasn't really sure whether I wanted it to be more prominent or not. Thanks, Knightsurfer. (And yes, I think it would sound good with vocals as well. I was keeping it kind of "boring" (as korte1975 so "succinctly" put it :hahaha:,) so that it would be easy to lay vocals, melodic or otherwise, overtop without it becoming messy and unlistenable. It is an instrumental for now and will probably stay one, but I had/have hopes of more.)
     
  13. saltwater

    saltwater Rock Star

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    one trick is to not swing everything but only every second note while keeping the rest straight.
    usually its a good idea to have a tight kick, either fully straight or just very very tiny swing to not sound like EDM
    more swing on hats/claps/snares and the like

    ofc this all depends how "real" you like to have it, i would not say no one does this anymore, people do all kinds of things :)
     
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