I am happy with my mix but it could sound better

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by Izem, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. Izem

    Izem Member

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    Hello sound lovers!

    My hard work and perseverance in mixing is starting to pay off as my mixes are getting better and better. However, when I listen to a reference, professional track I feel like something is missing in my mixes. I figured out that this 'something' is the way professional sound engineers process vocals. In the pro tracks, I feel like the voice is very consistent, has very little dynamics while it does not sound squashed at all. When I try to achieve this, my vocals sounds either too squashed and unnatural, or not enough compressed and start to pop out from the beat. I would like to know if you guys had any advice to help get my vocals the way I'd like.

    My hardware chain is: pop filter -> RODE NT1-A -> Golden Age PRE-73 Jr -> Klark Teknik 76-KT -> Focusrite 2i2.

    My plugin chain is: FabFilter Pro Q 3 -> Waves Deesser -> Waves C4 -> Waves 1176 -> Waves CLA-2A -> FabFilter Saturn
    Sends to: Small Plate Reverb -> Parallel Comp -> 1/4 mono delay

    Here is a snippet of my current mix:


    Here is what I would like to achieve (verse starts 0:21)



    Best,
    Izem
     
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  3. Baxter

    Baxter Audiosexual

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    "Pop out"? Maybe you have too slow compressor attack and compressing too much.

    As a test, try boosting the mids going into the compressor. So that the compressor reacts more to mid range. Then maybe do compensating EQ post compressor, if needed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
  4. Kromanoid

    Kromanoid Noisemaker

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    You have to understand that a dynamic vocal sound comes from a dynamic performance. You can try an aggressive compression with "medium attack" to let those transients hit, and then blend it with the original to accentuate the "punch" in the vocals.
    I think that the mix will benefit from some stereo effects, I found it too "mono".
    Keep it up!
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
  5. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    You're thinking of something like this?

     
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  6. jhagen

    jhagen Producer

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    Try this chain:

    compressor->JMP->eq(low<500hz)->comp2->oop->call->xct->push->lsd(x2)->LIM

    remember Limiter always at the end of the chain!
     
  7. Izem

    Izem Member

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    That's pretty good! Maybe a bit too clear/crisp to me but I like it. Tell me your secret.
     
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  8. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Nice you like it.
    1. Reaper stock saturation at 80. It adds mainly only the first odd and to a very tiny amount the second odd so, very few harmonics at pretty high level. Makes the whole sound more upfront without distorting it.
    2. EQ:
      narrow mid (as in m/s) bell at 48Hz with +5dB for additional low punch.
      Common width (Q=1,44), mid bell, 8,8kHz, +5,4dB to make your voice too bright. [​IMG]
    3. AA El Rey, fastest attack and release, filter at ~ 180Hz, ~1dB GR. This leaves the BD upfront and pushes the rest a bit to the back. El Rey does this in a very special way, so this might not be easy to reproduce without it (that's why I needed only 1dB GR).
    4. Two band compressor N4 Mantis (PCM compressor). X-over at 280Hz.
      High band with low threshold and low ratio (2:1), just a few ms attack and ~ half a second release. Leaves some transients and attack and glues the rest together. Long release time prevents sounds from popping up too quick.
      Low band with higher threshold and higher compression (10:1), less attack and release time to tame to lows which have been left through by El Rey.
      I used the makeup gain for the low band to keep it's level a bit lower (maybe still not enough, but has a nice sound, no?)
    5. Final limiter with 20ms release and up to 0,6dB GR to fetch some peaks.
    That's it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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  9. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Oh, I forgot to mention that Mantis has a medium to wide knee and after the knee the ratio goes down to almost 1:1. So this is more an RMS compressor and leaves the top levels uncompressed, which adds to the liveliness of the track.
     
  10. Rorer

    Rorer Platinum Record

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  11. MrLyannMusic

    MrLyannMusic Rock Star

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    i'll mix this for you, if you like it i'll guide you how to achieve it...
     
  12. Ayc

    Ayc Member

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    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  13. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    @Rorer even more upfront, which I on principle like, but loud AF. [​IMG] :winker:
     
  14. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    @Izem, don't do that, that'll bring your mix to the next level, not good. [​IMG] :winker:
     
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  15. waverider

    waverider Platinum Record

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    @No Avenger
    It is REALLY impressive how you managed to bring that mix to another level, without having the individual tracks at your disposal. Uncanny, really. I am impressed. Like, my mind is blown.
    Feels like I'd have to learn and practice for years until I'd be able to even hear and understand what a mix needs, and knowing what plugins to use in which way to accomplish it.
    Crazy stuff.
     
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  16. solo83

    solo83 Producer

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    No offense to your setup, because you can create beautiful outstanding music with it. YET, the pros you're referencing 99 times out of 100 have a much better front end. Telefunken and nuemanns mics, avalon pre amps, apollo, or antelope interfaces, on top of a stellar listening environment. Those tools are going to give you more headroom, and give your vocals more character and warmth, among other benefits. But you shouldn't fret over that and just keep doing what you're doing, because your music and your mix sounds great man :wink:
     
  17. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Thank you very much for the very nice praise.
     
  18. curtified

    curtified Producer

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    just put Gullfoss on every channel and re bounce it :mad:
     
  19. kidstretch

    kidstretch Member

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    Very good, sounds very tight! Would love to find how you achieved it! :)
     
  20. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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  21. kidstretch

    kidstretch Member

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