Mix Suggestions

Posted on

Member Since: Dec 24, 2006

This song contains explicit lyrics, appoligies in advance if it offends anyone.

I recently recorded this hip hop track and was wondering if any one can give me any feedback as far as mixing levels, feedback and etc.

Link: download.yousendit.com/37AB52A55E23DD9C
(If you would like to hear the song from some other website just let me know, I wasnt sure how to attatch the song to my profile)

I think that the vocals really dont shine and the beat is over powering it. However if I turn the vocals up I find it distorts and there are far to many highs. The compression settings for this track are: Threshold -30, Ratio 2:1 and gain +3. There is also a slight bit of reverb. I am using Cubase to record and mix and I am also using the Izotope Ozone plugin, however it is not applied to this track. I really want the vocals to shine on this track, and I find that they sound plain right now. I am recording on Rode NT1A with a behringer T1953 Tube Amp and monitoring on KRK 8's.

Any help is appreciated, really frustrated on how this sounds.

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Czar of Turd Polish
Member
Since: Jun 20, 2006


Jan 28, 2007 05:34 pm

The verb is my first guess. The beats are very up front therefore you'd have to leave the vocals up front also. Kind of a double edged sword with the verb as it really smooths vox out but sets them back in the mix.

There is a vox that comes in at 2:40 that sounds different than the others somehow, maybe it's just harder singing but it is very clear and would be my ideal tone for all vox.

All in all, it sounds pretty good man. Just reduce that effect a little bit and let the vox step to the front. Losing a tad of the echo will not take away from the song imo.

But yeah, not a bad track at all, I would not be frustrated as it actually sounds pretty good, through my monitors, my computer speakers, and my headphones.

Member
Since: Dec 24, 2006


Jan 28, 2007 07:13 pm

Thanks...

What do you mean by the verb and also what do you mean by the effect? I did add reverb on the vocals although it doesnt really sound that strong through my monitors. You can hear a significant echo?

bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Jan 29, 2007 11:52 am

Vocals sound clean, but are being overpowered.

3rd verse stands out a bit more than the other first two, sounds better. What I would suggest is to turn down the guitar/synth thing that's driving the beat, as I think that is the main thing competing with the vocals. Additionally, you could try and eq the vocals and guitar parts so as they don't compete for the same frequencies.

I kinda like the song though. Curious where you're from.

Member
Since: Dec 24, 2006


Jan 29, 2007 01:37 pm

I'm from Toronto. What about you?

Thanks for the reply. Basically you think all thats wrong with it is the beats over powering the vocals? What DB level do you usually track your vocals at?

bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Jan 29, 2007 01:48 pm

I'm from San Francisco.

As far as the vocal level, it really varies from song to song. I don't worry about it too much, as long as it sounds good relative to the rest of the mix, because I know when I master the song, the whole thing will be maximized and made as loud as need be.

Looking at your compression levels, I usually go with a ratio of like 3.5:1, but your vocals sound good, so I wouldn't necessarily change from the 2:1 you're working with.

Basically, my guess of what's wrong is the vocals and the guitarish part are fighting for the same eq/frequency spot, and since the guitar is louder, the vocals are getting covered over.

Member
Since: Dec 24, 2006


Jan 29, 2007 02:43 pm

Would a phase reversal fix this?

Also dont you find that the vocals dont sound smooth and sound gritty?

Czar of Turd Polish
Member
Since: Jun 20, 2006


Jan 29, 2007 04:20 pm

Indeed I do hear an echo, you do not have an echo effect running (some delay or something)? And no I don't think they sound gritty at all. But yeah, that 3rd verse sounds really good, I would shoot for making the others sound like it.

bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Jan 29, 2007 05:51 pm

vocals don't sound gritty to me.

phase reversal won't do anything, I'm pretty sure. I'm pretty sure the way to fix it is via eq and adjusting levels.

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 29, 2007 07:39 pm

Sorry to be late to the thread here. I had a quick listen, liked the beat, nicely done. I do like the guitar sounding sample you used as well, fits nicely. But I have to agree with coolo on the fact it is competing with the vox on the first two verse's. I'll have a better listen later tonight and see if I can pinpoint an EQ tweak to sweeten them up to cut away from the guitar sample a bit.

Noize

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 29, 2007 10:22 pm

I just had a quick tweak on the mix itself. Not a guaranteed fix but you might try a boost of around 3 to 7 dB around the 800hz range on the vocal only. I couldn't really tell on a quick run but it appeared to bring the vocal forward without boosting the guitar too much so that might be a good starting point. If you have a parametric EQ to use try using a narrow to mid Q on it. Probably stick to a narrow Q though. Also you might try a very slight boost around 3k hz as well along with the other. IT will bring a little shine back that the lower boost might smudge a bit.

Member
Since: Dec 24, 2006


Jan 30, 2007 09:28 am

Thanks for all the feedback. The echo is just a track of adlib, where certain words were ad-libbed. Sort of does crowd the mix.

As far as tweaking the eq, you suggest I do this as a total mixdown. Or individually, like a tweak on the vocals and then a tweak on the beat?

Also does anyone know of any free eq plugin for cubase? I am using the one in cubase but it only lets me do three eq's low, mid and high picking the frequency for each. Partly why I cant get the sound I want.

Thanks again

bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Jan 30, 2007 12:16 pm

ok, don't know about free ones, but yeah, definitely want to find a multiband parametric eq. And then, you will want to eq the vocals seperate from the beat, and if you can, the guitar seperate from the rest of the beat. Basically, the ideal way to do it is to mix each individual instrument/part by itself.

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 30, 2007 09:29 pm

I am talking about just using the EQ on the vocal track or tracks themselves, not the entire mix. That will help separate the vocal lines from the guitar sample sound.

Here is a link to a load of pluggins on KVR. www.kvraudio.com/get.php?...t=1&rpp=100
You will find something there for sure. Most are free or shareware.

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 30, 2007 09:45 pm

I should add that your preference will be a parametric EQ or one of the hybrid para graphic EQ's.

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