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Rockstar Vatican Assassin
Member Since: Mar 20, 2009

I'm working on my band's album and I have the mix to where I think sounds pretty good... but there's just something lacking that I can't pinpoint. It just doesn't have that oooomph in bigger rooms/car stereos. It sounds awesome in headphones though! Looking for some opinions/feedback on what you hear and think I should adjust. More boom in the kick? Guitars too flat? Vocals too dry? HELP!!

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Since: Dec 04, 2007

Mar 06, 2014 03:29 pm

Hey man, I think I hear what you mean. It's a decent mix, but it feels like it's missing some vibe or excitement, something to really push it and drive it.

As always, take my comments with a grain of salt since my room is not the greatest.

Kick: It is very clicky (which is fine for this style of music) but I feel it lacks beef and punch. You could try reducing the cut around 60-80hz (or boosting slightly if you didn't cut) and see if that helps add a little beef back to it.

And really when it comes to the mix as a whole, I feel like it could use just a -little- bit of pumping to help drive it. Maybe tighten up or increase some compression in the low end? Maybe on the kick, maybe on the rhythm guitar?

The vocals are fine, I think. If you wanted to thicken them, you could always use just a smidge of delay on them.

I think MM deals with a lot of metal bands, so he could probably opine on this if he sees it.

Are you using anything on the master channel? compression? limiter? I would not recommend using a limiter if you want to send it out to get mastered, but a little bit of compression on the master to help glue stuff together is acceptable as I understand it. The mastering guys like headroom, so if you do use stuff on the master channel, don't squash the mix too much, hah.

Like I said, I can hear what you mean, I think. The mix is solid, but maybe it's a little flat or maybe lacks excitement.

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

Mar 07, 2014 01:15 am

If you take jbots opinion with a grain of salt, take mine with a whole salt shaker: I'm listening on laptop speakers. With that being said, in an attempt to be a chum, I'll give an opinion anyways. Ha.

My first instinct was to say add a bit of low end. But then I realized, that is my response to every metal song I've ever listened to with a critical ear. So, maybe that is not the issue my instinct says it might be.

My next thought was that the guitars were eq'd too narrowly into their own place. Especially the rhythm guitars. It might be an idea to try and let them bleed a bit more into some of the frequencies that you cut.

Lastly the vocals are very out front. It works, but it's kind of at a detriment to the rest of the parts. This really is a taste issue, I believe, but I did notice it.

But as I said... saltshaker!

Rockstar Vatican Assassin
Since: Mar 20, 2009

Mar 08, 2014 11:24 am

I think you guys all have valid points. I've since tweaked a bit to get a better clarity (especially in the kick), turned down the vocals a db or two, and added a bit more sparkle in the guitars. Still though.... really dry compared to a CD.

The one thing I can't figure out is how professional music gets that airy, weird, digitalized full surround. Granted, I'm not mixing in surround sound, but its something like a reverb but no echo/feedback. I can't explain it, I just hear it in my cans. Anything I've tried so far is an epic fail. Do you guys know what I'm talking about?

Here's a vid for reference.

What does this have that makes it sound so fluffy?

Since: Dec 04, 2007

Mar 09, 2014 07:51 pm

Without knowing more about how the project was recorded, it's hard to say what gives it "that sound."

It's probably a combination of good live/drum room dynamics, recording equipment chain, mic position and technique, maybe some good panning, etc. along with the experience of the recording/mixing/mastering engineers that produce the final result. Maybe they use a little software effect here and there, but it's also possible they're using hardware units and keeping as much analog flavor as possible.

All I can tell is on the vocals, i think they are using just a little bit of a chorus effect or something similar to thicken the sound a bit, but as for what gives it the air...don't know. They do seem to be using that wall of sound concept on the guitars, though, so they may be using several good takes together and panned creatively to get that effect.

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