Americana from the Northeast U.S.

I would invite feedback on this recording particularly the mix.

Also, if anyone can suggest any online resources for studying audio engineering that would be appreciated.


What a great song, have you written it yourself ? I really really liked it a lot :slight_smile:

You wanted some input about the mix. The mix is quite alright as it is, the stereo imaging could be more interesting though. I’m still learning about music mixing myself, but here are couple of things that might help you get started.

The space between your left and right speakers is your sound stage and you should place instruments and sounds evenly on it so that the sound image fills the space and is balanced. There is also a front and back on the sound stage, you can use volume, reverb and eq to make things appear to be at front or back of the stage. If you put all your instruments and sounds at the center they will overlap and the result will sound muddy. Pan instruments and sounds across the sound stage and when they will not overlap you can hear each more clearly.

Each instrument has its on native frequency range. When two instruments frequency range overlaps the frequency range where the overlap happens sounds muddy. For example if you play acoustic guitar and a bass, there will be high frequencies on the bass that will overlap some of the guitars frequencies and vice versa. This phenomena makes both instruments sound a bit muddy. The solution is to use a eq to attenuate the higher frequencies of the bass and the lower frequencies of the guitar so that each instrument has its own frequency range it can fill. You don’t need to cut frequencies out completely it is enough when overlapping / unwanted frequencies will be decreased. Vocals overlap with guitars so you might need to attenuate some frequencies in the middle of the guitar frequencies. Listen to commercial recordings for how much low and high frequencies has been left in each instruments sound.

Keep in mind that everyone does their mixes differently and there really is no one right way of doing things. So try things out and find out what you like.

Things you could try on this song to make the stereo image and instrument sound more interesting:

Play the guitar part again on another track and try to play it rhythmically exactly as you did the first one. The small timing differences between the takes will make it sound interesting but try to be precise when playing. Pan the two guitar tracks 25% - 50 % away from the center one left and one right. This will make a nice “stereo” guitar sound. Use a EQ to attenuate some of the lower frequencies of the guitars and increase the upper frequencies. The guitar sound needs a bit brightening up.

EQ the mandolin sound to be a little brighter. Pan the mandolin a bit off center. When you do this you probably find out that you can hear it more clearly.

I can hear that you had probably 3 voices singing in the chorus part. However all voices are panned to center and it sounds a bit muddy, keep the main vocal at the center and pan the other two voices off the center to each side. Make the supporting voices a little thinner by decreasing lower frequencies with a eq. This will make them a little more airy.

Pan the hihat a bit right off center and the snare a bit left. Listen to commercial recordings for how each drum is placed in the stereo image. You will find that drums a not centered but spread across the sound stage.

Create a stereo bus and put a reverb on it (for example Invada Early Reflections Reverb). Create sends on all your instrument tracks sending sound to the Reverb bus. Experiment with the room size and wall properties of the reverb and try to make it sound like the band plays in a nicely reverberant room. Don’t overdo it. When you find reverb setting you like start by dragging the reverb bus volume all the way down then slowly increase the reverb volume until you can start hearing it just a little and stop there.

Create another bus for a plate reverb and make a send on the vocal tracks sending to the plate. Experiment with the plate settings and how much there is dry (without reverb) and wet sound (with reverb) on the mix.

Check the mix using a good set of speakers and adjust track volume, pan, eq, reverb until you are satisfied with the mix. Then double check the mix with a good pair of headphones. You probably find out the there is too much reverberation. Make small adjustments to the mix to find a good compromise where it sounds good on speakers and on the headphones.

Here are a couple of articles to get you started. Search google for more “mixing music” articles.

@mhartzel: Very kind of you to offer such detailed help to “jbrid”! Even though you say you’re “learning about music mixing” yourself it sounds like you have considerable experience. Your tips are good ones, especially about panning and reverb. Best,

Agreed! Thank you very much for all of your input, mhartzel. It is much appreciated.
I am glad you like the song. Yes, I wrote it.

Very good song, - I also heard “Tomorrow is Gone”. I think this song really reveals your skills as a guitar and violin player -
I especially enjoyed the speed and confidence of your guitar solo - but off cause, you are a very good singer as well.
I don’t have anything to add to mhartzels suggestions.
Thanks for sharing.