An attempt to remix an old recording from my now defunct band Soda P. Originally recorded way too loud (especially the overhead mics) with Qtractor but completely redone in Ardour. Any feedback is welcome, especially when it comes to the drums, I just have too little experience mixing and I still feel the drums don’t glue together well, especially the kick. It was recorded with a D112 but probably placed wrong, sounded like crêpe and really had to shape it. And it’s too prominent, too pushy. Probably a compression issue.
The track itself is a bit the swan song of my old band, recorded in 2010 in our rehearsal room by the band itself. So no professional studio or mics, basically a rehearsal demo, sloppiness included. It’s an indie track with some post-punk/postrock influences. We did record some more tracks, maybe I will try restoring those too. We disbanded in 2011.
Good tune! For the genre I like the the quasi lo-fi rehearsal room mix pretty good as it is! I would agree that the bass is a bit loud (but it sounds so good). The drums are pretty reverby, is that the room and the too much overhead mic mix or has Reverb been added?
I personally am very reticent about per channel EQ, I will EQ a kick and occasionally a snare and with small drum toms I sometimes give a 100Hz boost but I never touch guitars vocals or basses with EQ, I prefer to sort that stuff out with an overall EQ on the Master buss… I’ve never met a mix in any genre that hasn’t benefitted from a rolloff at 40Hz, a 3db+ cut at 250Hz and a 2-3db bump at 1000Hz
My tried and true bass drum strategy (“60% of the time it works all the time”) is in this order:
Barry’s Satan Maximizer (24 samples -6db knee point
Calf Bass Enhancer adjust the amount and output so the red LED doesn’t come on and rotate the frequency knob until you find a resonant frequency that comes alive (usually between 80-100Hz)
Use one of Mike Start’s PEQ Pultec EQ simulation Plugins (whether it’s the linuxDSP, overtoneDSP or ACMT version) They are more than worth the money for a lot of recording applications! Set the frequency to 20 or 30Hz and bring up the boost until you hear it doing something…
4, The x42 Limiter because with all this boosting you will certainly want a limiter and it’s OK if the Kick hits the limiter pretty hard…
Overall BSM levels out and punches up the kick transients, Calf Bass Enhancer boosts the resonance of the shell and the Pultec beefs up the sub frequencies. Even with the little 18" kick drum on the Blonde Bop this combo always gives great results.
If the Kick has a lot of bleed from the snare and other instruments you may want to use the Ardour built-in Lua high pass/low pass Plugin to knock down some higher end frequencies, some people also use a gate for this, but I haven’t needed one.
Thanks for sharing your stuff, Please share more!!
Hi Glen, thanks!! Agreed that the drums are still too reverby, it’s not the room, it’s an added reverb, LSP Impulse Response to be precise, with a small chamber IR. Any advise on improving this part?
I used very little EQ for the instruments, only some rolloff on the lows and highs. Two exceptions, the kick and voice, did some more EQ’ing and processing on those. Have to practice with using an EQ on the master bus, didn’t do it on this track. The master bus only has a compressor and x42’s limiter.
I now used EQ, Calf Transient Designer and a compressor. Bought practically all the linuxDSP stuff back in the days except the Pultec one
Good tip! I haven’t really checked the bleeding, maybe that is what I’m hearing that seems wrong to me.
Will do, try to spend more time with Ardour to get the hang of it. I’d love to find a workflow that suits me, just record stuff (which goes quite well already) and mix it. But I’ve been saying this to myself for like a decade now, still not there. Can’t strike the right balance yet between being a musician and a producer (on a hobby level).
It 's a matter of taste … to some degree
I personally am a sucker for room sounds especially on drums.
Blatantly, i 've done a mix of this song myself. (It 's your fault. You 've published the link )
I think you 've made some very interesting decisions in your mix regarding the use of reverb and delay - especially on vocals. Nicely done.
Regarding the drum tracks, i took a very different approach. I think the problems you 've faced - especially with the bassdrum - is an “overuse” of single plugins to get “a sound” (i.e. the attack boost of the transient designer).
The recordings are quite decent, i think and i like the tune. Was fun to mix.
I 've sent you a download link on LM as a PM. If you don 't mind to share it just drop me a note.
Thanks! There are a lot of plugins that don’t have a bypass option and if they don’t but you only want to trigger them on specific points you have to get creative.
Thanks for that clarification, and yes, the kick does rely a lot on that specific boost. I’m very curious how you’ve approached the drums.
That’s great to hear! And that with all our budget recording equipment. For recording we used a Focusrite Saffire Pro 10 IO back then. The rehearsal space wasn’t acoustically treated or anything but didn’t have any weird issues when recording luckily. And so cool to hear it was fun to mix!
Got it! Totally OK! Give me some time to have a good listen at it!
Thanks for the tip! But I wanted to trigger the delay on the vocals on specific moments, not by the vocal track itself, unless I understand it wrong, never did sidechain compression this way. I created two vocal buses, one without delay and one with delay, and I switch between those by muting/unmuting and simultaneously setting the sending aux send levels accordingly. There probably is a better, simpler way to do this but this was what I could come up with at that moment.
I’m wondering if you could trigger the compressor gate on some sort of automation. For instance, have a muted channel with a sine wave with volume automation driving the compressor side chain, or something.
I’m riffing here.
I’m not near a computer to try, but it may be an avenue to explore.
First of all I’d like to thank @novalix and @slash for remixing my session! And I’d like to laud the possibility to exchange sessions this way. It’s really educational and also gratifying, just so cool that forumites pick up these recordings and do their own thing with it.
@novalix send you a PM on LM a while back, did you get it?
@slash Really like your mix, the bass and drums are really well balanced. The kick sounds better than mine but still has some of that pop and oomph. And while I swapped the big reverbs for smaller ones you went full on. But I really understand that, the song lends itself well for some extra reverberation. The guitar sounds WAY better than in my mix, it’s a bit brighter and slices better through the mix. The vocals are smooth.
What strikes me is that our mixes aren’t that far apart while our approaches and used plugins are really different. And I already learned a lot from your approach, like naming plugin instances, didn’t even know this was possible. And to group everything, looks really tidy and clear. And to add an extra master bus for al the instrument buses and then send that ultimately to the Master bus. Many thanks for these insights!!