First thing that I caught, when the drums came in, I damn near shit my pants haha. It was crazy loud. Limit it so the intro piano and elements [et al] can be dynamically sound without a huge level difference.
Cool basses, pretty spatially full.
Drums seem a little weak to me honestly, maybe do a little parallel compression with them? Vocals kind of get muddied as well, they are kind of buried in the mix when the lead sound comes in [around 3min]. I'd take the kick with a slight HPF [like 50hz at 6db slope], its coming through bass heavy in the low low end on my sub. Taking that little bit out gradually would sit it just a bit better.
Cool stuff though all in all.
Nice melody and dynamics within. Gives it some breathe. The reversed parts reminded me of the Braid soundtrack, actually. Personally, I think you ran with it too long though. I think it could have been an interesting/cool effect, but the whole last 2 minutes or so were reversed. Personally, I would have added some light acoustic drums right when you have the initial reverse section start, to add a bit more dynamics/variety. Then in the last several measures, have it reverse. Again, personal preference though.
I think offsetting the guitar and the recorder in panning could have made it a bit more interesting too. Both are center panned with what seems like stereo wide reverbs on (the recorder at least). Even though the recorder is a higher pitched instrument, I think it could have benefited from EQing towards a clearer definition of it; same with the plucking of the guitar, or maybe some compression to really bring it out.
A fun listen, though. I could definitely see this in a video game or some trailer maybe.
The reversed drums sounds like a cool idea, i may give it a shot in the future hahaha
Btw, Guitar isn't centered, it's double tracked to the left and right, the main recorder is indeed centered to balance the guitar, there are multiple recorder in different pitches (Standard, 1 and 2 octave lower respectively) panned to left/right.
Thanks for the feedback ^^
Nice reverbs, especially that they aren't FMP'd but wide stereo width.
I think the bass drum and subbass could use a bit of low EQing, especially the bass drum. Its a deep bass by what I hear, and there is a little fighting for them. (I could feel a bit of pumping, actually).
The toms and claps are nice, but really quiet/subtle. Same with hats/rides. I think the drum buss might benefit from some parallel compression to bring the percussion out while retaining the musical dynamics.
Not sure if it's sofysynth or what, but there is some clicks and pops. I'd try dithering to eliminate those, but it could be artifacts of compression as well. If there are comp'd tracks, fiddle with the attack and release of the trouble track; too quick, especially on the release, can cause low freq distortion. If they're gated, mess with the hold/release, as a quickly opening and closing gate can cause chattering too.
Wow, this is loud. Loud does not equal good. Focus on a good solid mix before worrying about the loudness of it.
Anyway, it is a pretty W mix to me. There are elements in the center and elements panned hard left/right, but nothing much in between. Elements in the far areas have definition added to them, whereas centered elements (like vocals, melodies, solos, etc) are there to cut through a mix. But having a wide mix is important.
The drums are pretty weak, especially for an EDM track. That is suppose to be the backbone of a dance track.
The transition sound at about 42 seconds has a lot of resonance on it. If you want that sound. I'd suggest EQing a lot of the higher end off, as its VERY harsh. A good trick to find these spots: Take a parametric eq, and set the Q factor to 10 so it is VERY narrow. Then set your gain as high as you can. Sweep across the frequency spectrum (20hz-20khz) and try and find where a sound is perceived as the most harsh. Say you've a point at 2.24khz which is really harsh. Set your Q way low (1 or less) with a subtle -2 or -3dB attenuation (gain reduction). This will bring down the harshness without totally changing the tonality of the sound.
I can totally agree with you on the drums being weak. I just don't really know how to make my kick shine through in my mix. I've tried side chaining but that doesn't really make it pop out much either. I'll also try the EQ sweep technique, never heard that one before.
I can agree this is really squished and loud because I just put a sausage fattener on the master and turned up the gain 2db. XD
Thanks for the feedback. I'll implement these techniques into future songs since this song is almost 3 months old.
Reminds me a bit more of earlier Combichrist B sides (Like off Everyone Hates You) - minimal dark/atmos techno/aggrotech. Or maybe an early cut from The Joy of Gunz (more powernoise)
Personally I don't know why you killed you bass drum with that LPF (or if thats the sample). By having it so muffled, there's virtually no attack from it, just a bass wash. EQ the low end too with the kick and bass, they are competing for the same space but making it bottom heavy and muddy.
The hi hats to me are way too quiet too, also, not sure why they're panned in stereo width. Its common to have em pushed to one side or the other by about a couple hours (+/- 30-40 in the left or right), but often in techno they're pretty center (but then become over bearing and you really create an I or W mix often)
Agreed with the other poster; a little variety would be nice. Melody or even just pads that wash in. This is a very lower frequency friendly track, but there really isn't anything higher frequency, and it would benefit a lot from it.
A bandpass filter actually, it's a note on a synth, i don't want there to be any attack cus it's not actually a bassdrum nor a sample of a bassdrum.
Why? I like how this sounds in this piece.
There are no hi hats in this track and it isn't techno, you're handing me a technical critique to another artistic/styllistic choice i happen to make, what does you not knowing why have to do with me?
Feel free to add any and all high frequencies you like yourself, thanks for listening and asking questions.
I love this, but damn do I want to slap an expander or gate on to get rid of the noise hiss. I get that its the lo fi, but maybe if it had a bit more dynamics or some type or maybe some pumping compression on the noise- hell, even chaning the noise color or EQing it throughout the piece would add a little life to it. But thats me personally, I suppose.
To me, the drums are a little weak. Not sure if its your samples, but you can adjust the tonality even with some EQ. The snare, to me, has a lot of bottom end and meat to it, but its attack (thwack) phase is contrastly weak; I'd hit it with a HPF to remove some of that low end, which makes the higher more present in a mix.
The bass drum is way too quiet I find, whereas the snare is too loud. Balance 'em a bit better. The bass drum also is pretty weak. To me, it sounds like its got a weak attack phase but no real sustain/body to it, although its extremely hard to hear. Have you ever tried layering samples?
If I were you, the rimshots (I think thats what they are?) or click sticks, pan them out a little. If you have, it sounds like 2 or 3 different tune clicks, maybe push one out far left, then the second a bit less left, than the third one ever so slightly left of center. This will give the image of bigger drums, aside right now it sounds like its in a tiny box.
If you want the chords to be panned hard left and right, move the piano sound in from the extremes. They are masking and fighting for the same space. I do like the timbre of the choir pads though you have.
Yeah, I usually layer 2 drums for kicks and snares, but I still have a lot to learn about sustain/body type things. I will definitely start panning my hats and percussion.
Thank you so much, this was very helpful!
You've got to be REALLY cognizant of your levels. The drums you have sound extremely overcompressed and loud by comparison, but negatively effect the rest of the track by inducing pumping. With each hard kick hit, the entire volume of the track drops slightly, only to pick back up when the kick is finished - to me this signals over compression. Not sure if you side chained it, or if its an overall buss compression with extreme settings.
Another possibility is you wanted everything loud. Semi professional and professionally mixed music I can listen comfortably to at approx -30dB on my interface outputs; here im at -46 cause its reaaaally loud. To approach this, instead of making everything louder to combat it, set a ceiling. Try to mix UNDER 0 dB on a fader - most of mine, or on mixes I do in a studio, are under 0dB - you can master a track and bump up the volume then, but if a mix is extremely rough (such as this one), mastering because such a beast.
Some helpful hints for you
I want to make a comment about what you're saying. I haven't the required equipment to make songs as in Studio. I haven't monitoring speakers, a good sound card or any interface outputs.
As of now, I have only my little computer with speakers bought in general store. So, for the moment, I can't produce quality's studio songs.
But what you're saying is helpful, and I'm happy to receive some advice !
I think a helpful hint, what is key to ambient/drone, is spatial imaging. The drone pads appear to me L/R panned extreme (which is fine), whereas most other elements are pretty center strong. If you want to do this route, I'd say take a center fixed element, and send its reverb aux track elsewhere so it isn't FMP'd. This could create a wider sound, but still be experimental. Another possible idea is employ some Haas effects; have a "lead" (I know its drone, so there isn't much in melody/leads) sound be left or right of center, and double the track; set a delay on the second track with a delay >30ms, depending on tempo of the track. Color it if you desire/can, and also attenuate the delayed track slightly. This produces a huge wall of sound often.
Those are some possible ideas you could incorporate to give it a deeper sense, in my opinion.
The guitar reminds me of Faunts, and if you aren't familiar with them, check them out.
The bass is really bottom heavy though, I find. Hit it with a HPF (even maybe a -6dB at 55ish hz and experiment) and reduce some of the muddiness in it, and then it'll really shine through. I think when you've got the synth lead come in, push it to one side or the other, not just the whole stereo field; that'll make the guitar still defined but also keep the synth more defined also
Thanks for the solid review! I'll experiment with a HPF and pan the synth to see how it turns out!
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