Heavy blues fans (or anyone really) help me/criticize this mix

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Zoa, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Zoa


    Dec 28, 2009
    Hey all!

    I appreciate the help. This: https://soundcloud.com/ironwillandthechaingang/bring-me-my-shotgun

    is the first track off of my band's upcoming album. I am trying to make it as perfect as possible, so any criticism or help toward that goal would be wonderful. Anything you have to say concerning the mix, the playing, the song, or anything would be most helpful.

  2. Endureth


    Nov 22, 2010
    Did he cock his shotgun right before he opened the song with "Bring me my Shotgun"?
  3. Sounds good to me man.
  4. Zoa


    Dec 28, 2009
    Why yes he did. Actually, it was my shotgun, not the singer's, but close enough.
  5. Rumbledom

    Rumbledom Banned

    Jan 19, 2013
    Good vibe. Nice groove. Like the playing. Solid bass. It's a bit long for a song that slow. The mix could use more bass and drums for me. And I don't love the singer. It sounds like he's trying too hard to be Tom Waits and his intonation is off a little too often to be bearable.
  6. Yea sounds good. I would go and see your band.

    At 4:50 to about 4:55 The lead sounds a bit half assed, just for a few notes where he slides up and half misses the note* being the first of them. I cannot replay that bit without starting from the beginning again and have already played it several times, and yes it is a long song!

    IMO, YMMV of course.

    * The sort of thing I heard a thousand times at jams in my younger days and it always sets my teeth on edge.
  7. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    Mix wise, I think the guitar sounds too much like a part of the bass guitar. there is some frequency overlap that is keeping them from being defined from each other. I would try clean that up a little. This will help in post production mastering, where not much can be done about that in a nice proper way.

    For example, If I was the mastering tech; I would use multiband compression on the low band to compress it to almost no dynamics on the kick drum so that the bass and kick were never different in volume, and then release the attack just enough to allow some kick drum initial attack/thump through so that the bass guitar fundamental sat taller in the mix. Overall though, the mix already seems very compressed so the rest of the magic would be trial and error to keep pumping from happening when a leveller was put on it. This might mean splitting the signal after the bass drum compression and running a blended Infinity:1 ratio compressed mix with the uncompressed mix then doing the mastering level. mind you this is how a mastering tech might approach fixing your mix.

    So my approach to fixing this at a mix level would be this: to my ears there is a lot going on around 100-300hz that is blurring things. My approach would be to take lows from the guitar using a highpass and low-eq, and give those frequencies back to the bass guitar in the mix, and then try to make the fundamental of the bass guitar more match the kick drum. Usually to add depth to bass you need to take 250hz from the tone and add back some to the lows under 100hz. This would be done before the compression used on the bass guitar. Perhaps allowing the attack to be relaxed from the bass will allow some more attack through which would be good to get it to sit up tall next to that punchy kick. Another way to sit the bass taller in the mix is to have a clean take of the bass with that overdriven sound you have blended together.

    Perhaps even it's the snare drum blurring up the mid bass. I'm not quite sure on two listens. But I do know that managing the mid-bass (180hz-400hz) regions of your mix is where you get the most clarity. Allowing too much going on there and your mix will blur together.

    Also that prominent guitar could use some spacial engineering. It sounds rather one dimensional. there are two parts in the solo that sound like they need some panning left and right. Just those changes alone would change how the bass fits in the mix. If everything is panned close to center the mid-bass blurs up quickly. How about messing around with/adding an delay or echo panned to one side of the speakers on the guitar so it sounds like it's flowing off in the distance in one speaker and allow it to stay cleaner in the other speaker?

    your close, please make subtle changes if you do anything.
  8. I would also see your band. Love the guitar and vocals but hear what's being said about separation (guitar and bass).

    Opinion: Can't help wondering if altering the high hat pattern (e.g. half notes or.. really loose) for the first verse and then go to eighths on the pre-chorus would differentiate the sections.. Strictly opinion mind you. I really like the song. Good job done;)

  9. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Take off some of the low end on that clean guitar part...it's bleeding into bass range too much. That guitar might just be too loud in general but I have a feeling a gentle low shelf around 250Hz would help some. Maybe a hair more treble on the distorted slide guitar. Thin out the high hats down some- they're a bit pokey and the rhythm is off sometimes. The reverb sounds kinda thin and digital to me. The bass could have a tiny bit more 900-1200Hz to get a little more definition while the other guitars are going.

    All of these are my personal opinions and nothing needs to be too drastic. Honestly it sounds quite good as is! Nice work.
  10. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
    Not bad at all...I'd come see ya AND buy the band a drink! The song IS LONG and kinda dirgy. Some of the guitar work is cringe worthy. The recording is pretty darn good over all....I've PAID for not as good. I'm a big fan of dynamics in a song (louder and softer parts) that might add to your song. Also a stop or "kick" or 2 would add a bit of spice. Not trying to rain on your parade...you have some good stuff going...just trying to add a little constructive criticism. Keep at it!