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Outpost - our first demo (alt. rock, I guess)

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by lostcontrol_, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. After a series of misfortunes ranging from schedule problems to missing mics at the recording to broken kneecaps (not kidding), we finally have a demo.


    Recorded at our rehersal place last fall, mixed by our drummer. Personally I would've made different decisions regarding the mix, but I'm happy to finally have this out.

    I'd love to hear your comments and critique, thanks in advance :)
  2. ejmy


    Nov 30, 2008
    Sounds nice, everything is well recorded. Lack's a bit of processing for my taste. There are usually mastering presets in most recording software that can make a huge difference. I would fool around with that, JMO
  3. Thanks ejmy! Could you be a bit more specific about the processing you have in mind?

    In my opinion simple panning and stereo imaging might've done the recordings good and given the mix some feeling of air and space. Currently I get the feeling that ~everything's coming from the center, which makes it feel like all the instruments are fighting for the same space. I think that it might've also made better processing and additional effects easier (or possible, considering our novice skill level in mixing and mastering).
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I really like it sounds great nice bass work but the vocals seem off a bit like the singer was listening to a totally different track at times but the music is super tight nice job.
  5. ejmy


    Nov 30, 2008
    After mixing, mastering is the final step. Usualy done by passing the finish mix in a chain of effects specialy balanced for that matter. And that is a question of taste, depending on how you want the overall product to sound. For instance, you wont use a mastering suite design for heavy rock on a acoustic song etc... And if you are not a pro at this, there are some mastering presets available over the net. It's amazing the info you can find about this with Google.
  6. Hi, perhaps I should've paraphrased myself better. The concept of mastering is familiar to me as are the basic functions and relations of effects and other general tools, and I'd love to hear about the specific solutions you would have chosen for this recording - even if it's a matter of taste :) Background info: Even though I didn't do the mixing etc., I've tried out the mastering presets in Logic 9, explored some of the available options in my other endeavors, read up on online articles & tutorials and would like to learn more.
  7. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    I've heard a lot of worse demos than this. I've made a lot of worse demos than this. You should be pretty proud of it. It's enjoyable to listen to and I really like the composition.

    It's got the two classic demo problems to it though. Firstly the vocals are poorly performed. If you want to put out tracks that people enjoy you absolutely make the vocals your number one focus. If you're singer isn't on the button then people will switch off and the vox feel like an afterthought to this record. Your vocalist is certainly not terrible but you've got a decision to make here. You either need to take the time required to track the vocals adequately (and it's usually a lot) or you have to get pitch correction and vocal limiter/compressors pretty heavily involved. I would do both but a lot of people still take issue with the use of autotune programs. The upshot is that if you're anti-pitch correction you better be prepared to be in the studio nit picking takes for a serious duration.

    The other issue is that I'm not too big on the way the drums sound. I'm all about a loud snappy kick sound though so that could be a personal preference. It's just not hitting me in the chest and I think that's a missed opportunity. The high cymbals are bleeding into your gained guitars too much in some songs. The snare is ok but it's not setting my world on fire.
  8. Thanks IPYF, glad you liked it!

    Also, thanks for the critique. I feel that the issue regarding the vocal performance (and other imperfections in other performances) boils down to one major mistake we made: We recorded everything in two days. Looking back, one or two days _per instrument_ would've been more appropriate given our lack of experience. This time we didn't really put enough focus on analytically listening to the recorded material before finishing the recording sessions. Live, learn... You're right about the use of pitch correction etc., have to learn more about using them. And, naturally, more practice on the vocals themselves.

    The drums could indeed have a bit more presence to them. To the best of my knowledge, this was the first time our drummer had to mix analog drums, so some inexperience there. The other thing about the drums might be connected to how we recorded them: One overhead (Røde K2 using the 8-pattern), a Shure SM57 for the snare, and an AKG something for the kick. Originally we were supposed to have two K2's for overheads, but a missing mic stand screwed that up. The point being, perhaps it could've been easier to get a better result if we had both overheads, and preferably a mic or two for toms? Anyway there's a lot to learn about mixing and mastering drums.
  9. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    I second this.

    Don't get me wrong, its a great demo, the music's cool and all that. but when the vocals kicked in... I wasn't lovin it. Then I listened to the other 2 tracks to make sure. MAYBE its me, but she seems to be ..Pitchy I guess.

    Keep in mind, I think she's better than me. But again, I'm not a lead singer.


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