Jump to content

Demo I just recorded for a young band...


Nado

Recommended Posts

I just finished my first real professional recording venture since setting myself up as a business (ie actually being paid, not for myself or a friend or for beer...lol)) doing a demo/ep for a local band that's just getting started.

 

Budget was very limited, so all four tracks were pretty much done over 3 days (tracked mostly live in one day, edit in one day, final mix one day). We agreed to disagree on a couple of minor balance type things on the mix, amicably of course, so some of the final levels suit what they wanted to hear over what I may have done if it was just me. (I am after all working for the client!) However, I'm still pretty happy with the outcome.

 

They were great to work with, we all got along well, and they're keen on using me for a full CD later in the year. I believe that they will find the budget, they're pretty serious - (they even paid me more than we agreed on at the end of the session...:shock: ) and they want to spend a lot more time on pre-production, maybe another tracking facility for drums etc. SO....I'm interested in some feedback on the mix etc., basically anything to help me give them the best product I can when they come back (if they do).

 

Cheers!

 

http://www.myspace.com/turningforscarlett

 

PS Hit me, I've got a pretty thick skin and just want to get better at my craft..... :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PS Hit me, I've got a pretty thick skin and just want to get better at my craft..... :)

 

READY? :D

 

I'm listening on Genelec 1030A here... to "Before you go". I'm going to try to give your my personal opinion, you take it or leave it ok!

 

Are you a guitar player? ;-) The mix sounds too guitar heavy. I want to hear the drums and vocals more, even the bass. Right now everything is kinda buried below the guitars.

 

The vocals are distant. It sounds like the guy is in a box or was singing several feet from the microphone, or in a very anechoic room - by the way: no reverb? And yet they still sound distant. Do you have any EQ on them? Or other processing?

 

I'm not even a fan of the "telephone EQ" kinda effect you give them in the intro and other parts. I usually like those effects but here the "full" vocals are already small...

 

I think the whole mix could have much more energy if you made the drums and vocals the center piece. The guitars will be there to support and put the meat on the bones.

 

So I would say turn the guitars all the way down, make the drums and vocals sound as big and present as possible, experiment with compression and reverb on the vocals, add bass, and slowly raise the guitars just to add color.

 

To get the right bass/vocals/guitar balance, compare with a mix of a commercial band that has a sound you and/or the band likes.

 

I like the effect you add to the vocals (panned delays) at the end of the song. That's a very musical effect, keep that! At that point the whole mix really takes off - reminds me of Zeppelin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i only have time to listen to the first track, so here we go

 

absolutely agree with dave... the drums need to have more of a presence. I think that, along with raising the vocal levels, would be great for the depth of the track.

 

Moreover, the "telephone" effect should be used less in the song on the vocals. I definitely wouldn't open the vocal track with the telephone going - a bad first impression of sorts?

 

also, the drummer's timing during the chorus could use some editing.

 

I really like the ending!!!!!

 

 

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks David!

You've verified what I thought myself! Too much guitar, not enough vocals, etc I actually had the final mix mostly ready, I loved it, but when the band heard it, they all said there was too much vocals, and the guitars needed to be louder, and the bass was too much. I thought for a bit there was something wrong with me! My Focals are pretty accurate. Obviously I should have trusted my instincts - ??

So, I adjusted everything till they liked it, and went with that.

 

As for the vocals, I recorded them with a Rode NT1 (not a great mic). I guess I tried to use a minumum of reverb also in fear of over using it! (Which I have done in the past...). Still learning after all....

 

The singer wanted the telephone effect BTW. I actually like it...

 

As these are demo's, I also ran out of time to work on them as well.

 

Thanks heaps for the feedback, maybe I'm not going mad after all! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've verified what I thought myself! Too much guitar, not enough vocals, etc I actually had the final mix mostly ready, I loved it, but when the band heard it, they all said there was too much vocals, and the guitars needed to be louder, and the bass was too much. I thought for a bit there was something wrong with me! My Focals are pretty accurate. Obviously I should have trusted my instincts - ??

 

Well then that's what's wrong with you: listening to the band's comments on your mix and trusting them! Hahaha, what an idea? :P ok I'm half joking.. but it's a classic situation for all engineers: you mix the band, then the guitar player wants more guitars. At that point the vocalist can't hear himself and asks to be louder, then the drummer says you have to raise the drums too, and now the bass player left the building, slamming the door and swearing never to record again with those guys who bury the bass under everything else.

 

Anyway we could listen to your mix?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also David, if it was a final release CD or something, rather than a quick demo to give to venues etc., I may have stood up for my mix a bit stronger, and tried to educate them a bit more, (as well as educate myself!!) but I just had to finish it and move on. I just don't want to make the same mistake when they come back to re-track these songs as well as 6 more or so. If we do a full CD we'll spend a lot more time getting it right.

Cheers! Will post my version of the mix soon as I can.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh my god, Nado, I'm so glad you posted YOUR mix. It's a thousand times better. Just a thousand times. There's infinitely more energy there now - and I can actually hear some of the REALLY nice things you've done - especially the panning on the kit, the transition of the vocal from telephone to something clearer in verse 2, the final tom roll, etc.

 

When a song hasn't got a LOT going for it in terms of tune (and this one really doesn't) and, when it's all about the rhymic stagger of the chorus (and this one really is) it's MADNESS to bury the drums like the band wanted. Hey, I'm no fan of that bell ride sound but I'd even rather hear that nice and crisp than having the kit so distant as before.

 

If this is mainly intended for a demo for venues, it will do the job SO much better. People want to dance at shows not listen to guitars. And it's not as if the guitars are that great, num'sen?

 

This is a really good job. You should feel very proud. And give the band a big kick up their collective arse from me ;-)

 

Nice work

 

Robin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback, I was beginning to doubt myself!

 

I guess it was my first time working with a client (rather than a friend etc) who seemed to have a clear idea what they wanted, and I just doubted my abilities (also new monitiors I'm still getting used to, room that has now had a bit of acoustic treatment) enough to not really push my opinion and stick up for my mix a bit. If they come back to do a full CD, I'll be a bit more confident in my opinions (without being rude, or walking over their ideas of course).

 

At least now I know I was in the ballpark first time round. In defense of the guys, some of the music they have been listening to is guitar heavy with the vocals buried a bit (ie Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots), so maybe some of it is just a matter of taste! Just for my own peace of mind, I may give them a CD of my mix, and suggest they just hang on to it, and AB it on a couple of different normal stereo's (ie not on the surround system or the boomy car stereo with the sub...!) over the next month or so.

 

What on earth do you all do when this kind of thing happens? How much do you try to educate the client? I really like these guys, and want them to have the best product I can give them (it also reflects on me....) but I don't want to come across as pushy and opinionated (even though I can be that at times....lol).

 

 

 

:) :?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a very delicate situation, and one that you will often find yourself in: you are hired by a client to do a job because the client trusts your ability to do it, but then that same client gives you so many instructions or requirements that you can no longer do the job the way you know how.

 

I think you have to find the fine line between taste, and what works/doesn't work. If they want a guitar heavy mix, fine, bump up the guitars a little bit, but don't make them so loud they bury everything else. If they insist, give them several mixes, yours, and theirs. At least do explain that you know your studio and speakers, and have an idea of how the mix will translate on other stereos - they don't. If necessary compare your mix with a mix they like in front of them to show them. I always encourage clients to bring a couple of CDs that represent their goal as far as sound / genre.

 

But this happens all the time, even Nirvana's record label was unhappy with some of

KcfoNfWaHSU and asked Scott Litt to remix those titles.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, got some good news.

Had a really good chat to the band leader, they've had a chance to go away and listen to their mix (actually on earphones this time). I asked if I could be honest, and they agreed with everything I said, so I get to remix it the way I want to. I won't charge them, (it won't take me long) but at least I'll be happy with the job, and the new mixes will replace the myspace ones. Groovy!

:D :D :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...