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Mixing a complex song -- overwhelmed!


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  • Mixing a complex song -- overwhelmed!

    First off, I'm no professional by any means, so there is an inherent limit to the quality of work I am capable of producing. That being understood, I would still like some advice as to handle the music I'm working on.

    Here is the first mix:

    And here is the slightly modified version:

    Any advice is appreciated, as we want this to be the best it can be according to our vision. There is certainly a lot of work to be done. That said, the ensuing details might limit the applicability of some tips, but please be assured anything is still appreciated!

    The composition is very dense with the guitars playing as many as five different parts simultaneously. It has been a great struggle to marry each of these elements somewhat coherently, but I'm moderately proud of the success so far.

    There is the additional difficulty that this music is not intended to be a commercial product designed for viable success. Our mission is to recreate our vision as accurately as possible. The vocals are low because they are of secondary importance. Reducing the guitar gain was also done to the greatest extent possible before the intensity was lost (this is a form of extreme metal after all). For each of these reasons, I will likely dismiss several offered tips, but before doing so, I will certainly give it the greatest consideration my comprehension of mixing can provide.

    The provided song is just one of eight with equally complex structures. We would like to develop this material to a point where it might some day be mastered, but also to have the unprofessional option of leaving it as it is.

    I will follow this thread closely to respond with appropriate feedback and to voice any concerns I have. I know that no one has to contribute to this, so I greatly appreciate the time you are able to donate in helping our project along.


  • #2
    Honestly, I think that sounds pretty good for what you're doing

    Now...I didn't listen with headphones, but here's some general advice.

    Use panning....pan the guitars around the spectrum to give them room to live in their own space.

    Also, put a low cut filter on the guitars and find your cutoff to taste....often too much bass in the guitars can muddy things up. Let the bass be the low end. If one guitar is mainly doing chuggy chuggy/low chord stuff, maybe leave some low end there, but for all the lead work, try cutting below 100hz

    I think everything sounds fairly balanced on first listen....vocals included

    What are you not achieving that you want to achieve?
    Good deals with: TravvyBear, TD Moyer, modeerf, starmansam, dyer_maker, Reaganomics!, frenchji

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    • #3
      It just sounds kind of messy. I'm about to wrap up an alternative mix that I'll post here for comparison. I did significantly more A/B-ing of the bass between songs and I think it is going a lot smoother.

      UPDATED: Here is the current mix:



      • #4
        There's something to be said for not giving up. I just tested that mix album-wide and it looks good. Would anyone care to suggest whether or not this is a masterable work?



        • #5
          Something that works for me is trying to recapture as much of the original recording mojo as possible in other words, get the best possible sound from each individual track through soloing and muting.Then go to work summing them so the individual tracks neither add nor lose value, characteristic or volume/sheen.
          This is the step where mixing is a primary skill.
          Mastering then is the only other problem to solve.


          • #6
            First of all, the song is wicked! Nice work!

            My only suggestion would be to make the bass a bit more aggressive sounding. Maybe try slamming it down with a compressor and then boosting the gain on the compressor to give it a bit more dirt, and popping the eq a tiny bit in the 2-2.5khz region.
            The levels on everything sounds great. With so many guitar parts going, it's difficult to tell what should be mixed differently, but basically make the most important bits the most noticeable. If you've done that, then you've done good.
            I would also mix the hi-hat a tiny bit lower. It seems to be eating up a lot of dynamic range.
            Otherwise - man, good job!
            spacey and melodic guitar experiments: www.myspace.com/goawaysnow