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My first metal mix: please critique! (Chrono Trigger inspired riffage)

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  • My first metal mix: please critique! (Chrono Trigger inspired riffage)

    Chrono Trigger inspired metal - Soundcloud


    Hey guys. I recently got into recording and after doing some orchestral VST stuff I gave one of my metal tunes a whirl. The title is misleading, the first mix is actually long gone, this is my first uploaded mix though. I'm looking for feedback because I don't know how to make it better from here, my knowledge is still very limited in this field, I basically took all my EQ and Compression tips from google searching and tinkered from there.

    Gear used

    Carvin DC727 with SD Full Shred/Liquifire -> Roland Quad Capture -> Lepou amp sims & God's Cab IR

    EZdrummer Pop/rock kit

    Please let me know what you think and I'd love any advice on where to go from here.


     EDIT: 02/09/2013 new mix posted with EZX metal machine drums
    My backing track channel:

  • #2

    That's not bad at all.

    The mix of the guitars and synths is good. It works great - exactly the way you intended, by the sound of things!

    But the drums need a little work. You could possibly try a metal kit in eZdrummer, instead of the pop kit. But, having said that, the kit elements don't sound 'wrong' to my ears, they just need better balance, and a little more overall power in the mix.

    First off, the hihat is too loud, and doesn't sound like part of the kit. Turn that damn hihat down!! I'd also forget about the hard panning on the individual cymbals, and keep them more towards the centre of the stereo field. It sounds too unnatural.

    The kick and snare sound fine but are just not loud and powerful enough in the mix. If you've done some major EQing on these, it's probably a good idea to ease off on these EQ boosts/cuts by about half. If you haven't done any major EQing on these, then perhaps set limiters on these to shave about 2dB or so off the peaks, and they should have a little more power.

    All of that said, the mix is pretty good. Simply turning the hihat down by at least 6dB, and raising the overall level of the kit should get you a noticeable improvement.

    An ambience or room reverb on the kit may also help to get it 'pumping' properly with the rest of the mix.


    flip the phase


    • #3
      thanks gubu! since then i have worked mostly on giving the kick and snare some power. I needed to turn guitars down, lay off the heavy eq on the snare like you said, and also added slight compression and reverb to the snare. you are the 2nd person to tell me about the hihat so that will definitely come down. thanks for the compliments and the tips! much appreciated.

      Also, in ez drummer I can't control the panning of the cymbals so that I am unfortunately stuck with
      My backing track channel:


      • WRGKMC
        WRGKMC commented
        Editing a comment

        If the drums are on a stereo track you can use a channel plugin to adjust the cymbal width and bring it in between the guitars. You can probibly find one over on the KVR site under stereo widening/narrowing tools.

        I remember downloading one from there that would allow stereo widening and narrowing down to mono if you want.

        As far as being able to identify loudness of cymbals, High Hat and such, this should stand out quickly if you have Studio monitors. If you're using headphones to mix it may account for them being missed.

        I took a quick listen and I'm not hearing the proper low end. You often hear people say roll off the low end but you have to watch it. You wind up with a top heavy mix that lacks any kind of kick. Metal sould be felt in the chest when its cranked and if the low end is lacking all yopu get is ear bleed form the guitars and cymbals. Kick and snare should be equally loud in most cases and the bass matching the kick.

        One quick test for this is to turn the mix all the way down, then gradually turn the mix up. Onme of the first things you should hear is the snare in the background. A metal mix may have some guitars there as well, but they shouldnt bury the snare. The low end should come up equally with the cymbals.

        This is a focus thing you develop over time mixing. Doing allot of A/B comparisons with commercial mixes is a key item. If you pump a commercial mix through the monitors then quickly switch over to your mix you have a reference point for your own mix standards. You can focus on one instrument at a time or the mix as a whole. Most musicians are used to doing this from learning music playing along to albums. Do the same with your mixing and its a great short cut to getting a balanced mix. you just have to reference music that is a good target for your own material.

        You can import a commercial recording into your mix for a reference file, and even stick an Audio Analizer like Voxengo span on it so you have some visual reference to help guide you. Just be sure the files been converted to your wave file sample rate first. if your mix is 24/44.1, then the import must be converted to that sample rate first.

        One other item. Make sure your mix isnt overly hot. Most professional recordings are mastered and an additional layer of EQ, Multiband, and Limiting is applied to the stereo mix. This process maked the recording hotter sounding as well as brighter. A typical mistake of many is to target a mastered recording mixing and rolling off too much bass and pushing the sound too hot. By the time its mastered its starts sounding thin and weak. If you have to, lean on the side of a good frequency balance, level balance and clarity between instruments. Then pass that mixdown through high quality mastering plugins. A well rounded mix is going to kick butt over a mix thats pushed to its limits.

    • #4

      Dude, i love the sound of the mix.

      Awesome! Keep it up!