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In Need Of Some Mixing Advice For This Jazz Tune

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  • In Need Of Some Mixing Advice For This Jazz Tune

    Hi there,

    This is my "jazz trio" performance of Stella By Starlight.

    http://soundcloud.com/zbbzspam/

    I've uploaded a dry mix - with only Guitar Rig(amp modeling) applied to the bass and guitar, and slight EQ on the tracks.

    and also one with some mixing plugins I throw in and chose the most-fitting presets for, just by how it sounds, without too much attention or knowledge of what I'm doing...

    Known issues:
    1) The vocalist volume is inconsistent, probably because she didn't stay at the same distance from the mic.
    2) There also a lil' bleed from the guitar and some more noticeable bleed of double bass in the vocals. which makes issue 1 harder to triumph with compressing.


    Thx in advance.
    (new) PC:CPU: i5 3470PSU: Dunno YetM-Board: Gigabyte H77RAM: 2X4GB DDR 3 1600Graphics: Intel Graphics HD 2500Hard Drives: Western Digital: 1TB Black(WD1002FAEX), 500GB Green(WD5000AACS), 160GB(WD1600ADFD)OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64 BitAudio Hardware:External Audio Interface: PreSonus FireBoxAmplifier: InterM PA-2000aMics: Shure SM57 & KSM27

  • #2
    I'll listen when I get home.
    in general, the best thing she could do from your description is
    do another track of vocals. Some bleedover can be OK if its out
    of the vocal range. If the dyanamics are drifting and you limit them
    up, then whatever bleedover occuring in the weak parts will wind up
    getting boosted. Not the best senario for making a good mix.
    You can target the bleedover, with an EQ then limit the vocals up but thats pretty destructive to the vocals.

    Theres something in theory that should work using phase cancellation.
    Copy your instrument tracks over and make duplicates.
    Next reverse phase the vocals and its bleedover.
    Turn your original instrument tracks off, and set the vocal and duplicate instrument tracks for mono,
    no panning left or right and no effects on any of the tracks..

    Gradually bring the duplicate instruments up in volume to equal the bleedover of these instruments in the vocal track
    and they should cancel out the bleedover in the vocal track because they are reverse phase of the vocal track.

    All that should be left is the vocals without the bleedover.
    Then you highlight the vocal track and copied instrument tracks and bounce them to a new single track.
    All you should have is the vocals without bleedover.

    Then you just bring up your original instrument tracks and mix as normal less the bleedover.

    As I said in theory theis should work. Two of the same sounds in reverse phase from one another
    should cancel in mono when the signal lavels are equal.

    The only problem you'll have is the instrument tracks are more direct sounding than the bleedover
    so you may not get rid of it all, but its worth investigating. Tweaking phase on live drums is a common thing to try
    to minimize bleedover from other instruments. If anything it may be less annoying.

    Comment


    • #3
      I took a listen to both tracks. I analized them a bit and your problem isnt bleedover.
      You problem is mixing. I could mix it for you is you want to export the three individual tracks
      and make them downloadable. I could do that quicker than explaining what can be done, but
      you do need to learn to mix yourself so heres some suggestions.

      This is a jazz tune and to give it that 40's flavor theres a bunch of things that can be done.

      First, the wide stereo panning of guitar and bass is a big fail. I suspect you're mixing with headphones and not
      studio monitors. Wide stereo panning on two instruments Is distracting from the vocals and you have no drums
      in the center to fill that huge void. The timing on the bass and guitar arent perfect so my focus is making me dizzy
      listening first left then right.

      First thing I'd do is set the bass center mono, add some bottom, and retweak the finger tone of the strings with an EQ so the
      bass sounds more natureal like an upright jazz bass should sound.
      next I'd copy the guitar track and pan one left and right maybe 50% max. This is basically going to sound mono as well, but I'd
      put a certain amount of reverb on the two tracks to add a jazz room sound. This will add the three dimensional sound this song
      desparately needs. I cant be real more specific because its one of those things you have to find through tweaking. I might even add
      a hint of chorus to one of the guitar tracks to make it move slightly and make it sound less direct.

      The vocals need allot of EQing. You have way too much 8~12K and practicallu no mids or lows.
      A hint here is the kind of mics they used back in the classic jazz period. they didnt have mics that produced
      20K frequency responces. 10K might have been the max and most of the frequencies a womans voice produced was in the
      1~5K range. By carefully boosting those frequencies it will bring the vocals out in front where they are supposed to be.

      As it is now, you got sterile clean vocals in the background and the instruments up front and that doesnt work.
      You have to mix the vocals so they are up front and the instrumenst are the accompnyment in the background.
      Qith proper EQing, they will still be clearly heard even better than they are now, you just wont have all the "masking"
      going on now with the vocals being buried back stage.

      The volume jumps on the vocal track can be handled with manual editing easily. you highlight the weak parts and gain those up
      with a gain boost tool, then you can do the same for the loud jumps and gain those down. You get most of it evened up, then
      use a limiter on there to even up all the peaks so the entire track has even dynamics. Any remaining dunamic roughness will be
      silky smooth after you apply mastering plugins.

      The only other items might be comping the bass and guitar a little, maybe retweaking the guitas EQ responce a little to
      give it a little better jazz tone and you're cooking with gas.

      This can be made to sound very good because the basic tracks arent that bad. If you had some
      snare brushing an light cymbal taps it would be even better in my opinion, but its workable as is.

      As I said, If you want, you can post the individual tracks and I can give it a quick mix and post it back
      for you to study. I'd have better specifics on what can be done to walk you in so you can do it yourself.
      Got to get the raw stuff worked out before you can think of adding personal touches.
      It an easy matter to tweak the reverb for a specific room size you want.
      You have to get the raw stuff tweaked and balanced before you can play with ear candy.

      Anyhow, give it a try. Maybe A/B it to some commercial jazz stuff and study how the music is mixed for ideas.
      Theres no wrong or right way mixing and my way is only one of a million possibilities, but your audience is going
      to expect some professional mixing on a limited instrumentsl mix like this. The parts arent being burried
      by a rythum section and are performed is good so properly highlighting them is a must.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hey guys.

        Remixed : click
        [I redid the sound for the bass, tweaked the guitar vs. vocals. dealt with the vox volume and also switched ezmix(yes I'm a mixing noob) with a regular master limiter on the master bus so at least if something is needed to be done on the master bus I know what's missing with your gracious help guys ]
        (new) PC:CPU: i5 3470PSU: Dunno YetM-Board: Gigabyte H77RAM: 2X4GB DDR 3 1600Graphics: Intel Graphics HD 2500Hard Drives: Western Digital: 1TB Black(WD1002FAEX), 500GB Green(WD5000AACS), 160GB(WD1600ADFD)OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64 BitAudio Hardware:External Audio Interface: PreSonus FireBoxAmplifier: InterM PA-2000aMics: Shure SM57 & KSM27

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks a lot for the detailed reply WRGKMC.

          Regarding sending the tracks:
          I would like to send you the tracks so I can hear what can be done with this raw material as you called it. the bass and the guitar are DIed into guitar rig, do you want me to sound their tracks with the guitar rig applied or only the original DI signal?

          What daw are you using? maybe we can even switch projects which really help my learning process

          Qs about your instructions:
          1) I'm afraid to pan the bass in the center cause that would cause the singing and bass in the middle and guitar on the right and the left is kinda empty. plus, it make the bass and vocals "fight over room"...IMHO...

          2) I already EQed the bass and added a wide range of low-mid-low, I understand you think more can be added. what range of frequencies would you describe as bottom?

          3) About panning the guitar: what are your thoughts about doing something like a piano stereo recording and apply an aggressive lowpass to one side and agressive high pass to the other?

          4) you said add reverb on the guitar and also jazz room sound - do you mean as a specific FX or do you mean I should put some reverb on the master bus?

          5) chorus: I really want to keep the sound natural so I don't wanna add chorus since it's a jazz recording, is there an alternative?

          Thx a lot for the help again, I'll try some of the stuff you suggested regarding the vocals and reply again...
          (new) PC:CPU: i5 3470PSU: Dunno YetM-Board: Gigabyte H77RAM: 2X4GB DDR 3 1600Graphics: Intel Graphics HD 2500Hard Drives: Western Digital: 1TB Black(WD1002FAEX), 500GB Green(WD5000AACS), 160GB(WD1600ADFD)OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64 BitAudio Hardware:External Audio Interface: PreSonus FireBoxAmplifier: InterM PA-2000aMics: Shure SM57 & KSM27

          Comment


          • #6
            Bass always near the center, single channel (mono), and ambience of bass stereo.

            Lead vocal single channel (mono) centered, and room stereo.

            Guitar less to the side.

            The rest is balanncing. Bass is to loud at the moment. Vocal, the most important, is not on top, the guitar is louder then the singer. I guess you like your guitar a lot, but people wanna hear the singer.

            Comment


            • #7
              Here's another remix try(it's the 3rd mix):

              http://soundcloud.com/zbbzspam/

              Issues:
              1) The bass doesn't come out enough as an independent instruments, it's very noticeable during the bass solo - I want people to actually hear his melody...

              WRGKMC - my Qs carried out from my last reply
              Thanks a lot for the detailed reply WRGKMC.

              Regarding sending the tracks:
              I would like to send you the tracks so I can hear what can be done with this raw material as you called it. the bass and the guitar are DIed into guitar rig, do you want me to sound their tracks with the guitar rig applied or only the original DI signal?

              What daw are you using? maybe we can even switch projects which really help my learning process

              Qs about your instructions:
              1) I'm afraid to pan the bass in the center cause that would cause the singing and bass in the middle and guitar on the right and the left is kinda empty. plus, it make the bass and vocals "fight over room"...IMHO...

              2) I already EQed the bass and added a wide range of low-mid-low, I understand you think more can be added. what range of frequencies would you describe as bottom?

              3) About panning the guitar: what are your thoughts about doing something like a piano stereo recording and apply an aggressive lowpass to one side and agressive high pass to the other?

              4) you said add reverb on the guitar and also jazz room sound - do you mean as a specific FX or do you mean I should put some reverb on the master bus?

              5) chorus: I really want to keep the sound natural so I don't wanna add chorus since it's a jazz recording, is there an alternative?

              Albert Einstein:
              1) again, what exactly is the way to create room sound?

              Thx again for the help guys.
              (new) PC:CPU: i5 3470PSU: Dunno YetM-Board: Gigabyte H77RAM: 2X4GB DDR 3 1600Graphics: Intel Graphics HD 2500Hard Drives: Western Digital: 1TB Black(WD1002FAEX), 500GB Green(WD5000AACS), 160GB(WD1600ADFD)OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64 BitAudio Hardware:External Audio Interface: PreSonus FireBoxAmplifier: InterM PA-2000aMics: Shure SM57 & KSM27

              Comment


              • #8

                Albert Einstein:
                1) again, what exactly is the way to create room sound?



                You add some reverberation to your tracks.

                Reverberation = room sound, hall, the three dimensional ambience of a room.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Is it recommended in a project like this to put reverb on the master bus to get all 3 instruments "in the same room" ?
                  (new) PC:CPU: i5 3470PSU: Dunno YetM-Board: Gigabyte H77RAM: 2X4GB DDR 3 1600Graphics: Intel Graphics HD 2500Hard Drives: Western Digital: 1TB Black(WD1002FAEX), 500GB Green(WD5000AACS), 160GB(WD1600ADFD)OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64 BitAudio Hardware:External Audio Interface: PreSonus FireBoxAmplifier: InterM PA-2000aMics: Shure SM57 & KSM27

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you go to drop box.com you can upload large wave files there then PM me the links.
                    I dont need any effects on the tracks. Just solo one track at a time or select, export tracks
                    and export it at the same bit rate you tracked it at.

                    I use Sonar for the most part. I do have cubase and other programs.

                    I have guitar rig but I never use it. Its a bloated basically program consisting of gain settings,
                    EQ's and filters comps etc for amatures who dont know how to combine regular plugins together to get a good sound.
                    They select a preset like they do with a stomp box playing live and never learn how to get that sound using basic plugins

                    Once you learn how to manually gain things up properly simple targeted plugins can sound brilliant in comparison.

                    What I'll do is mix something up for you and give you a step by step on how I achieve a mix. You can then experiment on your
                    end using a simular approach. If it yields better results, then you will have learned some tricks in the process. If its not what
                    you want then nothing lost. I'll try and stick with some high quality free plugins or ones you have in your DAW program
                    so you can download the plugs and try simular settings.

                    I have allot of high end plugs I can use but that would be senceless if you dont have the same plugins.
                    I'd rather guide you in making the right choices in the right order than do the work myself and leave a big question mark
                    on what I did. You wouldnt learn anything by me doing that. I'll simply analize what I think can be done to target a great mix
                    and give you a range of targets to focus on and you try it yourself. Its like using a recipe to make a cake. I'll give you the ingrediants
                    in the proper order and you add the ingrediants to suit your own taste.

                    As far as your last mix, you monoed up the parts but its too boomey. Vocals are too dry and it suffers badly from two dimensionality.
                    As I said the musics fine. When you post the clips I'll show you how a little mixing magic will make it come alive.


                    Its a good time to bring up another aspect of recording while I'm drinking my morning cup of joet hat doesnt get mentioned much.
                    I only do comparisons like this on occasion as a kind of tutorial others can study and learn.
                    An important point is you can be assured I destroy all copies of your work after I've posted my results and made my points.
                    I been in the business a long time and had many jobs in production full time and as professional I respect an artists rightes to their own material.
                    Its is the first law you must learn in the business as a recording/mixing engineer. You get paid as an engineer for the "manipulation of the work"
                    in an artistic manor, and have no rights to the artists recording or finished work.
                    This can be difficult for some to learn because they get to know the work so well by tweaking it they can begin
                    to feel they are just as much as responsible for the recording as the artists are.

                    You dont build a good reputation with professional artists paranoid artists paranoid about having their
                    work pirated someong hanging on to their work who had no right to.
                    If you ever get those kinds of jobs you must learn about contracts and the legal aspect of the business.
                    Its best to learn it earley before you get to a professional level. It will help you focus a career for bigger and better things.

                    When I had a job as a video producer I signed all kinds of contracts that spelled out your specic rights.
                    I got a decent paycheck every week and that was my recompence.
                    I had my credits at the end of the film role which was a resume for other jobs.
                    I purchased my final films just like anyone else.

                    Storage of work should be spelled out to everyone involved. Smaller studios often store
                    a master copy of a band if they have an ongoing working relationship. I have many master copies of
                    studio projects I've done with bands. Many times a band comes back and asks if I still have
                    the master so they can alter or remix it. They always get a copy of the master but musicians
                    areant the best when it comes to preserving things. In more professional situations some studios have
                    a vault for storage. It may just be a locked room with limited acces. In other cases copies get sent to

                    Iron Mountain is a huge salt mine underground that goes on for miles. When it was played out it made
                    for an ideal storage facility and was bought up by Iron mountain just for that purpose.
                    The recordings of nearly all major recording studios have master copies of artists work stored there
                    for posterity. If a recording studio burned down thay can retrieve original copies form that location.
                    Master Tapes, Disks, Hard drives, CD's you name it are all stored there.
                    The salt keeps it super dry and its underground so its cool.

                    Anyway, You posted your project so its already out there on the world wide web.
                    I just wanted to use this oppertunity to throw some awareness out there on other
                    aspects of the business that are just as important to learn as twealing knobs.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Is it recommended in a project like this to put reverb on the master bus to get all 3 instruments "in the same room" ?


                      Not recommended, because with the reverb you also sculpture the depth and distance of the 3-D stereo field. For example guitar and bass slightly behind the lead vocals. With reverb you can also sculpture additional energy into different frequency bands, for example giving the electric bass more energy at the bottom - as well you use different reverberation settings for the two musical instruments and the vocal.

                      Comment


                      • #12


                        Balance is much better. Vocals crackle a little at the loudest passages. The guitar that much to the right is how it was done in the fifties, that's okay, but does not express much fantasy as mix in a three dimensional stereo field. You are at the minimum of how much room can be added to not be flat in the face up front.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Without reading other posts, let me add my thoughts to this. (3rd mix)

                          The guitar is too quiet by a quantum jump. It needs to be at least twice as loud. Yes, it's busy. But at that level in the mix, it feels perplexingly submerged below the level of the bass and vocals. Think of this mix as a three legged stool, with each element being equally necessary.

                          I know you're looking for mix feedback here, but I do have to get this in: your vocalist needs to work on her pitch. (This is not an unfamiliarity with jazz vocalism on my part. I listen to a lot of jazz vocals.) It's a tough song for many to sing, and it could be particularly hard with this arrangement backing one up, but, bottom line, this is a vocal that's not ready for the public.
                          .

                          music and social links | recent listening

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Not recommended, because with the reverb you also sculpture the depth and distance of the 3-D stereo field. For example guitar and bass slightly behind the lead vocals. With reverb you can also sculpture additional energy into different frequency bands, for example giving the electric bass more energy at the bottom - as well you use different reverberation settings for the two musical instruments and the vocal.
                            A. is right that reverb and delay can be used (with great delicacy) to fine tune the 'placement' of the instruments in the virtual soundstage of the mix. That said, when crafting a separate reverb sound for each element, care must be taken to not end up with multiple reverbs that don't 'fit together' to create a coherent sonic image/impression of the virtual performance space. We've probably all heard mixes that sound like each element was recorded in a different type of acoustic space... sometimes the 'surrealism' works (like in old Al Green tracks) but often it's just disconcerting and undercuts the sense that one is listening to real music played by real musicians.
                            .

                            music and social links | recent listening

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the input guys,
                              I'll return with some progress soon.

                              WRGKMC - PMed you.
                              (new) PC:CPU: i5 3470PSU: Dunno YetM-Board: Gigabyte H77RAM: 2X4GB DDR 3 1600Graphics: Intel Graphics HD 2500Hard Drives: Western Digital: 1TB Black(WD1002FAEX), 500GB Green(WD5000AACS), 160GB(WD1600ADFD)OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64 BitAudio Hardware:External Audio Interface: PreSonus FireBoxAmplifier: InterM PA-2000aMics: Shure SM57 & KSM27

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