Guitar solo take

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GodLikeCreature
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Hey!

I finally got around mixing and mastering my first song using all Linux open source software!!

I wanted to upload a small portion to get some feedback from you guys in the community. This song has been recorded, mixed and mastered using Ardour, JACK, Hydrogen and JAMin.

The actual file I have uploaded is a short solo from the song. It is an improvised first taker, so please do not take it too seriously!!! ;-)

I would really appreciate any comments/suggestions/advice, but specially around the mix and master (I am aware the portion is too short, tho!)

Hope you enjoy!

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=X259M0A8

rozea
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uh... I hate megaupload... there should be a place to share music freely....

GMaq
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GodLikeCreature,

I have to agree with rozea, if you really want people to take time out of their busy lives to give you an ear it pretty much has to be point and click. I'm not trying to be a jerk...I'm interested in what anyone and everyone is doing with Ardour but not in downloading just to have a listen.

Don't facebook and myspace give you webspace? I don't use either but I see others have posted Ardour tunes with myspace links.

GodLikeCreature
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Hey,

Point taken, I will create a SoundClick profile. Nevertheless, it strikes me as odd, since all this requires is 2 mouse clicks and typing three letters!... Not even a download is required if the end user chooses "open" instead of "save as"...

I see your point, tho, will try and make it more accessible next time.

Cheers

DavePhillips
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Greetings,

I found something else to do for the 40+ seconds I waited for megaupload to do its thing, so my time was well spent.

Very good solo, very fine playing, but the mix isn't so hot. Through my system you're blending too far into the mids along with the drums, things get boomy and your playing gets a bit too far back in the mix. Parts in the higher range sound out better, but a little more presence throughout the solo won't hurt the recording. You make good note choices in your solo, you can be bolder about the mix. :)

Nice drums too.

hogiewan
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I listened, but I agree - it's not just the mouse clicks, but the site makes you wait a minute or so before you can download.

BTW - when you hit "open" you are still downloading it to your computer before it plays, it's just going into a temp folder that the OS should clear out later

GodLikeCreature
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Hi all,

Dave Phillips,

Thanks a lot for listening and all your comments. I will definitely take them into account. This is very much a demo take, as I haven´t even added a bass track yet.

Hogiewan,

I appreciate that you listened. I know it´s not the best solution, and I hope to upload the full song into a SoundClick page shortly, hopefully making it easier for everyone.

Thanks again for your comments!

thorgal
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Hey there,

I finally had a chance to listen. I mostly agree with Dave, you're showing quite some skills at this genre (I would not be able to align 3 notes as fast without fucking up :lol: but fortunately, I am not into this kind of music). So great performance :) However, the mix is another story ... what's your mixing monitor speakers ? don't tell me you're using headphones!!! :lol:

As to megaupload and such, we all know these sites are crap, but it's a workaround before you can find a better solution. I had a go at soundclick.com until they wanted me to pay for uploading my high resolution files. So I gave it up ...

Their low resolution (recompression done by them) immensely sucks.

Not that I disagree to pay something for something in general ... I just think it's not worth it. Eventually, I'll host my own stuff myself.

GodLikeCreature
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Hey, Thorgal!

As usual, great comments, thanks a lot!

Well, the solo is far from being polished, but I appreciate the positive feedback anyways.

You are too good for me to hide it, yeah, shame on me, I am using headphones. ;-) I should get my mixing monitors and some better gear shortly, as well as a bass, so I should be able to make it sound better (hopefully).

And yeah, I realised these past days that soundclick is not as nice as it seems. I may end up trying MySpace, although I very much hate it.

Anyways, since you don´t mention anything specific about the mix, I get it´s just too bad?!?! ;-)

Thx!

thorgal
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hehe, that sounded almost obvious to me :D (the headphone-based mixing).

Have a look here :

http://www.headphone.com/technical/product-measurements/build-a-graph

this will show you the frequency response and more of headphones ... before I had the idea to purchase headphones (night mixing session, etc), I had look in there ... I quickly gave up the idea.

My mixing room is not optimal either but I will arrange that eventually, I am still in a composition phase and my mixes are rough right now, there's no hurry.

My speakers on the other hand are great! a bit pricy but great: they are "proximity" speakers (to be used in rather small rooms, Dynaudio BM5A
http://www.dynaudioacoustics.com/Default.asp?Id=3680

Save some bucks and think about it ...

About your mix: it sounds like a rough but worked out demo, which is fine to get an opinion about where the song is going. Don't release a CD with such a mix though :lol:

On the other hand, lo-fi is also a much appreciated style :)

I am not trying to tease or bring down your expectations about this mix, it is just what I think after listening to it. Others may disagree and you too. But I wish I could play like you sometimes :)

GodLikeCreature
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Hey, Thorgal,

No offense taken, mate. I am here to learn. All my experience in Linux is reduced to 4 months, and half that time with Ardour and the other tools. Considering that my full time job takes me away much more than I would like, I have recorded, mixed and mastered the whole song in very quick fashion, and it shows.

On top of that, not only I am very much a starter with these packages, but I am in general as an engineer, and with mastering and mixing. All I try to do is learn by using my ear, but I very much lack tricks or serious know how. Even when reading articles in the web, they are vague or don´t apply to my specific song or setup...

Anyways, thanks for the comments again, I agree with most of them, specially with some of what David mentioned about mids, lack of definition, etc. I also agree with you, not CD meat!!! ;-)

If you guys have recommendations as to how avoid those things, specific ideas on how to provide more punch to the mix or get away from that mid range bubble gum, I am all ears! ;-)

Thx!

thorgal
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mid-range bubble gum :D nice one!

I started exactly like you ... except that I was full-time on it for a year (sabbatical). Those were the days ... I am "struggling" with a job now (should not complain about it in those days of massive layoffs, etc) ... but since I am not targeting any commercial goal, I don't give a shit, I have plenty of time :)

For tips and such, I have learned by myself that

1: headphones are your enemies in mixing, they tend to fuck up the freq range, they tire you fast, and you slowly become deaf without you knowing it ...

2: get a rough but good enough balance without panning any track right or left. Once you do that, you can think about the stereo image

3: don't boost frequencies in EQs, but lower the ones that you judge useless according to taste and headroom in the spectrum, you need to analyze your freq. range: for example with a one band parametric EQ on one track that you adjust on the fly while playing back your session. Do that track by track.

4: rest your ears often, don't overdo it, don't max out the volume to have a feel for your song. It is very tempting to do and I did it many times at the beginning. It is not only useless but it will simply waste your time as you will fuck up the mix.

5: export often and play the stuff in other places (living-room, car, cd player, laptop, whatever)

6: this is very subjective, it all depends on your style. But you can improve many things by doubling tracks (record twice, don't simply copy). It adds some depth and the small differences will add up nicely in general.

7: effects: try to regroup them into busses as much as you can so you spare some CPU and give some more consistency to your mix, example: no need to have a different reverb on each vocal track, and worse, with a different setting.

8: unless you are doing some experimentation, it is a good thing to place the voice in the middle, guitars on the sides, etc. You also got some tip for the drums spacial image IIRC.

9: my rule of thumb is not to overdo it at any stage. I want to listen to the thing without tiring or getting a headache. Only add the stuff that contributes positively to the overall composition. If you cannot make something fit in the mix, just remove it. Go back to the basics (drums, bass) and add stuff one by one.

10: well, I can continue a lot like this ... but it is just good sense. I know you are into some rather hard music. But even that style deserves a good mix, and you should optimize mixing conditions:
- be relaxed, alert, awake and keep it cool, dont strain yourself. Have friends around, a good beer, (a good joint for the end of the day ;) ), etc.

So, it shall be a pleasant time, not a race to boost up every dB you can, etc.

That's how I tend to work anyhow, no magic recipe :)

GodLikeCreature
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Hahahaha...

You did it again!

Good stuff, all good advice, I will keep it in mind.

One of my biggest struggles is managing my time OK. I target a good level of musicianship, and practice time kills engineering, mixing or mastering time and viceversa. I really struggle to find the balance. The more I get to learn around recording, the more my playing suffers...

I very much agree with many of the things you mention, like being relaxed, rested, etc. I can definitely tell during weekends, when I have my head clean and on the spot! Huge difference.

In the mp3 I uploaded, the rythm tracks are two separate mono tracks, which I vary slightly using different modeling amps, changing the mic placement, etc. I agree that it is a very good way of doing it, but when rythms are tough it is a challenge!... In any case, I try to mix a Boogie creamy sound with a Marshall tight sound, and pan them 45º each, pretty much. As for solos, only record twice when harmonies are involved, I don´t like multitracked lead lines.

Anyways, can´t wait to get my new PC, the 1010LT, a new bass and my new pair of mixing speakers. To be quite honest, it just speaks volumes to the quality of Ardour that I can record at all with my setup.

Just to let you know, I have a cheap tube preamp from which I extract the output through a standard Jack, convert it to a mini jack with one of those cheap chinese converters, then into the mic input from the laptop (!!!!) It is such a crappy setup I am surprised it records at all!! ;-)

thorgal
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Just to let you know, I have a cheap tube preamp from which I extract the output through a standard Jack, convert it to a mini jack with one of those cheap chinese converters

wow!!! but then, congratulation! I have nothing to say about your mix! :D

wait until you upgrade your gears ... you will access another level and won't want to listen to your older mixes without a certain look of disdain (been through that too) :)

GodLikeCreature
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Good stuff!

I was hoping that my poor gear had a lot to do with it, so I hope the lo-fi deal, as well as some poor mixing details will go away now...!!

Anyways, thanks again for your time and I will try to upload the whole song once I have recorded it with my new gear...!