"One of Us in Love"

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stuartallen1972
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http://pool.org.au/audio/thenelipots/one_of_us_in_love

Well, this is our first real song recorded with Ardour and my feelings about it are mixed (excuse the pun). We've been working on it for a while (perhaps too long), sometimes making it better, sometimes making it worse. There are some things we can't fix easily, ie. becoming better singers and players, but I'm sure there are other things we can do, we just don't know what. :)

Anyway, any advice or feedback would be greatly appreciated. I won't bore you with all the details of the recording setup at this stage, but if there anything you suspect we are doing wrong I can post any details needed along with a remix.

Regards,
Stuart

mixit
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I like the female voice in the background. In the first part of the song the singer is competing with the violin (or accordion?) for attention - at the end the singers voice stands more alone, which i think works better. Not that i am very familiar with folk music.

Also, I am having trouble understanding some of the words - maybe owning to the fact that
English is not my mothers tongue?

Anyway, interesting song that creates visions as you listen...

cmay
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I liked it. I like folksy stuff so this sounds good to me. I would hear it a couple of times more before commenting futher but it sounds like its ok. from the first listen to it I had it does not sound bad at all.

stuartallen1972
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Hi, thanks for listening. I agree there are space issues in this song. We originally talked about just recording violin all the way through as I could always go back and listen carefully afterwards then remove the bits that clash. Of course I forgot all about that conversation until now and just left the whole thing in.

I will work on thinning it out a bit and see what that sounds like.

Thanks again,
Stuart

losfurcis
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good job! i liked it, is awesome to see a good music job recorded!
im not a good mixing or mastering engineer (im in the process of recording my first theme), but to me, i think is has too much sibilance on the lead vocal, and to much brilliant tones (i have heard it trough a sennheiser earplugs of 14 €..). what do you think?

GMaq
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Hi,

I like it ! The lead singer has a perfect 'world-weary' tone for this kind of song. I'm no mixing guru but I'd like to hear a little more bass and drums...or maybe just have them better defined in the mix. Great job...thanks for sharing!

stuartallen1972
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@losfurcis I must admit I don't have much in the way of good monitoring equipment so I appreciate your feedback on the overall sound/ EQ. My speakers are actually an old mono PA which I also used as the preamp for the mic. My headphones are in the monitor socket of the PA which means you only get sound out of one ear. One day I'll get the money to fix that situation.

@GMaq Yes, 'world-weary', that me. :) I have a friend who plays bass very well so I will ask him to do a cameo on this song (there currently isn't any bass in it at all). I also really struggled to get a drum line that suits the song so I compensated by just turning it down. You can start to see why I wasn't full of confidence about this one...

Thanks again to you both,
Stuart

losfurcis
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this is only my two cents: (useful for beginners, as it was for me, and like breathing for veterans)
i think that explains both replies from GMaq and me. when you quit some lower frecuencies (bass, drum bass) it seems like there are more high frecuencies, and viceversa: if you get hotter lower frec, high frec will disapear. that's psicoacustic in action, it is all conected.

and monitoring in mono is useful too, you can move the pannings of your tracks, and find a sweet spot, were there is no (or at least less) phase cancellation. i think everyone can make a superb mix with every monitor, just be aware of what type of sound are you getting from that monitor. it is a headphone? then you would lack lower tones, and you would have and exagerated stereo space, for example. if you want to know how a monitor performs, listen a few tracks well known by you, and then you get an idea of how they perform.

Ricardus
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You asked for a mix critique. This is not a song critique.

The mix sounds flat to me. No depth. The kick sounds like anemic and wooly. The drums are almost not even in the mix, nor is the piano.

I like very present lead vox, but not at the expense of not being able to hear everything else.

Was that a Rickenbacker guitar? I like it but it's a bit too up front as well.

Rich...

stuartallen1972
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@Ricardus
I agree with what was said previously about being able to achieve a good mix with any monitor (listening to professional recordings to hear the sound it produces was a good idea), it is becoming obvious to me that what I am hearing is not what people are reporting. I don't get much high-end through my speaker or headphones so I think I need to experiment with some different hardware. The guitar, for example, I can barely hear. I could hear what you are saying about the mix sounding flat though. I listen to other songs and I can clearly hear all the instruments sitting clearly in a 3D space (so to speak) while this song sounds muddy and cluttered. No one in the band currently has any real gift for percussion so we really struggled with the drums, thus the tenancy to just turn them down. The piano was turned down because the lady that plays the piano in the band broke her hand so I did the piano instead - so for the same reason as the drums I turned it down... I'm starting to think we should write a blues song about the recording of this song!

To answer your question, the guitar is a Telecaster running through a Vox Tonelab LE then straight into the sound card. And finally, although I did ask more about the mix, I'm happy for song critique too, I'm pretty hard to offend. ;)

@losfurcis
I will try to find material to read about the concepts you described. I clearly have a lot to learn, perhaps I will be able to find some sort of evening class to attend.

Thanks all for your much appreciated pointers,
Stuart

losfurcis
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as the newbie i am, i find these books very useful:
- mastering audio, the art and science , by Bob Katz
- The mixing engineer's handbook , by Bobby Owsisnski
- Master Handbook Of Acoustics , by F. Alton Everest

stuartallen1972
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Thanks for the list, I'll definitely check those out. You have reminding me too that I forgot to mention that I didn't do any mastering as such on the track, I just did an export from Ardour and then converted to mp3. I must look at something like Jamin one day and figure out what mastering is all about.

Stuart