Opinions on a mix please! Now I Know Just What You Are. (Twinkle, Twinkle)

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
9303 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:32 am

I wrote a book a while ago and I felt it could use a promo video and song version, so I cooked this up:

https://soundcloud.com/zerocrossing-1/n ... le-twinkle

I'm pretty happy overall, but I'd appreciate any tips and suggestions. Mostly I just mix for myself in my studio so I have very little recent experience with what thing sound like in the wild.
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wagtunes
KVRAF
13610 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Opinions on a mix please! Now I Know Just What You Are. (Twinkle, Twinkle)

Post Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:20 pm

My Feedback

Music -
Instruments - 8
Performance - 9
Mix - 8

Overall - 8.333

Comments: Never expected anything like this. Absolute a joy to listen to. Left music rating blank as it's a cover but rated the rest. Really liked this. Can't really comment on the sound as far as comparing it to, well, whatever. I just know I liked it.

fastlanephil
KVRian
616 posts since 3 Jan, 2016

Re: Opinions on a mix please! Now I Know Just What You Are. (Twinkle, Twinkle)

Post Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:52 pm

The mix sounds fine to me. I think the most important thing here is for the listener to easily understand the words.

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layzer
KVRAF
5642 posts since 11 Jun, 2006

Re: Opinions on a mix please! Now I Know Just What You Are. (Twinkle, Twinkle)

Post Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:49 pm

it was...... cute.
mix? the snare sounded overcompressed and strained to me, but what do i know.

welcome to the music cafe, btw
its nice to hear what people do with the
vst instrument i see them talking about
all the time over in the instruments forum :wink:
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zerocrossing
KVRAF
9303 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Opinions on a mix please! Now I Know Just What You Are. (Twinkle, Twinkle)

Post Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:44 pm

wagtunes wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:20 pm
My Feedback

Music -
Instruments - 8
Performance - 9
Mix - 8

Overall - 8.333

Comments: Never expected anything like this. Absolute a joy to listen to. Left music rating blank as it's a cover but rated the rest. Really liked this. Can't really comment on the sound as far as comparing it to, well, whatever. I just know I liked it.
Thanks! Well, I think it would have been confusing to not use the Twinkle, Twinkle (not by Mozart, I’m just finding out) so I was sort of stuck there. This actually came about while I was driving home from a sign language for babies class. http://tumetime.com/ I know, I know, new age-y, but being able to have your infant tell you what they want is actually a godsend. Anyway, we were signing Twinkle Twinkle and on the way home I thought, “Why the f are we still telling kids to wonder what a star is in modern day America?” By the time I got home I had the first draft of the lyrics. Later, my wife suggested that during down time with the bundle of joy (I became a part time stay-at-home dad when contract work was dry) I turn my poem into a book, and from there I figured let’s make it a song.

That said, I did turn it into 3/4, which I thought gave it a nice bounce.

What do you think I should to to improve the mix? Sometimes I think it’s too thin on the bottom, but I also have a near irrational fear of being too boomy.
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zerocrossing
KVRAF
9303 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Opinions on a mix please! Now I Know Just What You Are. (Twinkle, Twinkle)

Post Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:53 pm

fastlanephil wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:52 pm
The mix sounds fine to me. I think the most important thing here is for the listener to easily understand the words.
Funny story there. A friend of my daughter’s mother offered to help out there. I’m not a good singer and I wanted a female voice anyway. I sent her a rough mix and asked her if the key was fine and she said it was. (I assumed she’d sing it an octave up from where I did.) She then proceeded to be elusive for a recording date for about 3 months.

Smash cut to her finally agreeing to a day. Turns out, she had not actually listened to my rough mix. The key was wrong for her, so I started scrambling to adjust things. Meanwhile, she starts having an allergic reaction to my cat, so I’m making her tea and filling her with cough drops. She doesn’t know the words at all, so she’s all over the place and tentative with pitch and timing. Thank god for Melodyne. When she was finally getting it... my neighbor started jackhammering his driveway. :cry:

:lol:

So what you hear is the three best takes I could get in as quick a time as I could. Do you think they’re easy enough to understand? I’d love to have a redo with another vocalist, but at this point I just want to move on too. I’m using F6 to dynamically scoop out the frequency range of the mix so she sits in there nicely, but I could pump it up a skoche.
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zerocrossing
KVRAF
9303 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Opinions on a mix please! Now I Know Just What You Are. (Twinkle, Twinkle)

Post Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:33 am

layzer wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:49 pm
it was...... cute.
mix? the snare sounded overcompressed and strained to me, but what do i know.

welcome to the music cafe, btw
its nice to hear what people do with the
vst instrument i see them talking about
all the time over in the instruments forum :wink:
Thanks. I know I should post more, but I'm generally just doing this for fun and I'm partially lazy. :scared:

It's not 100% plugin. Beyond the vocal and acoustic guitar, of course, there are my Prophet 6 doing the "there in outer space, so cold" line, and there's an icy pad that runs throughout the song that was done with a Modal 002. Could I have kept the whole thing ITB? Sure, but that's just how it evolved. In fact, I originally had electric bass in the song and a sub-bass line from my ATC-X. I realized that the track had gotten too busy, and the bass was a bit noisy. (I'm going to have to work on fixing that technical issue... better get some copper tape...). So, in a last minute change, I removed both of those tracks and put in a single instance of Legend. Originally I did this to be quick and see if my new bass part worked, thinking I'd go back and replace it with my ATC-X or Neptune 2 when I got it like I wanted it, but I started messing with Legend's unison mode... and well what do you know, that's that.

Anyway, all the effects are ITB, and drums are Maschine and Battery. I wanted a blend of electronic drums and some multisampled acoustic kit as well. I've got Synclavier V doing a little bell arp and Icarus doing the trance arp.
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andrelafosse
KVRist
245 posts since 18 Jun, 2010

Re: Opinions on a mix please! Now I Know Just What You Are. (Twinkle, Twinkle)

Post Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:43 pm

I dig it!

I would bring the vox up a bit, and/or compress them a bit more. What I've found with vocal tracks is that it's almost always better to err on the side of the vocals being a bit too loud, rather than too quiet. (This is a lesson I've had to learn the hard way, myself, many times over.)

This is particularly a challenge when the backing track is more upbeat or energetic, as this one is. But when I reference professional mixes of vocal tunes, I'm usually struck by just how up front and dominant the vox are in those mixes.

EDITED to add: what can help a lot with this is putting the vocals way the hell up, in relation to the backing track, and then applying some judicious two-buss compression, either while mixing or as a mastering step. This can help keep the vocals on top of the music, while helping to prevent the music from sounding too neutered...

In any event, good work!

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
9303 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Opinions on a mix please! Now I Know Just What You Are. (Twinkle, Twinkle)

Post Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:52 am

andrelafosse wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:43 pm
I dig it!

I would bring the vox up a bit, and/or compress them a bit more. What I've found with vocal tracks is that it's almost always better to err on the side of the vocals being a bit too loud, rather than too quiet. (This is a lesson I've had to learn the hard way, myself, many times over.)

This is particularly a challenge when the backing track is more upbeat or energetic, as this one is. But when I reference professional mixes of vocal tunes, I'm usually struck by just how up front and dominant the vox are in those mixes.

EDITED to add: what can help a lot with this is putting the vocals way the hell up, in relation to the backing track, and then applying some judicious two-buss compression, either while mixing or as a mastering step. This can help keep the vocals on top of the music, while helping to prevent the music from sounding too neutered...

In any event, good work!
Thanks Andre! I actually am using Wave's F6 Dynamic EQ to carve out some spectra in the main mix, but perhaps not enough. It's funny, I wrote these lyrics, so they do seem totally up front and clear to me, but I'm sure that's my brain filling in gaps in perception. STUPIT BRANE! :lol: Ever notice when you're listening to music in the shower that if you know the song, it's loud enough, but when a new song comes on, it's hard to hear? But this is the exact kind of feedback I need. Forest though the trees, and all that. I was more worried that people would think the bottom end was anemic, but since I've not gotten a single comment on that, I'll leave it. Thanks again!
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4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

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Bansaw
KVRist
361 posts since 19 Aug, 2008

Re: Opinions on a mix please! Now I Know Just What You Are. (Twinkle, Twinkle)

Post Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:57 pm

Nice ... some of the drum fills etc remind me of ELO, Twilight.
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zerocrossing
KVRAF
9303 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Opinions on a mix please! Now I Know Just What You Are. (Twinkle, Twinkle)

Post Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:10 am

Bansaw wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:57 pm
Nice ... some of the drum fills etc remind me of ELO, Twilight.
I’m a big ELO fan, so that doesn’t surprise me. I don’t really listen to modern dance music, so I’m kind of faking it. You should have heard my original bass guitar part. It was totally “McCartney.” I kept wondering why there was an issue and then I realized that the kind of melodic bass style that I like to write, influenced by Paul, ELO, etc, just doesn’t belong in a track like this. I kept thinking the bass was too loud, but it turned out it was just too busy.
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Bansaw
KVRist
361 posts since 19 Aug, 2008

Re: Opinions on a mix please! Now I Know Just What You Are. (Twinkle, Twinkle)

Post Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:45 am

zerocrossing wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:10 am
I’m a big ELO fan, so that doesn’t surprise me.
ELO were very skilled songwriters - vastly underrated.
Win10x64, i7-7700k, 16Gb, 500Gb SSD, 2TB, Reaper x64. Albion One, Avenger, Kontakt 5, Motu Ethno. | My feedback | Youtube channel |
My VPS Avenger Sapphire expansion | Bansaw Crown's Soundcloud | My Freebies

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
9303 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Opinions on a mix please! Now I Know Just What You Are. (Twinkle, Twinkle)

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:49 pm

OK, I took all the feedback and gave it a little extra polish. This is it, because I have to move on to the next phase of the project. (a video) Please enjoy it, and if you have or know of a child who might dig it, share it. Thanks again, I really appreciate the help.

https://soundcloud.com/zerocrossing-1/n ... at-you-are
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

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ATS
KVRAF
5969 posts since 21 Dec, 2002 from MD USA

Re: Opinions on a mix please! Now I Know Just What You Are. (Twinkle, Twinkle)

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:16 pm

too much limiting, doesn't sound good to me ^
my music: http://www.alexcooperusa.com
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