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MIX CHALLENGE - MC37 October 2017 - Winners announced

Join the Mix Challenge - recurrence: February until December
fese
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC37 October 2017 - Mix Round 2 until 29-10-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

Post by fese » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:15 pm

HerbFelho wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:53 pm

It´s been a fight to remove the harshness from the tracks and don´t make it sound muffled and dull at the same time, pretty much like Mork said already. I also suspect the tracks may have been recorded with a cheap mic/preamp combination and also had some saturation in it (one of the not so pleasing kind), that couldn´t be noticed at first. However, when trying to compress and EQ tracks like that all the nasty stuff really comes out. Nearly impossible to make the vocals sound open and airy without getting harshness, so it´s always compromises that have to be made.
I know, I know, I always have that same problem, but it is neither a cheap mic nor a cheap preamp nor saturation or other kind of processing on it. It is either my voice or my incompetence at recording (though I tried a lot, different microphones and different positions, and I don't think I am doing something fundamentally wrong). Bugs me as hell, too. Next time I'll try a ribbon!



I have all eight tracks for round two successfully downloaded, going to listen to them tomorrow!

fese
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC37 October 2017 - Round 2 in evaluation

Post by fese » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:45 pm

Don't know if anyone cares, but I took the chance do completely redo my own mix. Listening to all your mixes and reading the descriptions was again really helpful and I think/hope my mix improved.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/738eezq57veh0 ... n.mp3?dl=1

OctopusOnFire
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC37 October 2017 - Round 2 in evaluation

Post by OctopusOnFire » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:11 pm

Hi fese, I'm listening through my TV, which is not the best system at all but I know it pretty well.

The only thing I'd say is to check out the lead voice around... not sure if 500Hz or 1k -2k, maybe? I definitely hear some kind of "veil" in front of the voice, but I can't say if the problem is coming from one of these areas or a little of both.

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Dodgingrain
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC37 October 2017 - Round 2 in evaluation

Post by Dodgingrain » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:11 am

Interesting comment. For me I felt the original recordings were a bit muddy and not harsh. What I struggled with besides the amount of tracks in the same freq. range was how to remove some of that low end and create a more open wide mix without making the mix harsh. And dealing with the backing vocals was really tough. I have to totally agree that at first glance I thought it was going to be an easy mix but it was actually pretty difficult.
I did really enjoy the song which makes mixing more pleasurable.
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kevin gobin
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC37 October 2017 - Round 2 in evaluation

Post by kevin gobin » Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:55 am

Hi!

I've just edited my last post and updated the settings I used on the lead vocal.

I just want to add to the discussion that I found the tracks to be pretty well recorded.

I have no problem with the voices, the lead is fine to me and I love the background vocals in my mix. Yes Fese's timbre is special, but the recording is fine, and the result too (IMO).

There is a breathing noise in the guitar track introduction, I left it there because it feels natural and intimate (and because I was lazy).

The bass is great, really, the guitars are guitars, nothing to complain.

I really do not understand why some had to "RX" all the stuff before mixing, I did not feel like I had to.

Good luck eveybody, see you soon.

fese
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC37 October 2017 - Round 2 in evaluation

Post by fese » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:17 am

OctopusOnFire wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:11 pm
The only thing I'd say is to check out the lead voice around... not sure if 500Hz or 1k -2k, maybe? I definitely hear some kind of "veil" in front of the voice, but I can't say if the problem is coming from one of these areas or a little of both.
Thanks, I think a little less 400Hz seemed to clear things up.
KevinGobin wrote: There is a breathing noise in the guitar track introduction,
Haha, yes, I am a notorious breather while playing solo lines :=) There are recording where i snore like a congested walrus :cry:


I have a general question to all of you about EQ-ing. I still feel like that is the hardest part for me during my mixing attempts. Now I know how to find resonances with sweeping, but one day I might find this frequency annoying and one day another. Even worse is with boosting frequencies, I cannot really make up my mind, sometimes this feels good, sometimes that. I have learned that sometimes drastic EQ can be required, but am not sure when and how.
I know a lot of it is experience, but quite frankly I've started doing this over ten years ago (though I don't mix often, a song every couple of months) and I still feel like most of the time it is just brute force "try and error" with EQ.
How did you tackle EQ?

OctopusOnFire
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC37 October 2017 - Round 2 in evaluation

Post by OctopusOnFire » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:55 pm

Each instrument has its own thing, and each song is different. The more I listen, the more I realize no EQ is perfect, it just works well for that mix. There are some general areas that are "usual suspects", like 500HZ in voices, but if you remove too much you'll have problems.

I'm afraid my way to tackle EQ is nothing special. The usual clean-process-boost, or clean-boost-process. I try not to sweep by default, but when I sweep, I look for areas where the volume significantly feels louder than its neighbors, because with a +15 db bump everything's going to sound bad. It also depends on the instrument, for example, I like to clean the high-mids area of electric guitars with very narrow dips, notching if necessary, but for voices I go with higher Q unless there's a problem.

If you're struggling with resonances that come and go, it happens especially with voices, I recommend using a dynamic EQ. There's a free one called TDR NOVA and it is great: http://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-nova/

fese
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC37 October 2017 - Round 2 in evaluation

Post by fese » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:20 pm

Those were really good mixes in the second round, not much to complain. Still very different approaches, all valid, and that made it really hard to decide. Good job all around!

So every comment that follows is mostly a taste thing.

photonic
- something bugs me about the picked strat, feels a little bit too obtrusive. Either too loud or it could use less lower mids.

KevinGobin
- I still think the solo guitar in the intro sounds too thin/tame, feels better in the second solo part
- I still feel the bass is coming on very strong on the "1" of every bar in the chorus. Not by much, though.

DodgingRain
- hard to put it words, but i think the reverbs feel too much like a "reverb effect" instead of a room, which I've come to prefer over the course of this contest. A bit too obvious.

DaveMcIsaac
- the lead vocal in the chorus feels a tad too much in the background compared to the verses (only at times)
- the solo guitar seems to be too compressed, the attack especially in the second part sound somewhat artificial

VasDim
- the shaker is still too dominant IMHO, especially when it sets in the first time it drwas attention away from the vocals. Better in the chorus.

HerbFelho
- Lead vocals feels a bit too nasal to me.

Octopus on Fire
- i think you went a bit too heavy on the deesser.
- lead vocals feel a bit buried in the chorus at times

Zsolt
- attacks of the solo guitar are a bit too much
- personally, I'd like the clean strat sound to the right and the slide to the right, but that's just because I am used to it :)


Decisions, decisions, decisions...
Well, one had to be made, it was really tough and I went back and forth, when I listened to one mix for some time I preferred that but when I switched and got used to the other mix, I was unsure again. Shows to me that there is not much to complain from a technical side and it is mostly a taste issue.
As a result, the ranking of the podium is more or less interchangeable and might look different another day.

The podium:

1. Zsolt - for the overall balance and a nice warm and round mix.
2. Photonic - by a tiny margin. Well balanced, everything is there.
3. KevinGobin - for the intimate mix and the dynamics. Takes some time to get used to this very different approach, but it grew on me.



Thanks to everyone for taking part! It was fun and once again I learned a lot!

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kevin gobin
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC37 October 2017 - Round 2 in evaluation

Post by kevin gobin » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:08 pm

Congrats Zsolt and Photonic!

Thanks Fese for being so fast with the results, and for providing such great songs.
You felt my mix as being "unconventional" or "different", you even said "bold".
I tried to make it deep, wide, let's say big and clear, that's all. But the more I compare my work to the "usual" mixing, the more I feel today's music get compressed and bright, which to me seems less HiFi, but more energetic.

"As a result, the ranking of the podium is more or less interchangeable and might look different another day. "
Why don't we say we are another day?
Lol I'm very happy with that result, thanks again!

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Mister Fox
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Re: MIX CHALLENGE - MC37 October 2017 - Round 2 in evaluation

Post by Mister Fox » Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:52 pm

First and foremost, congratulations to the winners!

The Winners Podium is
1) Zsolt
2) Photonic
3) Kevin Gobin


We perform with the usual - please select one license out of the pool (in order of the winners podium) and mention it in this thread, then (important) get in touch with me via PM with your full name and mail address.

I'll update the "winners podium" thread shortly.

Thanks again for your participation. You can leave the thread alive if you want to exchange tips/tricks, edits, etc.
MC38 is in full swing - see you over there!



To the songwriters among us, the Songwriting Competition 03 is also up and running. You can find it here:
http://mix-challenge.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11

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