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need feedback on my best production to date!!
SecondHand
PostPosted: 06 October 2010 - 23:42:33 (029)  Reply with quote
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http://soundcloud.com/secondhand/winter-breeze-original-mix

Give me your best criticism grin2

I wouldn't say the mixing and mastering are exactly fantastic, so any advice on that would be much appreciated happy
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SecondHand is all out for the is
davidmclean
PostPosted: 07 October 2010 - 00:27:08 (060)  Reply with quote
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i'm gonna give feedback based on you being a very capable producer and clearly knowing how to produce a decent sound i.e i am going to be quite picky as the quality of the track overall is good.

my main issue with this track is it sounds very muddled to me - it sounded quite aggressive and driving at the start - the clap and initial groove is very reminiscent of the one used in Tom Colontonio - Timebomb, and initially i thought that your track was going to go down a simiiar road and by kept brutal and to the point.

but then i found that when the chords and the motif came in, in the second half of the build up to the break, the track went a little flat and i feel it lost its drive. i think something simpler and more repetitive would fit better with the intro of the track, to continue the theme.

then when it went into the breakdown, i felt the overall feel of the track changed again, and the sounds were quite evil and horrific. but for me they lacked the uplifting vibe that i think you need to fit into a track like this.

my overall thought was that i think you would have a better track if you almost simplified things and everything worked towards one central theme.

i don't think the track flowed enough for me - i didn't get that anticipation of what was going to come next, so the build-up and excitement of the track was a little lacking.

which is a shame as you have a promising sound and this has great potential!
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davidmclean
PostPosted: 07 October 2010 - 00:29:40 (062)  Reply with quote
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found the square/pulse wave chord stab dissapointing as well - it's just not massive enough for a track in this style -

can you detune it more and make it bigger and more aggressive!
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Atlantis_AR
PostPosted: 07 October 2010 - 01:49:29 (117)  Reply with quote
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See if you can make the kick drop better 0:28 'cause it sounds too weird currently. It's like something is wrong with the timing of the filter.

Try cutting the bassline at 46 Hz (or around 50 Hz) with a relatively tight bandwidth to reduce the sub-harmonic that's interacting with the kick. Doing so will clean up the bottom end and make the bass in the kick more audible as opposed to the attack.

Maybe add a slight compressor on the open hat 1:37. Probably a matter of taste but I don't like this range to stick out so much.

The lead at 1:51 might also work better with some compression (I'm thinking high ratio).

By 2:05 the mid layers are starting to blend too much. Maybe give the high string a little more body as well, and try to EQ the mids more to separate the different layers.

Not sure I like the filter at 2:33; it doesn't have as much impact.

I find there's too much bass in the vocal at 3:15; a high-pass filter could clean it up.

The break sounds great. Maybe just a bit too much lower mid in the strings when they get doubled or tripled.

The kick build-up sounds a bit empty on its own, especially at 4:49. Also the hit at 4:50 sounds too loud compared to the drop that follows it. It's like I hear a compressor working, and that isn't good when you reach the climatic point.

The lead synth could sound thicker with more mid EQ, though you don't want it to impede on the pads.

Also everything could sound crisper by adding harmonic excitation or using some transient designer to boost the highs. It sounds OK at times, but as a whole I think the extreme top sounds a little dull (of course it is MP3, so that could be why).

And unless you've normalised it, turn the master volume down so you've got some room to work with when you master the track (if you do, otherwise it's good to keep it lower anyway).

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Don't limit or compress your mixdown until mastering; leave the master channel alone.
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SecondHand
PostPosted: 07 October 2010 - 20:46:37 (907)  Reply with quote
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Thanks a lot for the reply Atlantis_AR. I was hoping you'd share some of your mastering/mixing tips!

Atlantis_AR wrote:

Not sure I like the filter at 2:33; it doesn't have as much impact.


You mean the reverb kick impact? There's no filter going on at that time. If you're talking about the kick impact, yes I agree with you. It doesn't have that oomph it needs. This is probably 90% finished, gonna make some changes to it defo. I just needed to see what I can do with the mastering and any other notes.


Atlantis_AR wrote:


The kick build-up sounds a bit empty on its own, especially at 4:49. Also the hit at 4:50 sounds too loud compared to the drop that follows it. It's like I hear a compressor working, and that isn't good when you reach the climatic point.


Do you suggest I add a more low frequency tail to the kick during the kick-roll? Is that what you mean?

Atlantis_AR wrote:


Also everything could sound crisper by adding harmonic excitation or using some transient designer to boost the highs. It sounds OK at times, but as a whole I think the extreme top sounds a little dull (of course it is MP3, so that could be why).


I really have zero knowledge about harmonic excitation. Though, can you give me a very brief overview on how it can be done? is it done with normal equalizers and stuff like that? ( newbie I know )

Atlantis_AR wrote:

And unless you've normalised it, turn the master volume down so you've got some room to work with when you master the track (if you do, otherwise it's good to keep it lower anyway).


Well I really have little mastering knowledge, so I guess I'm gonna leave it that way.
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SecondHand
PostPosted: 07 October 2010 - 21:08:26 (922)  Reply with quote
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davidmclean wrote:

but then i found that when the chords and the motif came in, in the second half of the build up to the break, the track went a little flat and i feel it lost its drive. i think something simpler and more repetitive would fit better with the intro of the track, to continue the theme.


I agree with you on that. Though I don't like how some of the uplifting tracks nowadays have one repetitive boring theme. In this one, I tried to go for blending layers together instead of something that sticks out.

I'll think about your notes mate. Some of the stuff you mentioned is useful and I'll make sure to try it out happy

Cheers Man happy
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SecondHand is all out for the is
davidmclean
PostPosted: 07 October 2010 - 21:54:03 (954)  Reply with quote
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i guess it's just getting that balance between having some variety so the track doesn't get boring as you say, and having the repetition that is so essential in most dance tracks to build the anticipation and create the tension, and to make sure the crowd find it easy to dance to as they know what to expect as the track progresses.

it's a tricky balance to get right sometimes!

why don't you make some changes to the track and let me have a listen when you are done - i say that as i think the track has good potential, and you have the makings of a really nice sound there!
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Atlantis_AR
PostPosted: 07 October 2010 - 22:24:18 (975)  Reply with quote
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SecondHand wrote:
You mean the reverb kick impact? There's no filter going on at that time. If you're talking about the kick impact, yes I agree with you. It doesn't have that oomph it needs. This is probably 90% finished, gonna make some changes to it defo. I just needed to see what I can do with the mastering and any other notes.

I don't know, it's just like you have a kick build-up with bass in it, and then on the hit you suddenly take it out. Maybe it's actually not that big a deal now that I listen to it again.

SecondHand wrote:
Do you suggest I add a more low frequency tail to the kick during the kick-roll? Is that what you mean?

Well I was thinking adding a snare roll on top of it, and maybe considering removing the last single kick hits as they may sound a bit odd, but I dunno, maybe you like it and it does work this way.

SecondHand wrote:
I really have zero knowledge about harmonic excitation. Though, can you give me a very brief overview on how it can be done? is it done with normal equalizers and stuff like that? ( newbie I know )

Harmonics are what gives a sound its unique tone, or timbre. A harmonic exciter is usually used to add high-frequency harmonics to a sound to make it sound richer (it can also be used to add warmth to for instance the bass range). I know Ozone has a good harmonic exciter module, and look at the wealth of plug-ins available on KVR. Just tick 'effects' and 'exciter/enhancer' and you can limit the results to free plug-ins only etc.

SecondHand wrote:
Well I really have little mastering knowledge, so I guess I'm gonna leave it that way.

Well if you're not mastering then I recommend you turn the master fader down so that the maximum peak hits at about -3.0 dB. You'll make the mastering engineer happy (whoever that may be).

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Don't limit or compress your mixdown until mastering; leave the master channel alone.
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Atlantis_AR is building a new DAW.
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