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  1. #1

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    A mix I'm working on... I could use a few new set of ears.

    I was given tracks and was tasked to add guitar and do the mix. I also got rid of the drums and added drums myself which was cobbling midi together, customizing it, and using the jazz drum kit samples from EZdrummer2. I also added the congas the same way.

    So here's the mix. At the bottom of this thread I have my concerns. You might want to listen first unbiased by my comments. What do you think of the mix? (to hear click on the "Box" on the next line)

    Box

    v

    v

    v

    v

    v

    v

    v

    v

    |
    v

    My thoughts:

    1) I'm starting to dislike snare drum brush swirls and may redo the drums to eliminate the swirls and replace with brush hits on the snare. Even more so because snare drum brush swirls don't translate well to mp3's.

    2) For this style I didn't think it was appropriate to use much compression. There is light compression on the bass, guitar and vocals only.

    3) Hard to mix the guitar level for the intro, the guitar part is dynamic and I put it up front to hear the softer notes. But, I don't want to cover up the soprano sax.

    4) Not sure I'll keep the vocal scat with the guitar solo, perhaps it belongs on the editing room floor.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Drums sounds OK... do you know what a press roll is? Might think about that if you replace the brush swirls (at least on the "pickups" that signal the transitions between sections).

    I'm not a fan of scatting with the guitar, not even when GB does it...

    There are four places that are catching my ear; they are all where the same shift is happening...

    0:45-6 sounds like the keys and guitar are clashing on that chord
    1:26 same
    2:46 not as bad this time
    3:33-4 strangely, this time it sounds OK

    I listened through a few times, the clashes aren't horrible, it just sounds like there is a slight disagreement on what that harmony should be, and it's not quite the same disagreement every time... something to check. Sounds like you have what is written but the keys may have not played what was written each time?
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    Drums sounds OK... do you know what a press roll is? Might think about that if you replace the brush swirls (at least on the "pickups" that signal the transitions between sections).

    I'm not a fan of scatting with the guitar, not even when GB does it...

    There are four places that are catching my ear; they are all where the same shift is happening...

    0:45-6 sounds like the keys and guitar are clashing on that chord
    1:26 same
    2:46 not as bad this time
    3:33-4 strangely, this time it sounds OK

    I listened through a few times, the clashes aren't horrible, it just sounds like there is a slight disagreement on what that harmony should be, and it's not quite the same disagreement every time... something to check. Sounds like you have what is written but the keys may have not played what was written each time?
    Thank you so much! You took such a close listen.

    Tomorrow I'm going to investigate the clash that you mention. I'll report back.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  5. #4

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    As a whole, really nice, enjoyable piece.

    The bass drum was a little intrusive at times, mostly during the guitar solo. The rest of the percussion sounded good to me.

    The intro has a nice, dreamy feel, and I wouldn't cut back the guitar much, but maybe just a hair. Seems a slight bit louder than the sax.

    I liked the scat-singing/guitar bit.

    The bass isn't too loud, but could have a softer eq.

    Mixing is a weird thing. Sometimes you fiddle with volumes and panning and compression and eq and effects and it suddenly just blends into focus for no apparent reason.

    It's something I'd listen to again.

  6. #5

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    The EQ sounds good. The stereo separation sounds as if the musicians are on a very small stage.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post

    0:45-6 sounds like the keys and guitar are clashing on that chord
    I did a bit of work on listening to that... Here is 4 bars of just guitar and keys including the 0:45-0:46 point followed by just guitar keys and bass for the same bit. Box

    I do remember trying to get a chord to work there, the chart said B7/D# which didn't sound right to my ears at the time so I played F7/C. Also note the F# in the bass on beat four over the Dm7 chord... maybe that's the clash you hear? Beat 4, bass often plays an approach note so maybe it gets a pass even though it doesn't actually half step approach to the next note. I don't know.

    You've got good attention to detail to pick this up.

    I wrote the notes out over those 4 bars, hopefully that piano bit is correct.
    Attached Images Attached Images Lend me your ears-green-clash-png 
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by strumcat View Post
    As a whole, really nice, enjoyable piece.

    The bass drum was a little intrusive at times, mostly during the guitar solo. The rest of the percussion sounded good to me.

    The intro has a nice, dreamy feel, and I wouldn't cut back the guitar much, but maybe just a hair. Seems a slight bit louder than the sax.

    I liked the scat-singing/guitar bit.

    The bass isn't too loud, but could have a softer eq.

    Mixing is a weird thing. Sometimes you fiddle with volumes and panning and compression and eq and effects and it suddenly just blends into focus for no apparent reason.

    It's something I'd listen to again.
    Thanks for listening.

    I agree with the kick drum comment, I softened up the velocity of the bass hits during the guitar and sax solo and I like the way that change sounds.

    To my ears, I'm getting a pretty warm sound on the electric bass guitar with my speakers. I'm listening in a treated room (4 bass traps, and reflection point wall panels), and Kali LP-8 near-field reference monitors. Also sounds pretty warm on my AKG K240 headphones. I'm wondering if maybe the difference is what we are listening on.

    If you don't mind, what did you listen with and how high do you hear? Hearing test:



    It's a good point even if I don't hear it the way you do. I've got 61 year old ears, and we lose the ability to hear high end as we age. I can currently hear from 30hz to 13.5 khz. Probably about average for someone my age. It's good to have younger ears listen to an old guys mix.

    Didn't do much eq on the bass, fwiw here it is:
    Attached Images Attached Images Lend me your ears-eq-bass-png 
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by TedBPhx View Post
    The EQ sounds good. The stereo separation sounds as if the musicians are on a very small stage.
    Thanks for listening. I'll experiment with widening up the stereo field.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    D
    I'm not a fan of scatting with the guitar, not even when GB does it...
    Could this possible change your opinion just a little bit? Start this at about 2:40 an to about 3:18

    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    I did a bit of work on listening to that... Here is 4 bars of just guitar and keys including the 0:45-0:46 point followed by just guitar keys and bass for the same bit. Box

    I do remember trying to get a chord to work there, the chart said B7/D# which didn't sound right to my ears at the time so I played F7/C. Also note the F# in the bass on beat four over the Dm7 chord... maybe that's the clash you hear? Beat 4, bass often plays an approach note so maybe it gets a pass even though it doesn't actually half step approach to the next note. I don't know.

    You've got good attention to detail to pick this up.

    I wrote the notes out over those 4 bars, hopefully that piano bit is correct.
    B7/Eb is named incorrectly for what the music is calling for; the chord there is F7.

    Piano:
    says F7, which would be F A C Eb, calling for Eb A Eb which is F7 without the F or C

    Guitar:
    calling for C A Eb which is also F7 without the F

    With B7 and F7, both chords would push each other to the same diminished (a la accidental Barry Harris)

    B7 (B Eb Gb A) provides the Gb to F7 (F A C Eb) and it becomes diminished Gb A C Eb

    F7 (F A C Eb) provides the C to B7 (B Eb Gb A) and it becomes the same diminished C Eb Gb A
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  12. #11

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    My ears are a number of years older than yours.

    I used "Sennheiser HD 280 Pro" headpgones to listen. Admittedly not the best way to judge bass, but one of my near field monitors is broken. The Sennheisers actually aren't too bad for low frequencies as headphones go. And they helpfully bring out every sound in all of its bare, flat, exposed, plain nakedness. If you can make a mix sound "adequate" through them, you've got a good mix.

    As for the hearing test, I heard the first low rumbling of distant thunder around 28 Hz. I couldn't finish it because the higher frequencies aggravated my tinnitus.

    At any rate, your setup is preferable to my current one for mixing bass, so please disregard my comment about it.

    [edit] I decided to run a more controlled hearing test with a signal generator and the Sennheisers mentioned above. My high end tops out at around 14k, nothing unusual. Low end surprised me. Turns out I can reliably detect 10 Hz in a blind signal on/off test. I retested several times to be sure. Weird, but explains a lot about why I complain about low frequency noises that others don't seem to notice. "Whale ears"?
    Last edited by strumcat; 05-14-2019 at 05:16 PM.

  13. #12

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    I think it sounded good, not my cup of tea, but still good.

    I think you are communicating the same vibe as the sax player (kind of a Roy Ayers thing, without vibes)

    Nice guitar solo.

    How did you get your guitar to record so clearly? I really need to invest in a portable recorder. Those direct in amp simulators sound great, but I want to hear how I sound in performance situations.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    I think it sounded good, not my cup of tea, but still good.

    I think you are communicating the same vibe as the sax player (kind of a Roy Ayers thing, without vibes)

    Nice guitar solo.

    How did you get your guitar to record so clearly? I really need to invest in a portable recorder. Those direct in amp simulators sound great, but I want to hear how I sound in performance situations.
    Thanks for listening.

    Here is my signal chain for my guitar... Eastman 803 AR CE hollow body on the front pickup with the volume and treble knobs at about 7 (it only has one pickup, a humbucker), to a Quilter MicroPro 8 amp, sm57 mic, into a Behringer UMC404HD audio interface, into Reaper DAW software.

    The guitar amp has the reverb off.

    I added a light amount of EQ, slap-back delay, and compression (about -2db on the highest peaks) on the guitar solo track and had a send to a reverb buss with a Lexican 480L small plate reverb convolution file.

    It sounds like a lot of work, but I have all that set up as my "jazz sound" template. It's really just a few mouse clicks to make all that happen. Also, I always have that mic on my amp along with a mic on my bass amp, a vocal mic, and a direct box all plugged into the interface and at the ready for recording on a moments notice.

    Probably more information than you wanted but better too much than too little.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  15. #14

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    ha! i have an AR803--though, I modded the crap out of it.

    Yeah, I have to fix my recording setup. I currently have a Blue Snowball, and I run it through Audacity. Everything sounds like it's under water... really frustrating when I want to work on my tone.

    Do you know of any good portable recorders? I've heard of some Tascams, but I never tried em.

  16. #15

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    Sounds like under water... definitely something is wrong there. Maybe your mic or interface or mic placement?

    If you mean something like the TASCAM DR-07MKII

    , I do have one of those. They do a real good job. I've used that as a "field" mic. For example, just placing it somewhere in front of a bandstand to capture the whole band. Our capturing nature sounds. I've never used it to close mic a guitar amp.

    I close mic my amp which gives me the guitar sound with very little room ambiance or other noise. I'm about as close to the speaker grill as I can get without touching it. I usually am listening to the other tracks with headphone monitoring when recording the guitar so I don't get bleed from the monitor speakers.

    I'd also suggest experimenting with eq in audacity (I use Reaper, but I'd guess audacity has an eq that works the same). I high pass most of my tracks. Watch this video at about 13:30 to see how he slides a high pass while listening to a track, you'll hear additional clarity as he does it.

    Note that "high pass" is the first eq he uses on that ac. guitar. It can be confusing, a high pass is how you filter out the low end, it let's the highs pass through.

    Last edited by fep; 05-15-2019 at 10:22 AM.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    ha! i have an AR803--though, I modded the crap out of it.

    Yeah, I have to fix my recording setup. I currently have a Blue Snowball, and I run it through Audacity. Everything sounds like it's under water... really frustrating when I want to work on my tone.

    Do you know of any good portable recorders? I've heard of some Tascams, but I never tried em.
    If you are using a laptop and it makes recordings which sound ‘underwater’, check the laptop sound properties and try switching off any ‘noise reduction’ option if it’s on (which is probably the default).

    Maybe a long shot but this exact problem occurred on my son’s laptop and doing this solved it.