View Full Version : Need your opinions on first mix/master

05-31-2013, 05:59 PM
Hi Guys/Girls,
Sorry if this is not the folder to post this in, but I was looking for your opinions on my first time mix/master. I am doing a recording only band with some friends. We just finished tracking and doing the first master. My gear is Superior Drummer 2.2, PT10, Line6UX2 Studio, iZotope Ozone5, and Shure SM58.
I like how it sounds in the car. But it seems to lack that "polished" feel. I added EQ and high/low pass filters and did a lot of adjusting. I think the levels are pretty good, but again, it lacks that shine. Any tips? Beware, it's metal. And yes, I know we need to redo the vocals using a spit guard/filter.


05-31-2013, 06:32 PM

Nice work, HEAVY, but an ok mix for your first go around. It seems a little over compressed which may be what's giving you the feeling that it's lacking shine. What are your intentions with this?

Less is more with this type of music, things can get mashed together if you're not scooping and boosting in the right area. I'd love to hear what it sounds like with NO comp or EQ on the output buss. You know, your pre-mastered mix, or are you doing your mix with the Comp/EQ engaged? That is a bit of a trouble area if you are.

It is generally good practice to NEVER master something you've mixed. Keep at it though, love that heavy riff at the end...but something has squashed the balls out of it.

05-31-2013, 06:45 PM
Thank you Dr DAW! :-)

Yes, I have a lot of compression and EQ'ing going on the guitars and bass to keep them from clipping. I didn't realize that I should put my faders down at least 3db when recording. So my tracks are a bit uneven in that respect. I will definitely try getting rid of all compressors on guitars and bass in the pre master. Now, what about vocals? I have the Bomb Factory on my vocals (I did the back up super low growls at the end). I put the Channel Strip and 7band EQ on the other vocals to apply high and low pass filters. It totally makes sense that there is too much compression going on. Thanks again for your feedback and advice!

05-31-2013, 08:40 PM
OK, I just remastered. I took off all the compression I had on the guitar tracks. That totally makes sense now considering the effects I used in the UX2 studio had compression already on them. I think I may need to turn up the bass in the master, but I think it is way more clear. You can hear the dynamics and the delay effects much better. So what do you think?

05-31-2013, 09:03 PM
Alright, nice going there for the first mix. here's what I noticed.

Toms seems distorted at 11 secs.
Snares disappears at 14 sec. What I mean by that is while you hear it in the first 13 secs, they loose all it's energy at 14 secs, Raise them in db or eq them differently to give them a bit of mid low boost for power, or change snare sound completely for a fatter sound if you can.
This next one is a personal preference but I love bass :-) so i personally would have give it a bit more place in the mix to emphasize with the kick and give the mix a bit more humph.
Guits are nice I like them as they are at the moment.
Vox are pretty good also, although, again personal pref in the chorus I'd have added some delay effect to the voice to give it a bit more play in the mix, deph and also a different texture to what of the verses.

All in all though, I like the song, I think it's a very good first mix, you can only improve :)

05-31-2013, 09:23 PM
Thanks Manny! I also heard that distortion on the toms but was not sure if it was my monitors being too clear. I am definitely going to experiment with what your suggestions! Thanks again.

05-31-2013, 09:26 PM
hey Pleasure!

And that's how you'll learn new tricks. Experiment with things, even if you might think.. well that won't work with metal.. try it you never know, it might just bring that "thing" and be like wow!

05-31-2013, 11:18 PM
Guitars are rocking and up in the mix, the vocals are good and have presence to cut through the mix. The drums and bass are buried and lost pretty much from the get go. The drum tracks when you can hear them sound kickin, but are too much in the background.


06-01-2013, 08:52 AM
Hi Chris. Thanks for your feedback and suggestions. I agree that the drums were a little back in the mix. I also added more bass presence. I re uploaded the track and think it sounds much better. Sounded great in my car.

Guys, I can't thank you enough for the quick tips. They made a world of difference! :D

New master: https://soundcloud.com/davebmetal/memory-of-failure

06-01-2013, 11:35 AM
It's better overall, we're still losing a bit of the snare with the vox are on but that's because both are fighting for the same range of frequencies. Have you panned the snare a little so it's not sitting straight at center with the main vox?

Also, this will probably help you in the future the most, but is your room treated?

06-01-2013, 02:19 PM
Thank Manny! I panned the snare a bit left and added a little more low end to the master. :cool:
I have not messed with room mic placement in Superior Drummer yet. I am sure there is a way, but I haven't gotten that deep.


06-01-2013, 06:43 PM

That mix is coming along with much more prescence than the first mix in the drums. I still feel like the balls are missing. You definitely have some frequencies battling each other and I still feel like there's a little compression on the output buss. I think the struggle with the drums may be using Superior drummer, I've used samples in the past with heavy music, but always found the heaviest sounds came from a real live kit. This track should rip peoples faces off. The same can be said about the guitars, the riffs are there, but into the first chorus the rythm guitar gets masked; a real amp with a mic could go a long way.

How many guitar tracks do you have going? Are they using different patches? Did you double them or just copy/paste? Personally, for guitar sounds(if you haven't done this already) record two of the exact same takes, pan one to the Left a bit and equally pan the other to the Right. You'll get a bigger, heavier sound. What was the Bass recorded with? just DI?

Either way, if this is just a demo, it's good! Get it professionally mastered and move onto the next track...don't get too caught up, the more recordings and mixes you do, the better they'll get.

Makes me miss working on heavy music, for now, back to brushes and accoustic guitars :P

06-01-2013, 10:44 PM
Thank Manny! I panned the snare a bit left and added a little more low end to the master. :cool:
I have not messed with room mic placement in Superior Drummer yet. I am sure there is a way, but I haven't gotten that deep.


I meant the room you are mixing in :) room acoustics will have drastic effects on your mix, so if you're mixing in a room that is not treated you might be battling what the room is letting you hear instead of what's actually in your mix.

06-02-2013, 06:03 AM
Hi Manny,
You are right, I don't have raised monitors. I'm just mixing in my bedroom. I will get those monitor lifts soon enough. I also want to try getting a good pair of headphones.

Hi Dr. DAW,
I recorded all guitars and bass through the Line6 UX2. I did two takes of rhythm guitars - one 95 right, one 95 left. I used different patches for each. The guitars you hear down the middle are the other guitarists lead type tracks. During the chorus, he is using a heavy chorus effect. I may use automation to make it more even because I agree that the tones are battling each other. The Line6 patches had the compressor effect within that program on the patch. Next time I will use no compressor. I did master this thing with Ozone5. So that is likely the compression you are hearing. I do hear some mid to high mid frequencies causing some clashes. I will keep at it. And I know Superior is not a real kit, but the reason I use it is because this recording project was started because we couldn't get a real technical drummer in our area. And I do have a Marshall 4x12 and a Line6 HD147 head so I will start experimenting with using a mic set up too.

Thank you guys for all your feedback and help. It has been invaluable.

06-02-2013, 07:07 AM
You shouls also consider investing in absorbers, diffusers and bass traps to help level the room a bit. It will not be perfect, but it will certainly help.

06-02-2013, 03:44 PM
Well, I think I got rid of those conflicting frequencies. But you all are correct, I will need to do some adjusting on the guitar tones in Line6 for the next song we do. I thought we got rid of most of the high end but one of the amp models I used was pretty high gain. Probably too much.

Better version: https://soundcloud.com/davebmetal/imposter-memory-of-failure