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  1. #1
    bozmillar's Avatar
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    Default Present Tense - Boz Millar

    I've officially reached that point where I'm not doing anything constructive to the song and I'm bound to just screw it up, so I'm turning it in to prevent that. I always have a hard time with these mixing contests knowing whether to mix it to impress other people with the mix or to mix it as I would if I was just doing it for the band. Luckily, I think this song didn't leave itself open to too much gimmicky stuff.

    I wanted to keep this a piano driven song, so the guitars are just kind of accents instead of center stage.

    There are a few things I'd have liked to fix up if I had more time to spend on it, but I think it's at the good enough stage.
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    midnitestudios and dymrip like this.

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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    Good job getting the vocal sounding more natural! The automated ambiance really helps bring in the intimate feel to the vocal at the right spots. This is a nice, balanced, mix.

    I'm trying to figure out what's weird about the piano, though. Did you strongly attenuate stuff > 10 kHz on it? And I thought that one snare hit sounded a little odd. Is that a gated reverb on the snare? If so, I think you need to remove that gate just for that one spot.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    I was disappointed how low the guitars were but i think i started to 'get it' as it kept building and the levels fell into place. The big vocals sound great.

    No criticism. Thumbs up!
    I will not be held responsible for the accuracy of my opinions or any use of them resulting in bodily injury or death.

  4. #4
    bozmillar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    Originally Posted by m24p
    Good job getting the vocal sounding more natural! The automated ambiance really helps bring in the intimate feel to the vocal at the right spots. This is a nice, balanced, mix.

    I'm trying to figure out what's weird about the piano, though. Did you strongly attenuate stuff > 10 kHz on it? And I thought that one snare hit sounded a little odd. Is that a gated reverb on the snare? If so, I think you need to remove that gate just for that one spot.
    yeah, that snare bugged me. I spent all my time trying to get the snare to fit with everything else, and then it gets one short solo spot where all its flaws are out in the open. I probably should have spent time fixing that spot to make it sound less surprising.

    And the piano doesn't have a lot of drastic eq, but has a lot of compression. maybe that's it's issue.

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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    Originally Posted by bozmillar
    yeah, that snare bugged me. I spent all my time trying to get the snare to fit with everything else, and then it gets one short solo spot where all its flaws are out in the open. I probably should have spent time fixing that spot to make it sound less surprising.

    And the piano doesn't have a lot of drastic eq, but has a lot of compression. maybe that's it's issue.
    Well like I said, I couldn't quite figure out what sounded weird to me. I think backing the compression off the piano for when it was out the in open might have fixed it, because it sounded fine in the mix, but in the intro it sounded a little weird.

    As for the snare sound. My mix has the snare sound dramatically different for just that one hit: Present Tense - first draft

    I did a big boost at around 200 Hz for just that hit. I was a lot happier with it then.

  6. #6
    bozmillar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    Originally Posted by m24p
    Well like I said, I couldn't quite figure out what sounded weird to me. I think backing the compression off the piano for when it was out the in open might have fixed it, because it sounded fine in the mix, but in the intro it sounded a little weird.

    As for the snare sound. My mix has the snare sound dramatically different for just that one hit: Present Tense - first draft

    I did a big boost at around 200 Hz for just that hit. I was a lot happier with it then.
    ah, I see. yeah, I probably should have spent a minute on that part. That did make a difference.

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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    very nice piano and vocals! natural and present. yeah, the snare may have a little too much (and too short?) gated reverb and compression, but that's really the only thing that sticks out as not being really really good.
    To me the true test of vocals on this song are the little break where it's just vocal at 1:16--anything not right will stick out like a sore thumb. Yours sounds fine there.
    Best vocal treatment I've heard so far! Hope mine will sound as good

    Thanks
    Chris

  8. #8
    Jeronimo Mora's Avatar
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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    The vocals were treated extremely well. My favorite treatment so far. The snare has an interesting character. I'm not fond of it and I can't tell you why hahaha sorry. It doesn't sound thin. Just. Idk lol. The lone snare hit sounded pretty small but the chorus drop was nice. Some of the woah's at the end drift flat once they hit their highest note.

    But anyway, this particular month of the SDC will be way more prone to nitpicking than others, mostly because I can already see most mixes being extremely similar hahaha. Great job!

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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    Cool mix Boz

    Balance on this mix is great, vocal treatment on the lead is excellent (I think I detected a faint almost undetectable harmony in the last chorus, which was quite enjoyable) and the drums sound great - love the tom sound in the tom-heavy parts - did you use MIDI on those (or on all of it?) - I'm having trouble getting them to sit right in my own mix.

    I think this one lends itself to a more "guitar centric" mix, which I know is a point of contention for everyone. Disagreements on artistic choices aside, I think you struck a good balance in the most "guitar heavy" part of the song (the Whoa's).

    Did you use a lot of compression on the piano? To me it sounds a bit squashed, not in a nasty artifact inducing kind of way, just in that some of the natural dynamics of the instrument have been lost - mainly just in the intro it sounds almost more like a keyboard than an acoustic recording of a piano, and I don't know for sure whats causing it, but thats probably my only gripe on this one. I actually like the sound on it during the denser parts of the mix. (Edit: after reading through comments I saw that your comments re: compression - I try to critique before reading others)

    Solid work
    Last edited by JoshERTW; 04-05-2012 at 02:27 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    Lovely mix, Boz! I can't fault this one... I referenced some Coldplay against your mix, & the vibe of your mix comes pretty damn close - Am I overstating it to say that puts you in Michael Brauer's company?... probably, but you've done a fantastic job nonetheless.

    Just a (kind of) subjective comment on the snare - it works especially well in the BIG sections of the song (the "Woah's"), but for the softer sections it could be a little more low key... Perhaps using a different sound/automating the snare would have been ideal.

    Still, absolutely top notch job - I'd be very happy with this mix if I had paid you for it - 5 stars.
    bozmillar likes this.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    Awesome job here man. I liked your idea about keeping the guitars in the background, but I think they could have been a bit more audible. Maybe boost the volume slightly and use some reverb to seat it in the background. Vocals sound great man. I actually liked the snare sound, and the toms were nice and boomy, but seemed to mud the mix up on the build-up near the end (the kick may have added to this). Maybe try side-chaining the kick to the toms and/or bass in that part to keep them all from competing with each other. With that said, this was a very good mix. One of my favorites so far!
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    nice vocal. that really gives me a tough target to strive for (i like to aim high so that i can be disappointed) . it sounds intimate at the start and you have a nice balance there. drums are sounding solid. build up to the climax is well done. piano at the end just comes across a little piercing you could have softened that up for an intimate ending. good stuff overall.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    Boz,
    I like the guitar that just tinkles in the corner (on h-phones). Interesting, subtle treatment of vox verb in the chorus. Good harmonies, too.
    In the beginning, the piano sounds kinda distorted (compression?). My volume was up pretty high, though. I guess, there it seemed like it could have used a med. room, small hall verb but, that's my taste.
    I dig your vocal sound, too. That seems to be a running theme!
    Great mix! - TopBob

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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    Very nice mix,

    I think it's the verb on the snare that's bugging me....I think the harmony and effect at the end of the 2nd chorus could have been attenuated just a bit. Everything else is super great!
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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    Killer sound man. Nailed the woah's, it's been a real struggle trying to get them in the perfect space for me. I think you've done a good job of it. And your piano sounds nice and bright.

    I think to match the brightness of the piano you've gotta add some highs to your snare and vocal
    Might be slightly too much delay happening across the mix as well for my taste
    When there's nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    Such a great mix man . This is so difficult to fault.
    Superb vocal treatment , awesome piano sound , great drums.
    I only have subjective opinions though i would like to tell you. :
    Toms can have better movement width wise to give them a bigger feel.They sound a little monotonous sometimes.The snare reverb is a little contrasting to its actual sound but its still sounding alright.Maybe there you can improve your mix even more.
    I would personally love the guitars to come up a bit but this is cool too since it is your vision for the song.
    As i said only subjective opinions , Superb mix overall
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  17. #17
    bozmillar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    all this talk about the snare confirms a strong opinion I used to hold (and I guess still hold). Due to the nature of this contest, I won't air that opinion.

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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    Hey Boz. Very nice sounding mix, when that snare comes in it almost doesn't really fit the style going and I read that you had some issues getting it in there. It isn't a bad sounding snare just not what I was expecting to hear. I share your issue there, I am having a hell of a time getting mine to cut through too. The vox feels a touch on top of the mix and yeah that one snare hit does seem totally out of place before the big section. But that's all I got, everything is very well balanced and very enjoyable to listen to. Fantastic job man.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    Got some good tones going on,i like the toms and kick drum sounds,the snare seems abit buried or compressed,or the high mid's to high's have been cut out.

    Balanced and tight,nicely done!

    Cheers

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    nice vocals,
    the overall mix laks impact and low end, guitars are edgy, and ambience is a bit excessive.
    btw this is a nice mix

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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    Awesome! I really like how you treated the vocals. They sound very natural.
    The snare sounds strange but you already know that I also think you went a little bit overboard with certain effects like reverb at certain parts and compression on the piano.
    That being said, this is a great mix! I'm going to listen to it some more.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    Ooooo!!!

    2:20. 'We don't need to worry about anything'. There is a harmony, and i LOVE it.... Was this intentional bozmillar?? I must know haha

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    Hi,

    This mix has really really nice ambiance that suit perfectly the song...and that's a real good point in my book.

    I love the drum sound when it's playing the toms, but the snare choice is not what I was expected...not that it's bad, but just not what I would have chosen..

    I like the vocal work, some nice subtle effect that kills the original monotony of the vocal and fills what was a thin and alone vocal track.

    Top Job!
    Just doing it for fun!

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    your snare ruined your mix
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  25. #25
    bozmillar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Present Tense - Boz Millar

    Originally Posted by Jeremy Morrissy
    Ooooo!!!

    2:20. 'We don't need to worry about anything'. There is a harmony, and i LOVE it.... Was this intentional bozmillar?? I must know haha
    yeah. I copied vocal parts from the other choruses and pasted it so that it wouldn't have that pitch changer harmony sound.

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