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Observe

By Chrisfoo on June 21, 2020 11:45 pm

This weeks track is a remixed, rethought out version of a song from the EP I released at the end of last year.  I'm going to be updating a couple of the tracks from that EP to put them on the album I'm releasing in the next few months.  I'm definitely at the point where I've over-listened to this track the last couple days but my last listen I noticed the low end is near the end of the track is still super grungy even though I thought I had gotten it to a good place.  I've got electric bass, kick drum and a synth sub bass all trying to fit in down there so thats always fun.  I'd love to here any tricks anyone else has found to clean up parts like that.

Also, let me know if any of you guys want a Korg Volca FM on the cheap or to trade.  Its a cool little synth but I can never really find sounds on it that work with my music and I'd like to free up the desk space.         

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June 22, 2020 12:46 am

Great intro. I love the nice subtle lead lines before all instruments come in. Very tasty bass there. Good job on the vocals too. Good indie rock song, takes me back to the 90s in a good way, for some reason. smile

June 22, 2020 12:46 am

The call and response of the left and right panned guitar is *chef's kiss*.

June 22, 2020 1:05 am

Sounds great man! I feel like I can hear all the parts clearly. Definitely let me know if anyone reveals the secrets to dealing with all that low end stuff *wipes sweat from brow*

My two cents: Its ok for some elements to not be absolutely pumping, especially with the low end stuff. I really need to hear that whenever I start mixing. Its so easy to get stressed about getting the kick or bass big and nasty, but thats actually so rarely what the track ACTUALLY needs, and if it is then you're probably already mixing everything else around it.
Not actually a solution haha, but its something I've found helpful to reflect on. Hopefully its not a total cop-out and I've just convinced myself to care less about the mix big_smile

June 22, 2020 2:16 am

I cannot help much about getting stuff to sound clean... It is very hard to achieve, and to a certain extent personal tastes. I really liked your track as it is now. I know that more than once I did work way too much time on some mixes to then recall a really rough mix that sounds way better...

June 22, 2020 3:22 am
Kedbreak136 wrote:

Great intro. I love the nice subtle lead lines before all instruments come in. Very tasty bass there. Good job on the vocals too. Good indie rock song, takes me back to the 90s in a good way, for some reason. smile

Thanks, I appreciate it!  Yeah, I hear what you mean about the 90s vibe.  I realized it sounds pretty Incubusy or something at some point.

danju wrote:

The call and response of the left and right panned guitar is *chef's kiss*.

Thanks!  Good to hear you liked that, thats one of the new things I added.

Simon Koehn wrote:

Sounds great man! I feel like I can hear all the parts clearly. Definitely let me know if anyone reveals the secrets to dealing with all that low end stuff *wipes sweat from brow*

My two cents: Its ok for some elements to not be absolutely pumping, especially with the low end stuff. I really need to hear that whenever I start mixing. Its so easy to get stressed about getting the kick or bass big and nasty, but thats actually so rarely what the track ACTUALLY needs, and if it is then you're probably already mixing everything else around it.
Not actually a solution haha, but its something I've found helpful to reflect on. Hopefully its not a total cop-out and I've just convinced myself to care less about the mix big_smile

Haha, yeah I know it'd be pretty sweet if there was a coverall secret to cleaning up the low end but I think realistically its just a matter of hacking away at it till its clean.  You do make a good point though, the bass really isnt the centerpiece on this tune so it probably doesnt need to be as busy down there as I'm trying to make it.  Simplifying it would help clean it up for sure.  I wouldn't consider that a cop out. Thanks for the input, I appreciate it.

djippy wrote:

I cannot help much about getting stuff to sound clean... It is very hard to achieve, and to a certain extent personal tastes. I really liked your track as it is now. I know that more than once I did work way too much time on some mixes to then recall a really rough mix that sounds way better...

I agree man, I feel like I've definitely been in that boat too!

June 22, 2020 5:14 am

Those synth pads add beautiful splashes of background color. Stellar work on the vocal melodies too!

June 22, 2020 5:47 pm

Great flowing vocals and the production sounds really tight! I like the electronic sounds complementing the rock instruments.  Lovely vocal layering and interaction with the lead guitar towards the end.  Really well done!

Wish I could unlock some wisdom on bass frequency production but I'm the worst at it smile For what it's worth, all sounds really good in my cans but I am not listening through high end monitors.

June 22, 2020 5:51 pm

The mix sounds good to me.  It sounds like a really "complete" track, if that makes sense.  The guitars sound great and I like the subtle use of effects on your vocals near the end.  Nice job!

June 22, 2020 6:31 pm

Great vocals and production per usual.  I missed two weeks of WB, glad to have some Foo back in my life.  The stuttering voice effect really caught my attention; sounds great.

June 22, 2020 8:15 pm

Sounds great! I get a late-90s Duran Duran vibe

June 23, 2020 5:54 pm

Damn that feels good.

If there'd be any sort of hint I could give to clean out the lower registers, it'd be to increase something an octave to maybe fill a register that isn't filled out. Perhaps swap them out with one another every section.

June 23, 2020 6:39 pm

solid track front to back.  wish i had some tips on cleaning parts up for you, but i think they sound great but i don't have the ear for that in depth outlook on tracks sadly.  lyrics are fantastic, and that ending is perfecto

June 24, 2020 1:57 am

You're not fooling me Foo. I know you're trying to free up some desk space cause you saw Sweetwater is having their annual GEARFEST SALE.

June 29, 2020 2:47 am
Reilly Farrell wrote:

Those synth pads add beautiful splashes of background color. Stellar work on the vocal melodies too!

Thanks man, the synth part was on my Minilogue XD.  My favorite synth for making pads for sure.

NWSPR wrote:

Great flowing vocals and the production sounds really tight! I like the electronic sounds complementing the rock instruments.  Lovely vocal layering and interaction with the lead guitar towards the end.  Really well done!

Wish I could unlock some wisdom on bass frequency production but I'm the worst at it smile For what it's worth, all sounds really good in my cans but I am not listening through high end monitors.

Awesome, thank man.  Glad you liked it.

CosmicCairns wrote:

The mix sounds good to me.  It sounds like a really "complete" track, if that makes sense.  The guitars sound great and I like the subtle use of effects on your vocals near the end.  Nice job!

Thanks man. Glad you like the tremolo on the vocals near the end.  That was one of the things I changed on the new version so good to hear its well recieved. 

coreytrev0r wrote:

Great vocals and production per usual.  I missed two weeks of WB, glad to have some Foo back in my life.  The stuttering voice effect really caught my attention; sounds great.

Haha, glad to have you back too man.  Thanks!

fetalface wrote:

Sounds great! I get a late-90s Duran Duran vibe

Awesome, thanks man.  I didnt catch the 90s vibe until a few people mentioned it here, but now I can definitely hear it.

Devieus wrote:

Damn that feels good.

If there'd be any sort of hint I could give to clean out the lower registers, it'd be to increase something an octave to maybe fill a register that isn't filled out. Perhaps swap them out with one another every section.

Dude, you totally nailed it.  Thank you!  I thought I was split by an octave between the sub bass and electric bass, but there were definitely a few notes that we clashing down there that I didnt realize till you pointed it out.  I was able to go back and just retrack a couple bars of the electric bass part and that cleaned up all the mud.

demonzor wrote:

solid track front to back.  wish i had some tips on cleaning parts up for you, but i think they sound great but i don't have the ear for that in depth outlook on tracks sadly.  lyrics are fantastic, and that ending is perfecto

No worries man, @Devieus had the right idea and I got it squared away now.  Thanks for listening, glad you liked the ending.

Saucey-dough wrote:

You're not fooling me Foo. I know you're trying to free up some desk space cause you saw Sweetwater is having their annual GEARFEST SALE.

Well I'm obviously trying to get rid of it to create space for more gear, but the gearfest sale kind of blows this year.  Thats alright though, you dont need things to be on sale when you can finance them over 48 months with no interest. 

July 1, 2020 7:01 pm

Damn this is gooooood.  Love the panning on the guitars. Those guitar ostinatos or whatever they're called are what nailed it for me.  Your vocals tied it altogether.  I've said it before and I hope it's not a negative or confusion ya but this one brought me back to some late Get Up Kids again.  The melancholy guitars and your vocals yais!  Honestly the bass sounds good to me.  I don't have expert advice but the same happens to me.  One track will be just right and then others it's either absent or too muddy.  Lately I've just been trying to be aware of how powerful Subs are.  Low volume works.  I throw EQs everywhere just to be aware of what's adding extra to that super low end.  Then if it's a non-bass track cut out those unwanted freqs.  But yea its still a hit/miss especially when it comes to it being heard on different systems.  Keep up the good work and looking forward to that album.

July 6, 2020 11:37 pm

Awesome work man, the guitar skills are just awesome, and the atmosphere, synths and gating sits really well in the mix. Inspiring me to try and get better on guitar honestly. I really should. Sounds so good!

July 7, 2020 12:36 am
Tone Matrix wrote:

Damn this is gooooood.  Love the panning on the guitars. Those guitar ostinatos or whatever they're called are what nailed it for me.  Your vocals tied it altogether.  I've said it before and I hope it's not a negative or confusion ya but this one brought me back to some late Get Up Kids again.  The melancholy guitars and your vocals yais!  Honestly the bass sounds good to me.  I don't have expert advice but the same happens to me.  One track will be just right and then others it's either absent or too muddy.  Lately I've just been trying to be aware of how powerful Subs are.  Low volume works.  I throw EQs everywhere just to be aware of what's adding extra to that super low end.  Then if it's a non-bass track cut out those unwanted freqs.  But yea its still a hit/miss especially when it comes to it being heard on different systems.  Keep up the good work and looking forward to that album.

Thanks man, glad you liked this one! Dude, I know its so inconsistent for when the bass is going to be a problem.  Almost just have to try it and hope it works.  I tried a bunch of crap to clean this one up, but I think it was what @devieus pointed out about some of my low notes being right on top of each other that really fixed it.  Just had to retrack some of the bass parts up an octave.  Thanks for sharing some of your low-end tricks too though, I'll definitely keep those in mind for the next time this evidently comes up.

ngineer wrote:

Awesome work man, the guitar skills are just awesome, and the atmosphere, synths and gating sits really well in the mix. Inspiring me to try and get better on guitar honestly. I really should. Sounds so good!

Thanks man, I appreciate it!  I've got to give credit to the guitarist of my wedding band for that nasty ass 80's riff in the beginning though.  Really makes it hit hard when everything comes in.

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