Weeklybeats is a 52 week long music project in which artists compose and publicly release 1 song a week for the entire year.
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Wax Wings

By ViridianLoom on January 26, 2020 4:26 pm

I like the idea behind this one but I'm just not quite there yet on mixing things in a way that sounds pleasing. It's a shame because I fear the bad quality may detract from the elements of the song. However, at this point I have ear fatigue and I'm tired of listening to it so I'm calling it finished because I have other shit to do today and it is what it is.


Some self criticism: There's too much low end, the drums still sound mechanical and not great(if someone is a guru at making drums sound real please teach me your ways), my voice is kind of messed up from a cold so the vocals could have been better, I only wrote enough lyrics for one verse when I actually wanted a bit more vocal parts in this song, etc.


I'm generally happy with the riffs and sections, it came out a LOT better than it started as. I thought this was going to be hot garbage, but it aight. My guitar is tuned in the opposite direction of most metal tunings, up to F#-A-C#-G#-B-E which then provided me some interesting ways to not play any powerchords in this track. A lot of the main riffs have inverted minor or major triads.


Also here's the lyrics, they're meh and were mostly there for the musical element


I confide in the crafted wings
Fly beside the burning light
Wings subside, falling in the sea
Like a stone, Screaming into thee

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January 27, 2020 12:12 am

Love that guitar, super cool riffs smile

January 27, 2020 12:15 am

Sweet, I love the texture of those big guitars and vocals. This mix is pretty good! I know how frustrating it is to not be able to get that mix right, but at least you have 48 more chances to practice. Keep it up!

January 27, 2020 12:49 am

I think you can bump up the drums a bit, and maybe the vocals too since it's a little too hard to understand what they are. I do like that they're there though.

January 27, 2020 1:03 am
Mortistar wrote:

Love that guitar, super cool riffs smile


Thank you! I had a good week with the riff ideas haha. It was a challenge trying to piece them all together in a way that made sense.


hieme wrote:

Sweet, I love the texture of those big guitars and vocals. This mix is pretty good! I know how frustrating it is to not be able to get that mix right, but at least you have 48 more chances to practice. Keep it up!

Exactly! The thing I'm loving about this challenge is that I know there's going to be failures and missteps along the way about its all for the journey of self improvement. Glad you enjoyed!


Devieus wrote:

I think you can bump up the drums a bit, and maybe the vocals too since it's a little too hard to understand what they are. I do like that they're there though.

Haha, I did that thing where a comment said the drums were too loud on a previous submission to I erred too far on the side of keeping them lower. I'll get it right eventually tongue. The vocals are kind of deliberately obscured because I wasn't too happy with the sound of my voice but I liked the vibe it added to the song. Thanks for the feedback!

January 27, 2020 2:57 pm

Dig the tune!

I'm definitely not a pro at drum mixing, but I'll quantize my cymbals, kick (if double) and snare/toms separately to give the "more real-feel" since not every drummer will hit with the same velocity each stroke. Then in mixing I'll actually tone down cymbals a bit below the snare and toms just above to help fills pop. Hope that makes sense or helps! Like I said, definitely not a pro, haha.

Side note, I have to check that tuning! Seems interesting.

January 27, 2020 4:52 pm
onlyjokinen wrote:

Dig the tune!

I'm definitely not a pro at drum mixing, but I'll quantize my cymbals, kick (if double) and snare/toms separately to give the "more real-feel" since not every drummer will hit with the same velocity each stroke. Then in mixing I'll actually tone down cymbals a bit below the snare and toms just above to help fills pop. Hope that makes sense or helps! Like I said, definitely not a pro, haha.

Side note, I have to check that tuning! Seems interesting.

That tip is actually super helpful because I've been quantizing everything together like a dummy, haha. I'll try that approach with future tracks smile

January 28, 2020 2:06 am

Bringing the heavies, nice track, real edgy tone (which are always my fave) cool of you to break out of the tuning box!!

January 29, 2020 6:46 pm


I'd second a lot of the good advice from everyone! What are you using for drums? What daw are you using? When I want more natural drums, I add randomness to the velocity (Piano-roll Randomizer in flstudio) I also don't quantize(unless I'm way off) but if you do, offset notes a smidge to give a realistic performance. Flstudio has groove templates for it's piano roll quantizer which is a quick way to humanize. You can even make your own templates! Stuff like claps and snare I usually play a smidge early just enough so the transients don't get squished by the bass kick, and it sounds more human and exciting. Not sure what daw you use, but most have similar features.
If possible, use many samples for your kit, round robin so each hit sounds different, and multiple samples for different velocities since drums sound different depending on how you hit them. If you only have one sample, tweaking pitch slightly per note can help too (Randomizer in flstudio can do this quickly).
If you plan on doing more drum stuff, it might make sense to look into something like Addictive Drums 2 or Superior Drummer 3. But just adding a bit of variation anywhere you can goes a long way!

January 29, 2020 8:05 pm
Ipaghost wrote:


I'd second a lot of the good advice from everyone! What are you using for drums? What daw are you using? When I want more natural drums, I add randomness to the velocity (Piano-roll Randomizer in flstudio) I also don't quantize(unless I'm way off) but if you do, offset notes a smidge to give a realistic performance. Flstudio has groove templates for it's piano roll quantizer which is a quick way to humanize. You can even make your own templates! Stuff like claps and snare I usually play a smidge early just enough so the transients don't get squished by the bass kick, and it sounds more human and exciting. Not sure what daw you use, but most have similar features.
If possible, use many samples for your kit, round robin so each hit sounds different, and multiple samples for different velocities since drums sound different depending on how you hit them. If you only have one sample, tweaking pitch slightly per note can help too (Randomizer in flstudio can do this quickly).
If you plan on doing more drum stuff, it might make sense to look into something like Addictive Drums 2 or Superior Drummer 3. But just adding a bit of variation anywhere you can goes a long way!

Thanks for all the info! I'm currently using Reaper with native instrument's battery, the session kit. Reaper has a humanize function that displaces beats by a set percentage as well as velocity. I tried using it at first but it didn't sound all that good because I think I was using the tool wrong. That's also a good tip about the snare and bass kick transients smile

January 30, 2020 1:17 am
ViridianLoom wrote:
Ipaghost wrote:


I'd second a lot of the good advice from everyone! What are you using for drums? What daw are you using? When I want more natural drums, I add randomness to the velocity (Piano-roll Randomizer in flstudio) I also don't quantize(unless I'm way off) but if you do, offset notes a smidge to give a realistic performance. Flstudio has groove templates for it's piano roll quantizer which is a quick way to humanize. You can even make your own templates! Stuff like claps and snare I usually play a smidge early just enough so the transients don't get squished by the bass kick, and it sounds more human and exciting. Not sure what daw you use, but most have similar features.
If possible, use many samples for your kit, round robin so each hit sounds different, and multiple samples for different velocities since drums sound different depending on how you hit them. If you only have one sample, tweaking pitch slightly per note can help too (Randomizer in flstudio can do this quickly).
If you plan on doing more drum stuff, it might make sense to look into something like Addictive Drums 2 or Superior Drummer 3. But just adding a bit of variation anywhere you can goes a long way!

Thanks for all the info! I'm currently using Reaper with native instrument's battery, the session kit. Reaper has a humanize function that displaces beats by a set percentage as well as velocity. I tried using it at first but it didn't sound all that good because I think I was using the tool wrong. That's also a good tip about the snare and bass kick transients smile



Ok, nice! That kit should suffice for semi-realistic, but AD2 has a metal kit that is great for double pedal beats! I'm guessing there is a little bit of sample cycling, but it doesn't sound as varied as bigger kits. Make sure to check out the grooves that come with it, they pretty much are humanized like mentioned above, variations on timing & velocity, plus it looks like they do the same thing I do with the snares! I haven't used Reaper's humanizing, but you don't need very much at all. If anything, I think varying the velocity gives you more bang for your buck!

February 5, 2020 9:10 pm

As my 2 cents, instead of hidding the drums in the mix because you think they are not quite right, I'd make the brighter and louder. If you fear of getting "too much high end", sidechain the hihats to the kick.

And if you wanna humanize, the first start is giving your hits different velocity. For a 16th note pattern, "strong ones" are in 1-3-5... (sorry for my crappy musical lexicon).

Even "playing at the grid", that element is the starting point. I'd try with some "Franz Ferdinand/Artic Monkeys" 4 to the floor rock beat before going all progressive metal, though.

Not specially my cup of tea, when it comes to genres, but I can recognize real guitar playing skills. Good job!

February 7, 2020 4:42 pm
laguna wrote:

As my 2 cents, instead of hidding the drums in the mix because you think they are not quite right, I'd make the brighter and louder. If you fear of getting "too much high end", sidechain the hihats to the kick.

And if you wanna humanize, the first start is giving your hits different velocity. For a 16th note pattern, "strong ones" are in 1-3-5... (sorry for my crappy musical lexicon).

Even "playing at the grid", that element is the starting point. I'd try with some "Franz Ferdinand/Artic Monkeys" 4 to the floor rock beat before going all progressive metal, though.

Not specially my cup of tea, when it comes to genres, but I can recognize real guitar playing skills. Good job!

I'm gonna take a crack at keeping it simple on drums this week. I find it super hard to keep things in 4/4 most of the time hahaha. Odd time Sig's come more naturally for me. Fortunately, I just discovered that Studio Drummer has grooves so I'm gonna cheat a little tongue

I'll try sidechaining the hihats sometime and see what kind of results I get. What I've been doing is setting up a send to a reverb track and if I felt they were too bright I turn the main hat volume down and turn up the verb a bit so they sit a little further back. One of the other issues I've run into with turning up the drums is that I want the kick to be audible but then it's too bassy. Baby steps I guess, I got 52 weeks to figure it out.

Can't that girl just do all the drumming for me? tongue

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