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Pallin' around
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

So I have just gotten into trying to mix my songs so that they don't sound like shit, but they somehow sound even worse now. :nuts:

This song is mostly done, except for a few guitar edits that still need to be made. I don't have a bass so that kinda kills the balls of the song.

http://soundcloud.com/combustion-mechanism/fallout

Anyway, if you guys could give me suggestions on how to better mix, that would be awesome!

Also, song suggestions are also very welcome!

Thanks,

Sean :hbang:
 

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Knives!
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What are you using man? Give some details! Using your ears is the best place to start and really homing in and training your ears which will take practice :)
 

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Dream Crusher
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Sounds like too much gain and not enough mids on the rhythm guitars. That's what's giving the hissy and indistinct sound to my ears.

Also, snare is really really loud.
 
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Premium Member
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It sounds fizzy, distant, and like it was recorded through a cheap poorly EQ-ed guitar. :scratch: I guess it sounds to me like mainly a problem with the EQ. Personally I would change the EQ on the amp, but you can also change the EQ of the recorded sound while mixing.
 

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I've got to go with the guys, but also add that this screams for a bass too. This needs some kind of a glue and that's what bass is for. Also if you want a little more massive feeling you can always add some rhythm chords or VST synths (or a real synth if you have one). That would add in a feeling of consistency, but it's also a matter of songwriting and opinion so don't take this as a mixing tip. The lead at the end is a bit too loud too...

Other than that it's a good written song and no doubts will be br00tal as soon as you get the sounds in.
 

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RG 7 player of doom
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I don't mean to sound like a dick, but I can't understand trying to mix a song when it doesn't even has bass guitar in it.
Without a bass guitar, it will NOT sound good, period
 

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Plastic bag in the sea
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If you don't have access to a bass why not just add some "Fake" bass with your guitar? I find it takes a lot more work to make it sit well, but it's pretty useful for adding weight to a mix. Of course it usually sounds pretty nasty by itself, so its more of the "Felt but not really heard" kind of bass if that makes sense.

I usually just pitch a DI track down an octave and then slam it with some pretty hard compression/limiting and some fairly extreme EQ. Definitely not ideal but can certainly be useable. As for everything else I don't think the guitar is that bad at all. It could possibly use a bit of a high end boost (seems a bit dark to me) and/or a bit less low mids, it seems pretty woolly to me. I think the drums are letting the mix down in terms of balls too. Is that EZDrummer you're using? I'd maybe try replacing the kick with a beefier sample and maybe augmenting the snare with one too. I've always found the kick in EZD to be horribly thin and lifeless.

I can dig up an example of some fake bass and show the processing on it if you want some help with that :yesway:
 

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Pallin' around
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes some help with fake bass would be very useful!

The drums are drumkit from hell samples, I tried to EQ them so they would sound a little better, but they aren't that much better.

As far as the guitar tones, I used Amplitube, and I have been having a hard time getting tones in that. If I don't take down the bass and mids, it sounds great until I get to the 7th string, and that low pitch starts to develop that "swelling" where the low pitches grow in volume and totally overwhelm the mix. I haven't been able to get around this issue in Amplitube so I had to adjust the guitar tones to be less than optimal so I don't get that swell. I really just need an Axe FX :)

Thanks for all of your input!

Sean
 

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Premium Member
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I haven't listened, but just eyeballing that waveform, it's awfully flat. I'm guessing you're compressing the fuck out of either the kit itself or the whole mix, since there's really not much in the way of peaks there.
 

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Dream Crusher
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I haven't listened, but just eyeballing that waveform, it's awfully flat. I'm guessing you're compressing the fuck out of either the kit itself or the whole mix, since there's really not much in the way of peaks there.
It's the guitars. Fizz and boom overwhelming the waveform of the drums, but still sounding distant and muffled.
 

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Pallin' around
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's the guitars. Fizz and boom overwhelming the waveform of the drums, but still sounding distant and muffled.
Yeah it is the guitars. I am not too sure what to do about it, because I have been struggling getting Amplitube to give me usable tones. When I lower the gain, the pinch harmonics disappear, and when I bring up the mids and bass to try to get rid of the hiss, I get that boomy, swelling low end. I guess I could try to mic my amp, but since I live in an apartment, that isn't a feasible option.

Anybody have any other suggestions on how to record guitars without amps and not fall into the pitfalls that I have experienced? A previous poster gave a link to some free amp sims that seem to be a lot better than Amplitube, but it could also be user error, not Amplitube, that is the problem.
 

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Plastic bag in the sea
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Ok Sean here we go. This was the first thing I could find with some fake bass on it (I have a bass but it broke before I did this). You'll have to excuse the quality of the clip, haven't spent too much time on it.

Here's the clip with everything going:


Here's the fake bass by itself (so you can hear how awful it sounds :lol:):


And just for giggles, here's the track with the bass muted so you can hear how much it's actually adding:


and here's all the processing on the bass track. It was just my kxk straight into one of the DI inputs on my profire, and then pitch shifted down an octave in Reaper (Please excuse the large pic):



Signal chain is from left to right, top to bottom, if that makes sense? :ugh:

Normally for bass I'd do two tracks, one distorted and one clean, but just did one on this to save time. I've also used amp sims, bass and guitar, to add the distortion before but I found that the TS simulation into a cab sim actually worked ok. Hope that helps anyway man :).
 

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everything in this thread is correct. you're using drum samples with little to no different in velocity. the drumkit from hell samples sound old and tired(person opinion). try throwing some verb on the drum bus to liven them up.

the guitars should be retracked with a lot of mid and a lot less gain. possibly 2 performances per side. you wont get a good mix without bass for this type of music, especially without vocals. You'll probably get a better tone just micing up a practice amp if all you have is vst amps that you can't get to work for you.
 

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Pallin' around
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks dude! Super props to that! I'll go back and give that a try. Pretty sure I am going to scrap Amplitube!
 

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Pallin' around
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
everything in this thread is correct. you're using drum samples with little to no different in velocity. the drumkit from hell samples sound old and tired(person opinion). try throwing some verb on the drum bus to liven them up.

the guitars should be retracked with a lot of mid and a lot less gain. possibly 2 performances per side. you wont get a good mix without bass for this type of music, especially without vocals. You'll probably get a better tone just micing up a practice amp if all you have is vst amps that you can't get to work for you.
The sad thing is that I do have 2 tracks per guitar, so there are 4 tracks of guitar, a guitar 1 right and left, and then guitar 2 right and left. You are correct that I haven't gotten to the part where I vary the velocities on the drums too much, I have just been so frustrated with the guitar tones that I needed advice.

Has anybody ran the effects return on their amp head into an interface before? Would it do any damage this way, since it is skipping the power stage and only using the preamp stage?
 

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Pallin' around
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Read the friggin article i linked you to :scream::p :rofl: :D
Hahaha, I did. I am going to work on that when I get home from work! Just trying to get opinions on other ways as well. I know very little about this.

I really appreciate the link though, definitely scrapping Amplitube tonight and using those amp sims you suggested.
 

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Plastic bag in the sea
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As far as the free amp sims go (I'm still on the quest to find my ideal tone with them) I'm a fan of TSE X30 and LePou's plugins (He has quite a few, but my favourite so far is Legion). A lot of people get great results with this 5150 sim too, although personally I haven't been able to coax a tone I like out of it yet. I think I'm just doing something wrong though :lol:

As far as using the FX send of your amp, I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure you need to have a load connected to it (Like a cabinet, or a seperate unit to use instead of the cab) or you can damage your head.
 
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