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looking for advice - cleaning up the mix

Wow, it’s been forever since I’ve posted around here, but, I just upgraded to 4.x, and I’m starting on what I guess would be a producing project/collaboration with a friend from work who raps rather well.
this is a preliminaryish mix of our first song, i had to add in half a first verse because i didnt note the structure quite right, so that explains the monotonous 8 bars of noise-drums.
jet[sic] - night moves
thoughts on where i should go with the mix?


your link didn’t work. should be:


d’oh… fixed. :) thanks.

I remember some of your stuff from the back in the day. Always thought you had very solid production work. The rapper is very eminemish; he might have some potential!!

The mix seems okay; the vocals might be a bit dry and the musical arrangement might be just a little too busy or complex; at least as compared with most commercial rap production. It’s great to be able to incorporate all the ideas and samples and sound effects, but it might also be good to save some ideas for other songs?? HTH. :D

i’ve never done anything along the lines of rap or hip hop, so i totally came at it from an angle of complete nievite(sp?), and we’re definately not aiming for a commercial rap sound, or for anything that sounds like anything else at all, just noisey semi-ugly whatever.
maybe i have a short attention span, but 8 bars is about my limit for same-ness, though i know most people can deal with more. and a lot of the tricks in there, i didnt know i had in me, esp the bass drop at 1:40, a total accident while messing around with my microkorg, and that’s how i like it. :)

i dont know about eminemish, outside of the white-guy-timbre. his flow tends to remind me of (and i dont know the dudes name) the rapper in the gorillaz.

also, i’m moonlighting as a student at the local CC, and my audio production one teacher was talking about mixing of hip hop and rap, and how it’s mostly club music, so they started mixing it to be played in clubs, which have their own natural reverb, so i didnt throw any on the vox for the most part. i was a little weirded out by it too, vox with no 'verb? no way! but, after a little listening research, and talking to my guy, that’s how it’s done. who knew, eh?

sigh to work!

listened to this a few times… would like to hear the drums changed up a bit, like you said… it’s a bit monotonous… i don’t mind repetitive, but to me the beats sound a bit hyperactive for a whole song.

my ears want to hear the drums change to a simpler beat in the chorus, with some heavy guitars to thicken that rhythym part. that’s maybe a different sound that you’re going for though.

what is the effect you’re doing on the vocals (sounds doubled/delayed or something)… i’m liking the parts where the vocals are doubled up on certain phrases, but the doubling throughout is a bit distracting to me.

Quote (jet_synthetic @ April 11 2005,10:51)
we're definately not aiming for a commercial rap sound, or for anything that sounds like anything else at all,

but, after a little listening research, and talking to my guy, that's how it's done.

Interesting quotes; not trying to sound like anything else, yet doing research to see how it's done??? I got lost on that explanation. It's also a little confusing why you would ask for opinions on the mix and then find reasons to quickly dismiss a couple of casual observations. If you're trying to do something totally unique, why bother asking for suggestions??

The teacher's explanation for no reverb on vocals sounds plausible, but to be honest, I've heard very few rap songs that didn't have either a reverb, delay or doubling effect on the vocals. That's just my observation, but this is from someone who's worked in radio and around music a long, long time. Sorry for the rant.

yeah, i think it is important that you are hearing how other artists/producers are doing things, and it’s good that you’re trying them too. but think about this: if you’re really trying to do something different and aren’t concerned about sounding “commercial”… then really focus on whether or not YOU like how it sounds. find a technique that really compliments YOUR vocalist.

the other thing to consider is… are the majority (or any) of your listeners going to be hearing this track in a club? if you’re mixing this track for that situation, do you have the opportunity to listen to it on that kind of system in a club to see how it translates?

in the past, i’ve heard mixes of my own recordings (hard rock music) played loud in a bar… gawd did it sound like crap… my recent stuff is sounding better, but i don’t have the opportunity to play everything i do in that kind of environment.

for this kind of music, a sub may be important for your monitoring system.

oh, no no no, man, no need for apologies, rant away. like i said, i havent posted here in a long time, so i also havent talked about music in any depth or at any length in a long time, so i’m a bit over zealous. i didn’t mean to come off as defensive or unappreciative. apologies of my own if i do, and thanks for taking the time. that’s what i love about this board. i was aiming more for explination than dismissal, but i see what you’re saying. the most difficult thing i’ve found about music is switching around my perspective on something i made myself.
and i totally meant to point out the hypocracy of my statements within the post, but i wasnt sure how to put it, and i was running late for work. :)
and, if i can reword, we’re not going for totally original. i’m not sure if that’s even possible anymore, and to claim to do so would be folly, we just never had the influences conversation that most bands/collaborations have. which says the same thing, sans the incidental pretense.

the vox are doubled, panned hard right and left, with a third track for pop-ins, and a fourth for the pitch shifted interjections.
i’m thinking the hard-panning might not be the best thing for the doubling, and mixing them a bit in the middle might sort that out, and maybe make them a bit less dry.
my monitoring system is really lacking. PC speakers. the brandname was on the sub, but i blew that a couple years ago, so i have an altec lansing sub (too much boosted-artificial bass sound, but that’s to be expected from consumer grade PC equipment, and i try to compensate for it) and two unknown brand speakers that i’ve been using for the last 4 years and have been quite faithful, considering.