Need a listen....

Guys:

Miss me?
Well it has been awhile, but I’ve been busy.
I’ve gotten a full band together (then changed the name from “Iplan Christian Rock” to “Testament”).
The original name worked for me, but didn’t really gel when I added the other members.
We’re planning on a mini tour this summer to compliment our CD release.

Anyway, we went back into studio to rerecord a song that I need some feedback on.
I think it is mixed pretty well, but you know I need your “stamp of approval” - and critiques especially for things that could be better.


I lost the bassline there for a few mixdowns, but think it’s okay now.

The lead vocalist is uncertain about the guitar playing in the intro.
He thinks it’s got too much delay…
I’m not sure if I agree.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic too.

The song is called “I Can See You” and is at www.soundclick.com/iplan

Please have a listen.

All the best,
Ipan

First the link should be http://www.soundclick.com/iplan.

The one above doesn’t work. :;):

Second, I like the song. It may be the mp3 conversion (I’m jaded. I hate mp3’s) but I hear a bit of clipping or distortion in various places.

Third, I quote from your Soundclick page:

Quote:

I continually remind myself that God has a way of using the weak and unaspiring among us to do great things.


RIGHT ON! Keep on keeping on dude…

D
Quote:

I hear a bit of clipping or distortion in various places.


Diogenes:

Ohhh.. the things you miss when you're proof-reading your own stuff.... Now that I've listened w/ your ears, I hear a bit of clipping at 2:29, and 2:39.

Can anyone confirm this?

Are there other spots I've missed?

BTW, before I posted the song, I did a complete play through on N-track, and I didn't get a single clip notice on the time bar, or the scan before mixdown. Hmmmm. Any thoughts?

Also, thanks Diogenes for fixing the link, and noticing the comment on the page - and quoting it. It's so true too. Think of all the greats in The Bible, and without many exceptions, they were all unlikely candidates. That has been an encouragement to me. I hope others will find it meets them where they're at as well.

I Can See You

Can I live with this overnight? I’ll be able to put it on the big boy speakers tomorrow morning.

Thanks.

Very easy to listen to, and a nice mix in my ears.

I would have like to have heard a screaming guitar solo in there :)

Can’t help feeling that something is being held back though…what were the drums done on?

Apart from that, cool.

Quote:

I would have like to have heard a screaming guitar solo in there



I've thought about adding something before, but like how they kind of echo one another (the intro solo and the outro solo).
You're not the first to have suggested that - so kudos.

Quote:

Can't help feeling that something is being held back though...

Where?

Quote:

What were the drums done on?

The onboard drum machine in NTrack!
If you want to read some pathetic rants on the NTrack forum, search "Iplan, and NTrack Drums" and you'll see that it has taken an extended effort it was for me to get to this point.
I'd have quit a year ago if it weren't for HotDogWater's tutorial video....lol

Do you think the drums are good or bad?

I'm also thinking of doubling the grunge guitar at 3:02 into both left and right channels.....

Listening now I think it may in fact be the drums that have the ‘held back’ feel.

Not the way you’ve done them but the samples themselves, so (and this is just my opinion listening on headphones) the pattern is good but the sample sounds seem less than they should be to match how good the rest of the song is.

I think the grunge guitar is great.

Got it cranked up on my speakers - when I listened last night in the phones the guitar and the bass were fighting each other for my ear. We all know how brutal that can be. Not so much listening on the big system. Of course my ‘room’ gave them more air. There seems to be a definition issue to me. A sound layering issue. I have always believed each instrument should occupy it’s own little space in a mix. There’s lots of ways to get to that point - EQ/compression are the most commonly used tools.
I agree with Craig on the drums. We all seem to fight with drums though.

That’s my take…

Keep ‘em comin’…

just like pops, i had this on phones last night, but waited until i could evaluate on speakers.
here’s my 1/50 of a dollar:

I didn’t comment too often on the earlier stuff you posted, but I did always listen.
To me it sounds as if you’ve come quite a long way from just a couple of months ago as far as writing, putting an arrangement together and piecing together a mix.
The points that go through my head now as I listen seem much more minor in scope than at that time.


I don’t mind the delay on the intro guitar at all.
Adds interest in my opinion.

I would like to hear the guitars that play during the verses to be balanced.
The left (string muted) guitar seems hotter than the strumming on the right.

I have to agree with pops on the definition/clarity of the mix overall.
Eq along with panning are ways to define each instrument independently, each with its own niche, which gives the song clarity.
In a rock song, if distorted/crunch guitars take up too much of an eq swath (especially below 150Hz or so) it can really crowd other instruments (especially bass).
When vocals occupy this space they just get muddy.
hi pass/low cut options on the eq are great for a majority of tracks to really clean up the sound.


Personally I would like to hear a drier reverb on the lead vox, to bring out the presence of the vocal sound.
Although the volume has been raised to compensate, it still seems a little hidden timbre-wise.

Is the kick drum on a reverb, compression with slow response or am I just hearing things?
Seems airy/throbby rather than tight, esp. in the beginning when it’s by itself for a few beats.

I will confirm various spots of clipping; however, I’m not totally certain if it’s the mix overall, mp3 conversion, or certain spots on specific tracks.
My guess would be the latter (esp. the lead vox with that reverb.
plug-in reverbs love to clip on me too, so I’ve had to learn to tread with caution as well.)

I know my post reads like a negative ned manifesto, and I’m sorry for that.
The track is actually much better than all those nit-picky comments made it out to be.
Like I said, you’ve come a long way on a short time.
Heck, I’ve still got no clue how to use n-track drums, so I have to pretend I know how to play a snare and ride.
Which I definitely don’t.
Your arrangement ideas, I think, are getting more sophisticated, as well.
More pleasant to listen to, interesting to see how the song develops.


good luck, and remember, they’re just opinions! (uneducated ones, at that)

Drums:

Quote:

I think it may in fact be the drums that have the ‘held back’ feel.
Not the way you’ve done them but the samples themselves, so (and this is just my opinion listening on headphones) the pattern is good but the sample sounds seem less than they should be to match how good the rest of the song is.

Your comments are really helpful - as they help me focus (as if for the first time) on something I’ve head a thousand times.
I’ve got to agree w/ you.
The drums sound weak.
What could I do to give them more punch?

Separation:
Quote:

There seems to be a definition issue to me. A sound layering issue. I have always believed each instrument should occupy it’s own little space in a mix. There’s lots of ways to get to that point - EQ/compression are the most commonly used tools.


and

Quote:

In a rock song, if distorted/crunch guitars take up too much of an eq swath (especially below 150Hz or so) it can really crowd other instruments (especially bass).
When vocals occupy this space they just get muddy.
hi pass/low cut options on the eq are great for a majority of tracks to really clean up the sound.



I agree w/ this too, but my EQ-ing know how is in very short supply.
W/ the exception of the kick, I ran all the signals through an aux channel w/ bass cut below 100Hz - then on the master channel I added some back w/ boosts in a few other spots.
The electric guitars are panned hard left and right, so am I correct in assuming that EQing is my only option?

BTW, the palm muted guitar is really “bassy”, and very compressed already.
Should I try to dump everthing below 150Hz on that instrument?

Thanks for the feedback, and keep the suggestions coming. I think I’m getting closer to making a legitimate musical statement, and really appreciate your assistance in this endeavor.

All the best,
Iplan
Testament (the band)
Quote:

Is the kick drum on a reverb, compression with slow response or am I just hearing things? Seems airy/throbby rather than tight, esp. in the beginning when it's by itself for a few beats.


N-track has it's own reverb, and it is selected for the whole kit. It really does sound flabby at 49 sec - 51 sec.....

Hey, while I'm thinking about it.... Do you think the electric guitar intro at 51 sec might be a little hot in the mix?

I think a hot guitar works in that spot, personally. it seems to be a spot where the attention should be grabbed and the groove started.