New Pop/Rock Ditty

Here is a rough mix of my new song, entitled Karma.
No one here knows me, so here’s a little background - I’ve played bass and sang harmony in different bands here in NJ for years, and now I’ve decided to work on my own material - playing guitar, writing songs, and singing in addition to playing bass.
I definitely welcome any production/mixing advice from the experts here.

Click Here to hear the song

nice tune man, keep up the good work!

I like it. It may be a little too long (I almost always say that) but I like it :)

Hey TW,

Sounds nice - I like it. The vocal harmonies sound cool. I was kind of surprised to hear them there, in this song, the first chrorus. Then the second time they seemed to fit right in. :D

Very good tune. Lots of potential. For constructive criticism, I too say it’s a bit too long. The third verse seems to be unneeded, IMO. The guitars seem to need a bit more punch somehow. I’m not sure what you should do to fatten them up, but they need to be a bit fuller. Did you doubletrack the rhythm guitars? If not, you might want to see if that will help thicken the guitar sound up a bit. I liked the use of stereo space. The panning was excellent, for my tastes. Are the drums real or soundfont? They sound good. I heard a bit of low quality on the cymbal crashes, but perhaps that was just the low-quality mp3. The guitar minisolo was very good. I liked it. Did you have chorus on the vocals at some point? It sounded like it to me, but, again, perhaps the mp3 was impeading the sound for me. Anyway, I liked it. Very marketable song.


Thanks to everyone for their responses.

It is interesting that more than one person suggested that it might be too long. I am going to think about that one. When writing lyrics, I was concerned that it wasn’t long enough. Writing lyrics and singing are both new to me, and I am not 100% comfortable writing lyrics, so writing fewer lyrics would definitely be one less thing to worry about!

In response to some of theinfamousfish’s questions:
1) punchiness of the guitars - during the verses, I have only double-tracked acoustic guitar playing the rhythm. I wanted it to seem like it went from black-and-white to color when the chorus came in, by going from acoustic to electric.
During the chorus, it has four tracks of electric.
Knowing these facts, I am interested to hear your suggestions for making things punchier.
2) Drums - absolutely real. I recorded the drums with four mics - a D112 on the kick, an SM57 on the snare, and two Oktava MC012s as overheads. The cymbal crash issue might be due to the mp3, or it might be the recording itself.
3) No chorus on the vocals although there might be a natural chorusing effect from the multitracking - I sang three parts and doubled them all. The low-quality mp3 might be causing that chorusing issue.

Knowing this, I am curious to hear if you have any suggestions.

Well, I liked the acoustic on the verses, etc. It definetely builds, etc. I am curious why you are tracking so much. Doubletracking electrics is standard, but doubletracking the acoustic track and 6 vocal tracks seems excessive to me. Well, I sometimes doubletrack acoustic, but that’s for rhythm parts. your part might not really need a doubled acoustic track. It’s fine the way it is, though. Why the 3 doubled vocals on the leads? I understand on BGVs, but on lead too? and, listening again realizing what I was hearing, you aren’t quite percise on your multi-tracking on the verses. A lot of diferent vowels hitting at different times that cloud up the track. you might be in for a lot of splicing and lining up the repeated tracks. Why double the tracks, by the way? If the tracks are the same take and aren’t delayed at all, then it adds nothing to double them. If they are delayed or have different effects, that would make sence, I guess. Otherwise, all doubling them would do would be to add volume, and you have faders and compression to do that. And it actually seems that you do need more volume on the vocals, as it so happens. I have that problem a lot. It sounds great on your home speakers or in your headphones, because you know the song and the words and can hear it fine. But if you heard the track never having heard the song before, you’d want the vocals higher so that they could rise above the dim. Do you have any compression on the vocals at all? you also might want to pull back some of the other effects if you don’t have a lot of headroom on the vocal fader.

On the guitar, I don’t know what to say really. I listened again, and I guess the guitars are ok. you say you have 4 tracks of guitar. I assume that one or two are lead? I say don’t add more than two rhythm tracks. It ends up getting muddy and actually takes away from punch. But if you ok on that front, then you are probobly ok. You might consider EQing differently. There is very little in the lower mid range. The bass and the guitar could fill that up a bit, perhaps. You might want to cut a bit in the rhythm to make space for the lead guitar, and EQ the lead so that it doesn’t take up space where it isn’t needed. You need the high midrange on a lead guitar for the most part. Make space for it in the rhythm tracks around that range by cutting the EQ on those ranges a bit. Then Cut back in the lead track in areas that the lead guitar isn’t filling. That might help. And leave room for the vocals too. Make sure that you can hear them, and that the other instruments aren’t overcrowding it. If you need, you can cut back on them to give it room. Remember the general rule of thumb for mixing: Cut, don’t raise. If you need more volume on something, turn something else down. Listen for what is too loud, not for what isn’t heard, and you’ll be well on your way. The same goes for EQing. cut areas that aren’t needed, rather than raising in areas that are needed. Sometimes you do need to boost something, but always cut first.


I appreciate you taking the time to reply. I guess I wasn’t 100% clear on a few things. The vocals are only doubled on the leads - it is only in the chorus that there are six tracks- three part harmonies that are doubled.

When you say “tracks are the same take and aren’t delayed” I am not sure where you are getting that from. I do not have multiple tracks of the same take. Whenever I use the word “doubled” I mean two takes of the same part.

Besides those miscommunications, I think you made some valid points, and I am going to try a few adjustments.

Ok. when you said “doubled” I thought you meant that you had taken a track and literally “doubled” it, as in copying/pasting the track and its wav files so that there are two tracks with exactly the same information. Ok, that makes sence. But you do double the lead vocals, as in there are two recordings/takes of the same vocal part playing during the verses? If so, then you might need to line up the vocals a bit better at that point (splicing the track and moving the spliced parts to line up). Or you could just delete the doubled track altogether, if you wanted to. (though I understand if you are trying to go for the “chorus feel” on the verses that a doubled track will present).This would help the lead stand out a bit more, especially on the chorus. In my experience, a single track in the midst of chorused harmonies (by “chorused” I mean a track that contains the same vocal part where the starts and stops of notes hit at different times, whether caused natural by double tracking or artificially by having the same track information delayed using an effect) will cause it to stand out. The important thing is to make sure that the BGVs aren’t turned up so loud that the lead track is lost. Other than that, the lack of doubling should help bring it out more.


Yes, there are two different takes of the lead vocal, and maybe you are right - that I could do a better job of lining them up, or maybe trying another take to see if I can match it up better. Of course, the editing route will probably get me the most precise results.
As for deleting the doubled part, I guess I kinda like the way the lead vocal sounds a little “thicker” when doubled, plus I am kind of new to singing (I’ve always sung harmony, but never lead) and I am a little unsure of myself, so maybe it is a little bit of a crutch.
Going back a few posts - regarding the low-mids. I did scoop out some of the low mids because I thought it sounded a bit muddy, but perhaps I can add some back in if you think it would give better overall balance. Do you think it is better to do that with the bass or the guitar? I would think the bass.
Getting everything to sit well in the mix has been a challenge.