Which Version Do You Like Better?


I need your help.

This link will take you to my soundclikck page.

I’ve been reworking the guitar and oveall mix of my latest song, God Of Wonder, and need some direction. It’s funny, I think a song is done, and then I wait a week, and all kinds of things “pop out” at me…

Would you please listen to both mixdowns version 1 and version 2, and let me know which one you like the best.

The main difference between them is the guitar treatment, and that’s most of what I’m after - although I’m happy to hear any comments.

All the best,
Practicing For Heaven

Iplan, listened to both, A/B’d them. Guitars sound alot different. Maybe a little muffled in 2nd version. Try eq-ing to get instruments and vocals to sit ‘together’ in the mix. Sometimes running effects on half the mix while the other half is ‘dry’ doesn’t meld together. Keep on plugging away at it. Are we having fun yet?

My old ears have trouble really telling from a mp3.
I have found also that waves sounding great on playback don’t sound so hot on mp3’s. Reverbs and delays seem to jump up more in the mix of a mp3. :D


Sometimes running effects on half the mix while the other half is ‘dry’ doesn’t meld together.

Do you think I need to add reverb to the vocals - as they’re pretty dry?

Reverbs and delays seem to jump up more in the mix of a mp3.

This is exactly the problem. I could never place my finger on it before, but this is exactly what happens w/ an MP3 over a WAV file.

Are we having fun yet?

I’m growing to appreciate it, but there have been many times when I’ve come to the conclusion that I absolutely hate it… lol

Here’s another question: “Doc” Miller - the guy that does the vocas on my songs - mentioned that he usually spends about 1 hour in mixing per track he’s recorded (ergo a 10 track recording will take 10 hours to mix).

Is that a pretty good rule of thumb?

I’m spending a lot more time than that… .but I’m sure it’s mostly because I don’t know what I’m doing, so everything is trial and error.

HotDogWater once told me that listening to a CD that I think is mixed well, and trying to get my recording to sound like that CD is a good step. I’ve been doing this, and it has really helped identify problems. It’s funny, you feel like you’ve “finally got it” then you listen to the other CD, and then you realize why these guys get paid so much…

Still taking votes on which guitar treatment you liked better (version I or version II). Anyone?

All the best,

First up, go with the sound ‘you’ like on the guitars. Careful with the effects volumes, this can make it sound from pro to novice in my book. 50% of people will probably like the sound, 50% will hate the sound, but it’s your recording. It is what it is!

2nd, there is no time limit on mixing down a song, longer isn’t always better, and then sometimes it’s best to walk away, go mow the yard, kick the neighbor’s cat or something else. Ear fatigue plays a big part in ‘bad mixes’. And with us older cats, ear fatigue comes alot quicker. Getting frustrated from working on one mix too long will most times result in a bad mix.

3rd Hot Dog Water gave very very good advice, alot of home recordist needs to have a result to shoot for. Not only the sounds of the instruments/vocals, but the overall ‘feel’ of the total sound. Eq-ing and compression plays a big part in this.

4th, I can’t stress this enough…‘TAKE NOTES’…easier to read a hard copy of how you got that guitar sound a month ago than trying to remember how you did it.

5th, Most folks doing this have a love/hate relationship with recording. It’s only natural.

6th, I’m posting really really long replies ain’t I. Time to shut and play my guitar, have a great day!


One other bit of advice on the reverb thing is to use an aux channel. Insert the reverb on the aux, in the reverb plug itself set it to wet. no dry signal. Then bring master volume of aux channel to about -5dbs. then use the individual sends for each track to the aux, using pan also for effectivness. that way you can control a little bit to one thing and more to another if desired.

Yazmeister… thanks for all the comments. Bullet #4 hit hard…I’ve got to take better notes!

Here’s what a buddy of mine said:

"My take is that version II is closer to a good mix. You may want to consider playing with some processing on the vocals (compression and reverb). You could also drop the rhythm guitar level and reverb back just a tad but not too much to where you lose it’s place in the mix."

He added,

“My opinion on the vocal is that you should keep a short decay with the reverb type and setting you use, which emphasizes the highs and keeps the consonants crisp for intelligibility. I would only slightly nudge the guitar level - it’s close.”

Anyone concur? lol… I know I keep asking for specifics… but it’s only because I really need people to “tell me what they would do” - and gain a concensus…because I’m not sure what I like and don’t like at this point.


When I first started at recording, I would do what I thought was a good mix, at the time I would put it on cassette tape, carry it with me everywhere, listen to it on high end sourses as well as cheap boom boxes. I would take as long as 6 months to finish a little 5 song project. Notes Notes Notes.
Today it’s just a little faster when I do something, just from the trial and error and note taking.

Take your current song. Do some changes that were suggested. Do a mix. Tweak with it, change it alittle, do another mix, record 4 to 5 mixes with lite to heavier reverb sttings. Let your ears judge what you like the best. When something with heavy effects sounds great today, a week from now you may hate it. Always go back to the reference cd you are trying to emulate! :D

I also listened to both of these versions. My internet computer only has crap speakers, so I can only comment on generalities.

I like the guitars on version II better, simply 'cause they seem to have more body and depth. Version I guitars are way too thin. There does seem to be several guitar accents that are behind the beat, enough to where it might be distracting.

I can’t agree with yaz enough on his notes for mixing processes. Don’t get hung up on the amount of time taken until you start doing it professionally and charging by the hour. How a song is recorded can often affect how quickly a mix can come together. Do take frequent breaks in a mixing session, and if you’re patient enough, take a day or two off and then come back and tweak. Do check it on different qualities of equipment (including car audio, which often sounds much different than anything at home). Do take notes. Personally, I use the “song comments” function under the “edit” toolbar–less messy than the pages of notes I used to have scattered everywhere.

Reverb/tight delay is good to bring life and presence, but less is more, especially on vocals. It doesn’t take much to go from a nice touch to overdone Holiday Inn band, especially if the rest of the mix is pretty sparse effect-wise. In everything, moderation.

This probably wasn’t too helpful, since it was all pretty redundant.

Now, if only I were talented and patient enough to take my own advice. Time to go record swampy reverb vocals and cut a cd after a 16-hour mixing session.


Thanks for the feedback. You’re right on the guitar parts that are behind the beat. They are distracting.

I’m going to patch those “behind the beat” parts today.

TYVM for the input.

I also like your idea to take notes in the comment section.

I wish there was a way to “capture” the main mixer… and freeze it… lol

All the best,