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God's Plan - cover - MIX 2


Comments

  • TommyMTommyM Posts: 270Pro
    It's definitely a lot clearer than your original one, but your vocal is still too heavily effected and the distorted guitar sounds like it's being recorded over a totally different track. If it'd help, you're free to send me your dry tracks for each part and I'll try to mix it a little more clearly to demonstrate. It'll hopefully give you a better idea of what I'm rambling about in these posts.

    Voice-wise, it sounds like your breathing is all over the place and it's affecting your ability to stay on pitch or support phrases. The fact that the vocal is covered completely in effects makes it really hard to make out what you're doing to offer any advice on correcting it, but I can hear definite problems with breath, phrasing and pitch. Slathering the vocal in effects isn't going to help you, especially when you're just obscuring what could be a really good voice.

    It does sound like you've got a nice tone in there, but I suspect you're using the effects to mask a performance you're not entirely happy with. They don't sound consistent with the song or the mix. I think I can hear the effect you're trying to get, but it's slightly more complicated to achieve than you might think.

    Try mixing it without adding anything but basic compression and EQ to the vocal so that it sits in its own spot. Nothing fancy. Just show YOUR voice.

    Remember too, this forum is primarily about singing. Mixing and engineering stuff is just a hobby, so don't get bogged down in the technical side at the expense of your voice. I know a lot of people claim that "Oh, they all use auto-tune and computers these days, nobody really sings anymore" due to the amount of utter dross we hear daily, but even then I'd still argue with ANYONE that you can't make someone sound like a really good singer with any amount of software or auto-tuning. Sure, you can do T-Pain-style extreme effects, but can the dude actually sing? No, he sucks so he uses a gimmick,

    Don't be that guy. We don't need gimmicks with KTVA. The proof is in the singing.
  • ikingiking Posts: 158Pro
    edited April 18
    Hi "TommyM"

    ....................thanks for reply

    >It's definitely a lot clearer than your original one,

    but your vocal is still too heavily effected

    ....................ok, not sure what your hearing now.

    ..............everyone said VOX had to be louder. They are all boosted now. which created new problems with the overall levels, and also the guitar levels.

    ......................... As I posted in the other thread I was using
    up to 12 effects on the vocals. Simply by adding these vocal plugins I have, that I thought I was supposed to use, and the final
    Mastering plugin.

    ....................that's been reduced 95%. videoace said just use chorus { which I wasnt even
    using before } and reverb { which I dialed way back}


    and the distorted guitar sounds like it's being recorded over a totally different track.

    ................can you be more specific. ? most the guitar is just compressor, and delay, which I like
    and plan to keep.


    ..............maybe my concept needs the voice needs effects BACK to match the guitar sound I want.?



    If it'd help, you're free to send me your dry tracks for each part and I'll try to mix it a little more clearly to demonstrate. It'll hopefully give you a better idea of what I'm rambling about in these posts.


    ............thank you. I only have dialup, so dont have the bandwidth to send tracks.


    Voice-wise, it sounds like your breathing is all over the place and it's affecting your ability to stay on pitch or support phrases.



    The fact that the vocal is covered completely in effects

    ......................ok, again not sure what you mean here?


    makes it really hard to make out what you're doing to offer any advice on correcting it, but I can hear definite problems with breath, phrasing and pitch.

    ..................ok

    Slathering the vocal in effects isn't going to help you, especially when you're just obscuring what could be a really good voice.

    It does sound like you've got a nice tone in there, but I suspect you're using the effects to mask a performance you're not entirely happy with.

    .....................ive cut all the effects. so you saying cut the only 2 fx on there that videoace
    suggested?

    ........... Ill go back to the first version if people think that
    one sounds better.


    They don't sound consistent with the song or the mix.

    ............... I think one big problem is theres no compression now. and the levels are way all over
    the place. But I dont know an easy way to fix this. again videoace said no compressionl.



    I think I can hear the effect you're trying to get, but it's slightly more complicated to achieve than you might think.


    Try mixing it without adding anything but basic compression and EQ to the vocal.....


    ................compression, where? on individual clips? or the entire mix at end?



    videoace said just chorus, and reverb, is whats on there now. { and some EQ }



    so that it sits in its own spot. Nothing fancy. Just show YOUR voice.


    .............well then your talking totally dry.

  • ikingiking Posts: 158Pro
    the one effect I regret cutting is compression -- since the levels are haywire, and im having a hard time correcting that just with volume knobs.

    everybody kept saying VOCALS NEED TO BE LOUDER. well there louder now. but that created
    new problems with levels.

    also with the vocals louder I discovered the guitar leads were recorded with too much NOISE.

    I cant boost them to the same levels as the vocals now { which actually seem to be recorded clean,
    since there not distorting] since I suddenly here noise in those tracks.


    I.m blaming my interfaces l -- ive got an assortment, each worse than the last.
  • ikingiking Posts: 158Pro
    My new thought is that IM KEEPING THE GUITAR SOUND --- { the main lead and bookends} and I need to

    add heavy effects to A COUPLE VOCAL PARTS to match this guitar sound. Then it will be a matched concept.

  • videoacevideoace Posts: 890Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Did you record the original track with effects "during" the recording? I can hear the effects Tommy is talking about.
    The trick to using effects is the same as using your vowel modifications. VERY SUBTLETY.
    I usually pull up an effect until I notice it's there, and then I take it down a notch. Also after you finish a mix, walk away for an hour or two, and re-listen to it. Sometimes when we listen to a mix for hours on end that we lose the natural feel for the song, and things can easily get over processed, and muddy.

    Also keep in mind when you mix a song that the drums and vocals should be the loudest instruments in the mix. You can pull up solos higher in the mix, but the guitar you have in this mix is way too loud. It's the loudest instrument you have in your mix.
    If your guitar is louder than the drums on a pre recorded backing track, it's too loud.

    From reading your responses I'm assuming that you don't use a mixing board to run into your interface? Using a mixing board can make your recordings sound so much better as long as you have one that has pretty decent preamps.

    Anyway, that's my two cents

    Peace, Tony
  • ikingiking Posts: 158Pro
    videoace said:

    Did you record the original track with effects "during" the recording? I can hear the effects


    ....................no. Some tracks are double tracked now to add volume. Some were possibly offset to create a reverb from that.



    Tommy is talking about.
    The trick to using effects is the same as using your vowel modifications. VERY SUBTLETY.

    ..............ive cut all effects 95%..............If you dont like the 5% . I guess you like to release DRY tracks
    to the public?


    I usually pull up an effect until I notice it's there, and then I take it down a notch.

    ..............ok

    Also after you finish a mix, walk away for an hour or two, and re-listen to it. Sometimes when we listen to a mix for hours on end that we lose the natural feel for the song, and things can easily get over processed, and muddy.

    Also keep in mind when you mix a song that the drums

    .................someone said the drums were too loud. they were reduced.



    and vocals should be the loudest instruments in the mix. You can pull up solos higher in the mix, but the guitar you have in this mix is way too loud.

    ............which guitar part? I find one is too low.


    It's the loudest instrument you have in your mix.

    ..............lead or rythm?


    If your guitar is louder than the drums on a pre recorded backing track, it's too loud.

    From reading your responses I'm assuming that you don't use a mixing board to run into your interface?

    ...............no. didnt now i needed one?


    Using a mixing board can make your recordings sound so much better as long as you have one that has pretty decent preamps.

    Anyway, that's my two cents

    Peace, Tony

    ...............thanks


    ..................can you give me examples of modern pop songs with the tiny effects or no effects you guys
    like?

  • TommyMTommyM Posts: 270Pro
    I'll try to respond as clearly as possible as it seems you're misunderstanding much here. I'll address the personal points first so we're clear before I try to answer the technical aspects as I think we risk unnecessary conflict here unless we deal with it now.

    This is a complex topic and we're talking about something that takes a lot of practice and attention to detail to get right. If you want an example of two extremes when it comes to processing and mixing tracks, take Bruce Springsteen's "Nebraska" album; recorded on a four-track to an old c-46 tape or something with minimal post-production. For another extreme, look at anything by Phil Spector and his "Wall of Sound" approach to production.

    You're taking the suggestions and making it black and white, which I suspect is just part of your personality and also why you end up in conflicts online. I wonder sometimes if this is something that's common to singers 'cause I can be the same, and I know a few folks on here say they're guilty of similar...anyway...

    Nobody said anything about the percentages of effects so I've got no idea what you're on about there, and at no point did I or Tony suggest that we liked songs with "tiny effects or no effects". All that both of us have suggested is a judicious use of effects in the proper way they're intended to be used.

    Go look at any of my vocal covers I've posted on YouTube or Soundcloud. You'll hear one main compressed and EQ'd vocal that's been sent to 1. Reverb and 2. Delay. I've also uploaded completely dry recordings directly from my phone that haven't been processed at all. None of the effects I use are overboard UNLESS I'M USING IT FOR A SPECIFIC REASON, e.g. I covered "Oceans" by Pearl Jam and used a reverb over the main vocal to replicate the sound of the original, and also added a reversed reverb to replicate a transition into the second verse. I also did "Black & Gold" by Sam Sparro which involved all sorts of effects being applied, from automated bandpass filters to vocal synths, so I do know how to do this stuff and I'm attempting to help you or anyone else who's in a similar position. If you want to do that reverb-drenched effect while still having clarity in your vocal track, there are ways to go about it and I can help you with it if you want.

    To put it bluntly, I know what I'm talking about and can prove it with my own recordings. Tony knows what he's talking about as he did this stuff for a living for 30 years, so at least have the humility to listen to experience and people who are trying to help you for no benefit to themselves. I said at the start, I'm a self-taught amateur so I'm FAR from an expert but I do know a lot of easily avoided pitfalls that'll save you months of work.

    Listen to one of your recordings and then listen to one of mine. Compare them honestly. Obviously I've been doing it longer than you have can produce tracks that sound fairly good to the untrained ear, but they're still littered with weak spots in the mix and lack depth on many levels. Right now, I'm mixing down using crap in-ear earphones so I don't even have decent monitors or headphones, but I can still make a decent sounding track where my voice is upfront and punchy.

    I'm not trying to be an arsehole with you here, I understand the issues you've got with communication online 'cause I do the same and so there's always the risk we'll be at loggerheads purely due to that. This is why I'm trying to take the time and provide you with a detailed answer, formulated so that you'll hopefully understand and benefit.

    Now, to the mix itself...
  • TommyMTommyM Posts: 270Pro
    Technical Mix 2 - Electric Boogaloo: Part One

    but your vocal is still too heavily effected

    ok, not sure what your hearing now.

    everyone said VOX had to be louder. They are all boosted now. which created new problems with the overall levels, and also the guitar levels.


    I'm hearing a near inaudible vocal line, drenched in effects and buried in the background. 43 seconds in is the first time I can hear anything approaching a lead vocal. Obviously boosting the levels of your vocal is going to affect the whole mix, especially if you're not using any properly set EQ and compressing the living daylights out of them. We can deal with that as we go...

    up to 12 effects on the vocals. Simply by adding these vocal plugins I have, that I thought I was supposed to use, and the final
    Mastering plugin.

    ....................that's been reduced 95%. videoace said just use chorus { which I wasnt even
    using before } and reverb { which I dialed way back}


    You're applying up to 12 effects. That's just insane. You must be absolutely humping your processor and it's not giving you anything like a pleasing effect. Are you actually happy with the way it sounds? Seriously, and honestly it's of no consequence to me whatsoever whether you are or aren't, if you're happy with it then go for it. I'll still offer the same advice here in case anyone else finds it helpful but I'd like to think you'll take the time to actually follow the suggestions from people.

    I can hear the chorus effect you've used and it sounds like you're using too much of it, so it's making the voice sound like it's underwater and pulling out the higher frequencies. If you're going to use chorus, that's totally fine but listen to the track and use an amount which feels appropriate. A lot of this is down to what feels right for the track, so listen honestly to the vocal as it is along with the track and ask yourself if the depth, modulation and level of effect is remotely appropriate for the track. (Hint: It's not.) Chorus is a modulation effect designed to create space and movement in the sound; if you're a guitarist you already know this, so think how you'd apply an effect like that to your guitar. Would you slather it on like you did with the vocal if you wanted your lead sound to cut through?

    Also, here's a really, really, really important thing to know about all-in-one mastering plug-ins: They're shite unless you know what you're doing with them and can use them properly. Something else that applies to these and other plug-ins is that all of the presets you've got available are nothing more than starting points. Never, ever apply a preset for something like mastering as, and I speak again from experience, nine out of ten times it'll be totally inappropriate for your sound. Unless you know what mastering is and what it involved, don't mess about with it. There are ways to maximise your sound for a final mixdown using a basic limiter or even compressor, but mastering is often considered to be the black magic of audio engineering. It's taken me over 10 years, starting from freeware and a £1 mic from Asda, to even begin to have a clue as to how to master a track, and even then I only do so at a surface level to bring the whole mix up to -2dB. Trying to master something without knowing or understanding what mastering is can ruin what was previously a perfectly acceptable track.

    ................can you be more specific. ? most the guitar is just compressor, and delay, which I like
    and plan to keep.


    ..............maybe my concept needs the voice needs effects BACK to match the guitar sound I want.?


    Re. the guitar sounding like it's been recorded over a totally different track. I'm talking about the lead in the middle. To be honest, the bookend guitar parts are actually quite good and just need to sit more within the track. The vibes you've used in the start could also do with coming down a bit as they're pretty loud compared to the rest.

    Compression is a transparent effect, it colours the sound slightly depending on what you're running through (e.g. some hardware gives things a certain sound, just like an amp does with a guitar) but other than levelling the sound they don't actually change anything about it.

    Delay is a thing in itself and more related to reverb, but I didn't hear any big problems with that. As long as it's in time with the track (which you can usually tempo-sync to your project in a DAW) and isn't intrusive (unless that's what you're going for) then it's all good. One wee tip I'd offer is to use it as a send effect and, just like with the reverb send, add an EQ after it and cut off everything below around 100kHz. Avoids muddiness.

    I don't quite understand what you mean about needing the voice effect back to match the guitar sound. If you could explain that a little more, I can hopefully help.
  • TommyMTommyM Posts: 270Pro
    Technical Mix 2 - Electric Boogaloo: Part Two

    Voice-wise, it sounds like your breathing is all over the place and it's affecting your ability to stay on pitch or support phrases.

    The fact that the vocal is covered completely in effects


    ......................ok, again not sure what you mean here?


    I mean your voice is almost completely masked by the effects and so lacks clarity. On the parts where I can hear you, I can hear an inconsistent vocal that sounds lazy but has potential to sound really cool.

    .....................ive cut all the effects. so you saying cut the only 2 fx on there that videoace
    suggested?

    ........... Ill go back to the first version if people think that
    one sounds better.


    No, that's not what I'm suggesting at all. I'm suggesting you take everything off, put all your faders to zero and start again. There are ways to achieve what you're trying to do. I can hear the concept, I think, and I want to be able to help you get there if you'll let me,

    I'll be blunt. From a mix perspective, both suck. The first one sucks more than the second though, so you're learning and that's a good thing. I'm not going to blow smoke up your arse and tell you it's good when it's not. It's hard to hear your voice. That, to me, isn't a good thing on a forum where we're meant to be showcasing our voices and not our mix skills. If you want your voice buried in the mix, that's totally fine but if you're posting this as an example of your singing (and given that it's in the Vocal Demonstrations category) then it's not a good representation if it's nigh-on impossible to hear how you're using your voice.

    ............... I think one big problem is theres no compression now. and the levels are way all over
    the place. But I dont know an easy way to fix this. again videoace said no compressionl.


    I don't believe he did say "no compression", but I stand to be corrected. There's a lot to be said for listening to a dry track and realizing that it doesn't actually need any processing, so maybe that's something worth trying. Like I said, compression is transparent. It doesn't change anything fundamentally about the sound, it only makes the signal a bit more even by catching peaks in the sound. It's rare, in my experience, to encounter a recording I've made that doesn't need at least a cosmetic level of processing, i.e. compression and EQ as I prefer to have more control over the balance within the track.

    Remember too, the compression required for each track is unique and there are certain parameters that can be set to an optimal level for specific sounds, e.g. an acoustic guitar; if you wanted to accentuate the pick sound to make it more percussive, you could set a fairly fast to medium attack (say 0.3-0.5ms) so that the compression only bites after the pick hits thus emphasising the 'click' of it. Conversely, a more sustained part may have a fast attack to catch the initial hit and then a slow release in excess of 1 second as the compressor needs to be able to hold the level of the signal as the note rings out.

    ................compression, where? on individual clips? or the entire mix at end?

    videoace said just chorus, and reverb, is whats on there now. { and some EQ }


    Yes. On every track, ideally. The entire mix requires another approach as you're glueing everything together sonically so it's a wee bit different.

    Remember me saying about how where you place effects in a chain will affect the way in which the change the sound? I said before that it sounds like you're using far too much of the chorus effect on the main vocal, but that can be remedied by having an untreated vocal double it and then blending them together, sending them to one mono return and then compressing both together to unify them. Same goes for the reverb. There are ways and means to achieve what you're trying to do, but you're going about it the wrong way.

    .............well then your talking totally dry.

    No I'm not. This is a prime example of your "all or nothing" thinking. It's possible to showcase your vocal while still using heavy effects, but it needs to be done right and that takes time and practice. You could do just the dry vocal over the track if you wanted but you're looking to present a better quality demo, basically. You can absolutely do it too, I'm not saying that anything you've done is irreversible or can't be changed, so please listen to what's been said and I'll continue to address the other points you've raised.
  • TommyMTommyM Posts: 270Pro
    Technical Mix 2 - Electric Boogaloo: Part Three

    the one effect I regret cutting is compression -- since the levels are haywire, and im having a hard time correcting that just with volume knobs.

    This is why I don't think you should be taking compression out of the equation. I'm saying you should have it, but apply it appropriately and not based on the "vocal 1" preset.

    everybody kept saying VOCALS NEED TO BE LOUDER. well there louder now. but that created new problems with levels.

    Yes, but now they're louder and all we can hear for the first 46 seconds is a warble 'cause you've used too much of the effect, and added it in completely the wrong way to get to where you want to be. Mixing down a track like this is a dynamic process, the levels will change right up until the final mixdown and you'll need to get used to it if you're serious about this.

    also with the vocals louder I discovered the guitar leads were recorded with too much NOISE.

    This is what I was talking about when I said that the lead in the middle sounds like it's being laid over a totally different track. The noise levels are being boosted by whatever compression preset you're applying and by the distortion you've added. These are all things that can be fixed to at least some extent so don't panic. This was why I was suggesting I do a mix for you for free and show you how what you've got fundamentally could be improved.

    I.m blaming my interfaces l -- ive got an assortment, each worse than the last.

    Stop blaming your tools 'cause this sure as hell ain't down to that. If your vocal signal is going into the same interface clean and noise-free, or at least with only a basic level of ground noise but your guitar isn't then it's nothing to do with your interface. Even if it was, the worst it'd be would be that your gain setting is too high. What are you using to process you guitars? Is it a hardware amp or are you using software emulation?

    The clean guitar parts sounded fine, it's just that distorted section so knowing what you're using to get there would be helpful and maybe make it easier for me to offer some specific advice.

    Some tracks are double tracked now to add volume. Some were possibly offset to create a reverb from that.

    Offsetting doesn't create reverb. It's done usually to emulate double-tracking, but your margins are in the millisecond range so be careful with this. To be honest, its easier to just double-track manually and it sounds miles better too. As for the volume issue, they need to be balanced just like everything else and with guitars you've got more scope with panning and placement across the stereo field.

    ..............ive cut all effects 95%..............If you dont like the 5% . I guess you like to release DRY tracks
    to the public?


    Stop being arsey. You know full well that isn't what he meant. Your 5% is a poorly executed mess from a production and engineering standpoint and the guy is trying to help you too, so it'd be conducive to a more constructive conversation if you avoid this attitude.

    someone said the drums were too loud. they were reduced.

    They were too loud because there was no balance to the mix. Reducing them and boosting other stuff in the way you have hasn't solved your problem though. Drums, especially snares and percussion, occupy a similar frequency range to your vocals so there's a pretty delicate balance involved otherwise one drowns out the other.

    which guitar part? I find one is too low.
    ..............lead or rythm?


    Are you seriously asking this or being facetious? How can you NOT hear that your main lead guitar, the big overdriven bit in the middle, is overpowering everything else when it comes in? It also cuts off horribly and abruptly, which can easily be fixed with manual fades although the noise just makes it nearly unusable.

    no. didnt now i needed one?

    Re. Mixing desks: I can see where Tony's coming from but I've never used one in my own recordings before. If you were recording multiple inputs, like a live band, or maybe an external drum machine along with your guitar and vocal at the same time then I'd definitely recommend one. However if you're just recording at home, using a USB interface to get the sound into the computer then you're probably only recording one track at a time anyway so it'd be overkill. A mixing desk can be great when you've got them synced up to your software and can use them as MIDI controllers for your channels, but aside from that I personally don't think they're essential.

    can you give me examples of modern pop songs with the tiny effects or no effects you guys like?

    Again. Not what was said or what was intended from either party.
  • ikingiking Posts: 158Pro
    edited April 18
    HI TommyM

    YOU posted part 3 just as I was posting this answer to part 2, and 1, apparently

    so bear that in mind please.

    -------------

    but your vocal is still too heavily effected

    .................well Im really starting from ground zero with this. I have these plugins
    with presets , and mistakenly it seems - I though I just hit add, and call it a day.

    .................I have send, return, but didn't see the need to hassle since I would just
    add an effect to a track.

    ok, not sure what your hearing now.



    I'm hearing a near inaudible vocal line, drenched in effects and buried in the background.

    ..................Ok. well volume wise I've maxed out those vocal takes. If your hearing distortion its maybe from that.

    I started mixing by lowering the rythmn tracks, but maybe not enough. cause the vocals
    needed such a shift. But then just started boosting vocals, and truth be told they cant
    be boosted any more without adding compression, and I have another boosting plug
    which I havent used yet.

    ......................the guitar lead you dont like is also distorting even more from the same
    boosting problem. { UPDATE, youve addressed this and I agree its not blending now,

    }


    43 seconds in is the first time I can hear anything approaching a lead vocal.

    ...................Ok. It might be noted, this song { the original, which I'm not sure anyone
    here knows} is not my usual style at all. I took a stab at a rap, hip hop. yep. Obviously
    i've changed things way around. In fact its sort of a Frankenstein piece now, with
    disparate clips.

    ................ I even wrote a break using different chords, and melody which I quit liked. It probably would have smoothed things a lot. But I canned it thinking the copyright police would not go for that. { The entire song is only 2 chords, as you hear, which isn't my normal approach }


    Obviously boosting the levels of your vocal is going to affect the whole mix, especially if you're not using any properly set EQ and compressing the living daylights out of them. We can deal with that as we go...

    ......................Ok. I really appreciate your help, even though I might seem a bit testy
    about it. My goal is just to get everything in a usable fashion.

    ......................As per the guitar, I'm surprised people don't hate it! lol. Why? The current generation has basically disavowed guitar, disavowed solos of any type.

    ...................I'm not trying to be against anyone's music -- but to be honest many
    contemporary songs bore me --- its just droning vocals with no breaks, no solos. etc.

    ..................Im not gonna sweat my stuff being different. I like it.

    ..................When I posted about QUITTING { see thread} I was thinking
    one approach was to cut vocals 50% and add MORE guitar. That will probably piss people
    off though- lol. so don't want to do that.

    ................anyway thanks for the help.

    Im just trying to get everything in a usable finished fashion. I don't really want to record all the vocals over, but I could. or which vocals are least liked?

    I could redo those, and/ or vary them.

    thanks







  • TommyMTommyM Posts: 270Pro
    Attempted Responses: Part One

    .well Im really starting from ground zero with this. I have these plugins
    with presets , and mistakenly it seems - I though I just hit add, and call it a day.


    Totally understandable. Been there too, which is why I know what it usually results in. Like I said, presets are just a starting point. Sometimes they're exactly what you need, but for specific applications they usually require at least a bit of tweaking. If you're applying the effect by hitting "Add" then that suggests to me that you're not using insert effects and are instead actually doing destructive editing. You're applying the effect to the whole (as in each individual one, as opposed to the whole mix) track and you're losing control of what it's doing.

    What's the actual DAW or DAW's you're using. Honestly, it'd be help to know 'cause each one, while similar in many respects, has its idiosyncrasies when it comes to this stuff so I could tailor the advice. I know Cubase, Ableton Live, Fruity Loop and a smattering of Pro-Tools so if you're using any of those, let me know.

    I have send, return, but didn't see the need to hassle since I would just
    add an effect to a track.


    Sends and returns aren't quite as straightforward as that as they don't just "add an effect to a track". You can control exactly how much of the original signal goes into the effect and then control more of the sound that comes out. You can also use them to group together similar sounds thus giving you more control over, for example, a group of guitar tracks or the whole drum mix. I didn't appreciate their usefulness until fairly recently which is why I'm so emphatic about them now 'cause they'll save you a LOT of grief. They also save your CPU too as, rather than running multiple instances of a high-CPU plug-in like a convolution reverb or something, you can send tracks TO one instance and still have control over the original dry signal.

    Ok. well volume wise I've maxed out those vocal takes. If your hearing distortion its maybe from that.

    It's definitely not distortion that's obscuring the vocal, it's the effect you've used on it as I've said about a bazillion times. I know distortion. It's not that.

    I started mixing by lowering the rythmn tracks, but maybe not enough. cause the vocals needed such a shift. But then just started boosting vocals, and truth be told they cant be boosted any more without adding compression, and I have another boosting plug which I havent used yet.

    What to try is this: Set all of the levels to zero. Pull every fader right back to zero and then hit play. Your foundation for any track involving a rhythm section is the rhythm section itself as that carries the groove, so you want your kick drum and the bass to complement each other. If you're using a drum loop that's already mixed, that's fine but you want to start off very quietly and just raise up the drums and the bass to the point where they're hitting maybe a quarter of the way up the volume meter.

    I know this sounds weird but bear with me. Mixing at a very low level, especially as you're introducing more sounds to a track will allow much more headroom (basically space to add more sounds without causing the main output to distort and losing all of your dynamics). Keep your headphones or speakers turned down to a reasonable level too. Not too quiet, but not loud. At this stage, it's all about painting a sonic picture and balancing the elements.

    Once your bass and drums are both audible at a lower volume, slowly bring up your clean guitars. Since you're using multiple tracks, you'll need to compress and EQ them too otherwise you'll hit phase issues, muddiness in the sound and lack of distinction but we can look at that later. Again...keep the volumes low. You want to hear it as if all the instruments are playing as a unit; like a real band, basically. Do the same with your vibes and whatever else you've got in there, just bringing each up until they're audible and not overpowering each other. You'll know when this feels right.

    You should always leave your master output channel set as it is at 0dB. It's up to you to engineer the track so that it never breaks that threshold, which is why we do stuff like compression and EQ. Ideally at this stage and with, let's say eight tracks in total, you don't want your master output meter to be anywhere near 0dB. Again, headroom. Leave space to move later while you're mixing otherwise you'll hit the problems you're hitting right now.
  • TommyMTommyM Posts: 270Pro
    Attempted Responses: Part Two

    Ok. It might be noted, this song { the original, which I'm not sure anyone here knows} is not my usual style at all. I took a stab at a rap, hip hop. yep. Obviously
    i've changed things way around. In fact its sort of a Frankenstein piece now, with
    disparate clips.


    Mate, if you had any idea of some of my favourite bands and artists you'd see why something like this would actually be RIGHT up my street. Hahaha! I love weird stuff, I have an entire YouTube channel called The Weirdnet talking about weird stuff online, so I can absolutely see the benefits in doing something like this. I'm genuinely only criticising the mixing, not the song, not your arrangement or your performance even. Aye, I think the vocals could use some work but that's neither here nor there in the context of the track and what we're talking about.

    I even wrote a break using different chords, and melody which I quit liked. It probably would have smoothed things a lot. But I canned it thinking the copyright police would not go for that. { The entire song is only 2 chords, as you hear, which isn't my normal approach }

    That's some good use of creativity! I sincerely doubt that you'd have any issue with copyright. There's such a thing as fair usage and you're not profiting from it, so I don't think anyone would come for you over it. Besides, the very worst that could happen would be that it gets taken off of YouTube or Soundcloud or wherever. Don't sweat that sort of thing at all unless you're directly sampling a song or trying to release a commercial cover version. 99% of what I do right now is covers and the only issue I've had is that YouTube block some songs in certain countries, but I've never had any legal trouble so try not to worry about anything like that.

    Ok. I really appreciate your help, even though I might seem a bit testy
    about it. My goal is just to get everything in a usable fashion.


    No problem at all, it's a pleasure if I can help you get to where you want to be with this! I get testy too, so we can just get testy with each other and then untesty things later. Hahaha!

    As per the guitar, I'm surprised people don't hate it! lol. Why? The current generation has basically disavowed guitar, disavowed solos of any type.

    Most of us here are dyed-in-the-wool rockers at heart and still love a good solo so don't even worry about that! I use guitars all the time, but I suck at lead guitar so I usually just use chords or use effects to create textures like Robert Fripp or Reeves Gabrel. Ken's an awesome guitar player, check out his solo stuff. I think I've personally only recorded one actual, proper solo. I did this probably ten years ago but only uploaded it again to my other channel about eight years ago: What Did You Expect - This was the first song I did after years of trying that actually sounded pretty good and clear. The drums, bass and synth line were all done with the basic instruments in Fruity Loops then imported into Cubase where I recorded the guitars and vocals before mixing it.

    Guitar solos seemed to die out more after about 1994. They'd gotten less extravagant after about '89 but it was nu-metal that killed them off for a while. There's still a strong presence for rock and metal, and amazing musicianship, but it's not what you'll hear on the radio.

    I'm not trying to be against anyone's music -- but to be honest many
    contemporary songs bore me --- its just droning vocals with no breaks, no solos. etc.


    I feel the same. Sometimes a vocal harmony from a song will grab me, but the rest of it is boring. There's still good stuff out there, if not more than ever. Problem is, there more garbage than good quality which is why I want you to be able to produce YOUR style in a way that'll stand out compared to others.

    Im not gonna sweat my stuff being different. I like it.

    Agreed 100%. Be you. Not anyone else. All I want is to see you put out your own stuff, no matter how different it is, in at least some sort of format that'll make people more likely to listen to you again.

    When I posted about QUITTING { see thread} I was thinking
    one approach was to cut vocals 50% and add MORE guitar. That will probably piss people
    off though- lol. so don't want to do that.


    I think the only reason it'd piss anyone off is because it's a vocal-orientated forum, rather than a guitar forum or somewhere to show off your new musical demos (that don't have a prominent vocal that you're looking to either show off or get critique on).

    When it comes down to it, you're here on the KTVA forums to learn more about singing than mixing. I'm glad to help if I can and really don't mind taking the time to break it down if I have the availability to do so. Just remember that this should really be all about your voice. The advice I'm giving you on mixing is for one reason: So that you can create a vehicle for your voice and showcase those good qualities that the current levels of effect are interfering with. Like I said before, you sound like you've got a good tone there so it'd be great to hear it more clearly!

    I hope these epic-length replies are of use to you.

    All the best!
  • TommyMTommyM Posts: 270Pro
    I just realized...is this a cover of Drake?
  • DiegoDiego Posts: 259Member
    edited April 18
    Yes, this is a Drake cover.
  • TommyMTommyM Posts: 270Pro
    Dude, I can't stand Drake but this is a complete reinterpretation loosely based on the original. I put your track into Cubase to boost the vocals so I could hear them then and maybe offer some advice on those, but then I realized that you're basically freestyling around some of the lyrics to the original. Don't get me wrong, it's cool doing your own thing and if you're happy with it, as I said, more power to you but that, to me, makes very little sense musically and even saying "loosely based on the original" seems generous.

    To reiterate, I f*cking love weird music and weird cover version. I once did an 11 minute long version of YMCA, trust me my love and production of musical oddities is strong. This...could be an interesting reworking but we'll see what iking decides to do.
  • ikingiking Posts: 158Pro
    edited April 19
    thanks TOMMYM AND DIEGO for replies

    Lot of stuff to respond to here, Ill try and condense the main points first.


    1. Yes this is Drake.

    2 He actually sings this a half step lower than me, when I first started making this recording my voice { no effects} sounded way muddier than him. So I raised it one step and started to play around with the melody also, so it didnt sit so low.

    3. LEGAL vs YOUTUBE

    4. WHICH WAY TO GO?

    a. Should I make this closer to Drakes version? One problem is using my studio one DAW, im not
    good at moving sections around. So the vocals are out of order, one reason adding to the confusion maybe.?

    b. COVERS VS COVERS : some teachers on net/ YT say do covers one of 2 ways. If you are super
    great singer, go for a CLONE version, but people might always like original better.

    C. If your more musical - more loosely interpret it.

    D. True copyright - I think you can change interpret/ melody flourishes but changing the HARMONY chords
    can be a problem.

    5. What should I do now?

    a. I wrote a chorus piece and melody. which I canned for copyright reasons. But I was actually
    going to open the song with it.


    6 I note some people that have covered this have that kind of hip hop rap mannerisms in their voice,
    which I lack.


    Mate, if you had any idea of some of my favourite bands and artists you'd see why something like this would actually be RIGHT up my street.


    cool,


    Hahaha! I love weird stuff, I have an entire YouTube channel called The Weirdnet talking about weird stuff online, so I can absolutely see the benefits in doing something like this.


    cool.


    I'm genuinely only criticising the mixing, not the song, not your arrangement or your performance even. Aye, I think the vocals could use some work but that's neither here nor there in the context of the track and what we're talking about.


    thanks


    I even wrote a break using different chords, and melody which I quit liked. It probably would have smoothed things a lot. But I canned it thinking the copyright police would not go for that. { The entire song is only 2 chords, as you hear, which isn't my normal approach }

    That's some good use of creativity! I sincerely doubt that you'd have any issue with copyright.


    ok, good. see initial questions.



    There's such a thing as fair usage and you're not profiting from it, so I don't think anyone would come for you over it.


    a YT cover, right?


    Besides, the very worst that could happen would be that it gets taken off of YouTube or Soundcloud or wherever. Don't sweat that sort of thing at all unless you're directly sampling a song or trying to release a commercial cover version

    No im not going to commercial or monitize it.




    . 99% of what I do right now is covers and the only issue I've had is that YouTube block some songs in certain countries, but I've never had any legal trouble so try not to worry about anything like that.

    cool. but did they put a strike against your channel? I heard 3 strikes your gone.


    No problem at all, it's a pleasure if I can help you get to where you want to be with this! I get testy too, so we can just get testy with each other and then untesty things later. Hahaha!

    ha, thanks



    Most of us here are dyed-in-the-wool rockers at heart and still love a good solo so don't even worry about that!

    cool


    I use guitars all the time, but I suck at lead guitar so I usually just use chords or use effects to create textures like Robert Fripp or Reeves Gabrel. Ken's an awesome guitar player, check out his solo stuff. I think I've personally only recorded one actual, proper solo. I did this probably ten years ago but only uploaded it again to my other channel about eight years ago: What Did You Expect - This was the first song I did after years of trying that actually sounded pretty good and clear. The drums, bass and synth line were all done with the basic instruments in Fruity Loops then imported into Cubase where I recorded the guitars and vocals before mixing it.

    Guitar solos seemed to die out more after about 1994. They'd gotten less extravagant after about '89 but it was nu-metal that killed them off for a while. There's still a strong presence for rock and metal, and amazing musicianship, but it's not what you'll hear on the radio.



    .........................I recently heard a hard rock / metalish song with NO solo. Man did it sound weird.




    I feel the same. Sometimes a vocal harmony from a song will grab me, but the rest of it is boring. There's still good stuff out there, if not more than ever. Problem is, there more garbage than good quality which is why I want you to be able to produce YOUR style in a way that'll stand out compared to others.

    cool. thanks man.


    Agreed 100%. Be you. Not anyone else. All I want is to see you put out your own stuff, no matter how different it is, in at least some sort of format that'll make people more likely to listen to you again.

    appreciated

    When I posted about QUITTING { see thread} I was thinking
    one approach was to cut vocals 50% and add MORE guitar. That will probably piss people
    off though- lol. so don't want to do that.

    I think the only reason it'd piss anyone off is because it's a vocal-orientated forum, rather than a guitar forum or somewhere to show off your new musical demos (that don't have a prominent vocal that you're looking to either show off or get critique on).


    yeah, im here for the singing. I mean general net posting.


    Like I said before, you sound like you've got a good tone there so it'd be great to hear it more clearly!

    thanks

    I hope these epic-length replies are of use to you.

    yes, much


    I just realized...is this a cover of Drake?

    Half the people whove heard this, I dont think even know who drake is, lol.


    Dude, I can't stand Drake but this is a complete reinterpretation loosely based on the original.


    yeah, which way should I go with it??


    I final option is just take my guitar parts, and my melodies and do my own song. but that
    kind of defeats the point of this exercise.

    also I have many originals already written, hopefully yall let me post some here upcoming.



    I realized that you're basically freestyling around some of the lyrics to the original.

    Part of it as I said, when I sang everything in that low range , he has, to start, it really had a muddiness to it. even though his baritone is lower than mine.

    makes very little sense musically and even saying "loosely based on the original" seems generous.


    I think people who know the song will recognize it right away, as a variant.

    BUT HOW SHOULD I POST?


    Gods Plan Cover - based on Drake Song

    Jam based on.................

    Crazy guy riffing on.....................



    To reiterate, I f*cking love weird music and weird cover version. I once did an 11 minute long version of YMCA, trust me my love and production of musical oddities is strong. This...could be an interesting reworking but we'll see what iking decides to do.

    cool.

    not sure. Im a newb.


    Thanks


  • TommyMTommyM Posts: 270Pro
    1. Yes this is Drake.

    That's amazing. You're literally taking his song and doing your own version rather than just a cover.

    2 He actually sings this a half step lower than me, when I first started making this recording my voice { no effects} sounded way muddier than him. So I raised it one step and started to play around with the melody also, so it didnt sit so low.

    Finding the right key for your version is essential. Too many people try to sing songs that are way to high or low for them when a capo could save their life. Took me years to understand that and accept that I wasn't going to be able to sing everything in the original key.

    a. Should I make this closer to Drakes version? One problem is using my studio one DAW, im not good at moving sections around. So the vocals are out of order, one reason adding to the confusion maybe.?

    It's up to you. You could try to replicate it but your production skills aren't quite there yet, so doing your own interpretation may be a better use of your time. Spend some time on your recording, there's no rush. I know it's easy to want to rush it and get something uploaded, but as Tony said before it's best to sit on it for a couple of hours at least and then listen back to it. More often than not, you'll hear loads of stuff you want to change and notice things you didn't the first time around. We all do it.

    b. COVERS VS COVERS : some teachers on net/ YT say do covers one of 2 ways. If you are super great singer, go for a CLONE version, but people might always like original better.

    Some teachers on YouTube tell you to eat Tide Pods. Some people, self-proclaimed teachers or otherwise, are just morons online and give opinion as fact. It depends what you're looking to achieve really. If you're looking for fame then, sure, you'd probably be as well taking the lazy route but even then, there's a million better singers who're doing the same. With that in mind, you need to either up your game vocally or approach this from your own angle.

    There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to covers. You can do a straight cover, use the original arrangement and add your own twist to it, e.g. I did Michael McDonald's "I Keep Forgetting" but added a guitar line based on the synth line from Nate Dogg & Warren G's "Regulate" which sampled the original track. It's still easily identified as being the same song but I play it in a different key too, strip it back to an acoustic and make it my own.

    C. If your more musical - more loosely interpret it.

    Covers are basically a free for all. You can decide what you do with the track. Only if you decided to try to make money from it would you be likely to run into problems, otherwise artists either won't care or might even like it.

    D. True copyright - I think you can change interpret/ melody flourishes but changing the HARMONY chords can be a problem.

    You're reinterpreting the song, whether you add your own bridge section or not. Again, it's really unlikely that anyone will actually give a damn or go to the trouble, not to mention insane levels of expense, involved in suing you.

    5. What should I do now?

    a. I wrote a chorus piece and melody. which I canned for copyright reasons. But I was actually going to open the song with it.


    6 I note some people that have covered this have that kind of hip hop rap mannerisms in their voice, which I lack.


    It's totally down to you. What I will say is that ultimately I don't think it's the right song for you to cover 'cause it doesn't show off your voice in any way. If you feel you need hip hop mannerisms in your voice to pull it, perhaps it's best to try something else? If you do decide to do ahead with it, why not look at an instrumental of the song and how its put together. Maybe use the chord progression and do your own melodies over it?

    When it comes to uploading it, you could basically call it whatever you like as long as you mention the original song and give credit to Drake. If you do your own melodies over it, you're basically re-writing the song which, again, as long as you're not making money from shouldn't really cause you any problems. Worst case scenario, it gets removed from YouTube and you get a strike which is actually quite unlikely unless someone physically reports it for copyright. The label will automatically claim the copyright anyway and usually, if it's YouTube, add adverts to the start and end that you don't make anything from. In all honesty, getting noticed or even getting your videos out of double digits on YouTube can take a LOT of work.

    Right now, YouTube and singing is basically my job so again it's something I know about from experience.

    cool. but did they put a strike against your channel? I heard 3 strikes your gone.

    No, not at all. My account is in good standing. It's true that it's a three strike system, but YouTube is in a mess right now with its new management and algorithms so it's hard to say. Unless you're Conservative or remotely right-leaning, it seems YouTube have a problem with you but that's another story for another time...hahaha!
  • TommyMTommyM Posts: 270Pro
    yeah, which way should I go with it??

    I final option is just take my guitar parts, and my melodies and do my own song. but that
    kind of defeats the point of this exercise.

    also I have many originals already written, hopefully yall let me post some here upcoming.


    I think you might find your time better spent working on originals. Use backing tracks from online for your vocal stuff, just to play around with and practice on without having to worry about the lead vocal. Have fun with it. The stuff you'll learn in doing the practice will then make your own stuff sound even better, so do whatever you're most passionate about and share it with us! Like I said, I'd like to hear your voice properly 'cause it sounds like there's potential there that doesn't need to be covered up with lots of effects.

    Part of it as I said, when I sang everything in that low range , he has, to start, it really had a muddiness to it. even though his baritone is lower than mine.

    I checked out his recorded range and he's apparently considered a "Baritenor", although some have pointed out that he sounds more like a tenor live. I'd have thought he was a tenor but I don't know a lot about vocal classifications. I see he's got a range from C2 to C#5, which is pretty good but he's got a very thin voice in the high end. Personally I can't stand him musically and his face annoys me. Hahaha!

    I think people who know the song will recognize it right away, as a variant.

    I listened to the song. I had absolutely no idea, even after listening to it, that it was the same song. It was more like you'd made a musical sketch of your version of the song and then scattered lyrics from the original over it, but with no regard for the original structure. Maybe someone could pick up on the melodic guitar hook or something, I don't know, but it seemed totally unrecognizable to me. That's why I was genuinely asking if that's what you were trying to cover 'cause it sounds practically nothing like it. To be totally honest, when I realized it was meant to be the Drake song I actually thought you might be trolling.

    not sure. Im a newb.

    Do the iking thing and do what YOU do.
  • DiegoDiego Posts: 259Member
    "I know it's easy to want to rush it and get something uploaded, but as Tony said before it's best to sit on it for a couple of hours at least and then listen back to it. More often than not, you'll hear loads of stuff you want to change and notice things you didn't the first time around. We all do it." Take me as an example. My recordings sounded like trash because I was rushing, and also did not know a lot of stuff about recording.
    Here I am slowly learning, taking my time, thinking on how to keep making the recordings better quality.
  • ikingiking Posts: 158Pro
    edited April 19
    Thanks TommyM and Diego,

    great tips, and info here. I will try to respond to individual points, but I really have to digest some of this stuff.

    In general, i'm getting the feedback that my own interpretations may be preferable since my production skills and general singing is not at the top level, yet. I agree with that.

    and Im cool with that, since as you're seen I tend to go in my own direction anyway - LOL!

    { I should say I'm cool with it if I don't aggravate the copyright police }

    I dont really want to do instrumentals, unless they have some vocals attached. I could have done instrumentals since the dog ate the dish, but was bored with guitar and put it away.


    got a huge laugh out of this one: Some teachers on YouTube tell you to eat Tide Pods.


    { seriously, great to have a youtube practicing poster on here}


    Well back to a new mix 3,


    sign me:

    Eating tide pods.
  • ikingiking Posts: 158Pro
    I just earned the " You earned the 100 Comments badge. lol
  • DiegoDiego Posts: 259Member
    iking said:

    I just earned the " You earned the 100 Comments badge. lol

    Congrats! lol.
  • TommyMTommyM Posts: 270Pro
    iking said:


    sign me:

    Eating tide pods.

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

    (I'll reply to the real stuff in a minute once I stop laughing).

  • TommyMTommyM Posts: 270Pro
    In general, i'm getting the feedback that my own interpretations may be preferable since my production skills and general singing is not at the top level, yet. I agree with that.

    It's not even that, really. Your own interpretations just seem more interesting and unique than what you'd probably do if you just did a straight cover. Straight covers are great and a great way to practice, but I get the impression you're a creative sorta guy who's more interested in walking their own path and I respect that. There's ways to balance that too though, 'cause the more you improve your singing with the normal, everyday stuff, the more you'll be able to explore your voice on your own material and get to places you never thought of!

    I don't know if it'd be up your street, but one of my favourite vocalists is a guy called Mike Patton from Faith No More (and about a million other bands). He's currently considered to have the best range in rock and metal, which I kinda agree with in some ways, but I totally disagree with the suggestion he's got an eight octave voice. I can replicate probably 99% of what he does and his actual vocal range is similar to mine, but all the weird stuff he does vocally is just extended technique. His super low notes and the super, super high sixth octave and above stuff are all the product of vocal tricks and illusions rather than actually singing, but he's a good example of someone who is a great singer that walks their own path.

    I dont really want to do instrumentals, unless they have some vocals attached. I could have done instrumentals since the dog ate the dish, but was bored with guitar and put it away.

    With the instrumentals, I was more just talking about backing tracks for you to sing over as practice and as an easy way to showcase your voice. Like I said, I use them all the time and Diego's really getting to grips with how to cleanly add a vocal to them while still making sure YOUR voice shines through.

    All of the mixing and production stuff will come with time, mate. Don't stress about it, just take your time and learn to do wee bits at a time. You'll have it in hand before you know it and you'll listen back to your old mixes and think "That prick Tommy was right"...hahaha!

    Good luck with everything, I look forward to hearing mix number three.
  • ikingiking Posts: 158Pro

    It's not even that, really. Your own interpretations just seem more interesting and unique than what you'd probably do if you just did a straight cover.


    ok, cool



    Straight covers are great and a great way to practice, but I get the impression you're a creative sorta guy who's more interested in walking their own path and I respect that.


    Yeah, Im actually gonna post an original today, hopefully.


    There's ways to balance that too though, 'cause the more you improve your singing with the normal, everyday stuff, the more you'll be able to explore your voice on your own material and get to places you never thought of!


    Yeah, Ive been practicing for a while with covers. But a lot are old rockers. This new expericment
    was to grab something contemporary.


    I don't know if it'd be up your street, but one of my favourite vocalists is a guy called Mike Patton from Faith No More (and about a million other bands). He's currently considered to have the best range in rock and metal, which I kinda agree with in some ways, but I totally disagree with the suggestion he's got an eight octave voice. I can replicate probably 99% of what he does and his actual vocal range is similar to mine, but all the weird stuff he does vocally is just extended technique. His super low notes and the super, super high sixth octave and above stuff are all the product of vocal tricks and illusions rather than actually singing, but he's a good example of someone who is a great singer that walks their own path.

    thanks , I just check him out briefly last night. cool.


    With the instrumentals, I was more just talking about backing tracks for you to sing over as practice and as an easy way to showcase your voic
    e.

    ok

    Like I said, I use them all the time and Diego's really getting to grips with how to cleanly add a vocal to them while still making sure YOUR voice shines through.

    still not exactly sure what you mean. I guess karoake tracks?

    All of the mixing and production stuff will come with time, mate. Don't stress about it, just take your time and learn to do wee bits at a time. You'll have it in hand before you know it and you'll listen back to your old mixes and think "That prick Tommy was right"...hahaha!

    ha, Thanks TommyM

    Good luck with everything, I look forward to hearing mix number three.

    thanks
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