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thefireball
SOUND FILE HAS BEEN UPDATED AGAIN ON JULY 8!! I used Ozone. FINAL MIX

I classify this as my first REAL metal song. It's the first song that's ever come close to a studio version with good drums. I recently bought EZdrummer and so this track is kind of a first test with the program. I realize the track has a few tiny imperfections and things could be improved, but I will get better over time. I guess you'd say it's part of an EP. Please realize I'm very new to this. Right now I concentrating on getting my ideas recorded for real now.

Hope you enjoy! There will be a music video for this soon. Stay tuned!
Thanks to all who have helped me on this song thus far. wink.gif You seriously rock! cool.gif

Programs:
POD Farm 2
EZdrummer
Reaper
Audacity
iZotope Ozone

Equipment:
Jackson SLSMG 6-string (EMGs 81/85) - rhythms
Ibanez RG 350 DX 6-string (Infinities) - solo
POD Studio GX
GHS 7-string Boomers, LT 10-60 for rhythm guitar
Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinky 9-46 for solo guitar
Ivan Milenkovic
Hey mate! That's a very cool riff, and nice arrangment, lots of things going on. I can hear that you really tried hard to make this one! smile.gif

You still need to work a bit more on your mixing. It's a bit boomy, and lacks definition. Here are some tips on how to improve it:

- Turn off ambience channel in EZD completely, and raise kick and snare just a bit, lower down hihat
- Cut guitars bellow 100Hz
- Insert this plugin on drum track, and play with knobs smile.gif

try not to overdo with compression! smile.gif
thefireball
QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ May 30 2011, 02:53 PM) *
Hey mate! That's a very cool riff, and nice arrangment, lots of things going on. I can hear that you really tried hard to make this one! smile.gif

You still need to work a bit more on your mixing. It's a bit boomy, and lacks definition. Here are some tips on how to improve it:

- Turn off ambience channel in EZD completely, and raise kick and snare just a bit, lower down hihat
- Cut guitars bellow 100Hz
- Insert this plugin on drum track, and play with knobs smile.gif

try not to overdo with compression! smile.gif


Thanks for this feedback. smile.gif
Questions please.
*Where is the ambience channel? (I've got EZD in Reaper)
*When cutting below 100Hz, is that the Low Pass filter or High pass filter? The guitars are recorded in Audacity.
*I didn't see a way to download the plug-in. huh.gif
Ben Higgins
Hey this is really cool ! It almost sounds a little Industrial.. like Rammstein but with more lead.. I'd agree wtih Ivan that the improvements could be made mainly in the drumming side of things.. to make it heavier rather than techno sounding. I'd have less hi-hat and less kick drum. I'd make it a more solid, driving beat with more weight to it. It'll take a bit of playing around with drum beats but you'll get the knack of it very quickly.. we're all guitarists so we've got to use our imagination with what we think they would play laugh.gif

This music would work really well on a driving game smile.gif
thefireball
QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ May 31 2011, 02:53 AM) *
Hey this is really cool ! It almost sounds a little Industrial.. like Rammstein but with more lead.. I'd agree wtih Ivan that the improvements could be made mainly in the drumming side of things.. to make it heavier rather than techno sounding. I'd have less hi-hat and less kick drum. I'd make it a more solid, driving beat with more weight to it. It'll take a bit of playing around with drum beats but you'll get the knack of it very quickly.. we're all guitarists so we've got to use our imagination with what we think they would play laugh.gif

This music would work really well on a driving game smile.gif


I may need help then! laugh.gif
Qenzoz
Sounds good smile.gif, I really like the guitar stuff, the drum stuff is cool too, but in my opinion I'd say use a little less hi-hat tongue.gif

QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ May 31 2011, 09:53 AM) *
It'll take a bit of playing around with drum beats but you'll get the knack of it very quickly.. we're all guitarists so we've got to use our imagination with what we think they would play laugh.gif

And thats why I love playing the drums too biggrin.gif, knowing the fills and beats, helps you when it comes to creating drum tracks tongue.gif
WeePee
I would like to hear more kick drum. biggrin.gif

Put a little bit volume for that 2nd guitar or 3rd ?

And U could use maybe more symbals (I would wink.gif )

Is the "Humanizing" button on ? It's between "open mixer" and "open grooves".

But seriously here's a good tutorial for Ezdrums (in the first page).
I.E. making those drums to sound in "multichannel"...etc

Also check out Youtube !!

But yeah great song ! cool.gif
Mudbone
Fireball dude, thats a great song biggrin.gif The guitars do sound slightly muffled, maybe needs some EQ'ing. I'm not good with recording so I can't really say for sure laugh.gif
quadrium
Hey man,

Great work here! smile.gif I've added this one to GMC Radio smile.gif Let me know if you do a remixing. I'll change it smile.gif

Dogukan,
tonymiro
Just a few suggestions for getting the drums to sit ok in the mix (I´m assuming that mic placement, spill, etc are not an issue as it´s software drum emulation):

1/ levels of the individual parts of the kit, followed by the group so that it fits the mix.
2/ Surgical eq of other instruments around the kick and the snare main frequencies/harmonics to clear some space and ensure that the instruments and the drums aren´t fighting each other.
3/ Compressors are your friend here - a lot of the punch/snap etc can be helped by getting the compression right. That means experimenting with both the type and make of compressor you use and the settings. With the settings you really need to look at the attack and release times and get them right.
4/ Also you might have to experiment a bit with different compression techniques ranging from gating, through serial and parallel compression to upwards expansion and decompression.
5/ Sometimes some careful use of something like an Exciter (like the one Ivan´s linked) can help on a snare but be careful as they often add noticeable distortion and artifacts.
Ivan Milenkovic
QUOTE (thefireball @ May 30 2011, 10:13 PM) *
Thanks for this feedback. smile.gif
Questions please.
*Where is the ambience channel? (I've got EZD in Reaper)
*When cutting below 100Hz, is that the Low Pass filter or High pass filter? The guitars are recorded in Audacity.
*I didn't see a way to download the plug-in. huh.gif


Sorry for not clearing up! smile.gif

1. Ambience channel: Open EZD window, you'll see small mixer in the lower left corner, click on it, and the channel to the left that says "ROOM" on it - that's the one.
2. That is High Pass filter, because it let's "hi frequencies pass"
3. Sorry - http://hotfile.com/dl/7697627/d110ea3/disc....vst.v2.11.html

PS Don't overdo with ThrillMe, it's can get pretty sucky smile.gif
thefireball
Thanks guys! I'll will certainly check this stuff out and consider it all. It's kinda overwhelming in a way since I'm completely new to this. I wanna get this song perfect. Thanks for helping me do that. wink.gif You guys rock.
thefireball
(This picture is in Reaper. I'm using this as a help for asking Ivan.)
WeePee
Hi there !

Have you updated your song yet ? Looking forward to hearing it...wink.gif
Cosmin Lupu
Hey man! I like what I hear biggrin.gif I'd suggest you add more diversity and dynamics to the grooves you are using by alternating the drum rhythms (use quarter notes on the open hi hats or the china for that heavy half time feel for instance biggrin.gif)

Keep it up!

Cosmin
thefireball
File is officially updated. * bump *
quadrium
QUOTE (thefireball @ Jun 25 2011, 05:00 AM) *
File is officially updated. * bump *


Awesome! smile.gif I updated this one at GMC Radio smile.gif
Sinisa Cekic
Awesome demo ! Congratz !
Todd Simpson
Nice! Now your talking smile.gif Everything is sounding nice. The drums sound very spiff. Getting good drum sound can be a challenge with EZ drummer but it sounds like you've tweaked them nicely. EQ, Compression? And your pinch harmonics are killer as well. All around well done!

I liked it so much in fact, that I pulled it down and ran it through a bit of "Mastering Sauce" just for fun. It brings out the guitars a bit without changing the mix to much. Give it a listen and compare it to the original and let me know what you think.

Click to view attachment
thefireball
QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jun 26 2011, 12:17 PM) *
Nice! Now your talking smile.gif Everything is sounding nice. The drums sound very spiff. Getting good drum sound can be a challenge with EZ drummer but it sounds like you've tweaked them nicely. EQ, Compression? And your pinch harmonics are killer as well. All around well done!

I liked it so much in fact, that I pulled it down and ran it through a bit of "Mastering Sauce" just for fun. It brings out the guitars a bit without changing the mix to much. Give it a listen and compare it to the original and let me know what you think.

Click to view attachment



That's cool! I really love it! I wonder where you got this? smile.gif I was thinking of redoing the solo to make it tighter, so this way I could do it myself on other songs as well. Or is it only for Mac? Thank you for this Todd! It sounds much more professional. wink.gif
Todd Simpson
Glad you like it wink.gif It's a very spiff plugin (that's also very easy to go overboard with so be careful) called IZOTOPE OZONE. There are TONS of similar plugins that do very similar things. Everyone has their own preferences of course. But give OZONE a shot to see what you think. You can apply it to a mix after your done in a very easy way.

1.)Start a new reaper project (you don't have to, but it helps keep things separate) and import your AIF or WAV or mp3 or whatever you exported when you mixed. (Avoid MP3 at this point if possible, but if it's not possible, meh.)

2.)Apply Ozone and experiment with the existing preset then start tweaking the controls once you find a starting point that you like. You can save your own versions of presets for later which is handy smile.gif

3.)Export your new "Tweaked" mix. (MP3 is fine at this point for web distribution)

You can apply it to individual tracks of course, or apply it to the "Two Bus" inside your mix instead of doing a "Mastering" pass. But the latency can increase doing it this way, especially in REAPER which is why I suggested the method I did smile.gif

Here is a link to download the Demo, Mac an PC.

http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/ozone/download.asp

Todd
thefireball
I updated the song again! biggrin.gif I redid the solo and remastered it.
tonymiro

Yes you do have to be very careful with Ozone as it can get nasty if you push it. Be aware that the presets in Ozone are quite extreme and flip very quickly in to distortion and artefacts. TBH the settings for the presets are too extreme and just don't work for the vast majority of audio. Use them as a starting point by all means but listen very carefully and be prepared to make quite major changes to those settings.

Also be aware that any processing that you do here - particularly on the 2 bus will be extremely difficult to alter or correct at a later stage. Put another way if you intend to do any more production on the track and/or master it later then you generally should not add processing on the 2 us. If you're mixing then mix and work at getting the mix as good as you can BEFORE you make any attempt to master smile.gif .
thefireball
I can't think how much more it could be improved. Kinda want to go to a new song now. biggrin.gif
Todd Simpson
QUOTE (thefireball @ Jun 30 2011, 02:58 PM) *
I can't think how much more it could be improved. Kinda want to go to a new song now. biggrin.gif


I can hear the ozone on the drums making them sparkle a bit which is nice wink.gif You've really made good progress on your recording and your playing so well done! As the guys are saying do be careful not to overdo it with ozone but used sparingly and with some custom tweaking of the presets, it's extremely, amazingly, handy.

TODD TIP 1: The boominess that Ivan is talking about shows up once I turn on my subwoofer. With my mixing speakers only, it's fine. But when I hit the sub to see what's happening in the low bass area it gets boomy. What size speakers are you mixing on? If you mix with a speaker system that doesn't have good bass response, your mixes will sound boomy. Conversely, if you mix on a system with bad treble response your mixes will have to much tweet/hiss/scratch/treble.

A couple of ways around this. Try to check your mixes on other speaker systems, even home theatre systems, systems with subwoofers, car stereos, etc
WeePee
QUOTE (thefireball @ Jun 30 2011, 10:58 PM) *
I can't think how much more it could be improved. Kinda want to go to a new song now. biggrin.gif

Yep improving/re-mixing/re-mastering/etc. your songs is a endless job. There's always something to tweak.

But you you have to move on !! wink.gif
tonymiro
QUOTE (thefireball @ Jun 30 2011, 08:58 PM) *
I can't think how much more it could be improved. Kinda want to go to a new song now. biggrin.gif


I'm afraid that there is no such thing as the perfect mix. They can always be improved albeit that it takes experience to know how, what and why and to determine whether or not the extra effort is worth the improvement. Keep on practising your mixing on this, or other tracks and build up mixing experience.
thefireball
QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jun 30 2011, 08:51 PM) *
I can hear the ozone on the drums making them sparkle a bit which is nice wink.gif You've really made good progress on your recording and your playing so well done! As the guys are saying do be careful not to overdo it with ozone but used sparingly and with some custom tweaking of the presets, it's extremely, amazingly, handy.

TODD TIP 1: The boominess that Ivan is talking about shows up once I turn on my subwoofer. With my mixing speakers only, it's fine. But when I hit the sub to see what's happening in the low bass area it gets boomy. What size speakers are you mixing on? If you mix with a speaker system that doesn't have good bass response, your mixes will sound boomy. Conversely, if you mix on a system with bad treble response your mixes will have to much tweet/hiss/scratch/treble.

A couple of ways around this. Try to check your mixes on other speaker systems, even home theatre systems, systems with subwoofers, car stereos, etc


I usually mix with my earbuds. It gives a better sound than my laptop speakers. biggrin.gif I also test it in my car too. Thanks, though for the advice. I'm going to see about purchasing this Ozone thing.

QUOTE (WeePee @ Jul 1 2011, 01:12 AM) *
Yep improving/re-mixing/re-mastering/etc. your songs is a endless job. There's always something to tweak.

But you you have to move on !! wink.gif


happy.gif Thanks.

QUOTE (tonymiro @ Jul 1 2011, 03:56 AM) *
I'm afraid that there is no such thing as the perfect mix. They can always be improved albeit that it takes experience to know how, what and why and to determine whether or not the extra effort is worth the improvement. Keep on practising your mixing on this, or other tracks and build up mixing experience.


You mean even with the pros we listen to on the radio and in their CDs? I've heard it said that there's no perfect mix, and that is because a song can be mixed a lot of different ways. What do you think? Does it have a lot to do with the sound you want? More mid, more bass, etc...
tonymiro
QUOTE (thefireball @ Jul 1 2011, 03:56 PM) *
You mean even with the pros we listen to on the radio and in their CDs? I've heard it said that there's no perfect mix, and that is because a song can be mixed a lot of different ways. What do you think? Does it have a lot to do with the sound you want? More mid, more bass, etc...


Even those - though here you also have to keep in mind that the track that you hear has also been mastered and that you may not be aware of what the producer was trying to achieve. Nonetheless if I listen critically to any commercial CD that we have I can hear mix and production issues. These can range from very minor mix issues about spectral balance etc, through more obvious ones such as unintended noises/artefacts, imaging, etc. through to make issues concerning levels, distortion, etc.

For the last three months or so the magazine has been running a regular article about critical listening of selected, commercial tracks.

BTW most mixes don't need more mid/bass etc but less. It relates to Todd's comment of boom - a common mixing mistake is to keep increaing the bass just because you can't hear it properly but without taking in to account the ability of your speakers and room acoustics to accurately present bass and sub bass frequencies. If you can't hear it properly than you can't make a proper informed decision on what to do.

Also - mixing on headphones is rarely a good idea. They do not present the stereo image and soundstage accurately and cannot present the full 20-20kHz spectrum properly. Whilst they may be better than your laptop speakers try and get a proper set of monitors if you want to carry on mixing and recording.
thefireball
QUOTE (tonymiro @ Jul 1 2011, 10:44 AM) *
Even those - though here you also have to keep in mind that the track that you hear has also been mastered and that you may not be aware of what the producer was trying to achieve. Nonetheless if I listen critically to any commercial CD that we have I can hear mix and production issues. These can range from very minor mix issues about spectral balance etc, through more obvious ones such as unintended noises/artefacts, imaging, etc. through to make issues concerning levels, distortion, etc.

For the last three months or so the magazine has been running a regular article about critical listening of selected, commercial tracks.

BTW most mixes don't need more mid/bass etc but less. It relates to Todd's comment of boom - a common mixing mistake is to keep increaing the bass just because you can't hear it properly but without taking in to account the ability of your speakers and room acoustics to accurately present bass and sub bass frequencies. If you can't hear it properly than you can't make a proper informed decision on what to do.

Also - mixing on headphones is rarely a good idea. They do not present the stereo image and soundstage accurately and cannot present the full 20-20kHz spectrum properly. Whilst they may be better than your laptop speakers try and get a proper set of monitors if you want to carry on mixing and recording.


Thank you! I'll certainly try to get some!
Todd Simpson
QUOTE (thefireball @ Jul 1 2011, 11:19 AM) *
Thank you! I'll certainly try to get some!


Some KILLER advice from Tony here. As a working PRO he knows this stuff back and forth. I had no idea you were mixing on Ear Buds. I have to say I'm a bit shocked to find that out. Given that fact, I"m really impressed that you were able to make the mix sound as good as you did. Ear buds just don't work for "Critical Listening" or mixing. There is a lot going on that you can't hear and you are getting too much midrange so your guitars end up a bit muddier than they need to be.

I understand that gear costs real money and you have to work with what you have. As soon as possible, bday, xmas, graduation, etc. maybe ask for a decent set of mixing speakers as a gift. When you hear what you've been missing, mixing will get a bit easier. For a couple hundred bux you can get some speakers you can start with. High end stuff is probably out of range but a pair of KRK Rockits, or Alesis Studio Ones is within that range. These are NOT high end pro speakers but they are way better than ear buds and your mixes will thank you smile.gif

Todd
thefireball
QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jul 1 2011, 01:54 PM) *
Some KILLER advice from Tony here. As a working PRO he knows this stuff back and forth. I had no idea you were mixing on Ear Buds. I have to say I'm a bit shocked to find that out. Given that fact, I"m really impressed that you were able to make the mix sound as good as you did. Ear buds just don't work for "Critical Listening" or mixing. There is a lot going on that you can't hear and you are getting too much midrange so your guitars end up a bit muddier than they need to be.

I understand that gear costs real money and you have to work with what you have. As soon as possible, bday, xmas, graduation, etc. maybe ask for a decent set of mixing speakers as a gift. When you hear what you've been missing, mixing will get a bit easier. For a couple hundred bux you can get some speakers you can start with. High end stuff is probably out of range but a pair of KRK Rockits, or Alesis Studio Ones is within that range. These are NOT high end pro speakers but they are way better than ear buds and your mixes will thank you smile.gif

Todd


Thank you very much. smile.gif

And I warmly thank all who have helped me. It's an honor to be learning from the pros.
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