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Album Preview for SSS Visitors #3026991 02/01/20 12:27 AM
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Anderton Offline OP
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My next album, "2019 - The Singles," is posted on YouTube but is unlisted, so only y'all can see it for now. For those new to this forum, I have a tradition of getting feedback from "The SSS Production Squad" before making a link public. It's not so much about whether you do or don't like the music, but more about how well it translates on your system. Hopefully, I got it right, to where it sounds equally wrong on everything smile But any feedback about bass, treble, dynamics, etc. would be appreciated so if needed, I can make fixes before it goes public.

And there's a cool bonus: A cover version of the song "My Lucky Day," written by our very own "Britain's-best-undiscovered-songwriter," BMD (Mark Longworth).


Last edited by Anderton; 02/03/20 08:31 PM.
Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3026994 02/01/20 12:30 AM
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Dave Bryce Offline
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Cool! Way psyched to hear this...thanks for sharing, brother Craig!

dB

Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3026998 02/01/20 12:47 AM
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Anderton Offline OP
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Given how much you're a connoisseur of mixes, I'll be interested to hear what you think.

If nothing else, I do think Mark's song is really good. I'm sure many of us can relate smile

Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3027018 02/01/20 02:51 AM
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I enjoyed all of these Craig. I'm a relative ignoramus on mixes compared to most people here but everything seems to sit well. The best compliment I'd pay is that these songs (particularly Floating on Heaven) remind me of a Mike Oldfield rock album thu

Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3027042 02/01/20 06:33 AM
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Anderton Offline OP
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FWIW, of the four albums on my site for 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, this is the first one that incorporate tempo changes in the songs. I don't think you can notice them, but I'm pretty sure you can "feel" them.

Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3027243 02/02/20 05:34 PM
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Dave Bryce Offline
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I got a chance to listen to the first few tracks on earbuds. Killer job, Craig - made me need to hear it on the the Good Speakers. grin

I love the way you approach videos as well. You are The Man.

dB

Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3027272 02/02/20 11:45 PM
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Anderton Offline OP
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Hey Dave - Thanks for listening! I listened to it over consumer headphones/car systems, and decided there was a bit too much bass overall. Would be interested to see if you agree. I'm going to upload a new version this evening, and update the link in the first post smile

Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3027339 02/03/20 03:09 PM
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Dave Bryce Offline
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Hey Dave - Thanks for listening! I listened to it over consumer headphones/car systems, and decided there was a bit too much bass overall. Would be interested to see if you agree.

That actually makes sense to me. On the 'buds, it felt to me like the bass and top end might have been a touch out of balance, but I couldn't put my finger on why. FWIW, my first impression was that a tiny kiss somewhere in that magic 10k-12k range on a broad stroke EQ might help...but then again, I've only listened to a few tracks on the 'buds. Wanna run the whole thing on bigger speakers later today. 2thu

dB



Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3027342 02/03/20 03:29 PM
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Anderton Offline OP
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Couldn't upload yesterday, too many people watching the Superbowl smile The new version should be up later this afternoon, AT&T willing! Hopefully dialing back the bass will bring the highs into proper perspective.

Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3027367 02/03/20 05:11 PM
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Dave Bryce Offline
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Cool - will wait to fire it up.

dB

Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3027368 02/03/20 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Couldn't upload yesterday, too many people watching the Superbowl smile The new version should be up later this afternoon, AT&T willing! Hopefully dialing back the bass will bring the highs into proper perspective.


I'll wait then. Crazy weekend - 4 gigs - no time.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3027421 02/03/20 08:33 PM
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Anderton Offline OP
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Okay! The link in the first post has been updated. The link is still unlisted, so for now, only people seeing this thread will know how to find it.

Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3027441 02/03/20 10:42 PM
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First listen:

That kind of vocal isn't easy to be heard but whatever processor you're using it sounds good. Don't change it.

Balance is good except the first song the drums are mixed a bit too far back.

Clarity of the instruments without confronting each other is very good. Common problem, but not here. It's not how you make it loud... I know you try to avoid compression but there are places that a compressor can benefit

I like how different subsets of the verses/chorus have different processing. Keeps things interesting.

I listened to this using good headphones (not earbuds) on my laptop. If I wanted to apply the REAL acid test, I'd listen over the laptop speakers but I'm at work in an office...

Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3027456 02/04/20 03:41 AM
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I agree with brother MC on the drum level in the first track...except the kick drum, which I think is fine. Percussion and cymbals on the first couple of tunes could be a bit more present as well.

I quite like all of them. Floating On Heaven is the one that's closest to my musical taste from both a songwriting and mixing POV. I like the Lucky Day a lot too, song too...especially the arrangement. Puzzle of Love is the most fun tune, IMO - makes me think of the English Beat. Another way solld mix there, too.

dB


Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3027458 02/04/20 03:54 AM
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Running audio through a Presonus Quantum I used the following speakers/headphones:
Mackie HR824 - first version
Unlabeled fold-out cell phone speaker widget - stereo with two tiny speakers
Music Bullet single even tinier speaker cell phone widget
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones
AKG K240 headphones - made in Austria centuries ago
I also listened to the Sennheisers and the laptop speakers on my 2014 Macbook Pro.
I was switching between sources often, trying to hear some of each song on at least 3 sources. I did not keep track of this, there seems to be a consistent sound throughout the project.

Everything that follows is my opinion, based on a single listen to the entire video. I am going to use some slang terms rather than being specific about frequency ranges.

As would be expected, these all had some differences.
The AKG K240s sounded the "best" overall by a considerable margin. This surprised me, although I've always found them very pleasant. I could clearly hear the bass guitar with these, unlike all other sources.

The bass was fairly indistinct listening to the Mackies and the Sennies. None of the other speakers reproduce bass frequencies but I can still clearly hear basses and kicks from other YouTube music on them.

I would like to hear more distinction between the bass and the kick drum and more information from both that translates to the smaller speakers.

The snare could use some more punch and a bit of thump.

I could easily understand all of the lyrics. Yes, I was reading them too but that never surprised me. For all that, the vocals could use a little more sparkle or air and less reverb so they don't sound so distant.

There are many exceptions but most of the time the guitars/keys supporting the vocals sounded pretty indistinct, not clear or defined. Sort of a pleasant "murky midrange" ensemble. It did no harm but some clarity or seperation would be an improvement.

Maybe there is a bit too much ambience, it sounds like I am listening to something coming from a considerable distance.

My 2 cents. Cheers, Kuru


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3027464 02/04/20 05:35 AM
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You picked out some of your strongest songs for this collection. They all fit together nicely.

You stated this was really a systems check type approach.
I listened from my desktop, right out of the USB into my Focusrite interface, then into a pair of AKG K240 open design headphones. I did not use any eq whatsoever.
On two of the songs, "Butterfly" and "My Lucky Day", I re-listened through a Yanaha Intergrated amp into a pair Yamaha NS-10M Studio speakers. Again no eq whatsoever. I just wanted to crank those two up a bit without tearing my ears up from close in.

The songs are very evenly mixed and mastered. I did not use any eq, but I found myself wanting some of the songs to be a bit brighter. of course...my 67 year old ears DO tend to lie to me about these things.
I think someone, completely unfamiliar with you and your work, would be quite impressed with the sonics on this collection, the quality of the songs speak for themselves.

Hope this helps!

Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3027466 02/04/20 05:59 AM
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Anderton Offline OP
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I really appreciate the comments, and in particular, the level of detail. Not quite sure what to do about the bass...it seems to really vary from system to system. Some songs still sound a bit bass heavy to me, but I also understand mixes tend to push bass these days.

I'll digest the comments, and listen based on them to see if I'm hearing what you're hearing. For example, I agree that "Most of the time the guitars/keys supporting the vocals sounded pretty indistinct, not clear or defined. Sort of a pleasant "murky midrange" ensemble. It did no harm but some clarity or separation would be an improvement." I actually wanted that effect, a blending of guitars and keys, which is probably most evident in "Floating on Heaven." However, it didn't really occur to me to try a different approach, and adding more separation could indeed be an improvement. Also both Dave and AlamoJoe mentioned wanting a bit more brightness. I don't think the issue is in the upper mids, probably more like what Dave suggested about a hit of spice around 10 kHz.

There are other aspects that are more clear-cut, like more drums on the first song - something I noticed myself listening to it today.

THANKS AGAIN! Any additional comments are of course welcome.

Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3027470 02/04/20 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I really appreciate the comments, and in particular, the level of detail. Not quite sure what to do about the bass...it seems to really vary from system to system. Some songs still sound a bit bass heavy to me, but I also understand mixes tend to push bass these days.


I didn't say there wasn't enough bass, although a little more might be nice. I said it wasn't distinct or audible, especially from small speakers that do not reproduce bass.
But also from the Mackies and Sennheiser headphones. Both of those sources will put out some serious bottom end if it is in the mix. I can tell there is a bass on your record but it's in the background and I have to listen for it. The K240s did make it much easier for some reason.

I think it is partly a conflict with the kick, which is not distict either sometimes. Maybe they need their own space in the low end?
I usually try to pick one or the other to be the dominant low frequency. it might take some EQ juggling? I'm with you on avoiding over-compressing but sometimes some parallel compression can work wonders.

Originally Posted by Anderton
. Also both Dave and AlamoJoe mentioned wanting a bit more brightness. I don't think the issue is in the upper mids, probably more like what Dave suggested about a hit of spice around 10 kHz.


As I recall, there were some drum tracks - cymbals and high hats - that were already plenty bright on the laptop and other small speakers I used. They blended better on the Mackies and headphones.
Some "air" would probably be nice but maybe not on everything.
I hope I don't sound too picky, I got the impression that you wanted all the honest opinions you could get, even if mine might be from the peanut gallery. :- D


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Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: KuruPrionz] #3027512 02/04/20 05:54 PM
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Anderton Offline OP
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I got the impression that you wanted all the honest opinions you could get
100% correct. People often go to a mastering engineer to get an objective set of ears, here I'm getting multiple objective sets of ears smile

I have to say that overall, I'm happy with the music because I think the songwriting and vocals are good, and those are the most important elements. I don't want to go down a rabbit hole of remixing forever, but there are definitely some tweaks I can do based on the above comments that I think could improve the overall sound.

FWIW drums are tough to mess with because they're loops, so some of the suggestions regarding them aren't easily doable.

Re: Preview for SSS Visitors [Re: Anderton] #3027879 02/06/20 11:28 PM
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Update: I'm doing some new mixes that incorporate a lot of what's said here. I'm also finding some "doh" moments, like using a low shelf filter cut on drum loops just above the kick if I need less kick. Also, the comment about reverb on voice and distance - with some songs, I hear that as a problem so I'm bringing the voice more upfront, but leaving the background vocals distant...that kind of thing. And yes, adding 10k in a couple songs, and boosting the drums on "Perfect Moment."

Anyway, to me this has been a successful experiment. The comments have been educated and helpful - can't ask for much more than that.


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