So confused about the responses on this new one!

Posted by: MikeK

So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/15/14 06:06 PM

Here's something I thought I try... used a Demo and enhance it a bit. A smooth Jazz singer, Yvonne J wrote the lyrics and performed the vocals.

I'm really getting mixed reviews about this one ... not that it's disliked, the reviews are on the mix: some say, the vocals are too dry, others say, they should have some reverb on them. Well, fact is, there is reverb on the VOX.

At any rate, the instrumentation is all BIAB ... Yvonne is the only "life performer" on this recording.

I'd really like your opinion, because I think we have a good one going for the genre. Any other helpful input would also be greatly appreciated smile Thanks in advance!

Yvonne J & Mike Kohlgraf - You Are The one

=SJAZZBL Style Demo

Smooth Jazz Ev16 Ballad style with RealTracks, featuring:

<Piano, Electric, Rhythm SmoothBallad Ev16 065>
<Bass, Electric, SmoothBallad Ev16 065>
<SmoothJazzBallad^3-XSHH,XStRide> RealDrums

****** Song Summary *************
Title: Smooth Jazz Ev16 RealTracks Demo
File:You Are The One.SGU
Key=Bm , Tempo 65, Length (m:s)=3:19
4 bar intro, 46 bar chorus, from bar 5 to bar 50. Repeat x1 chorus
No Melody
No Soloist track.
Song is saved with Volume, Pan, Reverb, Chorus, Bank0,
Song is saved with bar changes for Volume Changes,
Style is =SJAZZBL.STY (Smooth Jazz Ballad (65 RT))
Style MIDI Instruments are : Synth Strings 1 (51),
RealTracks in style: 908:Bass, Electric, SmoothBallad Ev16 065
RealTracks in style: 910:Piano, Electric, Rhythm SmoothBallad Ev16 065
RealTracks in style: ~364:Guitar, Acoustic, Fingerpicking Ev 065
RealTracks in song: 1061:Sax, Soprano, Soloist SmoothJazzBallad Ev16 065 (Bluesy)
RealDrums in Song: SmoothJazzBallad^3-a:Sidestick, HiHat , b:Sidestick, Ride
*******************
Posted by: Janice & Bud

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/15/14 06:15 PM

Hi Mike,

I agree that you do have a good one going for the genre. Hey if you're gonna do smooth jazz it needs to be, well, smooth....and this composition is. I really like the vocalist, the lyric and the RT selection. Nice and laid back but holds the attention. Although, as you said, there is reverb on the vocal it seems a bit dry to me. I think a little more would help the vocal sit down and spread out into the mix a bit. I would lower the gain on the vocal just try a little more reverb.....but then my ears are old --- real old!

Small nit aside, this is a really cool tune featuring a fine singer. Thanks for throwing it out here. Really enjoyed it.

Bud
Posted by: dani48

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/15/14 06:17 PM

Hi, Mike !:))


My old ears only hear a very good mix
allthrough with a very good vocal
sung extremely well to a wonderful tune !:)

Cheers
Dani
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/15/14 06:35 PM

Mike
Really enjoyed listening. Smooothhh, great use of the Sax in the fills. Beautiful vocal.
You've done yourselves proud.
Posted by: boehm

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/15/14 08:25 PM

Hi Mike,

don't be confused. Reception of music is very subjective and you will always find someone who has nits.
For me this is a beautiful song. Very tasteful vocals and sax. And there IS reverb.
Congrats to Yvonne.
While I type I'm having my third listen.

Guenter
Posted by: Scott C

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/15/14 08:31 PM

Beautiful song. Excellent singing. Sax is really nice...
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/15/14 09:57 PM

Mike,

Very pretty song. And a beautiful presentation. Love the instrumentation. And Yvonne can SING!!!!

I don't think to "problem" (the perceived problem) is the vocal at all. I think it is the drums - causing the perception. You know how you "see" where the instruments are in a mix (I do anyway - I assume everyone does). It sounds like your vocalist (Yvonne) is BEHIND the drums. I could be wrong about this, but at least give this a try... Add some reverb to the drum track (to put it farther back) and bump up the vocal volume just a hair and REMOVE a little of the vocal reverb (to bring her forward). But mostly, key on the drums going back..

VERY cool song!!!

floyd
Posted by: MikeK

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/15/14 10:20 PM

Wow, I want to thank everyone for the positive responses: Janice, Dani, VideoTrack, G√ľnter, Scott and Floyd Jane! Thank you very much!!!

Floyd Jane hit the nail on the head... in my mix, the drums are the primary performer and not the singer. It's been there all along for me to hear, but I didn't take my usual time to be critical of my mix. Floyd, you have very good perception of mixing, apparently!!! I will have to fix this soon, because it's going to be playing again on UK radio this Sunday.

Fantastic input!!!

Anything else I missed, possibly???

I really DO value your input. It helps me grow... and it helps me to remind myself to be more diligent with my releases!

Thanks, all!
Posted by: Al-David

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/15/14 11:02 PM

Mike...

This is the first time we've listened to you. We've been here for about three weeks and still getting around to hearing folks. We do a lot of R&B and Lounge Jazz. As he always does, Floyd keyed in n the biggest "issue" (there aren't many!). As we were listening, Di commented, "What a great singer and that song is simply gorgeous. But, I'm hearing the drum more than anything else, don't you think so?"

I tend to agree. Using the BIAB settings, I would set the reverb on the drums somewhere between 55 and 60. If you typically don't put much reverb on the drums, that might sound like a lot. But it really isn't. It softens them and they fill more room (spread across the audio horizon, if you will) and fall back in the mix without losing their impact and crsipness. This is particularly true if you have a lot of rim shots, which you do.

Floyd suggested dropping the reverb on her voice a bit. I rarely disagree with him, but in this case I'd try what he suggested and then evaluate the effect. I love the warm and lift the reverb gives her voice. Floyd is so danged smart about mixing and mastering, I get nervous if I see things a little differently than he does. Then again, it just might be the difference in our ears. His are good and mine used to be good!

Regardless, this is one heck of a song! We've listened twice and will probably do so a few more times. We loved this track...one of our faves so far. And your girl can sing!!!!!!

Good luck with this...it deserves a big audience. Best to you...

Al & Di


PS: I lived in Germany 12 years (Einsiedlerhof, Pirmasens and Wurzburg).
Posted by: MikeK

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/15/14 11:41 PM

Thanks so much Al & Di! You have keen ears and I agree with what you say... I think, the biggest mistake I made was adding reverb here in there within BIAB, then when I brought the track into my DAW (I use Sonar PE), I messed more with the mix.

Yvonne sent me a dry vocal track. I do believe, that's the main issue. I tried to apply EQ to her vocal track to an already EQ'd instrumental arrangement. It should have been the other way around. Or, as you say, I could have adjusted more accurately in BIAB and go from there. Anyway, you have given some MORE useful information to me!!! smile Thanks for that, but most of all, thanks for liking our tune. Makes us happy! smile

I'll take all this info and will apply it. I'm sure, the result will be a great improvement smile Thanks again!

I am familiar with the areas in Germany where you lived. Super nice!!! Sprechen Sie noch Deutsch? smile

Anyway, appreciate the kind comments and you fantastic input! smile

Alles Gute und
Posted by: MikeK

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/15/14 11:45 PM

Oh, and Al - Di ... I lived in Nashville, TN for about 7 years... forgot to mention this smile
Posted by: Sundance

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/16/14 12:08 AM

Hi Mike,

Love her voice and when I listened she sounded too far back. I wasn't as pinpoint as Floyd in realizing it was the drums but the mix to me was like a "v" with her near the back of it. I think Floyd is right on.

The only thing I would add is watch how you handle her voice paying attention to your choice of reverb and careful not to eq the umph out of it or make it brittle in spots with either or both. Listen to Anita Baker or Sade as reference tracks and notice how big fat and silky smooth their voices are mixed for this genre.

Good luck.

Josie
Posted by: gibson

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/16/14 02:48 AM

Mike,

Has it been remixed with the above suggestions, because that sounded good on my system??

You say it is being played on the UK radio on Sunday , Let us know what show and on what station and I will tune in.

Alyn
Posted by: Guitarhacker

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/16/14 07:55 AM

Nice job on the song... love the chord changes in it.

Now... about the issues you mentioned and some that others have pointed out.

DRUMS: the drums are fine if you can simply tame that one side stick.... it does stand out. Lower it's level or find a way to roll it's EQ off to smooth it down a bit. That side stick was really the only part of the drum kit I could hear easily on these cheap speakers.

Vocals: yeah I think there's a slight issue there. Again listening on cheap computer speakers.... the vocal has reverb. I think it's the wrong kind. Wrong room for the rest of the band. That makes her sound like she's not quite a part of the mix.

Something I often do, is to place a very light dark hall reverb and turn it up until I can hear it then back it off until It practically disappears form the track to the ear. Then I will place a similar reverb in my master bin, again very dark and low. The effect is that the singer has a touch of verb on their voice, and then it gets hit again with another light dose in the master but now, everything in the band is getting that same light master verb and there is a blending effect that happens PLUS, the singer's vox get a sight bump above that blending.... the result is a vox that sets nicely into the mix.

The vocal levels and EQ sound good. I'll listen to this on my lappy with cans in a minute....

Great song. Well written and performed. I can see a big name singing this.
Posted by: tommyad

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/16/14 08:09 AM

Mike, I agree completely with floyd. The problem is the drums. I also agree that this is a beautifully written and arranged song. Good job. Small fixes and you're there. Look forward to hearing more of your work. Tom
Posted by: Digital Angel

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/16/14 09:12 AM

MikeK Nice sound.

I ran it in a session with a Optical compressor plug and it helped control the final mix.

Your able to push/pull the mix in the direction you are looking to correct.



DA...
Posted by: Al-David

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/16/14 04:38 PM

Mike...

Ja, ich can noch Deutsch sprechen. Ich habe viel vergessen aber es bleibt gut genug. Wo im Deautschland wohnen Sie? Bis spater...(ich habe kein umlaut auf meinen schluessel)

Al
Posted by: MikeK

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/16/14 10:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Sundance
Hi Mike,

The only thing I would add is watch how you handle her voice paying attention to your choice of reverb and careful not to eq the umph out of it or make it brittle in spots with either or both. Listen to Anita Baker or Sade as reference tracks and notice how big fat and silky smooth their voices are mixed for this genre.

Good luck.

Josie



Hi Josie, thanks for listening. And you are tight on the money! I haven't had the chance to remix yet, But will do so soon. Working too much, you know wink

Appreciate your input!
Posted by: MikeK

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/16/14 10:58 PM

Originally Posted By: gibson
Mike,

Has it been remixed with the above suggestions, because that sounded good on my system??

You say it is being played on the UK radio on Sunday , Let us know what show and on what station and I will tune in.

Alyn


Hey Alyn, no I have yet to remix the song... you having said it sounded good on you system makes me wonder now, if I should... but, I will in due time.

The show is on 6 to 9 pm our time @ http://www.starpointradio.com/ ... broadcasting all over. This particular DJ just moved to Florida here in the US and still broadcasts the show, which is being relayed to numerous radio stations. He will be on and he will be amazing.
Posted by: MikeK

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/16/14 11:01 PM

Hey Herb, Tommy and DA! Really appreciate the nice comments and the listen smile I'll return the favor... will have some time when I'll be out for rehab from my surgery which will be on 1/29 smile

Thanks, folks!
Posted by: MikeK

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/16/14 11:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Al-David
Mike...

Ja, ich can noch Deutsch sprechen. Ich habe viel vergessen aber es bleibt gut genug. Wo im Deautschland wohnen Sie? Bis spater...(ich habe kein umlaut auf meinen schluessel)

Al


Hallo Al, I actually moved to the US in 1986. SO, I call this my home now. And hey, your German is still pretty darn good! smile How am I doing on my American English? LOL
Posted by: MikeK

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/16/14 11:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker

DRUMS: the drums are fine if you can simply tame that one side stick.... it does stand out. Lower it's level or find a way to roll it's EQ off to smooth it down a bit. That side stick was really the only part of the drum kit I could hear easily on these cheap speakers.


Appreciate your input and totally agree. But, since I used RDs, I can't single out the side kick in my mix... it's got to be a one for all adjustment. I'll try my best, but totally agree with you on this one!!!

Thanks for your valuable input!
Posted by: Danny C.

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/16/14 11:22 PM

Well my "old ears" love it as is, for whatever that is worth.

Also, on a side note, I think I may be in love with Yvonne.

Later,
Posted by: MikeK

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/16/14 11:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Danny C.
Well my "old ears" love it as is, for whatever that is worth.

Also, on a side note, I think I may be in love with Yvonne.

Later,


Danny, she will love your nice comment and I know she'll love you back! smile Glad you like the track, but I will take the advice from my fellow BIABers smile

Have a great one .. Yvonne is smiling already smile
Posted by: Guitarhacker

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/17/14 07:43 AM

Originally Posted By: MikeK
Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker

DRUMS: the drums are fine if you can simply tame that one side stick.... it does stand out. Lower it's level or find a way to roll it's EQ off to smooth it down a bit. That side stick was really the only part of the drum kit I could hear easily on these cheap speakers.


Appreciate your input and totally agree. But, since I used RDs, I can't single out the side kick in my mix... it's got to be a one for all adjustment. I'll try my best, but totally agree with you on this one!!!

Thanks for your valuable input!


Use a parametric EQ and find the center of the side stick's freq.... it's gonna be fairly high.... the put a notch on the center of that freq and pull it down... you don't have to do very much to notch it out a bit. That will get that clicking aspect out.

On the vocals, have you tried layering them? I use layering to fatten up vocals. Record 3 unique takes. Don't copy or clone. Pick the best one for the lead up the center at volume. Use your vocal pitch fixing on it and apply reverb as previously described. Pan the other 2 tracks hard opposite each other and using volume envelopes, pull them both down to around -18 to -22 db below the main vocal. You can apply a slightly heavier reverb or leave them totally dry. Experiment to see what works best for the song.

You do not want them up loud enough to where they sound like obvious double tracking. Less is more on vocal layering. This is a very common technique used in the "big" studios to give a really fat sound to all the singers voices these days. Error on the low side.... it never hurts to knock a few more db off the panned track levels.

You should only be able to hear those tracks at all if the vocal buss is soloed. In the mix they should not be readily apparent. The subconscious ear will hear them and the result is a perceived fatter vocal sound. I generally do not fix the vocals nor do I use much reverb in the tracks.

One thing to be aware of.....be absolutely sure the 2 layer tracks are as close to the main as possible. Be sure the "s's" at the ends of words are lined up.... you don't want "ghost echo's" in there, because that stuff will show up fast in a poorly synced mix.

It's possible with work, and attention to details, to get a really professional sounding vocal track at home. Good equipment also helps.

hope this helps you some towards that goal.
Posted by: SpaceDog

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/17/14 02:22 PM

Mike,
Sorry being late to string but glad I didn't miss this one. All good comments. I really liked the song a Yvonne performance. If you make the tweaks suggested it will be even better.
SpaceDog
Posted by: chulaivet1966

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/17/14 03:14 PM

Originally Posted By: MikeK
I'd really like your opinion, Any other helpful input would also be greatly appreciated smile Thanks in advance!


I gave a listen knowing I'm late to this party.
To qualify, I did not read every response so if I'm out of line ignore this post.

I perceive this to be more of a bluesy ballad.
Being a long time drummer/songwriter what immediately stuck out to me was the kick/snare rim shots.
I think they are interactively too busy, detract from the vocals and sound a bit too looped.
Personally, I would just keep those two simpler and on the beat.

I did not scrutinize any other aspect of your tune.

I'm not saying it's bad it's just my quite subjective opinion.

Hope that helps....that's my take on it.

Good luck....carry on.



Posted by: MikeK

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/18/14 05:01 PM

Thanks again for all your valuable input! Taken it to heart and did a remix... I'll be posting it soon, once Yvonne is telling me that it's a go smile
Posted by: tributeman

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/30/14 09:33 AM

Hi Mike Ive also come late to listen to your song...two things stand out..drums are a bit to busy and the singer Yvonnes voice needs to be more upfront..its a soulful song and I would love to hear that breathy female vocal sound which would in my opinion enhance this song which I like by the way.Thanks for the listen
Posted by: Pat Marr

Re: So confused about the responses on this new one! - 01/30/14 10:52 AM

Mike,

I hope your surgery went well.

I liked that song quite a bit... I've tried to write a decent song in that genre and I can't seem to make it convincing.

Please tell your singer friend that I think she's awesome!