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#641898 - 02/13/21 08:41 AM [User Showcase] Small Town Boy (((REMIX)))
Registered: 02/22/16
Posts: 892
Loc: Illinois, USA
firesong Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/22/16
Posts: 892
Loc: Illinois, USA
I posted this probably a year ago but I'm closing on the final mix and would love some comments. critiques or opinions...Thanks...Dan

https://soundclick.com/r/s8as7a

and video https://youtu.be/gnK_M3zU8Mc

BiaB stuff:
RAILWAY.STY Railway Songwriter Train Beat
2474 Bass Acoustic Held Ev 85
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1765 Guitar High Strung Acoustic
378 Guitar Acoustic Strumming Double Time
1518 Guitar, Electric Soloist Country (Brent Mason)

I added vocals and piano from my Yamaha Genos


Edited by firesong (02/14/21 05:15 PM)
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#641944 - 02/13/21 12:10 PM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: firesong]
Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 6613
Loc: Davis, CA
Greg Johnson Offline
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Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 6613
Loc: Davis, CA
Very nice song!! Just listened to a traditional sounding song, and here is another....my lucky day!! Very well written, arranged and sung!! Great job with everything!! Take care. Greg

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#641958 - 02/13/21 01:29 PM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: Greg Johnson]
Registered: 02/22/16
Posts: 892
Loc: Illinois, USA
firesong Offline
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Registered: 02/22/16
Posts: 892
Loc: Illinois, USA
Originally Posted By: Greg Johnson
Very nice song!! Just listened to a traditional sounding song, and here is another....my lucky day!! Very well written, arranged and sung!! Great job with everything!! Take care. Greg


Thanks Greg...I appreciate you taking time to listen and for your kind words...Dan
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You are who you are because you do what you do because of what you believe.

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#641973 - 02/13/21 03:41 PM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: firesong]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 5119
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 5119
Loc: Sacramento, California
Only commenting on the mix:

Bright, but nicely balanced.

At 0:20. "Illinois" is a bit buried. Then again, it shows up enough for the listener to figure it out. wink

Piano sits nicely in the mix. I like the bits of guitar that sneak through.

At 1:31, the word "fill" is also a touch behind the instruments. Combined with the pronunciation as "feel", it took a moment longer to process than the rest of the lyrics.

Slide guitar sits so nice in the mix.

The chicken picking guitar sneaks in again at 3:24 - nice. Same for the piano fills.

Switching settings on my headphone software, in "Mono Cube" mode (which cuts a lot of bass), the /S/ pops out a lot, so you might want to look there. Not hearing any issues in mono. Sounds good in "Lo Fi" mode as well.

The bass seems a bit "tubby" to me. I know it's traditional country, but still.

My son's comments: The low/mid area could be brought up a bit. A bit of sibilance of the vocal. It could also be a bit wider, but that's a personal preference.

Non-mix comment: the ending seems overly long to my highly unqualified ears. At 3:30, you could have ended with an a capella "Of Illinois", or put a piano tag after it. Or at the recap at 3:40. But to go another round or two for the instruments - despite how lovely the "ooohs" are, seems to much.

Then again, I thought Against The Wind could also could have done with a quicker fade. wink


All in all, a nice sound on a nice song. Really well arranged, lots of nice things listen to! laugh
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#641987 - 02/13/21 05:05 PM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: firesong]
Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 4579
Loc: Cooran Queensland Australia
rayc Offline
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Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 4579
Loc: Cooran Queensland Australia
The sibilant sounds came to my attention in the first few syllables. Treating those would be useful.
Nice song.
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#642004 - 02/13/21 05:52 PM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: rayc]
Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 17625
Loc: Hamlin NY
MarioD Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 17625
Loc: Hamlin NY
First I loved the song. A small town boy here who married a small town girl so as you can guess this hit a soft spot in my heart!

Loved the lyrics, instrumentation, and the mix. IMHO all you need to do is to minimize those sibilant sounds and you will polish this 3 carat song to a 20 carat song.

Excellent song.
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#642012 - 02/13/21 06:18 PM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: firesong]
Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 3194
Robertkc Offline
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Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 3194
Dan,
A very engaging melody and the lyrics are easily identifiable.
Though I agree with points others have made on the need to de-ess and mix brightness, your vocal is so warm and good you had me singing along; nice oohs too!

Robert

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#642086 - 02/14/21 11:04 AM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: firesong]
Registered: 02/22/16
Posts: 892
Loc: Illinois, USA
firesong Offline
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Registered: 02/22/16
Posts: 892
Loc: Illinois, USA
I'm going to address everyone who commented so far and say thank you ssssso much for your helpful and kind comments...yeah, "S's" are a terror for me and I used a De-esser on the vocal (obviously I don't know how to use it properly)…I need to watch a tutorial on De-essing…and I will since there is a consensus on that...this really helps me guys thanks so much...Dan
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BiaB 2022, Steinberg Cubase Pro 12, Wavelab 11.1, SpetraLayers Pro 8, Audacity, UR44 Interface, Yamaha Genos, Roland FP60 and FP10, Windows 10

You are who you are because you do what you do because of what you believe.

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#642168 - 02/14/21 05:17 PM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: firesong]
Registered: 02/22/16
Posts: 892
Loc: Illinois, USA
firesong Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/22/16
Posts: 892
Loc: Illinois, USA
I remixed the audio to kill those "dumb esses"...I also sent along the video...starring me and my hometown...hope you like.

https://youtu.be/gnK_M3zU8Mc
_________________________
www.soundclick.com/firesong
BiaB 2022, Steinberg Cubase Pro 12, Wavelab 11.1, SpetraLayers Pro 8, Audacity, UR44 Interface, Yamaha Genos, Roland FP60 and FP10, Windows 10

You are who you are because you do what you do because of what you believe.

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#642182 - 02/14/21 07:53 PM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: firesong]
Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 5966
Loc: Originally Missouri ... Now Al...
Al-David Offline
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Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 5966
Loc: Originally Missouri ... Now Al...
Hello Dan


I really liked this! Although I was born in St. Louis, I spent my first 11 years in small towns in northeast Missouri. I can readily identify. And I miss - really, really miss - the innocence of the era. Most of my youth was in the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960. The mid-to-late 1950s were the best years of my early life.

I enjoyed everything about this song. There was nothing significant enough for me to mention as it rested nicely in my ears from beginning to end. Thanks for a real treat! Wishing you the very best ...

Alan
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#642227 - 02/15/21 04:12 AM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: firesong]
Registered: 01/03/14
Posts: 677
vicarn Offline
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Registered: 01/03/14
Posts: 677
I love the theme and the Marty Robbins flavour.

For me, I would use the harmony more sparsely for impact much like you did in the first verse.

Good one Dan.

Vic

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#642245 - 02/15/21 07:19 AM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: firesong]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 8350
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 8350
I really enjoyed this song. It fits the genre nicely. The mix is nicely balanced with things peeking in and out at the proper places. I don't really have any comments on the instrumental aspect.

However, the vocal, to me is in need of some TLC. First thing I would do is remove that killer level of reverb. Just a slight touch of verb is all you need. The reverb on the vox is totally out of character with the verb or lack thereof on the instrument mix. I'd play around with it. I didn't see where you commented on which DAW you used to record this. If the DAW supports Busses, I would certainly put the vocal into a buss, and move your vocal reverb there. Then, back it off to dry. I'd look at maybe putting a slight reverb on the entire mix in the master buss and see if that gives a sense of space to the mix. I like to bring my verb up to where I can hear it and then back it off a bit. I do have exceptions to this rule of thumb. I'm suggesting this because the vox verb is so overwhelming that the instrument mix sounds really dry. Often, when you use a slight reverb on the master, you don't need one on the main vox and if you do, it's barely on. With reverb, as most FX, less is often more.

I saw other's mention the highs and sibilance.... this may fix itself when you clean up the reverb issues. If not.... often a simple gain level reduction and reduction on the high end using EQ will solve it. JUst a touch.... nothing at this point needs to be drastic. A few dBs should be sufficient.

Here's a thought I just had.... Often I will be working on a mix and I have my vocal in a vocal buss like I normally do. The band mix is good but the vocal just isn't cutting through and my vocal buss is already bumping the red zone. I can't push it further to make it cut through without running into overloading and distortion. Easy fix with a good DAW. I simply add a new buss..... call it "BAND" and move all the band instrument tracks into it. Now I can adjust the band level, without changing the mix or disturbing the volume envelopes and automation. Rather than bring the vocal up.... I take the band down. I can ALWAYS get the volume I need later in the process..... I said this because if your vox is peaking, you might want to use this method to bring it down to the appropriate level and with a band buss, it's a snap to drop the band to the correct level for that voice..... nothing is peaking, nothing in the red, and high end distortion goes away..... it's just a thought.

Anyway, that's my opinion on this mix. Heading in the right direction but not quite there yet.
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#642282 - 02/15/21 11:13 AM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 5119
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 5119
Loc: Sacramento, California
Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker
Here's a thought I just had.... Often I will be working on a mix and I have my vocal in a vocal buss like I normally do. The band mix is good but the vocal just isn't cutting through and my vocal buss is already bumping the red zone. I can't push it further to make it cut through without running into overloading and distortion.

While the best solution is always to set up the arrangement so there are no competing frequencies, that's not always possible.

Another option is ducking, where you drive the volume of one track with the amplitude of another. So when the vocals go up, the volume of the other track goes down. The problem with this approach is that it'll often lead to "pumping", where you can hear the volume being driven down. The goal is generally to be as transparent as possible.

There's a plugin called TrackSpacer that's also based a lot like ducking, only it only lowers the volume of the other track where there's a spectral collision. So the effect is more subtle.

Obviously, if you're able to only duck against the instruments there is a collision with, the result will be more subtle.

It's currently on sale for $40. I haven't used it myself, so I can't speak from personal experience. But I'll be picking it up in the very near future for myself.
_________________________
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My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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#642286 - 02/15/21 11:32 AM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: firesong]
Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 3194
Robertkc Offline
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Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 3194
A definite improvement on the new mix, Dan- lots of good ears around here if you pay attention to advice like that!
An engaging personal video.

Robert

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#642349 - 02/15/21 09:14 PM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: firesong]
Registered: 02/22/16
Posts: 892
Loc: Illinois, USA
firesong Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/22/16
Posts: 892
Loc: Illinois, USA
Wow...I am so thrilled to receive all of your comments, suggestions and advise...much of what has been suggested I've tried to do and much that has been suggested I will try and experiment some more especially with the lead vox...your comments are very valuable to me...of all that is required with good recording, mixing is by far the toughest process for me...thank you Alan, Vic, Guitarhacker, David and Robert...some of you have invested a fair to major amount of time helping me and I truly appreciate it...Dan
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BiaB 2022, Steinberg Cubase Pro 12, Wavelab 11.1, SpetraLayers Pro 8, Audacity, UR44 Interface, Yamaha Genos, Roland FP60 and FP10, Windows 10

You are who you are because you do what you do because of what you believe.

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#642908 - 02/19/21 08:50 AM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: firesong]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 11917
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 11917
Loc: GA USA
Dan,

You've received and responded to a lot of good
spot on mix advice...

So we will just say, as two small town folks, that we
enjoyed the lyric and felt you passionately and convincingly delivered the vocals.

Enjoyed it! Will return for the video.

J&B
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#642998 - 02/19/21 07:59 PM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 02/22/16
Posts: 892
Loc: Illinois, USA
firesong Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/22/16
Posts: 892
Loc: Illinois, USA
Originally Posted By: Janice & Bud
Dan,

You've received and responded to a lot of good
spot on mix advice...

So we will just say, as two small town folks, that we
enjoyed the lyric and felt you passionately and convincingly delivered the vocals.

Enjoyed it! Will return for the video.

J&B


Thanks J&B glad you enjoyed it...hope you like the video...Dan
_________________________
www.soundclick.com/firesong
BiaB 2022, Steinberg Cubase Pro 12, Wavelab 11.1, SpetraLayers Pro 8, Audacity, UR44 Interface, Yamaha Genos, Roland FP60 and FP10, Windows 10

You are who you are because you do what you do because of what you believe.

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#643151 - 02/20/21 03:31 PM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: firesong]
Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 6715
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Scott C Offline
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Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 6715
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Very cool song. Loved the backtrack and chord progressions. Super vocal and lyric. Loved the way you mixed the song as well. Well done

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#643160 - 02/20/21 04:38 PM [User Showcase] Re: Small Town Boy [Re: Scott C]
Registered: 02/22/16
Posts: 892
Loc: Illinois, USA
firesong Offline
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Registered: 02/22/16
Posts: 892
Loc: Illinois, USA
Originally Posted By: Scott C
Very cool song. Loved the backtrack and chord progressions. Super vocal and lyric. Loved the way you mixed the song as well. Well done


Thanks Scott...I appreciate your comments...Dan
_________________________
www.soundclick.com/firesong
BiaB 2022, Steinberg Cubase Pro 12, Wavelab 11.1, SpetraLayers Pro 8, Audacity, UR44 Interface, Yamaha Genos, Roland FP60 and FP10, Windows 10

You are who you are because you do what you do because of what you believe.

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