WIP Ocean Loader 3

The place for musicians to share their knowledge and ideas about music and remixing, and to post WIP snippets and feedback. Also suggest tunes for remixing, here.
buzzard
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WIP Ocean Loader 3

Post by buzzard » 03/09/2019 - 19:05

Seven years after doing the original track, I've finally gotten around to mixing it.

I've listened to it thousands of times and tweaked it at least a million, but I'm not adding any value as far as my frequency limited ears go.

Is there any fundamentals I should be addressing? (bearing in mind I'm a hobbyist and not a sound engineer :help: )

https://soundcloud.com/aidy-burrow/oceanloud4c6l

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Re: WIP Ocean Loader 3

Post by poke16384 » 03/09/2019 - 20:57

Hey Buzzard..

It's Peter Clarke... thanks for covering the tune :)

For me, the lead-line from 1:21 onward, gets a bit lost in the mix. It recovers some after 1:40 but could maybe be a bit louder.

From 3:25 onward, the cymbals seem to get used a LOT. If it's intentional then fine but they're very dominant.

It sounds good overall.. Maybe somebody more expert than me in mixing house/dance music will offer their opinion on the overall mix.
It's all about the notes, where you put 'em, what you do with 'em and how long they last

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Re: WIP Ocean Loader 3

Post by buzzard » 03/09/2019 - 23:49

Hey Peter,
Thanks for your feedback - I've really struggled getting the lead to stand out, particularly at the lower key. I've upped the volume a little and done a tiny bit of EQing to give it more presence. I have tried several different leads but nothing seemed to quite fit.

I may have got carried away with the cymbals... For some reason, the tune always made me think of Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries- probably it's intensity, and I forgot how many blocks I'd used them in. I've taken 6 out so far and counting - it will hopefully make them more meaningful when they are there.

The strings annoy me at the moment - I kinda want to give it a more orchestral feel, but probably trying to combine two genres that really won't fit - maybe in the next version.

My only criticism of the original, is that it was too short - hence the 5 minutes+ remix :D - but in all seriousness, this tune is joint #1 of my favourites (along with LN - Wilderness), so thank you for gracing us with it :worship:

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Re: WIP Ocean Loader 3

Post by LaLa » 04/09/2019 - 3:07

Buzzard,

Admittedly, I am no sound engineer, either, so all I can give you is an enthusiast fan's personal opinion, but before I get into that, let me tell you what I think of your arrangement, because that may fix some of your mixing issues, too.

I think the original's bass line in your remix is played by an instrument that is at least 1 or 2 octaves higher than it "should be". My ears are just completely missing the low end in your remix (esp. after 0:50 when the booming drum dies out), and I think it's because I expect to hear the bass line in those low frequencies, but it's just not there. This causes your entire mix to be too heavy in the higher frequencies. I think it just won't matter how much you'll try to balance your existing tracks, they will just keep trampling on each other, because all those instruments seem to be occupying roughly the same frequency range.

I agree with Peter, the cymbal sounds overused, but I think it's partly because the rest of the drums are too soft compared to it. But before you run out to boost the drums, try replacing some of those high-frequency instruments with sounds that have more low-to-mid frequency components. Or maybe experiment with bringing the strings down an octave first? That should give a bit more room for the drums, too.

I think your arrangement shows a lot of promise, though, so don't give up on it! :)

PS: And yes, this has always been my favorite Ocean Loader, too! :wink:
|......|......
|_/\_|_/\_
./~~\/~~\

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Re: WIP Ocean Loader 3

Post by daXX » 04/09/2019 - 7:40

The whole mixing sounds muddy and not well ballanced. To put it precisely, it is really bad.
Please increase your productions skills. All i heard on your soundcloud is muddy and effect overloaded and bad mixed. less is more!
Problem could be studio monitors, I guess you produce with headphones or cheap PC speakers?

Sry, but needs lot of work. :cheers:

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Re: WIP Ocean Loader 3

Post by poke16384 » 04/09/2019 - 9:09

Okay - Let me see if I can translate daXX's comment into more lay-terms for you....

Muddy, generally occurs in the low-mids although it can also simply mean 'lack of brightness' - If your mix is muddy, try this...

Each instrument has a range of notes and therefore a frequency range that it produces... When the frequency of 1 instrument gets in the way of another, especially in the low-mids, it gets 'muddy' as they fight for the space... depending on the range of notes an instrument plays, sometimes you can resolve it by just turning 1 instrument up in volume and the other down.. or panning one left a bit and one right.. If that doesn't solve it, you can EQ down, the offending range of 1 instrument, (use an EQ plugin on the track. Make sure it comes after the instrument in track order or you'll be EQ'ing fresh air.. and make a downward-notch at the frequency that's overlapping). So, synths produce a really wide-range of frequencies. Generally, far more than a physical instrument like a violin or bass guitar. As a very simple example, take a 4-piece band mix with with drums, guitar, a piano and a bass guitar. At the low end, the bass & piano can both occupy the same frequency. A simple fix is to take nearly all of the bass off the piano track and if necessary, add a little treble, presence, hi-frequency to the piano so that it still cuts through against the others. That's a really simplistic example...

The question to ask is: "does it need to be there?" when you're fixing 'mud'. Developing a skilled set of ears takes a long time, and as I said earlier, I'm no expert! But.. don't be put off because someone tells you, your mixing is bad. The one, constructive thing that daXX says is "less is more".. The less plug-ins & FX you have to use to solve your mix problems, the cleaner the end result will be - Generally!

..and specifically.. It's normally much better to take-away from the 'loud-thing' rather than add to the 'quiet thing'.. Most times!

In the 101 rules of anything artistic, Rule 1 is... Keep going! don't get disheartened... You've GOT TO produce bad and mediocre stuff along the way to learn how to produce really good stuff!

From an overall perspective.. you've done the hardest part.. Your version of Ocean Loader 3 is at least 50% or 60% of the way there.. You've taken a fairly complex SID tune and twisted it into something different musically.. Now tidy it up.. Craft it!... 1 section at a time.. then make sure everything can be heard clearly..

Hope this helps...
It's all about the notes, where you put 'em, what you do with 'em and how long they last

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Re: WIP Ocean Loader 3

Post by daXX » 04/09/2019 - 11:11

Muddy, generally occurs in the low-mids although it can also simply mean 'lack of brightness' - If your mix is muddy, try this...
What you mean is phase shifts/cancelation which happend when basslines are inverted and cancel each other out.

What i mean is muddy. Overcompressed to death which negative affects to reverbs or releases of synths.
That's stuff you can learn by "rebuilding tracks" as close as possible. There you learn mixing techniques as best.

Second important mixing Thing is, that your basslines from 0-130 hz should be mono and all the rest sounds (not the bassline and kick) should be lowcutted up to 160hz or even 200hz. Leadsound Pads or Percuccions such as Hihats, Crashes etc. don't need those deep frequencies and just disturb bass frequencies.

I hope i could give some tips. :cheers:

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Re: WIP Ocean Loader 3

Post by poke16384 » 04/09/2019 - 14:55

No daXX! What I mean is 'Muddy'.. when instruments in the low-mids are playing notes like 3rd's & 5th's to the bass-line's root note.. The kinda thing that keyboard players do with their left hand and go steaming into the bass-player's space...

For the benefit of 'buzzard', maybe you could explain what you mean by "rebuilding tracks"...

...and 'low-cutting' as you describe may work 100% with electronic music but needs real care with orchestra stuff.. You can pull the soul out of a cello real quick with a heavy-handed low-cut..
It's all about the notes, where you put 'em, what you do with 'em and how long they last

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Re: WIP Ocean Loader 3

Post by daXX » 04/09/2019 - 19:56

I talk about low ends. Whats the hz range of a cello?
And did he made an orchestral remix or was it electronic?

Rebuilding a song is easy as it is called to rebuild a song as close as possible. You learn 2 things. Mixing and sounddesign.

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Re: WIP Ocean Loader 3

Post by poke16384 » 04/09/2019 - 21:55

I'm sorry - I really don't understand what your trying to say: "to rebuild a song as close as possible". Could you maybe say it a different way?

If I don't get it, (and I'm reasonably comfortable with mixing and it's terminology) then 'buzzard' probably won't understand either.....

Are you talking about 'solo-ing' tracks on the mixer and adding them back 1 by 1, playing them side by side and mixing as you go?

..or something completely different?
It's all about the notes, where you put 'em, what you do with 'em and how long they last

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Re: WIP Ocean Loader 3

Post by daXX » 04/09/2019 - 23:30

No i mean rebuilding official tracks / songs / instrumentals and sounds aswell to understand, how a sound is builded and how they are mixed.

Examples of rebuilded sounds i made:

https://clyp.it/r5vatpur?token=37132762 ... fb1b2c9ca6

https://clyp.it/pomx54cr?token=f48b0c2e ... 771b708da8

https://clyp.it/dxfymtie?token=cfe5e68d ... f0d983e2f1

https://clyp.it/qpaxnowb?token=b03df116 ... 4e44bd027c

https://clyp.it/vrgc5iou?token=0f1cc9d8 ... 5b782b5363

https://clyp.it/chbxirie?token=e984b3c6 ... 66ed829d4e

https://clyp.it/otwmsist?token=a910ecbe ... 4996100d71

https://clyp.it/iwotnzkw

All those sounds i have 100% rebuilded in a Softsynth... No Samples used except of the drums.
That is, how i learned mixing and sounddesign. I just copied a song 1:1 (rebuilded it) as close as possible to understand how it got mixed and created.

It's a process you need years to learn it.
Once you've learned how to mix and get a routine for it (as with any other job) and, moreover, master the sound design, you can not really go wrong anymore.

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Re: WIP Ocean Loader 3

Post by buzzard » 05/09/2019 - 0:13

I am aware that the mixing is not particularly good, but it won't get any better without feedback and advice form much more accomplished and experienced people, such as yourselves - hence me being here.

I've cut many of the frequencies where the instruments clash, but there's still a huge amount work to do - I even question if the instruments are 'compatible' as every time I make a change that sounds better, it knocks something else out in the track and then I throw a vst at it to compensate, and then start to lose any balance I had, which I realise is adding to my problems.

I also have Hyperacusis which does make it more difficult to get the balance right - I struggle to hear the higher frequencies clearly, so I have a tendency to overcompensate by boosting them.

I am using headphones (Sony MDR 100A), but also a mid range pair of earbuds, a pair of M-Audio AV-42 speakers and an Addon C5, - Unfortunately, my ears are the cheapest and least reliable part of my set up :)

It is a work in progress as far as the mixing goes - the arrangement is pretty much how I like it, although the missus says it's too long, but it's such a good original tune, I'm happy for it not to end for some time.

I will keep working at it as if nothing else, I want to do the track justice. I'm not blessed with large amounts of time to devote to the project - I really wish I did.

I appreciate the 'frank and honest' feedback (albeit a lesser man may have been crushed, like a contestant on the X-factor or something), but I'm tenacious and in pursuit of progress.

One question @Peter:
"Make sure it comes after the instrument in track order or you'll be EQ'ing fresh air.." Currently, track 1 is clashing with track 3 - do you mean move track 3 to track 2?

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Re: WIP Ocean Loader 3

Post by poke16384 » 05/09/2019 - 8:34

One question @Peter:
"Make sure it comes after the instrument in track order or you'll be EQ'ing fresh air.."
How this looks will depend on which Sequencer / Digital Audio Workstation you're using but...

What I mean is... if you're using samples or soft-synths on a track in your DAW, make sure the FX chain has the FX after the actual instrument...

I use Reaper... for me it looks like this:
FX_chain.jpg
FX_chain.jpg (81.62 KiB) Viewed 251 times
It's all about the notes, where you put 'em, what you do with 'em and how long they last

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Re: WIP Ocean Loader 3

Post by Vosla » 06/09/2019 - 16:54

Keep this thread up, people. Interesting read. Even for a totally, musically inept fool like me.
There is only my mother left to die and then I'm free to go (cat is dead per 9th August 2019).

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Re: WIP Ocean Loader 3

Post by poke16384 » 06/09/2019 - 22:06

Hi Vosla... Long time, No speakeeee! :D
It's all about the notes, where you put 'em, what you do with 'em and how long they last

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