Critique Requested Adrian_Repentance [The Synesthesia Signal] Mechina cover

Discussion in 'Song Covers' started by adriann, Oct 30, 2018.

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  1. adriann

    adriann Ye Olde Fart Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    Hey y'all, anyone have a better clue how to mix vocals into metal/heavy rock instrumentals?
    I feel like I can hear this mix artifacting in the soundcloud link, but it wasn't doing that straight up from my files, so if anyone has any explanation for me for that I'd appreciate it too, haha.
     
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  3. Awaclus

    Awaclus Teto's Territory

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    SoundCloud actually just butchers the sound quality, there's not really anything you can do about that besides using some other site instead.

    I think the main thing that you could do to improve this mix is to make the vocals sound more in-your-face. The reverb especially makes them sound very distant, which is generally not desirable in metal music. However, the reverb does achieve two important things, which are making the synth vocal sound more realistic, and making the vocal fit better with the rest of the music, so I would look into using a very short and not very wet reverb to achieve the former and a delay to achieve the latter, instead of the long and wet reverb that you're using now. Other things that you could try if you're not already doing them is compressing the vocals super hard with a fast attack and a fast release, and distorting the vocals very subtly so that they sound a bit brighter and louder but not really distorted, as well as EQing the vocals a little differently to maybe give them a bit more low end and high end and cut some mids, but finding the appropriate EQ setting for vocals is always hard in metal and even harder with synth vocals.
     
  4. adriann

    adriann Ye Olde Fart Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    @Awaclus Thank you so much for your feedback! I know what you mean about the reverb, yeah. I was trying to mimic what I thought was happening with the vocals in the original track (https://mechinamusic.bandcamp.com/track/the-synesthesia-signal-2), but the original vocals are vastly different, they're much more cinematic, and this voicebank is much more hard rock/glam metal, so... it makes sense why I'd want to treat them differently. I'll try out your advice!!
    EQ is definitely tricky yeah, I'll keep playing with it. I did have a guitar fuzz distort filter on the vocal because it was suggested by a tutorial on mixing vocals with heavy rock instrumentals. Is that a bad choice? (I'm also using default fx because I'm a casual)

    EDIT-

    Started a new mix project and made changes based on your suggestions
    https://clyp.it/swlm25ey
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  5. Awaclus

    Awaclus Teto's Territory

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    Nice. Sounds a lot better now. I think you might want to try moving the reverb after the distortion; the distortion gets a little abrasive on a few individual notes in your WIP and I'm guessing (and I could be wrong) that it's because the distortion plugin is processing a signal that has the current note plus the reverb from the previous note, and whenever you distort a signal with multiple different notes, it always gets a lot more noticeable than distorting a signal that just has a single note. Depending on whether or not that solves the issue, you could also try making the distortion a little softer and/or adding more EQ after the distortion.

    >I did have a guitar fuzz distort filter on the vocal because it was suggested by a tutorial on mixing vocals with heavy rock instrumentals. Is that a bad choice?

    Not necessarily. Using guitar distortion effects on vocals is definitely not something I would do every time by default, but sometimes that's what the mix needs. It's good to keep in mind with mixing tutorials is that they can show you how they use certain techniques in specific situations (which is still useful), but they can't tell you what techniques you need to use in your mix to make it sound good because everything always depends on the source material and the context.

    Specifically, I have found guitar distortion pedal simulators to be useful when the vocalist sounds a bit weak since they can give the voice a more aggressive character, especially on death metal style screaming vocals.

    >(I'm also using default fx because I'm a casual)

    That's fine, Reaper has a lot of stuff that's perfectly usable. For distortion though, I would recommend getting the Variety Of Sound plugins (which are free) because you can use those to achieve softer, more analog style distortion effects that are especially nice on melodic vocals that need to cut through a dense metal mix without sounding too obviously distorted.
     
  6. adriann

    adriann Ye Olde Fart Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    @Awaclus Thank you so much for being so thorough. It makes a ton of sense why effect order matters since it's all being processed digitally after all (Somehow I had this one issue once when coding where I didn't think the order of the commands mattered, but lo and behold it absolutely did)

    I'm gonna have to really test some of these VoS plugins out more thoroughly. I applied thrillseeker vbl? to the vocal and significantly softened up the reaper distortion one (it still needed it, I think) But I think I hear the difference

    https://clyp.it/e2mj4bko
     
  7. Awaclus

    Awaclus Teto's Territory

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    The vocal is starting to sound really good, but now the overall mix sounds a little thin. You could try boosting the low end on the instrumental track, and if that causes it to sound too bassy during the parts where the vocals aren't playing, you can use automation to only boost the low end on the instrumental track while the vocals are playing.

    It's a good idea to reference some professionally produced tracks in the genre and directly compare your mix back to back with those; that way it's easy to hear if your mix has too much or not enough low end in comparison. If you have a choice, decent headphones or earphones are the most reliable way to get your low end right since room acoustics won't be able to interfere with those.
     
    Kiyoteru likes this.

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