In my last post I talked about how I needed to go back into the studio and revisit the mix on the Dark Waters album. Well, I did and I couldn’t be more happy with the results.
I seriously changed the entire feel of the music by bringing the guitars and keyboards more “out front”. This was a simple thing to do. In order to create more headroom I brought the pre-master bus (which all busses route to on my Cubase setup) fader down and pushed up the guitars, keyboards, solos, etc. Then I did a bit more work on the vocals to bring them to where they sit up in the mix but don’t dominate.
I’m from the school of thought that says
that vocals are supposed to be only part of the music, not the entire focus. They should sit up and be heard and understood, and it’s not shame to have to look at the lyrics once in a while to understand every word, but I do not agree with a lot of the music production I hear, especially coming from the POP and Country genres, that you have to make the vocals and snare drums equal at the top of the available headroom and then bring everything else up separately, keeping the vocals so far on top that sometimes the intricacy of the composition is lost or disregarded. I like the vocals to be a part of the music, and the music be the sum of all parts.
Depending on the song and the emotion of the song, I may make the drums louder or softer as compared to the rest of the instruments, but for the most part I make the entire drum kit, including the snare, the bass, and the vocals stand all together as a driving force of the spirit of the song. Then I bring down the master fader so that I’ve got lots of head room and bring in the rest of the instruments so they blend together nicely, and fit well with the rhythm section and vocals. I use a lot of bass roll off on mostly every instrument as well as the vocals to get rid of the mud, and allow the bass guitar to dominate that space.
I want the bass to drive my little Logitech speaker setup with a subwoofer to a nice, imposing bottom end without distorting at fairly loud volumes.
Anyway I could go on all day about this and I just may make some videos showing my approaches and techniques – some of which were learned from other artists and watching tons of YouTube “how to” videos, the others I just, well, invented on my own because I view this part of my process to be just as much art as the music itself.
In the end, I got a really exiting mix and I think once the album is released you are going to love it.
I ran the entire mix out of the Cubase 6.5 project at 32-bit float and 48khz into a new project, as a full stereo mix, and then mastered with Ozone 5.
I selected two Ozone 5 presets and did two full master CD’s from them, utilizing dithering to get a really clean sounding 44.1khz 16 bit audio CD. They both sounded very different, the two presets, so I listened to both in my car for a couple of days and came to love one master in particular, so that is the one I am going to release.
So as of yet there is no ETA on the album release date. I still have to create the album art and get set up for a full blown release party including radio, TV, and a listening party at a local club (not yet selected). But I think you should see the release in the next couple of months.
Members of my mailing list will have the opportunity to purchase the CD’s at a discount before they are available anywhere. If you want to get on my mailing list, do so here:
Love and Prosperity to you ALL! Have an AWESOME Day!