I’m trying to make these Kid Ghosts mixes the best I can before I release them, so I decided to run them past a community of bad-ass producers and engineers on the forum at Recording.Org. I got several really involved responses about how to improve the tracks, along with some nice complements about the songwriting and feel.
First off, it sounds like I am doing the most I can given my rather un-pro recording environment. I was told that many of the problems in the mix could be attributed to my funky room shape, and the fact that I have no sonic treatments anywhere. There is some slight phasing going on in some of the tracks, causing a smearing effect that causes the different elements of the mix to run together. Other more technical notes included:
Tracks need a more radical EQ. Now, I feel that I generally mix with way too much high-end, so lately I’ve been trying to back off a little bit. These folks think there’s not enough going on in the mid-upper range, which is exactly where I’ve been fearing to bump up. The esteemed Mx. Remy David said that I could be under-compensating because my monitors could be too bright. She said Bob Clearmountain (Rolling Stones, McCartney, Pretenders, Tears for Fears) would actually put strips of toilet paper over his monitors to counteract their brightness and suggested that I might do the same.
Also, she said that I could benefit from more radical compression. Another area I was trying to lay off. I’ve been fearing that I’ve been compressing my tracks too much! Turns out these tracks need more compression with a slower attack time.
The second and third chorus of the song “Digging Me Up” have a three-part harmony backup in the right channel. It’s the opinion of the group that pushing these backups hard right makes the mix unbalanced and doesn’t provide any sonic depth. I’m inclined to agree. The solution? Doubling the backups in the left channel but lowering the pitch a few cents, while raising the pitch by a few cents on the original tracks in the right.
I’ve also got a pair of raucous guitars panned hard left and right in the song Kid Ghosts that are missing feeling in time and space. This can be fixed by adding a HAAS effect by adding some time delay with a low-frequency oscillator LFO’d to each guitar’s opposite channel.
There were about 2 more pages of tips, but I think you’re starting to get the general picture. Some of the suggestions are over my head technically, but I’m going to figure it out and apply it and see how it sounds. More to follow!