Grateful Dead Music Forum

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Chat about Equipment Info
 #85513  by playingdead
 Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:34 pm
Looking for a few pairs of good ears ...

We did some terrific high definition video when we played at Showcase Live in Foxboro on 8-7 ... I'm doing the multitrack mix for the video (BluRay). Trying to get a good representative mix in Logic, working within the limitations of the 16 tracks we were able to record that night (toms submixed to stereo channel, three drum overheads, two kicks, two snares, bass, lead, rhythm, keys, three vocals).

I've done almost nothing in the way of processing any of the channels, aside from a little reverb on the vocals, a slight highpass on the kick drums to remove mud at the bottom end, and some slight EQ on the individual vocal mikes. No compression, no limiting, etc. It's all pretty much as it came off the stage mics.

The recording is not without flaws ... the bass signal to the board was waaaay low during the first set, so it had to be boosted significantly (but seemed to fare well despite that). And since my effects cord crapped out on me during soundcheck, I ran without the effects loop, which caused me to inadvertently push my guitar input too hot, so it's a lot crunchier than I actually like it. But beyond that, all the pieces are there.

Thoughts? More kick? Less snare? Louder vocals? More keys? Less lead guitar (perish the thought)? Hoping for a couple of the experts with really good headphones or speakers to give it a trial run before I sit down and automate all the channels to run the whole set. This is just a three minute excerpt from Bertha:
Last edited by playingdead on Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
 #85518  by Chuckles
 Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:27 am
Listened to it through my Bose buds, the Mac speaks and the home system...

Seems to me the drums (snare/toms?) need more pop and the high end (or maybe a midrange boost overall?) needs a little umph, but that may be the Bose bass-boost influence. The bass (guit) doesn't have much slap to it (which may be the player's style?) and the rhythm guit and keys aren't very well defined. Again... this is listening through my set-ups, so I may be way off...

As always, though, the playing's spectacular!

- C
 #85537  by 1960strat
 Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:32 am

I agree, the drums need more punch, the snare needs more definition.

I am listening through a pair of KRK monitor speakers and Sennheiser HD280 Pros in my home studio. I have a bunch of really great tools to clean up the mix via Protools plug ins. i.e. SSL Channel Strips and API Boards, as well as some great compressors. If you sent me the tracks i could work something up for ya.

 #85542  by playingdead
 Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:12 am
Fair enough ...

There are all kinds of compressors and other tools within Logic Pro, as well, I just have a limited understanding on how to apply compression to various instruments. There are presets for various drums and instruments, for example, but I was trying to take a "less is more" approach on it.

The files are huge, of course, something like 40 gigs for the whole thing. I have a pair of cheap-o Behringer "The Truth" B2031A monitors, and a pair of the HD 280 Pro headphones.
 #85559  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:43 am
Hi Vic.

I played the mix in my mastering suite. Here's my first reaction.

Weir tone is too loud and shrill. Strange speaker tone, or maybe pickups, putting a harsh glare on the mix.

Your Jer sound is quite good.

Kicks may need to be a hair louder and less subby. Think of hi-passing up around 85Hz or so. Maybe as high as 100Hz depending on the mic and the drum. The more you hi-pass the kicks, the louder you can mix them in, and that's your #1 instrument for beat/groove impact.

Snares could be a bit more dry and up front. They sound about 15' away and should sound closer.

Also the bass guitar is a bit TOO subby which kind of removes its punchy-ness and midrange presence. Perhaps a bit of bass guitar hi-passing as well. The more you can reduce the subby mud down in the 15 to 45Hz range, the more punch and presence you can get from the bass.

Cymbal panning could maybe be wider and less crowding of the middle.

Mix actually sounds good in the small speakers, but on the big rig it kind of loses a bit of impact. That's why I think the low end could be addressed with the kick and bass. Toms could be more impactful.

Overall, my general reaction is that the Weir tone makes it hard to turn this mix up loud. Something harsh and edgy about that sound in the 2.5kHz to 6kHz range. Don't know if it's mic position or EQ or pickups or his speaker, but something kind of harsh. Should be more chimey and sweet and full bodied, easier on the ears. Definitely cuts thru this mix TOO much and could probably stand to be 4dB or more quieter. I think that would help warm the overall effect of the mix. Need more drum impact, more dance power.

Remember the Dead thing:

Compress NOTHING
Peak limit EVERYTHING except Drums
Hi-pass everything
EQ as little as you can get away with

Zero compression or limiting on drums allows for the most impact, natural attack and natural decay. Absolutely zero (NONE) drum compression is central to Healy's Dead drum sound. That's a rule he seemed to stick to and not break.
Gate the kicks and toms for impact. Setting the gate threshold is the tricky part.

Also consider that a BIG Healy/Dead thing was to mute the vocal mic's when the solos and jams happen. If they stepped off the mat, the vocal mic's would mute. Removing all that guitar and drum and cymbal bleed from the vocal mic's makes for a nice clean sound without too much phase mess and time issues.

I'm trying to pick it apart, but really, you've got a pretty good sounding mix already.

 #85563  by strumminsix
 Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:29 pm
Listened to your Bertha....

Quick thoughts:
1. Mono mix - needs separation
2. Bass - has no low mids or mids, kinda sounds like a blanket over an amp
3. Bobby - all trebble, no mids or low mids. IMO, low mids are the key to Bobby
4. Drums - kinda has the 60s sound where all I am hearing is the snare and high hat
5. Keys - great and nicely panned without being absent on the other side
6. vocals - great and nicely layered on top of the music without being up too high

IMO, it has lots of potential and SUPER TALENTED playing and as is a GREAT LIVE DEMO.

But could be a pro-demo with just a little work!
 #85591  by playingdead
 Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:06 pm
Thanks so much for the thoughts, you guys are great ... will try a few things.

Brad, I was going off memory about what you said about Healy's philosophy, but it's good to see it reiterated so concisely.

Jim's rhythm guitar tone is usually kind of nasal and abrasive, so it's really tough to work with. I wish I could just get his signal direct and then reamp it later.

WIll mess with it some more and post the results ... thanks again.
 #85592  by JonnyBoy
 Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:25 pm
You guys sound killer. BUT you do have a fever and the only medicine available is more cow bell.