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Your Friend Frankie: new track

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Your Friend Frankie: new track

Postby menright » Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:33 pm

It's a new track though one of the guitars and some beatbox rhythm were originally recorded thirty-odd years ago on my Tascam 3340. Finally finished the darn thing! It's kind of a magical realist take on my East Village taxi driving life back in the early 80s.

Like the song? Like the mix? Love to hear your feedback, the more techie the better!

https://soundcloud.com/mike-enright/your-friend-frankie
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Re: Your Friend Frankie: new track

Postby mikehalloran » Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:53 am

Interesting. Not quite warped enough to be from a Zappa album but reminds me of those days.

The technical stuff:

I wouldn't have the lead vocal so 'out front' and drowning in reverb—unless you want to highlight that as a stylistic effect, then perhaps it's not enough. If it was drier, it would be just as easy to understand mixed back a bit.

Backing off on the vocals a little would let you tighten up the backbeat. I wanted the kick and backbeat to slam and they don't—careful eq (multiband eq?) and compression are your friends here. Likewise, your beatbox percussion is cool but it doesn't stand out like you may want it to.

It's ok to remind me of vintage Zappa without trying to ape him—good in fact. However, that is the first place I would go. Listen to his mixes and how everything has its own space.

Don't be afraid to use effects that change through the course of a song. Used subtly, it keeps the sound fresh in your brain if no two subsequent hits sound identical.

I want the percussion on a track like that to kick me in the chest, hit me over the head and knock me out. All of this with the vocals sitting in the middle and the words intelligible. Tall order? Perhaps but all of your ingredients are there. I think you need to find some secret sauce to bring out everything.
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Re: Your Friend Frankie: new track

Postby stubbsonic » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:46 pm

It's pretty funny. I like it.

I agree with Mike that the vocal could come down a little during those "verses". However, I think it might disappear in spots. If I was mixing this, I'd make the vocal dryer reverb-wise, and maybe even radio-ize it a little (high-pass, compress hard).

One little test you can do is turn the volume down while you monitor your vocal level and at low levels, the vocal should still sit in an appropriate spot. Test this with some commercial mixes and you'll get what I mean. The other thing is that the vocal can seem WAY too up front in smaller speakers-- that's part of the balancing act: making the vocals sit in the right spot so the mix will work on big or small speakers.

Apart from that I thought balance was fine-- appropriate for the kind of lo-fi aesthetic.
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Re: Your Friend Frankie: new track

Postby menright » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:17 pm

Wow! You guys are so generous! Thanks so much for the suggestions and your time and your expertise; I'm gonna implement these ideas the next time I mix this down. Don't drown the vocal in reverb, maybe some hard compression on that same vocal, and play with the EQ and the level. Then I'm really gonna concentrate on getting the track to slam! Believe me, it's already gone a long way in that direction so I'll keep it up.

I can't thank you guys enough for the comments. Motunation is a very nice place!

Mike e
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Re: Your Friend Frankie: new track

Postby menright » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:41 am

I've spent a week remixing this track with the comments of Mike and Jon (see above messages) guiding me. The lead vocal is completely rethought: reverb free and hard-compressed using MOTU's fabulous FET compressor (which reminds me a lot of my old dbx 160 boxes).

The low end has been cleaned up using a lot of EQ on the various drum elements and selective compression on some of the samples. I used a whole new sample for the bass guitar that took it into John Entwhistle territory and out of the low-end almost entirely. I also dropped one of the verses and made the whole thing about a minute shorter.

Anyway here is the posted track and thanks again for your highly-specific tech remarks. If anyone has any new comments, please post away. I'm listening!

https://soundcloud.com/mike-enright/your-friend-frankie-edit-and-remix

Mike E
Last edited by menright on Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Your Friend Frankie: new track

Postby stubbsonic » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:22 am

Your URL is missing the first few characters. Listening now. The vocal sounds REALLY good!

I still think the lead vocal is a little too loud (but just a dB or two) most of the time. The other thing that the compressor has done is brought up some breath noises & now some edits are audible in the sparse sections. Should be easy to clean up both of these issues in the volume automation. The compression does add a good vibe.

Sounds way better!
RMBP (2.6 i7), FF800, OS 10.10.5, DP8, Kontakt, Reaktor, K2661S, K2500RS, iPad4, (also an old sawtooth G4 with a UAD-1 for legacy apps).

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