Any Feedback Would be Hugely Appreciated & I Can Do Same (Tom Waits/Perfume Genius/Damien Rice style

Discussion in 'Song Mixes: Tracks for review and critique' started by Sean Murphy, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. Sean Murphy

    Sean Murphy New Member

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    Hey Everyone,

    Sorry to bother you all. I was hoping you could help with any tips suggestions feedback on an album I made obviously reviewing just one track is totally fine as there are like 18 tracks). I'm a total novice and I wrote and recorded these in 2 months. Big flaws I'm sure but I'm completely blind to them. I have no idea how good or bad this is or what needs to be changed. Would hugely appreciate any feedback and in return I'd happily do the same

    https://soundcloud.com/nationalanthem-887859168/sets/you-are-callous
  2. Mark Richards

    Mark Richards Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sean, welcome to the Forums.

    Using high end studio reference gear, I gave a quick listen to the audio quality of a few of your tracks. Overall, very nicely done! Nothing major jumps out regarding the quality of the recording or the mix for the songs I listened to.

    Before I make any suggestion, it would be helpful to know the gear you're using with your DP-03SD for tracking/mixing/mastering (brand and model):
    • Speakers
    • Headphones
    • Amplifier
    • The vocal mic you're using.
    • How your speakers are positioned and distanced vis a vis each other and vis a vis your mixing/mastering listening position.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
  3. Sean Murphy

    Sean Murphy New Member

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    Very kind of you for taking the time Mark. Please don't feel under any pressure to respond and also more than happy to give my feedback on any project you may have. I appreciate your insight and time you gave - much appreciated. If you did want to look more, the answers to your questions are below
    • No speakers or amp used
    • 8 Track Tascam DP - 03SD
    • fp-30 Electric piano connected via guitar lead from headphone jack to jack in Tascam
    • Dave Smith Prophet 08 - Synth connected via guitar lead from headphone jack to jack in Tascam
    • Rode NT1 mic with metallic c shape booth
    • Thompson Over Ear Headphones
    • Kaoss pad with 4 dollar terrible microphone (Icarus effect)
    All distances are in this photo
    https://ibb.co/pLts1M0
  4. Phil Tipping

    Phil Tipping Moderator Staff Member

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    This is outstanding Sean! Only listened to snippets on laptop earbuds, but the tracks sound amazing, all the more surprising with your description of the setup. Using headphone outputs for line feeds is not recommended.... having hard shiny walls with vocals is not recommended... speakers precariously balanced... etc ... but none of this seems to matter (or at least, not obviously - maybe Mark will pick out some anomalies). But I think this is a great testament to your skill performing and recording/mixing (not to mention song-writing!), and just shows it's not the gear you have, but how you use it. Impressed!
    Welcome to the forum by the way :)
  5. Mark Richards

    Mark Richards Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sean. Thanks for the equipment listing. It helped me focus on what I'm hearing in the mix.

    And what I'm hearing is a slight resonance in the 250-350 Hz range on the vocal. At first I thought it might be the way you EQ'd the mix of the songs I previewed.

    On a closer listen, I think it's more likely out of phase room resonance coming primarily off the back wall and ceiling that's being picked up by the vocal mic.

    It's only a minor flaw, and in fact some people (maybe most) might not even notice it.

    But if you want to correct it, and you have a parametric EQ available, it wouldn't require more than a cut of about -3dB centered on 300 Hz with a moderate Q band.

    In the future, to minimize picking up the back wall room resonance in the mic, you could use two boom/mic stands to make a baffle frame and hang a heavy blanket or quilt across the booms. Place this close behind you and with the top about 1/2 meter above your head height when at the mic. A 300 Hz sine wave is about 1.2 meters in length, so if you decide to use one, the blanket baffle should measure about 2 meters x 2 meters.

    And I'll second Phil's comments about not using the headphone jacks to feed your DP-03SD. It won't hurt the equipment as long as you go into the line-level inputs of the DP-03SD. But it has the potential to add noise and distortion. You should always use your equipment's line-out jacks (if available), and always into your DP-03SD line inputs.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
  6. Arjan P

    Arjan P Well-Known Member

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    I heard maybe 3 or 4 songs from the top and I love the songwriting and performance! I do indeed hear what I'd call distortion in the vocal at some places - my guess is you may have recorded too hot, since you use a C-shape mic booth I don't expect the room to have much influence.

    I also second the notion of being careful using headphone outputs, but well, some instruments simply don't offer anything else.

    I would have more to say about the mixing, but with a 20-track full album it's impossible to put here in general notes. Improvement here is certainly possible and in some cases I would say necessary (obviously where the vocal distortion is, for one).
    -mjk- likes this.
  7. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi @Sean Murphy. I hope you don't mind my weighing in on your project. Overall, I find the project remarkable, especially considering the equipment you used to record it. Regarding the engineering I do agree with the above comments. But I also want to encourage you because I hear great potential in you as an engineer. Keep recording and do not stop, by any means.

    I'm not going to comment on the performance, as that is a strictly a matter of taste. I would, however like to give you a small insight from the viewpoint of a professional record producer:

    Many of the songs have the exact same acoustic scene. What I mean by that is, they sound like they were recorded one after another with no adjustments, individually, per song. I can tell you from working with bands in the past, and laying down bed tracks for multiple tunes in a single long session, this can be a huge issue, where ultimately, every track sounds the same.

    Audio design is much like any other art design where wouldn't use the same gambit of colors for every painting. My advice to you is to consider every song as a separate act of creation, and even if you use the same tools, and even if you record tracks for different songs in the same session, make sure that you craft the audio design to meet the needs of the specific song. This requires a lot of thought and meditation for each song before you begin the recording process. For an album, the songs should sound like they're from the same family, but not necessarily from the same recording session. Consider the soundstage. I found that your songs didn't utilize the stereo field to their full advantage.

    By all means, ask questions and put us all to the test, and we will help you to advance. But please be confident that you are doing well and you have a really good record to be proud of.
  8. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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    @Arjan P maybe several of us could offer our version of a mix?
  9. Arjan P

    Arjan P Well-Known Member

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    @-mjk- I'd love to give it a go! @Sean Murphy Ofcourse, if you'd like to see that - it may give you some ideas (and it doesn't have to be made public).
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  10. Sean Murphy

    Sean Murphy New Member

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    @Phil Tipping
    @Mark Richards @Arjan P @-mjk-

    I am humbled at your comments but more importantly I’m humbled and blown away at the selfless time and effort you all put into this. I did not expect this and I thought it was incredibly selfless of you all. Huge appreciation from me. That is not lost on me in the slightest. What a fantastic community you seem to be. Production and music aside what a thoughtful response. Before I answer your questions I’d like to do something for you all in return so please if you need anyone to do a review or just help other folks in some way I’d be more than happy to do that :)

    So firstly agreed on everything. What fantastic feedback and I can’t convey how grateful I am. I have since whittled my songs down from 19-13 and have re recorded the 13 with a massive blanket over me lol. A studio is going to mix and master each of the wav files I send them and then stick them up on Spotify.
    When I’m rich and famous I’ll remember ye guys :) (Only joking I only do this as a hobby)

    also the comments on the same model every time ....I never twigged that before but it makes soooo much sense.

    if any of you are ever in Ireland please feel free to reach out. Thanks so much again. I’ll send on the final version when it’s on Spotify. Honestly the improvements since I read your comments are all down to you guys
    Phil Tipping, Mark Richards and -mjk- like this.
  11. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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    @Sean Murphy thank you for your reply. You certainly don't owe us anything, and I know I speak for everyone else when I say that the best thing you can do is just give back to the Forum by sharing your knowledge and experience with others.

    I have a suggestion: Since you mentioned that a studio is going to mix and master them, @Arjan P, myself and others have studios that are capable of doing professional release mixes. Why don't you give us a crack and doing some mixes for you? If I may, I'd like to sit down and take a real critical listen to the entire album and pick a tune that I'd like to mix. And to be clear at the outset, I don't want any compensation for anything. I have the time and the inclination to do it.
  12. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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    @Sean Murphy I have spent considerable time listening to all the songs you posted on SoundCloud. I feel very strongly motivated to mix the song called Memory Box. I can provide you with a finished master ready for distribution, if you actually like the mix. So feel free to contact me by direct message or by email: info@phoenixmediaforge.com
  13. Sean Murphy

    Sean Murphy New Member

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    I'm blown away. Of course I would highly appreciate that. I know that you mentioned this is driven out of a love for it and an inclination but if you won't take money, I'd like to repay you with a gift. That's the least I could do.

    I'll get my friend who owns a studio in Toronto to mix and master and I'll send Memory Box to you on that email you mentioned.

    Again I can't thank you enough. I'll be in touch.

    Thanks all!!
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  14. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Sean, all I need is your raw tracks. I'm offering to do a mix of that tune in my studio in Taiwan. Please put the tracks in a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive, and send me the link. Thanks!
  15. Sean Murphy

    Sean Murphy New Member

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    Ah sorry yes loud and clear.

    Yes will get you that ASAP I just need to record the individual tracks off the Tascam into raw separate WAV files which I will be able to share with you on Google Drive (info@phoenixmediaforge.com). Hope to have those sometime this week. Thank you again.
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  16. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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  17. Sean Murphy

    Sean Murphy New Member

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    Shared the broken out wav files with you on drive within a Zip file. If you have any issues with that let me know. Again thank you
  18. -mjk-

    -mjk- Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks Sean. I just need a link. If you used the email above, I did not get it.
  19. Mark Richards

    Mark Richards Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sean. Did you ever get around to collaborating with mj on a remix?
  20. Sean Murphy

    Sean Murphy New Member

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    Sorry for delay here I am relocating back to Ireland from the UK with my family so there has been a huge pile going on.

    So yes MJ did an incredible job on that song Memory Box https://soundcloud.com/sean-murphy-649815792/memory-box. I was blown away. Hope you like it.

    That friend of mine who owns a studio in Toronto is mixing my whole album but I'd rather keep MJ's version of Memory Box which I'll be adding to the Spotify album. MJ has been a huge help and so have all of you. Huge thank you and hope you are all safe and well
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