This week I’ve gotten feedback on my mix of Royal Artillery’s “The Brakes:”
The first thing that I tried to work on is the brightness of the mix; as Adrian said, the hi-hat helps the high-end, which in turn helps the mix be a bit brighter. Therefore, I’ve used the overheads just as hi-hats by using the EQ3 7-Band to cut all the frequencies below 340Hz and therefore most of the rest of the drum kit. I’ve also massively boosted the high end to really accentuate the hats:
In the hi-hat track itself I’ve boosted everywhere from mid to high frequencies in order to give them a bit less of a tinny sound:
As far as the low end goes, I put this reverb using the D-Verb plugin onto the snare and kick tracks to soften the gate a little and make it sound a bit more natural:
For the toms, I put a gate on both the rack and floor tom tracks in order to cut out the bleed. I made sure to have a long release and a short attack in order to still capture the transients and the tail of each hit:
As Adrian suggested I’ve also brought the guitars up a bit to bring them more forward in the mix, as they are the supposed to be the forefront. I think that’s something that I struggled with quite a bit because I’m so used to having vocals at the front of every mix.
For a final touch for that added brightness, used the EQ3 7-Band plug-in to put a very slight EQ on the Master just raising around 2kHz by 2dB:After making all of these changes, I listened to The Black Keys “Midnight In Her Eyes” from their 2003 album Thickfreakness as a comparison. I found that the voice sounded a bit richer in tone, with maybe some lower frequencies in there so I changed the EQ on the vocal in The Brakes to have a bit more of the lows to mids in there:
All in all I think the thing that most stands out to me about mixing this song is to always have a reference and always USE the reference. Also to always listen to your mix on various speakers because they all sound different and will make certain frequencies more prominent. Its even better if you can listen to it on speakers you’re super familiar with (eg. your car speakers) because then you’ll know exactly what it should sound like.
Give the final re-mixed version a listen below, thanks for reading!