MA:46 - Tunnel Dwellers Anthem

July 12, 2006 11:45 PM

I'm working on a collection of songs of various genres for a concept album about life in a ruined West Coast city sometime in the future. This song is a demo track of a melodic industrial / rock tune about an oppressed group lashing out.

posted by thedaniel (4 comments total)

I like the pieces, but your levels are all over the damn place. The guitars don't really mix with the vocals, and neither mixes with the percussion—feels very much like distinct tracks rather than a mix.
posted by cortex at 10:47 AM on July 13, 2006

yeah, mixing is definitely a skill i'm still working on. i find myself listening *really really hard* and getting frustrated that I can't get the levels set quite right.
posted by thedaniel at 11:46 AM on July 13, 2006

I thought it was alright. At first the vocals put me off, they seemed a little dramatic, but they picked up a lot toward the end. When you were singing with some gusto it really helped add some cohesion, but I agree with cortex - it's a little bit of a hodgepodge of sounds. I do like the guitar bits a lot, though the sound is very generic. That's the most boring distortion I've ever heard, it sounds just like you're playing through a practice amp and recording it. Even if that's all you're doing, find a way to improve the sound. Try cutting the gain back a bit, you'd be suprised how much more personality your sound can get. Try experimenting with some effects like delay, etc - those can open up a whole new world, and might fit your percussion sounds better. I don't know if you have any hardware effects processors; if not then record the guitar totally clean and then use software to add some effects, including tweakable distortion.

The percussion effects were neat in a way, but like cortex siad it didn't exactly mix. Something's gotta give: Obviously the song is based primarily around the lyrics, so decide if you like the direction the song goes emotionally/aurally better with the percussion or with the guitar. Pick one of those as the musical foundation and then use the "losing" choice as a supplement.

In this instance, I'd imagine the guitar would be your choice as a primary musical foundation. Work on the guitar effects like I mentioned above, and make it as clean as you can (you play pretty well, it was a bit sloppy though). Then work on adding a drum sound that is a little less electronica or something. Not sure what to tell ya for that except to experiment.

It's a pretty good effort though. I think if you follow some of the suggestions in your "mixing" question at AskMeFi you'll be on the right "track" (pun intended?? ;))

posted by sprocket87 at 7:49 AM on July 14, 2006

Thanks for the tips, sprocket. I have a totally clean guitar track somewhere on my hard disk. I also hope to pick up a pair of inexpensive monitors tonight and follow some of the mixing tips - maybe i'll re-upload this song in a week or two if it's a success.
posted by thedaniel at 3:02 PM on July 14, 2006

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