Critique, please…

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  • #16775 Reply

    Hello all, my first post here, good to see you!
    Here is a little track I made quite a long time ago, I lost all the project files for it in a hard drive crash, so all I have is a final, let’s call it, “master”:

    Now, I do realize this is not a top production value, yet I decided to place it with Audiosparks, see how it fares. My problem in general is that I can’t really decide what the proper final level of a mix should be, I tend to stay away from loud mixing, and when I do, it usually ends harsh and unpleasant.
    Back to this track, please have a listen and comment on anything you want, but most importantly on the production value. Would you consider this acceptable for placement? Would it get bought by a client? Is it way to quiet/muddy etc? What would you do differently/could an editor modify it for his purposes?
    Thank you for your time,

    #16776 Reply
    Michael Nickolas

    Hi Sergiu,

    Orchestra music is not my speciality so I’ll stay away from a critique. I do want to comment on your question about the final level of a mix. I can see not pumping up the volume on a classical piece like is done on most other styles of music. A track like yours needs to breath, it is important to retain the dynamics. I think the best you can do is compare your track to a commercially released piece similar in sound and style. If possible rip it from a CD (remember those?) into your software. A/B between your track and the example to match the final level and eq.

    #16780 Reply

    Well, what do you know, the track is as of today featured as an Editor’s Pick on Audiosparx! Couldn’t believe it when I saw it this morning! I mean, I did like the track, composition-wise, but I didn’t consider the arrangment and production to be good enough, this one is older and as I remembered, mixed in a hurry and on headphones. I only have about 12 tracks with them atm, plus variations, but if things go well, I will upload more.
    Michael, thank you for chiming in, I have some classical CDs, and I will rip them in wavelab, that’s a great idea!

    #16781 Reply

    Very nice composition Sergiu. It deserves to be an “editor’s pick.”

    Your mix sounds pretty good. What kind of headphones do you use?

    Best of luck!


    #16783 Reply

    Thank you MichaelL! The cans are AKG 271 MkII…the Mk I’s were even better, had those too…however since then I switched to a pair of JBL LSR 2300 series monitors…love them.


    #17307 Reply

    @Sergui great cue! It is definitely mixed low. Have you considered simply normalizing the final mix? It won’t decrease the dynamic range. With respect to compression and limiting I would suggest running your stereo bus through something like Izotope Ozone and just playing with the presets to see if anything comes close to what you might want. If you find something that does, tweak away. “Harsh and unpleasant” to me is when the low end is being compressed too hard, but I primarily work in a different genre.

    I definitely consider your track acceptable for placement. If I was the mix engineer on the placement, I’d normalize your track and perhaps make a few minor EQ adjustments and add light compression.

    Nickolas’ A/B suggestion is a good one.

    this one is older and as I remembered, mixed in a hurry and on headphones.

    It’s funny how the cues you think are the worst can sometimes end up being the ones that have the most success.

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