Academy Dashboard Forum Collaboration - Competition Producing A Song With... "Side by Side" - The Workday Release


  • This topic has 104 replies, 34 voices, and was last updated 4 years ago by Kyle Jedrusiak.
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    Just Lisa

      Hi John --
      Nice job handling all of those distorted guitars. (I ditched all the amped tracks!)

      1 -- the vocal could use some reverb or something. It feels too in my face or too loud during the verses and too much the same through the whole track. (I'm listening on headphones, always.)
      2 -- there's an effect on the arpeggiated guitar in the choruses that pans it right to left? It's a bit much. Save it for the last chorus maybe, or make it punctuate some part of the song you really think is important, otherwise it becomes predictable which isn't maybe what you want.
      3 -- this is a personal opinion: Warren's solo is really great and I love the part in the bridge. But it has so much of the same tone as the other guitars, it gets lost during the solo. I like your level; try making it sound different so that it cuts through better. I know, we're not supposed to mess with a guy's guitar tone, but I'll bet you anything he already has for the finished track he hasn't mixed yet!

      : )

      • This reply was modified 6 years ago by Just Lisa.
      John Dragich


        Thanks for the insightful reply. It took me a few months before I realized that this part of the forum existed. I made some changes based on your observations. I reduced the vocal volume (relative to the instruments) around 2 db. I increased the vocal reverb a bit. I left Warrens solo alone because I liked it so much - the song needed something like it at that point.

        What is going on with the chorus rhythm guitar delay: I put the delay on a separate track and did a send to it from the original guitar track. The reason was that the original rhythm guitar is mostly at the same time as the vocal phrases, so I made it a softer volume. The delay on a separate track I made louder to fill in the gaps between vocal phrases. The panning on each track is static (not automated) but different. I didn't want to screw with it because it would change the panning level balance and I didn't want to open up that can of worms. Also, I kind of like it - perhaps my tolerance for tacky effects is greater than yours. Anyhow, I hope that this version is an improvement.

        Thanks again,

        John Dragich


          Just listened to your Side By Side track. Sounds good. Making a chorus out of the guy's vocals is interesting - works well. The string plucking is a good addition. I would reduce the volume maybe a db or two. It would still have it's beneficial percussive and melodic effect. I like the way it adds some continuity to the song - seems to fit.

          The resonance of the guitar right in the beginning jumps out - I could not tame it in my mix, so I ended up muting the "guitar rhythm DI/AMP new take" track up until the first chorus.

          Right at the end of the first chorus ("starting tonight") there is an abrupt change from the chorus vocals which may need attention or may be ok. Anyhow it caught my attention.


          Just Lisa

            Hi John, thank you for the feedback. The plucked strings are actually the di guitars from verse 2.
            In my other version, I added real string parts (synths) because that's what the song said to me.
            The chorus was the Lewitt mic take and a chorus plug in. I ditched that when I added all the other musical elements.
            I also added some things to fill the gaps -- that's why they're there. (A blank canvas to be filled or a large wall to be tagged?) The real trick is to fill the gaps with something that doesn't pull the listener out of the feel of the song, I think. For me, arranging is one of the most intriguing aspects of music production.

            I really like your adjustments. The vocal is sitting better? It's hard to remember what it sounded like to me when I listened to it before. Warren's solo in the bridge sounds fantastic!
            I hear what you did with the arp'd guitar now -- GOOD IDEA. I'm still listening in headphones. And I'm curious, did you try panning the delay track or is it straight up the center? Because I would like it to 'feel' a little closer to the source, maybe 20 percent Right, the center is already filled with other stuff. Just a little movement will add interest without being distracting.
            Sorry, I don't mean to sound like I'm telling you what to do, I'm just thinking like a sculptor.

            Have you ever heard KRWLNG? The Linkin Park remix of Crawling from the Reanimation cd. Aaron Lewis (Staind) sings harmony and there's strings and it's my favorite track on the album and I still listen to it at least once every day and one of the reasons I'm here.
            It is one of the best demonstrations of panning effects I've ever heard in my life. The part that starts about 1.5 minutes in -- check it out if you haven't heard it -- is really distracting. But notice how all the elements settle into place for the main body of the song. I just listened to it again: holy crap, it's like a Master Class in reverb technique too.

            : )

            Just Lisa

              Hi Jason!
              ... it might be a little TOO different. I really like your guitar. I get it about the drums.

              Please forgive me, I'm going to use this reply as a soapbox, okay? I'm thinking about some of the other more creative mixes here in this thread also.

              I want to say what's on my mind, but I don't want everyone to hate me. I know we all like different music. I don't like Miles Davis*, but LOVE Philip Glass, for example. And wrt Metallica? My favorite albums are 'the Loads' and I listen to them all the time in my car. There, now everyone can just stop respecting me altogether. ; )
              The point is: I'm pedantic, but not really.

              Most of you gentlemen are married, I think. Or you have mothers and maybe can relate a bit. Have you ever gone shopping for an engagement ring? Or been involved in the saga of maybe having that 'perfect' diamond reset?
              This is a love song. Think of the vocal track like the jewel in a nice ring. And in fact, an engagement ring because the dude is saying he wants a lifetime together, not just a roll in the hay, right?
              So ... resetting the vocal is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, but it should be handled in a way that reinforces its beauty rather than hiding it.

              Everyone should ask themselves, "Would my significant other take me back or forgive me if I played this song on a boombox standing outside her window?"
              And then edit accordingly.

              And so, from that perspective, Jason, I find that the rhythm of the new setting is making the diamond very uncomfortable to listen to.

              Thank you, everyone, for your attention.
              : )

              *Only because his style of soloing has too many notes

              Nick Koumoutseas

                Here is my version... The feeling of atonement and sincerity fills my soul.


                John Dragich


                  Thanks for taking the time to listen to my Side by Side again.
                  Yes, the vocals sit better after I took your suggestion (less volume, more verb).

                  As for the (arped) chorus rhythm guitar panning, the track is panned hard right,
                  it's delay is up the middle.

                  I listened to Linkin Park's KRWLNG. The panning is good, I bookmarked it.
                  Brings to mind this one: The Valence Project's Cracking Sugar.


                  You might like it.


                  Jason Davenport

                    Thanks for listening Lisa! You are the first and only person to comment on my mix of this song, so thank you for that! I think it has 40+ plays, and only one comment 🙂

                    I agree with your comments, and that is a great analogy to describe this song. I have had the experience of buying an engagement ring, and thankfully almost 16 years later she still wears it 😉 It is a beautiful song. I thought my strings reflected that somewhat, but agree with you on the rest. It doesn't fit as well as I thought it did all those months ago. I have a ton of work to do in the production area, but still enjoy it. I am definitely not a drummer 🙂

                    My musical tastes run the gamut from Count Basie to Queens of The Stone Age to ELO to AC/DC. I enjoy a Metallica tune or two myself, but mostly the older stuff(Nothing past And Justice For All really) Saw them live at least 4 times through the late eighties and nineties. But my favorite music is the 90's alt/rock, seem to want to turn all my productions that way! I can get into Miles Davis, Coltrane even Classical music. Took two years of classical guitar in college. Bands I played in covered everything from The Toadies to Frank Sinatra. I love to try and blend all these styles sometimes with good results, and sometimes not 🙂

                    Thanks again for the listen, and comments. I may try and redo this one if I can find time...

                    Just Lisa

                      Hi Jason --
                      Just happened to check email, I'm on vacation back at the lake in the photos for Side by Side on Soundcloud (it was on my mind, I guess).
                      Today started with a Bald Eagle sighting! Auspicious, I think.
                      And just now -- every dude with a lighter and fifty million fireworks.
                      When I was a kid, there were no bald eagles in here in Michigan and fireworks were illegal.
                      Left the mixing headphones at home.
                      Giving my ears a much needed break.
                      But, boy, those birds have gotten LOUD! No one warned me about that. All day long, noise noise noise! It never bothered me before. Weird, eh?
                      Grats on your almost sixteen years. I'm working on ... twenty (holy crap!) five. Where does the time go!?!

                      Two things...
                      One, I noticed that a lot of people seem to hesitate in giving feedback and I wonder if it's because we don't know each other in real life and it's hard to offer critique about things we aren't sure of ourselves. Especially with the more creative aspects. I mean, I know some stuff about arranging and composing because it's one of my main interests. But I could never offer a technical opinion about a need for a dynamic eq or the compressor you used on your cymbals. I think I will start another discussion thread when I get back. One thing I do know for sure, I'm never the only one.
                      Two, about your Side by Side -- there was a lot of interesting stuff there. I was wondering what would happen if you moved the vocal track back one beat, or one measure, just to see if you can get the groove of the vocal to groove a bit more with the rest of the mix. It starts too soon, I think, right? Like you shortened the intro? I feel like if it was just a little more comfy in its setting, it might work better.

                      But, it sounded like Warren is planning to offer up the finished song for us to mix again? So we'll have an opportunity to really work it all over again. (Yes, I will be editing my strings and attempting a better mix.)

                      Jealous about Metallica. Haven't seen them live. Going to see Disturbed next week though! They're playing a casino near here and I found a lonely single seat at a mostly sold out show. It's an outdoor venue, the sound wasn't fabulous when I went to see Death Punch there a couple of years ago, but the opportunity is too good to pass up.

                      I need some classical guitar technique in my life.

                      Happy Fourth! (Back in touch sooner if it rains!)
                      : )

                      Just Lisa

                        Hi John --
                        It was the "straight up the middle" that was bugging me. Can it not be right in the middle?
                        Cracking Sugar: lovely fx on the vocal! Thank you for directing me (US?) to it.
                        Like the guitar too.
                        : )

                        Just Lisa

                          Hi Nick --
                          Wow. It's really interesting and different. In a good way. I love that you left so much out! It makes more room for the fx on everything else. I hear the fx but must confess I don't have enough experience to identify them. Flange? (I don't even own a pedal board. I'm so lame.)
                          And Warren's bass is one of the best things about the song -- he really likes playing bass, you can see it in the video. It's a wonderful thing to feature.
                          Was that a guitar or synth you added? Not listening on my usual headphones and there are fireworks going off outside my window.
                          And you are very good at drum replacement, I think. Although I might be wrong about the "replaced" part.
                          With some massaging (relaxing the fx a bit and blending it all together a little more), could be amazing.
                          : )

                          Kian Sparke

                            Hey Jason, nice work man! Great ideas for your production! Nice playing, too. ?

                            Felt the acoustic had a bit too much compression that accented the initial transients.

                            Great ideas and mix through man! Enjoyed it.

                            Keep enjoying your art! ?

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