I like this, I hadn't listened to the earlier mix(es) but where you are
is quite nice. My only issues with the mix decisions: the drums are too
dry, particularly the snare, relative to the vocals; I would either put
more reverb on the drums, less on the vocal, or both :). Also, I would
like to hear more of the harmony vocal in the later verses -- it is
Regarding the distortion on the vocal, I can definitely hear what you
are talking about, especially later in the song. Just because you are
not clipping doesn't mean you aren't recording too hot. What was your
"working level" at the DAW input for recording? What was gain staging
like throughout the signal chain between the microphone and the DAW?
What effects do you have applied to the track?
With modern equipment at 24-bit resolution and a good noise floor, "best
practice" seems to be to work at about -20 dBFS RMS until mastering. If
you are following "tape" conventions and trying to keep levels in the -6
dBFS range with peaks hitting near clipping, you may be working outside
the best-performing range of your audio IO gear and introducing some
As a side note, I think that DAW design encourages too-hot levels by use
of waveform displays everywhere. If you are at a good level of -20
dBFS, your signal is at about 1/10 of the full range, which is hardly
visible on a DAW waveform display if it's small. "I can't see the
signal... turn it up!" -6 dBFS gets up to half the amplitude range, and
if you are "seeing" waveforms near the full range of the wave display,
you are somewhere around -1 dBFS, which is .89 of total range... way too
high for working levels!
Good work on the piece, and thanks for sharing it!
On Thu, 2013-05-02 at 19:01 +0100, James Stone wrote:
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