Feedback Request – Track Name: AVIRA – Miracles (Remix)
Carlo Binda – May 3, 2021 at 7:12 pm
Nice that Beat-Tweaks is back better than before, great job!
That’s my last production, is a Remix of Miracles by AVIRA, I’ve taken the vocals stems from an Armada Contest. I’m pretty happy with the result, I believe this is a step forward wrt the previous tracks…but of course I need your precious feedback to keep improving :)!
Hope to hear from you soon,
Link to track: https://soundcloud.com/carlo-binda/avira-miracles-remix
Hey Carlo! I’m really glad you joined up again 🙂
First of all great track I really like it. I think it’s a point where just adding some details and touches here and there will get it to where it needs to be. Just a final polish.
- I would have liked to hear some delay on the vocals, echoing out at the end of the phrases, a nice dotted delay, filtered to give it some movement
- I feel like the subs are a little overpowering, turn down the sub bass a touch, maybe 1-2dB.
- In the breakdown 0:50, the vocal again could use a nice big reverb and some filtered delay to fill out that section
- Maybe even filter the vocal itself in the breakdown section and then automate the filter as you buildup, play around with it and see what you come up with
- at 1:18 it would be nice if you take that last word and loop it throughout the buildup
- The part right before the drop at 1:35 kind of killed the excitement for me, maybe try stop everything completely for 1 beat and then bring the drop in right away
I think overall you have great melodic skills and understand emotion in the song well. What could use more work is the details in the arrangement to keep the listener excited and wanting to listen more and repeat the song.
The way that song sounds comes mainly from the sound design. There’s not much “mixing” doing, not to my ears at least. If you start with the right sounds, you’ll end up very close to that end result.
The sounds (pluck, pads, ARPs and stabs) in this track are composed mainly of sawtooth waves. Sawtooth waves are what give you all those rich complex sounds because they fill a wide range of frequencies.
The rest of the character of the sounds come from the amp and filter envelopes and the filtering inside Sylenth1.
I’ve created presets for the pluck and pads for you so you can open them up and mess around with them.
Also, I have an entire mini course on creating plucks that I think you’ll find very helpful.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when designing plucks that you should ask yourself
- How detuned do you want it to sound when it opens up? Do you want it more detuned and phasy with lots of movement, or more focused?
- How plucky do you want it to be? Do you want a short, clicky pluck, or a more open, strum type of pluck? This will determine the settings of your filter envelope
- How bright do you want it when it opens up? if you want it extra bright, you might want to add a filtered noise layer.
Watch the video, and take a look at the presets and then come back and post any questions you might still have.
Hey Chris, great track! Very emotional I love the chord progression and overall arrangement.
Here are my notes
- The Mix
- Drums could use a little overall compression
- For the compression, a ratio of 4:1 would work, medium attack time between 6-12ms, release between 60-100ms. Pull down the threshold until you hear things sound punchier and kind of glued together. then adjust the makeup gain as needed
- For the EQ, a simple shelf EQ at around 100Hz with a boost of 1-2dB should do the trick
- The Arrangement
- Overall I feel like the track lacks automation to help the listener move through the different parts of the track more smoothly. Simple things like
- Have a filter on the drums in the intro
- Filter out some of the high frequencies right before 1st the breakdown
- The snare buildup could use some filter and/or volume automation as it sounds too robotic as is
- Overall I feel like the track lacks automation to help the listener move through the different parts of the track more smoothly. Simple things like
- General comments
- The crash FX, needs some reverb and delay to give it a more dreamy feel and blend it with the rest of the sounds, right now it pokes out too much. A nice big reverb and filtered delay will work nicely
- Maybe add a “woosh” effect or some kind of uplifter starting at 0:48, again to add some more excitement and anticipation before the chorus/drop
- Try sidechaining the hats to the kick drum to give them more groove
- The track overall could use a bit of compression to glue things together and thicken up the track, just 1-2dB of gain reduction on the compressor should do it
Very nice track good job!
In general, yes you should be low-cutting pretty much all of the sounds and instruments. The majority of sounds have some kind of sub frequencies that should not be there, especially loops and samples.
Also, when you design sounds that use a lot of distortion, you tend to also get sub frequencies that were not there before, so you might want to get rid of them to make your sound cleaner, to give you more headroom, and to enable you to make your tracks louder.
A good rule to follow is to low cut until a sound starts sounding thin, and then pull it back so that it sounds more natural.
Hi Fuad could you possibly show me on a quick video about the compression as im a little lost please?
Hey Chris, there’s an entire course on compression that you can find in your dashboard under “My Courses.”
It will show you everything you need to know about compression in a way that’s easy to understand. Here’s the link to the course.
Let me know if you still have any questions after going through it.
That’s the new version! I’ve taken care of all the feedbacks you provided to me, I’m really thankful to you. I believe that the song now has probably made the final step (hope you think the same). The delay-echo FXs really changed the vocals, I took it subtle in the first bridge, and a little bit more evident in the breakdown (together with a bigger reverb). I really like it. Hope you like the new build-ups arrangement as well, which re-uses the last word (“new”) of the last sentence, as you suggested.
What made me losing most of the time while producing this song was (as you probably guessed) arrangement, especially transitions between sections. I need to improve the approach to it to make it smoother and faster (I really wasted a lot of time to figure out how to switch from the first bridge to the big breakdown). If you have any tips on that I would really appreciate that 🙂
Do you think this song might be good enough for (hypothetically) being released?
My advice to you for transitions is to keep things simple and always do it according to your feeling. You should be able to feel what the transition should do and then work to make that happen.
My favorite type of transition is the simple filter automation. You just put a filter on the master channel, and automate it until just before the drop and then remove it on the first beat of the drop. It’s so simple but works very well.
For example in your track from 2:50 until 2:54, use an autofilter with a highpass, and automate it to remove the low frequecies until right before the drop, and at 2:54 complete disable the filter.
Here’s a quick video on how you can do something like that
I think the song still needs some work, you’re missing mainly effects that will make the song sound finished. You need uplifters, downlifters, crashes and things like that to make the transitions smoother and the drops more polished.
Just simple things.
- Use a downlifter (woosh down sound) on the first beat of every drop
- use a crash sound on the breakdowns with lots of reverb
- Use uplifter (woosh up sound) on the buildups.
These things are important because they help fill the empty parts of the track to make it sound more polished and professional.
I made a mess with the upload to soundcloud, so the one you listened to it was the first version, again. Here finally the new one:
Sorry for that!
About the FXs you suggested, In the track there are already:
- subtle downlifters at the beginning of breakdowns,
- a big ambience fx during the entire breakdowns,
- an aggressive downlifter at the beginning of buildups,
- a pair of risers on the buildups.
Do you suggest to add something else or to make them more evident?
Thanks a lot,
I still feel like the vocal could use some delay and a filter in the intro and the first part of the track.
In the very beginning maybe try a low pass filter on the vocal until 0:17. Then for the first verse, add a delay on the vocal so that it fills the empty space in the track. So like then the first line “Summer filled skies” I would like to hear it echo out “skies…skies…skies”. “Fading away…away…away…”
Here’s what I think could still use some work.
- A short reverse crash at 0:47, and then a normal crash right after it with reverb and delay to make it smooth
- Again the vocal in the breakdown needs a delay to make it echo out and fill out the space
- Add a crash and downlifter or uplifter on the drop at 1:35. Maybe a long sidechained noise uplifter would work nicely, because it sounds empty and needs more energy after the buildup.
- I like breakdown 2 at 2:10, sounds better than before.
- Drop # 2, same advice as Drop #1, you lose a lot of energy on the drop, you need to add a crash, downlifter, uplifter to give it more impact.
A good way to figure out if something is missing is to just listen to your song from start to finish and imagine the effects that need to be added. Sing along with your own song and just make the noises yourself. Imagine it from a listener’s perspective and try to add as much excitement as you can to make the arrangement more interesting.
So I was reading you give personal direction with music. So let me ask you this what do i need to do to get professional signed and to be a full time music producer please?
Hey Chris, I just added a new lesson to the mixing and mastering course and inside it you’ll find the link to download a zip file.
In that zip file you’ll find all the Ableton Live projects, track files, midi files and sounds.
Let me know if you have any issues with the download.
Hey Chris, I created a new topic with your question because I think it’s an important one and a lot of people can benefit from it. I will be posting a thorough answer to this in the next day or two since it is a pretty big topic. So I will probably be creating a blog post or video about it as well. I’ll post an answer here and let you know about the blog/video as well.
In the meantime, is there anything specific about getting signed you would like to learn about? Branding? marketing? how to reach out to labels?
Hi Fuad yes I’ve never really thought about it but I think I need to. Reaching out to labels branding etc what you mentioned.but also to get that personal touch and to really guide me live from start to finish if that makes sense how. Is one 2 one live free in this membership please?
Really cool track. Here are my comments that I think could make the song even better and make it sound more finished.
- Vocal in the intro could use some nice lush reverb and a delay to make the endings of the words echo out and fill out the space. You might even want to explore using delay throughout the track to make the vocal fill the space.
- at 0:29, I think that maybe putting a low pass filter (high cut) on everything except the vocal would sound really good. Since this part is kind of like an intor bridge into the buildup. If you automate that low pass filter up until the buildup I think it would sound great.
- The lead at 0:52 could also use some filter automation. It comes in too suddenly and clashes with the vocal. So automate the filter on it until the very end of the buildup and then remove the filter when the chorus starts.
- at 1:00. I think that lead needs to fattened quite a bit. It sounds thin. It could use a big reverb on it. Basically use a reverb on a send and apply it to the lead. You could also try using some chorus or flanger on the lead as well.
- Create a reverb send, with a time of 3-4 seconds, and a long pre-delay
- filter that reverb, remove low frequencies from it, and some of the high frequencies too
- Make the room size of the reverb medium
- Really cool transition at 1:14
- The part starting at 1:30 feels like it doesn’t belong in the song. I feel like it doesn’t serve a purpose. Maybe you could add some kind of vocal effect in there to fill it out, and use some filtering automation to make a smoother transition into the second breakdown. Maybe try taking some chops of the vocal, putting a filter, reverb and delay on the them and add them to the section. You also try
- Filtering the drums
- removing the drums completely and just use some filter automation, vocal chops and other wooshes and effects
Great job overall, I think the mix sounds good overall, the arrangement is also good overall. Just a little more attention to detail would make this song even better.
One 2 one is not free for members but you do get a 50% discount because you’re a member. So I normally charge $120 an hour, but for members, it’s $60 an hour.
OK thanks fuad. Also noticed that some of the videos are not 1080. I have quite bad eyesight so struggle to see sometimes was wondering could you maybe put 1080 videos for the ones that are 720 please.
I’ve considered all the suggestions and feedbacks that you provided to me and here you can find the last version of my track: https://soundcloud.com/carlo-binda/avira-miracles-remix-v3
I’ve changed a little bit the mix balance as well, especially with EQ on pads, which were producing too much annoying frequencies.
As always, after finishing a track I compare it with ones produced by artists, trying to find where the gaps are. I have some ideas (arrangement and transitions for sure :D), but I would like to know your thoughts about that before. Overall, I believe that this track is a big step forward compared to my first 2 (hope you agree).
Hey Carlo, this is definitely a big improvement since the first version, and yes the best you can do is compare to other tracks that are professionally produced and learn from them. Study their structure and try to understand what makes you enjoy them.
Right now I think this track is sounding much more complete than it did before so really good job.
Hey Jacky, another cool track.
I think the arrangement of the track is great, it flows nicely and the transitions are good, I didn’t feel like any section didn’t belong there which is great.
I think overall the synths in the track could use some reverb to fill out the space because it does feel a bit empty and a bit too narrow. So to add some width to the instruments create a reverb send with a medium-size reverb and apply some of it to the synths.
- The hat is a bit loud, maybe turn it down 1-2dB
- Maybe try adding a ride on top of the kick when the chorus starts to give it more energy. Try adding it to only the second half of the chorus maybe and see if that brings up the energy level.
- Also try messing around with the sidechain compression. I feel like it could be a little stronger.
Good arrangement again on this track, and interesting melodies. It almost feels like a movie soundtrack of some kind, it’s really cool.
overall the track could be louder, not sure if this mastered or not, but it could be louder. When compared to other tracks of this style it will probably be lower in volume.
Also, I think it’s missing some thickness in the low frequencies, just a bit. A sgelf EQ on the master at around 120Hz should do the trick, just a 1-2 dB boost.
The top-end also seems a little too bright to me. Try combining all your synths into a group, then put an EQ on the that group and try putting a shelf at around 7000Hz, and cutting anywhere between 1-6dB. See if that warms up the track and makes it sound a little fuller. You can even try cutting a lot of the high frequencies to make room for the hats and the drums.
That’s really beautiful Chris,
My thoughts overall
- The main piano part could use a little more humanization. I feel like the performance is a little robotic. So perhaps randomizing the velocities of the notes could help make it feel less robotic. A shortcut to doing this is to apply one of the grooves in Ableton, setting the timing to 0% and then the “random” to taste.
- The higher-pitched piano notes could use some more reverb I feel, that will really help fill out the space of the song since the instruments are sparse
- The violin is a touch too loud. Maybe turn it down 1dB and give it a touch more reverb as well
- Maybe when the violin comes in you could automate the panning of the little piano notes to the left or right a little bit just for that section. This will help keep the violin in focus. try it and see if you like the way it sounds.
So all in all, beautiful piece which in my opinion just lacks a little more human touch to make it feel more emotional and real.
I think you’ve got the beginnings of a great track here but it does need some work and attention to detail to take it to the next level. I’ll try and give you some things I think might benefit the song and you can use them for inspiration to try new things.
I feel like the kick drum comes in too suddenly and is too loud and up front for that section, especially since you have a filtered bass/synth playing. So perhaps just filter the kick drum as well to create a more interesting intro and that feels more cohesive. A bandpass filter would work nicely. If you want, you could put a filter on the master channel, ut both the lows and highs and give both of those cuts some resonance (higher Q value). Then automate that filter to just be applied for the intro. You could also automate the frequency as the intro is playing to create some more movement as the song progresses into the next section.
The second hat sound that comes in at 0:16 is too loud and feels out of place. Perhaps you could replace it with a short clap or snare sample instead. Then you could add some shakers playing on the 1/16ths. They don’t have to loud, just there to add the groove. You could even just drop a percussion loop from a sample pack and see how that sounds. But either way I would get rid of that second hat.
I like how the synths start coming in at 0:25. This is where if you have some filter automation like I suggested, you would start bringing the full frequencies of the kick and bass back on slowly as the synths become more apparent.
The synths could use some EQ to remove a little bit of frequencies between 2000-3000Hz because they sound a bit harsh. Just about 2dB cut should do it.
The transition between the intro and the breakdown at 1:02 could use some work. I would remove that little section between 1:03 and 1:07 and just transition right into the breakdown without that little section.
Try reversing that clap sample at 1:20 and putting a big reverb and ping pong delay on it. It will add some more interest to the section.
The reverse crash at 1:50 is too loud, turn it down by about 2-3dB
Add a crash sample and maybe a downlifter or uplifter at 1:52 when the chorus starts to give it more impact and energy.
I think the chorus goes on for too long without anything different happening and I feel like it makes me lose interest in the song. Try adding some mini transitions throughout that section. Maybe stop the drums for a beat or 2, and bring things back in. You could also try little filter sweeps throughout.
FIlter automation really is your friend to help move the arrangement along. Same goes for the outro, try automating a high pass filter toward the end of the song.
Reference tracks are your friend. Listen to other songs for inspiration and to understand how they setup their arrangements and what they do to keep the song interesting and moving along at a good pace. We go through this in the Arrangement Course where we use a reference track as a guide.
Thanks for the feedback- the shelf cut really helped a lot in making the track sound better.
Also, all of the tracks (and future ones most likely) are not mastered yet- I just put a limiter at the end.
Don’t worry about that AT ALL. All you should be focusing on is learning how to use the tools you already have inside Ableton to achieve the results you want. Don’t worry about analogue. In the end the difference isnt worth the price tag it hassle and the end listener will never tell the difference.
So Abletons EQ and compressor and other effects will do perfectly fine. Later on as you progress you can choose to add 3rd party plugins if you feel you need to.
Hi ok thanks for that so im looking at getting a 1 to 1 with you I think id like to know how you get that professional sheen to your sounds eq compression, I know a lot of it is ear training and personal preference but if I get an idea then I know at least the fundamentals of what to look for. I truly believe this will get my tracks in the right direction ive also posted this track the sort of style im going for similar to aurosonic and then info-aerating all my piano dreamy music into it this will set me on the right path to success I believe. Let me know your thoughts I may need more than one session but money allowing I will see what I can do as I see it more as an investment if that makes sense Fuad, I believe you can show me the way,
sorry the track is here
Hey Chris, something like this is definitely doable with some practice and direction. It all starts with the right sound design and understanding song structure and layering. So what we can do is start with
- learning how to analyze a track like the one you sent as a reference to understand what makes it sound the way it does
- learning the basics of sound design for this style and genre
- picking the right samples
- using effects like EQ, compression, reverb, and delay as well as other effects to get the final result we want.
That’s the general structure of the approach to getting you to this level of production. So perhaps what we can do is maybe take a project you already have and transform it into something similar to this?
Let me know how you like to learn and I’ll do my best to guide you in the best direction.
Hi Fuad sounds good to me, I work full time during the week so maybe next Saturday, but I will just say this is really the genre im looking at it is defiantly my style, I hear in some of your videos listen to all kinds of music but to me this is what makes me shine I think, anyways let me know thanks or Sunday afternoon