The Lounge

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  • Dana Nielsen

    at 1:36 pm

    Michael! Awesome work, man!! Fun song too. Here are my initial impressions/ideas:

    • the harmonic distortion on lead vocal catches my ear. I’m assuming it’s a deliberate choice, but I’d opt for a more polished pop vocal sound, personally. You could always use vocal distortion in a more aggro/obvious way in certain spots for greater contrast. That way, instead of the listener (me) wondering “hmm.. is that saturation on the vocal a mistake?”, there will be no question. I’d be like, “oh snap! He put the lead vocal through a high gain amp for the chorus punchline there! Daaaamn!”
    • I’d love to hear more bass guitar “note.” The low end from the bass is nice, but u could try some snarly Ampeg SVT-style grind on the bass to add some note clarity. I think more bass guitar level overall would be great (but not necessarily more low end from the bass – just midrange punch and clarity)
    • When I listened in the car (happened to be driving when you posted this) I was losing the lead vocal in the wash of guitars at times, esp in the choruses, and especially the chorus punchline “leave me the f alone”. I didn’t realize that’s what she was saying until the final chorus! Maybe that punchline is a good candidate for the more aggro distortion idea – maybe as a parallel process so u still get clean pop vocal punchline as well?

    Anyway, incredible work, @Michael, and thanks so much for sharing this with us!! 🙌🤓

    As always, take my thoughts with a grain of salt. I look fwd to reading additional ideas and high fives from others here in the forum! And feel free to follow up in this thread by “Replying” with a new mix revision (or a Spotify link when it’s out 😉)

  • David Maroul

    at 5:16 pm

    Hey Michael, Nice track! I listened on my little Logotech computer speakers. ( I found these give me a great representation of how the majority of listeners hear a track, between earbuds and smaller speakers) Obviously these smaller speaker give little in the way of low end so I won’t reference that.

    Otherwise, I agree with Dana. I would love to hear the vocals sitting in their own carved out space ( not competing so much with the instrumentation in the same EQ freq range).

    This mix/production reminded of something like Scandal “The Warrior” or “Goodbye To You” from the early 80’s (I’m old) So, that might be helpful as a reference (in matching eq etc).

    Overall great work. 🙌 Can’t wait to hear the final version. All the best! 😃

  • phillip broussard

    at 2:06 pm

    HI Michael,

    Great track and nice work so far! Its in a great spot.

    Just a couple things come to mind for me.

    I feel the drums are a bit too loud or maybe try and turn the guitars and bass up. The chugging in the verses needs to be driving more with the drums.

    The pop up riff gtrs on each side are killer, and sound a bit too wet. Dry them up a touch and turn them up, they’re little catchy riffs that act as punctuation!

    The distorted vocal effect while I think is cool and apropos, it needs to be focused more. (less low end – more mids).

    The vocal is too quiet in the 2nd verse. But overall I feel like she could come up a bit in the entire song. She could really stand out more.

    While I also feel the chorus’ jump out fine, wondering if the Pre Chs’ could stand some more automation and have those be a bit more aggressive into the drum fill?

    I like the track and where it is. These are some suggestions only. They may or may not work either.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Look forward to hearing your completed mix.

  • Paul Tucci

    at 7:15 pm

    Michael, Hello or welcome, not sure if I’ve heard anything or yours yet. This is a pretty damn good pop song to my ear. I am in agreement with some of the comments already made. Save the vocal distortion treatment for the final spoken. Between the telephone eq and some grit the angst will be huge. Your arrangement has movement. The guitar bass interplay varies verse to verse and thats good. I can hear deeper into the music when the bass and guitar play more sparsely. The musical stabs they play have impact and leave open space. I understand your words of “more pop than punk.” If its a pop song, and I do truly believe it is, let the lady’s vocal shine through without having to compete with your overly energetic guitarist, especially in the first verse where the tone is trying to be set. Eighth notes from the bass and the guitarist feels too heavy to me. That might feel gentler if they combined to one sound. Bass notes but with the fuzz of the guitar slightly on top. I love the couple stops in arrangement. At that quick tempo even a measure of silence is so refreshing. Once again, I favor the space. The chorus is dense. Love the BGVs and its spread and level behind the lead vocal. I get confused where my attention is being drawn to. The lead vocal? The counter melody slightly underneath? That “energetic” guitarist again? Then again, I am old, closer to dead than my prime. I also come bearing gifts. I took your tune and ran it through some AI software I’ve been playing with. It can take a two track and separate out 5 stereo stems of BASS, DRUMS, GUITAR, PIANO, VOCAL, and a catchall, OTHER. I might just be able to easily experiment with some of these ideas and quickly implement a VOCAL up GUITAR down, etc version. Here’s three snippets of your catchy composition. I wanted to see if recombining the separated stems had audible artifacts compared to your original. I think the RIP-X stem version fared very well. (No processing done other than mixing the stems back together at unity.) Then I went nutty and said “I wonder if we can tell the difference if one version presented here had a channel (L) from the original and the other channel (R) from the post RIP-X recombined. Michael, I had a great day going down this rabbit hole. Thank you. Far more productive than the Taylor Swift conspiracy from last week. -PT

  • Jesse Lewis

    at 6:42 am

    Hi Michael!

    Nice to meet you! I just listened to the track and I thought it sounded fantastic. I was really “in it” and if I heard that come on the radio I wouldn’t question it being super pro for a minute.

    After listening to the track, I read the other comments and I also agree with many of tthe comments as well. I think some of the ideas could definitely benefit the final mix.

    That being said, I just wanted to say that I was pretty blown away with how good it sounded, and the musicians in the band are throwing down! Thanks for sharing.

    Send us a link when the song is out so we can hear the final version!



  • Paul Tucci

    at 10:18 pm

    Michael, I spent my day learning some new mastering software and let’s see if this result addresses any of the mentioned suggestions. Ozone 11 is a mastering suite in the digital domain. There are many modules that range from analog simulations, digital EQs, compressors of different flavors, limiters with or without parallel processed grit, AI powered shapers that try to aim the frequency response to a reference. There’s even a variable band-with EQ low frequency that can identify transient or sustained sounds and accentuate on or the other. I used that one to bump the Bass Guitar up a couple dB to be more audible against the kick. Another module can identify the Vocals and treat them separately from the rest of the two track. (Unlike the RIP-x mentioned the other day which does stem separation.) I gave the Vocals +.8 boost. I think it makes your work take a step into a poppier place. See if anything moves you. -PT

    • Dana Nielsen

      at 1:06 pm

      Very cool, Paul, and interesting to hear all these subtle variations. And thank YOU ALL for weighing in with such great feedback for Michael!

      @Michael – keep us posted on how this mix is coming along! 🤘

  • Michael Leto

    at 1:17 pm

    Yes, thank you all! Will post the master once I get it back

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