making a demo of my band, need advice

The bitrate on the recording of “Tequila Sunrise.mp3” @ 128Kbps is too low for a 44100Hz stereo recording: the high frequencies (above 16KHz) have been lost as a result …
Bit rate on 'Tequila Sunrise,mp3' is too low, use 256Kbps.png
BTW you could chop off the hummy bit at the start of Tequila Sunrise …

wow, those hum filters do a good job!

eventually all the tracks will be clipped, we’re only going to use 30 to 45 seconds of each song on the medley. Kind of a rapid fire “best of” collection

thanks for all your help guys!

The vocals are going to be recorded one at a time, so I’ll have as much control over them as I need

Johnny B better ? (a more mono mix, with dynamic range compression, and hint of reverb) …

added the keys last night… It’s coming along…

thanks for that, although I like the stereo separation, I may tone it down just a little

For the reverb and compression, should I apply it all the way across the board, or just to select channels? what’s normal?

IMO I’d try to avoid applying reverb to the percussion if you have the option.

IMO dynamic range compression should be applied to the final mix just before you convert to MP3, but you may also apply it to individual channels, (BTW there is dynamic range compression plugin by Steve).

Your tracks are stereo 44100Hz mp3 which have a bit rate of 128Kbps which is too low : this means all the frequencies above 16KHz have been chopped off, ( have a look at “plot spectrum” in Analyze). You should use a bit rate of 256, or 320 Kbps if you are aiming for CD quality.

The demo is mainly for syncing up with a video on youtube, but i’ll look into my settings before we record vocals. I swear I though I was on 256, maybe converting to mp3 is dumbing it down. I’m editing in wav files, and only converting to mp3 for posting stuff here

I checked my settings, and it looks like my MP3 export was set on 128, but I’m recording and working much higher than that

next time I post a mp3 sample here, i’ll make sure I put it at least on 256 for you all

laid down cowbell and tambourine tracks tonight

Sounds much better on 256Kbps.

For some reason they all redline though (your 128Kbps recordings also did that) …
red lining.png
If you apply audacity’s “Amplify” on default setting (0dB),
Then you could apply Steves’s “limiter” also on default settings (-3dB) for an even louder sound which doesn’t redline.

BTW I can hear the drum snare wires resonating with the guitar on “listen to the music” intro …

(the guitarist should get an extra credit for percussion :slight_smile: )

thanks! That intro’s not going to be in the final product, it was just to get the feel for the song.

Recording vocals on Sunday, getting nervous!

You have a weird sense of balance. This piece…

26 seconds in, the lead guitar theme cycle is almost swamped by the other pieces but the accent guitars are very forward and crisp. This wouldn’t happen to be the guy with the busted amp, would it?

I remixed a song by one of the film people. He liked long melodic graceful love songs and I can take them or leave them. He did sing one up-tempo piece that I liked, but he put his voice under tons of reverb, no punch and low volume. Really, the object is not to hide under a blanket. I brought his voice up out of the mud and everybody who heard it loved it.

Do the vocal part as a piano or other instrument before you dive in to the real thing.

Are you going to do just one voice?

Ooooo-ahahahah multiple part harmony in the background?


Most songs will have both lead and background vocals. Laying down the lead on Sunday, and then the background singers one at a time after that.

Thanks for pointing out that one part. Right now the mix is just a work in progress, as it only has to be good enough to give those still recording something to listen to. I’m sure I’ll drive myself nuts tweaking withing each song, not just raising or lowering each part as a whole

if you don’t mind checking these out, I would appreciate it

I reduced the amount of stereo in the guitars, did a little compression, added a touch or reverb (as little as I could figure out how to do) on the lead guitar and vocals, and added the background vocals.

I’m not sure if there’s too much reverb, or it only sounds that way because my ears are used to hearing it dry.

the gverb setting I used were

Roomsize: 1 m²
Reverb time: 0.1
Damping: 1
Input bandwidth: 0.7
Dry signal level: 0 dB
Early reflection level: -15 dB
Tail level: 0 dB

They’re coming along very well :slight_smile:
I still find some of the stereo panning to be a bit extreme, particularly when listening with headphones, but much less of an issue than earlier mixes.

Also I notice that the lead vocal is dead centre which on headphones puts the sound inside my head which is a bit disconcerting against the wide stereo spread of some of the instrument sounds.

I’d say there was a bit too much reverb, or to put it another way, not enough “dry” signal.

With GVerb I prefer to use the “Duplicate and mix together” method described here:

Also, GVerb is a mono effect, and this is largely responsible for the “inside your head” effect.
What I would suggest for the lead vocal is to make 2 copies of the vocal track (making a total of 3 lead vocal tracks).
The first track, leave completely dry.
The second track, set to the left channel (click on the track name and from the drop down menu select “Left Channel”
The third track, set to the right channel.

Apply GVerb to tracks 2 and 3 with the “Dry” level set to zero. These tracks will be “reverb only” (Wet). You can set the Wet level fairly high as you will be using the track Gain sliders to balance the ratio of reverb : dry

Here’s the trick: Make the reverb “stereo” and give the mix a sense of space by pushing the reverb tracks a little to the right. The further you push them the larger the “virtual room” will be, but the delay should be less than 50 ms otherwise it will sound like a distinct echo (unless that is what you want :wink: ) Move the left and right channels slightly different distances - for example, 35 ms to the left channel and 40 ms to the right channel. The difference between the left channel reverb and the right channel reverb are what give the vocal a stereo spread (but the dry vocal is still dead centre). You will probably want the level of the track that is delayed most to be a little higher than the other reverb track so that the reverb still sounds centred and not off to one side.

Tip: get the lead vocal reverb roughly right with the other tracks muted, then make the two reverb tracks into a single stereo track (Select the two reverb tracks and “Tracks menu > Mix and Render”). Now un-mute the instrument tracks and tweak the levels of the dry (mono) vocal track and (stereo) reverb vocal track so that you have a nice mix with the instruments. The higher the dry track - the more “up front” the vocal will sound.

thanks so much! I just NOW figured out the magic slider to give me the control I want on the gverb, but I’ll incorporate your helpful suggestions too tonight

more to come later!

ok real quick, I edited the clips above, putting another dry track of the lead vocals in there, and then did a simple Db adjustment until it sounded right. I didn’t go into the splitting left and right like you suggested because I’ve got to get to work, but give the links another listen and see if they are better this time. I’ll mess with them more later

I feel like I’m getting close, I can’t thank you enough for all of your help

I’ll also listen to them using my westone ear buds. So far i’ve just used computer speakers (good ones at least)

Sounding better already :slight_smile:

Chorus effect is worth a try …