Mix Analysis – Lost

The boys from Lush (Riley, Carter and I) and Apollo Bay got together to bust out a nut track because we wanted to! Originally, the track was approximately 15 minutes long, and consisted of various guitar licks, the same, simple drum beat, a kick-ass bass-line and a droning, dry synth pad. Here is the complete track!

First of all, Riley and I created a simple drum beat consisting of a kick, two snares, three closed hats and a clap. We had a simple kick and snare progression, with a beat on the start and end of each bar for the kick and a snare every other hit. We then added every other element to create a 2 bar drum beat that repeated for the multitude of the song. During the intro however, we kept it simple and did only have a closed hat playing slowly just to add a little bit of pace and rhythm to the mix. Here’s how the drum-line sounds all together:

Next, we basically designed a chord progression and a simple, dark and droning bass sound to add some low-mid frequencies to the mix. We created and played it through the Moog synthesiser in the MIDI studio. It is live played alongside the guitar and bass, so is a little out of time, however, this isn’t bad for the style and genre of the track. I do believe that there is a single note that is off compared to the guitar, but it’s fairly hard to pick up on in the first place. It has been EQ’ed to take out a little bit of the low end hum that was prevalent in the mix and didn’t sound of the highest quality.

Screenshot at May 04 14-41-18.png

Here is how the droning synth pad sounds:

Next up we have a various array of guitar tones and licks from Nathaniel (Apollo Bay). We tried to seperate the guitar sections into both the chorus and everything in between, as we had different effects we automated on and off for each. For the softer parts, we had some chorus on the guitar as well as an amp preset called ‘Clean Rhythm Funk Guitar’. These were the first two plugins we had on the track and were turned on in the highlighted section.

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The louder section was our ‘chorus’ of sorts, so we took away the chorus effect (ironic) and automated the amp preset ‘Basic Rock Dual Cab Guitar’ to turn on:

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This basically made the guitar sound a little harder hitting and more grungey in the parts were we wanted it to be louder, etc. Here is a short sample of both guitar sounds together. The first part is the guitar with chorus and the first amp effect, and the second is our louder part with only a different amp effect on it:

We also had some other small guitar licks in the ‘breakdown’ section of the song. These elements slowed down the track a little but also succeeded in building the track up to the next chorus. They had the same amp preset as the chorus, and were layered together to create a building effect which looked like this:

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and sounded like this:

Finally, we had the bass-line, played by our very own Carter. It had several effects on it, including a saturator, an amp and 4×10 bass cab plugin that looked like this:

Screenshot at May 04 15-00-58.png

Without these plugins, the bass sounded very dry and boring. However, the combination of them all adds a low-mid end hum and a little bit of saturation that really livens the mix of the song and adds to the grungey, rock kind of feel we were going for with the track. Here’s how the bass line sounded:

Overall, I really like the mix we created. At the end of our time together we had cut the 15 minutes of guitar recordings we had down to 9 and had done some simple processing and editing to the track as a whole. I still thought it was too long when I brought it home and chopped it down to the 6 and a half minutes you hear now. Overall, I think there could be a little bit more chopped out of it, as it still just feels a little too long and doesn’t hold interest for the entire time. The bass is also a little heavy on a few specific notes, so maybe re-recording some areas or taking some level out of these notes with an EQ is necessary. The lead guitar during the chorus is also very loud and drowns out everything else a little bit, so bringing down its volume using automation in places is probably necessary. Other than that, I really enjoyed working with these guys and making this track. Lovely group of guys and brilliant at what they do!

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