Help me improve

im from pakistan. i love electronic music and have a very keen interest in music production. so i signed up at sonic academy and learned alot from there about theory, dynamics, mixing , effects and stuff… sadly there is no club culture here and i dont have anybody from whom i can learn face 2 face… i’ve made some tracks of my own, i need some critique on them so i can improve myself, because im kind of stuck

the track are not complete but i need help with mixing. i know mix wise they are not that great

here are the links

Hey @muzafarahmed

Those 2 links don’t work, it says track not found for both :confused:

Edit : OK, those tracks are private, so whom ever would like to take a listen and provide feedback needs to be logged into SoundCloud to get access to the tracks.

OK, I will try to provide some critical listening feedback here, which is never easy… :grin:

First point is about levels, those 2 tracks are too loud, they are both clipping above 0 dBFS which is something you don"t want. In the digital audio world, there’s nothing above 0 dBFS, therefore the audio information is lost when you’re clipping above.

Now the good new about levels is that those high levels don’t bring saturation or distortion to the tracks, they still have a good clarity, so it’s just a matter of mixing with a lower target volume level, you could easily go for 3 or 4 dB lower.

If you’re using compressor or/& limiter on your master channel you want to reduce the amount of those, if not you have to gain stage track by track, reducing each channel volume, preferably starting with the Kick and drums and then bringing the other elements in one by one. That’s because loudness & tracks levels addition themselves on the master.

So if you need to gain stage a complete mix again, put all your channels faders ( or whatever you use for the track volume ) to - ∞ ( no sound ) and start with the kick, drums, bass, synths…etc until you’re satisfied with the overall mix balance.

Now about the drums: I found them very clear, which I like but also very mono. That’s good for the kick and some low drums elements but you should spread more the other drums. The free iZotope “imager” plugin could help for that. It’s also good to make use of reverb and panning to spread and give more character to the drums. When listening to the tracks, I found the drums with so much clarity that they don’t really blend with the all mix, it sounds like a full drum track playing aside the other elements.

I’m missing the bass & the low end in those tracks. Maybe it’s on purpose because you seem to really love the synths and airy sounds in a higher frequency range. :wink: They are nice elements but you need a counterpart in a lower frequency register to balance the mix more.

Talking about synths and high frequencies, ther’s a lot going on in both tracks, maybe too much. I couldn’t put a genre on your music and it’s not the point, I’m trying to give mixing feedback here, not genre wise, but at certain points of the tracks when you’ve got all those high frequencies synths playing the same looped rhythmic patterns, it sounds a bit like Bollywood music in the very busy parts, that’s also causing listening fatigue because of the high frequencies. If you’re working with midi, just try to lower down some of your midi notes from -12 or -24 semi-tones to play in contrast with the same midi at the original higher octave. You can then layer those synths in a group and send them to reverb and effects too.

During the transitions parts where less elements are playing, I found some very nice listening moments and sometimes it’s also a good technique : less is more :wink:

Also for the synths, instead of playing midi loops ( assuming it’s the case but I can be wrong ), it could be nicer to use arpeggios with smooth change in pitch to induce variation.

Are you aiming at a particular genre like synth-waves and what’s your Daw to make music BTW ?

Hope than can help, again it’s just my listening experience feedback here, it’s quite difficult to do also, I usually try to translate what my ears could catch, so reduce your mixing level target, spread your drums & percs elements, bring more low frequency like deep bass or sub and contrast in your high & mid range synths tones with pitching midi down and layering high, mid & low synths part and use arpeggios to see where it brings the tracks, usually when playing around with those things the music will almost “tell you” that you’ve done something good, and many great things also happen by happy accident in music production, so it’s good to learn theory & techniques but it’s also nice to experiment.

Cheers !

1 Like

Thank you soo much… You’ve done me an immense favor! Exactly what I needed. I’m improving my mixes through gain staging and other techniques that you’ve mentioned about spreading sounds but there’s alot to learn and it takes a while to get around all those concepts. About the bollywoood sounding parts yea i understand what you mean. I need to study western counterpoint theory in detail, I guess that would help with the music writing part.
About aiming at particular genre I’d say i’m more interested in progressive and house oritented stuff. Techno even. I like artsists like Sasha, Pryda , Deadmau5, bodzin, Boris, I like both melodic and beat oriented stuff like techno. I’m using Abelton 9 for making music.

Anyways thanks alot again for your feedback.

I’m logged into soundcloud and the songs still don’t work for me.

Yep, just tested it and the same for me. Maybe the tracks have been removed now ?? @muzafarahmed

No problem, you’re welcome :wink:

Yes, it’s really like a journey when you start to dive into music production seriously and it’s a kind of never ending learning process but once you grab some fundamentals techniques, workflow and arrangement basics it really start to make sense.

There’s also a way to approach the all learning process and to set your mind around it, if you don’t mind long & boring reading :blush: have a look to this ( the long N° 4 post )

The reference artist you mentioned in your preferred music is nice too, the melodic deep house, melodic techno & tech house are really appealing genres at the time. Artist like Grum, Lane 8, Yotto and the more young Ben Böhmer are also nice ones and you don’t really need to study western music in my opinion, listening a lot of music is the best and then following complete “start to finish” tutorials like the “How to make” series here on Sonic Academy can really help improving faster I think.

Cheers !