My Latest Track - would love some advice, critique and comment!

Hi guys

This is my first track that I have put on the interwebs :slight_smile:

I would to love to hear your thoughts on any aspects of the track…instrumentation, arrangement, mixdown, use of effects, mastering…anything!!

For those interested, everything pre-mix was done in Ableton Live. I used 2 VST’s namely Sylenth1 and 2CAudio’s Aether for reverb, all other instruments, effects and processors were Ableton native.

During the mix-down and mastering phase I used some Abbey Road and SPL plugins as well.

Doron Dusheiko - F.L.I.F.L.U (Original Mix)


Great track Man! Love the riff in the middle :cool: :cool: :cool:

thanks a lot mate!

You should post a bit more in the forums Mate… Hope to see you around :slight_smile: :cool:

cool vibe! sounds quality man!!

yeah its great track – i added my comments on soundcloud earlier!

good solid techno track. like the techno train sound. cool

Really enjoying this one fella - choochoo :smiley:

Good track Doron. Left comment on your player.

Only thing I could come up with is to try using a bit bigger/fatter kick. Sounds like it’s missing a bit of a boom. But that might be because of that techno bassline.

thanks for the comment mate!

yeah fully agree about the kick and some more low-end boom.

I think i might have been a bit heavy on the low-end during mastering, removed a bit too much of it :slight_smile:

nice work :slight_smile:

This tune is big… deep deep deep x 1 million. bass is grimey

im dancing im dancing

Nice work dude. Can I ask if there is any specific reason why you didn’t use Ableton for the mix-down?

I just do everything in Ableton myself, including mastering with oZone on the master channel.

thanks for the comment mate! really appreciate!

No i did do everything incl mix and master in ableton live. i actually used the wrong choice of words there…what i meant to say was that everything pre-mix was done in ableton before bouncing down to audio. then everything was brought back into ableton for mixing and then again bounced into a single channel for mastering (also done in ableton).

apologies for the confusion with my explanation.

Very interesting track! Had a lot of sonic treats throughout! :slight_smile:

Can I ask again about your mixdown technique? I find it interesting as I was thinking about doing the same myself.

I think having clips warped in Ableton can cause little ‘rumbles’ in the mixdown, especially in the bass and sometimes glitches in the highs/hats.

I was thinking it would be better to render each track and then mixdown with warping turned off.

Is this why you do it (or some other reason)?

UPDATE: Added more info - left out some bits about mono mixing and parallel compression

Hey Kieran,

I’ll run you through the entire process basically.

In terms of track and arrangement, I start out in session view but i dont make use of the drum rack. Basically i have a completely separate channel for each drum or perc sample, synth, loop, etc, etc.

For the drums and percussion, each will generally have a sampler instrument ,with EQ8, compressor, Utility and Spectrum on it as part of a standard audio rack channel strip.

All other types of channels (synth, raw audio loop) have the same strip without the sampler.

The reason I dont use a drum rack is because of the mixing and mastering process where i like to work with each channel as audio in isolation and not the freezed/flatted drum channel in its entirety.

Ok so onto the arrangement. For the most part i work in midi unless the original material is audio itself (thankfully i have a beast of a PC that can handle the CPU of keeping the instrument and processes running).

Once I am happy with the tune. I save it as a “pre-mix” version. The pre-mix then involves bouncing each channel down completely and then basically cleaning up the sounds as much as possible before starting on the mixing. The premix is done with 2 things. First, an EQ8 (on high quality) on each channel to remove any lows and highs that i feel do not contribute to the sound. Second the Transient Designer from SPL is applied to each channel to push things forward and back in the mix. Its a fantastic bit of kit because its volume independent attack and sustain shaping, so you do not lose dynamics by using it.

I then save the set again as a “ready for mix” kind of thing.

Then mixing itself is as follows:

-Ideally i try mix whichever tracks i can in mono. to do this (in ableton), i add a Utility device to the track and force it into mono by making the width control 0%. If it sounds the same, i leave in mono, if there is a substantial difference in the sound, i put it back to 100% and mix that channel in stereo.

-Add the SSL Stereo bus compressor to the master channel and mix through that. This glues the whole track together during mixing.

-At this point, I also add parallel (New York) compression to the drums and percussion to beef them up. This involves:

—Bus/Group the drums and percussion.

—Add the SSL Mono Bus Compressor to a RETURN track. Set the return volume fader to 0%.

—On the Group/Bus track i turn up the send to the RETURN compressor to 100%.

—I open up the SSL and set it up. Auto release, zero attack. threshold set to get a -4db gain reduction. Make up gain set to 4Db.

—Now i bring up the volume fader on the return track

—listen in delight as your drums get much more body but with no loss in dynamics as the compression is being added as a send effect.

-i add 4 different reverbs as sends (1 short, 2 medium, 1 for thickening (short with no pre-delay)

  • i add a chorus as a send (also for thickening)

    -figure out which are the prominent sounds in the mix, for some it is the kick and perhaps the pitched down toms, for others it might be the bassline and the kick

    -once i figured out which are the prominent sounds i set the kick up in turns of level. I start at -12db for this.

    -after that, one by one, i add each element to the track. For each element, i go through the following process:

    ----Adjust the level (start really high and then bring it down till it fits)

    ----adjust the panning of the track

    ---- make use of the reverbs and/or chorus to either push sounds around the mix or thicken them. In general, all the drums and percussion will use the same reverb because we want it to appear that they are in the same room.

    -the above might go through many iterations to get it right. Also little EQ improvements might be done on each sound, nothing drastic though.

    Once the whole track is mixed, everything should sound balanced and each sound should be audible and in the correct place (so if you imagine a cube of sorts, think tall, deep and wide, thats what mixing is about - you wanna picture yourself walking into a door in the cube and then have the sounds all around your head)

    at this point, i then save a new version as “post-mixing” and then move onto mastering which i will discuss in a follow up post because i think this once is getting a bit long :slight_smile:


interesting process mate… thanks for sharing!

pleasure man!

Ok so onto the mastering…

so following the mixing stage i render the master channel into a single track.

Rendered as 24 (with dithering) or 32 bit (no dithering). If you do this, ensure that you set the loop marker in whatever sequencer you are using to capture the entire song including any reverb tails or whatever that might be at the end of the track.

once bounced i bring the single wav file back into ableton.

after that the following mastering chain is applied (in order):

-Abbey Road TG12412 Broadband Mastering EQ - brings out/removes certain high/lows broadly

-Abbey Road TG12412 Broadband Mastering EQ - ditto for further frequency control

-Abbey Road TG12414 Broadband Mastering Filter - enhance/remove some bottom end

-SPL Bass Ranger - graphic EQ for working with specific bass frequencies

-SPL Full Ranger - as above but across broader frequency range

-Flux Epure II - precision EQ’ing of troublesome frequencies

-Brainworx bx_digital - precision EQ’ing of troublesome frequencies

-Flux Alchemist Multi band Compressor - compress specific frequency ranges

-SSL Stereo Bus Compressor - glues the entire mix together

-Brainworx bx_control - add more stereo width to the entire mix and test fully in mono

-Flux Limiter - push the mix up to -6 to -9 db

-Brainworx bx_control - use the level monitor on here to monitor final levels.

once i am happy i bounced down as named track (16 bit now). Then also run through audacity to create 320K MP3 version and…