Week Seven Evaluation (10th May-16th May)

This week has seen a massive improvement to the quality and professionalism of the track as I have finished mixing the song. Making mostly correctional changes to the mix, I have learnt a lot more about what effects I should be using to make the song sound as great and high-quality as possible. However, I have also added some extra chosen effects, especially on the vocals, like a delay here and there to keep the track interesting and moving, and using a delay to fade these ideas in and out of the track. Now that the final mix is finished, I need to think about mastering the track and how I will achieve this. I also need to ensure the song is finished in time so I can upload it to Distrokid. In the above photo, you can see all of the notes I made on this week’s mixing process.

Progressions And Strengths

Some of the correctional mixing changes I made to the song were very common and happen in most mixing circumstances. Last week, I cut the low end off a lot of instruments, but this week I also did the same to the lower octave keys as I found they sounded too rumbly and this showed through a lot in the mix. I also learnt about and then added stereo widener to the same channel and the harmonies so they show through more and seem wider, hence the name of the effect. After asking for criticism on the work from a tutor, I then tightened the kick up by lowering the drum buss boost signal on the effect. It is quite hard to make the drums sound perfect on this track as I am using a sample, and therefore cannot change the parameters and sound of each drum and cymbal, but I think I managed to get it sounding the best I could. After listening to the mix through the monitor speakers, I noticed that a lot of the vocal’s sibilance come through a lot and can be very overpowering. Subsequently, I put a de-esser on vocals and harmonies to cut out sibilance and any harsh noises that came about when they were singing.

To make some creative improvements on the vocals, I sent the delay return effect to the reverb send. This means that as well as the vocals having plain delay and reverb, the delay that comes after Lucy singing also has reverb, making this effect sound spacious and it makes the delay feel brighter. I then made some creative changes to the EQ on the same vocals; I boosted around 3k using a very small bell EQ for more presence and so they are a little more noticeable. This seems like something you should know how to use from the very start, but this week I learnt about leant about fading; I didn’t even know such a simple task existed until up to now! Before this, I just thought you did fade-ins and outs by using volume automation. Using the fade technique helps to cut out noises at the very start of a region without it clipping and to make the regions flow more if there are any chopped up parts you want close together.

Speaking of automation, I worked on this a lot throughout the week to make the song more dynamically and imaginatively exciting. For example, I brought up drums in volume during the choruses by automating the volume of the channel as I found that the drums can get a little bit shadowed and lost by the other instruments during the chorus; given that drums provide most of the rhythm to the song, they need to stay prominent throughout. As well as this, I also put a delay on the bongo intro where I am playing fast single notes. It has low feedback to make sure it doesn’t overshadow the other instruments and I put a ping pong effect on it so it sounds more stimulating. The sax now has a long reverb during long notes in the solo, and the vocal chop has delay automation to transition out and into said sax solo.


Now that I have my final mix, I finally can move to mastering the track next week. This means that I am very on track with my work and will have enough time to also get my other song mixed and mastered in time. As I have never done mastering and don’t really know what it entails, someone else will do this process for me and explain what exactly mastering is, what they are adding to the track and why they are doing this so I have a much better understanding by the end of it, and can potentially take more control over the mastering process for my second single. You can find some research on mastering techniques like compressing and volume balancing here: https://digitalspace.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/10626680/mixing-and-mastering-techniques/. I imagine that mastering the track won’t take too long, so after this I can work on getting the song distributed right away.

Targets For Next Week

-Master the track and have the final audio file ready to release by the 28th.