I hope no one minds I'm cross posting this on the CC forum.

I'm thinking about forming a chiptune rock cover band and looking for CC on the first track of my demo, "Code Monkey" by Jonathan Coulton. Made with one Gameboy (emulated), one guitar track, and one vocal track. I'd welcome feedback about any aspect of the track, but especially the mixing (levels, EQ, compression, vocal FX, etc.).

Hope you enjoy!

https://soundcloud.com/boymeetsrobot/code-monkey

I think the mixing is pretty good overall. Maybe a little more EQ tweaking to really make it sparkle. I'd be interested in some original songs if you have any.

Mixing seems fine to me. I personally prefer a higher LSDJ though. It's a pretty solid track though in terms of mixing. I don't really like the tone of the guitar that much. Maybe try something with a bit more overdrive and some compression? In my opinion it is right at that cheesy solid state with minor crunch sound. (Not that I don't use solid state). I'm not the best at explaining things hope this makes sense.

would be interested to know how the guitar was recorded, sounds like it may have been D/I? sounds artificial or something..

mix-wise i think your vocal is up too loud, it's using up a lot of space and makes your aggressive instrumentation sound a bit wimpy, also kind of robs you of a solid tonal center and makes it obvious where you get pitchy. just squash it a bit more to keep it present, but bring down the fader

Thanks for the feedback!

The Laohu wrote:

I think the mixing is pretty good overall. Maybe a little more EQ tweaking to really make it sparkle. I'd be interested in some original songs if you have any.

I find EQing to be kind of mysterious. Any particular areas you think need a boost/cut? Right now I'm boosting the bass on the chiptune track and running a high-pass filter on the guitar and vocals, plus an exciter on the master bus.

I'm working on a few originals, but that will probably be much later down the line.

dsv101 wrote:

I don't really like the tone of the guitar that much. Maybe try something with a bit more overdrive and some compression? In my opinion it is right at that cheesy solid state with minor crunch sound. (Not that I don't use solid state). I'm not the best at explaining things hope this makes sense.

I hear what you mean. I'm using the Logic Pro X amp designer plug-in set to their imitation Marshall stack plus an overdrive pedal plug-in. I'd like to get more of a classic rock tone. I'll try turning up the overdrive, but I'm not sure more compression will help (I'm currently compressing the guitar at 5:1 and a -20db threshold). Any other suggestions? (besides spending $ to get amps and pedals IRL smile )

Fudgers wrote:

just squash it a bit more to keep it present, but bring down the fader

By squash you mean compress, yes? I'll try that.

QuietMind wrote:

Thanks for the feedback!
Any other suggestions? (besides spending $ to get amps and pedals IRL smile )

Fudgers wrote:

just squash it a bit more to keep it present, but bring down the fader

By squash you mean compress, yes? I'll try that.

yes, squash as in compress the vocals a bit more, they aren't sitting right

the tone you have now w/ your guitar is more avril lavigne than classic rock, i might actually back off the overdrive a little bit, see what kind of grit you can get with the modeled amp first, the ramming of OD'd signal into the amp effect which tend to already sound a bit toastier than the real thing gives the guitar a very digital character.

you can try playing around with getting the guitar sound into some kind of space, idk about the modeling plugin you're using, but some of them end up needing a little bit of realistic room verb to sound convincing, try a "guitar room" preset or something on your favorite reverb, and bring it down to a the point where it's right on the line of imperceptible

QuietMind wrote:

Any other suggestions? (besides spending $ to get amps and pedals IRL smile )

I have never had any luck recording direct in for guitars. (However, I have got some sick tones from bass with distortion VSTs) I'm sure their is a VST somewhere that doesn't sound half bad. If you are running linux, I have gotten some neat sounds through this guy: http://guitarix.org/

Last edited by dsv101 (May 3, 2015 8:03 pm)

I had some success using guitar rig pro from native instruments in terms of guitar source tone. I used WAVES plugins for compression and EQing. I think I had the guitars more mid-high-like, with the chip bass-mid-high. The drums were logic's ultra beat with bass drum, snare+toms, and cymbals all on different tracks. Used WAVES drum plugins to EQ each (3) drum part.

Literally all I did was fool around for like... 5 months.
example: http://chipmusic.org/jansaw/music/rise-z80band

In this track, the guitars aren't the main feature, so they might be kinda quiet... but it does add some depth to just the chip.

oh, also forgot. the guitars were doubled (recorded it twice, not just copy and paste), and panned, one full left, one full right, or whatever suits the track... but panning and recording twice fattens it up a lot.

Last edited by Jansaw (May 5, 2015 3:42 pm)

My number one suggestion for recording guitars direct is watch your input levels. Guitar sims usually sound bad because the input is too hot, and its modeling around a muddy distorted signal. The better you record the guitars the easier it will be to mix. I also cut more bass than you think, and let the bass synths and whatever do the low end lifting.

herr_prof wrote:

My number one suggestion for recording guitars direct is watch your input levels. Guitar sims usually sound bad because the input is too hot, and its modeling around a muddy distorted signal. The better you record the guitars the easier it will be to mix.

What level would you suggest for the raw guitar input? Mine peaked at about -2 db.

QuietMind wrote:

What level would you suggest for the raw guitar input? Mine peaked at about -2 db.

averaging around -20dBu...it's ok to record at whatever level you can hear well and then just bring the gain down afterwards  and amplify it w/ the plugin's "circuitry"...this depends on the plugin as well, some work just fine at line level, maybe just play w/ it and see what sounds best?

Last edited by Fudgers (May 5, 2015 4:56 pm)

Yea there is no number thats the best for whatever combo of pickups and input. I try to get a nice strong and clear clean signal first and then built the amp sims up from that. Just remember to leave plenty of headroom if youre the type of guitar player that rides the volume knob when you play.

The best guitar i own for amp sims is my cheapy danelectro, i think the lipstick pickups are so clean they take to the modeling better than anything on my other instruments.

Last edited by herr_prof (May 5, 2015 5:36 pm)

Okay, I've tweaked the mix, following some of your suggestions, and re-uploaded. Thanks for lending me your ears!