John Mayer – Call me The breeze

what is interesting about the song is how everything is clean and clear in the mix. As you can hear in the beginning of the track, you can hear an acoustic guitar placed really close in the mix, along with John Mayer’s vocals counting down for the band, giving this live feel to the song as well. A 808 snare and kick can be heard on the left of the mix and a electric guitar is introduced on the right just before the whole band comes in with live drums. The bass fills up most of the low frequencies along with the kick, giving a strong rhythm section. During the verse you can hear the hi-hat playing at some points panned slightly to the right. A lead guitar is placed in the middle of the track that carries out the melody. The vocal line has a double effect, john mayers voice stands out near in the mix while the lead guitar does a call and response effect to his vocals. It follows a 12 bar blues pattern, and before the next bar comes in the drums does a small roll and a floor tom hit can be heard on the left. A cymbal crash as well that is place further in the mix with the use of reverb, giving a sense of depth to the song. It follows by another bar and soon after a guitar solo that is compressed. It stands out as the same level as the vocals and is placed near the listeners ears.

During the next bar again, an organ is introduced panned to the left and is also placed nearer in front of the mix. The song ends of with the drums playing a right that can be heard very softly and is placed further back in the mix again. Here the floor Toms are shifted from left and right from time to time, while the guitar does a solo again and the organ is playing a solo as well. The song ends of with the same 808 electronic kick drum, with john mayer saying “cool”, giving this live feel to the song, while the guitar cuts out slowly and abruptly after awhile. You can also hear abit of talking at the background, adding to the live feel of the song.

Led Zeppelin – Immigrant song


the guitar riff panned to the left while the reverb is panned to the right of the track, giving this width to the track. The drums starts off the song along with the guitar, which crashes  in with a cymbal and just a standard hi-hat and snare/kick. The high “ahhhh” that robert plant does in the beginning is panned slightly to the left and just before the verse starts, the bass is introduced. The bass has a lot of grunt on it and not much bass frequencies on it but still cuts through the mix well enough, giving a strong rhythm section.  A swelling guitar is panned to the right playing on the 1 of every bar and 2 hits before the end of the bar. The vocals shifted back to the center of the mix and at the end of the first bar, the line was increased with decay time and panned left and right to give this huge wall of sound, that is cut after the next line is introduced.

During the chorus, a new bass line is introduce which plays a more melodic tool than a rhythmic one. The vocals ends of the chorus with a huge decay time just before the intro of the song starts again. It then repeats the 1st verse with different vocal lines. The vocals in the mix, does not seem so close to the listener but still retains its strong tone of robert plants voice. The song ends off with just the intro riff being played for 40 seconds, while robert plants does “oooss” that has alot of reverb on it and some other pitch effected effect on it. It is auto panned as well and moves around from left to the right. The song ends of with a huge decay time of the cymbals and the entire track itself. It seems like the master track was wrapped around a reverb effect that gave the vibe of the song.

Washed Out – All I Know


The song starts out with a auto-panned synth line sound that automates from right to left, along with a bell like sound that twinkles at the right of the mix. Further in around 30 seconds, a fade in of a electronic piano both on the right and the left, playing different things at the same time. It also have reverb on it and just before the verse comes in at 48 seconds, a shaker panned on the left introduces the start of the verse with a kick drum and a cymbal. A bass is also introduced, playing a runny bass line that sticks with the groove. During this 1st verse, the shaker panned to the left is still going, keeping the rhythmic aspect of the song. On the right side of the mix is the strum of an acoustic guitar, which also plays the same rhythmic pattern of the shaker. Both instruments panned to the right and left gives this wide space of rhythm, while the actual beat of the song retains the stability of the track placed in the center of the mix. The snare without much decay time on it, gives this simple cut through the mix. A lead line is introduced on the left of the mix and just before the chorus comes in, you hear a fade in of a synth sound that increase in volume and the beat stops, while a sweep of a synth sound introduces the chorus. Through the entire song, the vocals retain a clear tone to the voice but it still makes use of reverb, giving it a sense of depth and at the same time a sense of closeness.

During the chorus, a rhythm electric guitar can be heard, which is layered with harmonies of the chord both highly reverberated which gives this strong droning effect during the chorus. The chorus ends of with the same sweep of the synth that introduces the chorus.

During the bridge, it begins softly first with just the bass playing and the synth line. What was cool about this bridge is how the strum of the acoustic guitar is slowly faded in with a swirl effect that comes from the bottom of the mix to the top of the mix. Whats it reaches the top, the drums is introduced back in, with a violin added to the mix. It is place further in the mix and after 2 bars, the sweep synth line is introduced again. The last chorus is played and on the outro, a tambourine is added to the rhythm section, giving this brighter feel to the song. The violins are added to the mix and ends of the track with a long reverb decay of the violin on the right and a violin still playing on the left. The same synth line in the beginning is introduced as well and it comes in mid-way through the outro with its auto-panning effect that ended the track.

Wild Nothing – Nocturne


The song takes on an 80s type reverberated style of song. The multiple layers of the guitar gives the thickness of the song, which can be heard from the difference between the intro and the verse. To begin with, during the intro, there is a delayed guitar that is playing 16th notes panned in the centre of the mix, which can also be heard during the verse. However during the intro it is drowned out with the other lead line that is panned to left, which is also layered multiple of times. What you can hear as well is the strum of acoustic guitars, that is panned left and right and place towards the top of the mix. Even though you cant really hear the notes clearly enough, you can hear the jangly sounds of an acoustic guitar strum. A synth line is also placed in the centre of the mix, that is place further in the mix. The crisp hi-hat sounds can be heard in the center of the mix as well, cutting through the mix giving this rhythmic flow to the song. The bass and kick cant be heard that clearly but it still sticks out just enough to give you that pulse to the song. The snare seems as though there is not much decay on the snare sound, giving this rounded thick sound.

During the verse you can clearly hear the delayed guitar notes panning from the right to the left, through maybe auto panning. The vocals has a slap delay and it is drowned with reverb, which gives these nice decay time than blends in with the back of the mix. During the chorus you can hear a new delayed-effected guitar element introduced, which is auto panned as well. Theres a synth line that has the same delay as the guitar, but has Saw synth sound to it that blends in very well.

During the bridge, you can hear an analog brass that comes up clearly and a swelly/wah effect is added to the vocals panned left and right, while he continue to sings ” You can have me”. During this bridge, the hi hats plays it at doubled the time and builds up towards till the last chorus, along with a droning guitar that is panned to the left, giving this huge build up. It ends with a drum roll and a cymbal crash, which leads to the last chorus.

After that is the outro, which makes use of the same bridge swell vocal effects. That is emphasized more on certain parts of the vocal line, along with a new guitar line and a synth line place far back in the mix with the use of reverb. The strums of an acoustic guitar can be heard again, placed similarly to the intro of the song, panned left and right. It has certain toms introduced at some points as well, which breaks up sections and brings back the listener to the same guitar riff of the outro. This guitar riff is continuous and as the song fades out for 30 seconds and the guitar line sticks with you.

Screaming Jay Hawkins – Hong Kong


The song starts out with a saxophone line that sits just above the cymbal crash which can be heard in the start of the track. The natural reverb of the crash can be heard and gives us a sense of the spatial qualities of the recording. Just when the first verse starts, the drums come in but in the mix itself, you cant hear the kick drum but the snare is placed right in the center of the mix. His vocals also placed in the center of the track and his rough-like vocals can be heard clearly throughout the track through compression. A cymbal crash can be heard every once in awhile which still retains its depth. Other brass instruments are introduce during the track throughout the whole song. The saxophone increases in volume as the song progresses giving this improvised feel to the song. The vocals have a slight reverb on it but hardly noticeable. Even though the vocals lack abit of depth, his voice is still strong and overpowering and you can hear abit of analog distortion when he goes too loud. The song ends of with a saxophone line with the vocals singing “Hong Kong”

A tribe called quest – Vibes And Stuff


The song starts out with a saxophone sample with some drums on it, which then cuts completely for just half a second before the beat comes in. What is interesting is how the beat sits nicely within the mix. It seems like the entire mix is made in blocks, so firstly the bass which is just washy and is really muddy but it fills the whole bottom area very nicely. Along with the kick drum, even though all the low frequencies are covered by the bass, the kick still sits just below the bass, having a thumping sound. The boxy kick drum is used in most hip-hop in those days and it cuts through the mix nicely without making it too in front of the mix like a dance track. The next up is just the simple sample of a high frequency synth or keys that comes in on the one and comes in and out within each bar. That sound is the only thing that colors the high frequency spectrum and it is placed on the top of the mix. Next up is the snare and the Hi-hat. The snare cuts through the mix well enough while not making it too obvious. The standard MPC swing or hip-hop swing can be heard in the way the beat has a .1 second lag, which gives this awesome groove. The hi hats, sits perfectly above the snare drum, though really soft, it brings out the groove of the kick drum and the snare.

Next up is the vocals that basically just sit right infront of the listener. Common in most 90s hip hop, theres this small slap delay that is added on some points of the vocal track. It usually comes in very subtle as well. Call and response is also used throughout most of the track. Somewhere in the middle of the track, theres a guitar line or saxophone that comes in. It is hard to differentiate the sound as it has very little tone to it but it sits perfectly in the mid frequencies which cuts through the mix nicely. Usually at some points of the track, there will be a pause where it will just be the drums, bass and vocals. During that part, the bass is lowered down in terms of its droning bass sound. Furthermore, it follows the groove of the kick drum, giving this interesting vibe to the song. It also ends of with just the drums and bass doing that multiple of times and then it ends with the kick drum and bass without the snare, a good end to the song.

 

Drake – Hold on We’re Going home – Nothing was the same 2013


The song starts out with just a kick drum and a snare hit, with some percussions pushed further in the mix. The sudden stops with the hi-hats come in mid-way through the intro of the song, followed by drakes vocals that has reverb on it. The snare does a roll that signifies the start of the 1st verse . During the 1st verse the bass comes in panned in the middle of the track and an 80s synth pad sound that is stereo, giving this wide feel to the song. The kick and snare stays in the middle of mix, cutting through the mix. The kick especially is strong and is placed right in your face, just like most disco or dance songs that rely on the kick. There are also electronic percussions panned to the left and right giving this upbeat feel to the first verse.

During the first chorus, a snare roll is introduced and is placed further in the mix with the use of reverb giving this 80s electronic drum roll sound. During that chorus, a synth line is introduced and some backing vocal lines can be heard in the mix, even though placed further away in the mix with the use of reverb. During the chorus as well, the snare is reduced as well, less layers than the verse. Just before it hits the second verse, the use of an EQ sweep can be heard, which is common in most dance songs, where the drums do a drum roll and the reverb as well is cut the minute the 2nd verse starts. During the next chorus, you can hear a backup vocal line singing ” Going home” a call and response effect to the main melody, placed further behind the mix as well.

During the bridge, the kick drum is added with some reverb and has a side chained compressor on it with regards to the Synth, giving this cool breathing effect as seen in many Daft punk records. Furthermore, during this bridge the back up vocals are panned hard left and right, while the main vocals sit in the middle. The kick drum is panned to the left leaving the center of the mix very empty and sparse. During the second part of the bridge, you can hear another layer of the main melody placed just behind the main vocals. They introduced the vocal line ” Baby ” that is placed very near to the listener as well. After that part, theres this distorted electric sound that can be heard, while drake just sings by himself.

It ends of with the chorus and a snare roll while fading away with the reverb. There is also a pitch effect on drakes vocals that ends of the track with a little of reverse reverb on it.

Iggy Pop – Knocking’em down (In The City)


The song starts out with a guitar just jamming for about a second and soon after a overdriven guitar line is introduced. The entire mix seems very close to the listener in terms of depth. The drums are very punchy and the kick stands out very clearly, while the snare cuts through the mix as well right in the center of the mix. However, the low frequencies is very weak in the mix and the bass seems very thin as it is drowned out by the kick drum. With that being said, the entire feel of the song (Punk/DIY) is the image that Iggy Pop showcases, which is evident even in the mix.

Another interesting part is the use of stereo imaging, during the drum fill you can hear the drums shifting from the center to the left giving the image of the song. Parts where the snare and the tom is used to do a build up, you can hear the tom being hit on the left. The vocals as well, the harmonies are panned to the left and the right, with slight reverb on it. The vocals seem very close in the mix and is parked at the front of the mix. The entire drum track could possibly be sharing the same reverb sound, you can hear it when the kick and snare comes in, the snare has a slight pre-delay on it, giving depth to the mix. During the outro, the right cymbal cuts through the mix while the gang shouts can be heard as it is panned left and right, a call and response effect that Iggy uses. A slight 5 second fade out can be heard at the end of the track.

 

 

Kanye West – Black Skinhead – Yeezus


It starts off with a weird vocal or vocoder effect to the vocals panned both right and left. The drums is then introduced and a cymbal hit is introduced as well, just before the actual melody kicks in. A breathing type vocals is panned both left and right, while the drums that i mentioned earlier is now panned to the left and a swooping EQ effect of vocals is panned to the right, whenever the drum ends. During this intro, the interesting part about the mix was when it had a .5 second cut of the entire track and then it comes back in, which takes you by surprise but effectively as well.

When the rap comes in, the call and response vocal line can be heard by a pitch effected vocal line saying “Black” whenever Kanye stops rapping. The breathing effect is still panned both left and right gives this cool rhythmic effect. A screaming overdriven vocal line is placed far in the mix and panned sometimes hard left and then switched hard right. It soon cuts down to just a electronic kick and Kanye rapping. The big decay of the kick drum and vocal melody fills up the mix even though other instruments are cut. During that part, Kanye has a delay effect on his vocals panning both left and right, filling up the mix. It then builds up again to with the massive drum introduction but cut back down when a screaming vocal sample kicks in, signifying a break from the other section.

Towards the end of the song, Where it is just Kanye rapping and the breathing sample is still on the track, Kanye mentions the word breathing and brings to context the breathing samples. The song ends of with the same introduction melody with Kanye saying “God”.

Elton John – Tiny Dancer


The stereo recording of the Piano can be heard very clearly throughout the mix. The vocals with reverb added to it, still cuts through the entire mix but still retaining its depth to the vocals.  A slide guitar is introduced just before the drums, panned to the left of the mix. Slowly more elements are added, such as the drums, placed much further in the mix. Another guitar melody is added panned to the right. The bass plays a thumping bass line and just before the chorus actually comes in, a choir is added, which is panned to the left and right. The 2 minute build up to the chorus comes across very evidently. Soon after that, a pre-chorus is introduced. where the keys and the bass play the same rhythmic pattern while the electric guitar goes heavier and the slide guitar does a call and response to Elton Johns vocal line. Apart from all that, the melody starts slowing down a little just before it hits the chorus.

During the chorus, the vocals are doubled and a harmony is added as well. During the chorus the use of strings are very evident, which is panned to the left. Even during the chorus, there is a small build up within the chorus by adding more instruments as the chorus vocal line repeats itself. The choir effect on the vocals can be heard through the use of multiple layers of vocal takes. Just after the chorus, it brings us back down to the intro of the song, where the keys are just playing by itself.

During the second verse, the strings are introduced and carries the whole melody and even though shorter than the first verse, the impact of the second verse is strong and it builds the track up to the last chorus of the track. The strings in the entire mix is placed very near the mix while the entire rhythmic section is placed further in the mix. The vocals staying in the middle keeps in the mix stable even though there are so many elements happening at once. To end of the track, the same intro piano is introduced again, with the choir effect singing “oooos” with reverb on it, giving this big massive feel to the entire song.