Jazz Mixoff: Alliston Jazz Collective does Autumn Leaves

Hi folks, i've had my students do some mixes of Mixoff posts, so I thought I'd post up one of my own for you guys to have at it!
My band is the Alliston Jazz Collective or AJC for short.  We're based out of Alliston, Ontario, about an hour north of Toronto.

Here's the link to the stems:

Here's the link to my mix of it on Soundcloud:

This was a quick recording done in my garage one night this past summer. 
I did very little with the mix so far, just a bit of reverb, a little EQ, and put levels to what I thought sounded good.  I cheated on the guitar part a bit, and duplicated the track and inverted the phase... i know that makes it incompatible with mono, but I liked the way it sounds.

Let's see what you folks can come up with... i'm pretty new at this.  Musician first, and sound tech second, I know how to listen, but lack professional training.  Sometimes I find I just need to be told where to listen in order to notice things.



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Hey thanks for the tracks! This genre and live recordings are completely new to me too, but this is what I did: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/23688706/ajcleaves.mp3
I have no idea if I got it anywhere near where it should be, so comments are appreciated! thanks!

As for the starter mix, I'm no expert in this genre as I said but i've got a feeling what i've heard, the mixes are a bit more wet and have more room sound in them than your mix has. I think yours is a bit dry. This is a matter of opinion however, otherwise it sounds fine and you can hear everything, maybe the bass is a little bit low.
I personally think that the drum are slightly too compressed for this kind of music; I think you'd better off with some tape saturation plugin to control the transients. Or if
you really feel t... (read more)
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Thanks, I like what you did with it.  It's weird, I didn't like how it came out on soundcloud... it was very different than what it sounded like on my DAW... maybe I needed to boost my levels, and add some compression perhaps?

Maybe it's the compression of the mp3 format as well compared to FLAC?

I was a little conservative on the reverb, but I didn't want to go for too big or too reflective a room.  However, I was actually impressed how much the drum kit came out with only 2 overheads.
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Yeah i've heard soundcloud alters the sound somewhat. The drums were very nice indeed, and had a nice sounding room sound, didn't add any reverb on them. You could try to compress the bass more, however I try not to compress other instruments too much on this genre of music. Now that I listen my own mix, I think the bass is not very good on it either, I need to check the phases etc again later this evening, somehow I missed that during mixing.
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Few things that I would do to improve my mix (maybe later). Don't know if you already did this, but I think this would help. Roll off bass frequencys with mid/side eq from the sides on drum tracks, so the bass isn't unnaturally wide and flip the phase on other bass track. Maybe i'll tweak my mix a bit later and do all this properly.
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Had a little go at this. Feedback is welcomed:


I really like your mix. I like the balance and the placement and the overall tone and feel. Good work.

What mics did you use for the Overheads? I really like the way they sound and was quite surprised at how much of the kit they picked up. Good tracking of the kit overall.

I really love the tone you got recording the guitars and the trumpet especially. I haven't had a chance to listen to your mix on my speakers yet, only on some old headphones so it was hard for me to form any valid opinion for feedback. Overall it sounded decent, just a little too quiet to really assess the individual elements.

I know my mix has some phase issues. I tried to keep my mix really roomy but it messes with the bass a little since the bleed from the drums was catching a l... (read more)
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Thanks for the feedback Spede, I was actually speaking earlier about what I would do to improve my mix, and was speaking about rolling of the lows with side eq. But you're right, about the drums and the bass too. I think your mix is good, as always from you. However the horns are a little too loud compared to other instruments for my taste.
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Here is my version.  As most here can attest to I need to learn a little about mixing projects where a live sound doesn't fit the genre.  This however is hopefully in my wheelhouse.  I mixed this on my good stereo in a room tuned to 30hz to make sure it sounded like real people playing real instruments in a real space. (This is where I think monitors will let you down. Getting this bass right requires a system flat and low and room for the sound to develop)

Very little processing is needed.  I gave most of the instruments a low end bump because I think the close miking took some of that away.  I lowered what I believe is a room resonance for the bass around 120hz so it could be heard clearer.  Very little reverb is needed - if any - because of the drum miking.  A skosh is probably needed to replicate the original room and more if you want a larger room and livelier sound. I went for the small intimate club feel that doesn't have a lot of hard surfaces. I used a tube emulato... (read more)
You're really at your best in this kind of "less is more" mixing. I guess I haven't much to criticize about. Mostly some subjective things: Occasionally I feel that there's too
much reverb on ... (read more)
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Thank you for listening and the comments. yes I barely do anything - well. :D

I agree on the verb with the trumpet. It stands out a bit. On old jazz recordings where they used a plate for the whole band it was that way too. Trumpets just excite reverbs well.

DUDE you are dead on. HOLY CRAP. The Bass DI was off by .0048.  You are excellent at hearing that. (I am picky with tone but apparently can't hear that walking for crap)  You know that was the track I let Reaper's Media Explorer decide what the BPM was since it wasn't listed. And Reaper told me it is 105. But it has been wrong recently.  I fixed it. THANK YOU. Guess I am gonna have to check this every time. (I also turned the verb down a hair)


(Reaper Media Explorer BPM issue = In every case where someone tells me the BPM Reaper's Media Explorer on Tempo Match says the BPM is something other than 1.00.  ... (read more)
I guess the thing here is that the song is tracked without a click. Ask the Jazz musician if the BPM is 105 and he says "Wha?" ;D
I guess the point is that you necessarily don't need to know t... (read more)
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I will probably have to leave it off when I import.

It is very useful for listening to loops I want to audition in tempo and on measure.  Still though I will have to watch this.
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Yeah this whole session was recorded live and on-the-fly so we were just playing with mics in the room.  I'm the sax player so I wasn't able to sit and adjust levels once we got the tune rolling.  I'm sorry about the reverb issue.  I've been using Studio One Pro and a presonus firestudio for recording.  I didn't realize that studio one had embedded the reverb when I exported the stems.  My apologies. 

In all honesty I didn't do much with the mix at all before I pOsted mine.  Just adjusted a couple of levels and added some reverb.  No compression or EQs at all.  Hopefully this week I'll get a chance to redo it.
You have proven that it's all about good players and keeping it simple.  The verb wasn't excessive at all and sounded right.  Fantastic recording. You kept it simple.  Ever listen to Cowboy Junkies... (read more)