CLA Mix Feedback - Chinese Rock

Hi Chris,
Huge fan from China! This song is produced, mixed, mastered by me (and the whole album). Hope you like it and waiting for your feedback!
(PS: it’s a concept album so the intro and outro are related with other songs)
Thanks for your time!

Best regards,

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Hello Gak!

I ended up with a song titled The Phantom Mountain when I hit your link. If that’s not the song you were presenting, then everything I say is complete BS. Perhaps it is anyway!

Wow, man. I love that warm thuddy kick drum. I think you have this sitting in a really good spot. The snare is pleasant, but pretty smashed with that compressor.

This is a good balance. I do think compressors are holding back your dynamics at times, so this could actually have a little more impact, but it sits smooth in the monitors. Especially on the power guitars, it seems they could jump and have a little more weight if they weren’t so squashed. OH THAT ENDING! how about that? clever!

I dig this! Be proud of yourself. This is some great and entertaining work!



Thx man! Glad to hear that you like my work. The band kinda want that kind snare sound in the begainning, and it’s not compressed a lot actually, over all about 4dB (snare comp+drum parallel+mixbus comp). There’s a subtle line between punchy/aggressive and sqeezed. Hope you like the whole album. :grin:

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I actually have a question for you @Gak:

Do you think that culture has an influence on what tastes and standards are for production, mixing, etc.? For example this is a Chinese album - are the mixing style and preferences there different at all vs. what someone like CLA might do?

Genuinely curious - I used to be a singer in Taiwan and a lot of Mandopop music I heard was really mixed differently that what I was used to, which was made by Western engineers. I don’t think good or bad - just different.

Or is mixing/engineering like physics - the rules are the same no matter where you are in the world?

Hi, Jinting. I’ll try to answer from the Russian music perspective.
I think in music production a lot of things depends of the listening experience. For example, in USSR a lot of rock recordings made in very hmm…doubtful quality (For objective reasons soviet rockers weren’t have high-quality gear), they had cool ideas, lyrics (as I understand, in Russian music lyrics even more important than the musical component), but poor equipment and sound-design. With the time consuming music of the same quality creates a certain stereotype of perception and quality. Over the past 30 years, a stereotype of the perception of the quality of Russian music has been formed, but now a lot of music in Russia have great production, sound-design. It seems like food: you can eat well-cocked dishes from childhood and if you’ll eat bad-cocked food, you’ll quickly distinguish it, because you have certain standard of food quality. A high standard of perception among music consumers is important, so that the paradigm “Everyone and everything is eating” doesn’t work.


Very interesting. Russia and the former Soviet Union is an interesting case study because like lots of large economies, there has been so much economic development over the past few decades that now the quality of music rivals that of the Western standard, technically. South Korea, Taiwan, India, Mexico, many places.

But if we imagined everyone had the same amazing gear, would we come out with different mixes that are impacted by cultural preferences? For example, in Mandopop, sub frequencies and bass/low end are very understated in comparison to western pop, and vocals a bit more up front. In Kpop there’s a certain amount of digital shine and compression on the vocals. Perhaps these differences are very minimal at best, but I still wonder if they are consistently there as a part of just what that culture likes to hear.


Hi Jinting,
That’s a pretty interesting question. There’re several aspects I want to say:

  1. I think all human beings are biologically same in terms of brain structure and auditory system, so our auditory preferences also have a lot in common. This is why Mandopop artists like JJ Lin and GEM have succeeded in the Mando music market by working with the German mixer Richard Furch who grows his career in the US.
  2. Different regional cultures do affect auditory preferences and habits, but globalization makes everything blend together, and the boundaries become very vague and subtle. For example, in a certain place, familiar things will be easy to accept, but fresh and exotic stuff may be cooler… That’s just like a paradox.
  3. A strong culture could invades a weak culture. In any country that has access to the Internet or has embraced globalization, music is bound to be more or less influenced by American music, both in terms of genre and production. Just like what The Beatles did to the US and the world in the 1960s.

Hmmm, very interesting and good points indeed. On #3, yes this is very true, the hegemony of Western popular culture including its music by extension also includes its technical standards, conventions, and preferences. We’re being influenced on things we don’t even know we could have preferences about.