Our Soundalike project has been completed and this here is the result -
In comparing the original track of In The Summertime with that which we have created for the Soundalike, I am somewhat pleased with the result, but there are definitely areas I would fix!
I hear quite a lot of variance between our version and the original - especially in the electric guitar and the vocals. The rhythm section I think is spot on - the drums sound like the original, and have the right groove to them. The bass is also a very great sound in reference to what we needed to achieve, and is a perfect feel for the track. These aspects serve well to the entire vibe of the song as they are what drive it, so we thankfully got a great foundation laid out!
I think the most difficult aspect was having to mix the entire song on the desk, in a limited amount of time. There were parts we could have resolved given the opportunity to sit and do some in-the-box meddling, but that wasn't the point of the assignment!
Mixing down on the desk was also the best part of it though for me - I hadn't previously done a mixdown entirely on the console so I found it very informative and an interesting challenge.
Especially using the Patchbay with all the outboard gear!
What I think it really boils down to though were the performances - there are a few parts that diverge too much from the original, that should have been brought up and resolved in the recording process, such as the rhythm of the riffs - some upbeats are missing. The guitar sound is also not very akin to the original - it is grungier and dirtier - but it still drives the song well and is, separately, a cool sound. The sound was improved greatly through the desk though, and the resulting guitar sounds much better than the recorded stem. Mostly with EQ taking out the muddiness of parts (at about 350 Hz - with the bass and kick drum too). And boosting the mid-highs helped with the guitar timbre too. Plus compression did wonders for the entire mix!
However, there were meant to be two electric guitars recorded (that play simultaneously in the song) but only one was - so the overall sound is more hollow - there’s not the thickness of the mix that the original has.
The vocals also don’t follow certain parts of the original vocalist’s - especially within the chorus (the verse's are performed much more like the original), the intonation goes on and off. Vocally he sounds good though, and he does nail it at some points... Nice tone too. I also think the vocals should have been sitting lower in the mix, as to blend in better.
The harmony was another problem altogether! They weren’t recorded for all the parts they should have been, and where they were, they did not pitch-match the original!
The biggest reason these aspects were an issue was that the vocals and guitar were attempted in only one session - this was not a great idea, and proved itself to not have been.
I’m pleased with the product in and of itself, but I would say it doesn't sound as close to the original as we could have gotten it (if the situations were ideal). Overall though, the mix sits quite well, and the track aligns nicely with the original clip so that's a good sign of the timing! It’s also a lively, fun vibe, so definitely some things to be happy with there.