I'm taking a quick break while I'm in the middle of mixing down the latest song.
One of the things I do each month is take the time to go through each track, remove the noise from the beginning, and put in nice fades at the end of each track. make it sound as clean and nice as I can. (although sometimes I also love what I find in the background and leave it in on purpose)
This month I thought I would spend the extra time to really go through each track one by one and really get them to "sound" right. Make sure the levels weren't peaking out and distorted. Check out the different sounds for the guitars and vocals. Use the built in EQ to really make each track sound really nice.
So I just spent the last two hours going through track by track and doing this. I made the guitars sound awesome and crisp and sharp. I made the vocals stand out a little more. I really balanced the tracks and made sure nothing was distorted. It sounded great in Garageband when I listened to it really loud. When I transfered it over to iTunes it didn't sound as good for some reason. It may have been just volume but it just didn't sound as good as I remembered it. Everything is really clear and crisp and separated. One the one hand it sounds great. but it seemed to be missing something...
So then I listen to the mix I had before I did all the tinkering this morning. and it sounds great! I thought it sounded better to be honest. It's distorted and ugly sounding. I think I made the song sound too "nice"! Now I'm not sure what to do... I'm going to listen to the various mixes with a clear mind and try to figure out a plan... What I might do next is take the original "dirty" version and at least clean up the tracks at the beginning and ends but otherwise leave it the same and see what I think. Compare the two... maybe try to figure out how to make a compromise mix between the two?
I'm really glad I saved the original version before I started doing all the mixing stuff I did this morning.