Music Composers Unite!
We're at the Disco giving it four on the floor.
First thing is how muddy the mix is. Needs more middle and high frequency.
The stereo image seems a bit narrow also.
If you don't have many vst fx plugins you could try these
ANTRESS MODERN PLUGINS
Learning how to use them is another story :-)
Sounds like a fusion of Jazz and Disco. Very 80s sounding. Cool mix. I have to agree with Ray. All I hear is the bass, the mids and the highs are lost throughout the piece. I don't know VST so I can offer no advice on how to proceed other than to see that the equalization need a little ramping up in the mids and highs. Just to give you an example of what I did to really make it sound great on my system here are the frequency and dB adjustments I made using a digital envelope equalizer in Sound Forge:
at 20 Hz pushed dB down -3
at 80 Hz left dB at 0
at 320 Hz pushed dB up +6
at 1.3 kHz pushed dB up +6
at 5.1 kHz pushed dB up +18
at 20 kHz pushed dB up +18
Now since this is an envelope equalizer all the frequencies in between the adjustments I made were adjusted automatically in a line between the points I put above. So for example all frequencies between 20 Hz and 80 Hz start at -3 dB and scale in a line to 0 dB at 80 Hz. Then from 80 Hz to 320 Hz all frequencies in between scale from 0 dB at 80 Hz to 6 dB at 320 Hz and so forth.
Here is a graphic screenshot of the EQ Envelope I used:
PS: You may want to consider creating your original recording in stereo and use at least 16-bit / 44.1 kHz recording and use at least 128 bit-rate when encoding your MP3 file.
And here is the end resulting MP3 so you can hear what that adjustment did:
Is by choice that the kick is panned right? If you centralise the kick it would drive the song better and free up some of the stereo space for the other sounds to sit in, because in this mix the kick energy is masking other musical events. I recommend a sidechain compression effect between the kick and the bass to create an illusion of pumping, sounds techy but it really isnt too complicated. Reaper must have an onboard set up for this technique. Ask around.
The brass gestures need to be doubled and with higher velocities with more tone emphasis on their phrase 'call and response' , go for big bright resonant blocks of sound a la Peter Gabriel Sledgehammer horn intro.
I love the string treatment, for me, that;s so right. The decorative elements may find more of a presence when the sounds are better placed in the stereo field, however, I feel the piece needs to breakdown to give the listener some distraction and tonal interest.
As a piece it could work really well, all the elements are in there for sure. Hope this is useful. Good luck and thanks for the share.
Definitely there is lack of high frequencies on the whole track. Try to experiment with various position of each instrument in the stereo space. Reverb also will add more space. Kick needs more presence and attenuation on lower frequencies around 40-80 Hz. To make sure that there is no problem with your monitoring setup, listen to your track on other stereo systems.
Regarding the volume, try to maximize your track, remember that too much low end (below 40Hz) will not make too much audible difference , but take up a lot of the energy.