I'm an amateur music producer, I have little experience.

I tried to create a cover of "Beneath the Mask" from the OST of the game Persona 5, and match the sound as closely as possible.

Here's a sample of my mix, the intro:


And here's the same portion of the original I'm trying to match:


As far as I hear, I got all the notes right, the EQing on the single instruments sounds pretty spot on to me and the spectrum of my mix looks very similar to the original; the panning sounds relatively similar, the volume levels sound good to me, after a bit of pain even the drums are not too far off.

There's something different about the EPiano, but I can't put my finger on what. Also the little guitar arpeggio has a very different sound that I don't know how to recreate, but I believe that's not the reason for the stark difference in sound.

I even put a bit of saturation and compression/limiting on the end result, and while it helps the mix sound better, the final mix still sounds very different from the original, but I can't figure out what to change to match the sound.

I feel like the original mix sounds "fuller", but without sounding muddy. I tried various combinations of mixing, panning and EQing but I can't achieve this combination.

I'm at my wit's end. What am I missing?

In case you want analyze more in-depth, here's my stems (in ogg format, and without the master effects):

http://www.mediafire.com/file/bvhowyn1jmyhzmx/BTM_-EP.ogg http://www.mediafire.com/file/ffbd0rqax71pfha/BTM-Bass.ogg http://www.mediafire.com/file/quxi1nhfin1jp81/BTM-Drums.ogg http://www.mediafire.com/file/c6rfo88ca22fa6c/BTM-_Guitar_Chords.ogg http://www.mediafire.com/file/c5lrpa2fzfwvi8l/BTM_-_Guitar_Arp.ogg

  • 2
    Could be a question better suited to sound.stackexchange.com Jul 2, 2019 at 10:21
  • For a first attempt it's good. I think all you are missing is experience (particularly using reverb). You can't expect to get results like a pro without practice.
    – PiedPiper
    Jul 2, 2019 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


In general its a pretty accurate reproduction!

Personally, when comparing two tracks, I don't find spectrum analyses particularly useful. It doesn't give you an entire picture, and inevitably leads to conclusions like the ones you made, that "it looks similar but sounds different". Trust your ears and build an experience of what changes in mixing lead to what changes in sound.

Here are some quick observations:

  • Looks like your entire mix is missing some highs compared to the reference recording. This is especially noticeable on the drums (high hat, snare) an troublesome for the Rhodes. This makes you miss some of the shimmer that is characteristic of the keyboard in the reference.
  • The bass seems to wander and wobble around the stereo spectrum. I would suggesting panning it dead center.
  • The snare in the reference is pitched higher than that in your mix.
  • The e-guitar is much louder in your mix and is not as crisp, probably also due to the missing highs. Looks like the mids are boosted in comparison.
  • Reverb: the Rhodes in your mix has a different reverb, much more than the reference, and it sounds like too much wet and too many earlye reflections. The Rhodes in the reference is much more intimate and close. Sounds like this is also the case for the snare/drum track. Too muddy.

I would start by going a little less crazy with the reverb and add little by little to get the sound you want. Find out what is causing the high-end rolloff that is muddling the sound.

Good luck!

  • Thank you for the answer! I will try applying your suggestions. The reverb is the thing that frustrates me the most. I agree with you that it sounds like there's too much reverb in both the drums and the piano. For the drums I can't do too much because the reverb is in the samples themselves, in fact I even tried applying an expander to reduce it, but it was too drastic on the sound. For the piano, the thing is, when I try to reduce the reverb, it sounds like it's even further from the original sound; it's as if the original manages to have a reverb while maintaining the "intimacy".
    – Djilligan
    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:00
  • For the piano, you can try using a reverb with less early reflections and bring it up in the mix. Also, maybe you can find another drum sample set with less reverb. The way it is now is producing a clearly undesirable result.
    – db3469
    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:13

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