Originally Posted by 4ever21
There's always a ton of advice given on how to control your low end, where the muddiness region is, how to hi-pass most everything etc. but I was wondering if there are any similar rules to controlling your high end (I forget but I think its >2-3kHz?).
I've heard some producers say that having too much high end content eats up a lot of the energy in a mix, but I love putting a high-shelving filter around 3-5 kHz for some things to make them stand out a bit more. I've considered low-passing a few more of my samples, like vocals and some percussion but I'm thinking high-end cuts might be better, although I might keep low-pass filters around the 10 kHz range. I also like to make a 4 kHz cut on a channel I send my high-frequency content through, which is sorta in response to the fletcher-munson-curve dip at that value.
It's not a good idea to do broad cuts at 4k or any mid freqs in a whole mix, mix with more detail to avoid masking. It's difficult to make general rule but the smiley eq curve is classic rookie mistake especially when the mids are dense and poorly mixed. Pan things, do not always stack together. The equal-loudness contours curves shows that the ear is more sensitive around 3k because speech is around that area. Notes and instruments that exist in that area should not be attenuated to hype bass and treble, you just drive your ears attention to more open and clean sounding freqs of the mix because of the midrange mess. Then your mix will sound sterile and digital, because you should be doing the opposite make the ear focus (and get pleasure) where it's sensitive by nature. Another thing the equal-loudness contours curves shows is that the ear is not dynamically sensitive to bass so it must always be loud to compete with other freqs which takes us to...
The highs do not eat energy in the mix, the lows do that. But because drum sounds are stacked together to form the groove, they create picks that trigger comps and limiters so it's a good idea to compress a little before the master buss. Also soft clipping and saturation will make drums more natural and less harsh.
When you boost 3-5k high shelf, use another one or a (gentle usually) lpf to cut the top end beginning at 14-15k if necessery but it really depends on the source and the amount of air and brightness (>10K band) you want and the contrast you want to achieve in the mix. If it sounds good then it's good.