Originally Posted by Nonlinear
How, exactly, is this achieved and how was it done in the days before multiband compressors and dynamic EQ? Using static EQ to tame a boomy bass note, for example, makes that band weak the rest of the time.
How do you guys approach this?
It is (or can be) achieved by firstly, having a monitoring system where you can hear the low frequencies adequately and accurately.
Then listen for low frequencies that don't "need to be there" ie frequencies which are not the fundamentals or important harmonics of instruments.
You can cut with a decent equaliser, linear/minimum phase, analog/digital to preference/taste. For this purpose you will probably not need a dynamic EQ because you will likely want these muddying frequencies gone for good.
Often after fixing the bottom end you may then need to shelve up the overall low end so it is balanced with the rest of the track.
Some high-pass filtering is usually part of the process too. All this (if the track allows and everything is done properly at this stage) will help the bottom end to be clearer and give the kick drum more punch.
Multiband compression is almost doing the opposite and will possibly muddy a bottom end which has irrelevant frequencies taking up room.
In the days before Multiband compression and dynamic EQ, I guess most recordings were done by capable recording engineers and mastering didn't require so much repair work.
Everyone has different ways to achieve their desired results but I expect most pro mastering engineers can get by pretty well without Multiband compression or dynamic EQ for most jobs.... Generalisation is dangerous in anything related to sound though right?!