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termtables
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30th November 2009
Old 30th November 2009
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Kicks distorting in car

I'm using the Mackie HR824's to monitor and my kicks sound great in the house, but when I take them to the car I can't turn up my beats very loud without them sounding distorted. It's not a bad stereo system in the car, just stock Honda Accord.

I'm doing about 3db of limiting on my instrumentals when I bounce them out just to show potential customers.

Do I need to take out more sub bass in the kick or just turn the kicks down in the mix so everything else can be louder?

I attached an example of a beat I was checking this morning in the car.
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30th November 2009
Old 30th November 2009
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After you reference your beats against similar tracks on your monitors, and get something that seems to match kick-wise, do the kicks in theirs stay clean and undistorted in your car while yours remain distorted?

(after listened to it)

I like your beat, but the kick is very loud lol. In addition, the track feels like it would benefit from some more ambience.
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30th November 2009
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Kick is definitely pumped up in the mix. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Why don't you play the beat in a different car and see if you get different results?
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30th November 2009
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Ya I heard the same thing in my friends car.

Lots more comes in the beat I just didnt want to give it away
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30th November 2009
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Leave 0.3 db of headroom (every plug-in limiter has one) to whatever you bounce from you DAW. 0.3 isn't a rule but should be enough not to clip the device thats playing the cd.
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30th November 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by termtables View Post
Do I need to take out more sub bass in the kick or just turn the kicks down in the mix so everything else can be louder?
Oh yeah, you should probably try trimming some 30-35 hz and below. Storyville you'd know this, are there any potential problems w/ trimming those frequencies in a kick (phase, subharmonics etc)?
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30th November 2009
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I never go that high, I can try that. I usually only trim at 20hz.
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30th November 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lrmusic View Post
Oh yeah, you should probably try trimming some 30-35 hz and below. Storyville you'd know this, are there any potential problems w/ trimming those frequencies in a kick (phase, subharmonics etc)?
There's potential problems with doing anything. It depends a lot on how much you already have down there.

When trimming the low end, I find the best results from cutting lower than your target frequency, and extending the Q. The more gradual the shelf, the more natural and less phasey the results.

Most speakers stop producing accurate bass frequencies around 55hz. Any lower than that you need pretty big cones to hear with decent definition and at the actual volume of input.

I would say, before thinking about low-shelving or anything like that, consider simple volume adjustments.

Sub-harmonics in kicks specifically aren't a major issue, the phase problem is bigger. Subharmonics are more important considerations in half-tube brass (trombones, trumpets), saxaphones, and especially bells. Inharmonic sub noise is an important consideration in vocals because the chest resonates differently than the voice box.

Subharmonic issues with a kick drum are more likely to be produced on the speaker system that it's played back on than in the actual source sound.
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30th November 2009
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Thanks Storyville for the mixing tip.

Does this sound better?
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File Type: mp3 Whatever Works (newer).mp3 (466.3 KB, 63 views)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by termtables View Post
I'm using the Mackie HR824's to monitor and my kicks sound great in the house, but when I take them to the car I can't turn up my beats very loud without them sounding distorted. It's not a bad stereo system in the car, just stock Honda Accord.

I'm doing about 3db of limiting on my instrumentals when I bounce them out just to show potential customers.

Do I need to take out more sub bass in the kick or just turn the kicks down in the mix so everything else can be louder?

I attached an example of a beat I was checking this morning in the car.
I noticed one important thing:

Sometimes something that sounds great on the monitors during mixing will sound distorted after the bounce/export on other speakers.

Always check for this.

I have mixed some stuff in Pro Tools before and it sounded punchy and clear, and then I bounced it and played on the same speakers and noticed the punch went away and I could hear distortion.
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30th November 2009
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Did you find a remedy to fix that?
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30th November 2009
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listened to the original & mix update on a small system, the balance is a bit better, but i think there is too much crunch in the sample itself... I like crunchy kicks sometimes, but try blending it with another sample, a rounder sound to smooth it out. Or just try a whole 'nother sample...

could be a bouncing issue, tho... double check that yer checking the correct sample rates,depth, and that its stereo interleaved....

...
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1st December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by termtables View Post
Thanks Storyville for the mixing tip.

Does this sound better?
I prefer the first one. Sounds like you sucked lows out of everything, while the kick drum was really the offender. Specifically, I miss the weight of the snare and the depth of the room sound.

Why don't you go back to the original mix and just take the kick drum down a db or 2 (maybe 3)?

4 out of 5 issues in a mix can be solved with volume and panning.
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1st December 2009
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I've been cutting less and less frequencies on kick lately. I really think that the trick is in the right sample. If the sample is great from the start, you won't have distortion if you know how to mix. Been using Magic Theater a lot lately. They have Good kicks that cut through a mix.
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1st December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Leave 0.3 db of headroom (every plug-in limiter has one) to whatever you bounce from you DAW. 0.3 isn't a rule but should be enough not to clip the device thats playing the cd.
Did you actually tryed this? this might sound weird but not every playback device can handle 0 db headroom.
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1st December 2009
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Ya I did. I just haven't tried it out in the car yet with the new mix
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1st December 2009
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1st December 2009
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turn the kicks down??

simple fix there. or take some 100 hz out
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1st December 2009
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thanks everyone for the help.

mike I was wondering if there was a freq that I could target.
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1st December 2009
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Kick Distortion

This is my first post so don't be angry if I tell you something you already know.
I do agree by pulling the volume down a bit.
1. If you like where the volume is, do a narrow eq sweep at a hi db and
see where the annoying frequency pops out then bring that frequency
down around 3.5 db. See if that works 1st.
2. You can split the kick into 3 tracks and place an eq on each track and
hp to a sub range ( like 80-90hz ) on the first track. Compression fast attack and slow release and gain reduction -.5 ( let it bump the gain reduction. Second track hp to 1-2k and lp 80-90. Compression semi slow attack and fast release. Gain reduction same as 1st track. Third track lp 1k-5k ( in that range for click to come out ) Compression slowest attack and slowest release. The volumes on the faders should should step up from sub being the lowest, mid, then high.

I took into account for a regular kick and an 808 kick.
Hope this helps. ( A sub might be a good investment as well to reference )
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