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Consistently producing music too bassy/ not bright enough
Old 14th March 2019
  #1
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Consistently producing music too bassy/ not bright enough

I’ve been producing music for years now and I’ve found that I consistently finish mixes that are far too bassy and not bright enough.

I’m also a practicing mastering engineer and I’ll compare my mixes to reference tracks (level matched) and without fail my first draft mixes start out with an excess level of bass and a lack of top end brightness.

I end up going back and tweaking my mixes most of the time, but my point is I feel like I have some sort of hearing impairment that causes me to focus on low end of a mix much more than the high end until it comes to mastering.

So to conclude, I’m not really asking how to make my tracks brighter or more balanced; just sort of brainstorming why my first drafts always come out naturally this way. Also wondering if anyone else experiences this or possibly the other way around where you’re making your mixes too bright.

(I use a pair of monitoring headphones for mixing in case anyone asks)
Old 14th March 2019
  #2
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tedtan's Avatar
 

Sounds like you're not getting enough low end through your monitors (or are trapping too much low end in your room (unlikely)), so you compensate by adding more.

If you can't change monitors or rooms to see if this resolves your issue, you might want to try referencing the low end of your mix to that of a reference mix on headphones you know to have good low end. It's not ideal, but it will take your monitors and room out of the equation so you can see if this is the issue.
Old 14th March 2019
  #3
Imagine you are asked to master your favorite reference mixes (as they are now). How would you change them? If you would, you need to make changes in your room/monitoring so that you would not have any desire to change a thing.
Old 14th March 2019
  #4
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Yes, this forum is called High End. But it's not about that kind of High End. :-)
Old 14th March 2019
  #5
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

I feel like I have some sort of hearing impairment

First thing I would do is go and have your hearing checked.

I use a pair of monitoring headphones for mixing in case anyone asks

Normally, I would agree with what tedtan said, but if you are using cans and not monitors, then that takes the room out of the equation.

Which brings us to your problem. The cans. How many great/well-known and respected engineers mix on cans? They don't. They may check on cans, but they don't mix on cans. There is a reason for this. Why do you use cans? Room not good acoustically?

1. Buy some good monitors
2. Hire someone to take measurements and make suggestions on what to do with your room
3. Spend months learning your "new setup"

Cheers.
Old 14th March 2019
  #6
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swafford's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiah12 View Post
I’ve been producing music for years now and I’ve found that I consistently finish mixes that are far too bassy and not bright enough.

I’m also a practicing mastering engineer and I’ll compare my mixes to reference tracks (level matched) and without fail my first draft mixes start out with an excess level of bass and a lack of top end brightness.

I end up going back and tweaking my mixes most of the time, but my point is I feel like I have some sort of hearing impairment that causes me to focus on low end of a mix much more than the high end until it comes to mastering.

So to conclude, I’m not really asking how to make my tracks brighter or more balanced; just sort of brainstorming why my first drafts always come out naturally this way. Also wondering if anyone else experiences this or possibly the other way around where you’re making your mixes too bright.

(I use a pair of monitoring headphones for mixing in case anyone asks)
How about listening to your references before you start mixing so your ears are in the right frame. For me it's always "is there enough bass, is it to bright, is the mid energy there" and I frequently stop what I'm doing, toss the ball to the dog, come back in, listen to my favorite reference tracks again - either for the particular project I am working on or in general - then evaluate where I am sonically on what I'm mixing.
Old 14th March 2019
  #7
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tedtan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiah12 View Post
(I use a pair of monitoring headphones for mixing in case anyone asks)
When I read this line in the OP the first time, I read it as "I use a pair of monitors for mixing"; I completely missed the "headphones".

Headphones are not ideal by any means. If possible, get a good pair of monitors and get your room tuned. After a bit of adjustment, you'll end up with better mixes because you'll hear what's actually there for a change.
Old 14th March 2019
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedtan View Post
Headphones are not ideal by any means. If possible, get a good pair of monitors and get your room tuned. After a bit of adjustment, you'll end up with better mixes because you'll hear what's actually there for a change.
I realize using monitors is the most ideal way to mix but honestly even in the past when I have used monitors, I have still had this issue.
Old 14th March 2019
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swafford View Post
How about listening to your references before you start mixing so your ears are in the right frame. For me it's always "is there enough bass, is it to bright, is the mid energy there" and I frequently stop what I'm doing, toss the ball to the dog, come back in, listen to my favorite reference tracks again - either for the particular project I am working on or in general - then evaluate where I am sonically on what I'm mixing.
I agree. I guess based on the replies here my condition isn't that rare. I think it has to do with how I perceive a balanced frequency spectrum to sound...or I just get fatigued quickly by high frequency information and choose not to boost the high end as much.
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