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Low frequency extension in modern rap records Metering
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
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Low frequency extension in modern rap records

I have been mixing and mastering some rap records lately and when referencing a lot of modern rap songs I noticed that the distribution of frequencies in the low end is unique. It seems that 20-40Hz is getting a lot more amplitude than the traditional 60Hz-90Hz. If you look at an RTA (yeah, I know, don't do that) the peak of the mountain is at 20Hz, not the traditional 75Hz. Usually, I hear and see roll off at those bottom octave frequencies, but most modern rap records have peak energy from 20Hz-40Hz, but with a lot of modern rap records it is peaking there. Has anyone noticed this? It sounds like a lot of energy is getting scooped out of 75Hz area and that energy is pushed down to that very bottom octave. Obviously, this is primarily done in mixing, but I wanted to post here anyways.

This spectral balance is very strange because the low end works on small and big monitors. On small speakers, the speaker naturally rolls off what it can't create (20Hz-40Hz) and on big speakers it sounds pillowy and lush.
A good example of this would be Drake - Signs
Spotify Link:
Signs by Drake on Spotify

Lets try not to comment on drake or the genre of music and stick to talking about this unique approach to subs in modern rap records.
Thanks for your thoughts in advance.
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Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
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Trakworx's Avatar
It seems our spectrum analyzers disagree. Playing that Drake song mine shows the peak near 100Hz with content down to 20Hz but lower in level than the 100Hz peak.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
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Nothing new about very deep bass in hip hop

The prevalence of the 808 in absolutely everything all the bloody time is a prime factor.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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Byron Pierce's Avatar
can you please share with us which Frequency analyzer are you using? Most Rap records nowadays do have a lot of bottom yes and its all 808 but i notice very different result on my end and low end is generally not that accurate on lots of octave analyzers.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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Yes of course it’s 808s and kicks. Someone said it’s done at mixing, but it’s realy done at production. Producers are VERY sensitive to people messing with their 808s. They are like different types of bass guitars to them. They build their collections carefully and spend a lot of time creating their 808 samples. It’s the foundation of the genre. Where some mix engineers help is when they add some harmonics that allow the 808 to translate to smaller speaker. But the heart of most great hip hop trap low end is created at production. That sh-t is my heart beat!!!
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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The frequency analyzer does not matter as much. I probably should not have brought that up, but it was a TC Elec Clarity M.

I understand 808s are a major part of the genre, I have mixed lots of big records in the genre and am not commenting on the production aesthetics.

My note was more technical and about how the peak of energy is now around 20-50 hz, not 70Hz that is traditional with most music and of rap music up until the late 2000s. AES did an article on the spectral balance of popular music titled "Spectral Character of Popular Commercial Music 1950-2010". It is a relatively interesting article, if you are interested reading it.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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I just think nothing really exceptional or extraordinary is going on here or anywhere. What happened is completely new toys (sound machines, engines, boxes, computers, call it whatever you like) are in the game. Then, production has changed as technology and materials for manufacturing speakers. Their freq. responses. There's also that digital thing. As production, mixing and mastering came pass vinyl only things got wider, sharper, deeper... And now, we have a reverse thing going on. Vinyl is coming back and we are trying to move digital to analogue but with keeping every single detail intacted. RIAA curve is still the same. We have all the same equipment like Amps, speakers, cables, mixing consoles, you name it. Try to imagine how would modern bass heavy music sound on 50's or 60's systems? Would not sound the same as intented to because of all factors. But 50's or 60's would fit in modern systems just fine. Because it was tailored to fit to freq. spread more naturally...

Anyway, my thinking on the subject. There's no right or wrong here as I see it. Just different things in different times. That's all.

Krešo
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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i was surprised when i listened to the reggae version of Hello by ADELE.

how do you get that much low frequency/bass into an MP3? thats a serious question.

i think they were multibanding the **** out of it, in mix and mastering.

Buddha
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG BUDDHA View Post
i was surprised when i listened to the reggae version of Hello by ADELE.

how do you get that much low frequency/bass into an MP3? thats a serious question.

i think they were multibanding the **** out of it, in mix and mastering.

Buddha
Just had a quick listen to this (if it's the Conkarah/Rosie Delmah track you're talking about). There's actually very little peak limiting going on, by 2019 standards. It's pretty trivial to get a lot of bass into a digital file if you're not limiting very much: it's almost like non-crushed records tend to sound better...

In contrast, listen to the version of the same track on "Strictly The Best Vol 54": a much louder master, and consequently all that clean bass is thinned out and distorted.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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cemski's Avatar
I noticed the same phenomena since a few years.
regarding Drake, he can preserve the very low end (like many other artists today), going down even lower than 10Hz by not having it limited to death.
You can't have both ;-)
And in bothe directions i frequently find issues at work.
Most producers can't evaluate below 50Hz (bad room, small speakers,...). But they trust what they hear and boost the hell out of the low end.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cemski View Post
Most producers can't evaluate below 50Hz (bad room, small speakers,...). But they trust what they hear and boost the hell out of the low end.
This is happening in every genre now for exactly the reason you describe.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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Slug1's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cemski View Post
I noticed the same phenomena since a few years.
regarding Drake, he can preserve the very low end (like many other artists today), going down even lower than 10Hz by not having it limited to death.
You can't have both ;-)
And in bothe directions i frequently find issues at work.
Most producers can't evaluate below 50Hz (bad room, small speakers,...). But they trust what they hear and boost the hell out of the low end.
Chris Athens has done quite a bit of Drake’s mastering. But in the end, you work with what you receive. I love Chris’ work.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
Chris Athens has done quite a bit of Drake’s mastering. But in the end, you work with what you receive. I love Chris’ work.
Nothing to complain about drake's production or heavy bass in general
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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I do a lot of urban and keep a close eye on it.

I like Drake's mastering in general, they're not going overboard with the loudness.

What i also find interesting / puzzling is that style of rap / urban that is almost like "anti"-production...... to me the production sounds lame and beginner-ish, but some of these artists are wildly successful. I'm talking about all those guys with dreads and the tattoos and the wrong key autotune, Lil Yachty is a good example. It's kinda like the rap equivalent of shoe-gaze, production-wise.

Last edited by I.R.Baboon; 1 week ago at 12:15 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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Switchcraft's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cemski View Post
I noticed the same phenomena since a few years.
regarding Drake, he can preserve the very low end (like many other artists today), going down even lower than 10Hz by not having it limited to death.
You can't have both ;-)
And in bothe directions i frequently find issues at work.
Most producers can't evaluate below 50Hz (bad room, small speakers,...). But they trust what they hear and boost the hell out of the low end.
I was not referring to bedroom producers and mix engineers, but to big records with budgets that are made in rooms with soffit mounted speakers. The sub energy is intentional.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Switchcraft View Post
I was not referring to bedroom producers and mix engineers, but to big records with budgets that are made in rooms with soffit mounted speakers. The sub energy is intentional.
I would hazard a guess that virtually no rap records these days are made on soffit mounted speakers!
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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Phone speakers are kind of soffit mounted, when you think about it...
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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Not sure what "made on" means, but a number of major rap artists mixes are done by Manny Marroquin and the likes who mix behind 9000k's in major rooms with Soffit mounted speakers.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
DAH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cemski View Post
he can preserve the very low end (like many other artists today), going down even lower than 10Hz
A technical fault, isn't it?
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAH View Post
A technical fault, isn't it?
I don't think so. In MY OPINION there are not many soundsystems that reproduce that low sounds in a usable manner, but if it is balanced, why shouldn't it remain in the mix?
Well, maybe 10Hz is really very low and maybe not that usefull in the end. But above that, we shouldn't judge too early!
My 50cent ;-)
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
Not sure what "made on" means, but a number of major rap artists mixes are done by Manny Marroquin and the likes who mix behind 9000k's in major rooms with Soffit mounted speakers.
exactly
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Cutting below 10hz also affects the perception of frequencies way above this, so IMO it should only be done if it makes the song sound objectively better or if there is some clear technical fault that is remedied by doing so. High-passing everything by default, especially on the whole mix, is one of my biggest bugbears about modern mixes.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocratic Mastering View Post
Cutting below 10hz also affects the perception of frequencies way above this, so IMO it should only be done if it makes the song sound objectively better or if there is some clear technical fault that is remedied by doing so. High-passing everything by default, especially on the whole mix, is one of my biggest bugbears about modern mixes.
ok, i can learn something every day. thanks.

i thought 10hz was almost getting towards DC waveform, and that those type of frequencies can not be reproduced by normal speakers.

also i thought that waveforms (energy) that can not be produced by the speakers is turned into Heat. and that heat destroys speakers.

my JBL 4435s which have double 15s left and right, can extend down to 30hz, on a sine wave, and i can hear that, but at 30hz and lower i cant hear anything coming out of them.

so i have been setting the hi pass analog filter on my mix buss Eq to 30hz as a default setting. its 18db/octave from memory. NEVE-8803

and in the DAW that feeds the analog chain i have been hi passing at 16hz.

would you suggest i remove those processes?

wont the little speakers that most people listen to music on be taking a massive hiding, with super low subs that they have no ability to reproduce?

maybe you are getting at the sonic effects, that can be heard at higher frequencies, above the hi pass setting?

thanks Buddha
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