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How much top end do you often add? Dynamic Microphones
Old 1 week ago
  #31
Here for the gear
 

Most people in this topic gave you some good advice.

But seriously, don't overthink, just do what your ears tell you to do. If it sounds right, it's right, nobody will care how much boost you did, it's just the end result that matters. How we get there, depends on the source, your equipment and your creativity.

The last time I checked, we hear with our ears and not with a virtual knob! Keep on making great music, enjoy the process and with every new project your skills will improve. Guaranteed
Old 1 week ago
  #32
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gekk0 View Post
Most people in this topic gave you some good advice.

But seriously, don't overthink, just do what your ears tell you to do. If it sounds right, it's right, nobody will care how much boost you did, it's just the end result that matters. How we get there, depends on the source, your equipment and your creativity.

The last time I checked, we hear with our ears and not with a virtual knob! Keep on making great music, enjoy the process and with every new project your skills will improve. Guaranteed
I absolutely appreciate all the input from everyone on the thread! Very helpful & insightful crowd.
Old 1 week ago
  #33
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Waltz Mastering's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by tymish View Post
I'm surprised how much high end I'm adding to some tracks both during mixing and then mastering. So I wonder if adding 6 dB or more of hi shelf on a snare during mixing is 'normal-ish' and likewise adding 5 dB of hi shelf/bell in mastering is also normal-ish? i know there are no rules per se, maybe these tracks were just dark to start with. Still just a general question out there with people with raglar mastering experience.
With mixing and mastering the same project in the same room, ideally you shouldn't have to eq much at all, when you're mastering your own mix.

Because your ears and room are constant throughout both processes, they wouldn't lie in mixing, and then tell the truth in mastering. A lot will come down to experience, and how much you trust in what you're hearing. If your room, and monitor system are a bit wonky, they can have you chasing your tail, where you have to develop work-arounds, like over or under compensating for stuff, and constantly checking on multiple systems. That's no fun, but seems like a common hurdle to get over in part of the learning process. gl
Old 1 week ago
  #34
If you find yourself needing to push the tops these days your gear is chewing your food for you. The music had all the tops you would ever need. Your gear decided you didn't need all of that.
Old 1 week ago
  #35
Lives for gear


People with perfectly good gear add top end to stuff all the time.
Old 1 week ago
  #36
Gear Maniac
 

Impossible to say properly without hearing the tracks, but I would bet you're trying to compensate for mud and bloat in the low mids and lows by boosting the top. Better to spend some time cleaning up resonances and bloat either in the master or the mix.
Old 1 week ago
  #37
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Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
If you find yourself needing to push the tops these days your gear is chewing your food for you. The music had all the tops you would ever need. Your gear decided you didn't need all of that.
Interesting. You've now said that twice in this thread. Could you please identify some examples of gear that eats high end? I think that would be a great service to the community - to let us know what gear or types of gear to avoid in order to preserve the high end. Thank you!
Old 1 week ago
  #38
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teebaum's Avatar
the signals need to be brightened is often simply due to microphone positioning and the proximity effect caused by the cardioid characteristic (to achieve a reasonable signal separation or to keep the room content low).

i consider general statements like "with good equipment you don't have to brighten up" to be nonsense - like nearly all general statements.
Old 1 week ago
  #39
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Trakworx's Avatar
Has anyone here ever added highs to a track that was created with no microphones or analog gear of any kind?
Old 1 week ago
  #40
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Believe it or not, yes.
Old 1 week ago
  #41
Gear Maniac
Lots of food for thought in this thread. Everyone has great input. I have 30 years of audio experience however it's 12 years in live sound and 20 in broadcast audio and just a couple years of small recording studio experience. All different animals. After mulling over the posts I have some thoughts. and I'm opening pandoras box of audio geeks.. which is a rabbit hole that sucks in money! LOL

Expectations.

I'm comparing my small basement project studio, it's gear and my chops to these reference mixes recorded at top studios by top acts mixed and mastered by top engineers at great facilities. Is what I'm missing is that ''thing'' in the top end that my gear may not be able to capture? I may be taking what I have as far as I can.

The gear. You can't boost what isn't there. On the input side.

Mics) Oktava MC012, Neumann TLM103, SM57, SM7, MD421, Violet Amethyst.

Pres) API 512, Warm WA12, OSA MP-1 Lundahl

Interface(s) Focusrite Platinum Octopre Line In -> ADAT Focusrite Saffire Pro 40.

I'm thinking if there's a weak link on the input side it's the Focusrites. They spec and I've seen bench test graphs of flat past 20K but specs and bench tests don't always tell the whole story. I've read some folks say they sound a little rolled off and such. I would say they are excellent in their price range which is in the low range for pro audio gear and they're almost 10 years old. A lifetime in digital land. Without being able to A/B with something else it's hard to judge.

Cheese Grater Mac Pro, Pro tools 9, 32 bit. Lots of 32 bit Waves plug ins API, SSL, etc Mixing ITB. How much does any of this affect what i'm hearing or not hearing?

Monitors) Blue Sky Pro Desk. This brand is more popular with film and video post than music production. It's a very good system. However.. I think the high end may not lend itself perfectly to near field mixing for my ears. I can use them for sure but may consider a change at some point. They use Vifa ring tweeters which you see on some high end stuff like Barefoot.

Now the big one.

Environment

One room tracking, mixing all purpose room in a basement. About 14' X 18' X 8'. I've put in corner traps, filled the ceiling joists with rockwool and covered with acoustic cloth. Probably getting some hi and midbass buildup that gets compounded when listing in the same room where it was recorded. Also have some more bass trapping to do and deal with some early reflections from the monitors on my studio desk. I'm recording drums, bass, guitar and volcs so the acoustics are in everything. No samples etc etc


So I have to fix what I can. I'm doing this to record my own little middle aged music fun projects. I left the music business behind over 10 years ago. I miss the music part, not the rest. So justifying big purchases is difficult. Especially when the kitchen and bathroom need work and my spouse has ideas. LOL, but I can't help it!
Old 1 week ago
  #42
Gear Addict
 
loji's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
Interesting. You've now said that twice in this thread. Could you please identify some examples of gear that eats high end? I think that would be a great service to the community - to let us know what gear or types of gear to avoid in order to preserve the high end. Thank you!
Inductors = LPF
Old 1 week ago
  #43
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by tymish View Post
I'm thinking if there's a weak link on the input side it's the Focusrites.
Maybe. But they're fine. In your situation I'd say spend your money on redoing the kitchen before you spend it on fancy converters. Seriously. What you have is fine.

Again, if you wanna send me a mix I'm happy to check it out and give you an opinion/advice.
Old 1 week ago
  #44
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
Maybe. But they're fine. In your situation I'd say spend your money on redoing the kitchen before you spend it on fancy converters. Seriously. What you have is fine.

Again, if you wanna send me a mix I'm happy to check it out and give you an opinion/advice.
Thanks, that's very cool of you! Appreciate it. When I get close to finals I may just take you up on that.
Old 1 week ago
  #45
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polybonk's Avatar
A lot of the time I find clients who are wanting more tops are actually after more transient details.

Be careful with plugins as there's a lot of them that smear the details a small amount and the cumulative effect can make you feel like you need top's.
Old 1 week ago
  #46
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
Interesting. You've now said that twice in this thread. Could you please identify some examples of gear that eats high end? I think that would be a great service to the community - to let us know what gear or types of gear to avoid in order to preserve the high end. Thank you!
Some of us come from a time when high end was really hard to preserve. And some of us even think that things that generally aren't expected to have any true high end, like electric guitars, and actually can and should.

It's a different way (than mine, anyway) of critically listening to audio and music.
Old 1 week ago
  #47
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JP__'s Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
the signals need to be brightened is often simply due to microphone positioning and the proximity effect caused by the cardioid characteristic (to achieve a reasonable signal separation or to keep the room content low).

i consider general statements like "with good equipment you don't have to brighten up" to be nonsense - like nearly all general statements.
In my experience ppl tend to use too much highs because of that instead of clearing up freq that are caused by the proximity effect (which is dynamic effect btw) and bad recording rooms. Most modern condenser mics already have more than enough highs.
But pushing high end or air is often a synonym for "expensive sound" to ppl.
Old 1 week ago
  #48
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by polybonk View Post
A lot of the time I find clients who are wanting more tops are actually after more transient details.

Be careful with plugins as there's a lot of them that smear the details a small amount and the cumulative effect can make you feel like you need top's.
This may be part of it. I like to use some compression on a lot of tracks. Particularly the CLA 1176. There does seem to be a sort of smeared glassy tone happening. Man I miss a console and outboard. So much faster to work with.
Old 1 week ago
  #49
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polybonk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tymish View Post
This may be part of it. I like to use some compression on a lot of tracks. Particularly the CLA 1176. There does seem to be a sort of smeared glassy tone happening. Man I miss a console and outboard. So much faster to work with.
Totally. Everything can just come together so effortlessly.

Incidentally, I noticed that the transient detail enhancement is part of the sound in some of the high end mastering eq's. For example the SPL PQ or Fred Forsel modded millennia EQ have a real effect on the transients. They can both tighten up the percussive elements and make them pop out of the track with only half a dB.

Going back to your original question, using an outbord mastering EQ you have all these units that behave quite differently so on one you might gain more than another.
They also react differently on different material. On one track a solid state EQ may sound smooth and transparent and yet on the next track in the album I am reaching for a valve EQ and doing a totally different amount and yet this is what is needed to bring the 2 tracks together on an album.
Old 1 week ago
  #50
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SmoothTone's Avatar
 

I find it hard to imagine that differences in gear, recording or transient smearing plugins can account for 5-8dB of HF loss. I think btfnk's suggestion is worth paying attention to:

Quote:
Originally Posted by btfnk View Post
Impossible to say properly without hearing the tracks, but I would bet you're trying to compensate for mud and bloat in the low mids and lows by boosting the top. Better to spend some time cleaning up resonances and bloat either in the master or the mix.
@tymish, if you take scraggs up on his generous offer you'll have a clearer idea and won't need to speculate about what's happening here.

I'm very curious to get to the bottom of this.
Old 1 week ago
  #51
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
In my experience, some artists want their work to sound brighter than they initially think. Although "bright" can be as broad a term as "bass". Or "jazz". To some people "air" = "warmth".
Old 1 week ago
  #52
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tymish View Post
Monitors: Blue Sky Pro Desk.

I think my monitors are a touch bright for my tastes and perhaps my mixes come out dark because of that.
You may have answered your own question.

I had a pair of BlueSky ProDesks before I moved to Amphion One15s.

ProDesks are/were fantastic for the (<$1,000) money, but I feel they do have a slight scoop in the upper/high mids.

So potentially you are hearing more highs in relation to the next band down in the mix and thus trying to compensate by turning highs down to the point of apparent balance on the ProDesks but 'darker' overall on other (better) systems.

Last edited by James Lehmann; 6 days ago at 03:58 PM..
Old 6 days ago
  #53
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tymish View Post
Lots of food for thought in this thread. Everyone has great input. I have 30 years of audio experience however it's 12 years in live sound and 20 in broadcast audio and just a couple years of small recording studio experience. All different animals. After mulling over the posts I have some thoughts. and I'm opening pandoras box of audio geeks.. which is a rabbit hole that sucks in money! LOL

Expectations.

I'm comparing my small basement project studio, it's gear and my chops to these reference mixes recorded at top studios by top acts mixed and mastered by top engineers at great facilities. Is what I'm missing is that ''thing'' in the top end that my gear may not be able to capture? I may be taking what I have as far as I can.

The gear. You can't boost what isn't there. On the input side.

Mics) Oktava MC012, Neumann TLM103, SM57, SM7, MD421, Violet Amethyst.

Pres) API 512, Warm WA12, OSA MP-1 Lundahl

Interface(s) Focusrite Platinum Octopre Line In -> ADAT Focusrite Saffire Pro 40.

I'm thinking if there's a weak link on the input side it's the Focusrites. They spec and I've seen bench test graphs of flat past 20K but specs and bench tests don't always tell the whole story. I've read some folks say they sound a little rolled off and such. I would say they are excellent in their price range which is in the low range for pro audio gear and they're almost 10 years old. A lifetime in digital land. Without being able to A/B with something else it's hard to judge.

Cheese Grater Mac Pro, Pro tools 9, 32 bit. Lots of 32 bit Waves plug ins API, SSL, etc Mixing ITB. How much does any of this affect what i'm hearing or not hearing?

Monitors) Blue Sky Pro Desk. This brand is more popular with film and video post than music production. It's a very good system. However.. I think the high end may not lend itself perfectly to near field mixing for my ears. I can use them for sure but may consider a change at some point. They use Vifa ring tweeters which you see on some high end stuff like Barefoot.

Now the big one.

Environment

One room tracking, mixing all purpose room in a basement. About 14' X 18' X 8'. I've put in corner traps, filled the ceiling joists with rockwool and covered with acoustic cloth. Probably getting some hi and midbass buildup that gets compounded when listing in the same room where it was recorded. Also have some more bass trapping to do and deal with some early reflections from the monitors on my studio desk. I'm recording drums, bass, guitar and volcs so the acoustics are in everything. No samples etc etc


So I have to fix what I can. I'm doing this to record my own little middle aged music fun projects. I left the music business behind over 10 years ago. I miss the music part, not the rest. So justifying big purchases is difficult. Especially when the kitchen and bathroom need work and my spouse has ideas. LOL, but I can't help it!
I’d say your Focusrites are a little old. I havent had any experience with their latest Scarlett
line, but I would guess the sound of those
is tighter, brighter, more defined. The Blue
Sky monitors are ok but I’d say that in that
price range, Adams would beat them for clarity.
You couldnt go wrong with Focals, though
they are pricey. I’ve heard and read good
things about Kali monitors, which are
inexpensive.
Old 6 days ago
  #54
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
You may have answered your own question.

I had a pair of BlueSky ProDesks before I moved to Amphion One15s.

ProDesks are/were fantastic for the (<$1,000) money, but I feel they do have a slight scoop in the upper/high mids.

So potentially you are hearing more highs in relation to the next band down in the mix and thus trying to compensate by turning highs down to the point of apparent balance on the ProDesks but 'darker' overall on other (better) systems.
Good to know someone else has used these. Not a ton around. Does seem like there's something in the 5 - 10K range. I've also ordered some speaker stands to get my monitors off the shelf of my workstation furniture. Definitely getting some first reflections from the desk surface which is making hi frequency decisions hard.. Moving the speakers back a bit should clear that up. Right now no budget so hopefully this will help.
Old 6 days ago
  #55
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
To some people "air" = "warmth".
Not two words I think of as synonyms.
Old 6 days ago
  #56
Lives for gear
 
Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Not two words I think of as synonyms.
Exactly. It can be revealing how some people truly hear things when they're not looking at hardware settings or the screen.

Last edited by Adam Dempsey; 5 days ago at 02:39 AM..
Old 6 days ago
  #57
I find in many instances once I've cleaned up the mids and lows, I actually need to roll off some highs.
Old 5 days ago
  #58
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by loji View Post
Inductors = LPF
Thanks. Yes inductors CAN be LPFs when wanted, but not always. For example, transformers are made of inductors but there are countless pieces of transformer gear that have extended HF response. Surely JW didn't mean to imply that all gear with inductors eats high end. I wonder if his view is rooted in the days of analog tape when HF loss was a constant battle...
Old 5 days ago
  #59
It's not high end losses, it's the resolution and transient response that makes the playback sound "real". There are few audio pieces made that don't affect that.
Old 3 days ago
  #60
Gear Maniac
Speaker stand came in and over the weekend I installed them. Moved the monitors a bit further away and got rid of the early reflections from the furniture desk surface. Big improvement. I now actually have a pretty big sweet spot and the highs don't change much at all when I move around. So now I'm getting reacquainted with my monitoring. Going to remix a tune and see what comes up. I'm am still hearing some 'dullness' in the top so far. But at least I have a better reference now. I also notice if I listen to older recordings my top end seems more in line. Much of the reference material i was using was the last decade.
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