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How can I reduce harshness, while adding "oomph"?
Old 9th September 2019
  #1
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How can I reduce harshness, while adding "oomph"?

How can I reduce harshness, while adding "oomph"?

Okay this is something that I've struggled with lately. On some cases I aim to get "oomph" using an EQ, but then notice that I cannot make settings that would not sound "harsh" at the same time.

So I sort of want "oomph", but without the harshness, and then this turns to feel impossible using an EQ.

If I add oomph, I add harshness. If I reduce harshness, I lose oomph.

Should I try a dynamic EQ? Should I do some sort of multi-band process on the harsh section (e.g. clip or saturate it "flat")? Should I use some de-noiser to "brutally" remove some of the harshness?
Old 9th September 2019
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Hi,

To me:
"harschness" sits around the 3K-6K.
"oomph sits around the 300hz- 70hz depending on the instrument.

Try cutting some 3K-6K if something sounds harsh and add some 300-70hz if you want more oomph.
Old 9th September 2019
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monk u View Post
Hi,

To me:
"harschness" sits around the 3K-6K.
"oomph sits around the 300hz- 70hz depending on the instrument.

Try cutting some 3K-6K if something sounds harsh and add some 300-70hz if you want more oomph.
But it's not always just about balance of frequencies. It's sometimes also about timing of "low part" relative to "high part".

What to do in this case? Use a crossover to separate them and then delay the high part a bit?
Old 9th September 2019
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundmodel View Post
But it's not always just about balance of frequencies. It's sometimes also about timing of "low part" relative to "high part".

What to do in this case? Use a crossover to separate them and then delay the high part a bit?
If you sepperate them you can control them seperataly. I do this with bass guitar. Try it, if it solves your issue then great
Old 9th September 2019
  #5
Are you mixing in context?

In my experience, this type of issue happens more often when I EQ solo’d Tracks.

More elements in the mix can add perspective.

Not sure if that is what you are doing, but it’s just a thought. With my mixes, every track is mixed with compromises that create a better whole. At the end of the day, it’s the song that needs to sound great, not to have the hardest hitting solo’d kick drum in the world.
Old 9th September 2019
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DomiBabi View Post
Are you mixing in context?

In my experience, this type of issue happens more often when I EQ solo’d Tracks.

More elements in the mix can add perspective.

Not sure if that is what you are doing, but it’s just a thought. With my mixes, every track is mixed with compromises that create a better whole. At the end of the day, it’s the song that needs to sound great, not to have the hardest hitting solo’d kick drum in the world.
This has been a particular problem in "minimalist compositions". Where there are only few elements, but the idea is to play with "coloration" of those elements for example. E.g. consider a minimal house track where the main element is some "low-end pulsing" with low oomph and "breathing" hf "background". How to make the kick/bass "oomph" or cut through and the background non-harsh but "intact"?
Old 9th September 2019
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundmodel View Post
This has been a particular problem in "minimalist compositions". Where there are only few elements, but the idea is to play with "coloration" of those elements for example. E.g. consider a minimal house track where the main element is some "low-end pulsing" with low oomph and "breathing" hf "background". How to make the kick/bass "oomph" or cut through and the background non-harsh but "intact"?
The rules still apply.

Elements must co-exist in a mix. If the arrangement is sparse but has high energy, EQ alone may not give you 100% of what you are looking for (especially with modern dance and EDM styles).

You can try EQIng the center channel separately from the sides, employ ducking and sidechain, automate levels, play with “filling in the blanks” with reverbs and ambient elements, create gated Auxes create faux soundstages, etc... also the obvious stuff like panning, width, saturation, etc.

It’s a sort of lazy answer but without examples it’s hard to hear what exactly is wrong.

Share a clip and I’m sure everyone will do their best to help you out.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Quote:
How can I reduce harshness, while adding "oomph"?
You cannot add something that is not there. So first i would start with a sound source that has 'oomph' as you call it.
2nd i would start with a sound source that is not harsh sounding
3rd I would use and EQ to taste and maybe a compressor
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Do you want to add oomph/cut harshness for the entire mix or when you're tracking particular instruments?

Probably need a little more info but parallel compression is often a good way of achieving this.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
You cannot add something that is not there. So first i would start with a sound source that has 'oomph' as you call it.
2nd i would start with a sound source that is not harsh sounding
3rd I would use and EQ to taste and maybe a compressor
This is a good advice, but it's not ideal.

I've several times encountered a "good sound" that I like artistically, but which has some problem with frequency balance. And then I've not been able to solve it, thus it leads one to discard an otherwise "awesome" sound.

Thus why I'd be interested in techniques or tools, which allow "saving" a "damaged", but good sound.

iZotope RX / similar could work, but even that'd take some kind of "idea" as to what to do. I actually used to demo this back when I had a license for RX 2 Adv. Tools like RX allow dialing more specifically to the part that creates the problem, thus one may be able to attenuate or alter that part without touching too much to others. Problem with conventional dyn./EQ./sat. is often that the effects are broader than required.

RX also has some functions that tbh "can add something, which is not there". It's close to black magic.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Quote:
I've several times encountered a "good sound" that I like artistically, but which has some problem with frequency balance. And then I've not been able to solve it, thus it leads one to discard an otherwise "awesome" sound.
You just need to train your ears and learn how to use your tools (plugin, effects)
Quote:
iZotope RX / similar could work, but even that'd take some kind of "idea" as to what to do.
Any plugin you use, you need to know what to do. Thats why plugins have knobs and sliders and settings

Quote:
This is a good advice, but it's not ideal.
Well since you know what is ideal and what to use, then its solved right?
Quote:
Should I try a dynamic EQ? Should I do some sort of multi-band process on the harsh section (e.g. clip or saturate it "flat")? Should I use some de-noiser to "brutally" remove some of the harshness?
Try and see what works for your audio. Everyone audio and personnel taste are different. No one here can know what will work for your ears, your audio and your taste.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
Well since you know what is ideal and what to use, then its solved right?
I refer to "ideal in technical sense". That it's possible that there exists a technology that's better suited. E.g. a dynamic EQ compared to a conventional param. EQ. Or "spectral compressor" as opposed to full-range compressor. Or noise shaping as opposed to saturation.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Deciding on a para EQv or dynamic EQ depends on your personnel preferences and what you feel more comfortable using. There is not one that will give you more "oomph" or less harshness. Its all about what you choose to work with and how you set it. Yes, some EQ are more harsh than others, but para inst more harsh that dynamic and visa versa. It just depends on what you choose. so you need to learn your tools and learn how each plugin sounds, then you'll know what is less and more harsh with your audio.

Example: i have about 20 pieces of outboard gear and about 85 plugins. Lets say i recorded a guitar track and now i want it to sound back in the distance to the left with more upper mid for clarity and a little dark also. I would know exactly what reverb, delay and EQ i would choose and i would also know what how to set it. Because i know every single effect and plugin i have and i would also be hearing it in the mix with the other instruments, as they effect the sound as well
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