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Mixes sounds clustered and compact not open and free
Old 4th September 2011
  #1
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Mixes sounds clustered and compact not open and free

Hey guys, when I mix death metal it always ends up sounds like I stuffed everything into the smallest box imaginable. I use presets and then change those to meet the sound of that instrument. I'm not sure if mids will do this to a mix. If I pull alot of the mids out would that help and obviously panning would help open it up but it still sounds compact. Help please
Old 4th September 2011
  #2
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Could it be the room I put the drums on or what?
Old 5th September 2011
  #3
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bfolsom View Post
Hey guys, when I mix death metal it always ends up sounds like I stuffed everything into the smallest box imaginable. I use presets and then change those to meet the sound of that instrument. I'm not sure if mids will do this to a mix. If I pull alot of the mids out would that help and obviously panning would help open it up but it still sounds compact. Help please
This sounds to me like you're letting too many low mids through into the mix. Try high-pass filtering a few of the tracks that don't have obvious low-end in them, and see how high you can set the filter frequency before the tone suffers. But only make this judgement with all the tracks playing, not with the solo button engaged, because you'll often find that something that sounds right in the mix might sound thin on its own -- that's quite normal.

Also, I'd be very careful with reverbs and delays. Firstly, make sure none of them are longer than necessary, because presets often are; and secondly make sure you EQ the returns so that they're only adding what you want to the mix -- I'd high-pass filter them almost as a matter of course, and probably dip out some additional low mid-range too. Make sure you spend long enough selecting a reverb preset too, because if you get the wrong one it's difficult to remedy later. Try listening to the reverb in solo initially, as that often makes it easier to choose between presets.

Also, a note about EQ presets: they're almost completely useless at mixdown, so I'd abandon using them if you want better results. Compression presets can be alright as long as you adjust the threshold setting to suit the track at hand and discard presets that don't sound good to you.
Old 5th September 2011
  #4
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^What triviul said.
Old 5th September 2011
  #5
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jjboogie's Avatar
I think over compressing can also make it sound like that.
Old 6th September 2011
  #6
Gear Head
 

Make sure that youre guitars and bass aren't stepping on each other. High pass filter on the the guitars to tighten them up (probably somewhere between 100-200hz). Trim some lower mids from the bass IF it sounds too muddy or boomy.

Cut some of the lower mids out of the bass drum and as fair amount of lows & low mids out of the toms. If the toms are close mic-ed, make sure they're not humming or ringing. If they are, you can gate them so the hum stops. Make sure the gating sounds somewhat musical - don't try banish all other sounds from the tom mics, only the infernal hum.

You may want to put a high-pass filter on the bass drum at around 40 HZ. HPF on the snare at around 40HZ. HPF on the cymbals - start low and bring it up to where it starts affecting the tone negatively then back off a bit.

Most of your problem areas will be between 150-400Hz, but you don't want to cut too harshly.

Don't worry about the tracks sounding thin solo-ed because that's what metal's all about.
Old 7th September 2011
  #7
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Wow that should help alot!! Thanks!! I'll try all if these and see what I get!!
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