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Low Mids
Old 15th June 2009
  #1
Gear Head
 

Low Mids

Hey Butch. Thanks for being a guest mod!

How do you deal with low mids (specifically guitar) during the producing/tracking/mixing process? The projects you have worked on are very clear but still have power especially in the low mids. I often find myself struggling to get a good guitar/low mid sound that is powerful and doesn't make the mix sound muddy. Do you have any thoughts, tips, tricks or suggestions?

Thanks again!
Old 15th June 2009
  #2
I agree!.. V good with the low mids.

I have a theory that back when you were doing Garbage's 1st album you took the sometimes "choked sounding" Digidesign 888/24 converters and turned their tonal restriction around to work to your advantage - custom designing a 'new sound' to go with the technology.. Hence a very 'solid block' of mid range - that would seriously kick ass and make people move..

Anyway.. That might be totally wrong!

Carry on!
Old 15th June 2009
  #3
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ButchVig's Avatar
 

When I started working on the 1st Garbage album, I realized quickly that a lot of the songs were going to be very, very dense sounding, so I would do a lot of filtering as we built the songs. The board that we mixed on was a custom Harrison, and it had the most kick ass HP/LA filters! And I would take the filters and sweep them around on a guitar until it sounded like it had it's own "pocket" in the song. If you soloed the track, it sounded like s**t, but in the context of the mix, it sounded perfect.

I started doing a lot of eq filtering when we recorded Siamese Dream, as song of those tracks were also very very dense.
Old 15th June 2009
  #4
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Jules...i like the "choked sounding" ref...I wish I could say it was a great idea I had!

In fact, the 1st Garbage album was done in a sort of lofi chain:

We recorded into a 24 track Otari MX80 (I think!) and almost all the tracks except for vocals were run through either an Akai S1000 sampler or Kurzweil K2500...then we mixed the whole thing through the Harrison w Flying Faders.

It wasn't until Garbage's V 2.0 that we jumped into Pro Tools!
Old 15th June 2009
  #5
oops!

heh

Perhaps it was the sampler frequency cut off that I mistook for the 888/24 sound..?



(grasping at straws now.. )
Old 15th June 2009
  #6
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ButchVig's Avatar
 

5 minute drum sound

I also remember when we started Smart, we were doing records so quick that we didn't have time for working on a killer drum sound. so as soon as had the drums set up, I would listen to the drummer play for about a minute and adjust levels...then I would insert eq on all channels at once, which typically had some top boost around 5 or 6 K,
some bottom boost around 80 or 12o hz, and a big cut (-8 db) at 300-500 hz.
That was out 5 minute drum sound. The only channel that I would tinker with a bit more was the snare drum.
Steve Marker and I had that eq set up fro about 2 years. I think the board back then was an Allen and Heath. Most of the albums were done in 2 or 3 days. Record all the basics on day one, overdubs vocals and guitar solos day 2, mix day three.

Man oh man I did a lot of albums like that!
Old 15th June 2009
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchVig View Post

Man oh man I did a lot of albums like that!
Pretty cool!

I guess that type of way of working is a thing of the past. Do you think people spend too much time and money on albums these days? You had Green Day's new album done pretty quick! They entered and released before another act I like got halfway on their new album! 10 months already on production!

Was that to do with the downturn? Did GD hit the studio with everything ready to be recorded arrangement wise?
Old 15th June 2009
  #8
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doug hazelrigg's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchVig View Post

It wasn't until Garbage's V 2.0 that we jumped into Pro Tools!
Wow -- that's surprising, given all the moves, edits, etc. that the first album seems to employ... I always assumed it was PT from the start
Old 16th June 2009
  #9
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Guitar Zero's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchVig View Post
When I started working on the 1st Garbage album, I realized quickly that a lot of the songs were going to be very, very dense sounding, so I would do a lot of filtering as we built the songs. The board that we mixed on was a custom Harrison, and it had the most kick ass HP/LA filters! And I would take the filters and sweep them around on a guitar until it sounded like it had it's own "pocket" in the song. If you soloed the track, it sounded like s**t, but in the context of the mix, it sounded perfect.

I started doing a lot of eq filtering when we recorded Siamese Dream, as song of those tracks were also very very dense.
Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. When you high pass the guitars, what frequency? Or did it depend on the guitar track?
Old 16th June 2009
  #10
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chickencoop's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchVig View Post
I also remember when we started Smart, we were doing records so quick that we didn't have time for working on a killer drum sound. so as soon as had the drums set up, I would listen to the drummer play for about a minute and adjust levels...then I would insert eq on all channels at once, which typically had some top boost around 5 or 6 K,
some bottom boost around 80 or 12o hz, and a big cut (-8 db) at 300-500 hz.
That was out 5 minute drum sound. The only channel that I would tinker with a bit more was the snare drum.
Steve Marker and I had that eq set up fro about 2 years. I think the board back then was an Allen and Heath. Most of the albums were done in 2 or 3 days. Record all the basics on day one, overdubs vocals and guitar solos day 2, mix day three.

Man oh man I did a lot of albums like that!
awesome-- free "Butch Vig presets"
Old 16th June 2009
  #11
Gear Head
 
killersoundz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchVig View Post
then I would insert eq on all channels at once, which typically had some top boost around 5 or 6 K,
some bottom boost around 80 or 12o hz, and a big cut (-8 db) at 300-500 hz.
Hehe, loved seeing this. This is my basic go to EQ for drums as well.
Old 16th June 2009
  #12
We recorded into a 24 track Otari MX80 (I think!) and almost all the tracks except for vocals were run through either an Akai S1000 sampler or Kurzweil K2500...

to use the filters?

thanks,
jeremy
Old 16th June 2009
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
kilroyrock's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchVig View Post
I also remember when we started Smart, we were doing records so quick that we didn't have time for working on a killer drum sound. so as soon as had the drums set up, I would listen to the drummer play for about a minute and adjust levels...then I would insert eq on all channels at once, which typically had some top boost around 5 or 6 K,
some bottom boost around 80 or 12o hz, and a big cut (-8 db) at 300-500 hz.
That was out 5 minute drum sound. The only channel that I would tinker with a bit more was the snare drum.
Steve Marker and I had that eq set up fro about 2 years. I think the board back then was an Allen and Heath. Most of the albums were done in 2 or 3 days. Record all the basics on day one, overdubs vocals and guitar solos day 2, mix day three.

Man oh man I did a lot of albums like that!
Hi Butch,

Do you have any specific big albums in mind that you might have done that on that we might know? I guess as a reference point to what that sounded like. You mostly relied on having a great room then? For us without great rooms to record in, do you have any quick fix suggestions/tips that can take an ok room and keep it from interfering with the end result? sorry for the set of questions, thanks again!
Old 16th June 2009
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchVig View Post
I also remember when we started Smart, we were doing records so quick that we didn't have time for working on a killer drum sound. so as soon as had the drums set up, I would listen to the drummer play for about a minute and adjust levels...then I would insert eq on all channels at once, which typically had some top boost around 5 or 6 K,
some bottom boost around 80 or 12o hz, and a big cut (-8 db) at 300-500 hz.
That was out 5 minute drum sound. The only channel that I would tinker with a bit more was the snare drum.
Steve Marker and I had that eq set up fro about 2 years. I think the board back then was an Allen and Heath. Most of the albums were done in 2 or 3 days. Record all the basics on day one, overdubs vocals and guitar solos day 2, mix day three.

Man oh man I did a lot of albums like that!
Wow... this is my fav post of the QA.

Not only did this show how much EQ you used (8db is a lot according to many posts online), but you kind of kept it the same for every single drummer!

BTW, thanks for doing this.
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