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MID BASS?
Old 29th September 2004
  #1
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Talking MID BASS?

Hi dave,

I'm a rabid lurker here but decided that I would post here today to ask something that I don't see enough info about on any forums.

Any suggestions/tricks/knowledge on how to get the mid bass in a mix to sound right? My mostly ITB mixes usually sound great, nice separation and good frequency over all. But, Usually when I a/b mixes to major releases where mine seem to lack is in the punch to warmth area of the mid bass. It's the last area that I still don't feel I understand enough.

By the way, I love the way you mix. I love todays style of productions/mixing/mastering, period! I thank you for being here.

Kelly McCartney
The Dollhouse
Old 29th September 2004
  #2
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matucha's Avatar
Is your room treated? I think most of the bass and midbass unconsistency one gets is caused by peaky/hollowy areas in your room bass response. For ex. my current room is really bad. I have 118Hz resonance (it is A#) so big, I can't stand it. Then I get hollow areas in the very important 130-180Hz... man, this is a big guessing game with some help of the headphones and FFT and the results are still random. If the song's low frequency structure suits my room, I get acceptable results, but if it hits the achiles spots, I'm doomed ;-).

Luckily I'm moving and bulding a new room with treatment...

After you really hear this correctly I doubt, you'll ever complain
Old 29th September 2004
  #3
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Matous,

> most of the bass and midbass unconsistency one gets is caused by peaky/hollowy areas in your room ... this is a big guessing game <

You nailed it. If you can't hear what's really going on in the mix it's impossible to get a good blend between the kick and bass, or any other instruments with a lot of low frequency content.

All the fancy gear in the world is useless if the room doesn't have bass trapping and other acoustic treatment.

--Ethan
Old 30th September 2004
  #4
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Don't forget the major label releases you're comparing your mixes to have the substantial advantage of top quality mastering.

Lawrence
Old 30th September 2004
  #5
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Thread Starter
Thanks guys,

I've got 6 of ethans real traps and 3 of his micro traps and the room really sounds fabulous now. When listening to store bought music it sounds fine. My monitor setup consists of a pair of ns10's mated to a Phase linear 400. A pair of JBL LSR32's mated to a Hafler transnova 9505 and a 5.1 system comprised of 5 tannoy reveal passive and one tannoy 15" powered sub. This system is powered by a Denon discrete surround sound amp. I run a central station and have it configured to switch between all three systems and the sub can be utilized with any set.

Now I must say that I think this is more of a knowledge issue than anything else. My stuff for the most part is right and meshes with the best but I have some problems in the mid bass area. Enough so that it makes me go a bit shy on the low low bass to get it in line with the mid bass. I have had issues with this for about 5 or 6 years now and have gotten much much better but I feel that If I had more of an internship thing at a studio with a great mixer at some point in time I'd be much further along by now.

Again, for the most part I'm really digging the room and my mixes except in this area. I mostly listen to Hip hop/ Pop / Pop r&b/ New school metal/rock with a urban mix feel to it.

Thanks again
Kelly
Old 30th September 2004
  #6
Quote:
Originally posted by BOYKELLY

Again, for the most part I'm really digging the room and my mixes except in this area. I mostly listen to Hip hop/ Pop / Pop r&b/ New school metal/rock with a urban mix feel to it.

Thanks again
Kelly
If you got the room sonics covered:

Mix OTB instead of ITB.

In the bass region is one area where OTB really shines.

The bass and kick instruments tend to stand up more.

Also mixing to half inch helps also.

Also using the right processors when mixing bass.

Lastly i am not the biggest fan of the JBL LSR series of monitors.

The bass tends to be a little "floppy and boomy" to my ears.

This is where having soffit mounted speakers also helps.
Old 30th September 2004
  #7
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Thanks thrill, I'm sure that if I was Mixing OTB with great and easy to use gear my mixes would really soar. But right now this is not in the picture finacially. The only thing I mix out of the box right now are verbs. I'm using a combination of powercore verbs/convoltion and a lexicon pcm 81 / lexicon mpx g2 / Dynachord Drp 15 and a Midiverb 4 (which I actually like allot).

As far as the LSRs in certain rooms you are absolutely right! Before I got this room under control they sounded like absolute ****. And before I had good power behind them they sounded even worse. Besides they barely get turned on any more. I'm enjoy the ns10s paired with the sub. with a foot pedal to turn the sub off when needed.

Kelly
Old 30th September 2004
  #8
Quote:
Originally posted by BOYKELLY
Thanks thrill, I'm sure that if I was Mixing OTB with great and easy to use gear my mixes would really soar. But right now this is not in the picture finacially. The only thing I mix out of the box right now are verbs. I'm using a combination of powercore verbs/convoltion and a lexicon pcm 81 / lexicon mpx g2 / Dynachord Drp 15 and a Midiverb 4 (which I actually like allot).

As far as the LSRs in certain rooms you are absolutely right! Before I got this room under control they sounded like absolute ****. And before I had good power behind them they sounded even worse. Besides they barely get turned on any more. I'm enjoy the ns10s paired with the sub. with a foot pedal to turn the sub off when needed.

Kelly
There are a lot of solutions right now for mixing OTB.

Some are not that expensive.

Mixing on NS10's is great, but to really hear the bottomn end you need a speaker that can produce it.
Old 30th September 2004
  #9
Gear interested
 

depending on the genre, I like to try bussing the bass and kit together, then using an analogue emulating stereo comp to slightly pump the signal and add a little harmonic distortion. the waves ren comp works nicely(in warm mode), and if youve got it, the crane song phoenix seems awesome as harmonic generator/sonic glue(only tried the demo).
If you are already happy with how the kik/bass/low end of snare/Ohs work together, try experimenting with sidechain compression as well.

With the NS10s, I like the old "feel the cone" trick. Put on a mix that you like the low mids of, and pay attention to the way the bass and kik interact under your fingers, then playback one of your own mixes and compare.
Old 30th September 2004
  #10
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EngineEars's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by dawkab
With the NS10s, I like the old "feel the cone" trick. Put on a mix that you like the low mids of, and pay attention to the way the bass and kik interact under your fingers, then playback one of your own mixes and compare.
Luke.....feel the force
Old 30th September 2004
  #11
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Thread Starter
Thrill thanks. What solutions are you speaking of? As far as the low thing goes I am absolutely digging the ns10's with the tannoy 15" sub. I totally kills. The stuff I'm mixing sounds really great in the low end until I put something like Chingy or the newest perfect circle album on and then thing become much bigger without any type of farting out.


dawkab:

I will try that thanks. I'm not on pro tools though so I'm missing out on some of the warmers. I'm actually not digging anything on the vst side for that type of thing. As far as available plugs I've got 2 uads and 1 powercore (with no optional plugs) Waves diamond pack, PSP stuff, Blue tubes stuff, Sonalksis stuff and just about every freebie known to man.

I've known about the ns10 trick and try to impliment it but sometimes the low lows make the speaker move too much. So overall I still got a little bit to go before I get my lows in line.
Old 30th September 2004
  #12
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Thread Starter
Oh, and I'm running Nuendo 2 over here.
Old 1st October 2004
  #13
I would recommend not using a sub to mix if at all possible. I know some people like this but the freq. response a sub gives is not the best when mixing in stereo. Not everyone out there listens to music with a proper sub and it's got to sound good on a simple 2 speaker setup as well as a full blown stereo system with a sub. Invest in a pair of ADAM S3A speakers along with something like the Dangerous Monitor and you'll start hearing all the stuff you've been missing. Also, most engineers use multiple sets of monitors to check the mix as they go along.

Just my 2 cents.
Old 1st October 2004
  #14
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Thread Starter
So did you read any of my threads? My sub has a footswitch on it that I use allot. The dangerous monitor I understand, but even if all I had were my ns10s surely I should be able to reach a great mix. Adams are not the answer as of yet. One day I might get a pair but actually there are allot of interesting choices out there as far as speakers are concerned. I'm not looking to buy new gear guys. I have enough to get the job done right. This I feel is more to do with my approach to the bottom.

Any tips, engineering wise?

Thanks guys
Kelly
Old 1st October 2004
  #15
Guest Moderator - September 08
 
Dave Pensado's Avatar
 

definitions

Before I add to the already excellent comments here, I have to admit that I don't know what mid bass is. Let's take a brief departure from BOYKELLY'S thread and try to define the audio spectrum. I will start, but these are just impressions of mine. Is there an AES standard or something else I missed?

sub 0-60
bass 60-180
mid bass 180-300
lo mids 300-800
mids 800-2k
upper mids 2-5k
high end 5k up

Like I said, I just kinda go ROUGHLY by this. Am I close? Then let's try to finish helping BK.
Old 1st October 2004
  #16
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Thread Starter
Yes I think you summed it up for me. so I guess I should have stated mid bass/bottom end of low mid is a problem of mine. I think that I definately need to take more time getting the lower registers more clear on the ns10s. This might be lazyness on my part.

On a side note. Just finished soldering cables. Finally got the surround sound up and running. It's my first time manipulating a panner. Oh man, this is gonna be fun!

Thanks
Kelly
Old 2nd October 2004
  #17
jho
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jho's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by BOYKELLY

Any tips, engineering wise?

Thanks guys
Kelly
Try cutting some mid-bass.






heh
heh




No, really maybe it's your room, speakers, reflections or whatever, but try cutting it and then listening on a car stereo, down the hall, on a boom box, etc. Sure you've tried everything. But for example, I know in my room and speakers, I can easily get happy with the low freq because it sounds so good, then have a little too much elsewhere. So knowing this I cut that back a little and bingo.
Old 3rd October 2004
  #18
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This is a great thread and particularly apt to the track I'm working on at the moment. I have probably spent the better part of three weeks working on the kick and bass in a beat but then I do monitor through genelec 1029a's with no sub in an untreated room and the bass sounds different in every part of the room and different again when standing outside the room. so iwas relieved when a friend loaned me his tannoy 800's which are probably too big for the room(I have neighbours) however I ended up taking the compression off the kick and working a bit at that on it's own which is an improvement, however I now have to try and get the bass to work with it. However when I switched over to the tannoys my bass sounded far too loud. I dunno, I also had waves rbass on it which is also tuned off. So donno should I put the bass and kick on the same buss and compress them? Switch my genelecs back on? I can't stand another three weeks of Hell.
Old 3rd October 2004
  #19
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Thread Starter
Butterfly, I've got to tell you. My current room had the same problem. I actually had almost total cancellation of 100hz down at my mix position. Listening to material in the room was one of the more unpleasant things I've ever had the non pleasure of doing. If you walked around the room it was rediculous how much the bass changed. Just 1 foot to the left or right from the mix position bass was huge. Really wierd. So freaking out I invested in some of them Real trap things. My room is like 17foot by 13 foot by 8 foot high. And hanging 2 on the front ceiling stradling the corners, 2 on the front walls either side stradling the corners, 2 in the rear ceilings of the room stradling the corners and 3 micro traps on stands. 2 on one side covering the sliding mirrored closet door and one on the otherside has given me a room that truly sounds great. I'm sure that I could use more bass treatment but I am now doing the best mixes I've ever done. The best $1,700.00 I've ever spent.

Personally I hate any tannoys that are coecentric. I tend to really want to cut in the 1 to 4 khz area. I think it is due to the metal throat of the tweeter. I have a pair of Tannoy SRM10bs and they are the best coecentric design I've heard but they still sit in the closet. Never ever was able to make a mix work using those things. Worst money I ever spent.

Kelly
Old 4th October 2004
  #20
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Yeah boy I read a review of them in Sound on Sound and the reviewer said the same thing, however they are like three times the price here cause of shipping and import taxes etc. But I know it would make a huge difference.
Old 4th October 2004
  #21
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Re: definitions

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Pensado
Before I add to the already excellent comments here, I have to admit that I don't know what mid bass is. Let's take a brief departure from BOYKELLY'S thread and try to define the audio spectrum. I will start, but these are just impressions of mine. Is there an AES standard or something else I missed?

sub 0-60
bass 60-180
mid bass 180-300
lo mids 300-800

Like I said, I just kinda go ROUGHLY by this. Am I close? Then let's try to finish helping BK.
could you talk about what of the various instruments you like to be prominent over each region? or what are you listening for in those areas?
Old 4th October 2004
  #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Pensado
mid bass 180-300
I think that's a good definition for "mid bass" in this context, and it seems to be what Kelly had in mind. Just a note, however, if you ever find yourself talking to a speaker designer he will most likely interpret "mid bass" as approximately the region between a 60Hz and 3kHz. The woofers used in typical 2-way speakers are called "midbass" drivers since they span the midrange and bass.



Quote:
Originally posted by kittonian
I would recommend not using a sub to mix if at all possible. I know some people like this but the freq. response a sub gives is not the best when mixing in stereo. Not everyone out there listens to music with a proper sub and it's got to sound good on a simple 2 speaker setup as well as a full blown stereo system with a sub. Invest in a pair of ADAM S3A speakers along with something like the Dangerous Monitor and you'll start hearing all the stuff you've been missing.
I partially agree and partially disagree. I don't like the generic use of standalone subs, because they rely on the assumption that subs and sub crossovers are simply "mix and match". This couldn't be further from the truth. It takes a great deal of expertise to properly mate subs with monitors, and it can almost never be done without custom adjustment of the crossover alignment - not just the frequency and phase.

That said, properly integrated subwoofers can dramatically improve your mix translation. 2-way monitors generate quite a lot of low end distortion which finds itself planted smack in the middle of this mid-bass (upper bass) region. This muddies things up and makes it difficult to get a handle on the critical articulation of bass instruments. Subs can free the "midbass" drivers in 2-ways from much of their bass reproduction responsibilities, lowering distortion and making life much easier.

I think it's a myth that hiding your ears from deep bass makes mixing easier. In fact, it's risky because there might be a lot of junk down there that listeners with wider spectrum systems might not find themselves so blissfully unaware. IMO deep bass response is fundamentally better for mixing, but it has to be GOOD deep bass.

Thomas
Old 5th October 2004
  #23
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Thomas,

> I think it's a myth that hiding your ears from deep bass makes mixing easier. <

Words of wisdom to be sure. Lately I've been listening to a lot of oldies on my HT system, which is solid down to at least 25 Hz. I notice a lot of tunes where it's obvious the mixing engineer had no clue how much LF noise and rumble and foot steps etc. were in the track. Aside from the loss of headroom, which is also significant, more and more listeners these days do have good systems with an extended LF response. If you can't hear what's really in the track, you're at a big disadvantage.

--Ethan
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