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Mixing: Kik vs. Bass ---> Happy Medium?
Old 17th March 2003
  #31
Some quick discoveries I've made over the years when it comes to mixing kick and bass:

1) For the harder styles(Rock,rap,dance,Rnb etc) mix to analog instead of digital. Why do you ask? Analog does certain things which help the bass and kick fit together. Such as(depending on how hard you hit it) spread the bass and kick out more and not make it sound so pointed which digital has a habit of doing. A more pointed bass makes it appear to our ears as thin(its an illusion)Because its pointed it pulls our attention(ears) to this area. Analog acts as a mask almost. Also some of the analog machines takes away from some of the highs(and lows if you are not careful) and less highs makes the brain think there is more bass. Also analog has a natural compression that happens when you spank it, digital does not. That is one of the reasons that I am not crazy about these analog simulators(Hedd tape knob for example). Because its digital you get just one sound and anyone who mixes down to analog knows that the effect can change depending on how you hit it(I think the term is analogous to the signal). Now this can be accomplished in digital by riding the effect(which I have done in the past on my HEDD unit), but again since its not automated there is no way to recall it.

Lastly there is a rolloff(steep or not)filter when recording digital(there is one in analog too but its more gentle). Now not all analog 1/2" machines sound the same(Ampex and Studer are the most common but each sounds way different). You have to check them both out to see which is better suited for your style(and music).

2) Nowadays I personally don't compress the dynamic instruments when mixing(except vocals). To my ears it robs some of the clarity that you are desperately trying to achieve(especially Bass and Kick). I prefer to parallel compress/EQ or sub compress/EQ the missing parts and fill it in(I have different chains and ideas on this too). This will make the sounds bigger and much more dynamic in the mix. This technique takes a lot of practice(this is where your mixing talent comes in). Its actually a very popular technique here(in NYC). I think it came from the fact that a lot of the early samplers had no wave editing displays(back in the mid to late 80's). A lot of the cheaper samplers back then weren't designed to well . You basically had to edit by ear. What happened was the clients(R&B) who were used to punchy live drums wanted the same kinda punch from these samplers. So basically what we had to do in the mix is augment the sound with itself(or parts of). Also when loops became popular we had to the same thing. We were asked to pull bass parts out, as well as kicks and snares. Same concept of taking a sound and breaking it down and augmenting that. But there were things to consider when you did these kinda tricks(phase is a big one).

I think when you are mixing your kick and bass one thing to check for is the phase between these two tracks. Some times this will rob the impact of each.

I know some guys do the sub-harmonic tricks on their tracks. They put a low sine wave(usually an octave lower) and have it keyed from either the Kick or the bass(or both). The secret to this is level. If you can hear it, than its too much. This is something you should feel more than hear. Sometimes why I do to tighten up the mix(especially if I do this) is to put a roll off at the very bottom(20hz-25hz) and what this does it gives the illusion that the bass moved up an octave. Even though your just cleaning up a lot of the looseness.

3) Monitoring(including your room) is important and i am sure its been mentioned. You have to be able to hear the true bottomn of your track. If your room becomes part of the sound than you are in trouble.

I hope this helps a little.
Old 17th March 2003
  #32
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bassmac's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Pricey
...Envelope processing to every single hit, so that every hit has exactly the same volume and decay.
Interesting - can you elaborate more on that. rollz
Old 17th March 2003
  #33
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jazzius's Avatar
 

The phase relationship between the kick/bass is something that is oft overlooked........changing this relationship by tiny ammounts can have a big impact on what you hear....

....move the kick a little bit to the left and they're cancelling......a bit further and they're in phase and adding (dunno what the opposite of cancelling is!).....

.....you could spend hours trying to get the puurfect cmpression setting, but the time might have been better spent going thru the track setting up the desired phase relationship on each kick......
Old 17th March 2003
  #34
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eddieaudio's Avatar
 

Thumbs up not a formula, but some insight

Hey low freaks! here's a little insight regarding kick and bass...

First a link as this is way too much info (plus images) for this posting area...

http://www.tangible-technology.com/a...bassmanage.htm

Cardioid mics positioned close to the source generate lots of extra bottom -- up to 12dB!! And lots of "kick mics" have a 5kHz presence peak to compensate. The trick to feeling the kick is NOT adding bottom but rolling it off -- not high pass but shelf. If it's too clicky (like MD421 or any of the dedicated kick mics), then change the mic to one with no mid bump. You might also try a omni mic as there will be no proximity effect.

The need to add bottom is both a monitoring issue AND a consumer audio "loudness button" issue.

More than anything is the issue of masking -- what we get used to -- hence the foundation of kick and bass is really important and the link will point to pix of cardioid mic response including proximity curves.

Bass can be EQ'd "almost" anyway you want because it will be "placed" to compliment the kick -- you can also sidechain kick and bass through a compressor so that the kick punches holes into the bass.

hope this helps.
Old 17th March 2003
  #35
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Nutmeg II.'s Avatar
 

To me it is important not to cut tomuch of the low mid.

Usualy I like cut away the mids, but I try to have a gentle roll off from lets say 90Hz to 160Hz.
That way you will hear it in cheapo speakers.

Then I look for a bump at 50-80Hz.

Also like having a peak at 1-2kHz rather then 3-5kHz. In the first it sounds unusual but it mix well with the guitars and the vocals.

I like a mic that could capture the air of the kick.
Sometimes the bottom snare mic or a PZM, the room mic, overheads... what ever.
It is not the lowend its something in the 2-4kHz area that makes the kick hugh.
Old 17th March 2003
  #36
Re: not a formula, but some insight

Quote:
Originally posted by eddieaudio
Hey low freaks! here's a little insight regarding kick and bass...
hope this helps.
Hey Eddie,

Welcome to the Forumn.
Old 17th March 2003
  #37
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
Yeah Eddie, thanks for the link. Very cool...it illustrates the issues nicely.
Old 18th March 2003
  #38
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robot gigante's Avatar
Hey, great info fellas-keep the good stuff coming!

That was an interesting comment about riding the tape effect on the Hedd- I'll have to try that one out since I don't have a tape machine, any related tips on using the Hedd to get a more authentic sound are appreciated since I just got one two weeks ago, love it so far.

I guess this is more of a tracking issue than an eq/compression one, but I've been trying to get a kick that has definition on the top end without the click (for RnB/Jazzy downtempo) and a drummer friend of mine has started to use the old school kick beaters that are huge and soft instead of the smaller harder ones you normally see. I really liked the sound when he showed me- shame they don't make beaters like that anymore- and I've been thinking about using one on a project coming up in the next couple weeks.

Has anyone ever tracked with a big ol' beater and if so what disadvantages become apparent- I guess I'm just wondering if its a waste of time and I should track with a normal beater and use eq and compression to get rid of the click...
Old 18th March 2003
  #39
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Pricey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by bassmac
Interesting - can you elaborate more on that. rollz
I'm using Nuendo. The kick or snare hits have been isolated as separate "events" by the Strip Silence function. I select all the events, go to the Process menu, and apply Normalize to all the events at once. Then I apply Envelope to all the events at once. Nuendo lets you draw the exact envelope curve you want and preview the sound.

You need a fast computer for this, preferably SCSI, or it will take forever to process all the events.
Old 18th March 2003
  #40
What a cool thread!

BTW, I very often duck the bass with a keyed compressor fed by the kick.

Old 18th March 2003
  #41
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malice's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
What a cool thread!

BTW, I very often duck the bass with a keyed compressor fed by the kick.

It has saved my ass in mix a lots of times ...
Old 18th March 2003
  #42
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
THANKS for all the great replies, guys!

This thread has served up lots of swell ideas for mixing low end.

I've gotten several good ideas here.

Anyone else have anything to add?
Old 18th March 2003
  #43
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Nothing to add, except- good thread, Bunny! -GT3
Old 19th March 2003
  #44
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EduardoApolonia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Pricey

I freakin' hate drum samples - they don't take to EQ or compression at ALL, and it's a PITA to make them sound real. If I have to use 'em, I make my own. Most sample CD's are pathetic - I don't know of any drum library that has separate left-hand/right-hand samples, or takes advantages of the multi-dimensional capabilities of Gigasampler.

Check this sample CD:

Drumkit From Hell

"Each drum are multisampled with both left and right hand grip, from soft to hard hits. For example, the snare consists of 10 different hits from soft to hard with both left and right hand grip. In addition to that; 10 hard left hand hits, all with a slightly different approach + a variety of useful hits such as rolls & sidestick. We`ve also included all these hits without bottomhead snares on some.

All cymbals are also multisampled with different types of hits.

Each sample has 2 different stereo samples, one is the drum itself (with all the other mics turned on) and the other one is the room/ambient mics. With this feature you're able to process the closely miked sounds and the ambient sounds seperately and create a wide variety of general drumsounds.
"
Old 19th March 2003
  #45
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Nutmeg II.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by robot gigante
...a drummer friend of mine has started to use the old school kick beaters that are huge and soft instead of the smaller harder ones you normally see....
That's a good one! I changed the beater on my Iron Cobra to a bigger one, that has a lot more definition and punch!
I like the D.W. one, both sides. But I would like to hear one that is 1/4 bigger.

Quote:
Originally posted by Pricey
I'm using Nuendo. The kick or snare hits have been isolated as separate "events" by the Strip Silence function. I select all the events, go to the Process menu, and apply Normalize to all the events at once. Then I apply Envelope to all the events at once. Nuendo lets you draw the exact envelope curve you want and preview the sound.
What a great featur! I need to do that manualy in Logic or ProTools. That featur is on my wish list right on top for years!
Old 19th March 2003
  #46
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robot gigante's Avatar
Since they don't manufacture the bigger beaters any more, your best bet to find one is to go to a store that buys/sells a lot of used drum equipment and have them set one aside for you when they get an ancient kick pedal.

I recorded one the other day btw and I really like the sound. I guess people really like the clickiness of a small or even wooden beater these days but the big soft beaters give me the sound I've been looking for.
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