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Preventing a thin low end - HPF or Low Shelf?
Old 27th May 2018
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryfell View Post
From that track i'd say your lows sound pretty decent. However, IMO the track is far too bright, and possibly overcompressed.
Agreed to both. I didn't even notice there was a track, but the kick sounds punchy enough to me. But that's also why I mentioned compression - I think a lot of people (not specifically talking about OP) tend to just throw compressors on everything (something I was guilty of myself for ages), not realizing how much of the life they're sucking out of things, when the only thing needed is volume up. I can't tell if the kick is compressed separately (it sounds almost like a master bus compression that's pretty high), but I think less compression would make it easier 'in general' to make things 'hit harder'.
Old 27th May 2018
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atma View Post
the more you high pass things, the more you're going to **** up your low end with phase problems, which will create more issues than it will solve.

i don't highpass anything unless there's a crucial and very specific reason. i don't know where this idea of highpassing everything in a mix even came from, but it's not good advice.
Yes.

Even just this week, I saw a person giving advice, "Highpass every track as much as you can" relating to loud mixes.
Do not high pass everything.
IMHO this advice or "rule" contributes way more to thin and hollow mixes than loud and full ones.
I kind of hate seeing this tip if you let me be frank.
Every month I receive a mix or a premaster or two and it just sounds a bit on the thin side.
I always ask, "Any chance you have highpassed a lot of the elements, and can you send a version where you don't do that?" and the next mix or stems I get is way better. Scan low mids for useless low mid resonances and cut them out with a pretty narrow Q, but do not highpass everything.
Also consider low shelf instead of high pass; more gentle, reduces bass instead of removing it.
I'm doing the loudest and cleanest mixes I've ever done in my life with any genre, and that has very little to do with highpassing things TBH.
Getting the low mids and sub right is a major factor here...not highpassing *every* track you have.
I rarely HP anything unless there's some major issues.
Old 28th May 2018
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryfell View Post
From that track i'd say your lows sound pretty decent. However, IMO the track is far too bright, and possibly overcompressed.

I'd say sort that first, then you will be in a better position to assess your low end.

I know some people like a brighter more 'modern' sound though, and it could of course not sound so bright on your systems, but just a thought, and I hear most your tracks, esp the non-flips are like that.

It's something I was guilty of myself for ages, and still can be!

You tiuched a topic ive been trying to get better at. Ive been trying to warm up my mixes with hi shelves or cuts, but I guess I'm not doing well enough in that area. Any suggestions?
Old 28th May 2018
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdot View Post
Agreed to both. I didn't even notice there was a track, but the kick sounds punchy enough to me. But that's also why I mentioned compression - I think a lot of people (not specifically talking about OP) tend to just throw compressors on everything (something I was guilty of myself for ages), not realizing how much of the life they're sucking out of things, when the only thing needed is volume up. I can't tell if the kick is compressed separately (it sounds almost like a master bus compression that's pretty high), but I think less compression would make it easier 'in general' to make things 'hit harder'.
You have a sharp ear! I did most much compression the master buss, with a ssl buss comp. But tho its not jumping past 1db of company. I could hear it. I guess I OD'ed cuz it felt like it was tightening my kick.
Old 29th May 2018
  #35
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I think the sample especially just sounds too bright, like the high shelf's going a bit too aggressive.
You'll notice that if you compare the song with some strong references.
I'd say less brightening.

Also good to notice that the sample you have has a pretty poor mono compatibility: if you play your song in mono, you'll see the sample loses a lot of level, and drums largely dominate just too much.
How to fix this? Get a plugin that makes that track completely mono, then push its level up where it's loud enough, and then bring back the width a bit.
This way you'll never lose level when your song is played in mono.
Old 5th June 2018
  #36
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If you can hear it you can do it. Invest in a good monitor setup that goes low, and does it well
Old 5th June 2018
  #37
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I've been telling a lot of hip-hop guys this lately, DON'T mix with loudness as the goal. Mix with the goal being interesting and musical balances between background and foreground. A good mix will appear to have been run through a limiter when you look at the meter, it's not compression that makes things loud, it's the relationship between background and foreground. Without a background to reference, there is no way to know how "big" or "loud" the foreground is. Dynamic range and loudness are about perception, not mechanical manipulation. The loudness curve is also a factor, but that also comes from a well balanced mix, not forcing the mix through a cookie cutter EQ shape.

Mixing is not about making something different than what you already have. It's about using what you have in the most interesting and musical way. Don't do stuff for the purpose of "making it" this or that. Try using nothing but panning and levels to make a mix first. Once you have a good balance, then think of what you can do creatively to make things more interesting with effects, and LASTLY some processing. You don't HAVE to use compression or EQ on something that doesn't sound good, because that won't make it sound better; but tucking something that doesn't sound so great behind something that does can add a lot of character to both while masking what you don't like. Again, try using nothing but panning and level first. Also don't be afraid to add new layers with synths etc to fill in space, rather than trying to forcibly shape something you already have to fit. You can't fit a square peg into a round hole, as "they" say. haha
Old 5th June 2018
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atma View Post
the more you high pass things, the more you're going to **** up your low end with phase problems, which will create more issues than it will solve.

i don't highpass anything unless there's a crucial and very specific reason. i don't know where this idea of highpassing everything in a mix even came from, but it's not good advice.
There should be a crucial and specific reason for any processing really.

And the HPF and LPF fads probably come from interviews with big names talking about using their Pultecs (or clones of) but not actually mentioning that's what their referring to, instead using the generic term "filter" or "roll-off".
Old 5th June 2018
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
I've been telling a lot of hip-hop guys this lately, DON'T mix with loudness as the goal. Mix with the goal being interesting and musical balances between background and foreground. A good mix will appear to have been run through a limiter when you look at the meter, it's not compression that makes things loud, it's the relationship between background and foreground. Without a background to reference, there is no way to know how "big" or "loud" the foreground is. Dynamic range and loudness are about perception, not mechanical manipulation. The loudness curve is also a factor, but that also comes from a well balanced mix, not forcing the mix through a cookie cutter EQ shape.

Mixing is not about making something different than what you already have. It's about using what you have in the most interesting and musical way. Don't do stuff for the purpose of "making it" this or that. Try using nothing but panning and levels to make a mix first. Once you have a good balance, then think of what you can do creatively to make things more interesting with effects, and LASTLY some processing. You don't HAVE to use compression or EQ on something that doesn't sound good, because that won't make it sound better; but tucking something that doesn't sound so great behind something that does can add a lot of character to both while masking what you don't like. Again, try using nothing but panning and level first. Also don't be afraid to add new layers with synths etc to fill in space, rather than trying to forcibly shape something you already have to fit. You can't fit a square peg into a round hole, as "they" say. haha

Really appreciate all that. But. . . I actually did level and pan before I started processing or anything for that matter. Also as another had put, buy some good monitors, I own some JBL LSR 4300s.

Honestly I would say my grasp of compression is still mess and that I started over processing when it came to trying to make two guitar riff from a friend of mines to sound fat.

I naturally lack in the low in of blending sub bass with kicks at the moment.
I really appreciate the all that talk but the fact that im aware of it, I had to clarify. Even tho my mix doesn't make me look any better.

One thing I did take away from what ou said tho was that, not everything has to be eqed you can just mask it with something nicer. Last, I did place a limiter on the mix that I created after to turn it up, but that was after I mixed the whole beat at low volume. Thanks.
Old 5th June 2018
  #40
On a positive note, you've got a great groove and swing underneath it all (which arguably is the most important thing); not to sound big-headed but I hear similar sonic characteristics in my own music a few years back and I've improved those drastically by learning through mistakes and taking the great advice here on Gearslutz.
It's quite brave putting your music in public for criticism (and encouragement) but I think you're well on the path to getting it the way you want it to be. Keep going
Old 7th June 2018
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JblKid95 View Post
If you can hear it you can do it. Invest in a good monitor setup that goes low, and does it well
Well, I'm not exactly sure this is true. I had treatment and good monitors for quite a while before I could get mixes where I wanted them. Like anything in life, some people have a talent at something and some have to work at it. For me, it's not at easy as it 'sounds' (was that a pun)? I don't particularly like the mixing stage but that's just me ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
I've been telling a lot of hip-hop guys this lately, DON'T mix with loudness as the goal. Mix with the goal being interesting and musical balances between background and foreground. A good mix will appear to have been run through a limiter when you look at the meter, it's not compression that makes things loud, it's the relationship between background and foreground. Without a background to reference, there is no way to know how "big" or "loud" the foreground is. Dynamic range and loudness are about perception, not mechanical manipulation. The loudness curve is also a factor, but that also comes from a well balanced mix, not forcing the mix through a cookie cutter EQ shape.

Mixing is not about making something different than what you already have. It's about using what you have in the most interesting and musical way. Don't do stuff for the purpose of "making it" this or that. Try using nothing but panning and levels to make a mix first. Once you have a good balance, then think of what you can do creatively to make things more interesting with effects, and LASTLY some processing. You don't HAVE to use compression or EQ on something that doesn't sound good, because that won't make it sound better; but tucking something that doesn't sound so great behind something that does can add a lot of character to both while masking what you don't like. Again, try using nothing but panning and level first. Also don't be afraid to add new layers with synths etc to fill in space, rather than trying to forcibly shape something you already have to fit. You can't fit a square peg into a round hole, as "they" say. haha
That is some amazing advice right there.

The thing I use to do a lot (not specifically saying anyone else is doing this) is stick processing on everything to try and make things sound 'right'. Realistically, it's because what I produced didn't sound how I wanted it to in the first place - and I tried to fix that with processing. That never works well.

I actually have no idea what made it all click for me - but at some point I realized how to get the sound I wanted 90% of the way before mixing anything. I'm not sure if it really counts as mixing at all anymore - but when you can get your track to mostly where you want it with just levels and panning - before you've even really started 'mixing', that's when mixing becomes far easier. That might sound obvious, but at first for me it wasn't. Like I said, I was sticking 8 plugins on everything to try and get what I wanted out of it ..... you should be doing that with the synths/drum machines themselves, instead of trying to 'correct' for things later. If a snare/kick isn't snappy enough, maybe decrease the decay and increase the volume? If a synth is both too loud and too soft when it dies off, increase the sustain. Sticking compressors on it will rarely sound as good as getting it right in the first place ... but I guess it all just comes down to practice, practice, practice

I guess I made enough frustratingly ****ty mixes I learned to 'hear' it right in the first place?

That's just my experience with it all
Old 7th June 2018
  #42
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I think hipassing is really useful. But particularly when dealing in the low end registers you need to use a linear phase EQ. or if you use a regular eq plugin you can try dropping the entire level down in the eq so it’s all negative eq.
And then we need to realize that when we do a hipass, the tighter the slope you, you generally get more of a bump around the hipass cutoff frequencies.
So I might either use a negative low shelf eq on its own instead of a hipass or I’ll use a low shelf or a bell curve to dip some of those newly boosted frequencies after the hipass, to smooth things out.

Just adding on to the general advice of picking the right samples, not cutting too much bass, etc.
Old 7th June 2018
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DontaBlack View Post
Really appreciate all that. But. . . I actually did level and pan before I started processing or anything for that matter. Also as another had put, buy some good monitors, I own some JBL LSR 4300s.

Honestly I would say my grasp of compression is still mess and that I started over processing when it came to trying to make two guitar riff from a friend of mines to sound fat.

I naturally lack in the low in of blending sub bass with kicks at the moment.
I really appreciate the all that talk but the fact that im aware of it, I had to clarify. Even tho my mix doesn't make me look any better.

One thing I did take away from what ou said tho was that, not everything has to be eqed you can just mask it with something nicer. Last, I did place a limiter on the mix that I created after to turn it up, but that was after I mixed the whole beat at low volume. Thanks.
That masking trick can also make things sound fatter, like a thin kick placed with the bassline right behind it or even in front, or the treble in a bassline used to emphasize the attack of a compressed guitar, etc. Also you can try a lowpass on a buss and run some aspects of the rhythm section through it to allow them to set back a bit yet still sound thick.

My main point was to not mix for a goal like loudness or a certain EQ curve. Mix with the goal of making the tracks you have work together. If they don't work together without any processing, then processing probably won't help. If the tracks aren't working together then it's a poor instrumentation/arrangement, not a bad mix.
Old 7th June 2018
  #44
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I meant the actual monitor/speaker. Sometimes you’re not hearing everything.
Old 11th June 2018
  #45
Hpf will def clean up the mud using on all sounds. Just dont cut into the meat of the sound it will make a big diff.

To get the bass right its all about leveling. Make sure your have accurate monitoring. If your room does not have acoustic treatment will be damn near impossible to mix. Might have to just guess and then go to the car and see how much u need to adjust, come back to the studio and repeat until you get it. Ive been there.

Anyway if your studio has accurate sound, then use a reference track or 2. Listen to the levels on some your favorite pro beats or full songs and try to mix your track in that style. Then take it to the next level.

If you need to add fullness try boosting not the sub but around the 100hz area. Dont hpf drums n bass too high. If u need sub boost u can boost 60hz. I rarely do stuff like that.

To get the drums hitting ill add distortion thats usually much better than eq. Air distortion or lo fi will usually get your drums n bass right real easily and quickly. Just make sure to level em n ur good to go.

2 crappy misinformation mix tips: side chaining. Rarely need this. If ever. Only if your drum / bass is totally crap and clashing. Other than that just mix em no sidechain itll sound better. Also overcompressing drums n bass. I rarely compress either. Distortion the best imo especially if u are starting with samples
Old 11th June 2018
  #46
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The most important thing is the base mic is in phase with the overheads. A B52 right at the sound can really be in phase or out of phase with the overheads.

This get's more complex if you use more than one mic. Some studio's make a tunnel around the kick to help isolate the kick sound.
Old 23rd April 2019
  #47
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I'm a long time lurker and I've been producing and mixing for over 12 years; only recently have I properly treated my room with DIY 12" thick, 8ft tall, corner bass traps and 3" and 6" thick rectangular diffusers at first reflection sites. The difference is night and day. My mixes improved dramatically over night and are consistent across different systems.

Back to the topic; I have done several mixing experiments in my control room using high-pass filters vs low-shelf cuts. The low shelf cuts provide a much more musical sound to my ears, while making space in the low end for each sound. I usually let the kick occupy the low end range while I scoop out the acoustic/synth bass using a low shelf cut. Depending on how much meat is on the bass sound, I perform a shelf cut from -5db to -18db with a mild to medium slope (Q). The slope usually starts around 130hz to 200hz. The shelf cut sounds more natural/musical, cleans up the low end, and makes it tight.

I highly recommend dialing in sub tones with a low shelf cut vs high-pass filtering. Having an control room treated with acoustic absorption is crucial to being able to hear what you're doing. Just my two cents.
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