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Keeping the low end from being muddy
Old 10th October 2019
  #1
Gear Maniac
Keeping the low end from being muddy

So I recently got an MPC Live and am getting into making beats. I'm having trouble keeping the bass and the kicks from muddying up the mix together? What can I do to prevent this? I know the which answer is find sounds that don't clash in the same frequencies. I guess that's where I don't know what frequencies are common for each of those? I'm trying to stay in standalone and not have to go to plugins if possible. Are there mixers or fx that are preferred for this? A lot of what I'm trying to do is 90s sounding hip hop so it's not really slamming drums or overpowering deep subs. I just need to be in the right ballpark to figure out how to work on the mix.
Old 10th October 2019
  #2
Look into complimentary eq techniques. Do that technique for placing each instrument in its own frequency field for all your tracks, not just bass and kick.

Also look into placing each instrument its own space as well, by making a 3D mix, not a 2D mix (left middle right). Place instruments back left, front left, back right, back center, front center, mid left, mid right and so on.. Reverbs, mid and side Eq edits, and panning techniques will get you there...
Old 14th October 2019
  #3
Gear Nut
 
zukan's Avatar
 

There are lots of ways in achieving separation. CJ has mentioned a few. Look up ducking as it is a common method for alternating shared frequencies. Look at dynamic eqs or compressors with a well specified sidechain. It might be more helpful if you linked to the track in question. You'll get more focused responses.
Old 14th October 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 
PettyCash's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zukan View Post
You'll get more focused responses.
Those responses also need to keep in mind that he is asking this question from the perspective of wanting to stay OTB with his MPC Live; so that should help to narrow things down a bit, at least in regards to what interal MPC plug-ins to use, and any additional outboard processing suggestions.
Old 25th October 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Hi pass filter on the low end of the kicks n bass and anything in-between. Takes alot of the mud out.
Old 27th October 2019
  #6
Gear Head
 
monkiusz's Avatar
Mother Ducker on MPC Live standalone.
Trackspacer vst if you decide to go in a controller mode.
Old 8th November 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
 
3rd Degree's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PettyCash View Post
Those responses also need to keep in mind that he is asking this question from the perspective of wanting to stay OTB with his MPC Live; so that should help to narrow things down a bit, at least in regards to what interal MPC plug-ins to use, and any additional outboard processing suggestions.
It is also helpful to know if it is being tracked out to a DAW and if not, what is it going through outboard. Some options don't apply across the board, but even ones that do would depend on you having that equipment, and some DAW techniques don't make too much sense in the outboard world, at least at the point you are at (like having many outboard compressors and EQ's when you are learning the basics).

That information would help a lot.


On a side note, I do recommend tracking/exporting your work out to a DAW. I think it is pretty easy on the Live but I just having worked with the newer series of MPC. I, at one point, decided to only use outboard samplers and synths, but still used a DAW to mix, or to have someone else mix. The reality is, as you do more, you kind of learn why it has taken over the industry, and why professionals are less likely to use outboard and consoles than many hobbyist are. I feel that if you think hardware equipment works great for you in creating, tracking to a DAW doesn't hurt that vibe, it is not needed to be done until the music is finished.
Old 11th November 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 
PettyCash's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd Degree View Post
It is also helpful to know if it is being tracked out to a DAW and if not, what is it going through outboard. Some options don't apply across the board, but even ones that do would depend on you having that equipment, and some DAW techniques don't make too much sense in the outboard world, at least at the point you are at (like having many outboard compressors and EQ's when you are learning the basics).

That information would help a lot.


On a side note, I do recommend tracking/exporting your work out to a DAW. I think it is pretty easy on the Live but I just having worked with the newer series of MPC. I, at one point, decided to only use outboard samplers and synths, but still used a DAW to mix, or to have someone else mix. The reality is, as you do more, you kind of learn why it has taken over the industry, and why professionals are less likely to use outboard and consoles than many hobbyist are. I feel that if you think hardware equipment works great for you in creating, tracking to a DAW doesn't hurt that vibe, it is not needed to be done until the music is finished.
Well, he mentioned being interested in mixer and outboard FX options, so one could assume that he wants to go the route of only having to print a 2-track mix if anything.

Printing individual tracks (or at least instrument group stems) into a DAW is a better (and practically a must) way to go if the OP ever intends on doing things in a professional capacity. If someone wants the track out for any of their beats, it wont be a fun day going back and trying to recall those outboard mixes because they didn't print anything aside from the stereo mix.
Old 15th November 2019
  #9
Gear Addict
 

for older hip hop, think more in terms of how rock music is mixed. You typically get bass guitar as the low mid, and the kick as the instrument with the lowest frequencies. For modern hip hop, the bass is typically sub bass, and the kick is typically the "knock" at around 60hz.
Old 3rd December 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 

The “mud” in Youtube audio tutorials has always been about this very subject. Have you looked through YouTube videos about it?
Old 5th December 2019
  #11
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by PettyCash View Post
Well, he mentioned being interested in mixer and outboard FX options, so one could assume that he wants to go the route of only having to print a 2-track mix if anything.

Printing individual tracks (or at least instrument group stems) into a DAW is a better (and practically a must) way to go if the OP ever intends on doing things in a professional capacity. If someone wants the track out for any of their beats, it wont be a fun day going back and trying to recall those outboard mixes because they didn't print anything aside from the stereo mix.
Sorry I've been out of pocket for a while. This is correct. My hope is to be completely out of the box until I track it out or if possible just a 2 track mix at the end so all mixing would (hopefully) be done in the MPC or an outboard mixer, etc. I'd be fine going back to a DAW later in the process but would like to do as much away from the computer as possible. What I had been messing with was strictly sampled drums and bass guitar recorded straight into the MPC and mixing on the MPC Live and that's where the muddiness was coming in.
Old 5th December 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
 
LeoLeoLeo's Avatar
 

Getting a good tone on the bass is the starting point for a non muddy capture.

The 1/4 inputs on the mic live are line in, not a Instrument input or di. So your gain structure is off and the impedance difference is changing the tone.
Old 5th December 2019
  #13
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mannas View Post
90s sounding hip hop so it's not really slamming drums or overpowering deep subs
That really depends on a track! Would love to hear some examples of tracks that are you referring to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mannas View Post
What I had been messing with was strictly sampled drums and bass guitar recorded straight into the MPC and mixing on the MPC Live and that's where the muddiness was coming in.
Mix of the drums with bass elements, without sidechain, dynamic compression and so on, just levelling in fact, requires very precise room and monitors to hear all the aspects connected with phase cancellation that usually translates into punch, which is likely to be more felt than heard. Hence this mud comes from inappropriate frequencies of both elements combined together - both in relation to each other and to the whole composition.

Multiband compression is a very helpful tool here, however - for example - if the kick occupies the same frequency range as the bass, you wont be able to distinct the punch of it - and that's what gives the muddines and flatness of the low end. I would go rather to a louder level of the kick drum (so the bass line doesn't hit higher as half peak of it) and compress the whole composition after - or - eq both elements properly, in the stage of preparing sounds - or - use some kind of underlay composed of live drums which have more mids and upper frequency range in it - or - use kick drum which is more saturated/distorted for better break through the bass line.

Try to keep the kick's bass higher than the bass from the bassline, doesnt matter thats guitar or synth bass.

Best
-doc
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