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Old 6th September 2019
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Nightmare Circus's Avatar

Originally Posted by Aa63 View Post
Hmmm. So in your examples, there are a couple of things that I've noticed that may help.

As an aside, the "clank" you speak of - and I know what you mean - is typically (on a bass) in the range between say 400k-1.6k, then scooped, and then a narrow(er) peak around 4k (or higher) for the upper pick (or slap) shine. The challenge is to carve that space out in the other instruments and decide which of them will take it up.

So, in your examples, you have room in that lower mid from about 250-700k which seems to have been scooped out of everything - that is right in the range for a good bass-clank. I would start there and remember to not be overly obsessed with the sound of the bass while solo'd - it needs to work within the song first. You would be amazed at how "odd" some bass tones sound solo'd in some songs but work perfectly (especially in fast or "busy" arrangements).

Since you have double bass drum consistently throughout most of the arrangements that are percussively mirroring the notes you are playing, shaping those two together should yield your desired result on the low end. Choose which one you want to take up the very low end (40-80) then carve that out of the other track - together they should sound as one cohesive thick bottom end driving. Then deal with the 100-300 range to de-muffle - I would play with some ducking and/or multi-band compressors on kicks and bass to try and get that spacing correct. After that, the bass distortion/clank range should fit into the mids.

You are also going to need to deal with everything occupying the same freq's in the higher end of the spectrum - you seem to be over-occupying the kick-click, snare-snap, cymbals and guitar ice-pick highs - I mention this because the upper bass shine will be effected (not to mention the trouble you will have when adding vocals). It is also very perceivably loud. Same thing applies here - choose which will take which and listen to them TOGETHER, not solo'd.

So make some carving decisions as to what will occupy what range. The distortion/grind sound of a bass will not be audible until you do that. Once you've "de-masked" everything and put it in its place, then you can get into the finer-tuning type things like single vs. humbuckers. Again I mention this because you need the space to hear those things first.

I know it is a little more involved then perhaps what you are after, but you should not expect a "I used a P bass (or made it a midi track) and everything now works" type of result.

Hope this helps.
Yeah I will look into that, the "everything is scooped between 250-700" is odd to me because the only thing scooped there (high passed) is the cymbals and room mic. I did no cuts in the guitar mid range other than taking out the annoying tubescreamer frequency around ~800hz) and the bass is dipped out around ~175ish which seems to be very prominent in the bass itself. Although the sansamp naturally heavily scoops the tone of the bass so that could be the missing energy there. The only other thing would be the kick? It has a bit of 450-550 removed out of it.

I never mix in solo, mono sometimes, but never solo. Most I'll do in solo is remove resonances from the guitar, cymbals, or the snare. If you solo the bass now in those tracks it really sounds like ass by itself because of the distortion and as far as low end EQ i have the kick living below 60hz bass from about 60-110 and the guitars from 110 up. I also boosted the cut off frequency just a little bit on each of the filters. Rather than side-chain multiband compressing the bass>kick or doing the andy sneap technique on the guitars i opted to go the route of dynamic side-chain EQ. To me this seems more transparent but I can go back to the multi-band eq sidechain if you think it will make a difference.

The high end I will need to address as well because I'm not hearing what you're hearing and that's not a good thing. The snare has a slight boost at ~4kish where i cut a bit out of the guitars for annoyance reasons (it's also a steel snare with a HEAVY 200hz boost on it) cymbals i basically left alone after high passing them and removing some papery sound around 900hzish the kick I agree is very clicky and could probably use some toning down in the 8k region but there's no boosts there its just the way the sample sounds. Guitars are low passed at about 8.5k and I hear no "ice-pick" sound to them at all but they are fairly present (maybe too loud in the mix?). I'm afraid to low pass them any further than that because they start to sound very dull in the mix and lack the aggression. I always associated "ice-pick" with the 4k-6k region, is this accurate to what you're describing?

May I ask what you're listening to the mix over? I get all my panning and stuff done on my monitors then swap over to the 650HDs for the mixing process since I don't trust my room or my cheap monitors at all. Over my headphones the mix sounds fairly balanced, even a little dark and it has a slight high shelf (About a dB) on the top end with just a hair of 4k dipped out again but I also don't blast it at full volume when I'm mixing. I try to stay around ~80 dbSPL and take breaks every 30m or so to avoid high end fatigue.


I think I can see what you're talking about when I run it through a frequency and spectrum analyzer ( ) Does appear to need some more energy in the 300 - 700 hz range but since I made no cuts i guess I just have to add the energy into something (the bass?) with some eq and tighten up the 2k-6k region. I can probably get away with cutting the cymbals a bit up there or maybe it was me overcompensating on the bass high end boost.