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Old 10th September 2004
Here for the gear
br0d's Avatar
Mix flat. Most clubs use a smile EQ. Most attempts to cheat the bass up will result in mud and rumble. Choose very good sounds to begin with. Meaning, basslines and kicks that have the right amount of punchy filtering and presence to begin with. Most subs are rated down to only 31Hz. People often claim that humans can "feel" down to 20Hz, but how is that content supposed to get into the music if it can't be reproduced by the sound system? "Subsonic room resonances?"
I highpass at or near 31. Others may choose not to.

A lot of people will tell you to equalize, but anything other than shelf equalization IMO is a very blunt, static, and often phasey hack; if you want real power you probably want to use good initial sounds, and then duckers to fine tune the pulse, and then brick wall limiting on the whole mix. Waves split mode ducking amounts to dynamic equalization, why anyone would want to use static equalization with such a thing available is beyond me.

Most bass inadequacies are caused by a poor management of the dynamic range occupied by the bass and kick as they pulse together. They want too many of the same frequencies at the same time, and people hack the low end of the mix up with bell/notch cuts and/or boosts which really aren't necessary.

Dance music is loud. Very loud. Ignore all "dynamics purists." How you get it loud is the whole game. You can't just throw a couple of sloppy sounds together, slam them with 10 decibels of limiting, and then have a -10 dB RMS recording.

How, when, and why you manage your dynamics control and headroom is probably half of the game, the other half is arrangement--choosing sounds which fill out the spectrum nicely, and at the right times, with the right complements.