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100hz cut off...bad habit? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 27th August 2007
  #1
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100hz cut off...bad habit?

I was doing some mixing for an acoustic band over the weekend and it occurred to me that I have a knee-jerk response to engage the low-end shelving on a majority of my tracks. I guess this is instinctively what seems to work in the context of my mixing process and, in this case, these guys are expressly looking for a cooler, thinner tone on their bluegrass style, but still...makes me wonder. I normally roll-off the lows on ac. guitar, unless it's a solo performance...vocals more often than not and, in this case, it didn't seem like the mandolin and banjo need much low end so the finger continued to stomp those 100hz roll-off buttons. I did leave the bass on the actual bass, but I wonder if a lot of you folks have the same habit. Just wondering...
Old 27th August 2007
  #2
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FossilTooth's Avatar
 

In mixing for sound reinforcement, that sounds quite normal, and you'll often have to deal with fixed HPFs around 80-100hz.

In for recorded music, many mixers use filters on a high percentage of their tracks, however, using a HPF fixed at 100hz seems unusual in this context... are you mixing through a prosumer live board or something?

If you're using a DAW in conjunction with your setup, you may have better, and more flexible options for filtering.


So, to sum it up, no, it's not that unusual, but 100 Hz sounds a bit high for some of the sources you've mentioned.
Old 27th August 2007
  #3
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HIGHENDONLY's Avatar
 

The only thing i roll off that high is vocals...
Old 27th August 2007
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FossilTooth View Post
In mixing for sound reinforcement, that sounds quite normal, and you'll often have to deal with fixed HPFs around 80-100hz.

In for recorded music, many mixers use filters on a high percentage of their tracks, however, using a HPF fixed at 100hz seems unusual in this context... are you mixing through a prosumer live board or something?

If you're using a DAW in conjunction with your setup, you may have better, and more flexible options for filtering.


So, to sum it up, no, it's not that unusual, but 100 Hz sounds a bit high for some of the sources you've mentioned.
Yeah...I mix out of the box on a console. It's a smaller but pretty decent Soundcraft with Jim Williams mods. The HPF is a fixed 100hz and, though I have always thought it to be higher than practical, I end up using it quite a bit. I suppose I should make more use of the 60hz shelving EQ in moderation. I am getting ready to incorporate a computer into my mostly OTB setup - mostly for editing, though I do intend to get into some additional processing where I see fit. Surgical EQ may be on of those processes.
Old 27th August 2007
  #5
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100-120hz is a ghastly frequency. Ugly. This is not the "boomy" region that makes acoustics sound full and warm, this is the "thuddy" region which makes them sound bad.

If you ever want to hear individual frequencies, apply a narrow filter and bump it +10db as you sweep from 50hz to 15khz or so. You'll hear what makes good and what makes bad. Peace.
Old 27th August 2007
  #6
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Unclenny's Avatar
I high pass everything....judiciously of course.

Your HPF is your friend when it comes to mucking out the mix.
Old 27th August 2007
  #7
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lowfreq33's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
I high pass everything....judiciously of course.

Your HPF is your friend when it comes to mucking out the mix.
Agreed. There's always some low frequency junk mucking up the low end. Sometimes I'll go as high as 150 on acoustic or vocals. Once I ran a HPF at 450hz on a piano in a dense rock mix. Sounded like crap on it's own, but it was just what I needed to get the piano audible without interfering with the guitars.

A lot of times I'll run an 80hz HPF on the bass and boost it around 100. Then I dip some 100 out of the kick and boost around 60 or 70. Makes the two gel better without getting mushy.
Old 27th August 2007
  #8
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lowfreq33's Avatar
 

Now if only I could run a HPF on my neighbors' car stereos...
Old 27th August 2007
  #9
krs
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krs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne mox View Post
100-120hz is a ghastly frequency. Ugly. This is not the "boomy" region that makes acoustics sound full and warm, this is the "thuddy" region which makes them sound bad.
It's never come to my attention that G to B were ghastly notes on a guitar
Old 27th August 2007
  #10
Dan
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Dan's Avatar
 

I use a HPF on many tracks. It's been really helpful on helping the mix clear up. I guess it can sound unnatural, but so can proximity effect.
Old 27th August 2007
  #11
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I frequently do this as well. Just to get rid of some of the low end junk, though I often don't do it that high.
Old 28th August 2007
  #12
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The Reel Thing's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne mox View Post
100-120hz is a ghastly frequency. Ugly. This is not the "boomy" region that makes acoustics sound full and warm, this is the "thuddy" region which makes them sound bad.
That's exactly why (among many others) I like mixing to 1/2" tape @ 30 ips.
You lose up to a dB in that range without losing the precious air movement that's going on underneath.

tom
Old 28th August 2007
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne mox View Post
100-120hz is a ghastly frequency. Ugly. This is not the "boomy" region that makes acoustics sound full and warm, this is the "thuddy" region which makes them sound bad.

If you ever want to hear individual frequencies, apply a narrow filter and bump it +10db as you sweep from 50hz to 15khz or so. You'll hear what makes good and what makes bad. Peace.

Unlike +10db of 8k which makes everyone sound like angels

Thats your power mate dont filter it, just because ppl listen on "buds" doesnt mean you should eliminate it entirely.

If you can't hear anything useful cut it, otherwise it may well come in handy.
Old 28th August 2007
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by centurymantra View Post
I was doing some mixing for an acoustic band over the weekend and it occurred to me that I have a knee-jerk response to engage the low-end shelving on a majority of my tracks. I guess this is instinctively what seems to work in the context of my mixing process and, in this case, these guys are expressly looking for a cooler, thinner tone on their bluegrass style, but still...makes me wonder. I normally roll-off the lows on ac. guitar, unless it's a solo performance...vocals more often than not and, in this case, it didn't seem like the mandolin and banjo need much low end so the finger continued to stomp those 100hz roll-off buttons. I did leave the bass on the actual bass, but I wonder if a lot of you folks have the same habit. Just wondering...
IMO, eq is the last weapon to be used.I consider it a "corrective" tool and that region you cut out is, in most of the cases, responsible for the depth and the overal balance of the sound. Cutting there could make the tracks fit the mix better and lose their warmth and body at the same time. Generally speaking, it's something like a trade off...the more you turn the knobs the more fake sound you get

If you find yourself high passing so often maybe you should wonder if there's something you can do before, like changing the mic, moving it around or whatever until you get the sound you desire with the minimun amount of processing or (even better) with no processing at all. No matter of what super outboard units you are using... a good placement beats the hell out any kind of corrective equalization
Old 28th August 2007
  #15
Gear Guru
 

hi-passing is not the only way to clean up your low end.

sometimes all I need is a little shelving or even just a well positioned dip

this preserves certain low frequency content that can add some interest to the mix.

giving each instrument its space in the mix does not always have to be interpreted in a Draconian manner with sharp cuts.

Though it may also make your job more complicated, complicated often means fun.
Old 28th August 2007
  #16
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Quote:
Unlike +10db of 8k which makes everyone sound like angels
Notice I wasn't talking about vocals. I was talking about acoustic guitars. 100-150hz on an acoustic guitar can and will make it sound "thuddy", not "boomy". Boomy is warm and full, that's right around 200hz. You certainly have to have 100hz in there somewhere on a guitar, but I like to keep it a few dB below.

I may not necessarily cut 100hz or below, but I will almost always roll it off smoothly.

Quote:
It's never come to my attention that G to B were ghastly notes on a guitar
Of course they are, at least the low G and low B. Just keep them even with the rest of the notes. Acoustic is so important to keep even and balanced across the spectrum. An acoustic will almost always have a tendancy to boost the low end, thus it becomes important to attentuate those ghastly frequencies to keep it balanced.

The first method to attenuating those frequencies is by mic placement and room treatment. Sometimes that is difficult if you don't have good isolation. Then a low end rolloff becomes necessary.

Excellent mics for acoustic such as U89, KM85, and AKG 451EB have low end rolloff filters. That's why they sound so great on acoustic.
Old 28th August 2007
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by centurymantra View Post
I was doing some mixing for an acoustic band over the weekend and it occurred to me that I have a knee-jerk response to engage the low-end shelving on a majority of my tracks. I guess this is instinctively what seems to work in the context of my mixing process and, in this case, these guys are expressly looking for a cooler, thinner tone on their bluegrass style, but still...makes me wonder. I normally roll-off the lows on ac. guitar, unless it's a solo performance...vocals more often than not and, in this case, it didn't seem like the mandolin and banjo need much low end so the finger continued to stomp those 100hz roll-off buttons. I did leave the bass on the actual bass, but I wonder if a lot of you folks have the same habit. Just wondering...
Habits can save time -- but they can also be traps.

I try to only use habit to get things to the starting place... and then treat everything as unique from there.
Old 28th August 2007
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Isn't the issue whether the mix is getting thick or muddled? I can see targeted EQ cuts on an acoustic, but not much shelving on an acoustic project where I assume there are fewer tracks and less 'electrically enhanced' low end. Maybe I'm doing something wrong (something I do a lot), but shelving in my sparser acoustic mixes usually just takes away perceived warmth. I'd love to hear more about how other people handle shelving and acoustic music. Could be something I need to learn.
Old 28th August 2007
  #19


Realize that there is always a HPF in there - if you don't engage a swtich, it's usually down around 2Hz or so.

I use a variable HPF on just about everything in live or live tracking situations - if there is no useful information there, why load up your pre-amps with it?

Remember, too, that a 100Hz HPF is usually second order, so it only attenuates 50Hz by about 10-14dB.....



-tINY

Old 28th August 2007
  #20
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alessio's Avatar
 

Well, I'm mostly do acoustic music with no less than 20 or 24 condenser mic involved all togheter in my room, and a rule for me is cut out all the energy that is not usefull! A violin in a section does'nt go so down (if the mic is not stick on it). Especially if you dont have a very big monitors, you can't hear and avoid all the bass freq that comes out in a mastering studio.
For me is a rule. Cut off what you don't need.
Alessio
www.spazisonori.com
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