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MIXING - clean up your tracks (EQing) before you start? Multi-Ef­fects Plugins
Old 2nd September 2011
  #1
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bryan k's Avatar
MIXING - clean up your tracks (EQing) before you start?

Lets say you get a PT session of all the clients tracks, and your going to mix it on an Analog console.

And of course your going to clean them up a bit (if needed) to remove any noise, hiss, pops, clicks, etc in PT before you start mixing them on a Analog console.

my question is:

in PT, does anyone do any EQing to the tracks before you start mixing it on the console?

The only reason i raise such a question, is I have been doing some deep EQ ploting and researching on some of the WAVES SSL Channel Strip and WAVES CLA Signature series bundle, and came across something interesting.....

Electric guitars - in the SSL Channel strip, theres a CLA Guitar preset in which hes boosting ALOT of 8k high SHELF. Also in his Signature Guitar Series plugin, i see the same thing......its all hi SHELF Boosting in the highs.

When i hear a CLA mix, i DONT hear any fizz or anyhting above 6-7k on his distorted guitars. Does he have his assitants EQ things before he starts mixing on his console? Maybe they are rolling off everything 6-7k and above on guitars (in PT) before he even starts to mix them on his console?

I just dont see how someone could do extreme high SHELF boosting, and then listen to his mix and not hear any upper high fizz and harshness.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Of course you can use plugs on the way out...in fact that is part of the power of the hybrid way...you can use the stuff you like in the box and try to enjoy what a console has to offer all at the same time.

A lot of folks like to set theri faders on the console to zero and essentially sum what they got going on ITB...including automation....and then try and improve the mix from there...the only way to figure it our is to...get on there and start mixing on it. Good Luck.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #3
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theBackwardsman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan k View Post
Lets say you get a PT session of all the clients tracks, and your going to mix it on an Analog console.

And of course your going to clean them up a bit (if needed) to remove any noise, hiss, pops, clicks, etc in PT before you start mixing them on a Analog console.

my question is:

in PT, does anyone do any EQing to the tracks before you start mixing it on the console?

The only reason i raise such a question, is I have been doing some deep EQ ploting and researching on some of the WAVES SSL Channel Strip and WAVES CLA Signature series bundle, and came across something interesting.....

Electric guitars - in the SSL Channel strip, theres a CLA Guitar preset in which hes boosting ALOT of 8k high SHELF. Also in his Signature Guitar Series plugin, i see the same thing......its all hi SHELF Boosting in the highs.

When i hear a CLA mix, i DONT hear any fizz or anyhting above 6-7k on his distorted guitars. Does he have his assitants EQ things before he starts mixing on his console? Maybe they are rolling off everything 6-7k and above on guitars (in PT) before he even starts to mix them on his console?

I just dont see how someone could do extreme high SHELF boosting, and then listen to his mix and not hear any upper high fizz and harshness.
There's ALOT of 8k on the guitars in most CLA mixes, listen to the 2 latest green day for example, sounds like **** when the guitar is played but itself, but cuts through great in the mix.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #4
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bryan k's Avatar
Thanks for the reply Lisa!

Is it normal for people to do alot of hi/low pass EQing on instruments ITB before they start mixing on the console?

i know alot of people tend to remove frequencies on a track that doent exist on the instrument....

Examples:
Vox- remove anything 100hz and below
Bass- remove 4k and above
guitars - remove 80hz and below, and 6k and up

...so is it common practice to do this ITB before they start mixing on the console (and start tweaking console EQs to actually start mixing the song)
Old 2nd September 2011
  #5
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bryan k's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theBackwardsman View Post
There's ALOT of 8k on the guitars in most CLA mixes, listen to the 2 latest green day for example, sounds like **** when the guitar is played but itself, but cuts through great in the mix.
i can most certainly hear the Brightness in the guitars....

but i dont hear any of the fizz or harshness associated with 8k and up frequencies (on a guitar that is).

if he really is boosting alot of 8k SHELF on his SSL (which we all know he is), where is all that 10k-18k frequencies going? i dont hear it.......

Which is why i can only speculate and guess maybe his assistants are rolling off the non-existent guitar frequencies (5-6k and up) in PT before he even sits at his console to start mixing......
Old 2nd September 2011
  #6
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Jonathawkes's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan k View Post
Thanks for the reply Lisa!

Is it normal for people to do alot of hi/low pass EQing on instruments ITB before they start mixing on the console?

i know alot of people tend to remove frequencies on a track that doent exist on the instrument....

Examples:
Vox- remove anything 100hz and below
Bass- remove 4k and above
guitars - remove 80hz and below, and 6k and up

...so is it common practice to do this ITB before they start mixing on the console (and start tweaking console EQs to actually start mixing the song)
I'd say it's normal to do just about anything. But you might find that you can use the DAW for hi/lo pass filtering and for removing any unwanted frequencies, then use the console eq for character, use a super fast transparent compressor on your DAW to control transients, and then having another character comp inserted on a Chanel of your board. It doesnt really matter though. There's no single way of doing things and limiting yourself to only one way of working can be unnecessarily restrictive.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan k View Post

but i dont hear any of the fizz or harshness associated with 8k and up frequencies (on a guitar that is).
if you open a can of soda, eventually the fiz goes away.
or maybe he's not using crap microphones.....

do more research on ribbon microphones. there are not as 'peaky' and take eq better.

and take in mind transients. ribbons among other mics react to transients slower and so they don't bite as much.

and stop using presets. damn. you think that CLA works out of your bedroom with your fizzy tracks and just puts a preset on it and calls it a day?
Old 3rd September 2011
  #8
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bryan k's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by traumerei1838 View Post

and stop using presets. damn. you think that CLA works out of your bedroom with your fizzy tracks and just puts a preset on it and calls it a day?
WHOA.....easy fella.

I never said i was using presets. I said i was analyzing the EQ curves of his SSL Presets and his Signature Series Plugins and came to a question.

I ran White noise through these plugins to see how they react when you boost/cut frequencies. The CLA Signature series plugins dont tell you whats going on under the hood, so im finding it out myself and dissecting these plugins so I have a better understanding of whats its doing to the audio.

chillax man.......

and nice first post to this thread.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan k View Post
Thanks for the reply Lisa!

Is it normal for people to do alot of hi/low pass EQing on instruments ITB before they start mixing on the console?

i know alot of people tend to remove frequencies on a track that doent exist on the instrument....

Examples:
Vox- remove anything 100hz and below
Bass- remove 4k and above
guitars - remove 80hz and below, and 6k and up

...so is it common practice to do this ITB before they start mixing on the console (and start tweaking console EQs to actually start mixing the song)
I don't know if it's normal for people to hi/low pass before they start mixing. I would hope not, as doing this out of context would make zero sense.

Also I would be careful, as that thinking of yours sounds like it could quite easily make you automatically remove anything under 100Hz from voices without thinking about it.......which would be ridiculously wrong. Forget those numbers for each instrument and hi/low pass by ear AND by gut! Your ear may say no loss has occured and to hipass more, but your gut will tell you some authority has gone down the drain, so back off.......

Use all the tools you need, and the plugs are part of them, but I would try to let that 'common practice' thing go. Forget it. Ask yourself if an action makes sense and why. Then either do it that way or not depending on the answer.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #10
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bryan k's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
I would try to let that 'common practice' thing go. Forget it. Ask yourself if an action makes sense and why. Then either do it that way or not depending on the answer.
Best advice so far......!
Old 3rd September 2011
  #11
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superburtm's Avatar
 

I wouldnt mess with the plug eq's before going into the studio. For one thing being in the proper monitoring environment will change your EQ'ing. Secondly, If you are on a nice analog console, why bother with a plug eq.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #12
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bryan k's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by superburtm View Post
I wouldnt mess with the plug eq's before going into the studio. For one thing being in the proper monitoring environment will change your EQ'ing. Secondly, If you are on a nice analog console, why bother with a plug eq.
I was more wondering if (mostly engineer assistants) when someone gets a project and they dump the PT project and into PT to start cleaning up tracks ....prior to start mixing it on the analog console.....

....if they do some EQing to the tracks in PT while cleaning the audio. Mostly just removing unnecessary frequencies that dont exist on an instrument.

I know it sounds silly......
Old 3rd September 2011
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan k View Post
I was more wondering if (mostly engineer assistants) when someone gets a project and they dump the PT project and into PT to start cleaning up tracks ....prior to start mixing it on the analog console.....

....if they do some EQing to the tracks in PT while cleaning the audio. Mostly just removing unnecessary frequencies that dont exist on an instrument.

I know it sounds silly......
I would be VERY surprised if any assistant would get to do ANY eqing. He wouldn't if he was mine. Not that I have any. But having your assistant alter the starting position making eq decisions when its YOU that is doing the mixing just doesn't make sense. Crossfades yes. Noise maybe. Probably not even noise, as I might want to use it. So crossfades and routing up the desk. Definitely no eqing.

However, if there is eqing on there from the client you'd want him to leave it on so then you can decide whether to keep it, change it a little to taste, or redo it as you put the stuff in the mix. If it's leftovers from the clients mix it might make a good start on some sounds (or most/all even)to go from.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

I may be wrong but doesn't CLA (or the assistants) tranfer to tape, then in the console?
I think CLA uses LA3-As for the El Gtrs. It is my understanding that these compressors tame the high harsh frequencies. Again, I may be wrong!!
Also I read somewhere that the EQ on the SSL is way smoother than a plug.

But I do know that it's EQ first then compressor. Maybe that's why the highs are smooth and not harsh.

I remember once someone posting the CLA GTR preset and Robmix commented and said that it was "about right" but didn't go into more details.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathawkes View Post
I'd say it's normal to do just about anything. But you might find that you can use the DAW for hi/lo pass filtering and for removing any unwanted frequencies, then use the console eq for character, use a super fast transparent compressor on your DAW to control transients, and then having another character comp inserted on a Chanel of your board. It doesnt really matter though. There's no single way of doing things and limiting yourself to only one way of working can be unnecessarily restrictive.

Haha....yup this is how I and most people I know working with a console do it. Daily stuff now with the "hybrid" thing.

Great explanantion.

Aside from the editing and such the eq'ing is really what has been going on forever, long before daws.

Because the eq sections in even the biggest consoles were much more limited than what a DAW can do now, it just took more forethought and err...skill... And routing later...hence the huge consoles w/ big channel counts.

Track it with eq, getting out what you don't need, and then you have the eq again at mixdown.

On very big consoles, you could route one channel into another of course, for 2x more eq.

Sadly, my console doesn't have low pass filters, and only a static hi pass, so I do a lot of that kind of filtering in the daw, prior to hitting the console.

john
Old 3rd September 2011
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by superburtm View Post
I wouldnt mess with the plug eq's before going into the studio. For one thing being in the proper monitoring environment will change your EQ'ing. Secondly, If you are on a nice analog console, why bother with a plug eq.

Just saw this, good point. I didn't catch the fact he was mixing elsewhere.
j
Old 3rd September 2011
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan k View Post
I was more wondering if (mostly engineer assistants) when someone gets a project and they dump the PT project and into PT to start cleaning up tracks ....prior to start mixing it on the analog console.....

....if they do some EQing to the tracks in PT while cleaning the audio. Mostly just removing unnecessary frequencies that dont exist on an instrument.

I know it sounds silly......
no i would suggest against that
Old 3rd September 2011
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by superburtm View Post
I wouldnt mess with the plug eq's before going into the studio. For one thing being in the proper monitoring environment will change your EQ'ing. Secondly, If you are on a nice analog console, why bother with a plug eq.

I use tons of plugin eq when mixing on a console...depends what stage you want to eq and what type of eq you are applying...ie what if you really like the high and low shelf on the console, but prefer narrow cuts ITB...or cuts ITB and Boosts OTB...could be any number of very good reasons...using both can be very powerful
Old 3rd September 2011
  #19
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Jonathawkes's Avatar
 

Yeah, you can be incredibly surgical with a plug in EQ.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
Funk-O-Meter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan k View Post
Lets say you get a PT session of all the clients tracks, and your going to mix it on an Analog console.

And of course your going to clean them up a bit (if needed) to remove any noise, hiss, pops, clicks, etc in PT before you start mixing them on a Analog console.

my question is:

in PT, does anyone do any EQing to the tracks before you start mixing it on the console?

The only reason i raise such a question, is I have been doing some deep EQ ploting and researching on some of the WAVES SSL Channel Strip and WAVES CLA Signature series bundle, and came across something interesting.....

Electric guitars - in the SSL Channel strip, theres a CLA Guitar preset in which hes boosting ALOT of 8k high SHELF. Also in his Signature Guitar Series plugin, i see the same thing......its all hi SHELF Boosting in the highs.

When i hear a CLA mix, i DONT hear any fizz or anyhting above 6-7k on his distorted guitars. Does he have his assitants EQ things before he starts mixing on his console? Maybe they are rolling off everything 6-7k and above on guitars (in PT) before he even starts to mix them on his console?

I just dont see how someone could do extreme high SHELF boosting, and then listen to his mix and not hear any upper high fizz and harshness.
Don't forget he's on an SSL with nice gates and HP filters and a Protools rig in front of him and working on very well made recordings. Back in the day you had to really manage your "hiss factor" because of tape when you started boosting a lot of high end at mix down. That's one of the reason bright condensers where so popular. You got the shiny top to tape and didn't need to boost it later and add hiss. Now days it's not near as much of a problem and as long as the digital recording is captured well you can boost the top without much problem. If your having hiss problems when shelving try "strip silence" or a good gate or a better guitar amp.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #21
if your going to mix on a console, don't use a plug eq, unless it's a crap console. analog eq's and compressors still blow away itb. I did a test here with some of the Waves SSL stuff, and compared to what I could do with analog hardware and it wasn't even close. Use your ears and great gear and see how that works. If of course it's not great console or outboard then plug in away.
The idea of eqing is supposed to be about 2 things in my opinion.
1. Getting the sound, 2. Making the sounds fit in the track. During the mix stage
you should be up to #2, so how would you do that before hand?
Old 3rd September 2011
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
Richardwynne's Avatar
 

Stop rolling off the high end on your guitars.

It sucks.

It always sucks.

Even if someone posts after me saying it doesn't suck;

It still sucks.

Compare your guitars to CLA's.

His are brighter, more energetic, and more expensive sounding.

No assistant is assuming he wants the guitars to be duller before he adds high end to them.

If they did, they would probably sound like your guitars do.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #23
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superburtm's Avatar
 

that is fine if you want to use plugs while mixing on a console....my point is don't mess with EQ'ing before you go into the studio and are on the desk. The EQ'ing you do at home ITB will have no bearing on what actually is occurring at the studio with the session split out on the desk and in a proper monitoring environment.



Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaSmile View Post
I use tons of plugin eq when mixing on a console...depends what stage you want to eq and what type of eq you are applying...ie what if you really like the high and low shelf on the console, but prefer narrow cuts ITB...or cuts ITB and Boosts OTB...could be any number of very good reasons...using both can be very powerful
Old 4th September 2011
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by superburtm View Post
that is fine if you want to use plugs while mixing on a console....my point is don't mess with EQ'ing before you go into the studio and are on the desk. The EQ'ing you do at home ITB will have no bearing on what actually is occurring at the studio with the session split out on the desk and in a proper monitoring environment.
proper monitoring is pretty important for eq moves...although I have been known to prep sessions at home on my computer speakers
Old 4th September 2011
  #25
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superburtm's Avatar
 

sure. My point is everthing is interactive when you are in the studio and the eq you did at home on your computer speakers may not be the eq you woulda chose at the studio....I find it a waste of time personally. But we all are entitled to our own methods.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaSmile View Post
proper monitoring is pretty important for eq moves...although I have been known to prep sessions at home on my computer speakers
Old 4th September 2011
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by superburtm View Post
sure. My point is everthing is interactive when you are in the studio and the eq you did at home on your computer speakers may not be the eq you woulda chose at the studio....I find it a waste of time personally. But we all are entitled to our own methods.
Well since you put it that way...no I think you are wrong...I can make eq choices at home and bring them to the studio and move forward from there...no eq choice is sacred until the mix is printed anyway....not a waste of time at all over here.
Old 4th September 2011
  #27
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superburtm's Avatar
 

haha...ok. It's all preference.
Old 5th September 2011
  #28
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Levi's Avatar
 

Quote:
I was more wondering if (mostly engineer assistants) when someone gets a project and they dump the PT project and into PT to start cleaning up tracks ....prior to start mixing it on the analog console.....
I think cleaning out dead space in tracks, and making sure any tuning is already done, is probably all I ever want touched. From there, I'll decide what needs filtering and such.
Old 5th September 2011
  #29
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ryst's Avatar
 

I haven't seen this mentioned yet. Keep I mind CLA eq's INTO compression. So compressing after eq a most of the time "controls" the eq in a way that can't be done if u eq after compression. Especially when boosting. So a lot of times you can get away with boosting more if you compress afterwards instead of compressing before eq. I usually eq into compression and find that I'm actually able to get the eq to do what I want more when placing the comp afterwards instead of compressing first, then eqing. Just sayin'.
Old 5th September 2011
  #30
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decocco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan k View Post
in PT, does anyone do any EQing to the tracks before you start mixing it on the console?
I will if I need to do something extreme, like notch out a frequency and I don't have an analog notch filter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan k View Post
When i hear a CLA mix, i DONT hear any fizz or anyhting above 6-7k on his distorted guitars. Does he have his assitants EQ things before he starts mixing on his console? Maybe they are rolling off everything 6-7k and above on guitars (in PT) before he even starts to mix them on his console?

I just dont see how someone could do extreme high SHELF boosting, and then listen to his mix and not hear any upper high fizz and harshness.
It could just be that he's receiving good sounding guitar tracks that don't really have any fizz or harshness going on to begin with. It can be done!
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