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 Post subject: Sub Bass Mixing
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:58 pm 
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refusenik

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Hey guys, I'm always very worried about the very low frequencies, where and how to cut them in the right way.
Actually I am working on something new, a live project, and focusing it on being slightly more dancefloor oriented than my previous works.
For doing it I know I need to work on my low end more and I tend to end up with spectrums like this one I have attached, is that completely out of the place (too many subs) or is it fine?
let me know what you think!

http://imageshack.com/a/img661/2889/y7WANq.png

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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:08 pm 
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LuigiTozzii wrote:
Hey guys, I'm always very worried about the very low frequencies, where and how to cut them in the right way.
Actually I am working on something new, a live project, and focusing it on being slightly more dancefloor oriented than my previous works.
For doing it I know I need to work on my low end more and I tend to end up with spectrums like this one I have attached, is that completely out of the place (too many subs) or is it fine?
let me know what you think!

http://imageshack.com/a/img661/2889/y7WANq.png



The spectrums are assigned to what?

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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:10 pm 
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master

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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:29 pm 
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Firstly, you want to run your 2buss analyser to show RMS more than peak.
I`ve included a zip file (Subsekt doesn`t let you add adv files for some reason) containing my RMS analyser preset for Ableton.

This will give you a better picture of what is really happening.

A spectrum is only a guideline to help your ears, so really your ears should be your first point of reference.

Generally a roll off from 30hz or 20hz to zero hz is a good general guideline to use. Sometimes this roll off can be steep, sometime shallow and starting higher up.

It`s all about balance, and therefore depends entirely on what is happening in the mids and highs.
As I can only see half the curve for the ableton analyser, and have no idea what the settings on the PAZ are, it`s hard to say.

But judging SOLELY by the PAZ graph I would say yes, the mix is unbalanced. Too much low mids and high bass, then a crazy dip down to 2k and back up again. That looks like a very extreme smile curve, and I imagine would give a mix that is woolly, muddy, and lacking solidity and definition in the mids.
Though again, because of all above points, I can`t be sure.

As a general guide, if the low end is really thick, then you need to start working in a lot of space from about 250hz to 1K to stop the track from becoming overly dense.

A lot of project studios have questionable bass representation in their environments, and most of my time in mastering is spent cleaning up this region to allow the mix to breath, and to balance out the response of the mastering compression (because if you resort to multiband compression to control your dynamics due to a thick low end, then in my opinion you have failed in your job as a mastering engineer).


Attachments:
BMS Master Channel RMS Spectra.zip [1.18 KiB]
Downloaded 173 times

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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:40 pm 
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Thank you very much for the feedback and for giving me the settings for Live's spectrum mate =)
You see the big hole because it's just a loop and it's missing a lot of elements, the only part I've really worked is the low end so don't focus too much on what's happening on the right because it's still unfinished.
I posted a screen of the spectrum with your settings,let me know if u have some more suggestions now =)
thanks a lot in advice

http://imageshack.com/a/img538/379/9EBBWq.png

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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:51 pm 
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Therein lies the problem, working on something in isolated context.
All sounds are relative to other sounds.

You can make massive bass by TURNING UPZ THE BAZZ MAN
OR you can make massive bass by turning down the highs.

So when judging whether or not the bass is "right" this judgement can only really be made when it is in the full context of a track.

Am I making sense?

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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:59 pm 
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Perfectly, I'll post a richer spectrum when I'm finished then =))
Thank you

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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:11 pm 
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hehe, ok great, sometimes my descriptions can be a little too flowery

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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:44 pm 
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May I suggest to set the Paz LF Res to it's lowest setting (thats 10Hz if I remember correctly). This will give you greater accuracy at the lowest frequencies. I always have it set this way and would recommend you to do the same perhaps.

As for how things look, I would be more concerned with your low mids from looking at the provided examples, clearing out build up around 250 to 400 in individual sounds, busses and what not. I find the less crowded this area, the better your top and bottom will sound.

Its about how things sound rather than look, and it is all about context of course, its nice to use both the visual and auditory I find though. I would take in the smell of the sound if it helped me make a more informed mix decision ;]

But yeah, check out that Paz LF Res setting jah.


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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:10 pm 
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Heys lads, when you talk about clearing up the "muddy" region around 250 - 500Hz do you scoop out the whole region with a mid sized Q say and a medium Db reduction on every track as a rule of thumb? (like you'd clear out all the low end in hi hats to remove unwanted low end). Would this cause all the tracks to sound too thin?

Or do you go through every track with a high Q and Db reduction and find small bands of frequency in the range that are muddy and just remove those?

Or is it completely track content dependent?

Thanks in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:33 am 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
You can make massive bass by TURNING UPZ THE BAZZ MAN


Image

:lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:38 am 
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Why has nobody made a mashup with "all about that bass" and "all your base are belong to us" yet? :)

"All about your base, about your base, are belong to us"

Btw, digging that simple oldschool & free Rocksonics SubfilterII VST for the cleanup task a lot. 36db Butterworth bliss. Pretty steep, pretty good. Wish somebody would make that with an elliptic mode. Can send it to you, since rocksonics don't exist anymore online.

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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:47 am 
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Just dont reform to the HPF craze unless your stuff is really rumbley or overly in the low end area, use bell shapes / low shelving / baxandall shelves instead to cut the absolute lows.
Since I know your tracks pretty well I realize that you like to have much bass and much low-mid energy, very little mid and sizzly top in your music. You dont EQ it like this, you choose your instruments and sounds this way. Definitely nothing wrong with that. Your bass sounds and kick drums could, imo, need volume adjustment and small dips with the EQ to remove 30hz and down. Try to take the kick and bass down a few dB in volume and leave it like that for a pause, then listen to it when you come back again and see what you think.

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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:04 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
Therein lies the problem, working on something in isolated context.
All sounds are relative to other sounds.

You can make massive bass by TURNING UPZ THE BAZZ MAN
OR you can make massive bass by turning down the highs.

So when judging whether or not the bass is "right" this judgement can only really be made when it is in the full context of a track.

Am I making sense?


This all over. Even in the reverse, for ages I was confused why my high hats were muddy sounding or clashing with other percs , then I cut off some low frequencies and surgically cut some mid highs and highs , and found out why . I do think 500hz and under is a little harder to figure out though without some experimentation and practice.

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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:07 pm 
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Mattias wrote:
Just dont reform to the HPF craze unless your stuff is really rumbley or overly in the low end area, use bell shapes / low shelving / baxandall shelves instead to cut the absolute lows.
Since I know your tracks pretty well I realize that you like to have much bass and much low-mid energy, very little mid and sizzly top in your music. You dont EQ it like this, you choose your instruments and sounds this way. Definitely nothing wrong with that. Your bass sounds and kick drums could, imo, need volume adjustment and small dips with the EQ to remove 30hz and down. Try to take the kick and bass down a few dB in volume and leave it like that for a pause, then listen to it when you come back again and see what you think.


I think you've mentioned treating the low end like this before. What are the advantages over using a high pass? Is it to avoid phasing issues?

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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:08 pm 
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Yeah that's one of the reasons, it's good practice to use other solutions before applying filters like that. It's totally ok to use high pass when it's needed of course but people are obsessed with it and also with very steep slopes. I know how it works; producer adds a HFP on a solo listening on say a few basssynth channels, then listens to the whole context. Phase has been shifted several times and now other problems appears since the correlation between the sounds has been changed. Solution? "Let's try another HFP somewhere else" appears to be the general rule.

On your everyday studio monitor speakers it seems to be a good way to solve mud and low end rumble or to make room for other sounds but in most access it's not, really steep filters can eat tons of headroom from the mix without people realizing it. There is some extreme obsessiveness with using high pass on every channel & every instrument, often much of the "natural" low end can die this way. When many sounds blend together in the low end regions they can create a full and true experience of bass sound, obviously they will clash and cause trouble along the way many times but thats why you adjust the problematic areas where the problems are present. Often medical science wont cut the whole arm off when the elbow is the problem. Same can be applied to this subject.

In 99% of all cases a simple bell dip can solve all issues, you want to have control over the frequencies and not stop them. People set their filters on "advice" frequencies all over their tracks, at the same frequencies on all tracks, that can build up a massive resonance when combined over a full mix just above the set frequencies.

High pass filters should be used very moderate, only when it's really needed or as an effect, never as a remedy to control low end or make other things in the mix poke though. The trick is to learn when to use it and when to not use it.

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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:21 pm 
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That's a little dramatic.
High pass/low cut filters have been a standard feature on mixer channels (and microphones)since day dot almost.
And you will be hard pressed to find a recording/studio engineer who doesn't use them liberally.
It all depends on the quality of the cut, and the steepness of the curve, and context of course.
you'll find most decent console emulations that mirror hardware channels have them now, and they are fine, I certainly don't think people need to be scared of them.

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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:30 pm 
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Cheers chaps. I've noticed how steep cuts can colour the sound in the low end and have been dealing with it using pro-q's natural phase mode. Given both your opinions I think it's fair to carry on using them, but be aware if you've lots of low end elements and high passes to control them?

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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:35 pm 
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Nothing dramatic to it ;)

Mattias wrote:
In 99% of all cases a simple bell dip can solve all issues,


Mattias wrote:
High pass filters should be used very moderate, only when it's really needed or as an effect, never as a remedy to control low end or make other things in the mix poke though. The trick is to learn when to use it and when to not use it.


Thats the thing, it exists on everything so people can reach for it very easily, browsing random forums at times I get surprised how many toss out the "HFP to remedy all" solution. My point was people should learn when to use it and go for something else first, unless its to be used as a effect.

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 Post subject: Re: Sub Frequencies question
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:39 pm 
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Planar wrote:
Given both your opinions I think it's fair to carry on using them, but be aware if you've lots of low end elements and high passes to control them?


How low / how much? A first or second order low-shelve set at say 40hz with a 3-5dB cut can solve alot. Same thing with a a 3-4dB cut bell with a Q of 1~set at say 20hz. Hell, many times even just lowering the source of the bass is the way to go!

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