General EQ Questions
So the chat room is really curious about a few these questions can you talk about mixing base instruments specifically the bass guitar? I find it hard to tame the booming nous without burying the base in the mix how do you get that base in your face like you hear in funk records or in reagan for example duncan rageh so bases really tricky and the one thing to think about what base is that it's not just low in so when we think about base we think about just the low end like but there's so much that we here in in a bass guitar or since base it's really harmonics that go up the range the frequency range so there's some low mid range or some hyman range they're all part of the bass sound so the goal is really I'll show you one of my favorite hacks in the very last segment today to make sure that there's always room for your base and your base gets to dominate that section of the mix and there's it's featured in the right way so it's probably a combination of making room for it with some fi...
ltering and then probably also some compression I mean, we talked a little bit about that yesterday but making sure that you tamed actual peaks of the base so that then it can be brought up and perceived volume and not jump out but still be round and sustained I mean, we did that trick with fat snare that kind of compression trick and work on bases wealth that might help the company combination another question here that we just got twenty four votes on this one. People are really curious in your opinion, which frequencies are most commonly problematic? Oh yeah, great question. So, um and one of my hacks again today I have a problem out of frequency. I'm going to show you if you could stick around for that, too. I think there's a low mid range problem like I think in the three hundred to five hundred hertz range, you have a lot of problems because a lot of instruments carry information down there that doesn't really help. We're add to its sonic signature so well got frequencies down there, but you can get rid of a lot of that and the instruments will still sound like the instruments and you'll clean up a lot of your mix, so I usually like to take away a lot of that down there and up top here's a problem I see with a lot of home studio mixes is around the two k range three k range, something called the harsh frequency I feel like a lot of people find themselves boosting around to k or three k whether they know it or not because it makes things stick out like I can't hear my guitar my vocal so they boost in that two k range and it really is a painful frequency if it's the wrong track being boosted their and they do a lot of it then they keep boosting all that now they can hear everything and that's why? I think a lot of home studio mixes sound fatiguing and harsh which to us sounds amateur or not very professional because it's like just overly bright it's a lot of times because up there was boosting too much in that two k range and it's it's most the time not needed so those air problem areas I see a lot of in mixing well do you have a question here? God just wondering is that I was just thinking about that yesterday there is the track I'd worked on a while ago I listened to it on new headphones and on the newer ones there was no brightness but another pair it was just very bright in that range the two to three k range several if I tame it that it seems really dull on the newer headphones that if I if I tried, increase it to make it sound good on the new ones on the older ones little sound even worse welcome to how frustrating mixing it up because it depends on what you're listening to your mix on right? You know that's a great point you could have a pair of headphones or a pair of monitors that are super bright and they make everything sound super bright so you're kind of taking away some of that brightness but then you go listen to in the car and everything sounds dull and so you're being fooled you being tricked, we're going to talk about a way to avoid all of that and make sure that you know what is right, what is wrong even though every speaker I've ever listened to and every had fun of ever listen to sounds different. So yeah, it's so frustrating, it's a real problem and we're going to deal with that and with the segments show you how to take care of that problem, I actually have a question that kind of ties into compression a little bit um as faras ah queuing before compression, I just want to know what your philosophy is on that just because I've always heard that you're supposed to compress before he cute is because e q adds gain and the compressor usually reduces it. Okay, this is a great question and people always want to know whatthe right order is and the first answer is that there is no right order, so if you ask me, I'm going to tell you personally I like teak you first then compressed you can see it in my session the top row of all may inserts for all the cues and right after them, or all my dynamic, so compressors, and it ties into what you said. You said that it is adding gain and compression is taking away gain the way I'm going to show you how the q is actually mohr of the opposite it's more taking away game, so I c e q is more of a removing things, and then compression is adding, so actually see it is the reverse of what you described it all depends on how you like to use it, and if you reverse them, they do sound a little bit different, and so you might actually reverse it and find that it makes it sound really, really cool, and then you would leave it. It doesn't really matter what your rule of thumb is, so no right or wrong, but I'm going to show you how I approach it, and that might work for you, and if not, then you can try another way. Yeah, one more from the chat room I want to get to before we move on. Get eight people vote on this in comparison with pro mixes mind seems to have less top end, I can't get it using e q and excite er's, because when I'm cranking up the higgs, everything starts to sound cheap. Not detailed and clear like I would want it are there any other ways to get there or maybe I'm doing something wrong? Any advice? It's a great question so you feel like you don't have enough topping in your mix is when you compare it to pro mixes um, you know, I find the same thing in my mixes I do sometimes I'll show you how I do that. I do like to boost a little bit of the top end to get a little bit more air or clarity, but you can't do much because the just like he said that you you lose too much and it sounds cheap because you're boosting stuff it's not really there you tryingto add something that's? Not really their aa lot of what you're hearing on really pro records is the cumulative effect of some of their I would probably say their analog pieces of gear that maybe they recorded with it might have been there on day one and recording if they recorded through and really nice console or nice pre amp or compressor that add some harmonic content meaning it's adding frequencies to the track in a pleasing way it could have been recorded to tape it could have been some of the saturation that is naturally happening through what they recorded with so by the time you get to mixing there's a lot of musical top end on the track itself, just tow us sounds good, so if you're in the digital world, there are some plug ins you can get try to add harmonic content to it, um, and you can, whether it's compressors or accused or just saturation like tape saturation plug ins, they add top in, but in a very musical way, so usually doesn't sound harsh, but it's, because you're adding something that's not there exciter zehr supposed to do that as well? And it says, like maybe you're saying in the question that the exciter wasn't giving you enough, it could be that it's just not the right type of harmonic content for your song. You might just need a different tried different saturation plug in her demo something else, but I feel like you could get pretty close teo pro mix in terms of brightness, but at the same time you're mixed may not just be as bright as a pro mix. I mean, you can compare some pro mixes and some are darker than others. It depends on the genre depends on the producer and the guy who mixed it, who has a away. He likes to hear music, so there isn't one standard of brightness, but I know if you're picking something that you like, you wanted to match. I just try to get as close as I can but you don't want to keep boosting and boosting in boosting its not going to get you there all right sounds good here's a difficult course I just noticed you were using like a frequency analyzer or anything like that when you're doing the accused of that just by ear or yeah I've never wear I don't ever use frequency analyzers on dh we'll talk about that in the next segment a reason why it it is a very cool tool because you can literally see a track and what frequencies they're jumping around for example if you mix in say studio one from personas that doll their stocky q underneath this graph you see the frequency analyzer sort of lot exactly um some of my friends swear by those tools because they can see the frequencies that are really building up and they can go cut him to me they actually make it harder for me because I try not to rely on what I see visually we'll talk about that too in the next segment but they're very powerful tools they're great for mastering too because you can really zero in on something if you can't really hear what's going on you might be able to see it but and that some free tools if you don't have one you can download some free analyzers and tryem out your dog but I personally don't use them what's more out of habit, great question uh oh, I hope that what we're seeing is that e q in action makes a big difference, but it's all these subtle little little moves, the one thing I wanted to touch on in this segment is we've gone from like mastering so you can use ink you and mastering to completely sculpt the sound of a mix in mixing. We're using e q to change every single instrument that we need to change a little bit, and we'll explain why the why behind it in the next segment, but you can I hear what it's doing, but I also want you to think about this in terms of recording and no, this is more of a mixing workshop, but most of us were doing everything you're recording, you're mixing your mastering. So I want you to think about this from day one from the recording side of things, we talked a little bit in yesterday's class about if we can compress on the way in. Why not? If you happen to have a compressor in your recording chain and you're going to compress it later, you might as well compress it now I'm a huge fan of committing to a sound on the way in, and the same is true with you on the way in.