Bass & Comparing EQs
By the way, this topic right here this is the kind of stuff that uh you know people decide to quit mixing over it just is that you could spend a long long time on balancing your low end and getting getting it to play nice it's tough stuff so I've got two bases got this guy and I know that there's red I don't care and for those of you who are wondering why I was ok with this red or why mason these choices uh remind you uh maintaining clarity at keeping drive was the goal achieving vibe without losing wall of aggression was the goal keeping enough aggression on like we see how many times dr and aggression came like keeping those elements or part of the part of my challenges the idea behind this mix is to just have it pummeled and sometimes you gotta break some rules and make stuff blow up in order for it to pummel but let's ah let's see what's going on with the low end on the base see you what automates and what doesn't drive all right so first of all let's take a look at the c q fifty y...
ou see that I've got fifty boosted on the low under the base um I had the kick cut off below forty five forty four forty five fifty ish that's ah so if that's where the kick cuts off then it's going to start sloping before that so right in the fifty range you're going tohave a dip in the kick frequency whereas that's where I boosted the uh the base and I've got more stuff going on with this base um as you can see on this week you see uh I also boosted sixty five some now this ninety five range and I don't know what the queue is on this but I guarantee you that you know it's not a very narrow q on ninety five these are all broad so by dipping ninety five right here that's kind of helping it accommodate the eighty boost on the uh on the kick drum a lot of a lot of ah a lot of e q on this stuff now here's another thing that I did though which I broke my own rule but I said uh yeah good I'm going to go with it I put a low shelf at eighty on the base but it's s o apple everything below eighty starts teo you know comes up a little so the way I was envisioning it if I could uh if I could draw it for you guys the way that I finally got to work got it to work together and this took a long time to figure out was um I imagined I'm gonna just draw it and you guys consuming on it and I basically imagined that if you have a kick say that get eighty right here so I don't know you guys can see ok basically base starts to drop off a little around that around that eighty to allow the kick to cut through when the kick starts a dropped ball to uh and below that let the base get louder but the thing is and this is where something that a lot of people get wrong this is why it's so hard to do is there always has to be some overlap because this stuff needs to be blend together like you don't want it to sound like you have instruments in space and that's what a lot of people have trouble with like uh and that addresses what you brought up earlier about you get things sitting together but then they sound like paper but it's because you've separated them too much and that's exactly the thing I was talking about what what sleep was telling me but you get being separated and then you doubt them back so you are mixing things together so it's called mixing and not separating. Um obviously you need to have some separation so that you know what the hell's even going on in the music but you do need to find the point at which these things blend and exactly what the right amount of blend is and go from there and, uh that said in a very accurate way to hear your low end or judge you're low and and that's very very tough especially for those of you and home studios so what I would highly highly recommend on that topic is if you can't get a good sub I would get first of all a set of headphones that boosts the hell out of low and now a lot of you guys were going to laugh at me for this but I don't care because if you get a pair of consumer headphones and not studio headphones, studio head phones are a whole different things so like the ones that barely eighty six hundreds or whatever that air so bad ass for mixing or that's not what this what this is for this is what I'm about to suggest is so that you can hear the base just exaggerated like crazy so get a pair of beats and the reason is they have no meds at all like it is designed for listening to movies like uh like you know when you get to the movie theater and thx comes on and rumbles the grounder or for people listen to hip hop or whatever uh while those headphones air terrible for actually mixing like a whole mix or getting a guitar tone because there's no meds or judging anything like that for being able to hear how low end works together you need you need some way to be able to like it turn it up uh some speakers if you don't have a good sub your speakers are not going to do this accurately for you um or you might or what have you have the ability to get a sub but you live in an apartment where you do get yourself evicted uh what if you don't have a bang in stereo in your car with an amazing subway uh the best thing you can probably do to at least start figuring out how to blend the low end of things together is get us that a headphones that people consider to be bad headphones with that exaggerate the hell out of the low end um I'm just wondering there's any hate coming from the internet for what I just said because I uh it's just funny because I've seen I've I mean I'm not I don't argue with people about recording I think it's a dumb thing to argue about but I've seen a lot of people argue about this exact topic but um low end is the hardest thing to mix in especially in metal so once again we need a way to be able to hear it uh and most people don't have a way to hear it have a gentle ex subwoofer in my control room not everyone has a general x sub but even with my general x sub uh I still will put on headphones to start judging this kind of thing um and and computer speakers or not enough computer sub is not enough you need something where you can really get detailed with it so that's my recommendation you guys take it for uh for what it's worth now clarity clarity is also as you can see, maintaining clarity was also one of things I wanted you can't have all this low end getting boosted like be like boosting thirty at one point on dh boosting this and boosting that and then have said cluttered music uh and then not address the clarity issue so the base does cut off right? I have it it uh twenty seven which means it starts it starts to slow down earlier so so what I was going for is that you know, the forty and up tio eighty range of the base is kind of word inhabits and it lives and below that we don't need that taking of head room that's just mud and then so where I put the high pass in the kick is that around forty five so that you know it starts to slope up to around the eighty range and so um you don't have you don't have the kick muddy and up that's sixty to forty range let the base have that but there still needs to be some of that range in the kick or it will have no power so it's tough takes away it takes a while yes sir somebody commented on the form lucas said we all have friends that only have beats toe look cool the weekend borrow beats from so yeah see that's the thing is uh those headphones get a really, really bad rap because a lot of people have them to look cool but for like I said for this particular application this is really good a lot of the high end studio headphones I don't really have good subs and I don't know if you noticed this too, but they are not very good for judging low end they are good for the judging first at the high end of a bass guitar, but when you're dealing with subs uh you know they can sound a little bit lacking and then also a lot of really good studio monitors don't have great subs uh, you know, like the classic and it stands or whatever the gold standard no subs it all really so you need to fight you need a way to be able to hear this this stuff uh and what happened there and look at that just like I said giving in that sixty ish range, boosting the hell out of it after cutting off everything below twenty seven so I mean, if it doesn't, it doesn't exist, you can't boost it back up that's what that's why I put this before this so that when I made this move to bring sixty up fifty nine point eight to be precise I wasn't also bringing up all this way too low and stuff that would kill my head room so you have to make these decisions in which order to put things uh one thing that I have noticed and I do this a lot is there's a particulate er er super low and frequency I'm trying to boost in a base uh I will first cut off everything below it that I don't want raised um and then then out then I will boost uh, frequency that I want teo that I want to highlight or where so that is the very short story on how I got the base and the kick toward together took a long time and uh uh one more thing one more little note about this kick is as you can see once again we're going together so we can hear it better in the room because I don't know how well you guys can hear out there I'll tell I'll turn it off for for your sake and you work together sounds nasty but that's that's all the nastiness and there was is kept on purpose um wanted we wanted that little element and noise in there, but when they hit together you hear them both clearly um there they are working in tandem no um let's just see where the guitars got cut off. I'm gonna bring the guitars up a swell because that's a part of this whole tone by two so while I'm doing that, anybody, you have any questions, comments about this low and stuff you sir, you start with low and definition first, where do you go to more than mid high stuff in lake when you started mixing? Um when I start mixing, I try to take a bird's eye view first kind of, um it kind of see what I'm working with, like say, for instance, you're working with a band whose really guitar driven and the drums were just kind of like a time keeper or whatever. So I'll kind of, like, pull up the guitars and and I kind of think about ways that we could make them more bad ass and just kind of kind go with that and not really deal with the loan balance of the whole mix, but like, like, yes, it was working with like, like, yes, some some band were it's a guitar god, and the best thing about it is going to the guitar now focusing on that. If it's a band where the drummer is the highlight of everything, then I'm going to start thinking about the drums first but first I'm going to listen your history when joshua was talking about the rough mix how important that is the check that out first um so you kind of know what you're dealing with because that way you'll knows there are a lot of double bass is there not a lot of dull basis is tuned down to f is it in standard do I have to deal with a thin orchestra? I dropped the f bomb but like this ah you know these these are things that you should know in advance you got to know what it is you're about to mix before you start mixing was something like this my idea would be to first get something that's kind of slamming with everything working together so kind of get all the tracks in and hit play and just you know, once you once you have some basic levels and pan ings and make sure you're not clipping everything out your gain staging this strangest hit play and start listening and see what's going on and find a section that that you know is going to slam like that's the first thing I do is I find a part that you know if you work on this part it's going to sound great so you find it the tone section uh and if you're not finding a tone section in that song maybe you're starting with the wrong song also but ah you guys know what I mean by that? I find a good tone section it's like maybe a part where the guitar player I was holding out some chords that just sound great or maybe for a breakdown a band it's just like that perfect breakdown or everything is just going to slam or whatever this like just some part that you know is going to sound great once you dial it in and uh, you know, once you get that bird's eye view and you look around and you find that tone part, then you start to focus in on that and then start to make some some volume changes and see how you can start getting things working together and at that point you'll start to realize wait a second the low end is a little weird here like the base in the drums, the bass guitar and the kick are just not happy with each other got it gotta work on it like you'll see the problems will start coming to you. I feel like if you say I address low and first solo out the kick in the base whoa in context of what I mean are you doing a record that's just going to be kicking base? Probably not so like I think you should probably know what you're what you're working with first of your what if you're doing vocal driven music, for instance like if you're mixing pop or something or just a, you know, oddball track this like mainly mainly mainly vocals with just a accompaniment ah, very a very sparse accompaniment, and you're gonna want to get the vocal sounding perfect first and then add things around it. So, yeah, you're going to know what you're working with, uh, sorry that I can't give you a step by step checklist, but I think that I think that that's mohr that's more about making the right decisions for the artist. So anything else while in movies guitar tracks up? Yeah, marco wants to know do you have marco specific hugh plug in that works better sound precision for sculpting alone and I see the massenburg. Thank you. But when asked berg's great. I mean, in all honesty, uh, you could do all this stuff with stock plug ins and be just fine. Uh, and I'm not saying that to yeah, I'll give you a list of some plug ins that I think are cool, but everything I'm talking about right here, you could do with stock plug ins that come with pro tools like there's, plenty of really great mixers who sometimes will mix an album with headphones and a laptop just to prove a point uh, and I think, uh, I think there's a there's a record will putney did that went number one in australia africa which band that he mixed entirely on headphones in his hotel room while I was working on something else ah great mixer doesn't need it doesn't need the gear it's just a tool of you know you know you could still you could go to home depot and get a discount set of tools and you know what you're doing still build something great so I don't think you need to worry about plug ins too much, but just to actually give you an answer make you happy um because I'm here to make you happy uh I do think that massenburg is great. Unfortunately, if you're working on pro tools eleven, you're gonna have to get the blue cat rapper to run it uh, which I recommend, but yet this design works is a phenomenal plug in um anyone's not familiar with it try to find it. I don't think there's any updates made for it anymore. Major bummer, but it's it's phenomenal know this ah ssl channel I like it a lot it's one of the only ways plug ins I like but I mixed this before I had you eighty plug ins and the u eighty version just annihilates it but if you don't have the money for you a d that's fine if you want if you get this version of this sl plug in it's really, really good and it has a very musical way of addressing low end for some reason going great results dealing with low end with this and then uh you know uh we'll check that out stock plugging it stop plug ins or great and I think that you can't go wrong with our base either. I think between between the massenburg your stock plug ins that ssl strip and our base you should be good to go on low end now this this one this one right here spl face ranger that was just an experiment I just had it and I mean, look, I was having a really hard time with this is a really tough mix to dog low end it on so I was just starting tio pull different plug ins out and see what I could muster and you know that's part of it sometimes but this spl ranger this is the only time I ever used it but it's pretty cool. So, uh what about your you got any cool low and plug ins besides the one that I mentioned he's metric halo channel strip quote it that's a good one too? Yeah it's just nice and the compression section sounds really good to get a lot of a lot of stuff in the in the window so the other one gets used a lot, I still use like the waves q ten quite a bit for, like little that's, that's definitely for, like, really surgical tiny stuff, which you don't tend to have to do very much of in the way went you ten uh, that's what? I kind of look a tw massenburg for now, it's different it. Obviously it doesn't have ten, you know, ten bands, and, uh, you can't you can't reach in there and grab the stuff, which is a bummer, but that's it, I used this for the same function as what most people use q ten for so? So what you see is saying, basically that you have, like, one for, like, really surgical stuff and then one for more like overall kind of things he was into you from from waves, so probably q ten. Honestly, not a lot on specifically low end that's more like notching things. Ah, but yeah, between the renaissance and the metro caillaux that's probably my to go twos. Yeah can't go wrong with those either. I mean it's almost like a the end of the day. It doesn't matter what plug ins you're using, it just matters that you know what, what to do yeah, like one thing I was thinking of earlier, when you're talking about oh, yeah, I get a pair of beats, you know, so that you can hear the low and better, like all of those things are important to a degree, because, of course, you have to have a set up where you can hear what you're trying to d'oh, but, I mean, you could walk into, like, if you're if you're new to mix, you know, you could walk into some guy's studio that's, like, perfectly tuned for low end, and you're still not going be good at mixing the kick in the bass guitar exactly how it should be. So what? What this all really comes down to is, is your training your brain to hear details and, like, listen to music in a way that's, like, not entirely natural, you know, like the average listener just here is, like, an entire song as this one big thing, or they're your catches on to the vocal, you know, and that's that's what their favorite part is the vocal. Um, but when you're learning to mix and do this kind of stuff like your, you're not only training yourself to listen to only one tiny element of the mix, but your training yourself to listen to a small piece of the spectrum of one element of the mix so it just takes a lot of time and practice toe like perceive like this small little things and start to figure out you know, okay here's what needs to happen in order for this kick drum to punch the right way against the bass guitar there is one thing about the average listener that it will that I'd like to throw in just because I think it's relevant they might not know what they're hearing in the low end but there's a reason for why people don't go to their local to their to their friend shows when they're in local bands and why they don't listen yeah there's a reason why and it's not because they're mean it's not because they don't care is because usually the stuff they put out sounds like crap and you know and these problems were addressing her in there and so the average listener may not know ok, they got the kick and the base balance strong but something about it they're not they might not even get to the point of saying something about this sounds weird like I'm upset with the low and palin sir it's not even that is just uh it's more of ah instantaneous that was there yeah just don't get the feeling from they don't get the happy local band that they do from, you know, big big metal man there's a great mix exactly that can articulate why, but yeah, definitely doesn't it doesn't inspire them like like, for instance, the like the goals that I had with this song keeping the aggression and the drive there like those are things that will inspire a listener there if you're trying to get the listener tio get more energy and like let's say, jump through a wall or something like that uh, when they put on the crappy local recording exactly it's exactly said they just don't get inspired by it's like nothing it's just noise to them and so they don't know why it just they just don't don't go for it, so yeah, you're learning you're learning tio, listen for things that the average listener doesn't intellectually listen for, but they're definitely hearing it we're definitely hearing and they're definitely reacting to it and even by not reacting to it, they're reacting to it. No reaction is a reaction, especially when you're trying to get people's attention so anything for the internet or can I keep going? Yeah, sure from ginger man question about based track mixing three base tracks have shown yesterday d I distortion in low end use different tracks to do different things and accomplished different parts of that what are they originally? Is that a single take recorded two three tracks or duplicated? Or were they two to three different takes? And then how do you, pam those? Or do you pan those so sort of a multi part question? Is it all one take first of all, yes, it's all one take as a except for if you had to replace the sub low like with the program based or whatever obviously that's not the same take um and then the low end of the base should always be mano but there are times when you will bus out the high end of the base and, you know, put like a stereo chorus on it or something like that, but the low end I'd say, like, and the loam ids even say like everything three hundred and below issue three hundred should be mano but just has to be, um and yet, as faras doubling base goes that's something that I've always been curious about, I don't know if I'm the only person the world because whenever have told people that I'm curious about it, they look at me like I'm crazy for like I have tried it a few times in a few different things and it's either the perfect thing to do or it's absolutely terrible and the reason that it would be absolutely terrible's because intonation is tough to get on base so intonation on two bases is harder, so you know if you're low ends out of tune, your your mix is just in in the gutter. So so, yeah, it's, one base split into multiple tracks. Now, sometimes that could mean that you, you're recording into a d I box. And then you're getting the dye, and then you're splitting out to an amp and liking the amp or sensors. It means that you're recording into one track and then busing it out, too. You know tio, another track with the high pass filter or whatever, but usually it's, just one track and different treatments of the same dye.