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Help with EQ

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by BrandonS, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. BrandonS

    BrandonS Member

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    Hey there... If I were to post dry wavs, 24-bit of my guitar and bass tone, and perhaps other tones, would you guys help me out with EQing them? I did a whole run and EQed everything but it doesn't get to the volume or wholeness that I was looking for. I want everything to, more or less, sit inside of everything while still being clear and audible... The perfect mix.... and I'm mostly working with progressive rock yet there's also a bunch of prog metal with growls too... So if anyone wants to help out, please let me know.

    And if anyone has any good tips for EQing growls, that would help. I want to bring out more of the body of the growl and hear less of the higher-end... -_-
     
  2. Damian B

    Damian B ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    I suppose you could, be there isn't a set method for EQing things. It all depends on the context. We could EQ your bass and guitar tracks to sound good together, and then when you add drums and vocals it might sound awful. If you want somebody to do everything, then that's basically mixing the song lol!!
     
  3. BrandonS

    BrandonS Member

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    Yeah... I've just been really insecure about my mixes. I have re-recorded this CD like 4 times, and compared to the In Staid Grace CD I put out last month, it is still quieter and has a lot less high-end. The guitar tone is a lot less fierce. Though I guess it does have more low-end and bass, which I was really excited about.

    Here's a brand new mixdown I just slapped out 10 minutes ago: http://www.rainwound.com/spiritualhallucinations.mp3

    I mean, you can comment on it, let me know what you think about the mix. It's probably not final. I don't know man, I wanted something that sounded really nice and warm and open and clear and pleasant to listen to. When I listen to this on two different computers, it sounds a lot different. It does sound open and nice on this laptop but it sounds fairly scrunched on the other computer. I have no idea and I'm pulling my hair out trying to mix this album.
     
  4. RiF

    RiF Member

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    Hi BrandonS,
    I listened your recording and here are some things that I stumbled upon:
    1. I compared the frequency spectrum of your mix with some commercial recordings and there I saw that you have a lot going on in the 20-50 Hz and 50-100Hz area. More than other recordings have. I would hi-pass everything up to 40 Hz to get rid of unnecessary bass-energy down there. Also take a look at your bass guitar which seems to cause rather high peaks between 50 and 100 Hz. I would tame it a bit by using a compressor. Grab the free Voxengo Span or any other analyser and you'll see what I mean.
    Taming the bass correctly makes the sound more clear, louder and brighter.
    2. Do you use a de-esser on your lead vocal? I recognized some weird phasing going on there on the s's. The sound reminds me of my old Behringer Suppressor.
    3. You want to have things "sit inside of everything". There is a thread over at Gearslutz about how saturation plugins help doing exactly that. Massey's Tape Head does this job for me.
     
  5. BrandonS

    BrandonS Member

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    I thought the bass guitar used frequencies from 40 Hz and around that area. I've got a 65Hz boost on the bass and a 65Hz cut on the kick to try to get them to not mingle with each other. There is a lot of rumbling bass stuff in the low frequencies of the guitar recordings... I'll definitely try slapping in a 40Hz cut, on everything you said? So I could just put the 40Hz cut on the master track and eliminate it for the entire song?

    I was using Blockfish compressor, for pretty much everything. Even the bass. It doesn't work that well on Bass though but it does for vocals. I only use Blockfish and para-EQ on the vocals, maybe a little bit of studio reverb.... no floor de-esser type thing. I just have a pretty bad lisp that I try to hide, maybe that's what you were hearing? I'm getting better at speaking normally. :)

    Blockfish does have a saturation wheel that I can turn up, but I thought that just made the sound more "distortion" like... a little more crunchy? I don't know if it is the right thing though. Can you recommend any free saturation plugins that are good?

    I'll grab that Voxengo Span to inspect my frequencies, thanks very much for the advice! What kind of bass compressor would you recommend? I've got a 5-string bass with a very good body tone, so there's a lot to be compressed there and it should really sound awesome... it's my first time working with a 5-string and I was blown away. Well thanks, man!
     
  6. RiF

    RiF Member

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    Although I am pretty sure it's the bass guitar that peaks and should be compressed, there might be other stuff around down there. Try hi-passing the guitars at around 100-200 Hz (go up until it sounds too thin).

    BTW: How did get such a loud mix with all that bass stuff around?

    Yes, on the master bus. Try a 24dB hi-pass at 40 Hz to start with. You should not hear LESS BASS but a following compressor or limiter should be less pumping.

    Oooopps. I am very sorry. ...but I only heard in on ONE of the vocal tracks.

    There are some interesting ones from Bootsy (http://varietyofsound.wordpress.com/) (Try Density on a bus or Tessla on single tracks) and Tin Brooke Tales (TLS Saturated Driver, http://hem.bredband.net/tbtaudio/ -> The Archive -> new-tbt-vstplugins). I don't drive them hard, just add some barely audible grit to the tracks. Don't overdo it! It takes some experience to use these things right. You can ruin your mix completely as well as do something good to it.

    The frequency graphs you'll see on commercial recordings are very similar to each other. That's because there is a common sense about what 99% of the people regard as a pleasing sound spectrum. So aiming at that spectrum is not a bad approach unless you want to do something completely different...

    Unfortunately I have no advise here, because I am struggling with bass compression myself. Blockfish is great but does not work for bass for me either. I had some success with some standard compressor (Sonar's Sonitus Compressor or Pro Tools Dyn-III) using a fairly high ratio of 8:1 to 12:1 to have the bass stay at a very fixed level.
     
  7. alan1990

    alan1990 Member

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    Sorry to hijack.... I understand why cutting everything bellow 40hz would clean stuff up and get you more headroom but what if im mixing in something like a subdrop. would you still cut everything bellow 40??? or would i just cut 40hz on everything but the subdrop?
     
  8. ahjteam

    ahjteam Anssi Tenhunen

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    Most consumer level subwoofers don't play anything below 35-40hz, and if it reads 40hz-250hz in their manual, it usually means that they start to play well at 45hz and start to sound super muddy at 150hz or so. Marketing FTW!

    And mor on the personal note: I usually highpass everything from atleast 80hz except subdrops, cellos, kickdrum, djembe and bass from 35-60hz depending on the instrument and I usually put also a highpass filter at 35hz on the masterbus, because that way you can sometimes gain a whoppin 12dB of headroom because of the build up from the track summing, but you can always turn the subdrop louder if you think it doesn't cut thru enough.

    But if someone has those 7000 dollar Genelec 7073A LSE subwoofers that replay stuff up to 19hz... then good for them :)
     
  9. BrandonS

    BrandonS Member

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    Can the human ear even comprehend tones that low? (dumb question)

    I haven't tried out the saturation plugin yet, I've been a bit stuck with other duties. But to answer an earlier question, I got that kind of volume with the bass detail in there by basically setting it to about -1db less than what I wanted, then cranking the volume up with a hard limiter. -.1db with about a 6db boost. Also I did do EQ on just about every track, so I sort of had the low end singled out and available I guess, even though that was the wrong thing to do. I make little tweaks here and there, mostly with bass control, that let me crank the song up just a little bit louder. But yeah, I am seriously going to have to reconsider the way I have it EQed and mixed after I apply the high passing and test out the saturation plugins. :p
     
  10. RiF

    RiF Member

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    I can't and my monitors can't, too.

    Your approach is perfect and IMHO just needs a little adjustment, I guess that if you leave everything as is and increase the ratio on the bass-compressor to make the bass less popping up in volume, you're pretty much set.
    I don't want to sound like a smart-ass here, I have my problems with the bass by myself and just passing over tipps that I read somewhere and that sound reasonable.
     
  11. BrandonS

    BrandonS Member

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    I really appreciate your help. I do need to find a different plugin for the bass compression. The one I was using doesn't really do anything, it isn't nearly as powerful as I want... I do not believe that it could handle the popping up in volume as you put it.... :(

    So I'll put a new version of the track up just as soon as I finish tinkering with it with the new advice here I guess, and also I may have to find a better bass compressor so it may be a while..... :-x
     

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