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My mixes lacks "body" or impact, can someone give some advice?

Discussion in 'Practice Room' started by aviel, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. aviel

    aviel Member

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    Hey fellas, this is a problem almost all of my mixes suffers from. in comparision to proffesional mixes, it feels like some "body" is missing in the mix, low mids, higher bass, but this is something i am having hard time to identify or fix.

    I took my mixes too a well treaed room with great monitors, and suddenly felt like my mix is empty in the middle - the singer is somewhere above, the guitars are on the sides, but nothing is in the center, even though the kick has tones of low end, even though i tried cleaning the bass.
    i almost feels like the more i try to process and fix it, i lose more and more energy in the low mids spectrum.

    but i even have no idea how to fix it, i tried to mix in the treated room, came with a little better result, here it is.

    https://soundcloud.com/firstva/barbishet-zramim

    i really need some tips on this, since this is my first paid project :)
     
  2. Bay Studio

    Bay Studio Member

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    I just listened to your mix. The tones you already have are pretty good sounding! In my opinion, it´s only a matter of how you make all these elements blend in together (glue factor).
    Mix the bass when the drums are playing, make sure the bass doesn´t get masked or mudded up by the kick, and do the same with bass and rhythms/clean guitars and see how those elements work together. You don´t really want every individual instrument to sound great on its own, you want them to compliment each other/glue together. So, try mixing while the mix is running, but not by itself. Use the solo button just to get rid of unwanted frequencies, sound designing etc.
    Your kick and your bass, imo, are the "problem" here. The kick could use more subs, and could also be more upfront.
    Good compression (not on the master bus in this case) mostly does the job, and gets that life and movement in there.
     
  3. aviel

    aviel Member

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    Thanks for your quick answer, and the good feedback!.
    when do you say mix the bass,what do you mean? i am using DI's so do you mean just EQ or compression or even ampsim etc? the main problem i have is that nothing is permanent, the kick can be changed, and the bass can be changed, so what in this case should my anchor point? those are real drums, btw.
     
  4. The Fat Elvis Combo

    The Fat Elvis Combo New Metal Member

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    I agree that you have some good sounds in your music. It's all very clean. But I suffer from some of the same problems. I do everything in the box (DI'ed guitars and programmed drums) and while it sounds good, it lacks that real world touch. Bay Studio was talking about creating glue by getting things to gel together. You can EQ things to fit together better instead of just sit on top of each other (complimentary EQ) or what I'm going to try next is mixing into a master bus compressor. This sqeezes the instruments together in a pleasing manner and gives the sense that they were being played live instead of recorded separately.
     
  5. aviel

    aviel Member

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    Actually I always mix into a bus compressor but with very subtle compression
     
  6. aviel

    aviel Member

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    I would appreciate any feedback or criticism btw :)
     
  7. xFkx

    xFkx gain induction

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    well you've answered your own question, you dig too much and too deep into the *mud*/*wool* frequencies. Operating an eq down there is like walking around a minefield. Anywho, not everything around 200 hz is junk, some of it is the body your are missing.
     
  8. Bay Studio

    Bay Studio Member

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    I pretty much agree with what Elvis said. In the past, i´ve had very successful results using programmed drums and ampsims/programmed bass etc..

    It´s pretty much possible getting close "the real thing", if you know how to let every instrument shine on its own/in its own way. You just have to know what you want to get out of the individual instruments.

    xFkx mentioned that using too much surgical EQ can kill the "weight" and "body" of a mix. And, he´s true.

    For example; You feel like the kick is mudding up with the bass & it lacks definition. HPF the bass to 62 Hz (since the bass guitars frequencies only reach down to 62Hz). Ermz Mixing guide is a pretty good starter if you want to get more into that. He covers (especially) bass mixing really well, in my opinion.

    If your snare may lack in body, first try scooping some 200 out of the guitars/rhythm guitars. If that doesn´t work, try boosting some 200 on the snare and see if that´s maybe too much weight.

    Make sure, and really take your time, that you get a nice smooth, controlled, low-end going. That´s going to be the foundation you build on. Well, that´s pretty much the way i do it/think of it.

    Hope i/we´ve helped you!
     
  9. aviel

    aviel Member

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    Yes you helped a lot. You gave me some interesting things to think of. I almost immediately cut 200hz on everything just because it sounds like mud. I actually do have theixing guide. But I feel like it took me too much into cutting that 200hz. I remember ermz talked about removing almost completly that area feom base guitar. I most have overdo it and I ended with vwry focused miz but wirh no body
     
  10. aviel

    aviel Member

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    The main issues I have in the mix are who gets lower. Bass or kick. If I give the bass some 60 hz boost it sounds great. Bur then the whole drums sound small. If I do thw other way around, it feels like nothing is stable in the low end.
     
  11. gallilleo

    gallilleo New Metal Member

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    I used to think bass guitar is the lowest...
    but nowadays I think of them as always-together pair.
    It needs to compliment with each other, and the bass should compliment the guitars low-end too. If you think about it once again, it would be become too complex, but as my personal rule, the fundamental of the kick drum is definitely lower than the bass guitar. hope that helps :loco:
     
  12. Klosure

    Klosure Member

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    Agree with this, and if you use a bus compressor and eq the kick and bass right with the right compression theres a fusion that can happen if the music works where you bus compressor needs only a few db of gain reduction to really work. It all begins to come together down there with the tops of the sound only needing subtle adjustments.
     
  13. Skrynor

    Skrynor New Metal Member

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    You might wanna have a look at this one:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bass_guitar_tuning

    ;)
    Standard E-Tuning is around 41hz

    just saying ;)
     
  14. aviel

    aviel Member

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    ok, so i tried some things we discussed about, this is what i came up with. i am sure though if i didnt just got it too mudy now..

    what do you think?

    https://soundcloud.com/firstva/zramim3
     
  15. aviel

    aviel Member

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    also i would like to know if you dont find this mastering/mix too compressed?
     
  16. slaytah

    slaytah Member

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    Hey Aviel.

    Whatever you've done is a big improvement on the mix in your original post. The bass guitar and kick drum are still clashing though. Try this:

    Solo the bass guitar and kick drum channels together. EQ the bass guitar around 80 hz, cut about 3 dB, I use a q of 2.6 in the Cubase channel EQ. Then move up and down the frequencies til you can hear the bass guitar and kick drum aren't masking each other. The figures I've given you are what works with my combination of bass and kick drum, so adjust those as you need to.

    Also, yes, to my ears you've over-done the compression/ limiting. But that could well be down to personal taste. I don't like an overly-compressed sound myself, but it's often the norm these days! Personally I think the mix you put in your original post sounded better in that way.

    Have you used a HPF on your vocal? Try one if not. Umm, I don't know, try cutting from 50 Hz downwards, and move up the frequencies slowly til it sounds less bass-heavy, but not too thin.

    If you want a more "real" sound, try tape saturation. I use PSP Mixsaturator 2 on everything.
     
  17. aviel

    aviel Member

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    hey slaytah, thanks for your tips!

    i actually did what you said about the bass and kick, i boosted the kick at around 60 hz and cutted the bass in that area. i will try to do it again, though, i find it hard to hear the clashing you talk about. do you have any example of a "extreme" bass and kick speration so i can train a little bit my ears?

    i think i used ferric TDS on the master, but i might take a look at the psp, thanks!

    EDIT: i tried again what you said, and to be honest, even with good earphones i cant hear any difference when cuting 3 db in that area, i tried different frequencies, but i cant really hear anything ..
     
  18. slaytah

    slaytah Member

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    Click on the Reverbnation link under my post. Play the first song, The Introduction. The drums kick in properly from about 1:45. There's pretty good separation there. My PC's not working, otherwise I could put something together with more separation. But it should illustrate my point.

    Another thing with the bass guitar: Try an EQ boost somewhere around 1 to 2 kHz, I use a 3dB boost at 1221 Hz, with a q of 5.5, in the Cubase channel EQ again. But adjust to taste. That gives your bass more presence within the mix, and also helps the bass guitar to stand out more through smaller speakers.

    The PSP is great. But it's the only one I've used a lot. I've tried others, but I didn't like them myself. Horses for courses! I use it on all bass, guitar, vocals and synth channels, as well as the stereo out bus. Google PSP Mixsaturator 2 (or the bundle it comes in, Mixpack 2, or something like that) for the spec.
     

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