This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.

Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Something I am missing about "the low end"

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by H-evolve, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    I'm working on mixing (and mastering, if I can call it mastering... ) our first demo. And there is something I clearly don't do correctly with the low end of our mix. Let me explain:

    First of all, I guess it should be noted that we typically deal with quad rythm tracks and dual lead guitar tracks, reamped and mic'd (no amp sim or IRs). For the quad tracks, we use Mesa Dual Rec + Mesa OS Cab layered with ENGL Savage + ENGL XXL (using SM57 and e906 mic).
    The bass we record the DI and use plugins (Ignite bass amp + 3 Sig Audio Orange bass cab IR)
    Drums we use SD2 standard NY Avatar + Seraph samples layered on snare and kick.

    Thought I'd mention it... not sure it's that relevant, but anyway...

    So about the low end: When listening to reference mixes, the ones I chose as my "favorite mixes", I hear the bass as being quite nasty (in a good way), with decent amount of mids and growl. Doesn't sound too rumbly or anything.

    Therefore, thinking this is what I should do, I perform somewhat generous cuts below 250Hz on the bass bus. But then, listening to the full mix on its own, though it isn't "too bad", it clearly lacks something compared to the reference mix. There is that constant steady very low "humpf" that is there on the reference mix, something probably between 0 and 100 Hz (I don't have enough experience to pinpoint a precise frequency). There is that "humf" in my reference song that is lacking in mine. And also, I feel my bass is more kinda of "boing boing boing" than that big growly rumble you want it to do...

    Does this come from mastering? Cause obviously "my reference" mix is Mastered. It's song file from an album I bought...

    I know a good mix shouldn't need a lot of modification when it comes to mastering, but then listening to tutorials and other documentation, I see that there is usually something done to the low end at the mastering stage...

    Sorry that I can't share any file at the moment, I don't have any with me. I'll try to do that when I'm back home.

    Hopefully somebody will relate to what I explain and perhaps be able to help me understand without the need to hear my mix

    Thanks a lot
     
  2. Genius Gone Insane

    Genius Gone Insane http://www.¯\(°_o)/¯.com

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Messages:
    5,708
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    It doesn't come from mastering.

    It comes from a shitload of unlearning what you think you know about sound and then learning everything again from the ground up.
     
  3. nezvers

    nezvers Beast

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,399
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Latvia, Riga
    It starts from source - fresh strings, played consistently and tight to the groove. That will get you already 80% there.
    If you want solid low-end then you need to turn your bass into super solid low-end dominator - one approach would be DI track low passed to taste but I'd say leave below 200 and heavy compress it and after combining with grit track, hit a limiter with them.
    For grit track I find best to give heavy compression before hitting any drive. When combine with DI listen where you like to hi-pass + test with phase flip (sometimes amps and cabs mess with phase).

    If you want to know better what's up with low-end than drop low-pass on reference track and on mix. It might make it easier to focus on it.
     
  4. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Well that's the thing, I already know that I don't know much!! XD
     
  5. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Well, I guess I could play "tighter" and more consistenly, that could be the issue. And your comment brings me to another beginner question.

    "Heavy Compression" is generally speaking, how much? Ratio of at least 6? I read somewhere below 3 is light, 3 to 6 is medium and above 6 is heavy compression. However that article is my only source and I was wondering if that's relatively right.
     
  6. nezvers

    nezvers Beast

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,399
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Latvia, Riga
    Well, I suppose that's the same as a fast and slow attack... each understands it differently. For me, heavy compression mean a lot of gain reduction. I mainly compress with 4:1, but for bass, you can go up to 8:1. It's down to attack and release - just make the bass go as steady as possible, sustain longer.
     
  7. MrBongo

    MrBongo idiot at work

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    27
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Ruhrpott Germany
    interested in demo files with that particular issue.

    - dont set the lowcut too high
    - compress hard and fast enough. Ratio 8:1 is a good starting point, can be higher
    - keep it compressing almost all the time, with softknee compression you may also have it working 24/7
     
  8. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Regarding the demo file, I didn't have enough time to prepare one yesterday evening. Therefore, sorry I couldn't share one.

    But, one thing I'm also starting to point my finger at is the bass. I'm using an inexpensive Squier Jaguar, exactly like this model: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/squier-vintage-modified-jaguar-electric-bass-guitar-special

    I'm not a bassist, and I just bought that to be able to add bass to our songs... I tune it to standard B, with bigger strings. I use D'Addario strings at the moment, but want to switch for Warwick Black Label. I changed the strings and sent it to a tech before recording.

    Anyway, What I mean is that the bass isn't great I think. I set its EQ to make it sounds decent/good when playing on the low B strings, but it sounds extremly bright when playing on the E or A strings. I tried adjusting the EQ to make this right, but then it starts being quite dull when playing on the low B...

    Anyway, that being said, I'll definitely try to share a file tonight when I get home. I'll share the file without any mastering FX (apart maybe from a limiter to raise the volume) and I'll share my other file with a couple of master FX activated, to try and pimp the sound up.
     
  9. Loki Laufeyiarson

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    It all starts with an awesome player using an awesome bass with awesome pickups and fresh strings. Since you don't have that available, as you mentioned, you might try heavy editing and automation to even out that low end. If that doesn't help, programming bass with a sampled high-end instrument is your last resort (seems to be more common practice these days anyway).

    I do believe Ermz posted a chapter from his Systematic Mixing Handbook on this forum about bass. There are quite a few helpfull tips in there on how to go about mixing it as well.
     

Share This Page