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The "empty midrange" syndrome

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Igor Samurovic, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Igor Samurovic

    Igor Samurovic Be careful how you grip!

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    This tends to happen to me way too often. I mix tracks so that each has the unique part of the spectrum it's prominent at. And it works pretty well, except for one major problem. After I have done all of this, I realize my guitar starts sounding really boxy. I decrease some of the 500-800 range, and then I have to deal with another problem. Now my guitars sound way more 3D, but the mix has virtually NOTHING in this range, so it doesn't sound full or warm enough, but if I increase this range on guitars, I get a very boxy sound. The cause to this is that I do not think that any instrument sounds REALLY good at this range, so I tend to either cut it out, or remove this range by serious bandpassing of pretty much everything.

    So really, even the waves PAZ Analyzer says this range is (pretty much) empty. What am I supposed to do here? I know I could always increase this range by a linear phase EQ on the master bus, but I don't want to use such radical measures here, I think it'd really do way more harm than good in this situation.

    I've heard professional mixes where this range is pretty empty as well (even going as far as the 300-1200 range), and I never thought they had the warmth I am aiming for, so even though my mix could 'work' I don't think it's the most optimum way to be.
     
  2. AntonioPetrole

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    I have this same problem. I hate it
     
  3. Igor Samurovic

    Igor Samurovic Be careful how you grip!

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    Some people suggested I increase kick at this range (since it's pretty consistent). Either they are crazy, or I am.
     
  4. Ascendant

    Ascendant Member

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    I suppose it depends on the aesthetic you're going for and how busy the arrangement is. Some material sounds great with a bit of low mid warmth in the guitars and bass guitar, other material might sound better with a more scooped sound. A mix doesn't have to look like white noise in an analyzer.
     
  5. botus99

    botus99 Microphone Assassin

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    The solution won't be to "add" EQ after you already sucked away everything in that range. You can't add what's already been taken away.

    Don't make your dips that extreme, there's your solution. Sure, someone can give you an instrument that can fit in that range, but ANYTHING can fill that range! Chances are it will be different with each mix/song/etc and also the choice is completely subjective (i.e. Do what you want!). So get out there and make your mixes FULL again!
     
  6. Igor Samurovic

    Igor Samurovic Be careful how you grip!

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    Absolutely, but the thing is, I am aiming for a sneapish sound, rather than Meshuggah (obZen) sound which has absolutely no warmth :D

    Well, the range is not really empty, but since it is 15db below the rest of the mix, it is problematic, and the actual problem why an EQ boost won't work well if at all.

    Thanks, this encouraged me be less strict with hipassing from now on, I guess I am a bit too harsh on those poor tracks :D
     
  7. nezvers

    nezvers Beast

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    I think it has to do with guitar, amp, cab and other stuff that come after, considering how much mid you can give to guitar without muddying everything. When I look at my Kevin Talleymixing mix contest - it look more straight, but some other mixes with hole in middle.
    Also when I saw ERMZ mixed track he gave for mastering practice... it have really BIG-ASS hole in mix (well that was kinda trashy song too).
    So summing everything don't be depressed about it, because that come from guitar tone mostly and if it sound good it is good!!!
     
  8. Deuteronomy

    Deuteronomy Member

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    You might need to decrease less than you do now on that area.
    Experiment with the EQ on the guitars while you hear all the instruments together
     
  9. Sethis

    Sethis Member

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    That's what the bass is for. A great deal of your guitar sound is the distorted bass.
     
  10. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    If you don't like the way it "sounds" then just cut less. If you don't like the way it "looks" then quit looking at it. As others have said, the solution isn't on the master bus or in mastering.
     
  11. Igor Samurovic

    Igor Samurovic Be careful how you grip!

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    Here's a short snippet, I've fiddled with it, thanks for comments everyone :D I left the guitar sounding boxy, but I regained some midrange by putting the whole drumkit back into the mids a bit, I realized I've cut way too much out of everything. Much easier to get carried out than I really thought! Also extended the distorted bass track into low mids more, seems to help it cut through a bit more :)
     
  12. Habsburgs

    Habsburgs Member

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    i.. dont know what to say. Sounds like a guitar pro demo song ¯\(°_o)/¯
     
  13. Igor Samurovic

    Igor Samurovic Be careful how you grip!

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    Worse, actually! Haha, I am doing a little experiment here: I am using the most terrible guitar synth ever created and processing it through the X50 and catharsis impulses, I want to see how it could behave in a mix (I've got carpal tunnel and mustn't play for some time now) and I haven't used this plugin for years, it's a lot of fun actually :D Not to mention the tone tailoring it offers through physical modeling which I find really intriguing, it actually allows me to move pick attack around to where it'd sound unique, change pickup position, string type, etc, and though not necessarily good and accurate at all, it can make a physically 'impossible' tone. I was thinking about getting a nice library (like Shreddage) while my hand heals, but realized it'd cost a lot more than I'd really use it, and turn out to be a waste of money once I can play again, especially since I utilize a lot of techniques Joe Duplantier (of Gojira) does, and I wouldn't be able to find a library that can do everything I really want.
     
  14. Clark Kent

    Clark Kent Member

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    It is all about what your taste is. Generally speaking my taste is to maybe scoop a little if at all.. like -1dB to a maximum of -3dB depending on the source. In the PAZ Analyzer it should still look quite flat. Remember that your monitoring most likely has more mids (are more neutral) than regular speakers do. So.. do you think this scoopage does anything in the mix or does the 3D factor only occur when guitars are soloed which no one will ever hear?

    If guitars were recorded properly then I feel like not much post processing is needed. I know many will disagree with me on this but post EQ always makes it sound less natural to me at least. If the guitars sound weird in the mix, try lowering the volume first and try to make it blend better.. then you know what you want to hear more of and boost that. Maybe? Not sure... I don't have these problems.
     
  15. Star Ark

    Star Ark Member

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    i havent listened to the track but the x50 has a huge amount of mid and low mid. When i use lecto and the same impulses as i do with the x50 i dont get a mid problem, infact i might add a touch of mid.
     
  16. reg3n

    reg3n Señor Miembro

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    When I get that problem, I instantly know I have to put the EQ's flat (except maybe for the hi/lo filters) and record again, I save a lot of time when I just do it.
     

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