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2 questions: Balance and low end

Discussion in 'Recording' started by AcidIceAdam, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. AcidIceAdam

    AcidIceAdam Guest

    Hello, first time poster, long time home studio musician. Hoping to get some insightful answers.

    First up, the pertinent info about my setup:

    Windows XP
    Sonar 4.0
    Behringer MX9000
    M-Audio Delta 1010

    With a number of hardware synths, Alesis QS6 for sounds & midi keyboard, Roland TD8, misc. hardware processors.

    So two questions:

    1) I always seem to have issues with the left side of the mix sounding louder than the right side, and the source of the signal doesn't matter (synths, vocals, guitar, always the same problem.) Is there some sort of global adjustment I can make on the sound card or mixer? If not, what are some good troubleshooting techniques to figure out which component is causing the issue?

    2) This is a tough one. Mixing and low-end. I have always had HUGE problems trying to get my low end to play nice. If my bass lines (synth or bass guitar, sometimes both) sound decent, then I invariably lose the presence of my kick drum. Or, if my kick drum sounds good, I lose the presence of my bass line. I've been using Isotope's Ozone to try to compress one, the other, or both in a futile effort to get a decent sounding bass line and kick drum to share acoustic bandwidth, but to no avail. I am frustrated beyond belief at this point, and my songs are suffering because of it. Any mixing advice that I can use as a starting point to get my songs in the right direction would be much appreciated.

    Thank you!
  2. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Distinguished Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Two things.

    1. Get rid of your Behringer
    2. Learn to EQ properly

    That is all...
  3. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Distinguished Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    OK I will throw you a bone.

    When EQing bass and kick to blend with eachother it is important that they are both heard without stepping on eachother. This is where you are struggling. Boost a spot in the low range (100-300Hz) of the bass and make a notch cut at that same spot in the kick. Don't boost/cut too much, we're talking less than 3dB here. Do the same with the kick, where you boost a spot and cut a spot on the bass.

    It WILL take some practice and getting used to, but along with this technique you need to use your ears to find the balance. Don't forget to boost the HF of each also to ensure that they don't muddy the mix, (Different spots also, this time making parallel notch cuts is not necessary)

    BTW, Welcome to the forums at RO :cool:
  4. AcidIceAdam

    AcidIceAdam Guest

    Yeah I knew I'd get some flak for the Behringer, but 100% of my music is availble for free online, so I don't get any money for it for one, it's just a hobby for 2, and lastly I needed a mixer that had lots of channels for a low price, and Mackie price wasn't an option. ;)

    Thanks for the tips on EQ and notch filtering. I'll have to poke around in some of the plugins and software to see where I can apply a notch.
  5. bcs_tim

    bcs_tim Guest

    Are you mixing through the desk? If you are, try using eq plug ins instead of the behringer eq. I've used that desk before and i found that the eq was muddy and not particularly articulate. Check out the 1973 eq plug in at http://www.stillwellaudio.com. The evaluation copies are fully functional and free. It'll wipe the floor with the behringer.

    Also, there's a plug at that site called schope, which is a great 4 channel waveform/frequency/phase analyser. If you route your kick and bass tracks to a stero bus (panned hard left and right) it will show you the two waveforms/eq spectrums superimposed with different colours. It looks great too.

    Also, if you use schope over your DAW inputs (in the same way as described) before you record, you can move your mics around to get the best frequency response going into your DAW, which is the best way to do it. If you get a good signal in, then you'll get a great recording.

    NB: use schope as a guide. don't rely on it. Your ears are the best piece of kit you'll ever have.
  6. AcidIceAdam

    AcidIceAdam Guest

    Sounds like a great idea, I'll check that out.

    I'm not using the Behringer for any EQ. It's basically there as nothing more than a way to route all the hardware to the Delta soundcard. Except for a few hardware effects wired up via a patchbay, most of my signal processing is done in software with the stock Cakewalk plugins, or Ozone.

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