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Always too much treble or too much bass. I'm not sure where I'm going wrong. - home studio

Discussion in 'Bass' started by thomas patton, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. thomas patton

    thomas patton Active Member

    So I've been searching the internet for tips on how to keep from having too much 'mud' in the final mix of a track while still not having too much treble. It seems I always fall in to either category but I can never stay in that sweet spot. When I have the solo tracks they always seem fine to me, but in the final mix the mud comes out and I'm not sure how to go about correcting it properly. It always seems to be a problem when I'm recording Metal as a result of the palm mutes. My current set up is Alesis Multimix-8 USB and Cubase 7.5 (I've been using Adobe Audition for years and just upgraded last week, though this was always a struggle for me in Audition). I typically record on a Line 6 Spider IV or III, depending on the track and how I feel, through a Shure SM-57. I've tried different mic placements with different Hi Mid and Low settings on the Alesis itself and tried different EQs to eleminate the mud and still retain a neutral level. I believe it may be my monitors not giving me reliable results (I can't even tell you what those are.) but I'm not sure. My next purchase is a set of KRK Rokit series monitors so I will be removing that problem in a week, but as for now, can anyone with some experience with this issue give me some tips on how to keep from having this problem in the future? Thanks!
     
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    welcome to the majority.

    Never judge a track in the mix on its own, unless its only a solo. You mix music like a painter painting a picture of a big tree. It sounds like you are trying to paint everything with the same level of detail, then cram it all into a picture and hope we see it clearly. In the end ( the mix) you are so detailed with each part of the tree, we cannot see the tree for the forest lol.


    Post a mix and we'll help you.
     
  3. thomas patton

    thomas patton Active Member

    Thanks for responding. I'll post the most recent mix I was working on prior to posting that message. I didn't do any final mixing apart from limiting and small compression (Edit: I just remembered I did some stereo expanding. If needed I can provide a track with no effects on the master, no problem), so it is unfinished. There is also no bass guitar in this song (my buddy didn't record it before he left) so you're just getting programmed drums and guitar.

    http://vocaroo.com/i/s0CgZBzq92hy
     
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    cool. now post an example of who you are hoping to sound like?
     
  5. thomas patton

    thomas patton Active Member

    This is kind of a tricky thing to answer. Overall, I would love to have a sound similar to the CD As I Lay Dying - Shadows Are Security (2005) because though it's not a "perfect" mix the entire cd is captured so well, and I'm not the type of person to chase a 'perfect' crisp and clean style. Some say I'm more 'old school' for that but I think they're too 'new school'.

    As I Lay Dying - Through Struggle
    http://vocaroo.com/i/s0yoUBmFIn0S
     
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    cool. I'll help you in a problem based response.

    When I hear your track in comparison, I hear your balances are similar ((y)) but, your overall mix is lacking in the lower end. Your mix sounds like everything is being rolled off from 600hz down. Your mix is thin. Do you hear this? Why do you think?
     
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    To dig deeper, when you listen to the example of the comparison, how does that mix sound on your current monitoring?
     
  8. thomas patton

    thomas patton Active Member

    Sorry if I'm slow at responding, I've been doing things around the house. As far as comparing overall sound with my setup the AILD track definitely sounds like the guitars are fuller with a better lower end where my mix tends to lack that. I'm posting a picture of my EQ for my guitar. You seem to have called it haha. I know my EQ is a mess, but it's all a learning process. I just started taking this seriously a month ago. Excuse my bad eq technique, but, afterall, there is a reason why I'm here.
    Now as far as recording guitar goes, I recorded this track with the hi/mid/low settings (what level it is at out of a max of 10) like this 8/10-9/10-4/10. The placement of the mic was a little to the right of the cone about 1.5" from the grill which tends to cut out some of the higher end, which is why the low is so much further down. I hope this is making sense...
    I've noticed this problem in all of my mixes but could never figure out a reason why.

    Also, thanks for all your help so far! You're the first person to atleast look in to what I'm asking without making assumptions.

    0ziANQZ.png
     
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Okay good.
    confirming you hear your comparison sounding fuller :love:, this means your monitors are translating the difference between what you like and what you don't like about your mix, good news, your upper freq of your monitors are working!

    The above graph doesn't really matter at this point and I'll tell you why. Even though we could get into the details of your guitar, I hear an "overall" lack of low mid missing in your "entire" mix. Everything is missing there. I would find out why the "entire" mix is lacking low to low mid freq right now?

    Suggestions:

    Mix at a low volume!
    Increase a wide curve ( 100hz to 500hz) right in the middle of this 1 db at a time until it starts to sound fuller. I bet the entire mix will improve. It sounds like you have a good handle on balancing but are clearly not hearing low mid freq when mixing your music. Look to why you are missing those freq and you will have your answer.

    Does this make sense and help you?

    do that and repost the song again.
     
  10. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Hi Thomas, thanks for posting.
    As Chris said, your mix is missing a lot of low end except for the bass drum that seem to have a bit that the other instruments.
    You are asking if your monitors are tricking you. It might be, but there's other factor to investigate.
    1. when you mix, do you feel enough bass ?
    2. When you compare your mix to commercial recordings, do they seem to have too much bass ?
    3. When you listen to your mix on other systems (cars, headphones, friend's hifi system) do you hear that your mix is missing bass?
    You shouldn't dissosiate your monitors from the room. You perceive the audio of your monitors through the room which adds to the equation.
    It may be your room who emphase bass depending on the dimensions and the speakers placement in relation to your ears.
    It may also your desk who is vibrating if the speaker and set on it without isolation.
    It also may be your monitors.. but, be carefull before you make a purchase.

    As for the mic placement, if you put the mic offset from the center of the speaker, you will capture less hi frequencies.
    the best trick is to record and move the mic from the center to the far side of the cab and choose what sounds better to you.

    So the best thing to do is to compare to commercial recording and bring your mix outside the room and play it on several systems. ;)
     
  11. thomas patton

    thomas patton Active Member

    Will do! Thanks for the awesome feedback. Check back in about 20 minutes and I should have it posted.
     
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    don't remove the original track. we need that to cross reference steps. pcrecord is here so you have more help!
     
  13. thomas patton

    thomas patton Active Member

    Thanks for responding!
    As far as mic placement goes, that's pretty much what I do. I have the guitarist play different sections of the songs (palm muted parts, open chord strumming, tremolo picking, then the song as a whole) before settling on one particular location. I tend to gravitate about an inch off from the center and an inch and a half from the grill, but this changes depending on the type of song.
    My speakers in relevance to the room and myself is kind of a problem for me. I don't have an entire room dedicated to my studio (yet :D) and have my set up closer to a wall than I would like it to be. But you work with what you've got available. My monitor upgrade isn't relative to my high end/low end problem, I just want to make sure I'm getting the best possible sound out of my speakers to, what can only, help my mixing. And if it doesn't help and the problem is just how I'm doing things, well atleast then I have some neat new yellow speakers to look at.
    I'm glad you brought up different ways to play music. I try to test out my songs on different systems and that's how I first started noticing my problem.
     
  14. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Ok, so, you seem not to notice the problems in your room but you notice it somewhere else.
    This could be that your room is giving you too much bass so you compensate (wrongly).
    Or you just begining to be aware of it... ;)
     
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    or the opposite, bad tweeters or very loud volumes can also effect the ability to mix top end, thus, adding more and more top end to a mix. His problem is definitely overall though. Imagine turning your tweeters off? If not knowing, you would add more top end to your mix? or, the opposite, if the woofer is shot or poor, we would add more bottom end but, they would start to flap. If his room is really boomy, I suppose he would not be so consistent from 600hz down. I'm guessing he is mixing too loud and his top end is poor.
     
  16. thomas patton

    thomas patton Active Member

    Hey sorry this is taking awhile. It would appear that one of my plugins is causing my project file in Cubase to not open and I think it's my EZDrummer VST which I used on this track :mad::mad::mad:. This could take some time to troubleshoot. I'm downloading a Cubase update right now and trying to get this resolved. Thanks for the additional feedback about my room. I wouldn't put it past this setup for me to hear too much bass in my room then not in other settings. It's not exactly an ideal set up by any means. Give me another 15 or 20 minutes and I should have something to post.....hopefully.
     
  17. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    No rush, there is always tomorrow.
     
  18. thomas patton

    thomas patton Active Member

    So after installing that update it seems like I'm operational again!
    Here was my first attempt at increasing the 100 - 500 hz range: http://vocaroo.com/i/s0k5Nxyp84RU
    I felt like I had over done it because this is where it starts sounding muddy to me. If you listen on the palm mutes the bass increases so much. But that could be the result of the guitar itself. so I lowered it a little and came back with this : http://vocaroo.com/i/s15GMSaDMBrV
    Very Subtle change but maybe you can hear it. Opinions?
     
  19. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    this sounds better, http://vocaroo.com/i/s0k5Nxyp84RU
    but it also sounds like you are pulling the mids out from the original mix? Never the less, it still needs way more low end energy.

    I think I am hearing where you are going wrong now. You are focusing on the guitar too much while not realizing how that is effecting your entire mix. Flatten your mix and start over. Use HPF up to 200hz on the guitar. Get rig of the bottom end on that instrument and your mix will start happening.
     
    DonnyAir likes this.
  20. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Knowing where an instrument "lives' is going to be of great benefit to you. For example, adding 60 hz to a guitar track won't accomplish anything more than adding useless energy in that range, because guitars don't produce frequencies that low. When you add frequencies beyond what the instrument can naturally produce, especially in the low end, you're adding "mud", resulting in other instruments having to fight for their own space as well, which results in lack of definition and clarity. Knowing these ranges, and, As Chris mentioned, using HP Filtering accordingly, will help you quite a bit.

    On a related note, you may be having problems because your mixing environment is lying to you acoustically.
     

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