Bottom end repair ?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by realdynamix, Apr 27, 2003.

  1. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :) In the initial analisis of a song, and if you detect some bass problems, do you tame the EQ on the bottom to a predetermined starting point, or proceed to make individual content corrections rooted on past experience, and the impression from your system?

  2. Doug Milton

    Doug Milton Active Member

    I would base my EQ on what I was hearing and where I thought the song needed to go, not on a predetermined shape. As each song brings its own challenges, it may be necessary to move bass energy between sub, low and low mid to find an even sound.
  3. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

    Just to add.

    There is no single fix for all low end problems. I listen and adjust accordingly. I do know of some mastering engineers that put a low shelf on practically everything they do regardless of what it sounds like. I don't.

    Each song is it's own challenge. Some times a shelf works sometimes a parametric works.

    A lot of reggae and hip hop songs I work on have so much 40 - 60 Hrz that you can't hear the actual punch of the kick. Many mixes are done on nearfields, they can't hear whats going on down there until they come in and hear all the sub bass. Cleaning this up when needed can help the mix so much. But I can't say to just put a shelf at 60 and it will fix all songs like this.
  4. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    No question that I would also take what I am given as a starting point & from there, bring the song to where it needs to go.

    I find that these days one of my major "values" to my clients is to provide an accurate idea of the bottom end. So many recordings/mixes are done on small monitors. People often do not hear what they have done to the low end till they come in to master. This is true of all kinds of music.

    I basically agree with Doug & Joe on this... as well as so many other things....
  5. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty much a constant victim to small-monitor-syndrome - My mixes always have way too much bass range and reverb, and I can't tell if I'm making the mix too thin by taming the bass ranges. Mastering is out of the question for the forseeable future, as I don't think I'll be spending much more on what my family still regards as "hobby".

    My question is this - is there any way to at least gauge the bass ranges on small monitors? Would FFT's help reliably in this case? Do I try to isolate boomy tracks and EQ them or slap an EQ on the whole mix? What about blasting what I have at louder volume? And why are my questions becoming more and more absurd? :)
  6. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    No the questions are not absurd at all!

    Playing the mixes louder will NOT help. You will run into playback distortion & the speakers are still capable of putting out just so much.

    What you have to try to do is learn what your monitors are telling you without actually hearing it. Try this:
    Bring your mixes to a high end, audiophile stereo shop or play them in a club or or on a great car stereo or play them in any audio enviornment where you are familiar with the sound. These places must have full range speakers.

    Then gradually learn what your mixes sound like & make modifications in the mix based on what you hear. Cross reference as much as possible. Eventually by trial & error you will know what your low end situation in your studio is.

    If your mixes consistantly have too much at, say, 60 Hz, then try mixing with that in mind. You will learn how much to take out & how your studio monitors sound when the mix is "right".
  7. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :) I like what goes on down there, I have been guilty of too much, even when I can hear it clearly. I have to control myself, thanks.

    :cool: I have heard said, re: NS-10's, "You may not hear it, but you can see, and gage the cone motion. Perhaps this is limited to the NS-10, good argument for a sub?

    The general concensus about "where the song is going, and what the song needs" is very reassuring coming from 3 fine ME's as yourselves.

    Thanks again,
  8. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    It depends on the sounds in trying to gauge the low end on speakers that can't reproduce them. certain bass and kick sounds that have significant energy well below where your speakers can reproduce, is almost impossible to compensate for. You have no idea how much and where it's at unless you use a spectrum analyzer, but you still can't hear the relationship of these freq's to the rest of the track. Adding a sub to you speakers will allow you to hear what's going on down there but getting a sub to marry with your speakers in a meaningful way is difficult.

    the amount and location of the low freq's depends on the program and the vibe you want to achieve. I have no structure that I try to fit anything into. You really have to hear it as a whole and then determine what works and what doesn't.
  9. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :) I had a sub once, and was surprised at the nature of that range. It went way deeper than imagined, just a tiny amount was needed, yet would hardly show an indication on a prosumer analyzer.

    I never found the right xover to use, and scrubed it, and am presently learning to work with full range speakers.

    My thanks to another very fine ME!

  10. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    Full range speakers in a room you know is the best way to go without question. I not even sure that a single mono sub will tell you everything you really need to know.

    Lots of trial & error may result in a better result, with cross referencing to known systems till you find your room's & monitor's balence.

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