EQ in mix or while mastering?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by ouzo77, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    hello there

    don't know if this has been posted before. if so please redirect me!

    my problem is that when i record a song and make a mixdown in logic, it sounds great on my speakers, but it is way too bassy and has too little hi end when compared to mastered cd's or when played on another system.

    now my question is, what is the best way to avoid this?
    do i have to eq the single tracks, should i eq the master track or should i just leave this to the ME?

    when you get a mix for mastering from a recording studio, do you usually have to change much of the overall eqing or are you just doing slight adjustments?
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Your questions regarding tracking, mixing and mastering are all rather relative unless you want to have a large order professionally replicated. Mastering is not cheap and is really only necessary if you want a thoroughly professional product to sell.

    Many of us engineers, when we are tracking (recording) will frequently add some equalization and/or compression/limiting if we find it necessary. Many engineers will try a multitude of different microphones first to obtain the tonal quality we are seeking before playing with the equalizer. Generally we will not add aggressive equalization during tracking, since that makes it much harder to undo it if we decide otherwise. I personally also add a little bit of compression/limiting to a vocalist while tracking. Many engineers are purists and will not add anything during the tracking process. I don't believe in that kind of purity as I equate that to " garbage in, garbage out".

    If your mixes appear "way too bassy", then perhaps you have a monitor speaker problem and/or acoustics problem within the room that you are mixing in. You seem to be having a brightness problem since you indicate that you also have " too little high end". It sounds to me that you have a set of small or near field monitors that are lacking in low-end?? My best suggestion to you is to obtain what you believe are excellent sounding professional CDs by the best of the industry's professionals. Listen to them carefully to your monitor system over and over again and try to "listen into the mix". This is all part of ear training. When you go to mix your product, try referring back to the professional CDs as your references. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and may get you where you want to be professionally.

    When you mix, you may add additional equalization and compression/limiting where you believe it necessary. Once you finish your mix and it sounds good to you, you'll probably notice that it is not as loud as the commercial CDs. This is where the mastering process begins. The mastering engineers use some very expensive and esoteric equipment. Something you probably can't afford at this point in time? But you can get closer by taking your finished 2 track mix and feeding that through an additional stage of compression/limiting and equalization. That may allow you to pump up the volume and add some additional final equalization to closer match the tonality of your cherished commercial CDs?? I'm sure the professional mastering engineers here on Recording.org, will hate my suggestions as most of them are wonderful perfectionist's? What I'm suggesting here will help you to learn more of what you need to know.

    Keep on tracking!
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    hello remy
    thanks for your reply!

    i have to admit, that my speakers aren't really suitable for mixing or mastering, but i got pretty used to them. anyway, i will get me some new and of course better ones soon, so hopefully this will eliminate the problem to some degree.

    still it's not the only problem, cause even when i use only vst instruments without any eqing, i have the same problem.

    i think i will make an eq preset which i can use on the master track of all my projects. just some general raise of hi end and lowering the lo end to compensate this.

    but still i'd like to know how the mixes usually sound before you master them.

    i'd appreciate some replies!
  4. road_weary

    road_weary Guest

    Again, great advice, Remy! You have a wonderful way of giving people the exact info they need to hear, and still make it seem like you haven't explained it a hundred times before (which I think is possible).

    You really should be paid for your opinions and knowledge here!
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Well thank you very much Miles! I do love Canada and all the people that live there. I really am all for global warming and when Canada turns into Miami, I'll be moving there!

    I do enjoy sharing my flawed knowledge with people still trying to learn about our craft. I figure 1 day they will become much more competent and think back about, " dammit she didn't know what the heck she was talking about...." At that point I would be satisfied knowing that they figured out the right way to do something and not just the Remy way? You know making recordings is kind of like cooking. Some of us are great cooks. Some good cooks. Some mediocre. Some work at McDonald's. Others will make you sick. I hope I'm not part of the latter?

    Is it soup yet?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  6. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    The first thing you should do is figure out why your mixes are dull. Could be many factors, monitors, amp, room, listening too loud, listening too close, all of the above. If you are delivering these mixes to a ME, then do not compensate. If you are doing it for your own enjoyment, then you are shooting in the dark. You really need to address the problem and not slap a band aid over it. Once you figure out why your mixes are dull in comparison, then you can begin to address the problem. Otherwise you'll be trying to make your mixes sound wrong so they sound right and that never works.
  7. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    You have to do what the mix is asking you to do at the track level first.

    The problem is that if you're getting bad translation from system to system, you're not accurately hearing what the mix is asking of you. That MUST be fixed before anything else is really going to matter in the long run. Without knowing your exact situation, I'd imagine that a considerable amount of bass trapping is in order and perhaps a monitor upgrade. I could be way off base here, but 90% of the time, that's the fix.

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