Mixing help, Is this an eq tip i should make a habit of?

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by hollo321, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. hollo321

    hollo321 Active Member

    Hi im still newbie on mixing trying to learn best way to mix, and saw in a tutorial to do on eq steepest low cut of 125hz on all channels including fx in sends except kick and bass. Kinna makes sense to cut out all unnecessary bass and subbass frequencies to clean up mix which is what im after. Do u guys think this is good advice to do this on everything but kick and bass ?

    thnks
     
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Yes, Grasshopper, many, many times in my own life I have found the KILLING everything (except the bass and kick) below, say 120Hz, has brought out the clarity that one so desires in one's mix. Let the bass breathe and the kick punch and your mix will be as smooth as the water on the Yangtze River at dawn.
     
  3. hollo321

    hollo321 Active Member

    thnks master moonbaby , looks like this is something worthy of making a habit of and will b doing on all my productions from now, looking foward to swimming that river :)
     
  4. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    I do something like that when mixing live because all the mics on stage pick up that low stuff and it builds up. In the studio there shouldn't be that much low grunge consistently in your non-bass tracks to just automatically apply HPFs everywhere. Go track by track and do just what is needed. Judge the lows when listening to the whole mix, then use solo and mute to narrow it down to the specific offending tracks.
     
  5. Mo Facta

    Mo Facta Active Member

    NO NO NO NO NO.

    This is bad advice. NOTHING SHOULD BE DONE AS A MATTER OF COURSE IN AUDIO.

    To add to what bouldersound was saying, if you're finding too much bass in everything it's a tracking issue and is best remedied during that phase. Unless you know EXACTLY what you're going for, the HPF should be implemented with care.

    And one question. What's wrong with a low shelf? To me it's WAY better sounding to cut a few dB's with a shelf than to kill it indiscriminately with a HPF.

    Cheers :)
     
  6. Ripeart

    Ripeart Active Member

    I agree with Mo Facta that there are no absolutes. Shelving low end is a "fix in the mix" solution and those types of solutions should be avoided if possible.

    Best to get the sound your after during tracking, although I can certainly appreciate the challenge of not being able to hear it all together like you would when mixing. This is why with practice you will learn to compensate ahead of time. It takes a whole lot of trial and error. Mostly error tbh.
     
  7. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    If you have to do this, then I wouldn't use a very steep rolloff. There is a tradeoff effect when using a steep rolloff as opposed to a more gradual one. Gradual rolloffs affect more frequencies and even above/below the cuttoff point, while the steeper filters have the effect of creating a resonant peak around the cutoff point. -6dB/oct is a good staple value for destructive tone shaping that I like to use when I have to.

    Don't take this to mean that you should always do this though... but when you have to...
     
  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I tend to HPF at tracking. My notch is around 90hz. Some things will be higher. I also HPF all my reverbs.
     
  9. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member


    Thats it Skipper, except its YEAH YEAH YEAH.
     
  10. leopoldolopes

    leopoldolopes Active Member

    If you got a good monitoring environment and very good pair of ears you'll know if you have to cut or not to cut the low end of each track... advices like that should be never heard! USE YOUR EARS AND NOT THIS KIND OF SILLY ADVICES! Try for yourself if in a certain mix this suits your needs or not!
     
  11. Ripeart

    Ripeart Active Member

    I don't think the advice is silly at all. Since low-end control is so critical to a songs energy and can actually make or break a song, in some cases removing the low end from every track that doesn't require it is common. That's not to say that you just go ahead and do that at all times, every time, but its a technique that commonly has a place.
     
  12. Ripeart

    Ripeart Active Member

    So you EQ this way while tracking huh? I've always tried to preserve the largest possible frequency range while tracking in case I decide later I need it. My idea is to capture the audio as pristinely and honestly as possible. I really try to stay away from any signal processing if possible.

    Please tell me why HPF during tracking works for you, and when you use it. Perhaps I should consider another angle. I guess I should always be considering other angles but... I would like to hear yours.
     
  13. AToE

    AToE Active Member

    I high pass some stuff at tracking too, but only things I know for sure I won't need those low frequencies for anyways. I HPF overheads at around 90hz or lower, just to make a little extra headroom possible when those LF are gone, that's my reason anyways - in that case I know I'll be HPF higher than that (generally lower than 500 or 600hz though) anyways. Reverbs as well I definitely high pass, often at an even higher freq, just don't need that mud and know for sure I won't regret it. Vox I do sometimes, especially if there's any low breath-noise happening, anything below 100hz in vox I can pretty safely assume I won't be needing...
     
  14. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    The other day I high passed a pair of overheads at about 4kHz. It's what the mix needed. I wouldn't have done that during tracking. Sometimes I high pass a vocal at 50Hz because I'm compressing on the way in and don't want the compressor to respond to stuff in the vocal I will probably get rid of anyway. But any processing on the way in is risky and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone without lots of experience and a clear vision of their project.
     
  15. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    OF F%%^$^G COURSE I use my ears......LOL!!!!
    My response was partly tongue-in-cheek, so those that do not speak English as their first language may have misunderstood my intentions...
    I guess my point was that over the years I have heard many mixes- especially from inexperienced folks - that have too much "woof" to them. This has become much more chronic thanks to the prevalance of cheap tube processing gear and LDC's that aren't hi-passed enough when someone's eating the damned thing. Some people call that "balls"... I call it "mud" . Of course, there is a time and a place for everything.....
     
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member


    Its simply some hold-over from the days when you HAD to make decisions going in. If you were using 8 or 16 tracks total and you knew from the onset that you were going to be subbing tracks down to a stereo mix to free up tape then you made sure there wasnt going to be a lot of mud and lowend buildup in certain instruments. The fact that there isnt much useful information in a guitar track below 90hz kinda indicates to me, at this point of my so-called career, that getting that out from the start isnt going to make me want it later on. Knowing that I'm probably going to be duping or doubling (at a minimum) this sort of instrument also makes me HPF it AT TRACKING. My brain just kinda works that way. I want to ease my burden at the mix as much as possible.

    RANT:====> A LOT of music I hear today is loaded with phasey sub-harmonic goo that kills the definition. The difference in high-end production and the home brew is so evident and a LOT of it has to do with the decision-making process of producing. Sure, anyone can do this. All it takes is a decent computer, an interface with mic pres, a decent program and a song. And due to the ability to proliferate tracks in the hundreds, the "fix-it-in-the-mix" mentality is rampant. The problem is its very seldom that the actual "fixes" that make for better sounding tracks ever gets done. It gets 'masked' for the most part and the causes , in my humble opinion, is the lack of decision making from the beginning. That and the fear of change. I am one of those producers who have no problem with the mute button......and the erase head.....If its strangling the songs flow its gone gone gone! So are the frequencies that tend to ramp up with the proliferation of tracks. Its a cleaner mix when the number of devices in the chain is small. I would rather use my EQ as a tone control rather than a band-aid for repair. <=====End Of RANT.

    I dont see HPF of whatever needs it at tracking as adding signal processing to the chain. I am introducing a slope to the capture that will be gone somewhere in the process anyway and why not at tracking. Make up yer mind and do it. Its refreshing at mix to have everything in a good place to apply to each other and create the songs' lasting impression on listeners who only have the immediate impact to go on to determine their connection to it.

    By the time a song is finished, we, as engineers/producers/songwriters/musicians have so many hours with it that our perspective is way past the actual reason for the song in first place.

    Not one single person in the world will know you HPF'd the guitars at tracking, nor will they care. But if it makes the mix easier and cleaner then its a habit I will always follow through with until it fails to give me the results I want.

    Yes. I ALWAYS HPF the overheads. And I will sweep these to find that spot somewhere between the bottom-end of the biggest cymbal and the resonant frequency of the highest tom. I call it MUDBEGONE.

    Try it. You'll like it and you'll laugh and giggle like a schoolgirl should!
     
  17. AToE

    AToE Active Member

    I'm with you Davedog, while I'm far from advanced I try to commit to tones and decisions as much as possible during tracking as long as I'm not totally sure it's a mistake. Sometimes I make the wrong choice yes, but I've seen myself get bogged down with "wow, I can literally do anything to this mix" syndrome when mixing too many times. So I try to commit to certain things at tracking, it just works better for my own personal process (especially since some things like gtrs I know damned well I'll be reamping and wasting time on later!).
     
  18. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Lots of tonal decisions are made before signal gets recorded. That's normal. Musicians choose instruments and amps long before they get to the studio. They set their amps to sound good to their ears. Engineers then select mics to enhance the sound of the instrument or voice. A bit of thoughtfully applied eq doesn't hurt. But this thread started with the proposition that all tracks besides bass and kick should have steep 125Hz HPFs applied. That kind of rote operation is not likely to offer any consistent improvement on tracking without any frequency filtering.
     
  19. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I really have no problem with that scenario. 125hz may INDEED be a nice starting point for those instruments who have no sonic business in that realm and would be, in fact, simply adding harmonic overtones at that point. Which can quickly lead to muddiness and lack of clarity in the low end. Surely you have experienced that.

    I agree that musicians make decisions before ever going in a studio about their individual sound. I disagree that its always right for the recording environment. Mic selection and placement on an overly distorted sound, which may sound good in a bar or a theatre, doesnt necessarily translate in a close-mic'd controlled situation. More often than not the quality of the sound is reduced by the settings of a live sound and without very very high quality sound control in the recording environment, its going to detract from the tracks rather heavily. Not saying this is law or that its rampant. It is in less experienced cases.

    As for the frequency filtering, my suggestion is one of using a soft slope to HPF at a set frequency though there are situations where its good to kill it all below a certain point. In deference to the thread beginnings, its NOT bad advice as long as the reasoning is taken situation by situation . Its good to know that an option like this is available at a low impact on a recordings' possible outcome.

    I think this was the whole purpose of the thread to begin with.
     
  20. Mo Facta

    Mo Facta Active Member

    Exactly.

    Anything done as a matter of course in audio will only ever get sporadic results. Period. This is a golden rule.

    Davedog hit it on the head when he said "...and the causes , in my humble opinion, is the lack of decision making from the beginning". This is the number one reason for many of the issues hotly debated on forums these days. Unlimited track counts, combined with fine-comb editing capabilities, and too much visual stimulation in the recording process has produced engineers and producers who are completely incapable of making a decision on the spot and sticking with it. THIS IS A PROBLEM.

    Call me crazy, but audio started out as a discipline where you were forced to LISTEN to what you were hearing, yes, I know, even during tracking.

    If you guys haven't read this article by Slipperman (about recording guitars), you really should:

    www.badmuckingfastard.com/sound/slipperman.html

    Cheers :)
     

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