Mixing Tip From A Grammy Nominee!

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by Hardnox, Apr 30, 2002.

  1. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    That kind of topic will get you to look huh!

    I had the pleasure of getting some mixing tips from a gentlemen nominated for a Grammy this year who recorded/mixed/mastered the nominated record all in Pro Tools. He offered to Master our album.

    He recommended taking a HPF and sticking it on the mix bus, set it to around 40hz. I won't set it higher 'cause I'm doing hip-hop. He was telling me about if I was recording to tape and how tape rolls off those frequencies. Yet Digital rolls off nothing. It really started cleaning up my low end the second I threw it on the mix bus! Mud was gone, I had "bump" and wasn't overloading the tiny speakers.

    Thought I'd share. Any devil's advocates? I welcome any more advice related to this. Enjoy.
  2. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Hi Danny!, can you be more specific on the HPF that you used, it's roll off per octave, and begining at what frequency?
  3. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    I do a lot of hiphop mixes in the digital enviroment, and notcied my mastering engineers always doing this, so I took it a step further and do this (either by rolling off, or using Analog Channel) within the mix itself.
  4. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    I put Filterbank F2 on the master fader. (doesn't have to be Filterbank...I just have that and Ren EQ) Set the high-pass to about 40, and roll of everything below that (on filterbank you can set how steep you want it to roll off).

    Just a about an hour ago, I imported the new Eminem song into a session and slapped the same filter on that track...can't even tell it's there. And you know that an Eminem record is going to have a ton of low end. His new record has a contnstant bassline that never breathes or goes away. There is very little to no information below 40hz.

    As this guy that gave me the tip said "Too much of that subsonic stuff down there is just going to cloud up your mix." I asked him "Should I leave that to the mastering engineer, and he said "No you can do it in mixing."
  5. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    I am curious, would it be better applied before the Mic pre, too allow maximum gain of the frequencies you want? The reason I ask is it would seem to occupy dynamic space through the system, then "take away" from the mix all that you tried to preserve also would add an item at the bus, possibly some phase shifting, unless the phase shift is exactly what you are looking for? The creations of a slight delay putting the woofers sound a bit further back from the mids and highs.
  6. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    Wow, I almost didn't get back in here! Had to pay my subscription fee! Keep it good, we've got money in this now :) .

    Rick, You're saying do the filtering BEFORE you even record into the system? Well, I don't have the gear to put outboard filters on every channel. All I'm talking about here is rolling off most of the frequencies below 40hz. I haven't heard any problems. I'm also not the biggest techie either BUT I do think that I have good enough ears to know when something doesn't sound right. Now I am learning to fix it.

    I do put similar filters on the tracks themselves (kick, bass, the low stuff), so those frequencies ARE NOT getting fed into the mix bus. Maybe that's what you're talking about?WOW, I sounded like a tech there!

    What do you think? I know what you're talking about. If you just do the filter on the bus, you still have all that subsonic information flowing through the mixer, eating up headroom.
  7. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Exactly, those can be culprits. You are a tech! Who are you trying to kid! You will know sometimes that there are things that will require some stuff below 40, but easily handled on separate buses.
    Welcome! My fellow member, I hope you get as much out of this site as I have,
  8. Keeping that bottom end tight is definitely important to getting a pro sound. I am always careful eqing bass git and foot drum, either distinguishing them (more often) or blending them (less often). I generally cut <80 hz off everything else to keep the bottom under control. I like to give the bass git some room between 200-400hz to give it that "bassy" sound everyone loves, cutting the drums in that area. I find myself fighting high end loss >5K when throwing compression across the master bus. It's all give and take right? Squashed, hot levels vs. sparkling highs. Cheers, Doc.
  9. Hardnox

    Hardnox Guest

    I'm on the same page with you Doc! Keep it goin!
  10. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    V interesting indeed

    On the same tip with rock guitars.. Digital can capture TOO MUCH of the 'fizz" of the distortion...

    That why the Fatso is such a hit.. it knocks back the fizz, just like analog does..

    So all we have to do is muffle the sound, rob it of low end..... anyone for adding tape hiss???

    :) :) :)

    I am going to try that with my Sony Oxford filter plug ins... They are v cool.
  11. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Hey Danny!

    Thanks for the tip! I was mixing a percussion project this week with lots of log drums, big djembes, gongs, etc and having trouble with low end build-up. I slapped a Renaissance REQ on the mix bus, and rolled off at about 37 Hz (the way REQ works, it starts the roll off a bit above where you set it). Really cleaned up the sound to an amazing degree!

    Thanks for the help! :w:
  12. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    I think the high and low filters are the forgotten gems on a mixing board.

    Many Mic-pres have the high pass filter so get to know it and use it. When it comes to mixing or mastering on a DAW there are a number of plugs that can help tame some of those big excursions and the DC offset that can develop.

    It should be noted that a high pass filter will introduce a phase inversion (hardware or plug) and unless there is something to bring it back you will have to push the phase switch.

    Just remember this when recording drums or any other multiple mic set-up where you have some filters On and some Off. If in doubt - use your ears!
  13. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Hi Kev:

    sorry, double post
  14. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Hi Kev:

    Would you mind giving a little more elaboration on your HPF causing phase reversal? Are you referring to the effect of the sample delay/latency inherent in any plug-in, or are you saying that it somehow causes actual polarity reversal?

    In my example above I was using an HPF on the mix bus, so it shouldn't matter much, but I'd appreciate further comment on what you meant.

    Thanks! :w:
  15. Jim Chapdelaine

    Jim Chapdelaine Active Member

    the other way to go about this (depending on how much chip muscle is available) is to HP anything that doesn't have information down there. Lows tend to accumulate while recording and cause mush. By being selective (shakers, nashville tuning, mando, synth pig pads) you can allow the true bass to do it's job because it will have more room.
    By doing that, you might not have to be as aggresive with the 2-bus HP.

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