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My first question:

Discussion in 'Recording' started by JesseMcKamey, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. JesseMcKamey

    JesseMcKamey Guest

    I am just wondering, about the bottom end in a mix. I listened to several CDs and I realized that from the 80s to current that this has changed so much. I love a nice big bottom end. (lol) I have been getting good results with my set up but it's still not quite what I want. So would anyone be willing to tell me what kind of tips tricks or hang-ups there are in making a big bottom end in a mix?
    Right now, I get a good result but I want my bottom end to be present and big without blowing faces off. Punchy and slightly aggressive (I do rock -n- roll) but without so much of the runnaway edginess.

    Buy the way, I am running solely a computer set-up to mix using plugins.
    I usually track the instruments dry so I can preview sounds for the mix when the time comes.
    Thanks in advance,
  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    too hard to answer without just a little more info

    might be handy to know which CDs you are listening too and comparing too

    it might be that you are heading in the right direction but just haven't got the mastering quite right


    can be very different steps in an overall project
    some ... very few ... do this in one stage and get it right

    and the musical arrangement, bass and kick, can also be what you are trying to solve, but don't know it
    overlap from the rythm guitars ands synth lines can also influence the grunt of a project

    just for an experiment
    try some of the multiband plugs and get TOO heavy with them to see if you can learn something
    try some EQ's before the multiband and again get heavy with them

    this is just an experiment and a chance for learning
    you will find that you over do it and this will be very noticable a day later
    so don't do these over the top experiments mid serious session ... keep it for a fun day

    less is more
    more is less
  3. JesseMcKamey

    JesseMcKamey Guest

    Well, Soundgarden, Tool ect.

    Sorry it took so long. Been mixing all weekend. Got everythng where I thought it should be, took it to work and, "no cigar". Anyway, It really depends on which track I'm working on. Sometimes I go for that sound that Stone Temple Pilots had on the album Purple, just for the more straight up rock. For the heavy stuff I try to compare it to Tool or A Perfect Circle. Their bass is very up front but without the muddiness and it's so nice to me. But the last track I worked on was closer to Soundgarden, which is fine for that particular track but I still want to clean (or maybe tighten?) the bass up a little bit. I tried eq-ing the mix last night, and everything sounded good, but the bass started dropping out in places so I removed the eq and left the mix like it is. Then I just maximized it. It sounds pretty good but tonight I am going to have to pull the bass guitar back a little. Right now it's my project, and though I want it perfect, it's just not going to get there with the monitors I have right now. So I am trying to save for some new ones. (that's what I have to bring the mix to work with me)

    Then on to the next song, only 13 more to go and my project will be finished.
  4. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Have you played with compression/limiting on separate tracks, mainly the kick and bass guitar?

    Are you keeping each from walking all over the other in the same frequencies (where the frequencies will add), and are you keeping the low end of guitars or keyboards out of the bass' territory, or does the guitar bottom clash with the upper end of the bass in places?

    Are the other instruments, except for maybe the lead vocal, panned away from center to open up that space?

    Did you record the kick with too much boom, or too much room? Is it a tight kick or a loose kick? In other words, does the kick drop quick, or does it hang around a bit? Kinda like between "thump, thump, thump" or "p-toom, p-toom, p-toom".

    Maybe either the kick, or the bass guitar, is fine, but the other needs tweaked by EQ or compression? Or, maybe both need tweaked a bit less each to get them out of each others' way?

    As Kev said, experiment, and even try to go a little too far with a setting to see if you can recognize something. (Just don't save over your original or "last-best" tweak...save it as another file, so you can go back).

    A lot of people swear by working on the kick/bass guitar relationship only, and then bringing in other elements. Maybe bring up the rest of the drum kit, and make sure they are panned and leveled close. Then the guitars, then the vocals.

    Others say that since everytime you add another element it changes the entire sonic perspective, it's best to have all tracks audible, and then just adjust and readjust.

    I suppose either method is valid, and those who are more seasoned can probably isolate the problems within an entire mix, and adjust on the fly. May be helpful for someone not so seasoned to take more time and bring up fewer tracks. May help train yourself with fewer possible conflicting elements, and then eventually, you'll just know and be able to identify things within a total mix. Good for ear-training, perhaps?

    I know I still am not that good, and I still just start over by pulling everything down, and then trying a different approach...after it's sat for a while.

    Just some things to consider. Not a high-dollar expert here, just know enough to be dangerous, and to pass along some possible ideas. :wink:

  5. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    these heavier styles can be reliant on both musical arrangement AND EQ arrangement

    the guitar and bass parts need to compliment but not crowd each other

    where guitar parts are in the same place and space then you need to EQ them apart

    where you want to parts to blend and join and create heavier wall of guitars
    then you need to weaken the lower EQ so that one + one adds to one

    this is similar to when the guitar gets low and into the bass guitar

    overtones can add one plus one to two but in that lower register 120hz and down things get crowded and compression gets over triggered
    then the kick can't explode through

    it can get tricky and I hope the above makes some sort of sense

    I tend to use sub group comps on drums and guitars
    I keep a lead guitar or lead vocal out on it's own
    but might keep a lead singer in the sub group when the lyrics are the same

    the choice to put the bass in with the drum sub is something you need to work on

    and some song may have multiple bass parts
    do they all go in the drum sub

    lost of methods and choices

    try them all

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