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Frequency Cancellation?

Does anyone have any insight on frequency cancellation as it pertains to an entire mix. I think I might be experiencing it between the lead vocal and the guitars in one of my mixes. The guitars don't play during the verse and the lead vocal sounds nice and full, but when the guitars come in on the chorus the lead vocal sounds a little thin. Is frequency cancellation even what I'm experiencing?


RemyRAD Wed, 02/21/2007 - 19:13

Dear Mr. and/or Ms.Flower Power, without posting an example, it's hard to hear what problems you are exactly experiencing.

I will tell you that what you describe is not exactly possible in the application in which you described it. What it does sound like you are describing is that the final stereo "production" may have been "mastered" and/or put through another, or a final stage of dynamic range compression and/or limiting. So, when the guitars startup, their level overwhelms the compressor and/or limiter loudness sensor, which in return automatically pulls the level down so that the guitars don't overload the output. And so goes the lead vocal which is being pulled down with everything else. And this generally comes from lackluster inexperience or somebody who requested to "make everything as loud as possible all of the time". It can't be but it can't be with results like you describe. Whereas quality mixing generally gets the feeling of loudness across to people without having to max out your dynamic range. It's called beginner versus professional.

So you are probably wondering how can you have it all? The answer is the direction to Carnegie hall. If you still don't know the directions, just ask Billy Joel. Remember, he didn't train at Juilliard as a singer.

Stop by the Carnegie deli for some corned beef.
Ms. Remy Ann David

anonymous Wed, 02/21/2007 - 21:46

Thanks RemyRAD, here is some more info on the track. It is a project that I'm working of for my Audio class and I just started messing with it at home. After reading what you said I went back and re-listened to my mixdown vs. my “master” and the problem is not in the mixdown but only in the master, so it must be a mastering problem like you suggested. I “mastered” it myself so I’m sure I just messed it up. I don’t really know that much about mastering but I’m trying to learn. The effects that I used in my mastering chain were: 1) Waves Q10 Paragraphic EQ 2) Waves MaxxBass 3) Izotope Ozone 3 4) Waves L2. I will upload a clip of the songs mixdown and “master” (which is what I am hearing the problem with)

Mixdown clip

Master clip

You might have to let the clip load a little bit; they were breaking up when I listened to them

Now that you have heard the clips, is the problem that I’m experiencing overloading the compressor like you suggested?

Mr. Flower Power

P.S. Chrysanthemum is just my bands name

RemyRAD Thu, 02/22/2007 - 20:12

I was getting similar error messages to what multoc had indicated? So I just pressed the button a few extra times and got it to play both the mix down and the master version.

This is a lovely song with good and lovely recording technique. Unfortunately, your electric guitars are much too "Buzzy" and way too hot in comparison to the vocal. Not great mixing. You have over processed and over enhanced the guitars. It's killing your mix. You need to remix and do something about those electrocution guitars. Otherwise, everything sounds great. Obviously the guitar player mixed the song? It's too much. The singer is the focus not the guitars. Roll off some of that nasty high-end on those things.

And remember, less is more. Your mix sounds terrific and needs very little mastering processing. Good mixes don't need much mastering! It's a phallus, see?

Chrysanthemum pretty name, not so pretty sound.
Ms. Remy Ann David