500k scoop to take out the mud???

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by robchittum, May 11, 2004.

  1. robchittum

    robchittum Guest

    Everyone says that scooping the freq. around 500K can help clean up tracks such as bass, and other low frequency instruments. Can someone please take a screen shot or draw me a picture of what this scoop would look like (i.e., how wide and deep)? I know that it would depend specifically on the instrument and how "muddy" it is, but try to give me a reasonable generic case example. Thanks.

  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    That's funny cause I'm someone and know many others that have NEVER always said that since very few creatures, none of them which is human, can hear past 20kHz.

    What I do constantly find is that there is more mud to be removed from the 250Hz to 350Hz area than in the 500Hz area.

    How can you expect to see a correct eq curve graph that would be appropiate for a specific piece of muddy music that no one but you has heard?
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    OOOPS! I guess that was a typo ...

    I agree with Gaff that the problem area is more like 200 Hz. This is what is commonly called the "wolf" frequencies... you know when you hear them they go "wolf, wolf, wolf ... " (or murph-murph) .

    However this is also a region that can make a bass instrument stand out in a mix on small speakers that roll off below 50Hz.. which is why NS10s have always been so popular. They have very strong sensitivity to frequencies at 200 to 500 making it very easy to identify the problem and compensate for it with EQ. This is one reason why people think that once you get it to sound good on NS10s, it will sound good on almost any other type of speaker..

    I usually pull 200 to 225 hz. out of the kick , guitars, vocals and any other sound that might compete with the bass and then boost a little in that same region on the bass to help it poke out a bit on boombox's ...

    As far as how deep or wide a notch or boost to use I usually boost as narrow as I can with effect and go a little wider for the notch ... and I always try not to go mopre than 6dB cut or boost to help avoid phase shift problems... but the bottom line is it takes what it takes.. Do what sounds good to you..

    Kurt Foster
  4. robchittum

    robchittum Guest

    Thanks Kurt. Your post is helpful. Audiogaff, your comments while perhaps a bit sarcastic, are well taken. I am just learning, and all I know is that a couple of people I have sent projects to for mastering have mentioned scooping out bass and unless I hallucinated (which I guess is possible due to lack of sleep), I'm pretty sure that they said 500K. However, I am looking for input about how to decrease bass frequency mudd in my mixes. The room in which I am mixing is shitty, and the bass is the only thing that I am having trouble getting "right". Everything else seems to translate well. Thanks for the input.

  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    If someone said 500K to you, that is someone that you should not be taking advice from. They don't have a clue..

    My advice on this subject is to do some treatments to your room. You are having problems with modes that reinforce some areas of the bass region and cancel out others. Inaccurate bass response is the biggest problem home studios exhibit, due to lack of room volume, lack of treatments and inappropriate monitors for the room. Get some bass traps and diffusion on the rear walls, that will help immensely...
    Kurt Foster
  6. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Rob, serious and sarcastic I was. Getting the bass to sound right is always a challange no matter how good you are, how much experience you have, what gear you have or how well your room is treated. Having fantasticly great monitors and having good, proper room treatment is about half the battle. Start with simple things like proper monitor placement and decoupling them from the surface they sit on as they both can make an instant very big difference/impact. You may very well need to re-arrange your gear/monitors and mixing position to minimize your problems.
  7. kinetic

    kinetic Guest

    Hey Rob, I agree with Cedar Flat Fats - you can't really address serious production issues (eqing etc) unless you have a nuetral room in the first place. I really don't know what AudioGaff was seeking to achieve in his first response. I usually find his contributions useful - maybe it was a bad day for him. The only thing I have to say about 500Hz is this - taking out some of this frequency from toms in my experience helps to get a better and smoother sound, and similar with bass, depending on the material of course. This was only my personal preference but I used to do this often when I had my commercial studio which had a great mixing room. The best way to zero in on EQ adjustments (bearing in mind the quality of the room you are working in) is to set the gain to either maximum or minimum (I prefer the latter) and sweep the frequency until you find the area which is the problem and then adjust the gain to achieve your purpose. 500Hz in my experience represents 'honk' as opposed to 'mud'

    These are only my personal opinions. Experiment and good luck


    hi robchittum, dont belive the people who say taking out 500hz may clean up the mix, - it will clean up in some way, but you're getting lost of warmth! its just how the things have been recorded, you cant gererally say eq-settings! just do like you feel, and trust your ears!
    I do agree a little bit with audiogaff, cause i also find problems mostly around 250 hz.
  9. Got2Mix

    Got2Mix Guest

    Rob, Lots of good advice here. I would suggest two additional things look at the range around 120 also as an area to do some narrow cutting on kick and bass tracks. Moreover dont be afraid to do additive eq. to define those tracks more and subsequently lower the over all volume while increasing the apparent loudness of them.

    I think subtractive eq'ing is great (necissary) in sound reinforcement; however, it should be used sparingly in the studio. The great Tom Lord-Alge said subtractive equing leaves "holes in your mix."

    That being said I have spent many (oh, too many) years with poorly recorded tracks, from poor acoustic environments (many from me) and sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

    If you are new to mixing you will probably have to go through phases of understanding/experimentation. You may have to experiment with "thin" mixes until your chops and the quality of the raw material, increase.

    Hope this helps...

    Have Fun - Sean
  10. robchittum

    robchittum Guest

    Thanks guys. Very helpful. I do agree that my room is the problem. I have treated the crap out of it to address bass, but I think it is in need of a professional to assist. I used 4 inch thick fiberboard which was suggested by Ethan Winner. Unfortunately I am forced to work within a 11 X 11 square room. I know, I know.... square is hopeless, but it is all I have to work with at the moment. Thanks for you suggestions. I am wanting to remodel a barn on my property to allow for better acoustics, but have to save some $$ first. Audiogaff, I appreciate your comments as always. Take care.

  11. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    Heres a link to a frequency breakdown page


    at bottom of page, said we can't copy and use list even if its for non profit, otherwise i would paste here,,,


    hope it helps some
  12. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    see...a million ways to skin the cat.
    I disagree with "subtractive equing leaves "holes in your mix"" though. I find that many times a source has a build up in one area and that when this is subtracted you can raise the whole part louder .
    I usually hi-pass the unneeded bottom. Cut some offending lo-mid. boost and/or cut some upper-mid. Maybe shelf boost a little from 5K on up spomewhere...and then depending on the source I might even sometimes use a lo-pass to eliminate over the top top end on somethings that compete with the vocal "air" region.
  13. Chance

    Chance Guest

    Are you sure they said 500 K ?
    maybe they ment 50 hz
  14. tomtom

    tomtom Guest

    Just a little advice.... It will make you look and sound more professional. Write down 500k or 500kHz and not 500K or 500KHz
    Kilo is always lower case, as it is not a (how do you say that in english) unit? It is just like dB deciBell. Get it? Just being a smart ass, but the whole point of these forums is to make everyone of us a little smarter every day, right? (And I do learn a lot myself)

    Cheers. Thomas
  15. wayne

    wayne Guest

    And thank you.
    I spent (how many years? :shock: ) kicking around and did not notice that.

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