Boomy lows on the mix

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by sharmon, Apr 14, 2004.

  1. sharmon

    sharmon Guest

    Hi, i have recently recorded and mixed a rock band, am having some trouble with the mix and need some help.

    The thing is that my studio monitors are not really pro reference speakers, but somehow have managed with them by eqing to get a more realistic sound.

    In the mix i did recently, when i hear it in the studio it sounds fine, when i hear it in my car, which is a sound i am very accustomed to, it sounds fine. I played it in a friends car, he has a crossover and a seperate bass speaker, the whole mix sounds very boomy. The bass drum sticks out SO much along with the bass guitar, not a very nice boomy sound. Also the other day i played it in a pub, again on a crossed over sound system and the same probem.

    Was wondering why this was happening and what i could do. I guess a simple solution is to cut the bass freqs, but then it sounds bassless... am a little confused over this... or is it only a very narrow freq range that has to be cut in the mix?

    Would really appreciate some help on this one...

    Here is a link to the song:|pe1|S8LTM0LdsaSnZVK-Z20

  2. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    No song is going to sound the same on every system. If you want to have fun sometime go to a large retailer like Best Buys and try playing your CD on all the various systems they have, including the car systems. You will come away very confused since every system sounds different and there is no one system that will reproduce the song exactly like what you heard when you mixed it.

    As to your question. It maybe that your speakers do not have a good low frequency response and what you are hearing in your friend's car is the muddy bass you are not hearing on your own system. It may also be that your friend does not have his car system set up correctly and or has the bass boost, compressor and equalizer set up for MAXIE BASS which would make your stuff and anyother stuff sound bass heavy.

    Hope this helps.
  3. noit

    noit Guest

    it's also likely that your room accoustics are sucking the bass out of the mix. becasue your can't hear it, you turn it up too high.
  4. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Bass info can be boomy by having too wide a bandwidth on any boosted frequencies. If you have parametrics, keep the Q on the notch side when looking for your frequencies and open it up sparingly once you find where you want to be. Power chords on rhythm guitar and reverb may also be contributing to the mud. Noit and Thomas have good points as well. What size is your control room? Smaller rooms are more prone to bass standing waves. I treated my control room a couple of months ago, major difference. Check out the acoustics forum for good info on building and installing traps.
  5. dymaxian

    dymaxian Guest

    Sharmon- did you happen to take a commerically-mastered CD along for comparison? How well do you know you know your friend's stereo?

    If I turn my van's subs up far enough I can make Sting's 'Dream of the Blue Turtles' sound bass-heavy.

  6. Sebatron

    Sebatron Well-Known Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    That's right.
    Let me tell you ,, you can go absoloutly crazy trying to accept some of your own work through different systems.
    It's one of the hardest moves. :?
  7. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    listen to "Tax Man" by the sounds great every where.

    It TRANSLATES. this is the most important par about a mix (if you get IT right you probably getting the rest right).

    OF COURSE you have too much low frequency information in your mix..too much that isn't tight as well.

    First, don't eq you computer monitors , or what ever monitor you're using to mix. Get them up off the floor and away from the wall. Get them up near you ears. don't have them any farther apart than about 2 to 2 1/2 feet. You be as close.

    Do use a hi-pass filter on the kick at around 30hz. Make sure you are compressing the bass. don't add a lot of low end eq to either..some but not ton. Cut 200-500 in the kick.

    On your over all mix, limit a db or 2. Use a high pass filter around 15 to 20 hz.
  8. cruisemates

    cruisemates Active Member

    Jan 28, 2004
    Home Page:
    Low low bass is the trickiest thing to get right because a lot of systems do not reproduce it, especially small systems like regular car stereos. A lot of inexperienced engineers boost the low bass (40 Hz and down) because they want a full bottom but only because they aren't hearing it on their system (not because it isn't there). Bad mistake.

    I try to err on the side of caution and strive to get my fundamental bass presence in the 80 Hz region where most speakers are still pretty true, and then I might roll off at 40 if it sounds boomy. My goal is to get a tight poppy bass sound without getting into boosting the sub-sonics. That way you can be pretty sure it will translate to other systems. Sometimes it sounds bass-less on some systems, though so it takes a little work to get it just right.

    One thing you can always do - play music you know through your monitor system, and compare your mixes to that.

    Getting the right balance between bass freqs and the rest of the mix has always been the hardest thing for me.
  9. gootecks

    gootecks Guest

    if it makes you feel any better, i think it sounds great! good job man. i'm listening on fairly decent computer speakers with a subwoofer and it doesnt sound boomy or thin at all.
  10. svart

    svart Active Member

    Jan 30, 2004
    hey, sound to me like your problem lies within the amount of reverb on the bass drum. usually there should be none or very little since it overpowers the rest of the mix very easily. lose the reverb(or if you can use a high cut filter to cut all boom out 200hz or so) on the bass drum and tighten it up with some compression for more thump instead of boom(medium attack, longer release to let the thump through but not the huge boom). your other alternative would be to retrack the kick. sorry for the layman's terms.
  11. sharmon

    sharmon Guest

    Great response

    Well, this was amazingly useful. I got a lot of feedback and advice from this, thanks to everyone for taking the time and sharing your thoughts with me, really.

  12. svart

    svart Active Member

    Jan 30, 2004
    no problem. Sometimes it takes someone who hasn't heard the material before to really hear where mixes need work. good luck with your recording.

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