Low end fullness in mixes

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by KTek, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. KTek

    KTek Guest

    i just can't seem to get it!!!!

    any tips on getting that low end nice and full, like all those expensive records out there?? like, is there anything you guys do specifically to make it happen?
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Try looking at boosting the bass with a narrow Q at frequencies around 220Hz. A lot of people go to 100 and lower but 200 to 250 is more audible on smaller speakers and actually doesn't throw as much energy into the mix ... keeping things a bit cleaner sounding.
    At the same time, cut the same freq's on the kick to carve a "notch" out for the bass to sit in all on it's own ... that's what works for me ...
  3. kinetic

    kinetic Guest

    Are you sure that the low-mids or bottom end is not there? Perhaps the room where you are mixing is giving you that impression. You can try 'looking' at the harmonic content of your mixes using HarBal (http://www.har-bal.com/) or even checking out the mix with a spectral analysier to see what frequency range is deficient. HarBal can help in getting your mixes better balanced.

    Please note that I have no affiliation with HarBal, but I am a happy cutomer.
  4. KTek

    KTek Guest

    thanx yall.

    i'm on a mac so that harbal won't work for me.

    i have been using spectral analizers to try and similate the sound of other good records. it's hard. and doesn't always sound good.

    i guess i just got some bad recordings here..... particularly my kick track. it's recorded clearly, but something just sounds wrong. it's got a "poof" to it instead of a ''thump"...so i can't really fit it into a the mix very well... and it's too late to record again!!!

    thanx for the help yall!

    (guess i've learned to make sure it sounds good before you track it and call it a day.)
  5. kinetic

    kinetic Guest

    If you're still in the tracking stage (that is, you don;t just have a stereo mix you are working on), you could try to replace the kick with something better. If it's not on it's own track you could copy the drum track and just snip the kick beats, then use that track to trigger a sample or virtual instrument. Seems a shame to be unhappy with your recording just because of one element.
  6. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Getting the low end right on a mix is one of, if not the most difficult thing to get right. Some people never get it. keep in mind that you fight an never ending up hill battle if your tools are not up to the task and your monitors as well as monitoring environment are working againest you. Even when all the stars are aligned, it still takes great skill and experience that often takes many years to achieve. You also need to keep your expectations within reason. You are not likely going to get the sound of your stuff to be near as good as the professional results that have not only been recorded and mixed well but have also been mastered by the time you hear it and compare it to your stuff.
  7. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    Mastering is your friend.
  8. mikE@THECAVE

    mikE@THECAVE Guest

    get yourself a sebatron preamp and you''ll have alot more bottom end
  9. What can a Sebatron mic pre do for the situation if s/he is already in the mix stage?

    Isn't it just a situation of "finding" the low end and making space for each element so as not to muddy up that region?
  10. mikE@THECAVE

    mikE@THECAVE Guest

    well some people do run the mix thru a tube pre or a tube compressor for more sound-I dont do this because im getting the fullness from recording with the tube preamp.
  11. djwig

    djwig Guest

    take your time a recheck your speaker setup.
    maybe you have a sine generator.
    turn it on and check low frequencies between 20-250 hz and while playing back some signals walk around in your room and check the levels.
    try to find a sweeping spot so you have the right position in your room in front of your daw or console.
    check you speaker with a song you know and you know that it HAS a low end.
    to get a low end that is clean and decent make shure your kick drum and base are separated via eq so that they don't eliminate each other and make it a flabby low end.
  12. KTek

    KTek Guest

    thanks again, ya'll are very helpful.

    i've actually just stumbled on a very insightful article on this subject, if anyone's interested:

    this is how the BIG TIME PRO's apparantly got their low-end there.


    it talks about a lot of this stuff and mentions a few familiar albums and lists a lot of techniques. DEFINETLY worth reading if you haven't seen this already
  13. mikE@THECAVE

    mikE@THECAVE Guest

    i think once you get a nice preamp you''ll start hearing that rich low end that your looking for
  14. sharmon

    sharmon Guest

    Low end

    Hi, just wanted to say that i had/have this problem too. I had done a mix for a band and found that i wasn't able to get the desired "punch" from the kick and bass guitar that i wanted without muddying up the whole mix. I think it was Kurt who pointed out that cutting a "niche" for the kick could help. This led me to looking at a lot of things differently.

    I would say that you shouldn't abandone your recording cos the kick is not sounding nice, i've worked with terrible kick tracks and at the end of the day have got atleast a nice souinding kick. From my limited experience the key to getting a tight kick is to only use the freqs you really want in it and putting it simply getting rid of the rest. This is very important in badly tracked kicks. 50 to 80 or so hz is good for me with some hi's at round 5 to 6k depending on how you want it to sound. Bad freqs are at about 200 to 300hz, get rid of them. Also there may be other "bad" sounds in the track. If possible, try to analyse them and with a very tight q just knock them out of the track, like when a snare is too ringy. 100 to 150 hz are funny freqs for me, can't live with them can't live without them.... meaning that they are necerssary for a kick to get that punch but even a little too much will muddy it beyond belief.

    Another very important thing is the bass guitar. Listen to the kick track by itself and it may sound totaly "punchless", play the bass guitar along with it and suddenly it fills up all the holes it was lacking. I think this is necerssary, if not it could leed to total mud.

    If all else fails, just trigger the kick. Its not that simple either, getting a triggered kick to sound natural can be a bit tricky.

    Am not sure if any of this is any help, but just thought i could share... :)
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