Making a Band Sound Better Than They Are

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by eightsonstudio, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. how do let a band now that if you boost the bass frequencies any more on guitar that you wont be able to here anything but rumble, but they insist that they wnat more bass? i know it will soundn like ass and i dont want this coming out of my studio, but they are pretty sure they want more bass on guitars. should i play dumb? i am sure someone has encounterd this problem before...
  2. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    Jan 31, 2005
    Lowell MA
    Home Page:
    Well if they want it, do it. bottom line. But hey do your own mix for them to take..they may realize you were right.
  3. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    Fairfield County, CT
    Home Page:
    I've found that in a lot of cases just making the bass louder will satisfy their need for "more bass".

    Another trick is to duplicate the track, compress the hell out of it, EQ to make it all very low frequency bass, maybe some extra sub-sonics from a plug and gradually mix it in until they are happy. You will at least have more control that way.

    You can try duplicating the track, pitching it down an octave and slowly mix that in with the track.

    You can also suck some of the lows out of the kick (and/or guitar), then the drummer (and/or the guitarist) will bitch; let them know that they have to compromise.

    Or even let tell them that mastering will take care of the problem.

    Another good solution is to have them bring in a recording of a commercially released song that has the bass sound they want and play it in your studio to show that your mix will translate the same way.

    It's thier dollar, so keep your client happy, give 'em what they want.
  4. i think moogerfooger ring modulator might do the trick for the tuning an octave down. does anyone know who to do it in the old pt6.9le?
  5. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    Here is what I usually do...make the guitars thicker, thin out the bass a ton. Make the bass and guitar relationship that of more traditional metal mixes where the bass is very twangy and edgy and the guitars are carrying a lot of low end...see if they like that. They may or may not but explain that you cant have both the bass and guitars carrying the same low end and still have good definition. Somebody already said it but i will reiterate...bring up the bass - especially the low mids of the bass and try high passing the guitars at around 120hz or so. The mids of the bass create that fundamental note of the guitars a lot of the time - giving the perception that the guitars are nice and full of low end when in reality you have thinned them out a bit.
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Not a bad idea. Put a little extra effort in and I bet they'll be happy.

    The other thought is - when someone approaches me with a concept like this that I find to be absurd, I often find that we aren't talking about the same thing.

    Their concept of "more bass" for the guitars may be far different than yours. You might reach for a wide Q paramatric at say 50 or 60 Hz, but they might really want you to simply compress it a bit so that the articulations are more aggressive giving the guitar a more weighty feel.

    When in doubt, try to remove audio terminology from the equation. Either get them to use other words to describe what they want or have them give you tangible examples.

    It's obvious you have probably verbally disagreed with the clients. This isn't a major offense - hey, it's your job to be the recording expert after all. But, instead of insisting they're crazy, simply say something to them like -
    "Well, we seem to disagree a little here, so it's more likely that we're not on the same page. Let's figure out exactly what we mean."
    It seems a bit "Mr. Roger-ish" but it can work. It shows that you're willing to work with them instead of push them around.

    Or, you could always just reach for the bass knob on the stereo and say - "See, I turned up the bass..."

  7. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    I agree with having them bring in a CD they are familiar with so they can hear it on your monitors. They probably don't know that studio monitors are meant to sound flat, and not hyped in the bass like a car or home stereo would. Or, you could keep a cheapy subwoofer handy to kick on when they want to hear more bass and then turn it back off while you are doing critical listening. If they question you, you can just say "Oh, it sounds like that because I don't have the sub on right now. [switch sub on] See? Now I need to turn it off while I listen to the rest of the mix. "

    Or just do what they say, and give them a test mix before you get too far into the process. Once they hear the mud, they will probably back off with telling you how to mix.

    I don't know about dropping the part down an octave. I can't imagine that sounding too great.
  8. hey thanks for all the help. i have given them a mix and they think that is thin in their car. i havent actully told them i disagree just told them i will work on it. i think thining the bass might help alot, i tend to like my bass loud and have the guitars more as a texture. i will do some more mixing and when i am capapble of figuring out how to put it up here i will let you guys here, thanks alot i appreciate all the help
  9. SeniorFedup

    SeniorFedup Guest

    by the way great thread,,,
  10. sp i squased the $*^t out of the 414 channel and cut the mids a little and they seem to be happy. another day........
  11. ggunn

    ggunn Guest

    Ah, yes, the old Placebo Control. I used to use it a lot when I did FOH mixing and some drunk guy would come up and give me the benefit of his, er, wisdom as to how to fix my mix. "Good idea; let me do that (twisting the Placebo Control (knob that does nothing) with look of intense concentration on my face). There. How's that?" Thumbs up from the drunk, and then he goes off to brag to his girlfriend about how he straightened me out. Fine, just don't come back, dickweed. ;^)
  12. ok check it out, i charged these guys 150 for 4 songs of this quality, rip off? you decide check it out
  13. ErikFlipside

    ErikFlipside Guest

    I don't think the title of this thread was appropriate. While the band is pretty generic in their style, they're by no means bad. I've dealt with mostly hardcore-style bands lately, you could have charged them a lot more. You didn't even charge them $40 a song! Next time try $75 or $100 per song. You'll find that most bands will say "damn, that's a good deal!" This is a hardcore-esque band I worked with a few months ago ...I think their price was something like $75 or $100/song. Granted, the bass player is a long time close friend so there was a bit of a deal involved, but you get the idea.

    How long did it take you to complete this session from begining of tracking to the time you handed them the master CD?
  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Thats not a lot of money for what they got. But some people gotta bitch about most anything. I think the recording is decent. The songs and the band are fairly bland. They probably think they're a lot better than they are.....but waddaya gonna do?
  15. bobbo

    bobbo Active Member

    Dec 11, 2004
    I charge 50 bucks for each song, mixed and rough master (t-racks).

    this is an example of what 50 bucks can get you from me, (i didn't do their mp3 conversion, that was all them, so disregard their mp3 quality)

    ps, what software/daw are you guys using, I use an akai dps24

  16. Mr-Nice

    Mr-Nice Guest

    Sometimes musicians have no common sense as to what the dynamics are of mixing. I share in your dilemma, and been in similar situations before. There are ways to boost a little more bass on guitars but you have to do it within reason. And it does require skill to do it (not saying you dont have skill). Why dont you do as they ask, but then do your mix too, give them an A/B and let them decide on which.

  17. I don't think the "more bass/less bass" argument is exactly "making a band sound better than they are". That's more like "not letting them put too much bass in my mix". Having the proper amount of bass doesn't make them a better or worse band, it just makes it easier to hear which they are...good or bad.
  18. Thanks for all the replies i have not been able to post due to pc problems. I shouldnt have said "bad" band, maybe "bland" :lol:
    but i took about 2 days to track (4 hours due to my full time job) and then maybe 3-5 hours to mic. i have some good templates to work off of so it goes pretty fast for me. whati ended up doing is giving them 5 differnet mixes and mailing htem today. i am sure they will be happy, i just feel ill about the fact that they said they feel "ripped off" which iwould serously consider a exageration.
    i am doing a hardcore 7 inch split right now that is coming out much better, i also have a couple full lenthgs that i am working on. if you wnat to tell me what you like and dont like about my mixes check out this band

    i used my 002 coverters and my la-610 for all 4 songs which is pretty obvous by the lack of seperation. but since then i have gotten some better converters and clocks (big ben yeaaaah). so i will pst that stuff in march when the record is dunn
    thanks again for all the comments

    feel free to email me on criteques

    thanks again
  19. rudedogg

    rudedogg Guest

    fyi, while we're still on the "this is what i did for 100 bucks"

    i did 7 songs for 450 only cause the singer/guitarist filled in on guitar for my band for 3 months while our guitarist was in europe having sex with his girlfriend and drinking wine :)

  20. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Holy snot! :shock:
    If these guys are telling you they feel ripped off, you should tell them to shove it. A hunerdfiddy bucks is a hunerdfiddy bucks.

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