Tips needed on how to mix n EQ a heavy metal song

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by DrKriZ, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. DrKriZ

    DrKriZ Guest

    Hi there,

    I am a student doing my dip in SAE.I just recorded my final recording project. I recorded a Heavy metal band.I used 4 SM57s n two NT3 for over heads to record the drums.I used SM57s for electric guitars and bass.Just one SM57 pionting at the front of the amp.And finally a vocal track recorded on a NT3.I am using ProTools to record and i recorded all tracks at 24bit/96khz.

    I need help on how to mix and to EQ and also finally on how to master to get that overall sheen.I am not using any other plug-ins only protools version 6.9.

    I hope you guys could help me out fast!! I am running out of time!!

    Thank you.

  2. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Sure no problem. Please explain how it sounds.
  3. rc86mike

    rc86mike Guest

    Thats an awfully hard question. Everything is so case sensitive when you're mixing. Heavy Metal guitars usually have a lot of lows and low mids for that kind of "woofy" sound. Maybe add a little dirt on the bass. If you want that heavy metal kick drum that's kind of "clicky" boost some 12k if you want a more powerful kick boost some 8k. That's really all I personally can tell you just based on prior Heavy Metal mixes I've done myself. Good luck with it.
  4. rudedogg

    rudedogg Guest


    4khz for click, 60-80hz boom, cut the mids 400-500hz significantly until "it sounds right" (tm). using a d112 or similar mic.

    cut 700hz for pong, boost at 10-12k for sizzle, and 3-5k for snap. using a sm57 or similar mic


    beware that the bass lives in the sub 100hz range too and try to make it fit with the kick smoothly. try not to boost the 1k-3.5k range, maybe even a little cut to get the guitar to cut through.


    roll off under 100hz, cut the mids on the amp, and try to get the sound from the amp before tracking. find crappy sounding freqs in the 500-900 range, and cut a little, and boost the 1k-3.5k to get a little more clarity. i usually use 2 mics for heavy stuff, sm57 and a d112. watch for phase issues.

    try to double and hard-pan all non-lead guitar riffs, it just makes it sound right.

    these are all just some starting pointers, everything may sound horrible if you do all of this without actually listening and based on what mics, etc.

    good luck.

  5. tumbledown

    tumbledown Guest

    I'd say that's some of the best advise one could give without hearing the music.
  6. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Yeah, those are pretty good guidelines.
    I would add, looking at the original post, that on the kick track you might as well use a sample replacer. A 57 on kick just doesn't sound very "metal" to me.
  7. rudedogg

    rudedogg Guest

    good point about the 57. however, i once recorded a band and used the 57 up close for click and used a 2x10 bass cab about a foot in front of the kick drum, and got an amazing metal sound. a little eq and the thing sounded golden. no soundreplacing at all. it had that completely unnatural detatched trigger sound without even triggering.

    but recording metal 90% of the time you are going to want to trigger if not for just the double bass kick stuff, and especially if you have a light footed drummer.

  8. DrKriZ

    DrKriZ Guest


    When you say double n hard pan the non-lead guitar riffs u mean double it and pan one to the Left n the other to the stereo image.. rgt?!
  9. tumbledown

    tumbledown Guest

    Record the same guitar part twice in unison as best as you can. You may want to choose a different tone on the second take than the first to enhance the stereo image. Then pan them 100% left and 100% right. Although, I find that depending on the difference 100% panning may not make for the heaviest guitar impact. But that's a start and you'll want to experiment from there. You may find that panning them at 70% or so will be stronger.

    Also, I would do at least 4 takes. The first two should have about 20-30% less distortion than the second two. If you over-saturate the guitar in tracking it may sound great on its own but could make for mixing hell and take a lot of impact (punch) out of your mix
  10. panning for gold

    If you're not getting together again with the band and you are in your final mix down, another way to widen the stereo image is to simply duplicate the guitar track, and when you hard pan one right and one left, use from your audiosuite plug ins, delay and one band eq.

    Eq one with hp filter cut from 800 hz with 3 ms of delay than boost the other guitar around 100-300hz a couple of dbs with no delay.

  11. rudedogg

    rudedogg Guest

    yes. i usually record 2 different amps when doing this too. i will use a bright grainy mesa boogie on one side, and a darker chunkier marshall on the other side. you will need less distortion than you think to get a really heavy sound. try adding some grit to the bass guitar too like using amplitube or similar to get some distortion on it. i've also recorded bass with a ibanez ts-9 tube screamer or a big muff to give it that extra grit. just make sure you don't lose too much low end with it. ALWAYS WATCH THE LOW END!!
  12. ErikFlipside

    ErikFlipside Guest

    Hey Steve, could you elaborate more on how you set this up? Did you have to mod the cab at all?
  13. rudedogg

    rudedogg Guest

    really as simple as it sounds. i used the unbalanced 1/4" "INPUT" of the bass cab as the OUTPUT using a 1/4" TS to XLR male cable. plugged that into my preamp, and used the gain on the preamp to get it up to level. no modifications to the cab at all. if it helps, it was a david eden 210XL cab.

    Treat the cab like a giant microphone, and it won't be confusing at all. a lot of people wire up 8" to 15" standard speakers to do this same thing and put it outside the kick. yamaha makes something called the "sub-kick" which is the same concept. i just used the bass cab cause it happen to be sitting right there, and it was begging me to try it.

    so then i used a SM57 inside the kick in standard placement 4-8" away from the beater head pointing just slightly off-center into preamp #2

    i used a little eq on both tracks and phase aligned the 2 kick tracks so you don't lose any thump. and viola....pure metal kick. it seriously had that triggered sound to it. really tough sounding.

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