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Thread: Frequency issues with track

  1. #1
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    Angry Frequency issues with track

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    Hi all.

    I've been working on a remix for a few weeks now and can't seem to be satisfied with the end product. It's a bass heavy house track and the bass seems to be ruining the mix. I tried reducing the gain, reducing frequencies, making space for the bass by cutting off frequencies on other instruments, but still, I get that awful scratchy and clipping sound. I tried reducing compression and gain on drums also because I know that sometimes the drums interfere with other instruments. I can't seem to find a good drum-bass balance without ruining the mix.

    I guess my ears adapted to the bass being too loud over the weeks and now I can't seem to be satisfied with any mixdown I do. My tracks aren't clipping, far from it. Which gives my master a good 6db of headroom. It still sounds like it's clipping due to the bass.

    I tried mastering the track and that's when I realized something was wrong in the mix.

    Have any of you encountered this issue before? I feel lost and I want to complete this track.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Is your kick drum tuned to the key of the song and in phase with the bassline?

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    Quote Originally Posted by trickrick View Post
    Hi all.

    I've been working on a remix for a few weeks now and can't seem to be satisfied with the end product. It's a bass heavy house track and the bass seems to be ruining the mix. I tried reducing the gain, reducing frequencies, making space for the bass by cutting off frequencies on other instruments, but still, I get that awful scratchy and clipping sound. I tried reducing compression and gain on drums also because I know that sometimes the drums interfere with other instruments. I can't seem to find a good drum-bass balance without ruining the mix.

    I guess my ears adapted to the bass being too loud over the weeks and now I can't seem to be satisfied with any mixdown I do. My tracks aren't clipping, far from it. Which gives my master a good 6db of headroom. It still sounds like it's clipping due to the bass.

    I tried mastering the track and that's when I realized something was wrong in the mix.

    Have any of you encountered this issue before? I feel lost and I want to complete this track.

    Thank you!
    To me this sounds like the mix has a low average frequency (so called signature frequency) and that the dynamics inside of the mix do not fit with that, so you end up with a mix with a dense low end.

    Let's say you want that low average frequency, then during mastering you might need to apply a rather light dynamic profile in order not to amplify the density present in the mix.
    But let's say you are not happy with the mix, due to that density, prior to the mastering process. Then to resolve the issue you need to reduce the offending frequencies caused by the other tracks than the kick and bass, lower the peak-to-rms ratio of the low end (you can do that with side-chained compression) and gain the other tracks in the mix. And then during mastering you might want to have a hi-pass filter on the low end tuned so that the master bus comp(s)/limiter(s) act on the heavy transients. You might also need to undo some bassy saturation type work, put a hi-pass filter on the vocals and lower the low end in volume even more until you are satisfied. If you start losing impact you can compensate with mix loudness and soften other frequency ranges that start to become dominant in the mix, using multi-band compression. You might also have too much bass frequencies in the side component and hence need to narrow the low end in the stereo field.

    During the correction of this, you need also the right monitoring techniques and a good perspective on your mix relative to other mixes in the genre. So use meters to your advantage.
    Last edited by DarkRed; 07-02-2016 at 05:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by itb View Post
    Is your kick drum tuned to the key of the song and in phase with the bassline?
    Yes my kick drum is tuned at F# and my track is in F#m. The bass revolves around F# and A.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkRed View Post
    To me this sounds like the mix has a low average frequency (so called signature frequency) and that the dynamics inside of the mix do not fit with that, so you end up with a mix with a dense low end.

    Let's say you want that low average frequency, then during mastering you might need to apply a rather light dynamic profile in order not to amplify the density present in the mix.
    But let's say you are not happy with the mix, due to that density, prior to the mastering process. Then to resolve the issue you need to reduce the offending frequencies caused by the other tracks than the kick and bass, lower the peak-to-rms ratio of the low end (you can do that with side-chained compression) and gain the other tracks in the mix. And then during mastering you might want to have a hi-pass filter on the low end tuned so that the master bus comp(s)/limiter(s) act on the heavy transients. You might also need to undo some bassy saturation type work, put a hi-pass filter on the vocals and lower the low end in volume even more until you are satisfied. If you start losing impact you can compensate with mix loudness and soften other frequency ranges that start to become dominant in the mix, using multi-band compression. You might also have too much bass frequencies in the side component and hence need to narrow the low end in the stereo field.

    During the correction of this, you need also the right monitoring techniques and a good perspective on your mix relative to other mixes in the genre. So use meters to your advantage.
    Really appreciate the time you put into this. I'll be trying various methods as you suggested.

    Thank you!

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