Muddy Mix - Photo Attached

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DanTheSongwriter
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Muddy Mix - Photo Attached

Post by DanTheSongwriter » Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:05 pm

Just learning how to mix and I think I have too much low end. The SPAN is a great tool and it shows a lot of stuff happening below 30hz. I have a basic low cut filter but that isn't removing it. Also, I based the SPAN settings from 'In the Mix' Youtube vids - do I need that to go down that far since my faders only reads down to 42 (number on the right)? Thanks.
Muddy Mix.png
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trevlyns
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Re: Muddy Mix - Photo Attached

Post by trevlyns » Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:58 am

'Mud' is generally around the 200 - 500 Hz area - as can be seen in your second pic. Try 'scooping' out this area with a bell filter. Also, look at what instruments share that area - a lot of stuff; guitars, vocals for example, have a lot of content in that area, but not necessarily in the lower bass frequencies.
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trevlyns
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Re: Muddy Mix - Photo Attached

Post by trevlyns » Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:17 am

Also, check out Joe Gilders latest video. Yes, this is about mixing bass into a track, but the same principles apply :wink:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwyOBwO ... udioCorner
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Trevor
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Mark Bliss
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Re: Muddy Mix - Photo Attached

Post by Mark Bliss » Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:52 am

You describe "muddy mix" but are cutting sub bass, I'd agree with Trevor-its not the same thing.
And I'd also agree that an overall EQ move may not be the ideal solution. I'd first address the individual tracks leading to a build-up in the frequencies you find excessive, thinking "what do I want to hear in that range" and EQing the others to give that space.
*This is where I usually give a reminder to EQ in context, not assessing tracks in solo. What sounds good in solo often is not ideal in context (and vice-versa)
Overall (global) EQ moves are generally best kept subtle, lest you create more problems than you solve.
DanTheSongwriter wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:05 pm
Just learning how to mix and I think I have too much low end. The SPAN is a great tool and it shows a lot of stuff happening below 30hz. I have a basic low cut filter but that isn't removing it.
Its a good idea to filter out some low end, regardless of the above
But do you mean you dont hear a difference?
If so it is likely you just dont hear much that low on your specific monitoring arrangement. Which is a part of why we filter out a lot of that stuff.
Also, I based the SPAN settings from 'In the Mix' Youtube vids - do I need that to go down that far since my faders only reads down to 42 (number on the right)?
I dont know what you mean. Not familiar with the reference, dont know what "faders" you are referring to, or what "42 on the right" indicates.
Stay in tune, Mark

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DanTheSongwriter
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Re: Muddy Mix - Photo Attached

Post by DanTheSongwriter » Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:14 pm

Thanks Trevlyns for the vid. I've been scooping out some frequencies but looking at the SPAN I'm seeing what I assume is 'extra' material - pretty much everything under 30Hz - that is taking away from head room in the mix. How can that stuff be removed (assuming it's not good to have)?

Mark I've included a screenshot of the MX9 faders on the left. The number on the right has a bottom of 42 (or even lower actually but I'm not sure what the actual floor is). Should I set up the SPAN to reflect what going on with the faders because the bottom number on the SPAN looks like 90. Are these numbers strictly related??

Thanks again.
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Mark Bliss
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Re: Muddy Mix - Photo Attached

Post by Mark Bliss » Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:40 pm

Rolling off the low frequencies is appropriate where necessary, but not entirely in a final master track EQ move necessarily.
And not all at the same frequency.
Grossly simplified:
There should only be one track/instrument with content in the 30-50hz range. Everything else might likely be rolled off somewhat higher than that.
Similarly, there should only be a track/instrument or two with much content in the 50-250 range, and everything else could be reduced above that.
Etc etc.
And you might look at the high end the same way, working in the opposite direction.

But this might all vary depending on genre/style.

The numbers you refer to are in the meters, not faders.
And I am still not sure what the relevance to the spectrum analyser (Span) is.

The spectrum analysis is peak and average based and has nothing i can really think of to do with those numbers on the faders.
And the faders are referencing track levels, and not directly relating to frequency levels. So I remain confused as to what you are doing/asking here.

While the spectrum analyser can be a great tool for visualizing what you hear, I think maybe it is best used to train your ears. Dont mix with your eyes.

I think there are some basic misconceptions here.
Or again, I may be misunderstanding the questions.

This can all be a bit technical at first, maybe you need to try some different reference material to study?
Stay in tune, Mark

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trevlyns
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Re: Muddy Mix - Photo Attached

Post by trevlyns » Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:52 am

+1 for Mark - don't rely on pretty pictures; trust your ears... then check it's not clipping :mrgreen:
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Trevor
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DanTheSongwriter
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Re: Muddy Mix - Photo Attached

Post by DanTheSongwriter » Sun Oct 25, 2020 12:36 pm

"The spectrum analysis is peak and average based and has nothing i can really think of to do with those numbers on the faders." That pretty much answers the question - they are not related - so thanks for that.

I've been playing/writing (even recording) for decades but was never a mixing junkie like some buddies. I'm asking questions that are so basic largely because I don't even know what basic at this point for mixing. Thanks again for the input.

Brother Charles
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Re: Muddy Mix - Photo Attached

Post by Brother Charles » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:45 am

A generally accepted “Best Practice” is to cut the mud on each individual track - not just throw an EQ on the whole shebang. Usually, muddy frequencies build up in the 250 - 560 Hz range. For example, if you have a couple of keyboard tracks and two or three guitar tracks, etc, it’s usually (not always, but usually) a good idea to cut out 2dB or 3dB around the 380 or 400 Hz range on each instrument track individually. You would typically use a moderately narrow “Q” of 2 or 3. Don’t make it too narrow, but don’t use a wide Q either.

It’s also a good idea to insert a 2nd EQ on guitar and keyboard tracks to use strictly as high pass filters. Generally, it’s safe to filter out anything below 80 or 100 Hz. Those low overtones can cloud up the frequency spectrum used by bass guitar and kick drums. Doing this will increase headroom and help your BUS compressors and/or limiters to “breathe” more naturally and not have to work so hard.

If you ‘solo’ each of the tracks, you might think that this makes them sound a tiny bit thin - that’s ok. In the full mix, all those tracks create a profuse build-up of muddy frequencies. By subtly carving out a small bit of mud on each track separately, your overall mix will sound much more clear, defined and balanced. This allows your bass and high frequencies to come through without cranking them up unnecessarily.

A narrow Q of “3“, at 500 Hz, at a cut of 3dB, can often make the world of difference on your drum BUS. While you’re at it, adding a lite shelf boost @ 8000 Hz (1 dB is probably enough) will bring out clarity on your drums, cymbals and high hats.

If you’re using a reverb on a ‘Send’ track, it’s a good practice to put an EQ behind it and add high pass filtering at 250 Hz and a mid cut around 450 Hz. This becomes super important for vocal reverbs.

I Hope this helps. It’s a bit of overly simplified advice, but it will definitely get you started in the right direction. These are all, subtle mix movements, but they add up and can make a world of difference in the final product. As an added bonus, this will aid in establishing more headroom in the whole mix, and lessening the risk of unwanted clipping on your master BUS.
Thanks & God Bless,
Bro. Charles
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Mark Bliss
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Re: Muddy Mix - Photo Attached

Post by Mark Bliss » Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:28 pm

^^^ (thumbs up eomji)

Very good tips.
Stay in tune, Mark

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