Keeping low end in leads/fx

illusions

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Hello,

Time for my monthly questions to the psyforum production guru's :Smile3:
Have been blindly cutting freq's of my leads/fx for quite a while now to keep my bassline clean and it has worked fairly well for me. However comparing my tracks with some pro artists, I see how weak my sounds actually are in comparison.

What I've been doing so far is sending everything except bass/kick to a group channel with REQ2, highest Q setting at roughly 250hz. Usually do my pads/atmospheres once the track is complete, where I switch off the eq when there is no bassline running.

Now, from what I hear in the pro tracks a lot of sounds do have a healthy amount of activity from the leads/fx lower than 250hz. How would I do that without muddying up my bass ?

I've been told to accentuate freq of my leads where the bass is not as prominent - finding those freq's has proved to be quite a task though, maybe my bass is too fat ?


Thanks for your help.
 

Getafix

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Well i certainly am not a production guru but i don't think its necessary for leads to have lots of low end to sound phat..i highpass my leads roughly around the same frequency but i use waves Q-1..i think you should try to play around with the vsti's themselves to get the leads sounding as powerful as possible..which vsti's are you using b.t.w?
 

psyfi

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Also I don't think it is absolutely necessary to low cut all of your synth FX at 250. Further down at 120 or even lower would be fine so long as it sound right. A bit of over lap is not a problem IMHO. And also when you do cut a sound with the Waves REQ it's best to have the Q setting at 1 so that it isn't adding any extra sound through he Q. Think about suggesting to your sounds where they should sit rather than strapping them in so tightly that they can't breath.
 

BeatNik

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psyfi said:
Think about suggesting to your sounds where they should sit rather than strapping them in so tightly that they can't breath.

Well phrased :iyes:

Yeah, overlap doesn't necessarily mean clash... I like to keep lows in my synths for warmth and depth... but that doesn't mean they have to take away from the power of my bassline.

As said, e.qing each synth individually works well... i usually mix down afterwards in stems, automating a highpassing on bassless stem during the sections with kick and bass just to make sure there are no sounds going into the sub territory which I can't hear... in no way though to i eradicate the lush bottom end...

E.q.ing as well, poking the most prominent sections of the bassline out from inside a subtle notch in the lower end of a synth can do wonders...
 

Abstraction

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if your having to cut everything below 250hz to avoid muddying the bass, then it may well be your bass sound which needs work. and i agree with the others that you should really try to eq/hp each part individually (or in a few groups if you cant afford the cpu) so that you can tailor the processing to the sound.
 

Speakafreaka

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Double_Helix said:
if your having to cut everything below 250hz to avoid muddying the bass, then it may well be your bass sound which needs work.

That's the way forward imho.

And compression. That will beef up your leads, and bring out the bottom end making it much easier to shape and control.

But addressing the issues in the bass is the single most effective way of sorting out issues with the rest of the mix, to within 99.9% of what you'll want.
 

Fromem_Ory

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[b said:
BeatNik[/b]] poking the most prominent sections of the bassline out from inside a subtle notch in the lower end of a synth can do wonders...
good call nik! gonna try high-passing at 150 with REQ (as opposed to usual 200) and then carving out some of the freqs where the bassline likes to sit with a notch... rather than wiping out everything between 150 and 200 unnecessarily...
 

BeatNik

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Yeah man.. I guess this process could be applied globally to a track, in a stems mix too (possibly even automate the notch).

Seriously though everyone, watch out with waves REQ, even at Q=1(the best HPF setting) it still can let sounds through... especially if the e.q. is clipping, in which case it'll produce low frequencies. Check it out on a Spectrogram and see for yourselves...
Try going for more powerful highpass tool if you're going for as few low frequencies from your synths as possible....
 

illusions

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S-Cube - Thanks for your reply. Its definitely not the vst's that I have a problem with, was just looking for that extra rounded/warmth feeling that you can only get if your not chopping off the low end of sounds completely.

yellowbrickroad - another reason why i should be working with audio more, coz god knows my CPU can't handle any more fx/plugins than its already doing. will probably use 2 groups with different highpass freqs now instead of one. I do still eq each sound seperately, the groups are usually just to make absolutely sure theres nothing coming through.

doublehelix - bass does'nt become muddy, just unclear i guess. need to start working with a lot more precision eq'ing in those freq bands i guess.

beatnik - gonna work more with my ears, have always been under the impression that any sort of overlap would turn into a mess at some point. gonna give the "poking" a go. thanks :P

colin - REQ6 here i come :P

Thanks for your responses.
 
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