Percussion and Leads EQ

Bharath

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Hello All,

I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on how to EQ my percussion and leads. I am really struggling with them. They just don't fit very well within the whole mix and i find it very hard to move on with my music. Can you guys help me in any way? Please!!

Oh, It would be awesome if you guys would be willing to share the way you go about EQing or whatever it is that you do :Smile3: to improve the quality of your percussion and the leads.

Thank You All.

Best Wishes,
DK
 
M

makdaddy

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hey phinthak

got any tunes uploaded anywhere to preview ?
 

Bharath

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Hey Imak,
I'm quite new to the whole music making business.
I'm just working on my 1st track now. I've got a couple of other half finished tracks but nothing great!

i'll upload when i reach home.

Anyone else willing to offer more help?

Thanks!!
 

Sturdy Pete

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well here's my two cents, not the best explanation but it's a start..

the basic concept of EQ is to make a 'space' within your mix for each sound, so they don't get in the way of each other - ie if your lead line is clashing / covering up your hi-hats, you need to make a gap within your leadline using EQ - giving your hi hat the space to sit in.

also useful to use EQ to tidy up the low / high edges of each sound - for example use a low shelf to remove as much low frequencies from the hi hat as possible (set gain to
-24dB, then sweep the frequency upwards until it starts to sound a little cleaner). can make a lot of difference, particularly if the drum samples used haven't been pre-processed..

there are a few other threads around about EQ'ing, probably with many better descriptions.. the sticky'd be a good place to start:
http://www.psy-forum.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=33089

heh world of information in this forum.. learnt more about production here than @ uni!!
 

Crispy

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Random mind wanderings on the subject...
I tend to low cut a lot but dont eq things very much unless they need it badly.i think its really important to have the right sound in the first place. I cant stress enough how important i feel it is to really analyse tracks that have great production (maby think Wrecked machines, X Noize, Domestic or Panick for starters) and think about what makes their sounds stand out from the mix and have weight behind them.
For leads try and make sure the different sounds interacting with eachother are very contrasting so they stand out from oneanother without you haviing to try and make them with heavy eq.
also try and find really pinging hi hats that are sharp and have punch in the attack
Although i low cut pretty much all sounds except the kick and bass ( often at about 300-400 hz but use your ears to see what sounds best), its important not to overdo this on certain sounds (eg leads) as it will leave the mix without much mid which is bad mmkay. in some cases you just want to tidy up the really low frequencies with a cut at about 100 hz. i often low cut hi hats at 1500 hz as there is often no need for the frequencies below that in a hi hat when theres all the other stuff going on in those frequencies.

Hope thats helpfull!
bit of a ramble but you know how it is etc :Wink3:
 

soliptic

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Four things:

1. EQ is purely relative, there's absolutely no way we can give advice on eq for "leads and percussion" in the abstract. It depends not only on what lead timbre, what percussion timbre, but also the spectral balance of the rest of your tune.

2. If something is really "struggling" to fit, you're probably better off choosing a different something, not EQing it til it does. EQ should really be relatively subtle (unless you're deliberately using it as a sound-design tool), scooping just a little bit here and emphasising a little bit there, to take a sound which is basically good already and make it perfect.

3. There are other ways to make things fit than EQ. Compression is liable to just as important. Piping several things to the same reverb send will help them gel together, putting reverb on in general will tend to help things "sit" in, rather than on, a track. Etc.

4. All that said, this may help: http://www.dnbscene.com/articles.php?mode=display&id=79 Ignore the fact its on a dnb website, it was actually written after a year making almost nothing but psy/goa, and its very generalised, genre-unspecific advice.
 

Bharath

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Thanks for all the responses guys!! It sure helped me.

Also, Soliptic, Thanks for that super website man!! :Smile3:

Imak, am attaching the link to my half done track -

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pag...m?bandID=312480

It still needs shit loads of work but i would be very grateful if any of you guys could have a listen and tell me what more i need to do as far as EQ ing is
concerned.

I don't have any monitors or sound card or any such thing :Smile3: Just a pair of headphones! It would be nice if someone with monitors or somehting could check the quality and help me out?!

Thank You all!

Best Wishes,
DK
 

Bharath

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Ichabod said:
:iconfused think the link doesn't work
God Damn it!!

I think it takes 24 hours for the link to activate.

Can't upload on another site coz am at work now!

Well, Looks i'll have to wait another 24 hours! :Sad:


Thanks Anyway!

Best Wishes,
DK
 

jackrabbit

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Theres not a lot of point eqing without real monitors, you could be doing more harm than good. Monitors ane the most important part of the studio if you want to mix your own tracks. You dont have to spend loads to get some accurate monitors.
Another useful tool if you cant nail down problems with ear is a spectrum analiser.
There a free vst analisers on net which will enable you to see which frequencies your sounds are kicking out to see where any clashes are.
 

Getafix

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hmm well i was listening to some tracks of mine on my car stereo since i don't have monitors i use it as a substitute to judge my final mixes..on some of the tracks when it gets quite hectic i noticed the leads would drown out my percussion, especially the highhats cymbals..on most pro tracks u can hear that everything has its place in the mix n the percussion can be heard on top despite how many sounds are playing..
so coming to my question..should i be using cutting off some high frequencies from my leads to leave space for the percussion? i'm already doing lowcuts to take out everything below 350 hz to leave room for my bass..n is it a good idea to take out everything below 1500 hz for highhats like Crispy mentioned? thanks for the help!
 

Fromem_Ory

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soliptic said:
Four things:

1. EQ is purely relative, there's absolutely no way we can give advice on eq for "leads and percussion" in the abstract. It depends not only on what lead timbre, what percussion timbre, but also the spectral balance of the rest of your tune.

2. If something is really "struggling" to fit, you're probably better off choosing a different something, not EQing it til it does. EQ should really be relatively subtle (unless you're deliberately using it as a sound-design tool), scooping just a little bit here and emphasising a little bit there, to take a sound which is basically good already and make it perfect.

3. There are other ways to make things fit than EQ. Compression is liable to just as important. Piping several things to the same reverb send will help them gel together, putting reverb on in general will tend to help things "sit" in, rather than on, a track. Etc.

4. All that said, this may help: http://www.dnbscene.com/articles.php?mode=display&id=79 Ignore the fact its on a dnb website, it was actually written after a year making almost nothing but psy/goa, and its very generalised, genre-unspecific advice.
'nuff said
 

andrew

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i wouldn't make a hard and fast rule like that mate.

you should be making a place for all of your sounds in the mix, a good FFT tool can help you do that(there's a few free ones around) - JPsychodelicacy has mantioned one a few times in his posts so look for posts by him.

I'm not sure what you mean by not having monitors tho... it's definitely good to listen to your mixes on different sets of speakers tho

Andrew
 

Faction

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I wouldn't recommend using a spectrum analyser to look for areas where there are frequency 'clashes' as almost all lead and percussion sounds cover such a wide range of the spectrum that giving each one its own defined slot would be impossible. They are useful for quickly identifying the useful lower end of sounds when high-passing (don't just highpass at 350, that's a recipe for a gutless mix IMO) and for nailing the frequency of a nasty resonance when you've identified by ear (a) its existence and (b) it's rough location in the spectrum though, and can give a useful indication of the general 'shape' of a track.

The best way I know to check whether certain sounds clash is to listen to them in the context of the mix. If you think a particular sound is getting too lost in the mix, but it's physical level is fine, then try muting and unmuting all the other sounds one by one. You might well find that muting one particular sound lets the buried one be heard more clearly, and it is on these two sounds that you should work to free up space in the mix. In my experience the area of the spectrum that gets most cluttered is between 1K and 3K - especially with lead sounds - so if it sounds like this is the case (ie. both sounds have prominent 'screechy' elements) as a starting point try a relatively wide cut (eg 1 octave) around 2K on the least important sound of the two. It's very likely that you'll be able to get away with a narrower cut, and that the actual frequency you need to cut will not be 2K, so you'll have to home in on the settings that work best in your partiular case.
 

Goran

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Yet another approach is to set up just one EQ, max gain and fairly high q/resonance (narrow bandwidth, but not too "tonal") - obviously cut the master level by equal amount or you might clip so badly it could knacker your speakers - and sweep up and down to get to know the sound, and find the bit you least like or care about (if any); just "invert" the EQ, i.e. notch instead of peak, and you'll have a good starting point as any.
 

guano_unsane

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EQ is like makeup . .

you can use makeup to enhance beauty, but you can't just slap a load of makeup on somthing ugly and think that i will be beautiful !

. . try to get the best sounds possible first and then add EQ if really needed
 

psyfi

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I find that if you have a lead sound with a wide frequency rang and part of it is clashing with your hats or snare then a small notch out of the lead at the point the hat or snare is most prominent can help but only do this if it doesn’t mess up your lead. You could try moving the lead up or down an octave and thus moving the timber of it away from the place your having problems with. It more a question of doing little things rather then trying to solve the problem in one fowl swoop. Unless of course you solution is to dump something that is causing you grief. Knowing when to chuck stuff away is just as important a skill as anything else.
 

Faction

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matt said:
Yet another approach is to set up just one EQ, max gain and fairly high q/resonance (narrow bandwidth, but not too "tonal") - obviously cut the master level by equal amount or you might clip so badly it could knacker your speakers - and sweep up and down to get to know the sound, and find the bit you least like or care about (if any); just "invert" the EQ, i.e. notch instead of peak, and you'll have a good starting point as any.
That's good to get rid of unwanted resonances, but it's not the best way of going about it when you want to get two different sounds sitting together in the mix.
 

Goran

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Sorry, should have made it clear: that stuff is for cleaning up single instruments only (kinda missed the point there re fitting stuff together)... As a lame return, how about panning one sound noticeably "wider" than the other (with one channel possibly inverted/don't do it on kick and bass/etc)? I know purists think every mix should work in mono but psy rarely gets on AM :Wink3:

Or maybe put slight dips in the lead around 4 , 8, 12, and 16 kHz? To do the job properly it really needs the midrange (as Colin mentioned), whereas hats and friends shine most at high(er) frequencies. The frequencies mentioned are where human hearing is particularly sensitive so you can use much milder EQing.

Or just put a mild (1-3 dB) shelf around 8 kHz on the hats? Possibilities are endless :Wink3:

As for analysers, they begin with "anal" for a reason :Wink3: I found them useful for learning how to visualise what I hear, but now I only use them to test my hearing :Wink3:
 
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