The 30hz Hi Pass Trick

Speakafreaka

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Is this a good plan or not to put over your entire mix?

I've heard it said that because nearly all VST EQs don't do zero 'Q', that this is a bad idea, as you can end up changing the sound of the bass in an additive way, and therefore it should be left to the pros in their fancy pants mastering studios. :irolleyes

What does everyone reckon?

I'm not talking about EQ to shape the part at all, I'm totally happy with the bass sound and balance, just a very gentle mix tightening EQ. Any VSTs that don't change the bass sound?
 

BeatNik

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hmm....

The best highpass filter for me is in the LinEQ lowband...

The HPF REQ2 (even at Q = 1 - supposed to be the best) lets bass sounds slip through (seen easily on Spectrograph) which is quite frankly annoying when you're trying to get sounds sitting right... It's the same with many other e.q.s... Plus it is clearly audible that it does apply some resonance at other Q values...

Mastering studio shmashtering Shtudio.... :Wink3: My Alesis Monitor One Mk2's (passive) are serving me perfectly for everything apart from the sub area of the bass... (that may be slight exaggeration - I do want/need better monitors :Wink3: )

Anyway... :Smile3:
 

Speakafreaka

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BeatNik said:
My Alesis Monitor One Mk2's (passive) are serving me perfectly for everything apart from the sub area of the bass...

That is the big problem ... I trust my ears, but do I trust my monitoring :ilol: @ that depth... No! I do not trust my monitoring at all :Smile3:
 

BeatNik

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Colin OOOD said:
If you can't hear what you're doing down there (or have other ways of finding out what's going on) then don't touch it, is my advice.


Yup, agreed on that...

work on as much as you can hear... and listen to as much other music as you can on your monitors and get really used to it...

It's only recently that i've been able to have access to some absolutely fantastic full spectrum monitors that i've really been able to know what's going on in the bass... and also hearing how i've effed it up doing stuff to frequencies that I can't hear on the ones here.
 

Speakafreaka

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That's that then. I'm leaving it just probably slightly to flabby, and hoping that people will like it. And really, it is the least of my problems with this track. I'm much more concerned with the screaming monkeys...
 

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You should also bear in mind that, particularly in the keys of C, D and E, psy basslines with deep sub in them have their fundamentals around 30Hz, and highpassing the mix in this area will remove much of the :blink: -factor on a big system. Personally I never do it unless there is a problem with DC in a track I'm mastering as IMO systems worth playing on are well able to reproduce frequencies this low - to some extent at least.
 

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If you can't hear what you're doing down there (or have other ways of finding out what's going on) then don't touch it, is my advice.

that's my approach generally... but i think that's mainly because i really know very little about the technical aspects of digital sound production.

generally i like to get to a venue early to play new tracks through a system. i don't have a sub, so these listening sessions are really useful in terms of
understanding the relationship between what i hear on my monitors and what actually comes through a big system.
 

norty303

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and highpassing the mix in this area will remove much of the -factor on a big system.

Although bear in mind that most systems will run a hi-pass at around 35 or 40hz anyway, so going very low in a mix is not really worth it. It takes a very specific speaker cabinet to play efficiently at 30hz and most sound companies don't bother trying to get down there as it sacrifices efficiency higher up the frequency range. If its a big horn loaded rig you start to need a LOT of horns before they start to touch that sort of response.
 

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norty303 said:
Although bear in mind that most systems will run a hi-pass at around 35 or 40hz anyway, so going very low in a mix is not really worth it. It takes a very specific speaker cabinet to play efficiently at 30hz and most sound companies don't bother trying to get down there as it sacrifices efficiency higher up the frequency range. If its a big horn loaded rig you start to need a LOT of horns before they start to touch that sort of response.
Exactly.
There's not a lot P.A.s that will go flat down to a C1 (32.7Hz). Provided the bass is the usual sawtooth the next harmonic is 65.4Hz and althought that will not pack the sub, it will push people's chests.

As peopel have said already, leave it for the mastering studio. EQ also distort the phase of the signal and you need to use the best EQ possible to avoid doing that as much as possible. A proper mastering suite will probably have something better than what you have at home.
 

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norty303 said:
Although bear in mind that most systems will run a hi-pass at around 35 or 40hz anyway, so going very low in a mix is not really worth it. It takes a very specific speaker cabinet to play efficiently at 30hz and most sound companies don't bother trying to get down there as it sacrifices efficiency higher up the frequency range. If its a big horn loaded rig you start to need a LOT of horns before they start to touch that sort of response.
Exactly.
There's not a lot P.A.s that will go flat down to a C1 (32.7Hz). Provided the bass is the usual sawtooth the next harmonic is 65.4Hz and although that will not pack the sub, it will push people's chests.

As people have (rightly) said already, leave it for the mastering studio. EQ also distort the phase of the signal and you need to use the best EQ possible to avoid doing that as much as possible. A proper mastering suite will probably have something better than what you have at home.
 

Speakafreaka

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Ho ho!!

This is well techie!

I reckon I'd be mad to try and get this spot on with my headphones. I will leave it well alone, although I do have a 192db HP filter I cobbled together in Reaktor which could be very useful for the job (although as I don't r e a l l y know what I'm doing with filter design, this almost certainly will distort phase)
 

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Speakafreaka said:
Ho ho!!

This is well techie!

I reckon I'd be mad to try and get this spot on with my headphones. I will leave it well alone, although I do have a 192db HP filter I cobbled together in Reaktor which could be very useful for the job (although as I don't r e a l l y know what I'm doing with filter design, this almost certainly will distort phase)
As far as I know, the steeper the filter, the higher the phase distortion.
 

psyfi

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phase distortion is why I favuor the linEQ for this pursopse. I use to chuck it over every trak I masterd but have been useing it less and less and I never went as high as 30Hz with it.
 

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your mum said:
Exactly.
There's not a lot P.A.s that will go flat down to a C1 (32.7Hz). Provided the bass is the usual sawtooth the next harmonic is 65.4Hz and although that will not pack the sub, it will push people's chests.

Indeed... but although the system may be highpassed around 35-40Hz it's not like the HPF is a brick wall - most systems do pass those frequencies, albiet at a reduced level, and I'd rather our tunes contained enough of them to be reproduced if possible, rather than add another HPF in mastering. To me it makes sense to get every ounce of oomph from a PA, and second-guessing the capabilities of a system is not the best way to do that - otherwise there'd have been no point in Opus taking their SuperSub to Omni a couple of years ago; that fucker goes down to 19Hz ffs. As for home listening, stereos are either band-limited electronically or naturally highpassed by the capabilities of the circuitry and driver; again - why should I therefore limit the frequency content of the track if the reproducing system does this for me on playback? Most PAs and home stereos don't go all the way up to 22050 Hz either, but you look at the spectrum of any current release and it's flat all the way up to the Nyquist point.

I mix and master tracks with the best systems in mind, and I'm quite willing to sacrifice a couple of dBs headroom in the mix if it means our tunes have an extra something on a system capable of reproducing it. It's a PA engineer's job to define the limits of performance of their system, not mine.
 

Speakafreaka

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I suppose a good way of checking I'm in the right ballpark then would be to take a commercial release I like, frequency analysing it and seeing if my track comes anywhere similar?
 

your mum

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Colin OOOD said:
I mix and master tracks with the best systems in mind, and I'm quite willing to sacrifice a couple of dBs headroom in the mix if it means our tunes have an extra something on a system capable of reproducing it. It's a PA engineer's job to define the limits of performance of their system, not mine.
Defo. I've only put high pass filters on the bass on the few trance tunes I've done. Although catering for P.A.s, is not really "2nd guessing" especially when most FOH people have a high-pass on the omnidrive at 35-40Hz to avoid overloading the amps, wouldn't you say? I just finished a new one and the guy I sent it to, was not happy with the fact that I did not high pass the bassline around 50Hz (wtf?). Apparently sub is redundant in "modern" trance releases (WTF?!). They should sound "clean" and anything below 50Hz makes the tune sound "low and slow" and the bass does not "sing" :lol:
I've never high passed the bass on the breakbeat tunes I've been involved with and rarely high pass the kick. I like sub, I can hear at home and I make music for my self before anyone else and it sucks that I have to compromise for label people and their "modern ideas".
I know I am going a little bit off topic, but there is a need for "bass" education, today. Most people like the bass to have no bottom end and sound like VB-1 :rolleyes:
/rant
 

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Speakafreaka said:
I suppose a good way of checking I'm in the right ballpark then would be to take a commercial release I like, frequency analysing it and seeing if my track comes anywhere similar?

In my opinion that's an excellent idea and I do it all the time both during the writing/mix process and mastering. Also gently touching the surrounds of your speaker cones can help give an idea of the relative levels of those frequencies below the turnover frequencies of your speakers.
 

BeatNik

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Colin OOOD said:
Also gently touching the surrounds of your speaker cones can help give an idea of the relative levels of those frequencies below the turnover frequencies of your speakers.

It's ALLL about the touch... I'm a big woofer toucher - and it's become ingrained in me now hehe... even on other peoples speakers I can't help but touch the woofer to feel the bass response...

Also.. yup, LINeq... my fave highpassfilter - but also a mother of CPU drain... It really sucks it out of your system, so I only tend to use it when I'm mixing stems, and rely on REQ HPF when I'm in the mix to give me basic highpass of the sound...

Make sure your e.q.s aren't clipping either... it's fine if the channel itself is clipping due to the headroom given by the 32bit engine (in cubase, logic nuendo etc. - BUT don't clip the master though :P) - but clipping inside the e.q. will lead to harmonics in the sub area - so...well... whatchabout :P

erm.. in school atm will go home and have a closer look at this thread and reply abit more... :Smile3:
 

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I think Waves plugins use fixed-point arithmetic, so don't clip 'em internally.
 
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