Old 10-13-2015, 03:55 PM   #1
donchilcott
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Default You really want to high pass ????

the link below raises a very valad point. Lots of people suggest high passing all tracks routinely, but at what cost??? phase issues? see the example below... whadaya think???
https://youtu.be/MslNaNafyr4

Update: I was hoping some of the very knowledgable members might look at the examples of the videos clear examples of how high passing creates phase anomalies and then comment ... I don't know what's worse.... Possible low end crap or the phase anomalies caused by high passing??? What do you do? Use a linear phase eq???
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Old 10-13-2015, 04:01 PM   #2
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Haven't clicked the link. I'm just being consistent in each thread I see on this subject and saying I don't believe in blindly high passing a bunch of tracks 'just cuz', never have. It surely has become a bit of a bedroom fad for lack of a better term though.

Ah... clicked the link, I remember that one.
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Old 10-13-2015, 04:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by donchilcott View Post
the link below raises a very valad point. Lots of people suggest high passing all tracks routinely, but at what cost??? phase issues? see the example below... whadaya think???
https://youtu.be/MslNaNafyr4

PS this guy seems very knowledgeable, I've seen lots of his video's...
There's a simple way to assess this kind of thing. Find some mixes the guys done and listen to them. If they're super awesome and you like them and what he's saying is evident in his mixes then by all means grab your tv dinner and hit his channel hard If this is just another guy who has a mixing channel - talk, talk, talk - but with little actual work to show then move on.
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Old 10-13-2015, 04:12 PM   #4
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There's a simple way to assess this kind of thing. Find some mixes the guys done and listen to them. If they're super awesome and you like them and what he's saying is evident in his mixes then by all means grab your tv dinner and hit his channel hard If this is just another guy who has a mixing channel - talk, talk, talk - but with little actual work to show then move on.
This is exactly what I was going to post
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Old 10-13-2015, 04:19 PM   #5
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I'd hate to ignore a concept simply because they don't have f'ing awesome mixes to back it up, that's sort of unintentionally lame if you think about it. Half the technical audio concepts anyone here knows about is from people who couldn't actually mix their way out of a wet paper bag.
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Old 10-13-2015, 04:25 PM   #6
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I think phase issues, in many cases, are going to be secondary to the problem of a mix with a pathetic lack of low end.
and filter caused phase issues are a potential any time you add an EQ to anything anywhere in the mix

otherwise this seems to be one of those internet "truths" that is often bandied around as something that should always be done or always be a concern by folks with no real experience but they read it in a post where the guy sounded like he knew what he was doing so thy re post it over and over again. That way it becomes an Internet reality.
getting the low end right for each song is key but this seems arbitrary and applying (or not applying) fx based on what someone said on line is likely to make things worse at least as often as it makes them better.

then again, I only switched to doing this for an income a couple of years ago so what do I know.

YMMV

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Old 10-13-2015, 04:50 PM   #7
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Makes sense to me. Use it when absolutely necessary, but the best thing the guy in the video said is "don't do anything by default". That's exactly it.
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Old 10-13-2015, 05:41 PM   #8
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I'd hate to ignore a concept simply because they don't have f'ing awesome mixes to back it up, that's sort of unintentionally lame if you think about it.
Maybe it is, maybe it isn't - I'm not really sure. It makes sense in my head to only give time to people who have the results that count. But then I guess teachers often don't.. It's a tough one - maybe I'm being too harsh. It's just life is short and Youtube is kind of immense in its sheer amount of mixing/mastering/production videos by people you've never heard of.

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Half the technical audio concepts anyone here knows about is from people who couldn't actually mix their way out of a wet paper bag.
Very true..
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Old 10-13-2015, 05:52 PM   #9
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Maybe it is, maybe it isn't - I'm not really sure. It makes sense in my head to only give time to people who have the results that count.
Knowing the amount of terrible advice actually out there is high, I'm likely giving you a harder time about it than I should.
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:24 PM   #10
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I didn't watch the video...

Phase is relative. It has to be relative to something for it to be meaningful or audible. Phase shift in a single track doesn't change the sound.

If you phase-shift (or time-shift) a track an re-mix it with the un-shifted original you'll get comb filtering (a "phasey sound"). You can also get weirdness if you phase-shift a track in the left or right while not phase-shifting the other channel.

Awhile back somebody said, "The wider you open the window, the more dust comes in." That makes sense to me and if there's no useful-meaningful bass on the track, you might as well filter-out any low-frequency noise.
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:31 PM   #11
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If the Brown Note is out of phase, does the listener implode?

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Old 10-13-2015, 06:47 PM   #12
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The important thing with any general advice is to understand the principle behind the advice. So if someone says "highpass everything', the first question should be "why"? Once you understand the underlying principle, you can then apply the advice judiciously.

As I understand it (and correct me if I'm wrong), the general principle behind this particular advice is to avoid frequency masking, particularly at the bottom end which can become cluttered fairly easily. Because we don't discern sounds so well at lower frequencies it's important to keep each bass sound in it's own frequency band so it remains distinct, assuming that is what you want to hear, (which it may not be if you are going for, say, a particularly sonorous or dirgy sound).

I haven't watched the youtube video, and I don't know why HP filtering everything would introduce phasing effects, so I guess I need to look up the principle behind that.

Anyway my general advice is don't apply arbitrary rules. Listen to the the advise but question everything. Understand the science.
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:48 PM   #13
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I think the advice in the video is solid. While I'm no pro, I have read several books on mixing techniques written by accomplished and respected engineers, and the tips in the video resonate with all the books I've read.

You need to pay close attention to what he says. He says many times throughout that he is not against HPF all tracks.

Most of the phase issues he is concerned with is explicitly mentioned at the beginning, and several more times, that multi-mic'ed tracks will suffer greatly from disregarding the phase shifts caused by non-linear EQing. But, even the linear-phase EQ has a side effect... pre-ringing. Even with my amateur ear I've been able to notice the pre-ringing on multi-mic'ed drums where I was trying to do too drastic EQ sculpting on the snare with a linear-phase EQ.

I think he made a fantastic point about the multiplying effect of the cut-off frequency boost when using the same cut-frequency on multiple tracks. This is something I had not thought about before. So, if you said "Most speaker systems produce nothing usable under 45Hz, so I'll HPF all my tracks there." Then you could end up with some 45-50Hz garbage accumulated.

But, I rarely have the same HPF setting on more than one track. I adjust each instance for the specific track. I rarely ever have multi-mic recordings. We only usually track drums multi-mic in our home studio. Sometimes we will for acoustic guitars. I only ever use a linear-phase EQ to adjust a single track from a multi-mic recording, and when I do I try to use only cuts and as minimally as possible to avoid audible pre-ringing.

Recently, I've been trying to move to low shelving instead, but old habits have me grabbing the HPF a lot anyway. Using a HPF can and will clear up a muddy sounding project, but can just as easily leave the whole song sounding very thin and weak. I've noticed this in my own projects where I got too heavy handed with the HPF. Nowadays, I adjust the HPF frequency to where I can't tell it's there and then back it off a little more. Then If I find the track is still sounding too thin I'll replace the HPF with a low shelf.
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Old 10-13-2015, 07:32 PM   #14
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He does leave out arrangement things though. Don't highpass electric guitars at all, you need that 80hz... ok but what about when the bass guitar is playing with a prominently beefy tone and always with the guitars, very common in metal for example. The hit-you-in-the-core bass tone isn't going to be helped by the boomy lows of a guitar, and if you reduce the lows you likely will mask them with the ones from the guitar. Usually better to just remove them completely, gently, and let the bass with it's much crisper low end dynamics take over.

Also sometimes you don't want a guitar, even when it's the only instrument playing, to hit the listener with 80hz kick. Some songs just don't call for that.


But that is avoiding what he said, which is very true, don't do anything by default. Except hit ctrl + s. Do that by default every time you think about it.
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:17 PM   #15
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I think it's an important counterpoint for all too common advice but it doesn't take away from the importance of high/low pass filtering where it will help (which is a lot of places).

I tend to use EQuilibrium with butterworth 48dB/oct filters there by default and use the spectrum and key-listen to do any HP/LP filtering to know what I'm filtering.

The worst, most inexperienced mixers probably also have the worst monitoring environments and there can be a lot of high and low frequency crap that won't be heard until played back on something better which can lead to some really unpleasant surprises.

Also many of the problems arise with multi-miced sources, and I highly doubt many neophytes are recording drum kits with 8 mics in their bedrooms. For those using virtual synths where everything wants to take up the full spectrum, even pretty steep filtering can be necessary.
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:54 AM   #16
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I didn't watch the video...

Phase is relative. It has to be relative to something for it to be meaningful or audible. Phase shift in a single track doesn't change the sound.
There have been cases of humans detecting absolute phase in the midrange -- see AES journals, John Vanderkooy I believe.

Speaking of one of my heroes, here's a short 4 minute chunk of typically insightful info, slightly off topic, but not too far.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXkIyhkmnTc

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Awhile back somebody said, "The wider you open the window, the more dust comes in." That makes sense to me and if there's no useful-meaningful bass on the track, you might as well filter-out any low-frequency noise.
Yeah, except for the tricky stuff that happens around filter corner frequencies. Note that contrary to popular belief this is caused by the mathematical equations of the filter (e.g. Butterworth) and NOT the implementation.

Of course there are those that say linear phase EQ is the ticket, but the implementations tend to be high latency/CPU hit.

So, high pass if necessary, otherwise, if it ain't broke....

my 2c
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Old 10-14-2015, 02:08 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Time Waster View Post
and I don't know why HP filtering everything would introduce phasing effects
Filters ALWAYS influence the phase (unless they're linear phase, but then they have their own set of cons)! Not just the frequency.
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Old 10-14-2015, 03:05 AM   #18
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I didn't watch the video...

Phase is relative. It has to be relative to something for it to be meaningful or audible. Phase shift in a single track doesn't change the sound.

If you phase-shift (or time-shift) a track an re-mix it with the un-shifted original you'll get comb filtering (a "phasey sound"). You can also get weirdness if you phase-shift a track in the left or right while not phase-shifting the other channel.

Awhile back somebody said, "The wider you open the window, the more dust comes in." That makes sense to me and if there's no useful-meaningful bass on the track, you might as well filter-out any low-frequency noise.
It does affect single sources. By (non-linear) filtering, you are delaying different frequencies by differing amounts, which can lead to transient smearing.

"Back to the question: Does it seem likely that we could hear the difference between an audio signal and the same signal with altered phase? The answer is… No… and ultimately Yes.

No: The human ear is insensitive to a constant relative phase change in a static waveform. For instance, you cannot here the difference between a steady sawtooth wave (which contains all harmonic frequencies) and a waveform that contains the same harmonic content but with the phase of the harmonics delayed by various (but constant) amounts. The second waveform would not look like a sawtooth on an oscilloscope, but you would not be able to hear the difference. And this is true no matter how ridiculous you get with the phase shifting.

Yes: Dynamically changing waveforms are a different matter. In particular, it’s not only reasonable, but easy to demonstrate (at least under artificially produced conditions) that musical transients (pluck, ding, tap) can be severely damaged by phase shift. Many frequencies of short duration combine to produce a transient, and phase shift smears their time relationship, turning a “tock!” into a “thwock!”."

- http://www.earlevel.com/main/1996/10...tion-of-phase/
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:30 AM   #19
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I'm a great man for the high passing..and low passing.
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Old 10-14-2015, 05:18 AM   #20
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I'm a great man for the high passing..and low passing.
Low passing is perhaps underused
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:42 AM   #21
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He does leave out arrangement things though. Don't highpass electric guitars at all, you need that 80hz... ok but what about when the bass guitar is playing with a prominently beefy tone and always with the guitars, very common in metal for example. The hit-you-in-the-core bass tone isn't going to be helped by the boomy lows of a guitar, and if you reduce the lows you likely will mask them with the ones from the guitar. Usually better to just remove them completely, gently, and let the bass with it's much crisper low end dynamics take over.

Also sometimes you don't want a guitar, even when it's the only instrument playing, to hit the listener with 80hz kick. Some songs just don't call for that.


But that is avoiding what he said, which is very true, don't do anything by default. Except hit ctrl + s. Do that by default every time you think about it.
I dont agree with this guys stance on HPF at all (but i am otherwise a fan of his YT channel). If the tune is in E and there are chunky rhythm guitars riding on low E those guitars MIGHT need 80 hz. But in my mind loud guitars with alot of 80hz are seriously going to mess with the kick and bass. If you LPF filter commercial rock tunes (which I recommend) you wont hear much if any guitar below 100hz. 160hz (1st harmonic of 80hz) might be a better frequency to push in this case with a HPF at 50hz. If the part is jangley triads played on the top 3 strings WTF do i need 80 hz for?

Sorry, I am a BIG believer in HPF. Acoustic guitar in a dense track can be HP up 200 hz or more since its typically being used as a shaker with harmonic content.

Low end buildup and lo mid mud are the enemies of clarity and headroom. If there is a better way to clear out your low end for the kick and bass besides HPF i'd love to hear it.

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Old 10-14-2015, 07:48 AM   #22
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Acoustic guitar in a dense track can be HP up 200 hz or more since its typically being used as a shaker with harmonic content.
That's interesting, I like it
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:56 AM   #23
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I dont agree with this guys stance on HPF at all (but i am otherwise a fan of his YT channel). If the tune is in E and there are chunky rhythm guitars riding on low E those guitars MIGHT need 80 hz. But in my mind loud guitars with alot of 80hz are seriously going to mess with the kick and bass. If you HPF filter commercial rock tunes (which I recommend) you wont hear much if any guitar below 100hz. 160hz (1st harmonic of 80hz) might be a better frequency to push in this case with a HPF at 50hz. If the part is jangley triads played on the top 3 strings WTF do i need 80 hz for?

Sorry, I am a BIG believer in HPF. Acoustic guitar in a dense track can be HP up 200 hz or more since its typically being used as a shaker with harmonic content.

Low end buildup and lo mid mud are the enemies of clarity and headroom. If there is a better way to clear out your low end for the kick and bass besides HPF i'd love to hear it.
But you're using informed decisions when you engage a HPF, not just doing it to every single track because the interwebs told you to.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:01 AM   #24
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But you're using informed decisions when you engage a HPF, not just doing it to every single track because the interwebs told you to.
Totally - the take home message of the video, really, is a good one and that's "don't do anything by default".

I have to say, though, I'm with magicbuss and don't think guitars necessarily need low end.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:05 AM   #25
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When running Live sound FOH I tend to High pass / low cut almost everything but Kick and bass.
While recording/mixing in the basement studio it is only when needed.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:17 AM   #26
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I have to say, though, I'm with magicbuss and don't think guitars necessarily need low end.
Depends what you're doing, doesn't it? Some metal has totally spanked and castrated bass because they want the low end chug to come from the guitar cabs. Or you might have drastically high-passed guitars throughout a song, but there's a bit where they play without the bass so you bring the low end back in that section... there's a lot of possibilities and no hard and fast rules.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:41 AM   #27
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I adjust hpf and lpf in the context of the mix (for me 95% of the time this is a live mix), and consider how things sound singled out on their own after it works in context.

Live we don't have the luxury of time aligning our sources, negating the source itself - the player is playing right there and making a separate sound source which has a time delay to each mic due to relative distances, or keeping mics in a static location - some mics move through the performance with the performers.

A large portion of my mixing work in the studio is with the tracks I recorded live, and because of the reasons listed above, you could spend an eternity trying to align all the tracks to fix the phasing issues, or you can use hpf and lpf's and be done with it - phasing issues are just a part of every single mix I have to do, sometimes phasing issues makes things sound better!
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:49 AM   #28
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Depends what you're doing, doesn't it? Some metal has totally spanked and castrated bass because they want the low end chug to come from the guitar cabs. Or you might have drastically high-passed guitars throughout a song, but there's a bit where they play without the bass so you bring the low end back in that section... there's a lot of possibilities and no hard and fast rules.
Exactly. Sometimes you do want low end on guitar, sometimes not. I got the impression from the video that the guy is saying you need low end from guitars.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:51 AM   #29
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Sorry, I am a BIG believer in HPF. Acoustic guitar in a dense track can be HP up 200 hz or more since its typically being used as a shaker with harmonic content.
If it is there and it needs to be removed because you can hear it, remove it. If it is there yet so far down frequency wise you can't hear it but you see it and know it is unnecessarily using power that isn't needed, remove it.

The point is not to just go throw HPF everything as a routine panacea for low end health because EQ by it's very function is a phase shift and it's better to just not do it instead of splitting hairs on how much harm it does or where you may or may not realize it. That advice does get thrown around a lot and followed blindly and people try to make mixing a routine of mechanical steps instead of actually mixing and only making changes that need to be made.

That being said, I do it when a shelf can't (many times the shelf can and smoother) and by the time I take care of the few tracks that need it, going back and HPF on everything else makes no audible difference. I'm a big fan of not altering audio unless you need to and EQ is at the very, very top of the list of things I don't use unless I have a clear reason. YMMV of course.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:56 AM   #30
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I'm a big fan of not altering audio unless you need to
This is a great philosophy.

I think it's tempting for people to apply effects to everything.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:57 AM   #31
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Totally - the take home message of the video, really, is a good one and that's "don't do anything by default".

I have to say, though, I'm with magicbuss and don't think guitars necessarily need low end.
They don't but would you just throw an HPF on or would notice it first... "Hey this guitar is a little heavy on the low end" then shelve it off a little and if that doesn't work, HPF. IMHO that is much better than the popular internet advice of "There ain't no info down there, just HPF all the guitars around 100 or so".

When I heard that, I tried it and it quickly made guitars a bit thin if not careful. It worked out much better to listen to what I'm mixing and actually well.... mix. I have no issue with using an HPF when that's the thing to do but the popular rule isn't that which AFAIK was the point.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:01 AM   #32
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Exactly. Sometimes you do want low end on guitar, sometimes not. I got the impression from the video that the guy is saying you need low end from guitars.
Like you say, sometimes, sometimes not. We can't make the assumption that every guitar track is constantly tucked in the mix at all times with kick/bass holding the low end or even has too much bass. It's 100% context, content and arrangement based, no internet rule could ever possibly cover that.

If I suddenly have some guitar track as an intro or breakdown, I don't want all the low end HPF'd away just because someone told me to. Lastly, if the low frequency information isn't even there, there is nothing to remove unless there is low end noise. In analog this was more of an issue but not so much in digital.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:17 AM   #33
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Depends what you're doing, doesn't it? Some metal has totally spanked and castrated bass because they want the low end chug to come from the guitar cabs. Or you might have drastically high-passed guitars throughout a song, but there's a bit where they play without the bass so you bring the low end back in that section... there's a lot of possibilities and no hard and fast rules.
Yup. One of the big questions every mixer has to answer early in the process is WHAT is going to dominate the low end. Kick? Bass? Detuned guitars?

That last one is a bitch. Some metal bands have detuned/baritone guitars down to low A. You essentially have THREE bass players and the kick to juggle. I think this is where that obnoxious "fieldy" bass tone came from. Korn had detuned heavily distorted guitars and for the bass to be heard they decided to go "drastic" on the bass EQ.

One of the first bands I ever recorded was a cookie monster band. The recording and mix were horrible but i learned alot (like 57's dont really capture detuned guitars very well and 5 string bass + detuned guitars is probably a BAD idea)
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:35 AM   #34
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Yup. One of the big questions every mixer has to answer early in the process is WHAT is going to dominate the low end. Kick? Bass? Detuned guitars?

That last one is a bitch. Some metal bands have detuned/baritone guitars down to low A. You essentially have THREE bass players and the kick to juggle. I think this is where that obnoxious "fieldy" bass tone came from. Korn had detuned heavily distorted guitars and for the bass to be heard they decided to go "drastic" on the bass EQ.

One of the first bands I ever recorded was a cookie monster band. The recording and mix were horrible but i learned alot (like 57's dont really capture detuned guitars very well and 5 string bass + detuned guitars is probably a BAD idea)
Couple of questions if you don't mind...

Firstly, what's a cookie monster band? lol

But more seriously, do you have any more info on that "Fieldy tone"? I used to listen to Korn a lot when I was about 14 but haven't listened since I got into recording so would be interesting to know about if it's unusual.
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:04 AM   #35
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Couple of questions if you don't mind...

Firstly, what's a cookie monster band? lol
This.

https://soundcloud.com/timboz/pony-1#t=2:26
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:06 AM   #36
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Yup. One of the big questions every mixer has to answer early in the process is WHAT is going to dominate the low end. Kick? Bass? Detuned guitars?

That last one is a bitch. Some metal bands have detuned/baritone guitars down to low A. You essentially have THREE bass players and the kick to juggle. I think this is where that obnoxious "fieldy" bass tone came from. Korn had detuned heavily distorted guitars and for the bass to be heard they decided to go "drastic" on the bass EQ.

One of the first bands I ever recorded was a cookie monster band. The recording and mix were horrible but i learned alot (like 57's dont really capture detuned guitars very well and 5 string bass + detuned guitars is probably a BAD idea)
One of my pet peeves with some metal mixing is that tupperware drum sound
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:30 AM   #37
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I think I understand lol
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:47 AM   #38
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One of my pet peeves with some metal mixing is that tupperware drum sound
I remember when I first noticed that and it appears they move the kick above bass guitar to make room frequency wise. Been awhile so don't quote me if I'm not remembering accurately.

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5 string bass + detuned guitars is probably a BAD idea
I'm assuming the 5 string is required to get it below the detuned guitars as they begin reaching into bass guitar sonic territory which then causes the need for the Tupperware kick because the bass ends up in the kicks territory which infers something relevant to all of this...

Each instrument has its sonic home to live in, that's what we do, find instruments to occupy each area of the spectrum even if we did so by the instruments we chose when starting a band. If a guitar for example has it's place, it is often more likely to have problems in the frequency range it lives in. For example, I by far find myself needing to tweak the 200-250 Hz region than I ever have the 80Hz region because the guitar simply has little or no info down there. A function of EQ is it cannot cut or boost what doesn't actually exist so IMHO we should listen, decide then cut or not cut.

^That doesn't mean we can't do a little roll off if info is actually there but seems like the better idea is to quantify then act.
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:50 AM   #39
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I default to high-pass-filtering.
But, then, I don't know much.
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:52 AM   #40
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And to note, if you are concerned about phase: high pass filters do most of their phase shifting in the area that you are cutting out anyway. Low shelf filters are similar... I'm not saying that it's insignificant, it may well be (in a multi-mic situation), but a high-pass filter isn't necessarily going to "mess up your phase". The video linked above just looks at the resulting waveform changing and says "see, your phase has been all shifted", which is not a valuable way to analyze the situation. Unless you're multi-micing a kick drum (rare), or for some other reason care that the sub-bass frequencies on your multi-mic'ed instrument be perfectly in-phase, a judiciously-used high pass is a fine way to remove low-end junk, IMO.

But certainly agreed that handling of low end frequencies is a major issue in mixing, and not as simple as "high-pass everything".



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