Old 02-21-2014, 04:44 PM   #1
emanresu
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Default Cleaning the low's

Hi!

I wanna cut the lows of some acoustically recorded instruments. For example - one song is nice and quiet for 80% of the time. The rest can be loud and have some low notes. In that nice part I listened the low's of the piano through. Its only junk and random rumble up to 300hz. Can you suggest a good method(s) to clean up just parts of the track? Don't have to write an essay.. maybe point to a good thread or a plugin or keyword to a method(right now I've found - cut everything below 80hz or something.. but maybe there are smarter ways?). Then I can do some research.

Thanks much!
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:22 PM   #2
Lawrence
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Use hi-pass filters. With each track that needs it, apply a hi-pass filter and move it up until it starts to sound too thin, then back it down a bit. Some tracks may have a hi-pass at 80hz, some others might be at 150hz or higher so there's no set frequency rule.

Spectrum analyzers can speed that up if you don't have low range speakers.

Hope that helps.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Use hi-pass filters. With each track that needs it, apply a hi-pass filter and move it up until it starts to sound too thin, then back it down a bit. Some tracks may have a hi-pass at 80hz, some others might be at 150hz or higher so there's no set frequency rule.

Spectrum analyzers can speed that up if you don't have low range speakers.

Hope that helps.
Thanks. I do use them. But you know, piano has a wiiiiiide range.. It hits a huge chord a few times and the lowest note was like 80hz or something but then goes up again ad all that happens below 300 is junk. If i put the hi-pass at 70, then the the rest of the song anything below 300 is junk. Hm. Is eq automation the only way? Because the last time I tried it I wanted to throw a chair through the window.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:25 PM   #4
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Is it actually that bad in context, or are you just worried about "junk" that you hear only with the piano solo'd and low passed? That is, are you making a problem that doesn't really exist?

You might try multiband expansion. What's wrong with EQ automation?
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:35 PM   #5
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Is it actually that bad in context, or are you just worried about "junk" that you hear only with the piano solo'd and low passed? That is, are you making a problem that doesn't really exist?

You might try multiband expansion. What's wrong with EQ automation?
I try that automation thing once more. I think it was a matter of mouse-using-skills..
The problem is real. The lows of instruments add up - someone puts their fingers on the guitar: "thsss", someone lifts the pedal: "khffff". Its there, when certain blocks are cleaned and compared, I hear the differene. Its not small.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:36 PM   #6
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I hate over high passing instruments. Set your HPF to 28Hz or so and then use a shelving filter on the low end, this will allow you to turn down the low end by 3dB, or whatever is required to get what you are after without just throwing the baby out with the bath water. That shelving filter can cover a broad range and you can automate it's gain control if need be.

I do the same thing for the high end in cases where I want to boost it, broad filters like the shelf have always worked better for me in these types of situations.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:48 PM   #7
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I used brickwall low-pass to check what is there. When an instrument has to play from 100 to 500, the times when is higher, I heard nothing but "hmp, thmp, fmp" and some random stuff too. I mean.. when just keeping the normal listening level and listening that sum of all instruments low-passed that way.. well, its sounds worrying. Couldn't that be one reason of a mix being muddy?
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:52 PM   #8
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It sounds like the thmp thmp fwmp is what I call the 'human sound' of someone playing the instrument. If you remove that, it may as well just be a MIDI performance.

Impossible to make any judgment without hearing it.
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:03 PM   #9
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It sounds like the thmp thmp fwmp is what I call the 'human sound' of someone playing the instrument. If you remove that, it may as well just be a MIDI performance.

Impossible to make any judgment without hearing it.
Hm.. damn. Mixing is hard. Judgejudgejudge. Probably a normal person wouldn't care the least
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:20 PM   #10
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Is anybody else going to hear the low passed sound that you're worrying about? All that matters is how it sounds in the final mix. If it's muddy overall, then yes pulling out some of that low - low mid stuff could help. If you just hack it out because you don't like the way it sounds in low-passed mode, you might lose impact, warmth, depth, or any number of other poorly defined terms.

There really is no right or wrong here, just sounds like what you want or not. If anybody judges you based on how you got there, rather than how it sounds, you can safely ignore their opinions.
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Thanks. I do use them. But you know, piano has a wiiiiiide range.. It hits a huge chord a few times and the lowest note was like 80hz or something but then goes up again ad all that happens below 300 is junk. If i put the hi-pass at 70, then the the rest of the song anything below 300 is junk. Hm. Is eq automation the only way? Because the last time I tried it I wanted to throw a chair through the window.
Piano is one of those special things, depending on the song parts. There will be times when you may need to hi-pass a piano a little to serve a song, but that doesn't mean it's a set and forget proposition. In parts where it might serve the song better being off, automate the hi-pass off, like when some other stuff drop out.

In general (and i am no expert, just saying) I do think that's one thing a lot of us causal mixers do far too often, "set and forget". That goes for EQ, compressors and some other things that often need to be changed or reset as a song evolves.

Automation is your friend.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:38 PM   #12
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To avoid automation, you could split the piano take into several items and use EQ as an item effect only on the parts that need it. If the transition is too abrupt, extend the crossfade time between media items to slowly ease the EQ in and out.
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:23 AM   #13
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Here is what I do for stuff like that. Use a multiband gate.

There may even be a reaper plugin (came from another DAW and had a whole collection of plugins i was used to so i dont know the reaplugs well)

I use Melda multiband dynamics works.

Just set a band that covers 300 Hz (and 300 sounds pretty high, thats above middle c, how high is your part realy?) and below and set the threshhold so it cuts out the extraneous stuff u don't want. When the piano drops down low, the gate will open. I usually set a pretty long hold and release for it to sound right.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
All that matters is how it sounds in the final mix.
Dead right - otherwise said, hi pass it whilst listening to the whole mix, not solo. Acoustic guitar, for example, can take a lot more hi pass than you'd think solo, but in the context of the whole mix it sounds fine even if it's weird soloed.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
I hate over high passing instruments.
^ This, not necessarily to fix the OP problem, just that I also hate blindly high passing everything assuming it is going to work magic. If you hear/see a problem and know it needs it yes.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:30 AM   #16
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Maybe something like TOneboosters FLX4 ?
It's a dynamic eq, so you don't have to apply it on louder/quieter parts.
it's a beast, very powerful for a cheap price.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:37 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the advice! Just cleaned up with automation and trying not to go too crazy.
The intresting thing was that in close range to the speakers, and with headphones, it wasnt too bad(the thumping sounds of piano) but 5-6 metres away it kinda jumped out, like there was someone playing a bass drum quietly.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:43 AM   #18
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I hate high passing instruments this seems awkward to me that i am gonna hate this but piano sounds seems much good :->
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
Thanks for all the advice! Just cleaned up with automation and trying not to go too crazy.
The intresting thing was that in close range to the speakers, and with headphones, it wasnt too bad(the thumping sounds of piano) but 5-6 metres away it kinda jumped out, like there was someone playing a bass drum quietly.
That's just how sound works in a room. Every frequency will have different spots in the room that emphasize or dampen in it, and it's often the most noticeable with low end because the spots get big enough to say "yeah, that corner has a lot of bass". A big part of treating a room acoustically, like in a studio, is doing stuff to break up the waves that cause this, or controlling how things get reflected around.
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