Old 02-21-2011, 12:25 PM   #1
djz
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Default "Boomy" mix

I have a bunch of songs that I mixed that sound, imo, great on my monitors, but really "boomy" on "normal" systems. I hoped that I had prevented this by highpassing all my tracks, but on consumer systems the bass is super muddy. Checked out the mixes in a couple of cars (bad), couple of pairs of computer speakers (actually sounded really good on 1 pair even with super-hyped bass, the other was just mud-disaster in the low-end) my sister's hi-fi (mediocre)

I don't get it... sounds how I like it on two different pairs of monitors, as well as on my SRH840 'phones. Sounds great on iPod headphones...

I compared reference tracks and other material was boomy on the systems, but my tracks were about 50% boomier.... if it's even possible to quantify "boominess"

I wish I could just mix it for my monitors and be like, that sounds great! put it in the can... but obviously I'm hoping people actually listen to this stuff...

Any ideas on how to deal with this? I guess I just need to focus more and train my ears better between 40-150hz and do more double checking on commercial systems...
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:43 PM   #2
SoulOne82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djz View Post
I have a bunch of songs that I mixed that sound, imo, great on my monitors, but really "boomy" on "normal" systems. I hoped that I had prevented this by highpassing all my tracks...
you need to look at the low mids, not the low end. try to reduce at 200-350 hz (just a guideline!!), depending on your source material.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:46 PM   #3
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yep... dont listen to all these "online tutorials" telling you to boost 300 in a bass, 200 hz in a snare.. or 100 hz in a kick etc......


Just really ... REALLY pay attention too that 150-300 area... and do this while in the full mix... because you will NOT want to cut that stuff out, because you lose a lot.. but when in the mix(where you should be eqing it, never in solo) it will sound clean and ok...

In my opinion, not much is said about this frequency range, except you hear people say cut some 300 for mud. There's really a lot going on at 200 that muddies up fast.... try some 131 hz on a kick.. ouch.. nasty... cut that baby..


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Old 02-21-2011, 12:57 PM   #4
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Another thing to be aware of - if it sounds great on your monitors, and really bassy everywhere else, your room and furniture are probably affecting the frequency range you're hearing. It's possible that you're sitting in a spot where the bass in the room starts to cancel, so by setting the bass to what sounds like a good level you're actually cranking it up.

Find a good reference track with the same style/production you're going for, and see how it sounds in your room. Then load it up in Reaper and compare it to your mix with a frequency analyzer like Voxengo SPAN - I'm willing to bet that, after adjusting the overall levels to match, yours will have a big hump somewhere in the bass.

One last suggestion - if you're at a point where each instrument sounds good, and you can't cut any more bass from them without the mix sounding wimpy, consider multiband compression. Clamp down really hard wherever you're "woofing" so it's fairly consistent. A guitar by itself will still sound bassy, but once everything else comes in the compressor will keep things from getting too boomy.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:57 PM   #5
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On other thing to be aware of is that a consumer system (especially car audio) tends to boost the low end to get more "thump" out of music, while studio monitors should be flat all the way down to thier rool off. So if you mix a track on studio monitors, to sound the way your favorite song does in your car, you are adding a lot of bass to make your studio monitors sound like your car.
The only way around this (aside from mixing in your car) is to become very familiar with your monitors.
A lot of people only use their studio monitors for recording, and do all of their "listening" on other systems. This means that you have no idea what your monitors actually sound like. I would suggest creating a reaper project with a few of your favorite songs (songs you want your mixes to sound like) on different tracks. Open that project in a separate tab, and switch back and forth between it, and you mix to compare them. I think you'll find that your reference tracks sound thin on the low end through your monitors. This is also a good practice during mixing just to "reset" your ears periodically.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:59 PM   #6
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thanks guys!!! awesome suggestions, thank you for pointing me in the direction of a lil' bit higher up the spectrum. And yeah, I figured the room was probably part of it. I recently changed rooms and I find I can hear the lower end a lot better now. People have commented that the mixes sound better and the only thing that's changed really is the room...
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:01 PM   #7
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BTW, what volume are you mixing at? Try mixing suppppppppper super low volumes..

~Rob.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by junioreq View Post
BTW, what volume are you mixing at? Try mixing suppppppppper super low volumes..

~Rob.
I just recently started doing that. For some reason I had it in my head that it was "best" to mix between 83-85dbspl. Imagine my surprise when things started turning out better when the monitors were whisper quiet...
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:11 AM   #9
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It could be that you have a misconception about how this-or-that has to sound!? If you can get hold of one of these multitracks from hit songs, listen to the single tracks several times, before you start working on your own material again. "Bass" is not really "bassy" most of the time, and kick drums are flat as can be.

I would try to aim for a clean overall sound first, and then find the spots where there's space for sonic extravaganza...
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