#1
I have been noticing that when I compare many of my mixes to commercial tracks, my mixes tend to sound brighter (sometimes harsher, but not necessarily). Im not in practice of adding a lot of highs (5k-9k) or ultra highs (>10k) to my tracks, except for maybe on vocals and drum overheads for some clarity sake.

Ive been pulling individual stems for songs, or sometimes whole mixes, and doing EQ analysis/matching between the two to try to figure out what is going. And pretty consistently, I see a major drop-off just before and above 10k (i.e, fabfilter pro-q will say I need to cut a shitload in this area to get it to match).

I find it odd, because I dont see too many people recommending low passes on things, except maybe guitars or some backing vocals- but when I run comparisons, I see a massive dropoff even on lead vocals, which I thought was really strange. If I use the high cut, it certainly does add a more "commercial" sound to the track, interestingly enough.

Thought I would share this and see if anybody had any other experience like this / uses high cuts more aggressively in their mixes (i.e. Lowpass at 10-12khz !)
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#2
Maybe try looking at your mixes the opposite way, you could possibly be lacking in the lower frequencies of the mix. Seems to me an early mistake people make with mixes is overemphasising the bass frequencies, is it possible you've done this and overcompensated? There's also the chance you're boosting slightly the 10k frequencies on each channel and it's all accumulating at the end of the mix.
#3
If you think about bass, most of the time there is very little you want to hear under 50hz, unless you're doing some ambient or bass stuff.

For the most part anything under 80k will be most likely bass and kick, maybe some keys. I high pass most of the stuff there that is not essential (doesn't change) the arrangement of the song, so usually only deal with bass and kick in this area. I highpass guitars at about 80hz as well, maybe a little lower if there is a 7 string.

Vocals are usually are also filtered with high pass filter at about 70-80hz, so anything below that is out. It will bring definite clarity to your mixes.

You can also use lowpass at 10khz, or 12khz, most guitars and bass have no useable data in that range. Also it depends on the vocal but you can probably start cutting there on male vocals as well, although it might change some of the "ambience" if you recorded echo chambers or room mics.
Last edited by diabolical at Mar 16, 2016,
#4
Quote by Watterboy
I have been noticing that when I compare many of my mixes to commercial tracks, my mixes tend to sound brighter (sometimes harsher, but not necessarily). Im not in practice of adding a lot of highs (5k-9k) or ultra highs (>10k) to my tracks, except for maybe on vocals and drum overheads for some clarity sake.

Ive been pulling individual stems for songs, or sometimes whole mixes, and doing EQ analysis/matching between the two to try to figure out what is going. And pretty consistently, I see a major drop-off just before and above 10k (i.e, fabfilter pro-q will say I need to cut a shitload in this area to get it to match).

I find it odd, because I dont see too many people recommending low passes on things, except maybe guitars or some backing vocals- but when I run comparisons, I see a massive dropoff even on lead vocals, which I thought was really strange. If I use the high cut, it certainly does add a more "commercial" sound to the track, interestingly enough.

Thought I would share this and see if anybody had any other experience like this / uses high cuts more aggressively in their mixes (i.e. Lowpass at 10-12khz !)


Low pass is a must if you mix ITB. I lowpass almost everything to varying degrees, the build up in the very upper frequencies is nasty, even if you are not supposed to ''ear'' it it gives the mix a very shitty signature, it's a bit like trebley mud if that makes sense.
Another thing I strive for now is balance, when I do comparison with professional mixes I sometimes gasp at how much treble energy they have and yet they never sound harsh or fatiguing because there's a lot of bass as well making things balanced.
#5
Quote by francesco18
Low pass is a must if you mix ITB. I lowpass almost everything to varying degrees, the build up in the very upper frequencies is nasty, even if you are not supposed to ''ear'' it it gives the mix a very shitty signature, it's a bit like trebley mud if that makes sense.
Another thing I strive for now is balance, when I do comparison with professional mixes I sometimes gasp at how much treble energy they have and yet they never sound harsh or fatiguing because there's a lot of bass as well making things balanced.


This- ive noticed the commercial stuff is very bright yet really not that harsh, and there is certainly a good balance with the low end that really gives it the thump and body, but again not muddy. Maybe i should try low passing more tracks instead of doing a low pass in the master which kind of cuts the clarity off the mix
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#7
Major update here:

I had a big breakthrough this weekend, but I cant really understand the logic behind why this is happening. I've found that everything that I record (whether its from a mic into my interface or a guitar plugged right in), i need to put about a 6-7db high shelf cut, starting at somewhere from 350-650hz, depending on what Im doing. If I dont do this, everything just seems too harsh. For the longest time, I thought my monitors were the problem and I could never play my guitar through my PC without it sounding like shit and nothing like my guitar amps. When I do this high shelf, the low end comes to life, and things start sounding warm, but the highs and mids still cut through just fine.

What gives?? Ive noticed this awful sound with my old krk monitors too, as well as my jbls. Im gonna plug the krks back in, but im almost positive that this hi shelf cut is going to solve the problem because the speakers sound similar. The strange thing is, it is only for things that I record (what I mean to say is, I dont think its my room affecting playback because commercial songs that I playback dont have the issue). I cant imagine what it would be that causes me to have to high shelf everything when it is recorded raw.. Maybe because I close mic stuff? But direct guitar sounds bad too. Idk!
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#8
Sounds to me like you might just have too much "mud" in your mixes. That's the traditional cut in that area for drums, especially on kick. Also when mastering the ME can attenuate (cut few db) on that part of the mix for more "clarity".
#9
Quote by diabolical
Sounds to me like you might just have too much "mud" in your mixes. That's the traditional cut in that area for drums, especially on kick. Also when mastering the ME can attenuate (cut few db) on that part of the mix for more "clarity".


But its not even on the mix necessarily- if i plug my guitar into my interface and use Peavy revalver (or any other emulation software really), it just doesnt sound right. Its hard to explain. But i think the problem is that for some reason, my signal just has a ton of mids and highs, more than it should. It doesnt sound anything like how your traditional guitar sounds coming out of a guitar amp speaker. But with the hi shelf cut, it makes it sound much better and way more accurate. I will have to make a video to show you!

Ive had this problem on two different computers, 3 different interfaces, 3 different sets of speakers, several different microphones, guitars, cables ect.. and I finally figured out ehat the culprit. The only thing that had stayed consistent this whole time is that ive been using Reaper. Does Reaper have some sort of signal 'boost' or normalizer feature or something that I dont know about that brightens your signal or something? My track sounds like it should sound when i apply the 6db high shelf cut??
Quote by suckmahnuts
Watterboy, I love you.

Quote by davrossss
You are now my favourite person on UG.....You write cool shit.

Quote by wannabestoner69