• Mix/Production: How to manage the low frequencies in your mix?
  • Started by Mar T.
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Re: How to manage the low frequencies in your mix?
Reply #15 on: June 10, 2017, 16:29:28
These is what I do regulary
- As already said HPF on all tracks esp. important for e.g. distorted electric guitars that compete with the bass/kick/whatever in the lower freqencies
- Compare frequencies of kick against bass guitar, bass against guitars and so on and e.g cut the bass guitar at the freq of the kick that like and the other way around.
This video show this process in a great way (and Pro Q is a great plug, esp with a touch screen)

- Compressor (often multi band) to tame the bass guitar and perhaps a limiter as well if the bass is basically pumping put 1/8 notes.
- Putting an eq with mid/side capabilities on the master bus and HPF the sides works great.

That is probably the best EQ tutorial I've ever seen. Huge thanks for sharing.

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ha, that is always nice to hear @Levander, that the information offered by fellow songwriters and mixers (from @Jambrains here) on this forum is useful and being used by others  ::thumb:: ::thumb:: ::thumb:: ::thumb::
me, myself, and Pie

Re: Mix/Production: How to manage the low frequencies in your mix?
Reply #17 on: September 15, 2017, 15:10:48
Besides using EQ i use the next plugins to get the best low end

for basses
Bass professor https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=o2wOpaUhF9Q
Wave maxxbass

Also double the basssynth/guitar a octave up and blend it just a little in....

I use small speakers like auratone... (avantones) i should hear a kick and the bass on those speakers. So a mix my bas sound now much higher.. ;-)

For kick
MDA Subsynth (sin osc under kick)

For making the low end mono i use
wave s1 shuffler

For checking the bass....
Evouyn noisebud

hope this helps ;-)
Just set all my solo  music free at https://budhabuilding.bandcamp.com

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Re: Mix/Production: How to manage the low frequencies in your mix?
Reply #18 on: September 17, 2017, 02:24:02
Hey @budhabuilding , man I was completely unaware of Reapack (only for Reaper users), thanks for sharing that info!
Just played with the bass professor and I loooove it! Yes, this helps!! For other Reaper users: check this out!!

I'm proud of this track, check it out! https://soundcloud.com/martimedia/dreams

Re: Mix/Production: How to manage the low frequencies in your mix?
Reply #19 on: September 22, 2017, 23:26:04
Can anyone offer me some advice on this?

I'm working with reference tracks. I play mine and I play the professional tracks and they "sound" close. But, on the voxengo span or other meters they "look" just slightly different. Mine have a slight "bump" in the lows between 80hz - 180hz. The pro tracks always hold that part down .... their tracks look pretty flat.

I know I shouldn't try to mix or master with my eyes but it sounds like I'm closer than I've ever been.   
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound

November Sound is based on the Mother, Father & Son musical trio of Melissa, Bill & Will. I'm the father so anything I post will have my wife singing and/or my son playing percussion.

Re: Mix/Production: How to manage the low frequencies in your mix?
Reply #20 on: November 01, 2017, 15:24:34
My oh my,

the low frequencies are my nightmare!!! ahah.

I try to listen to reference songs which I know well and that may be similar to the song I am mixing, and try to understand why and how they sound so much better.

When I started mixing my album, Philosophy Of Wine, I had as first and almost constant reference the James Taylor's album OCTOBER ROAD. I think the the Kickdrum and the bass are in that album really something magical (I am speaking, of course, of a certain kind of music; that would not apply for hard rock)!

Another album I use as reference, even if it is not the sound I am looking for, is THE NIGHTFLY - Donald Fagen. I think that sound is great, first of all because it sound very good on every speaker you will use...!

On the other hand, I am pretty sure that the mastering it is a great deal in getting the right balance where the mixing lacks. And to do a good master you need a really good equipment (you can't do that at home, if you want to get it real professional)IMO :)


« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 13:02:07 by BLACK MIRROR »
what a great topic... excuse me, I'm gonna resurrect it.
Low frequencies are everybody's nightmare...
I also learned one day that an HPF was necessary on all tracks, but very carefully, @Leonard Scaper, you are right that this vice can give you anemic songs.
But little by little I decided to take back and let again "whole" instruments if the song allows it. It depends on the number of elements you have and the simultaneous confluence of they. In some cases, less complex songs you can afford to allow stay instruments without HPF and this adds a haze that gives a lot of character. In dirt there is often wealth. It is my opinion.
Particularly with the basses, it is an obsessive torment ... Fundamental for me is to find firstly the character and growl around 1500hz and strongly increase it, then let it to live in the 50-100hz. Never apply an HPF above 49hz. If any note booms too much over there in the low, I apply a dynamic eq with a particular Q-node narrow to that frequency, forcing it to attenuate it only when it exceeds. It is te equivalent to a band compresor but more selective still… Finally I add a one band compresor to the whole bass until character is sufficiently clear and the roundness pleasant, finding the balance between both.. not too much compressed at ratio 2:1.
Sometimes, while listening, I have to kneel under the table or go to the adjoining bathroom to check that everything is ok... jajajajaj
but this way is just what works for me... um, I think... you can never be confident with the basses.
No Colours for Concern.

In dirt there is often wealth.

Well said.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

"Special thanks to Steve Gleason for making me who I am today." Leonard Scaper

Lenny's Tunes: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=540680


Re: Mix/Production: How to manage the low frequencies in your mix?
Reply #23 on: December 29, 2018, 03:53:21
I love these kinds of conversations. This stuff has always been interesting to me.  The Pro-Q is one of the very best EQ's for sure. I almost picked it up this year but I missed the sale. I won't pay that much for an EQ. I'm cheap. From what I understand there isn't a huge advantage  buying Pro-Q 3 if you have Pro-Q 2 already.

A few thoughts are rolling around in my grey matter on this subject.  There  are EQ's with exceptional filters and others with not so good ones. Hence the reason so many will pay 249.00 for Pro-Q.  I have a few that I think are really nice for a lot less $$. Dynamic EQ's are especially helpful in taming frequencies because they only act when needed as opposed to  a standard EQ that notches all the time. A mix might look good on the GUI but not sound  as good as it could because over chopping frequencies is bad too. Just my .000002. In particular, two very good dynamic EQ's are Melda's M-dynamic EQ and Ozone's Dynamic EQ.  I only use these in extreme situations. Very similar to a multiband compressor but more useful in my opinion. 

Concerning limiters MCDSP's ML4000 isn't the most intuitive to use, but it's amazing in what it can go. Requires either a dongle  or iLok cloud to use.  They are always having a sale. The best time to buy it. That limiter /compressor  can easily select which frequencies to limit /compress or expand and has helped me a lot.

I could go on for probably too long about bass management. I use IK Multimedia's ARC 2. Check it out for frequency control.

I use two LD condensers to record acoustic, mainly because aside from a very cheap pencil mic they are my best mics. I get the typical small room box effect from LF, MF buildup. Having the room full of junk helps me a little. I have learned the optimal distances and placement for the mics, then I simply notch out the bad ranges. I don't have a hardware compressor, so I sometimes track through my plugins with a slight delay.
Using a cardoid pattern I manage to eliminate most of the room.  I'm sure I'm not doing as well as I could if I had a dedicate preamp and treated space.. I'm using the inputs on my Focusrite Scarlett 2nd gen. People rave about these interfaces and they are decent. Nowhere near as good as a wound transformer pre amp though. I did manage a fairly decent acoustic guitar recording here-

Like most others I use what I have and I gets me by. One day I might get  one. Too many other things to buy right now.

Re: Mix/Production: How to manage the low frequencies in your mix?
Reply #24 on: December 29, 2018, 10:35:21
That is a very nice piece of music @Timothy Smith . I do like the acoustic guitar sound that you achieved using two mics like that. With two microphones capturing the complex sound of a guitar you will always be dealing with phasing issues as the sound waves get captured at differing times no matter how carefully you place the mics.

The cool part about that is that phasing can give you a very musical sound if you work with it. Sounds like you got it right in this piece. When I was using two mics I would nudge one of the tracks around very carefully so that it lined up differently with the other. Each tiny move (1 ms) would change the sound in very noticeable ways. That can be a very creative exercise....and it can even help manage the low end.

These days I use one mic on acoustic guitar and I listen carefully to the low end when I am placing the location of the sound hole in relationship to the microphone.

Re: Mix/Production: How to manage the low frequencies in your mix?
Reply #25 on: December 29, 2018, 22:24:04
Thank you @Leonard Scraper  for your comments here and for bringing this up. I should have mentioned phasing or comb filtering issues are possible when using two mics. It has taken me some time to get the mics just right. Not directly in front of the sound hole the sound hole. I mostly keep the mics fairly close to one another. I have mine on two mic swing arms mounted to either side of my desk like the type podcasters use. I swing them into place when I'm ready to record. Saves a lot of time messing around with mic stands.

The main advantage to two mics is you can get a stereo effect if the tracks are worked right.  I hadn't thought about shifting one track to compensate. This is a great idea I'll file away for when I do it again.

I sometimes use  the phase switch on one track to flip the signal 180. I don't need to do that very often.

One other thing I do is use a smaller body guitar for most recording. It's a Martin with the smaller body.  I also have a large body but I haven't played it in awhile. The large body cavity tends to make more ruckus  in the low frequencies in my studio.

Re: Mix/Production: How to manage the low frequencies in your mix?
Reply #26 on: December 30, 2018, 00:26:12
@Timothy Smith .........great discussion. Curious as to other acoustic players' microphone choices.

I also record only with small body guitars....a Martin 000 and a 1933 Kalamazoo KG-11.

Re: Mix/Production: How to manage the low frequencies in your mix?
Reply #27 on: December 30, 2018, 01:33:54
I'm jealous @Leonard Scraper. I have a Martin DX. It's the low end model. Sounds surprisingly good though.  I have been eyeing the Mahogany Martins. I'm an average built guy and they fit me perfectly. The large body is sometimes a stretch.

Hi all,

I'm always having trouble in my mixes to get the low frequencies under control (<100 Hz).
Things I've learned are:
-If you want a louder bass you should not boost the bass track in the low frequencies, but find the mid/high-mid range where the 'character' of the bass lives and boost that.
-Kick and bass are in each others frequency space so only one of them can be dominant. I often choose to cut the kick frequency from the bass track to give the punch of the kick room.
But these are no 'truth's' , just my personal findings.
Does anybody with production affinity have a golden rule for managing the lowest frequencies of a mix?


Two things that can help:

1. Pull out some low frequencies in the main bus. 100 and below while slightly boosting 2000 and above.

2.  Get rid of needed  low frequencies on vocal  and guitar tracks.


Hi everyone!
Bumping this old thread  ;)   Anyone have any new tricks to add?

I still find myself looking at meters while listening to pro mixes. Why does their bass look smaller but sound bigger?   ???  How do I kill that "bump" in the bass but still keep it sounding good?

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