Pro Audio Files

Mixing Low End (+ Free Hip-Hop Multitracks)

Transcript
Hey, what’s up guys? David Glenn back for The Pro Audio Files and davidglennrecording.com. I hope you’re doing amazing.

Today I’ve got a little lead in. A video on mixing your low end. Managing your low end. Lots of little pieces here and there, it’s not just low end, but in this particular video, I wanted to get in and hear the sub frequencies of the kick versus the bass and check my references that the artist gave me, and I think you’re going to dig it.

That’s coming here in a second, but first I just want to share that the video comes from a free set of multi-tracks that I’m giving away. They have come from themixacademy.com, where you can download multi-tracks once a month, we mix a song together, I mix it, provide all of the videos, and lots of great information over at themixacademy.com, or in the link in the description below.

But I hope you enjoy this video. We have a couple of videos coming from this series, and I just want to give a heads up, I’m going to be back, contributing. I’ve been away for a little bit, been dealing with some health and personal stuff, but back and ready to rock and roll for 2017. If you want questions answered, feel free. Go to facebook.com/davidglennrecording. Glenn has two n’s. I’m going to be answering e-mail questions, Facebook comments, all sorts of stuff over there as a way to kind of get some action happening on the Facebook page. If you’d just like that, and you’ll be sure to get all of the free content coming your way. I’ve got lots of really cool mixing, recording, producing series coming your way in the next couple of weeks.

So David Glenn Recording on Facebook, free multi-tracks, link in the description below, I hope you enjoy this video, and we’ll have one more that’s also going to be on mix tweaks, so keep an eye out for that. Thanks again, guys.

Alright, so the kick and bass on this one is going to be pretty important. We’ve got a lot of low end in our kick, so I’m not going to try to go maybe as subby or sub heavy as I have in some of my other mixes, but I do want to reference what they’ve got going on, and then kind of pull from that before I start messing with the kick and bass.

[mix]

[mix, filtered off top end]

Okay, so what I’m listening for there is just how dominant the kick is versus the bass, and then I’m going to kind of hone in on what they’ve got going on in the different frequency ranges, so we’re going to drop this down and just kind of listen.

[mix, filtered]

Okay, so you can clearly hear that the kick is dominating everything below 35Hz. You barely hear some sustain from the bass, but it’s pretty clear that the kick is dominating.

[mix, filtered to subs]

Okay, so even up to about 50Hz, we’re still hearing mostly kick.

[mix, filtered to subs, increasing filter]

Getting a little bit of bass in, but again, just that kick is dominating the low end.

[mix, filtered to lows]

Okay, so then about…

[mix, filtered to lows]

80 to 120, 130 or so, the bass starts to come in, but I wouldn’t say it’s dominating.

[mix, filtered to lows]

Let’s try to hone in on just that frequency range. Get a little bit tighter here, then let’s go here and get a little tighter there, select those two together… Actually, not together.

[mix, filtered to lows]

[mix, band passed, sweeping]

So right in there, you can feel like the kick almost disappears. So between 77 and 112 or so, we have mostly bass tone. I wouldn’t even say that the bass is real heavy there, it’s just that the kick kind of loses its power.

[mix, band passed, sweeping]

Set it around 110.

Okay, so just kind of getting an idea of where we’re at, let’s hear our track.

[mix, filtered]

Okay. Ours is still a little bit heavy on the bottom end. I’m going to come in here and… Hmm… Let me pull down just a little bit more of that bottom. I don’t mind it. I don’t think it’s distracting, but it sounds pretty cool. I’ll drop it down a little bit to kind of match that reference, and then let’s make sure I’m going to get rid of my filters, and I’m going to come up here and just listen to the kick and the bass, specifically, the bass level.

[mix]

[bass]

We have R-bass on.

[mix]

I’m going to pull this back open and take a listen, and get rid of this band here. Just here.

[mix, filtered to subs]

Pretty similar.

Okay. I’m going to come back up, and I’m not really hearing anything that I’m too mad at. I want to check my sidechain compression here and see how that’s triggering. Let’s go to — actually…

[mix]

Yeah, it doesn’t look like I’m sending into it correctly. So we’re going to go live kick, we’ve got it going into Track Spacer, but not our Kick SC. So Kick Side Chain, there it is. Not even active. Let’s pull it all the way up.

[mix]

Okay, got that going in nice and strong. We used a sub channel as well, and the kick up here.

[mix]

Okay, we have a little gap here where there’s no live kick. Let me figure out why that is.

[mix]

That’s kind of weird. Lets see…

[mix]

Hm. Looks like we’ve got a problem to fix in the tracks. I can’t remember if I did that creatively and then just forgot to do the rest of it, but let’s take a look at what that pattern is doing.

[mix]

Now we’re missing that mid-range by not having that kick in there, so let’s find the bar 1, and let’s fix the problem here. So kick…

[mix, adjusting kick]

Okay, I’m going to go ahead, and because it looks a little bit trickier than I want it to, I’m going to go ahead and fix that, and then I’ll show you guys what I did. Alright, so sorry about that, guys. I had to copy a section out here, and I made a marker right before the double kick in the sample kick up here. Just in all of that through to one pattern of the hook, and then I came back here and pasted it until I had this.

Now, when I listen to it, I kind of get why — I kind of get why I was pulling some stuff out, but I don’t like it not being there. Especially now that we’ve mixed these two kicks to work together, as opposed to it being — you know, one kick at the verse, and then another opening up at the chorus. So a little bit of a glitch on my part with the files, so forgive me for that. I’m going to upload those and get you guys the new kicks here whenever we get these up.

But anyways, let’s take a look at what we have now. There’s a couple ways that I think it could go.

[mix]

That one’s kind of a good example. Um, I don’t want to delete it. Let’s go ahead and break that and mute it.

[mix]

Yup. And that one too. Kind of weird — just to my ear. You might like it.

[mix]

Maybe leave that, because it’s kind of picking up to a fill, but if we hit the sampled kick there…

[mix]

Yeah, much tighter. I dig that. So a couple of kick arrangement fixes, and then we’re off and rolling. Let’s get back over to this bass and see how it’s feeling.

[bass]

Solo that up against the kicks.

[bass and kick]

I’m happy with it. It’s pretty simple this month if you just kind of drive in. Looks like we’ve just got some console stuff with a little tape knocking a couple of dB off with an LA2A, and then just boosting some low end. Not really too much in this track to begin with. Let’s listen to it soloed.

[bass]

Okay, so obviously, we’re pushing a lot of the low end up, but uh…

[bass]

Controlling. I’m compressing pretty good above 160. Getting any of that slap action under control. Kind of a weird, almost glitchy sound to it that I wasn’t digging. So I dig that. R-bass is cool. I’m not mad at it. We’ve got our sidechain compression, and then our final steep, steep filter, making sure nothing below 20Hz is hitting the limiter at the end.

So I don’t know. For me, the rhythm section sounds pretty good. All of that is kind of working. I think that moving on to the vocal, getting some of the music stuff in, let’s go ahead and shift into that. We’ll unmute the music, had that muted way too long.

[mix]

Okay, just thinking out loud, I’m going to enable — I’ve got this ATR-102. I think it could fit this song and this vibe, to bring that in, and I have a preset that I usually go to.

[mix with ATR-102]

Kind of killing some of my dynamics there though. Let’s see, is it Mike Poole? Richard Dodd? One of them that I really dig. It’s a half-inch.

[mix]

It’s not that one. For some reason, I don’t see it. Hmm.

[mix]

Eh, maybe it was that one, and it just doesn’t sound good for this. We’ll come back to it. For now, let’s get back up top, and let’s get this vocal in the mix here.

[mix, adjusting vocals]

Okay, a little Revival. It’s free, why not? And then let’s control some of those peaks. We’ll throw an 1176 on.

[mix]

Okay, a little sibilance going on. Let me back these down, and I’m going to throw the FabFilter up here. The De-esser.

[mix, adjusting FabFilter DS]

[vocals, filtered]

That sounds good. Controlling those esses quite a bit. Let’s pull open an EQ.

[vocals, adjusting EQ with FabFilter Pro-Q 2]

Okay. And let’s see if we can get those lows.

[vocals, adjusting FabFilter Pro-MB]

Okay, quite a bit of a volume — sorry, not a volume difference, but a tone difference from the verse to the chorus. I don’t know why that is. I tracked it, I should know, but it’s been a couple of years now.

Let’s see. Maybe we can get a little more compression.

[mix]

Okay, just a mild amount.

[mix]

I’m going to bypass those. Let’s give the Butch Vig a try. Not sure it’s going to work on this Hip-Hop vocal. Wrong plugin. Hey, let’s try it.

[mix]

Now that sounds pretty cool, but not for the whole song. Let’s go Butch Vig — man, I’m losing it. My finger is slipping. Okay, there we go. Okay, Butch Vig. Let’s see what we get.

[mix, vocals with Butch Vig plugin]

Yeah, not digging it. So I’m not going to spend too much more time with that. I’m going to come over and go back to what I was working on, and I’m actually going to pull in my chain. Well, let’s try something a little different. Let’s try not using it.

[mix]

Okay, that sounds alright, except I want to find that Mono Dimension D of mine. Some of my sends got moved around. That’s so weird. Let’s get the vocal slap in then at least. Where’s my stuff? See, something moves and it just drives me crazy here. You’ve got all of these A-list mixers talking about having their — excuse me, their patches and stuff exactly where they want them.

There’s Mono Dimension D.

[mix]

Okay, a little muddy sounding. It’s kind of weird that the two change like that. Let’s go in for vocal slap. What is that going to be at the end here…

[mix]

Sounds kind of cool. Then what we can do is maybe automate a couple of those lines up. Automate slap delay. Kind of cool. I get the point. Now we — we really need to EQ this thing. The EQ is all jacked up to my ear. So let’s come in here with — let’s do another instance of Virtual Mix Rack, and let’s go with the Neve.

[mix]

Okay. I feel like my ears are playing tricks on me, so what I’m going to do is I’m going to break away. I’m going to export these videos. My wife’s been sick and had some stuff going on to kind of cause this delay in getting these up for you guys, so I’m going to put these videos that we’ve done so far up, and then I’m going to break into — I’m going to give my ears a break, and tomorrow morning on fresh ears — I guess none of this really matters for you guys, because you’ll probably be watching them consistently through, but with fresh ears, I’m going to take and split the lead vocal for those sections that it doesn’t sound the same to my ear, and I’m going to put them on their own track, and I’m going to come at it with a fresh approach to how the verse vocal is going to sound, and then I want to give the hook vocal a little bit more character. Something to it, because it just sounds kind of bland and boring to me.

So I’m going to bounce this stuff, get this exported, and then we’ll catch you guys in the next videos, and then also the exclusive tutorial videos. Kind of walking through how we’re going to treat this vocal this month.

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David Glenn

David Glenn

David Glenn is a producer/engineer/musician based out of Orlando, FL. Credits include: Pablo Villatoro, Blanca Callahan (Group 1 Crew), Aimee Allen, and more. Learn more and get in touch at davidglennrecording.com.

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