Static vs. Moving Mixes (Negotiating Low End)

Transcript:

Hey, folks. Matthew Weiss here. Please don’t mind the bed in the back, I have some guests who are staying, so welcome to their bedroom!

Anyway, I have some sad news. Unfortunately, I think that it’s time that I retire the www part of my intro. I know this is something we’ve all come to know and love, but it is 2015, and nobody says that anymore, so I really need to get with the times.

Anyway, if you are new to The Pro Audio Files, welcome! Glad that you’re here. If you’ve been with us for awhile, you might have been following us for as many as five years at this point. So, this is going to be a next level tutorial. It’s going to be pretty easy, it’s going to be some pretty basic stuff, but it’s something where there are sort of two categories of engineers.

Those who do this, and those who don’t, and I’d like you to be those who do. So, okay. Let’s listen to this record.

[song plays]

So, in this record, there are a couple of bass things going on. There’s this very low, sub-rumble thing happening, then there is a kick and an 808, and what we’re going to be focusing on is the relationship between the low sub-rumble, and the 808.

Now, here I have an EQ on the low sub-rumble. I want you to watch and see what happens.

[music]

So, if you don’t have a sub, you might not be getting as much out of this tutorial as you could be, but the ideas are still going to apply.

Basically, the low bass rumble tone…

[bass]

…Has a whole lot of sub stuff going on, and the 808, it’s all in the sub. So when the 808 is not present, I’m keeping that sub-tone subby. It’s going to hold down that extra low end.

When the 808 kicks in, I’m high passing and getting rid of that sub tone on the lower bass. The idea here is that the mix is adjusting to the arrangement, and that’s a really important concept.

See, there’s two phases of a mix. There’s your static mix, which is basically your balances. You know, you get your basses living together, your kicks living together, your vocals interacting with your snare right, all that kind of stuff.

Then you’ve got your moving mix, which is where things start to change. Okay, all of these elements come in during the chorus, so I need to treat the bass differently, or I want the vocals to sit differently in the chorus, or there’s a spot in the verse where this really big 808 comes in, and now I don’t need all the sub from my sub-bass.

That’s what’s happening here, and so what I’m doing is I’m automating the high-pass filter that I have on the sub-bass to jump up to about 100Hz when that 808 kicks in.

Now. This is a very obvious example of this. As that 808 comes in, in order for it to make sense in the record, I need to get rid of all of that really muddy sub-tone that’s going to interfere with it, but this is going to apply to all sorts of stages of your EQ. How everything lives together will always change when new elements are removed or introduced.

So. Keep your mixes dynamic. Think movement. Think, “okay, if the arrangement changes, do I need to change something else?” The answer is usually yes, and if the arrangement doesn’t change, do you need to change something in order to keep the mix sounding interesting?

The answer again might be yes. So that is a moving mix, and I hope that you start incorporating this into your mixing.

Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss is a Grammy nominated and Spellemann Award winning audio engineer from Philadelphia. Matthew has mixed songs for Snoop, Sonny Digital, Gorilla Zoe, Uri Caine, Dizzee Rascal, Arrested Development, 9th Wonder, !llmind & more. Get in touch: Weiss-Sound.com.
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