Helpful ReplyOld trick for balancing levels of kick and bass

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sharke
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2017/03/07 20:24:41 (permalink)

Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass

I just read about this technique which apparently Jacquire King uses and has been talked about in various videos online. 
 
Basically you solo the kick, put the fader at 0dB, slap a VU meter across the master bus, start playback and adjust the input gain on the VU meter until the needle is just kissing -3dB. Next you solo the bass too so that the kick and bass are playing together. Then you adjust the level of the bass so that the VU needle is just kissing 0dB when they play together. The idea being that an increase of 3dB is equivalent to doubling the volume of the kick, so you've effectively made the level of the bass identical with the kick. You can then adjust the kick fader until it's peaking where you want it for your mix, making sure you link the kick fader to the bass fader so that they move in tandem and keep the same relative level. 
 
Does anyone have any experience of doing this? How does it work out in general? 

James
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greg_moreira
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/07 21:00:05 (permalink)
In theory it should work perfectly as long as this is what you are going for.  Ive done this a few times and found that it will get you in the ballpark.
 
I believe the theory behind it is if you take a track ... any track ... and duplicate it(same volume as the original), then your output increases 3db.  This is true no matter the source material or no matter how loud/quiet it is. Two duplicate waves at the same volume adds 3db.  I might be slightly wrong on the science, but the basic premise of what is going on is in there somewhere lol
 
so using that theory, if your kick is at -3, and adding in the bass pushes it to 0(3 db gain), then the bass should be the same volume level as the kick at this point(in order to have created a 3db gain).
 
Still, youd want to hear it in the context of the song, and Id trust your ears before I trusted the trick.
 
If you do it and the bass sounds too loud or too quiet or whatever...  dont feel like you did something wrong or dont feel the need to keep it there because 'science' presents a theory that says they are at the same level.
 
I would suggest this trick to somebody struggling with figuring out where the bass should go in the mix.  If you always find that you think its good til you audition the track somewhere, and in your car or wherever you find the bass is super overbearing....  or you do the exact opposite and overcorrect and have the bass too quiet......an approach like this will help you in getting the level of the bass reasonably close to the ballpark.
 
If you know what you are going for and consistently produce a result that you like, then definitely I'd let your ears be the final judge.
 
 
 
 
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TheSteven
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/07 21:32:08 (permalink)
TBH never bothered with that approach.
I think it really depends on what your mixing.
A big wompy kick and slow bass line don't work for a lot of my stuff so giving them that kind of sonic real estate can be detrimental.  
 
 
 
 
 

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fret_man
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/07 22:44:36 (permalink)
But then you hear that it takes 10 violins to double the perceived sound of just 1 violin. So there seems to be some voodoo/misapplication of physics here somewhere.
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conklin
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/07 22:48:18 (permalink)
Unless I'm missing something, that would only work if the bass note was the same as the kick frequency.  Once the bass line starts moving the balance would be void  - right?  
 
Again unless I'm not getting it, not really sure why you'd want the bass at 0dB
 
Just my .02
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sharke
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/07 23:24:24 (permalink)
fret_man
But then you hear that it takes 10 violins to double the perceived sound of just 1 violin. So there seems to be some voodoo/misapplication of physics here somewhere.


It's based on the fact that if you duplicate a track and play them together, the output rises by 3dB.

James
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dwardzala
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/07 23:27:11 (permalink)
fret_man
But then you hear that it takes 10 violins to double the perceived sound of just 1 violin. So there seems to be some voodoo/misapplication of physics here somewhere.


That's so 8 more volinists get paid.  :-)
 
A sound wave is a sound wave whether it comes from a violin, a kick drum, a bass or vocal.

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sharke
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/07 23:28:20 (permalink)
conklin
Unless I'm missing something, that would only work if the bass note was the same as the kick frequency.  Once the bass line starts moving the balance would be void  - right?  
 
Again unless I'm not getting it, not really sure why you'd want the bass at 0dB
 
Just my .02


This isn't an EQ balancing trick, it's just to get the levels of bass and kick in the ballpark relative to each other. I presume you'd do it after EQ'ing. I think where it could be helpful is in getting a good level balance if your monitoring situation isn't the best. And it wouldn't be limited to getting the bass and kick at exactly the same level - even if you want one to be stronger than the other, at least by balancing their levels you have a good starting point from which to bring one above the other. This would, I presume, help prevent situations in which you play your mix elsewhere and either the kick or the bass sounds wildly out.

James
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greg_moreira
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/08 03:19:17 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Rimshot 2017/03/08 04:14:07
conklin
Unless I'm missing something, that would only work if the bass note was the same as the kick frequency.  Once the bass line starts moving the balance would be void  - right?  
 
Again unless I'm not getting it, not really sure why you'd want the bass at 0dB
 
Just my .02


you wouldnt leave it at zero.  This is simply because the meter is easy to read at zero.
 
If your kick was say -15, and you were adding in the bass trying to make the level with the two tracks end up at -12....  its just a lot harder to read such a small window on the meter is all.
 
once you set it and establish the relationship between the two....youd simply maintain that relationship even if you have to turn it down.
 
as far as frequency goes.....  this is more about volume.  and if you think of the bass signal, typically its going to be pretty compressed and consistent.  you arent going to have any particular notes that are way louder than others.  at least you shouldn't.  So more or less it'll be pretty consistent.  Enough to get a ballpark.    And if you do have certain notes that are waaay louder in volume than others....  you should compress until you dont ;)
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highlandermak
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/08 04:31:12 (permalink)
I've used it a few times and it does exactly what others have said, it gets you in the ballpark. It's a nice starting point to reference.

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dcumpian
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/08 14:14:48 (permalink)
Yep, gets you closer, but it is greatly material-dependent. If you've been mixing for awhile, your ear will get you there quicker.
 
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greg_moreira
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/08 14:59:57 (permalink)
dcumpian
Yep, gets you closer, but it is greatly material-dependent. If you've been mixing for awhile, your ear will get you there quicker.
 
Dan


Absolutely agree
 
One important note...  make sure whatever room you work in is treated right, because this can play tricks on your ear!
 
Going on a tangent here, but as an example....  when I was building my studio, the bottom 3 feet of my walls were all still exposed around the whole perimeter.  My plan was to use 3X5 concrete board all around the bottom perimeter because it was an underground basement studio and I figured if ever there was a water problem...  I didnt want drywall or something that would rot.   
 
long story short...  I started messing around in the room before I finished closing in the walls at the bottom, and with all that surface area of exposed insulation....  can you say major bass trapping!  Typical wall insulation alone usually isnt an effective bass trap.  You need some density to the material.  But when you have a few hundred square feet of insulation exposed....  it can bass trap rather well lol
 
I use JBL LSR 308 monitors and a sub and you CANT make the bass sound overbearing in that room lol.  Those open walls just eat it up.  Even with the best set of ears youd struggle to find balance when the room just doesnt respond right to bass content.
 
that is all remedied now....but I thought it was a good example of a time where this little trick can help.  I know a lot of us at one time or another have worked in a room that wasnt sized well or hardly treated at all, and it especially makes bass content hard to judge.
 
 
 
 
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Voda La Void
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/08 21:03:34 (permalink)
greg_moreira
conklin
Unless I'm missing something, that would only work if the bass note was the same as the kick frequency.  Once the bass line starts moving the balance would be void  - right?  
 
Again unless I'm not getting it, not really sure why you'd want the bass at 0dB
 
Just my .02


 
as far as frequency goes.....  this is more about volume.  and if you think of the bass signal, typically its going to be pretty compressed and consistent.  you arent going to have any particular notes that are way louder than others.  at least you shouldn't.  So more or less it'll be pretty consistent.  Enough to get a ballpark.    And if you do have certain notes that are waaay louder in volume than others....  you should compress until you dont ;)




I think he's talking about the science of two sine waves adding together to make a 3dB gain.  If you have two waves, both at 50 Hz, let's say, then you'd have a gain of 3dB because at every single point along the wave they match and when added together 2 X the voltage is a 3dB gain.  

But if you had one sine wave at 50 Hz and another at 100 Hz, let's say, then they aren't going to match up at every point along the wave when added together now, so it's going to be less than 3dB.  For instance, when the 50 Hz wave is peaking at 1/4 cycle, the 100 Hz wave is at half-cycle hitting the zero line so there is no increase at that instance.  As you track the two waves there will be instances they double, and instances they do not, and instances they subtract, and so on.  

In other words, we're down in the weeds looking at the frequency cycles and how they add moment by moment.  In this case, you've got kick drum frequencies that do not match bass guitar frequencies, so they are not going to double perfectly for a 3dB gain - there's going to be adds and cancels instance by instance.  

All of this may be unnecessary obsession of details, that maybe don't really matter in any meaningful way.  But I think that's where he was going with his question.  And I'm kind of wondering the same thing, now.   

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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/08 21:08:33 (permalink)
Voda La Void
And I'm kind of wondering the same thing, now.   



Don't do it...it is a non-productive rabbit hole...
 
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dcumpian
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/08 21:09:15 (permalink)
greg_moreira
dcumpian
Yep, gets you closer, but it is greatly material-dependent. If you've been mixing for awhile, your ear will get you there quicker.
 
Dan


Absolutely agree
 
One important note...  make sure whatever room you work in is treated right, because this can play tricks on your ear!



Yes, absolutely.
 
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greg_moreira
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/08 22:13:06 (permalink)
Voda La Void
 
I think he's talking about the science of two sine waves adding together to make a 3dB gain.  If you have two waves, both at 50 Hz, let's say, then you'd have a gain of 3dB because at every single point along the wave they match and when added together 2 X the voltage is a 3dB gain.  

But if you had one sine wave at 50 Hz and another at 100 Hz, let's say, then they aren't going to match up at every point along the wave when added together now, so it's going to be less than 3dB.  For instance, when the 50 Hz wave is peaking at 1/4 cycle, the 100 Hz wave is at half-cycle hitting the zero line so there is no increase at that instance.  As you track the two waves there will be instances they double, and instances they do not, and instances they subtract, and so on.  

In other words, we're down in the weeds looking at the frequency cycles and how they add moment by moment.  In this case, you've got kick drum frequencies that do not match bass guitar frequencies, so they are not going to double perfectly for a 3dB gain - there's going to be adds and cancels instance by instance.  

All of this may be unnecessary obsession of details, that maybe don't really matter in any meaningful way.  But I think that's where he was going with his question.  And I'm kind of wondering the same thing, now.   




ahh i follow you.  yeah this is im sure one of the many reasons why its a 'ballpark' approach more than anything.
 
look at it this way, even if things were different and the science said that it is indeed an exacting method of balancing levels ....  it still doesnt necessarily mean its going to sound just right every time.
 
thats why it still always comes back to the ears :)
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gswitz
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/09 02:55:48 (permalink)
Sharke,
I didn't know about this. It was interesting to think about.

Thanks

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sharke
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/09 04:23:34 (permalink)
greg_moreira
Voda La Void
 
I think he's talking about the science of two sine waves adding together to make a 3dB gain.  If you have two waves, both at 50 Hz, let's say, then you'd have a gain of 3dB because at every single point along the wave they match and when added together 2 X the voltage is a 3dB gain.  

But if you had one sine wave at 50 Hz and another at 100 Hz, let's say, then they aren't going to match up at every point along the wave when added together now, so it's going to be less than 3dB.  For instance, when the 50 Hz wave is peaking at 1/4 cycle, the 100 Hz wave is at half-cycle hitting the zero line so there is no increase at that instance.  As you track the two waves there will be instances they double, and instances they do not, and instances they subtract, and so on.  

In other words, we're down in the weeds looking at the frequency cycles and how they add moment by moment.  In this case, you've got kick drum frequencies that do not match bass guitar frequencies, so they are not going to double perfectly for a 3dB gain - there's going to be adds and cancels instance by instance.  

All of this may be unnecessary obsession of details, that maybe don't really matter in any meaningful way.  But I think that's where he was going with his question.  And I'm kind of wondering the same thing, now.   




ahh i follow you.  yeah this is im sure one of the many reasons why its a 'ballpark' approach more than anything.
 
look at it this way, even if things were different and the science said that it is indeed an exacting method of balancing levels ....  it still doesnt necessarily mean its going to sound just right every time.
 
thats why it still always comes back to the ears :)




It's definitely a ballpark technique and not scientifically perfect. After all, the technique requires that your kick makes the needle kiss 3db, not land on it exactly every time. With a live performance of a kick drum especially, you're never going to get 3dB each time. And you're just eyeballing a needle, hardly accurate. Same when you add the bass - the performance is likely to have some kind of dynamic range, so you're just getting a rough eyeball of when the needle is mainly kissing 0dB. I think many are missing the point here, which is not that every mix should have a scientifically 50/50 balance of kick and bass, but that in the absence of perfect monitoring, the technique serves as a rough calibration of an even balance from which to start. I've tried it - the resulting kick and bass does sound very balanced, at least through my ARC2 calibrated monitors and my Sonarworks calibrated cans. But that's maybe not what you want - however, once you know they're roughly 50/50 then you can take it from there with a higher degree of confidence than if you started from scratch.

James
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fret_man
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/09 14:49:16 (permalink)
Actually the math works out that if the two sinewaves are the same frequency the result is 6dB higher. When they're not the same frequency the output is 3dB higher. That's why bass + drums = 3dB. They aren't the same frequency. 
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Voda La Void
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/09 16:41:06 (permalink)
fret_man
Actually the math works out that if the two sinewaves are the same frequency the result is 6dB higher. When they're not the same frequency the output is 3dB higher. That's why bass + drums = 3dB. They aren't the same frequency. 




How can that be when 3dB is doubling the voltage, or power, or sound, whatever you're measuring?  6dB would be doubling it twice.  You can't get 6dB without gain (unless the amplitude is different, which means we don't have identical waves).  We're not doing gain, we're adding sine waves.  

So, if you have two sine waves of identical frequency and amplitude, then when the voltage at a particular instance is 2V, you have a total of 4V for a 3dB total increase.  A 6dB increase would mean 8V total.  
 
You can't get greater than a 3dB increase over the greatest amplitude when adding two sine waves together.  
 
 
post edited by Voda La Void - 2017/03/09 19:15:10

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gswitz
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/09 17:54:04 (permalink)
Voda La Void
You can't get greater than a 3dB increase when adding two sine waves together.  


With respect, this is not true.

The second sine wave can be just louder and that would do it.

To say you cannot sum two waves and see an increase of more than three dB over either of the originals is not correct.

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Voda La Void
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/09 19:10:23 (permalink)
gswitz
Voda La Void
You can't get greater than a 3dB increase when adding two sine waves together.  


With respect, this is not true.

The second sine wave can be just louder and that would do it.

To say you cannot sum two waves and see an increase of more than three dB over either of the originals is not correct.

 
Yeah, that was a sloppy statement on my part.  I was speaking in the context of identical amplitudes, but I made a sweeping statement, my apologies.  The point I was trying to get at was that if you really are setting both at 0, then when added together the best you could ever see in increase would be 3dB.  More than that means one wave is larger than the other, as you pointed out.  
 
And I think that's the idea behind the 3dB technique here, that either wave by itself set at 0 doesn't mean they will add "in balance".  That's why you don't just set each one at 0 and get the same result.  The whole point of this is that those two instrument's frequencies are going to interact with each other, and boost and cancel instances along the cycles, so by setting one at zero, then adding the other until you get a 3dB increase, you've set them essentially equal when they interact with each other.
 
 

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#22
Jeff Evans
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/09 19:42:11 (permalink)
It is also confusing with power and voltage. When two identical in phase voltages add they will produce a 6 dB increase in voltage which is double the voltage (= 4 x power) When  a voltage goes up by 3 dB you get double the power.
 
As well as those two signals not being in perfect phase there may even be a decrease in voltage or in parts of the cycles, an  increase of 3 dB but remember for any cycles that are in phase it could be as high as 6 dB. What you end up with then is a complex wave now that may have some parts of the cycle being as much as 6 dB higher.
 
That trick is nothing more than using a VU meter to mix 2 components which you can do to a certain extent.  And it does work well. Using the full scale of the VU to balance two things accurately.  And on a decent VU (hardware) it is more accurate as well.
 
But later when you mix you won't be running the kick/bass signal in at 0 dB VU.  Turn up your monitoring now and then start adding mix components in. That kick/bass setting will be lower now and add to drums and then the whole drums/bass/ groove might be hitting -4 to -3 all up allowing for rest of the mix (vocals) then the instruments to come in and bring things up to 0 dB VU overall. That is the plan. 

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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/09 19:55:37 (permalink)
sharke, here's my take for what it's worth....
 
The biggest issue with something like this is, the old problem we've always had with bass and kick. And that is...when to boost the lows in those instruments vs. just boosting the volume. So if you used this technique, you still have an issue as to whether or not what you are hearing is based on your faders or that your low end levels have been boosted.
 
Most of the time, the levels are what need to be adjusted more so than the low end levels being boosted on said instruments. The biggest issue for people is knowing which to increase. For example, newer mixes are adding sub low frequencies with tighter Q's. We have bass hitting down into the 40-60Hz range while kick drums are being accentuated from 70-90Hz for their low end push.
 
A few years ago, it was reversed. Kicks were boomier and bass guitars had more of a tighter low end from 70-90Hz. I actually prefer that to this day for myself. I'm not crazy about all the sub low bass that gets used today. Though it seems to be industry standard because the world is listening on ear-buds, it doesn't have to be MY standard. I think it sounds horrible. I'd rather my kick give me a thud that sounds and feels like a baseball bat to the stomach and my bass play the supporting role so I can literally play the thing and not worry about it getting lost in low end.
 
But the object in all of the above, is to know when to boost lows as well as which ones, and when to just turn up the fader. I can't see how this technique would help anything to be honest. If you ARE in a situation where your kick or bass IS pushed in the low end area and you try this, you may be left with an instrument that is more felt than actually heard.
 
This is a huge problem with bass guitar today. If you had to audition for a band with some of those sub lows the bass are pushing out, you sometimes can't even pick out what the guy is playing. It's so loaded with mud and rumble. If you were to have a bass like that and use this technique, your low end is already boosted....making the bass louder than the kick by 3dB will introduce more mud. I'm with Dan C....definitely use your ears and forget about all these new techniques people are trying to push on us that supposedly simplify or make things better.
 
Off topic a bit...but sidechaining....there's another useless technique for people that basically can't make a kick and bass work properly without frequency masking. So they hook something up that allow the instruments to take turns. Like really? Here's where it can work nicely...
 
You can put it on rhythm guitars and a lead guitar. Or, any rhythm and lead instrument. When the lead kicks in, the rhythm instruments back down allowing the lead to take center stage. When the lead is done, it's back to your regular scheduled program and the rhythm instruments are back where they need to be. But read that again....it can also be taken care of with something more simplistic. Automation. :) If we can't handle frequency masking, there is no sense putting a band aide on things. The fix is simple...side chaining in THAT situation, is as silly as using hyper compression on everything for the sake of being "loud." Just my take though....people should use whatever works.
 
But it's like anything in life for me. Before I learned a single dirty word in my life, my mother taught me all the clean words. All the parts of the body, all the slang words came at about 4th grade, unfortunately. BUT....I knew the real stuff before I learned the slangs and the shortcuts, see where I'm going with this? ;) I think it's super important for all of us to know how to handle issues before we resort to short cuts or simplified techniques that really take something away from the mix. That's just me being me though. :)
#24
batsbrew
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/09 20:46:29 (permalink)
i'm kinda with danny on this approach,
of working out the relative complementary eq between the kick and bass first,
as to NOT elevate mud,
and then work out the levels somewhat close to each other by ear.
 
sometimes you want the kick to be louder,
and sometimes the bass louder.....
 
but for me,
the most important thing is to CUT frequencies that sound muddy on each track first...
then compare them together, to make sure there is not one UN-COMPLEMENTARY frequency that both together bring out in abundance... and then nuke it.
 
i have found myself favoring slight boosts with q's around 4, of 65 hz for the low kick,
and 80-90hz for the low bass, 
and getting rid of a lot around 164 hz on the bass track, with a medium-narrom q,
and cutting the kick a bit higher up than that, 240-320hz with a wider q
 
cuts. more than boosts.
 
but it all depends on the individual track and quality of capture.
if you are working with samples on the kick, usually you can use those pretty much 'as-is', with some minor eq tweaks.
 
 

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#25
bitflipper
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/09 20:58:28 (permalink)
Try this experiment: pull up some of your favorite mixes and solo the kick and bass while referencing a VU meter. How close do they come to satisfying this shortcut rule? IOW, if you mute one or the other, does the level drop by 3dB?
 
Of course, none likely will, but then it's only intended to be a ballpark technique. The question becomes: would it have actually made finding that balance easier, as opposed to just "earballing" it?


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#26
greg_moreira
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/09 21:18:32 (permalink)
I wouldnt go as far as to say things like sidechaining have no value.
 
It all depends on what you are working on.  If you are producing something by john fogerty or the beatles....  sure it doesnt necessarily matter.
 
if you are doing any modern dance/club/rock/and many forms of metal..  it can almost become a necessity.
 
LOUDNESS is what everyone wants to hear when it comes to those styles of music nowadays.  The tracks need to slam.  One of the most effective way to get energy into a track is by highlighting the drums.
 
You dont so much make the drums part of the mix.  You make them sort of dominate the mix in these styles of music.  Listen to like a metallica or nickleback album of the last couple years and it becomes obvious the way the industry is going in these styles of music and many others.
 
now....im not saying everybody should like this trend.  Its definitely not for everybody, nor should it be.
 
But...if your clients are in those circles...  it is what they expect.  And you have to be able to produce what your clients want.
 
using sidechain compression to squeeze other elements away when the drums are being hit is a way to keep the volume of the drums to a level that is sensible to the mix.....  yet it will make those kick and snare hits come out and grab you because you will perceive them to be louder.   in the styles of music where you actually dont want the drums to sit harmoniously in the mix, its a great way to get them to slam. 
 
I agree that some people probably overuse it, or simply use it when its not needed.  That is just part of the learning curve.  Figuring out when to do things, and not just doing everything you know how to do all the time simply because you know how to do it
#27
Danny Danzi
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/09 21:41:56 (permalink)
greg_moreira
I wouldnt go as far as to say things like sidechaining have no value.
 
It all depends on what you are working on.  If you are producing something by john fogerty or the beatles....  sure it doesnt necessarily matter.
 
if you are doing any modern dance/club/rock/and many forms of metal..  it can almost become a necessity.
 
LOUDNESS is what everyone wants to hear when it comes to those styles of music nowadays.  The tracks need to slam.  One of the most effective way to get energy into a track is by highlighting the drums.
 
You dont so much make the drums part of the mix.  You make them sort of dominate the mix in these styles of music.  Listen to like a metallica or nickleback album of the last couple years and it becomes obvious the way the industry is going in these styles of music and many others.
 
now....im not saying everybody should like this trend.  Its definitely not for everybody, nor should it be.
 
But...if your clients are in those circles...  it is what they expect.  And you have to be able to produce what your clients want.
 
using sidechain compression to squeeze other elements away when the drums are being hit is a way to keep the volume of the drums to a level that is sensible to the mix.....  yet it will make those kick and snare hits come out and grab you because you will perceive them to be louder.   in the styles of music where you actually dont want the drums to sit harmoniously in the mix, its a great way to get them to slam. 
 
I agree that some people probably overuse it, or simply use it when its not needed.  That is just part of the learning curve.  Figuring out when to do things, and not just doing everything you know how to do all the time simply because you know how to do it




Right, completely understood. Again though, that doesn't have to be MY way as I noted before. I've turned away more client work due to not wanting to degrade audio than I can tell you about. And I'm completely happy with that. They always come back anyway once they hear how bad their stuff sounds. Instruments taking turns in a mix and all these other short cuts don't teach the home recording guy anything about fixing problem areas. In a world where people are releasing their own stuff, it's even more important to know what you're doing the right way. These new things are ruining mixes more than helping them if you listen closely.
 
As a teacher in the recording field, it is my sincere belief that you should learn how to fix the problem before you try and short cut/short change it. We've had incredible mixes over the years that in my opinion, obliterate some of the stuff we hear today that didn't use those techniques. I'm actually not old school and keep up to date with modern sounds and mixes. But that doesn't mean I have to like them or condone them.
 
The idea of music is also art and to be you. I don't keep up with anyone or benchmark myself. I do what I do...it works or it doesn't. But people can save themselves a lot of grief knowing the right way to do things and THEN you can maybe try the short cut to see if it's for you or not. I just hear way too many ruined mixes because some joker had something to sell on the internet. :-\
#28
Danny Danzi
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/09 21:44:32 (permalink)
batsbrew
i'm kinda with danny on this approach,
of working out the relative complementary eq between the kick and bass first,
as to NOT elevate mud,
and then work out the levels somewhat close to each other by ear.
 
sometimes you want the kick to be louder,
and sometimes the bass louder.....
 
but for me,
the most important thing is to CUT frequencies that sound muddy on each track first...
then compare them together, to make sure there is not one UN-COMPLEMENTARY frequency that both together bring out in abundance... and then nuke it.
 
i have found myself favoring slight boosts with q's around 4, of 65 hz for the low kick,
and 80-90hz for the low bass, 
and getting rid of a lot around 164 hz on the bass track, with a medium-narrom q,
and cutting the kick a bit higher up than that, 240-320hz with a wider q
 
cuts. more than boosts.
 
but it all depends on the individual track and quality of capture.
if you are working with samples on the kick, usually you can use those pretty much 'as-is', with some minor eq tweaks.
 
 




Hahaha I'm so with you on this! We do the same stuff! My kicks end up pushing anywhere from about 55-65 and my bass sounds are exactly the same as yours. ;)
#29
greg_moreira
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Re: Old trick for balancing levels of kick and bass 2017/03/09 22:04:00 (permalink)
Danny Danzi
 
 
Right, completely understood. Again though, that doesn't have to be MY way as I noted before. I've turned away more client work due to not wanting to degrade audio than I can tell you about. And I'm completely happy with that. They always come back anyway once they hear how bad their stuff sounds. Instruments taking turns in a mix and all these other short cuts don't teach the home recording guy anything about fixing problem areas. In a world where people are releasing their own stuff, it's even more important to know what you're doing the right way. These new things are ruining mixes more than helping them if you listen closely.
 
As a teacher in the recording field, it is my sincere belief that you should learn how to fix the problem before you try and short cut/short change it. We've had incredible mixes over the years that in my opinion, obliterate some of the stuff we hear today that didn't use those techniques. I'm actually not old school and keep up to date with modern sounds and mixes. But that doesn't mean I have to like them or condone them.
 
The idea of music is also art and to be you. I don't keep up with anyone or benchmark myself. I do what I do...it works or it doesn't. But people can save themselves a lot of grief knowing the right way to do things and THEN you can maybe try the short cut to see if it's for you or not. I just hear way too many ruined mixes because some joker had something to sell on the internet. :-\



oh we're definitely on the same page.  I dont want to come off like Im trying to provide instruction as in 'this is the way to do it', nor am I suggesting that anyone needs to like it either.
 
I try not to look at things in terms of what is better or worse, only because sometimes "worse" is what is best for the song.
 
Guys like Andrew sheps is a good example.  folks go to him because he will push your stuff into the red and distort it lol.  Bad form a lot of the time....but some circles have decided that its the only way to fly.
 
nothing wrong with turning down those styles if you arent a fan of doing things that way.
 
thats how we keep some perspective around :)
   
#30
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