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To low cut or not to low cut ?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
maartenl945's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
To low cut or not to low cut ?

Hi,

I made a video about this but wonder where you all stand ?



Regards,
Maarten
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
I don't really subscribe to the "low cut everything" approach, as though nothing below a certain frequency is really needed...but I do agree that the low end often needs more careful attention and deliberate sculpting, which isn't necessarily just about cutting everything below a specific point. I like to do more shaping of the low end by sometimes scooping and sometimes boosting, to balancing the LF between the various tracks so they are not all hitting the same LF centers hard, which causes the build-ups.

I get the clarity thing...but I don't think that simply cutting most of the LF on all tracks always works best. I like clarity, but also a nice fat low end.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maartenl945 ➡️
Hi,

I made a video about this but wonder where you all stand ?



Regards,
Maarten

it's situational but if an instrument is miced you should low cut whenever possible to avoid any sub low end bleed that may have occurred during tracking. This is only a rough guide, but for instance if you are recording Oboe maybe low cut at 200hz since it should not be present at lower frequencies. This chart is only a starting point of course. I personally low cut everything in a rock mix except kick, bass and floor toms or really low keyboard patches. But it depends. I will say having a sub woofer is essential to isolate the low end issues.


https://www.dummies.com/home-garden/...for-car-audio/
Attached Thumbnails
To low cut or not to low cut ?-ewchart.png  
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Sharp11's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I agree with the OP.

I cut and listen. For example, cutting classical guitar; I start the roll off at around 70 to 80 hz with a slope of either 6 or 12 dB and move toward a roll off at 100hz - once the sound changes, I stop - I’m just trying remove low frequencies I don’t need, who wants the sub woofer flopping unnecessarily?

Same with piano, the only time it’s a little different is if the piano or guitar is a solo performance - there I’ll go lower, but still may cut as there’s always noise down there - you can see it on any spectrograph even if you cannot hear it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
I tend to low-cut most tracks, though at different frequencies and roll-off ratios.

There's a ridiculous amount of low-frequency nonsense in things like "professional" cymbal and high-hat samples which can affect (read: "trigger") your compressors. Even samples which sound like they're fairly high could have started out fairly low and been pitched up. (The higher notes on the piano or in a string section or synth pad, for example.) Many sample makers now don't bother rolling off the (once) very low frequency sounds that have now moved up into the audible range and are doing nothing but adding muddiness -- and triggering your compressor.

Steve
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Addict
what about the phase shift above the corner frequency? does it matter only insofar as it changes the phase relationship of the filtered sound with respect to other sounds in the mix, but not in regard to the sound itself?

p.s. i like hermepass
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Here for the gear
 
I do concert taping, so the application is a little different, but I have found that cutting 3-4db or so between 125-250 clears up some boominess in the low end.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
maartenl945's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by miroslav ➡️
I don't really subscribe to the "low cut everything" approach, as though nothing below a certain frequency is really needed...but I do agree that the low end often needs more careful attention and deliberate sculpting, which isn't necessarily just about cutting everything below a specific point. I like to do more shaping of the low end by sometimes scooping and sometimes boosting, to balancing the LF between the various tracks so they are not all hitting the same LF centers hard, which causes the build-ups.

I get the clarity thing...but I don't think that simply cutting most of the LF on all tracks always works best. I like clarity, but also a nice fat low end.
I don't mean to cut all low end out of a track, but I do find that it works better to only allow certain instruments to cover the low end (like bass and kick), and get rid of that low end on all other tracks. In the video I show cutting kick and bass pretty high as well, but that can depend on track/style/what you like, etc.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
maartenl945's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeraz ➡️
it's situational but if an instrument is miced you should low cut whenever possible to avoid any sub low end bleed that may have occurred during tracking. This is only a rough guide, but for instance if you are recording Oboe maybe low cut at 200hz since it should not be present at lower frequencies. This chart is only a starting point of course. I personally low cut everything in a rock mix except kick, bass and floor toms or really low keyboard patches. But it depends. I will say having a sub woofer is essential to isolate the low end issues.


https://www.dummies.com/home-garden/...for-car-audio/
Nice overview chart
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I low cut nearly everything.

Frequency charts are a good guideline but if you're using 6dB or 12dB HPFs it's always best to listen.

Personally I would have Reason 5 as working with compressors - comps behave very differently depending on how much LF there is in the signal. In software you can always multiband but when working with hardware it's not so easy - cutting some low end out can make the comp work harder and more effectively on your target midrange freqs.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
I low cut a lot...but usually leave the bass instruments alone. It also depends on how much is going on. If you have more space, because of an arrangement or number of instruments, you might want to leave the lows alone on say, an acoustic guitar. Sometimes low cut thins things too much.

I'm trying lately to approach some of this stuff, with mike placement.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
maartenl945's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyeguy ➡️
I low cut a lot...but usually leave the bass instruments alone. It also depends on how much is going on. If you have more space, because of an arrangement or number of instruments, you might want to leave the lows alone on say, an acoustic guitar. Sometimes low cut thins things too much.

I'm trying lately to approach some of this stuff, with mike placement.
Yes good one. When there’s like a solo instrument playing or in a very sparse part of the arrangement, I usually leave it full range as well.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Here for the gear
 
It is by far the most blindly applied tool maybe along with a limiter. The amount of times I just see people hi pass without listening and then say "oh, its so there is room for kick and bass later". "I high-pass everything" "cut the stuff that's not needed". I really think the classic "use your ear" applies here, and its why full range monitoring is so crucial.

Dont you find when you hi pass a sound, it changes the brightness darkness balance? Im not knocking it as a tool, but I think its really worth listening to the overall tilt balance of the sound.

The more I find other ways of making tracks bright and making room in the low end, the less high pass gets used over here. Its mostly used in conjunction with a low pass to adjust the height of a sound. Its a very large brushstroke. To my ear, less of it leads to a more organic sound.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xander Knight ➡️
It is by far the most blindly applied tool maybe along with a limiter. The amount of times I just see people hi pass without listening and then say "oh, its so there is room for kick and bass later". "I high-pass everything" "cut the stuff that's not needed". I really think the classic "use your ear" applies here, and its why full range monitoring is so crucial.

Dont you find when you hi pass a sound, it changes the brightness darkness balance? Im not knocking it as a tool, but I think its really worth listening to the overall tilt balance of the sound.

The more I find other ways of making tracks bright and making room in the low end, the less high pass gets used over here. Its mostly used in conjunction with a low pass to adjust the height of a sound. Its a very large brushstroke. To my ear, less of it leads to a more organic sound.
I read something where William Wittman was saying he won't hpf anything over 25hz. The hpf on my little mixer is set at 100hz..so that's fairly destructive. If I could hp at 25hz or even 50hz (when needed) instead of 100, I probably would.

I've gone back and changed mixes because I thought the guitars were too thin after the hpf...so it's definitely a cautious-listen type move.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Gear Addict
 
Lunar Attic's Avatar
First off, am I the only one who thinks it's extremely funny this is posted in Low End Theory?

Never mind.


More on topic. I think the HP filter is essential in all mixing and I often feel the same about the LP filter.

[rant]

I cringe every time when I'm at some event and someone on a stage is handed a mic and all I hear is; "Whoomoom Moom Boom Whoowhoomoom Boom Pop Whoom Pop Whoomboomwhoomoom."

I gnash my teeth when I open a session someone sent me and there's like 74 virtual instruments, from bass, kick, snare, toms, hihat (FFS!), (fake) guitars and keyboards to FX all ranging the entire spectrum from 20Hz to 20kHz.

I hang my head in despair when I get sent a two track beat and the 'producer' had apparently decided it was a good idea to write the bass line in sub frequencies only. (I suspect he was listening mainly to distortion with the monitors cranked to the max and those cool yellow speaker cones doing 2cm excursions and it sounded really, really good...)

I tell my young Paduans; There's nothing musical down there. There's nothing useful down there. Unless you're doing special FX for an earthquake movie.

And, conversely, I often have to remind myself; there's nothing musical, or particularly useful up there either.

If you can hear above 17K, or 15K or even 12K, congratulations! But very little information in that range is going to affect the way average humans experience music.

Extreme low-end eats headroom like nothing else. And adding highs is like adding sugar, or salt to your food; once you put it in you'll miss it when you take it out.

[/rant]


Sorry for that.

Lately I'm kinda moving away from using HP/LP filters, at least on vocals, and opting more for a lo shelf cut/hi shelf boost kinda approach, almost like a tilt EQ thing.

It's not that I hate extreme low end, or detest stratospheric highs, I just love mids.


T
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
zvukofor's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I just love cutting lows and highs. But i don’t mix and record any pure acoustical music, where you prevent noises... in pop/rock i can cut lows on a vocal as high as 500Hz sometimes, if i want to put a vocalist on a big stage. Just used to use EQ as a basic tool for placing voices in stage/space and setting their size: more lows and highs - closer to the listener, and vice versa... more lows - bigger source... you know, the physics we all used to in our lives.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 
MixedSignals's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I feel comfy cutting fairly liberally in the mix, not relying on compression, focusing on mids and leaning on overall EQ to sort out cohesiveness and the rest. I don't know if this is exactly the "right" way to do it, but it has to do with working within limitations and recording live (to two tracks). Like making soup- once you put things in there, it's hard to take them back out.

I think most mixing mistakes generally are also due to initial sound selection or mic'ing and the over-reliance on processing to compensate.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 
In order to not cause too much damage phase-wise I tend to only use one or two high pass frequencies using the same filter. I generally prefer low shelves - they do less phase damage. Depending on your tool of choice when using steep filters, the accumulated bumps after a cut point can rob you of more headroom than the cuts gained!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Nut
 
I always cut to make changes before I boost, and when I boost it's usually for a special effect, like turning 2k up all the way and running it trough a distortion.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
I had been using 18dB/octave hi-pass mostly. But just started using 12 dB more. I think it's better. Still don't tend to use lo-pass much, except for reverbs. Maybe as I work in 48 kHz mostly, anti-alias filters do that for me.
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