Harshness in overall mix... techniques? EQ, multiband, etc. - Gearspace.com
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Harshness in overall mix... techniques? EQ, multiband, etc.
Old 25th January 2013
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
Harshness in overall mix... techniques? EQ, multiband, etc.

Things are getting a bit harsh as I'm getting things mixed... not willing to give up on the arrangements, so I am curious for those of y'all using a lot of synths, samples, stacked vocals, crunchy guitars, etc. do you find yourself eq'ing the whole mix back a tad or are you attacking each track to find it? Any techniques I don't know about beyond sweeping an eq and beginning to notch? Any tips, even specific plugs you find useful (I'm an in the box guy w/ logic pro 9, some waves plugs, the T-Racks deluxe stuff, and some others...)

I'll get it, I know, but I'm curious if you had any suggestions or a smarter way.

Old 25th January 2013
Lives for gear
Led Music's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Hey Matt,

I'd say number 1. Your monitors and room will play a massive part of the end result. You'll be able to pick apart detail with high quality monitoring that you could never hear on lesser quality monitors. Basic info, but important none the less.

Number 2. Careful of boosting too many frequencies over 1k. Especially with digital eq's, the mid range can get quite harsh if you boost it too much.

Number 3. Listen for all the instruments and sounds that have their main sound coming from the same frequencies. Then maybe do a little eq cut in one of them. See what that sounds like. Just try not to boost things too much in the same frequency range.

Over time, you'll get the hang of it. Keep at it.
Btw I find certain cheap quality converters have a harsh sound to them. A nice set of converters can sometimes help with the harshness. Just my own personal opinion and experience.
Old 25th January 2013
Lives for gear
Gee's Avatar
🎧 5 years
Yea I second that easy on the boosting in the higher frequencies.

Try bussing your instruments to an aux and doing a bit of the work there (eq/compression). This will help as you won't have to go as drastic on each instrument.

Have fun!
Old 25th January 2013
Gear Maniac
ModernMixing's Avatar
🎧 5 years
There's some good tips.already.

I would add that you need to pick and choose your battles. Everything can't occupy all the high frequencies. You might actually have to cut some. For example its pretty common for most people to boost hats and cymbals but a lot of times I find I am cutting out some hi end.

If you want everything to have a bit of high end, I would agree with the last post and do your boosting on your bussing.

Sent from my SGH-T989D using Gearslutz App
Old 25th January 2013
Gear Head
🎧 10 years
I find it helpful and it actually seems to add a "sheen" to the entire mix (even though kind of contradictory/unintuitive to what you would think) by cutting the highs with a 6dB/8ve low pass filter @ ~ 17kHz. Kind of like high passing to help tighten the low end.
Old 25th January 2013
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
A lot of the issues were a build up around 2-4k and so a broad 1-2db dip centered around 3k helped immensely. I did that on distorted guitars and also rolled off a tad more high end (guitars were the main culprit). Will rest my ears and reference on some more systems before trying some of the other great suggestions. Thanks a ton!!!
Old 30th January 2013
Lives for gear
🎧 5 years
Don't forget you can apply a linear phase eq on your master bus and do a gentle broad cut at whatever frequency (1-5k) is most annoying.
Old 30th January 2013
Gear Addict
sbechristos's Avatar
🎧 5 years
leave it for the mastering engineer lol

No not really. In my opinion in 99 % its better to search for the problems in the single tracks rather than eq out the 2bus. If you do it on the 2bus, you might lose something very important from a non problematic track in your mix. Never do that and leave the stereo bus for the mastering guy.
Old 30th January 2013
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
Yep, I have a chronic issue with harshness in ths mids/upper mids(This is without boosting anything) but getting better at controlling it with EQing out the naughty stuff, I get it especially with vox, so I go through them with an EQ finding the harshness or unwanted frequencies and cutting them, it can be quite alot but ends up in a much cleaner/smoother sound.

I tried Multiband compression on the MB once on a troublesome mix and it worked but it was really just a band aid, better to go back and re-mix it.
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