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HF boost on mix buss during tracking and mixing?
Old 8th February 2007
Gear Head
๐ŸŽง 15 years
HF boost on mix buss during tracking and mixing?


Lately I've been tracking from the start of a project with an EQ on the main mix buss boosting the HF from approx 2K up by 3dB (shelf), I'm also using the same EQ on the drum sub buss too.

Just wondering what you guys think of this working method?

I've found it much easier to get closer to my desired sounds, especially with drums and my rough mixes sound more finished, I'm getting closer to a commercial sound, a lot of my older mixes suffered from being too dull and when I tried to fix things with EQ on each instrument the overall effect was a bit harsh and edgy and lacking balls a lot of the time.

Basically what I'm trying to ask is if you think there are any downsides to this method that I have not heard or encountered yet.

Old 8th February 2007
Gear Addict
Eide's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
I would never track through 2bus eq, unless the eq was going to tape. What if you had to send the files to someone else for mixing - your tracks would be a dull pile of [email protected] I do mix with eq on the 2bus all the time tho.
Old 8th February 2007
Jules's Avatar
Originally Posted by STUDIO2 โžก๏ธ

Just wondering what you guys think of this working method?
I like it and use it too.

What it does, is save me cranking HF on everything and helps me keep my maniac eq twisting hands off my outboard and to record mostly flat..

Where I put this to use is on a master drum group. (only)

Here is my drum group plug in order (its not a parallel group, all drums simply go through this one group while tracking)

McDSP compressorbank 3
URS N12 graphic eq (I employ a 30hz 1db boost and a smile curve up on the high frequencies..)
Cranesong Phoenix - Dark Essence 75%

I find this 'cheers up' the tracking process no end.. I can have drums with 'sheen & polish" and it gives me a nice frequency spectrum to match guitars & bass to.

I understand but disagree with this...

Originally Posted by Eide โžก๏ธ
I would never track through 2bus eq, unless the eq was going to tape. What if you had to send the files to someone else for mixing - your tracks would be a dull pile of [email protected] I do mix with eq on the 2bus all the time tho.
As IMHO someone new to a project would ideally want un messed with sounds at the mix they could to the messing..

Having said all that I still will EQ drums at the tracking stage if required..

Another way to look at this methodology, especially eq on the 2 bus (mix bus) is - I am doing a rough approximation of mastering HF 'lift' - when I print the mix, I will print a version MINUS my EQ and let the pro mastering people - perform that HF lift with their far superior equipment and a better listening environment.

Anyhow, although I just put it to use on drum tracking - I find this a very valid option for tracking and recommend it to anyone that is interested in tracking 'flat' but cant get past the dull sound...

Each to their own..

BTW - I feel this is an especially digital work method. With tape - there are strategy's to leave tape hiss as far behind as possible and pre eqing before tape is a major one of them.
Old 8th February 2007 | Show parent
Lives for gear
๐ŸŽง 15 years i have been using a URS Pultec with a 2db boost at 12k on my 2 buss.

But I have not done what you guys are talking about. This sounds like a plan..maybe ill try the pultec shelved at 2k and on the drum buss the Neve N12.
Old 8th February 2007 | Show parent
Gear Head
๐ŸŽง 15 years
I worked on a recent project using this method that was being professionaly mastered. I explained to the band that the final mixes they were listening to had the HF lift on the 2 buss but I would leave it off when printing the mix for the mastering engineer, I attached a note to the mix master informing the engineer that the band were happy with the HF lifted version and left him to do his magic, maybe in a similar way, but as Jules says with better tools and acoustic environment.

I didnt get to hear the finished article yet but didnt get a call from the mastering engineer or the band complaining.

Have asked the band to post me on a copy of the CD but as we all know musicians are reliable when it comes to doing stuff like that!! Not holding my breath!

BTW Jules, how hard do you hit the drums with the comp? As much as is required to make them sound good for the track, or can hitting them too hard at this point give you a false impression of how good the tracks you have really are?

Old 8th February 2007 | Show parent
Gear Guru
theblue1's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Used to do that going to tape. Heck, a lot of stuff got some kind of a kick in the high end from me back then.

It's not my practice working digitally but I don't have any personal rules I haven't broken a few times over the years.

And it took me seemingly a couple years after the switch to learn not to try to jack the high end on everything.

Overcranked high end is still one of the things that bugs me in a lot of lesser contemporary mixes.

And it is the BANE of "remastered" re-releases, seems to me. (On my subscription service I almost always end up with the original album version if I have a choice between a "remastering" and an original CD release. It's not 100%, by any means, but it's significant.) But that's for another thread...
Old 9th February 2007 | Show parent
Lives for gear
deuc647's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
I usually do this at the end of tracking everything on the master buss, i boost about 2db to get that open sound and see how it will sound as an end product, i usually dont leave it on unless someone asks for it
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