View Full Version : Hip-Hop Mixes - I'm starting to Turn Down The Low end...What?

04-11-2002, 10:27 PM
Lately in my (hip-hop) mixes I've been finding myself EQing down the low end on the kicks and basslines (Instead of boosting, which one would assume hip-hop would call for???!!). Even after I remove all the "muddy" frequencies.

If I don't do this it blows apart speakers. Mind, you I'm using all sampled drums and synth basslines. It sounds good. I put it next to the Dr. Dre mixes and if I'm erroring it's usually on the side of too much bass. I don't want to turn down the whole Kick drum because From studing other mixes, the attack on the kick is the highest peak in the mix.

Just trying to see if I'm on the right track here. I've found through trial and error that the key to a good mix is not "boom" but a tight, clean low end out of the monitors. Anything else breaks up speakers when running through a consumer grade system.

04-12-2002, 10:21 AM
There's probably some multiband compression in mastering helping out the low end on those mixes...

04-12-2002, 03:28 PM
Thanks Adam. Should I still use that low end on the mastered Cd's as a reference?

Joe Egan
04-14-2002, 10:58 AM
I'm with you. I'm finding that cutting the low frequencies with EQ starting at about 62 htz and then a steeper shelfing at about 40 htz is getting be a bigger bottom that doesn't distort and a louder mix.

Right now I've been doing this to finished mixes, but I'm going to start shelving my Bass Drum andother Bass sounds while recording or while mixing instead of waiting til mastering time.

Without all that real low bottom you can bring the overall volume of the bass up, relative to everything else, and and get better overall loudness.

04-14-2002, 03:49 PM
Thanks Joe, so I'm not going crazy here!

I did a test abot a year ago. I popped in some Dr. Dre tracks all mastered by Brian "Big Bass" Gardner (I think). I then took a High pass filter and started from the lowest possible frequency and began sweeping up until I heard any difference in the low end. It wasn't until I started getting above 40hz that I heard little bits of the low end start going away. I should also mention that I was listening through a subwoofer!!! There was no information below 40hz! If you get rid of all that mud down there and also in the low-midrange, you can bring up that low end for some nice, clean, bass that hits and does't tear apart the little speakers! That test said a lot to me about good low end in a mix (for any style of music).

It's also important that while it must "bump," If the low end starts taking over the song, all the instrumentation gets lost in the rumble. Some hip-hop heads that only employ nothing but 808's and basslines under lyrics may not care, but I don't like losing the instrumentation because then it becomes very unmusical!

04-16-2002, 04:38 AM
You have to remember with digital the bass pretty much goes straight right down to 20hz, whereas it rolls off a lot sooner with analog. The upside of digital is you get what you put down and theres no unpredictable stuff coming back from tape. I'd say use your references, make your mix sound good to you & make sure you don't have loads of useless subsonic mush down there at the real low end and get your mastering guy to do his thing to get the low end as powerful as you want.

04-16-2002, 10:33 AM
Good call adam.

04-17-2002, 03:58 PM
I think low-end is the biggest challenge. Getting it tight without overpowering the mix. My latest mix is proving to be challenging.

Arno Peeters
04-18-2002, 12:30 AM
I believe that could be my solution too !

I was about to start a new tread on mastering, since I work on a hiphop album that's now in the final mastering stage: I use Waves' C4 and L1.

But to my big unpleasant surprise, the volume was way softer than nearly all of the reference CD's I'm listening to.... Could it be that the sub 40Hz is limiiting my overall power ?

Or is there a Hip new Plug that I haven't heard about ? (besides L2 which indeed sounds better than L1)

Arno (back on the board after nearly a year...
I feel like an old farth....)