Get Your Low End Right From The Start (It's Not Just A Mixing Issue)
“Low end” in music production is a very vague term that seems to leave people confused and uncertain.
And even if you understand what it is, getting it right can be super challenging. But it doesn't have to be!
The key is to be intentional and strategic about your low frequency content. And you need to start thinking about it right at the beginning of the whole process - during songwriting, arranging and recording.
Don't just assume your low end is going to magically come together in the mix!
Sure, there's a lot a great mixer can do, but it starts way before that.
If you are putting in the work, creating a great foundation right from the start, the results you'll get after mixing and mastering will be SO much better. And in case you're mixing yourself, your life will be so much easier.
Listen now to find out..
- ...what "low end" actually means
- ...why it is so important (and difficult) to get it right
- ...what you can do during writing, arranging, production and recording (before the mix) to get exactly the size, weight and energy you want in your songs.
Download the Free Frequency Chart Cheat Sheet Now!
It gives you an overview over the whole frequency spectrum and helps you make better decisions faster, by telling you where your instruments, as well as fundamental notes and harmonics typically live.
The Book Mentioned In The Podcast:
TSRB Podcast 039 - Get Your Low End Right From The Start (It's Not Just A Mixing Issue)
[00:00:00] Benedikt: [00:00:00] So we're going to talk about what low end actually is in music, why it is important and why it is difficult to get, right? And then we give to some tactical advice to improve your low-end and your songs and give you better results. This is the self recording band podcast, the show where we help you make exciting records on your own.
Wherever you are, DIY stuff. Let's go.
Hello and welcome to. The self recording band podcast. I am your host Benedict time and I'm back here with my, my co-host and friend Malcolm own flat. All right. Hey, hello?
Malcom: [00:00:41] Yeah, I'm really glad to be back. It made me really sad to miss an episode. So that was a bummer.
Benedikt: [00:00:46] Yeah, till late. Uh, it was weird to do a solo episode.
I missed you.
Malcom: [00:00:53] I'll do my best. Not to let it happen again. Yeah. Yeah,
Benedikt: [00:00:56] for sure. Awesome. So, um, We are a [00:01:00] little behind on episodes as well. So by the time we're recording this, like I think two days from now, it will already be, um, published, but we're getting it done. We're not missing a single episode. As I said, last time.
Um, and this one today, um, I didn't even ask you how you are. Um, I want to do it. How are you masculine? I'm just so I'm just so happy to be able to do it again so that I completely forgot to ask.
Malcom: [00:01:24] No, it's fine. I'm I'm great. Thank you for asking. Yeah, I'm just really glad to be back, uh, back home after a few weeks away in the city and.
Oh, yeah. Things are great, man. Thank you. How are you?
Benedikt: [00:01:37] Um, Germany spent has entered a second lockdown. Like a lockdown light is what they call it. Um,
Malcom: [00:01:43] yeah, but we are in this similar thing.
Benedikt: [00:01:46] Yeah. But other than that, for me personally, it's been, it's been good. Um, closer to, I think I can say that closer to getting the damn court course finished that I've been working on this whole year.
Malcom: [00:01:58] I am so excited for the [00:02:00] course to be finished.
Benedikt: [00:02:00] Yeah, me too. So if you are on that waiting list, by the way, um, It won't be long. Um, the weight will be over very, very soon and I have something I've prepared, something special for you for as a way to say thank you for waiting so long and for turning the waitlist early.
If you're not on that waiting list, go to the self recording, pant.com/academy waiting list. And yeah, you'll be notified first when the course come out and there's will be a special, like goodie for you in there. Um,
Malcom: [00:02:29] just in case you are a first time listener and you have no idea what we're talking about.
There is a course called the self recording band course. Um, is that what it's called? I just assumed
Benedikt: [00:02:38] it's recording band Academy. It's called
Malcom: [00:02:40] Academy. Sorry. Yep. And, uh, that is like the whole reason that we started this podcast is it's like a big flagship educational course that Benny has made and it covers everything.
Benedikt: [00:02:51] That's true. That's that's true. Um, I wouldn't say it's the main reason for us
Malcom: [00:02:56] starting this podcast though.
Benedikt: [00:02:57] So we just like, yeah. Uh, I [00:03:00] mean the whole platform is definitely for sure, but with the continue the podcast, even when the course is out, of course. So we want to provide value every week.
It's not that we sell you a course and then we're disappearing. So no, but this is. I think to be honest, the course, we will talk about that when it's out or when it's closer to, to the actual release. But, um, to be honest, I think the course will be the logical next step after this podcast. And it will, it will be the best way for me to provide, um, everything I can like full, true value and like much more than we can do in this podcast.
So if you want to go deeper, if you want to like everything about making your record on your own, this course is going to be for you. And it's just. For those of you just want to listen to the podcast. That's totally fine. But if you want to take it a step further and really dive in deep, then that course will be for you, but more on that in future episodes.
Yeah. So, yeah. Other than that, it's been good here. It's been grinding away at the course and mixing records and doing podcasts. [00:04:00] Awesome.
Malcom: [00:04:00] Awesome. Cool. Love mixing records. Yeah.
Benedikt: [00:04:03] So, uh, today's episode is again, something that I did that when we did that quite a, uh, often the, during the past a couple of weeks, it's against something in response to a question that our audience has at this time.
It was not an email or a direct question from one of you, but it was something I discovered when I was looking at my analytics for my website, because I have an article on my website. That is about low end and how to get it right before mixing and I noticed, or Google notified me that a lot of people are finding that our article lately and what they were searching for was like questions on what low-end actually is what it means.
Like there seems to be confusion or a lack of information there, or at least an interest people are searching for it a lot. And I got some questions like that and the community as well. So I figured we should do an episode on that topic to go along with that article. So we're going to [00:05:00] talk about what low end actually is in music, why it is important and why it is difficult to get.
Right. And then we'll give you some tactical advice, some strategies and tactics on how, what you can actually do in the recording production. Phase two, improve your low-end in your songs to make mixing easier and give you better results in the end.
Malcom: [00:05:22] Yes. Yep. So,
Benedikt: [00:05:23] yeah, let's start by what low end actually is, because I think to us, it's such a term we use all the time and we don't even think about it, but for many people, when they hear a low end, when someone talks about music or a song.
They don't actually, maybe not even know what that means. So what, how would you describe it?
Malcom: [00:05:40] Yeah, there's a lot of terms in, in music that are pretty vague when it comes down to it. Um, and low-end is one of the more common ones, you know? Uh, and it actually means a lot of different things is, is the problem and what we're going to be jumping into today.
Cause people might refer to low [00:06:00] end and be talking about the bass guitar. Or they might be talking about the kick drum. They might be talking about a synth bass or an organ or something like you don't really know what they're talking about until. You dig into it, or you just have a good understanding of this term and the context will kind of eliminate that for you.
But low-end as a whole is I think where we want to start. And that is the overall base portion of your mix. Right. Um, and, and we're going to talk into like how that can be divided into different, different kinds of categories of low end. But I think when somebody just says the low end of the mix, We're talking from subs all the way to like low mids, at least that's how I would refer to it.
Do you agree?
Benedikt: [00:06:44] Yep, absolutely. Um, agree with everything you said. The funny thing is I Googled it. I just Google it myself to see what low end means and like, if there's a definition or anything for it. And when I wrote that article, I did that. And, um, I found a website [00:07:00] for multiple websites that use that quote, but it says low end refers to base frequency signals that are below 250 Hertz.
So as I said in the article as well, the wildlife don't agree that there is like a certain frequency where the low end starts. I think it's still a pretty good, um, Description, like it's low, mid and down. Like what you just said. And basically it's the lower portion of anything. So low end could even mean to me, at least the way I think about it.
It could even mean if you're talking about a single instrument and it's an instrument, that's not bass heavy. It still has the low end. It's just the lowest part of that signal, you know? So
Malcom: [00:07:35] yeah, like a vocal how's some low end for sure. Yeah. Absolutely. I snare has a lot of low end, but isn't really considered a bass instrument.
Benedikt: [00:07:44] Yes, exactly. And that brings us to the next, um, point here where we need to define those, like how the low end can be like, um, divided or what, what low, what the, like the different meanings of low. And basically like when we're [00:08:00] talking about low end, we can mean the lowest part of a single instrument. When we talk about a whole mix that covers the full spectrum, there's more to it.
We can. View the low end as a whole, from a certain frequency down, or we can look at certain areas within that low end. So, um, if we start way down, there's something you could call like the sub base or like, yeah. Infrasonic would be like a scientific term. I think like stuff that you can really hear, but feel a lot, I think in phrase, even like below what we can hear, but like the sub low-end sub base.
Um, the really, really, really low frequencies that only huge speakers can reproduce or headphones. Um, so that's one thing.
Malcom: [00:08:47] What I find is most commonly being referred to as low end when you're talking to mixers, like if you send your mics off to get some mixed notes from somebody and they say the low end, they're often talking about that the [00:09:00] like sub area and lower base area being, uh, Out of whack or, or really tight or whatever the context is, but, um, but not always, sorry, I want you to continue now because that is the not always part of the conversation needs to be addressed as well.
Benedikt: [00:09:15] Yeah, no, you're totally right. And what's good about what you just said. What's what's also good to know is that yes. I think mixers refer to that as low end, the sub proportion of it. But the funny thing is that not everyone does that and musicians oftentime when they say, or at least in my experience when, when a band comes to me and says like with the mixed notes or whatever, and says they want more low end on bass, for example, and the bass guitar oftentime.
What they mean is they want more, a hundred or 150, or like something that's actually audible on their small system that they're listening on. So sometimes they want the upper base region or even lower mids, but they calling it like low end or do they, sometimes they even call it sub base, even though it's not.
So it's, it's a [00:10:00] very, that's why it's so difficult. Also this, this whole topic. People use different language for different things. People think they can hear sub-base, even though they are listening on a phone or on whatever, and like all those complications.
Malcom: [00:10:13] Yeah. But that is why we're doing this. Because if you understand, like essentially we've broken it down into sub low base, upper base and low mids.
So they're kind of four quadrants, if you will. And, uh, If you are trying to figure out a low end problem, and you know, you can own, like, you just need to look in these four spots to kind of figure out what. You're looking for it like that. That'll narrow it down quite a bit. Right. Um, and it, it helps you kind of identify where do I need to be looking.
Benedikt: [00:10:42] Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So what comes next after the very low sub portion? So if you could solo just to go back to that, if you could solo that very low sub portion of the low end that I was just talking about, um, you were, you couldn't make out a certain instrument, probably. Maybe you could feel the kick drum beat or whatever, but it's more like a.
[00:11:00] Wait, and it's, um, something you can feel more than you can actually hear it. There's not much note information. If at all in there there's not much musical information in there. It's like a very low pulse and size and weight to the whole thing. Yeah.
Malcom: [00:11:13] But when was almost like the feeling of the subwoofer movie.
Benedikt: [00:11:16] Yeah, totally, exactly. The air being pushed by it by us up over, or like with headphones. Good headphones can reproduce that as well. You don't feel it as much though. You can actually hear it on headphones. It's a little different experience, but still they can reproduce it. And, um, it's, it's still even on headphones.
I think it gives, um, it defines the size and the weight of something a lot.
Malcom: [00:11:37] Yes. It's, it's funny because when you do solo, it, it seems very inconsequential and, uh, Like, like, it's not really gonna matter that much if it was there or not, but when it is placed with the rest of the picture, it adds a whole lot, um, to like for a kick drum, for example, um, it, it really adds an enormous [00:12:00] amount of size when you get that really sub stuff in there into the mix.
But when it's just listened to on its own, it kind of just feels like it's just like a, an impact or a noise. That's irrelevant, but it really is hugely important. Yeah,
Benedikt: [00:12:16] absolutely. So if, as we move up from there, um, if we, if you're looking at the whole frequency spectrum down is like way below low Hertz numbers and up means higher pitch, higher notes, higher frequencies, and that when the Hertz number increases.
So like if you go from 30 to 60, we would up in Okta, for example. So we move up the frequency spectrum now. And what is next? What's the next, uh, part of the low end. And what would you hear there?
Malcom: [00:12:46] So now we're into lower base, right. Um, which is going to be where, like, you're, you're probably gonna find some fundamentals there for like a bass guitar, um, or, or a kick drum potentially.
Right. Um, kind of [00:13:00] 50, 60 Hertz and. And so actually, you know, I'm going to pull up your cheat sheet. If you haven't already go to the self recording band.com/how to get your low end. Right. I believe, right.
Benedikt: [00:13:10] Yeah. That's one of the short URL is just slash low-end and then you get redirected to that. Yeah.
Malcom: [00:13:15] Um, and, uh, he's got like this perfect cheat sheet that we can use in our own episode where it was that bass guitar lives in the 73 to 146 area.
For a second and fourth harmonic. Octaves of D okay. You're in a drop D okay. My God, this article's awesome. But yeah, this is, this is actually really cool. I would keep this up as you're working, um, because Ben has actually gone through and he's like figured out, well, not, not figured out, but he's listed for convenience anyways.
Like the frequency of an ER, note on a base is 41.2 Hertz. Or if you're on drop D it's 36.7 Hertz. Or see, you know, going down even further and then guitars as well. You know, there's now 82.4 for, um, [00:14:00] for like an open E string. And by the way, like this is assumed knowledge, but some people probably don't know this, that if you double the Hertz, you've got an Okta of, of a harmonic.
So the Lowy on the base being 41.2, where it says 82.4. So just double it. And that is now your guitars. Uh, harmonic
Benedikt: [00:14:20] fundamental for the guitar.
Malcom: [00:14:22] Yeah. What was your question now?
Benedikt: [00:14:25] What's in the pillar, uh, in the lower base area and you totally explained that, right? Those fundamentals. I mean the, the bass guitar fundamentals, if you, especially, if you're tuned down, they even go into the really setup.
Um, area like a C a 32 Hertz is really, really low. Um, but like the fundamentals around, like, I'd say 40, 50, 60, 70 up there. And like the kick drum fundamental often between like 50 to 70 years, something as well, um, is also like lives there. And, uh, I. That was the [00:15:00] question what's kind of in there and you, you already answered it basically.
So I totally agree. So that's kind of the, the, the lower base stuff and I think mostly kick and bass guitar. We'll we'll live there, I guess.
Malcom: [00:15:12] Yeah. Maybe a little bit of your snare, um, depending, but this is a good place to mention, like over, under kind of base techniques. Um, not that that's really relevant, but it's kind of a cool thing just to know and think about, but people often like to divide their mixing into either having the base above the kick drum or below the kick drum and frequencies.
So either your bass guitar is taken up the sub stuff. Or your kick drums taking out the sub stuff and your base focus is in that lower mid, or sorry, a lower base above the subs kind of thing. Um, and you don't have to follow that. Like that's not a rule or anything, but it is kind of a cool way to think about it is like, what is taking up the bottom?
Is that your bass guitar or is it your kick drum?
Benedikt: [00:15:57] Sure. And we'll go back to that later in this episode, [00:16:00] it's an important concept and absolutely also for you, if you are not mixing. Uh, if you are, it's even more important, but if you're not mixing, it's still really important because what you record and how you record it and how the source sounds often dictates that decision, like already, uh, depending on like, if you get a, yeah, we don't have into that, but depending on what the source material, it sounds like that decision has already been made basically.
And you can do, you can make that decision while you are recording and producing. And how you, how you do that and why you should do that. Well, we've got to talk about that, but that's true. Uh, then we move up to like upper base. I mean, you could divide it even further with mid base and whatever, but just for convenience, I would say sub low base, upper base.
And that's where we get into lists like guitar territory. I'd say like the first, like the harmonics and the upper bass notes and also the fundamentals of the guitar actually. Hmm.
Malcom: [00:16:53] Yeah. Um, Guitars should have more low end than you think it was my personal opinion. [00:17:00] Um, because it's easy. I just, you know, it's just, like we say, in this podcast all the time that bass is bass guitar should have way more than just bass.
Right. Um, it's the same with guitars. Guitars need to have more level. Yeah. But, uh, yeah. Uh, like you're, you're now talking above, above a hundred for sure. Um, up until I kind of. I dunno, it kind of depends how, like we're talking upper base, but also sneaking into low mids. This is where it gets really blurry for me.
It's almost like, depending on the instrument that I start thinking about it, right. Um, like, cause electric guitars, depending on the part can feel like, like 200 or 300 feel pretty basic if it's like a Palm muted thing, you know? Um, but that, that's definitely in your, your low mids as well.
Benedikt: [00:17:45] Uh, th th that brings us back to this whole concept where we said like low end.
What low-end is depends on what you're looking at. Like a single instrument, a single element in the arrangement, whatever the lowest thing of that is, is the low end of it. But with another instrument, it [00:18:00] can be a different thing. So with the guitar example, 200, 300 can be the low end and can feel like a low end.
Whereas with a bass guitar, it feels like mud and mid-range and growl because the low end is way below that. So, um, it's, it's a different thing, but with guitars, it feels like full and heavy and massive. So it's yeah. Depending on what you're looking at.
Malcom: [00:18:21] Yeah. Like low end is just not a technical term when it comes down to it.
It's a descriptive term that needs to be applied to whatever you're talking about, where frequencies like, you know, 40, 60 Hertz, those kinds of things. Those don't move. The 40 is always 40 Hertz. 60 Hertz is always 60 Hertz. Um, but how 60 Hertz sounds on different instruments does change. Um, so that's why low end needs to be adaptable as a, as a term.
Benedikt: [00:18:46] Absolutely. What you also find in the upper, um, low end here at the upper base here, we, before we get into like the low mid range or mid range stuff is like a different quality of a cake from, for example, like the [00:19:00] weight, the size, and the fundamental is down there in the lower base area. But up there is like the knock and the impact, like a quicker, lower transient, um, It's like, I don't know, to me, this area feels punchy and quick and it's like something knocking you like hitting you in the chest a little more.
Whereas the, the low, um, part of it, the fundamental is like, feels longer, less defined, but bigger. Um, that's the way I perceive it. So whenever a kick drum is heavy in the like a hundred or 150 area, it's like really knocking and really like it's, it sounds like someone's hitting it very hard. Compared to the more pillowy, softer, fuller, low, really low end.
At least that's how I perceive it. So it's both belonged to kick drum and they make the whole kick drum sound. But the balance between the two can decide how to keep from fields. So
Malcom: [00:19:49] I agree with that. Yeah. And I, that another reason I like having this conversation is that it gets people to think about.
Each instrument in a broader way, not just like, okay. The kick drum [00:20:00] has a lot of really washy 30 Hertz. Like we're done, it's, it's very full down there, but it's like, well, that's only just this little part of the picture and it might be the exact opposite of what you want. You have to think about low end across the board.
And like that is that knock there is that, uh, do you want to present kick drum that's really close and has that like impact kind of thought? Um, because you know, that's, that's very different than having just that sub thing there. The pillow, like you said,
Benedikt: [00:20:26] Yeah, absolutely. That, that brings us to the why actually.
I mean, let's cover the low mid range real quick, and then we'll, let's go to the Y because that's part of it. What's in the lower mid range. I mean, you cannot describe that already. What else, what else is there? The low end of the guitars,
Malcom: [00:20:41] guitars, vocals, even, um, you know, stairs definitely. Uh, I mean everything, actually, I don't think there's an instrument that doesn't have some really important information in the low mids.
Um, yes, you don't need to sub on your vocal, but you definitely need low mids.
Benedikt: [00:20:56] Yes. And that's, that's I think the most where it gets most [00:21:00] tricky and difficult to get it right, because it's not clear where the base ends and the mid range starts and everything is there. Basically everything's clashing. It can end up super like being super muddy or super thin if you could take it too far.
So, yeah, it's a very, like the whole low end thing is not easy to do. And especially in the low mid range, it's definitely a challenge. So I agree if everything's there for some instruments, it's the fundamental and the weight and the size and for others, it's more mud or growl or Onyx, but again, to sum it up subs, more feel than you can, you can feel it more than you can actually hear it.
Yeah. Lower base fundamentals of the lowest instruments can be a kick drum can be a bass guitar, can be a synth bass or something, a low baseline that you program, something like that. Then upper base can be the harmonics of the really low stuff. So already an octave above, or it can be the low end of new stuff that comes in this range, like can be fundamental of low tune guitars can be snare [00:22:00] information in there.
And then, yeah, and then the lower mid range where again, Even higher stuff has the fundamentals there. Uh, and other stuff already has like harmonics there and like additional qualities to the origin of that too. In addition to the, to the very low information.
Malcom: [00:22:17] Yeah. We should just delete the first 15 minutes of this podcast and put what you just said.
That was a great summary.
Benedikt: [00:22:26] Uh, uh, yeah, it's, it's difficult to even talk about these things and I always realize it once we are at it, actually like before we start the episode, I always think, Oh, that's going to be an easy one. And then while we're talking about it, I realize how difficult it can be to explain this.
Malcom: [00:22:40] Yeah. I feel like my answers are different than they would be if I had mixed a different song yesterday. Like it's so dependent.
Benedikt: [00:22:48] Yes. So why, why do we care about getting this right. And why are people interesting, interested in the whole. Things. So what does, um, the low end actually do for, for [00:23:00] you as for someone as a listener?
Because all the technical stuff aside, we want it, we want to make amazing records, amazing songs. We want people to feel something when they listen to the music. So which role does the low in play in that? Why is it so important to get it right?
Malcom: [00:23:15] Right. I find it easiest to pick, like visualize a mix in terms of like size and density.
Um, and, and low-end takes up the most space and. Adds the most can add the most density as well, too. Like, especially like a big rock mix is kind of what I'm picturing while having this conversation. And so even though it's not the most audible part of the mix, it kind of has the biggest impact on how the size and density is perceived.
I think anyways, um, so if you suck out all the low end, you're left with like, Just a lot of your mix feels empty, right? It's like thin and empty and it kind [00:24:00] of feels like it's just missing a whole lot. Where if you have too much, you've got this big money mess. It, everything's kind of like stepping on each other.
Um, and, and it's just way too dense. So. Space and density is like the terms that I mainly use and visualize with. Um, and that's how I, I see it. So that's why it's so important because it's, it just makes such a big impact a little too far. And your mixes destroyed a little too little and your, your mix is just, I mean, it sounds just like dated because things are pretty full sound in these days.
Benedikt: [00:24:36] Yeah. Yeah, totally. Yeah. I agree. I agree with that energy size. It's the biggest ones. I think it's, it carries a lot of the energy in that. It's what makes you, what makes you move? Because you feel the song that you don't only hear it. You, you feel it. That's the reason why, like, when you're in a club, you have this huge stuff over isn't this, these huge, um, they're very good systems.
Uh, these wouldn't work if they were just like, [00:25:00] Um, playing super loud stuff without low-end, without sub movers, it would be painful probably and not enjoyable. And you certainly wouldn't want to dance, but if you add the simple first to it, it's fun. So it just makes you move. You feel the song do not only hear it.
It carries also the, like the fundamental notes. Um, Yeah. It's just the, the foundation for a great experience when you're listening to yourself.
Malcom: [00:25:28] Yeah. It, I mean, everybody likes a big fat kick drum. Like it literally feels good to hear it. Right. Yeah. So that's why we care about this stuff. I just wanted to mention that if people are struggling to kind of figure out what we're talking about, just open up your door, throw up, uh, like, uh, A kick drum or a bass guitar, or even just a song and grab an IQ and using like high pass and low pass filters.
You can just hone in. On specific ranges of the mix [00:26:00] and try and figure out what we're talking about. Um, and if you pull up Benny's cheat sheet, uh, on his blog posts there, that'll make it even more easy and you could just, you know, go and sold out everything under 30 or 40 Hertz and hear what's happening down there on your favorite mix.
And then go do the same thing from 40 to 80 or something. And, and, you know, just like break it down and kind of figure out where that mix. That mixer put things right. Um, where that producer and mixer and band and arrangement and that like how, how they made all of those pieces live together. And you'll really understand what we're talking about a lot more.
Benedikt: [00:26:37] Oh yeah, totally. Yeah. That's a great exercise. I actually teach that. I need to go back to the course of the retreat because I actually teach that in the course as well. Um, so that, that exercise is part of it because I feel much of what we're talking about here. You need to. Yeah, you need to experience that before you really get it, because it's so hard to describe it.
But once you hear it, you'll know exactly what we're talking about. And if you [00:27:00] do that a lot and listen to a lot of different songs and listening to, and if you're listening to those to the low end of the specific areas of the low end, you just get a feeling for it. And it starts to become you start, you start to notice when something is too much or not enough.
But it's an, it's an exercise it's practice. So definitely a good thing. Open up the door, use whatever low-pass high-pass filters you have, and then hone in on those. Specific areas of it. And you'll discover things that you might not have been aware of before. So it's pretty interesting to do that. I still do that a lot actually.
And I'm kind of surprised by some decisions. Sometimes some things are obvious, but it's always a great thing to see what my favorite like mixers did and certain. Songs. So, yeah,
Malcom: [00:27:43] definitely.
Benedikt: [00:27:43] Cool. So we can agree on that. Just like very important to get. Right. And it's also difficult because yeah. As Malcolm said, it's can be muddy really quickly.
It can be thin real quickly. Um, a lot of things stepping on each other's toes, like getting in the way of each other, uh, there. So it's, [00:28:00] it's, it's hard to get it right, but it's yeah. Now while you can definitely do. A lot of it in mixing and you can clean up things. You can make space for things. You can change the size of things, all that.
You can do that and mixing, but you can and should make some of those decisions before it even, um, gets time. It's time to mix. So mixing is like, I dunno, some things and mixing are sometimes you need to do. It's things on the low end to fix issues and that's not good. Some other things you do anyways, and you kind of, it's just a part of making a great mix, but there shouldn't be too much fixing involved.
So a lot of stuff, uh, that you can do in the production and recording stage can save your mixer from, or yourself from having to do a lot of correction work. And you will end up with a much better result if you do that. And I would divide that into two things, two camps, you're writing and arrangement decisions, and then the actual engineering decisions that you can make.
Malcom: [00:28:58] Yeah. That's the perfect way to think [00:29:00] about it is like which instruments and what parts are being played. And then how are you going to capture those instruments? Uh, and you, you know, using what, what gear and what microphones and what placements and stuff like that.
Benedikt: [00:29:13] Yeah. So which loans instruments do you have in your arrangement?
It's different for everyone. It's like, if you are. Um, a classic like rock band with like two guitars, bass drums, vocals, maybe keys, whatever. Then, um, you probably have the kick drum. You have the bass, maybe you have some additional production in there. Synth bass or something like that.
Malcom: [00:29:35] And then you have
Benedikt: [00:29:36] Oh yeah. Yeah. Well, piano RO fender Rhodes can have low end or Oregon's kind of low end. Um, yeah. Then, um, Yeah. And then maybe like the low enough guitars of course, and snare drums. So you have those low end instruments going on and you need to think about what they like, what you have when each of those is actually [00:30:00] playing and what they sound like just in the room.
Like what the source actually sounds like, because some of them will naturally be very, very low. And feel kind of massive and slower and base here. Others will feel a little punchier. They will feel a little quicker. They might be a little higher up the spectrum with the fundamentals and, um, those instruments that you have and the way you play them and the way your instruments sound, the choice of instrument, the size of drums, for example, all that.
Um, yeah, that kinda already dictates, um, yeah. What you have and what that sounds like together. And you can choose wisely here or make mistakes by choosing five things that are all in the exact same range. And, um, it's going to lead to low and build up to a muddy undefined, low end. And you got to have, you're going to have holes somewhere else because everything is covering the exact same areas.
Malcom: [00:30:55] right? Yeah. Yeah. That's, that's a good point. Like if you've got like an eight string guitar [00:31:00] and an even more stringed bass and, and then a sub bass, and they're all playing the lowest notes possible, then like what lives up, up top? You know, like what's going to be up there. Um, is your vocal, that's going to be hanging out in space or is there another instrument that's kind of supporting it?
Uh, it, it kind of always blows my mind, but the more balanced, um, like the instrument arrangement is, um, when I get files to mix or master it, like the better, it always seems to turn out. Um, so when you just said like, or you're going to have a hole somewhere else that I thought that was really great. It's like, w you want to fill all these holes and if there's something that's left empty, it, it should be intentional.
Um, So like your picture, your IQ curve, and something needs to be kind of living in all of those spots. I think.
Benedikt: [00:31:50] Yes. Exactly. And then this might be a lot in your case, or it might be not as much, like it could be just the kick and the bass drum, and you need to find a space [00:32:00] for each of those, but if you are like a metal band with Malcolm said, low down tune guitars, um, fast, double kick drum, post-production low synth.
Baselines, whatever. Then you've got a whole lot of things going on down there and you need to think carefully. What's the purpose is of each of those elements, why you need each of them and how they will work together. And then that's an exercise you need to do when you are writing and arranging and you can make really clever.
Um, decisions here and you can make that it can create a really dense, full low-end without the annoying buildups and the boominess and the muddiness. And if you screw it up, you will have exactly that you and that's like, yeah, it's just an exercise you need to do, you need to think about the tuning, the key of the song, the tuning of the kick drum.
So if you like, have. Um, let's pull up my article again, just an example. If you are tuning down to C and you're doing [00:33:00] Palm Utes, like a chug part with like low C Palm Palm Utes, and there is really a lot of energy and like the 65 Hertz fundamental of the guitars. And then you have the bass guitar and octave below that, and it will also have fundamental like harmonics to the fundamentals at the exact same frequency where the fundamental of the guitars.
And if you then tune your kick drum, So that the most of the energies is also around 60 Hertz. You will have a lot going on at around 60. You will have like a, probably a pretty Boomi low end and below that in the buff, that will be less going on. So you might want to tune your kick drum or choose a sample in a way that it's maybe between the 30 of the bass and the 60 of the guitars, or that it has a lot of knock above that, especially if you're going fast.
And you'd want punchiness and like you wanted less muddy. Maybe you could place the kick drum above that even, but you should definitely think about the tuning and look at it and analyze [00:34:00] it. Sometimes it's not just about listening. It's about looking at it as well. And at least it helps and then you can place all those things strategically in the low end so that they work together well.
Malcom: [00:34:12] Yes. Yeah. Like what are they actually playing? It is such a big part of it too. There's a reason that the bass guitar and the kick drum sync up so much is because you're now choosing to make them work together rather than against each other, because they are occupying frequencies really close to each other.
Um, you need them to like coordinate with each other rather than compete against each other. So it's like half what frequencies are these instruments representing and half, how are they interacting and corresponding with each other?
Benedikt: [00:34:43] Yes, totally. And you will need to F you will find that you need less, um, work to carve out space later if you do that properly.
Because if the kick from already occupies. The space where it's not the fundamental of most [00:35:00] of the guitar chords. So the bass, you both can live there without a problem or with less of a problem. And it can, it leads to a fuller, low end in the end. So you as a producer, a recording engineer or a self recording band, um, when you think it, when you think like that, and when you think about the final result and about whether mixer will have to do with it, it really helps.
Um, Because yeah, the mixer can make a much denser or create a much denser, cooler, low end and fill all the gaps. If you, um, did the, the prep work for that basically with your arrangement? So, yeah. Then, um, what's next? Um, it's, uh, it's, it's really hard to think about that. Is this an exhausting topic to talk about?
I'm just finding, because it's like, it's, it's not, it's not easy.
Malcom: [00:35:45] So the, a very technical episode in the end,
Benedikt: [00:35:47] in the end. Yeah. Yeah. I, I, I thought it would be more about like perception and how you feel it more about the, that, but you can't really do it without some technical info. So I hope you can still follow along.
[00:36:00] Um, so. What the, yeah, we've basically covered that the writing and arrangement it's like, what purpose does every instrument serve? What is there, what do you have in your arrangement with needs to be there and what, where exactly should it sit? And once you've answered these questions, once you've done that exercise, you can answer the next question.
Um, and that is how do I. Get it to do exactly what it's supposed to do in the recording. Right. What can I do to capture it in a way that it does exactly that?
Malcom: [00:36:30] Yeah. So maybe we should just give some examples. Like I like generally my preferences kick below the base. Um, so my, like I kind of give priority for the sub stuff to my kick drum.
And that invariably means that with my bass guitar, I'm happy to get some more like mid range going on, um, to kind of compensate for maybe having a little less sub because I've, I've left that open for the kick drum kind of thing. And then like you were just [00:37:00] describing, they now can kind of fit together.
And when they both hit at the same time, they're not stepping on each other, they're working together and creating a full, low end. So how do we do that in the real world? Um, for me, it's just like, Darlene. And I feel like you have more control with the bass guitar than you do with the kick drum. Um, because the drum, like you probably don't have a bunch of different kick drums sitting around in a DIY studio.
You probably have one, right. And you might not even have like an option for skins or anything like that. Even microphones, you might only have the one kick mic that really works for you. Um, so. I find it, I would think I would probably recommend focused on just getting a good kick sound. Not necessarily sculpting it because you're also normally starting with kick.
So you like, you don't really have a lot to base your picture on, but now that you've got a drum set recorded, you've got a sculpted bass tone to that drum sound if you're going in that order anyways. Right. So it's like what we've talked about. So, so many times. [00:38:00] Uh, before on this podcast is that we really recommend committing as you go to kind of, because you're making decisions in the context of what you've built.
So we've got a drum kit that is kind of locked in because you are capturing a drum kit, but now with a bass guitar, you have the option of, you know, guitar, pedals, amps, amp, Sims, whatever, and you can use that to sculpt to your kick drum, for example. So have your basis play or yourself play to the record, a kick drum and start sculpting the low end of that bass until it fits what you've already laid down on the drums.
Does that make sense? Am I eloquently enough?
Benedikt: [00:38:39] Yeah, he'd do much more so than I than I do actually. Yeah, totally. Um, agree with everything. Uh, yeah. Start with one thing. Define how it should sound and then make the others go along with that. Totally. And you've done if you've done the exercise before that, and if you've thought about it, when you're writing and imagining the song and building everything and [00:39:00] thinking about the arrangement, it should be easier because you already know you want a pillow, a very low kick drum, or you want a, like a more of the knock, more of the thump, a little higher up there.
So you just. Yeah, you already, you've already decided that basically. And then you can make the kick drum sound exactly that, and then you can move on to the base and make it work together. So, yeah, I'm the same, by the way. I'm also enjoying kick below base. Most of the time. Sometimes I do something where the cake is below and above the base.
So I have like the subs filled with the cake that the base covers, like the 82 and I don't know, 120 or 60 or 120. I don't know, something like that. And then above that, Between like around one 50 or so a little bit kicked around, comes back in often from, from the rooms or the overheads or the kick drum itself.
So I have the lows and I have the knock, but in between I create space for the base, if that makes sense. Yeah.
Malcom: [00:39:57] Yeah. That totally makes sense. And what that sounds like [00:40:00] for people listening is that the note of the low end is still held by the bass guitar. Um, so you've got like impact and, and oomph of subwoofer and Meir you're kicked around, but there's still a really like melodic root note coming from, from the bass guitar.
Um, and yeah, that's something that always sounds awesome in your mixes. Ready?
Benedikt: [00:40:20] Thank you. Yeah, but, um, uh, yeah. Thanks that that's, that's something I love, I like to do, but sometimes, but that's yeah, you excepted, you described that really well now I didn't think about it that way, but that's totally true if you do what a lot of people do and you.
Cut the base off below a certain frequency and that's like rather high up. So if you like put a low cut at 80 or something, or I dunno, or even higher than all the very low information will be from the kick drum. So you're only getting a pulse, but not a musical melodic information down there. But if you let the bass live down there as well, and kind of make [00:41:00] space in between the lower and upper part of the kick drum, you get exactly that you get the notes as well.
Malcom: [00:41:07] you're right. A cool way to think about this, that I don't do enough, but I wanted to start trying to experiment with more is thinking about tempo as well when you're discussing low end. Um, because a lot of older mixes like Michael Jackson and stuff like that has based below the kick, um, or like, and Bob Marley stuff as well, you know, like really fat, low end, um, a lot of soul recordings.
Big low end on the bass guitar, especially. And I think a reason that worked so well in some of those genres compared to like faster rock stuff is because of the, like the tempo of the song and bass guitars sustain much longer than kick drums in general. So if the song is fast, we need that low end to be tighter and gone quicker, right.
Because it's happening more often, the kick drums happening every once in a while. And if it's still like ringing out. [00:42:00] Down that subway is still moving when the next hit happens. It just doesn't translate very well. So a slower temple song, I think you should probably experiment with moving that basic tar down into the sub area versus a faster song that in the kick drum control down there.
Benedikt: [00:42:15] Yes.
Malcom: [00:42:16] That's not a rule, but it's something to consider.
Benedikt: [00:42:18] Yes. Yes. True. But I've actually, yes, it's totally right. And I think that's a reason for why those productions back then sounded like that. But actually sometimes I do the exact opposite. I, with like very fast metal songs, for example, I sometimes make the kick drum less Subi just become, cause I want the fast double kick parts to be tighter and like not as muddy.
And sometimes they, those same bands use like very low tuned. Guitars in basis. So I want the low, um, the low string of the beat of the bass guitar to be really there. And I don't want to cut everything, anything off. I don't want to, um, mess with the internal balance of the instrument. So I don't want to get rid of some of the [00:43:00] fundamentals and others are still there.
So I want to leave that in. And as we know, as we've heard, it goes down to 30 or something. So the bass guitar really occupies that. And then I need a lot more of the. Punch and knock from the bass drum a little higher up. So sometimes I do that, but sometimes depending, always depending on how it sounds, I do exactly what Malcolm just said and they, um, let the kick drum live down there.
Depends on. Also depends on the player a lot. I think some bass guitars to be on some basis, to be honest and sorry, I need to say it again. We're not attacking face players here, but here we are, again, um, some or many bass players actually, to be very honest, um, Simply also don't play tight and precise enough to let them have all the low end.
So if a bass player wants, like, if you want the bass to be down there and really dominate the low end and be full and fat. Then it should be tight. The timing should be tight and it should be consistent more than anything because what you don't want is an inconsistent end that [00:44:00] comes in and goes away like, and you can't really predict it and it's not in a musical way.
That's the worst. So if you want to have a very subby, low end heavy bass guitar, you better play. Really great.
Malcom: [00:44:12] Yeah. Yeah. Shout out to Richie Jackson or the podcast listener who called us on always making fun of bass players. Yeah, we actually love bass, like tracking is one of my favorite parts of the recording process.
Um, and mixing basis. Definitely one of my favorite things as well. Um, but for some reason we're always cracking jokes at basis. Expense.
Benedikt: [00:44:32] Yeah, totally. Yeah. The thing is if a drummer is bad and though they it's not to say that drummers are always good and bass it's basis, they're always bad players. Uh, but if a drummer hits inconsistently, you can easily replace the kick drum with sample it make for consistent, low, and there.
And you can quantize and do all sorts of things. But if a bass performance is really inconsistent on there, like other than like rerecord it or program, it there's so much you can do. And that's why you really need to deliver you bass [00:45:00] players out there.
Malcom: [00:45:02] So it's funny.
Benedikt: [00:45:03] Yeah. Yeah. So that's one decision based on kick drum.
That's the practical example. Absolutely. Um, and how, how, how do you do that? I mean, part of it, it's the tuning of the bass drum. Part of it is like, um, a big part of it. It's the tuning or the, the sample choice if you've programmed drums. Well, so that's like the shell size and then the actual tuning, how low you tune it, the choice of base it's sustained.
Yeah, exactly. Oh yeah. That's a good one. Actually, you need to dampen it more if you want to tighter. And if you want that pillowy full, long, low end, you can have it more open. Yep. Yeah, I think Zeplin. Yes. Yes, totally. Also, but I also think that's something I wanted to add to your example with the older productions, another reason for the drums not having as much low impact then is I think, or I just, I assume that they didn't rely as heavily on like the close mic back then on some productions, especially with like the soul stuff, or if you say sapling or [00:46:00] something, um, You have like a long, low end, but it's not super subby because you would only have the proximity effect and they're not sticking a kick drum mic right into the cake room, but they are using like room mikes, overheads, splint, Johns meth and stuff like that.
And this will naturally have a lot less of the very Subi low end, but the bass guitar is either recorded directly or like Mike from an amp that will have all the low end. So I think that could also be a reason for them having like low and heavy bass guitars and like mid range ear drums.
Malcom: [00:46:32] Oh, definitely.
Yeah. The just production has changed so much. There's that story about some guy working on the Beatles and, uh, and not being allowed, like working at, I think they were like RCA or something and you weren't allowed to bring the mix within four feet of the drum kit, and then he just did it anyways and it like transformed how we record drums, you know?
Can you imagine, I'll keep those mikes away? Like what
Benedikt: [00:46:55] totally. I mean, they were, uh, like these white. [00:47:00] Uh, what's the, what's the name for it back then? Yeah, totally. They were scientists. They didn't want to destroy the mix. Yeah. But that's, and today, and nowadays everything's close miked and everything needs to have low end and everything needs to be big and fat and that makes it harder.
It makes for like fuller sounding bigger sounding productions, but it also makes it harder to get, right. Like then the decision was quite kind of easy. The only really low. Thing was the best guitar, so,
Malcom: [00:47:26] yeah.
Benedikt: [00:47:28] Yeah. Okay. Um, yeah. Uh, that sort of tuning then the choice of instrument as well. Of course, like as a five string bass will have different, low into four string bass if you actually play that fifth swing.
So, but yeah,
Malcom: [00:47:43] even if you don't, you know, the low, like the low E on a five string sounds different than a four string. Yeah. It's just like a different tension scale thing. Um, so. Take that into consideration too.
Benedikt: [00:47:54] Yeah. Yeah. Then the placement in the room maybe is also something that, where you can manipulate that [00:48:00] if you put your, you know, your kick drum, for example, like your drum kit into the corner of a room, it will probably sound boom year and half more low.
And then if you. Put it in the, like somewhere around the center of the middle of the room. And then there will be spots where the low-end cancels almost entirely. And there will be spots where we have low buildups. So walking around the room and finding a great spot for the kid is definitely worth doing and will completely change the way your low-end sounds.
There's an exercise that I like to do, and I got it from a book called mixing with your mind. It's a very, very great, uh, book that you should check out, pick up. It's not, not very cheap. It's like 80 bucks or something, but it's one of the best books I've ever read. Oh yeah. It's awesome. It's super awesome because he explains things.
The author explains things in a non-technical way, but almost always, um, tries to explain how, why you do something and how it makes the listener to feel. And it's just a. Yeah, it's a different approach and it's awesome. It's just good. And what he does. And I do that all the time since I read that is [00:49:00] like, just grab a floor, Tom, and walk around your room, hitting the floor, Tom, and listen to what the low end sounds like.
If it's Boomi, if it's thin, if it's tan, tight and punchy, um, just walk around, hitting that floor, Tom, going to the corners, go through all the spots in the room and just listen only to the low end. How long is it? How loud is it? How defined is it? What, what does the, the room, the reverb sound like, and, but only listen for the low aspects of it.
And then you find a spot that just works beautiful for beautifully, for whatever you want to try to do. So, yeah.
Malcom: [00:49:35] I've seen people do that with a snare drum, but the Floortime makes more sense.
Benedikt: [00:49:39] Yeah. If you, if, if it's about the low end as well, but the snack room, I can see that too. It's that's more about, I think the room sound, the reflections.
Malcom: [00:49:47] flutters and stuff.
Benedikt: [00:49:48] Yeah. Yeah. But when it comes to low end yeah. Go low tune floor, Tom. Great way to do that. So yeah. What else can you do there? Obviously when the source sounds right and you made the tuning. [00:50:00] And instrument choice and room decisions, then it comes, it gets to the engineering part of it.
What can you do to manipulate what you're doing?
Malcom: [00:50:09] Yeah. Yeah. Like choosing Mike's that go down that low, right? Like if you're using just some more narrow dynamic mix, you're not going to really capture a lot of that sub stuff. And that's going to reflect in, in the recording. It's not necessarily a bad choice.
But it's just, it should always be a conscious choice. Right. Um, if you want that low information, you need to make sure you're trying to capture it. Do you use a U 47 on anything?
I know I brought that back up before.
Benedikt: [00:50:39] Yeah. Um, yes. I like to use it. I don't own one, but I used it a lot of times. Uh, other than not a lot of times, a couple of times in other places, um, It's a very expensive make if it's an original one, but I've used a bunch of different euphoria, some clones, and they all were great, like all different, but almost all the, some kind of the same thing, what I really like about them.
[00:51:00] And that brings us back to the low end thing is I liked the euphoria seven fats or the clones of that. Yeah. Not the, not the two version, but the fat version, because that has like a really full and clean low end. So you can put it in right. Front of a bass drum, very up close, close up to the bass drum. It doesn't distort, it has a full low end.
It like it's just beautiful and big sounding. The tube ones tend to distort earlier and have more like, yeah. More of a color to them. And it's not as like the low end is just not as clean and therefore not as big. I
Malcom: [00:51:33] like the fat one too. And it seemed like on a base cab, it just rocks that, that, that Mike just makes me appreciate.
Low-end very much. Totally. So I was just curious what you use for, for those situations?
Benedikt: [00:51:45] Yeah, actually I use the slate mic a lot, the Oh, cool. Uh, it works like it has a U 47 model in there and you can even follow and stuff. I sometimes use it just without any model. I just use the clean flatmate because it goes flat, straight down [00:52:00] to like 20.
And it's just super clean. It has a lot of headroom and it's like, yeah, just gives you the low ended, represents the low end. Exactly. As what it is. And so I like sometimes like to do that even without any emulation on it. Cool. And a little budget tip here, something that my assistant Thomas and I found out, um, Um, lately or I found it out, but I used his mic to do that.
And he was kinda interested in it. He owns an Aston origin, Mike, which is like the, if you're familiar with that brand, it's like, Um, they, they make affordable, but great sounding condenser mics, or not nowadays even dynamics, I think, but they started with condenser mics. Right. And the origin is, I don't know how much it is, but it's really affordable for a great condenser microphone.
And he has that. And I tried it in front of a kick drum and I used it on a couple of production where he, where I engineered and he assisted and it's, um, it works very, very, very well. I really fell in love with it. And I used it on a couple of drum kits now. So if you own that, or if you're planning on getting like an [00:53:00] all-round condenser microphone that asks an origin is a, I can recommend that as well.
Following yeah. Instruments.
Malcom: [00:53:05] I I've never used one, but I know a couple of people that swear by them. It's like the people that own them are just diehard fans.
Benedikt: [00:53:11] Yeah. I see why it's. It's cool. It's awesome. So, yeah, go ahead. Mike choices, obviously can't answer .
Malcom: [00:53:20] Yeah, yeah, definitely. Um, I mean, like even. You know, this decision comes down to even like your roommates and stuff like that.
Like I'm a big fan of ribbon mics for rooms because they're darker and more focused that that leads to a more low, mid, upper, upper base focus on my roommates kind of thing. So, um, talking about the thought in a kick drum to get a lot of that, if you tailor your room, Mike's the right way. Um, to focus on that kind of frequency.
So, I mean, we're talking about drums a lot here, but it th the same choices apply to whatever you're recording. I think, um, a good thing to keep in mind is like the IQ filters on a mic as well. You know, like if you're cutting out the subs, You're not going to capture [00:54:00] much, obviously, but like people forget to check those things all the time.
They just throw up the mic and it's like, Hmm, sounds a little weird, but it's because you're cutting out everything below 80 Hertz.
Benedikt: [00:54:10] Yeah. True. And sometimes these can go very, very high up with like the SM seven that I'm using right now. It has a low cut filter and I don't use it at all on my voice. I used it once.
And then I thought, wow, this sounds really, really thin. And then I figured out that in this case, the local goes up to 300, I think. Holy crap.
Malcom: [00:54:28] I did not know that.
Benedikt: [00:54:29] Yep. So no wonder, it sounds thin. Um, so you never know. Yeah. It's, it's true. It's true. It's a very flat low-cut, but it goes up very, very high and, um, it's really, it's very thin sounding.
Actually you need to go very, very like it compensates for if you're really eating the mic. If you're like. Close like this. Um, and you have like a very deep voice, like Malcolm does, then you, um, maybe you could use that switch, but with my voice, I just sound like a, like a chipmunk, like without being like, it wasn't like [00:55:00] pitched up obviously, but like, it sounded like it.
Yeah. So, so yeah. Uh, but can be great. Can be not so great. Um, just know that they are there and try and use them to show you yeah, your, your sounds, you can cue things in. Box, um, or with an, a luckier, obviously, if you have a desk or a preempt with a queue or something like that, or an analog outboard, a Q a, but you can use also, you can record through plugins as we've talked about in this podcast before.
Um, you can make those decisions right away. As, uh, as we said, we want you to be bold here and to make decisions. So if you're sure if you know what you're doing just to cue it, it's just a part of the process. Um, but a lot can be done with like good instrument, choice tuning and microphone placement. And I think placement is huge here when it comes to low and especially so, yeah.
W like, are there certain things, like, what do you do when it comes to like making base or. Or backing from making guitars. When, when you think about low end.
[00:56:00] Malcom: [00:56:00] Well, the thing that came to mind when you were just talking is that if it's not there, when you record it, it's not going to be there ever. Um, so that's why it's so important with low end.
Like that's like top end. It's pretty easy to make up for. I think, um, where low end is like impossible. If it's not captured, you are going to have to do some serious voodoo to get it to come through in a mix. Um, which invariably leads to. To compromise this somewhere else. Right. Um, so you really need to make sure that you're accurately tracking a low end that represents what you're trying to get.
Like a lot of low end isn't necessarily a good thing. And it has to be the right low end, um, and the right amount and sound good. Right. So, you know, uh, I would just really urge you. To not settle until, until you it's there. Um, if it's like, if you're kicked off, just doesn't have anything to it, that's a problem.
And you should really sort it out. Um, especially your bass guitar, actually, I think. Uh, because [00:57:00] that's like, it's a whole point, but, uh, yeah. So man, just picking a basis again. Uh, yeah, I dunno. I, I kind of lost myself there, but like, it is so important that you just make you really listen and are honest with yourself that you are capturing what you're intending to.
Benedikt: [00:57:17] Yeah, totally. Um, what's the placement. I find that, um, the most important thing probably is the distance with the proximity effect and everything. So, um, When it comes to like tactics, what you can actually do is besides the mic choice then. Yeah. I think playing with a distance, the closer you get, the more low end you have, the further away you get, the less line you get.
Um, it's it's about like things that the rest is like specific. You don't need to exactly. As Malcolm said, you need to listen. What the, the thing you recording sounds like and where the best spot to put the mic in at is so with a guitar cabinets, There's certain things you can do the further out you put the [00:58:00] microphone from the speaker, the more low end you have.
If you put it that center, you will have less low end with like an acoustic guitar. There will be a spot where you have a lot of low, mid range or on low end of the acoustic. And there will be spots where you don't have as much, um, with every instrument, every instrument, there's going to be a spot where there's going to be a sweet spot and there's going to be an area where it's too much and an area where it's not enough.
And you just got to define what you want, then listen to what the show sounds like. Then pick a microphone that can reproduce what you're trying to capture and then put it in the right spot. That's the thought process? Basically,
Malcom: [00:58:35] this has been a big episode.
Benedikt: [00:58:36] Yeah. I didn't expect that to be
Malcom: [00:58:37] that long.
Benedikt: [00:58:39] Yeah.
I hope you could follow along, but what's a little more confused. I thought it would be, but I think the main takeaway here. Is you need to listen to what we said when it comes to making, um, like thinking about those things, deciding those things, um, the why behind what you do more than the what. So it's a less of a technical [00:59:00] episode.
It's more, It should get you thinking about the whole low end issue and it you should make a plan and get a vision for what you want your low end to sound like. I think that's the main takeaway here. Just have a plan, be strategic and intentional about it and not just put as much bass in everything as you can just because you think it's bigger or fuller that's, I think, the main takeaway. Be intentional, know that not everything can be everywhere at the same time in the low end, know that there's going to be a compromise. Make sure you do it clever enough so that the compromises are minimal. Um, yeah, just make sure that things work together and not just on their own.
Malcom: [00:59:38] Yeah. And just be like, I think another key takeaway is that if you aren't able to like discern what we're talking about, when you hear something, you need to develop that skill. You need to develop the ability to critically listen to material and pick out the different kind of frequency areas and be able to hone in and just assess the sub of a mix [01:00:00] or just the low bass.
And by doing that and learning to kind of dissect something you're listening to, you'll be able to, like, use that same skillset when you're making your own decisions and capturing your own instruments.
Benedikt: [01:00:12] Yeah, totally. You know what, um, Oh, and my wife's got a little crazy here. Yeah. What's the chipmunk again?
You know what, um, Uh, what I'm going to do, thinking about all that. I just pulled up something that's actually just part of the course. So that's something only people who bought the course or buy the course. We'll see. Um, But I just decided I'm going to make a free download out of it for you. So I have this, um, frequency chart and spectrum overview is what I call it.
So I think the URL will just be the self recording band.com/frequency chart. Um, so as soon as the episodes out, this will be available and it's free, it's going to be a free download. And what that is is. It's a PDF. That's actually inside the course, as I said, and it has the [01:01:00] whole chart, like every note and it's corresponding like Hertz value, uh, for all the octets the whole spectrum.
So you can see where the fundamentals actually are. And it also has a description of all the areas of the whole spectrum, like sub bass, bass, upper base, low mids maids, high mids, um, treble, everything above that. Like. It just, it has a description for all those areas. So I tried to put it into words. Um, and, um, yeah, you like learn what the, what that actually is and what, what lifts in a certain area, how that should feel or sound.
And then one more thing. There is, um, it's an like a four or five page PDF. And then there is a graphic where I divided the spectrum into different parts and I put the Hertz values and the notes in there. But I also put stuff in there. Like this is where the harmonic stuff, the bass guitar are. This is where the fundamentals of the bass guitar are.
This is where, [01:02:00] whatever it is. So you can see visually where certain things typically live. And then you have the written description of those areas. If that makes sense, you will, you will. It won't make sense once you see it. So I'm going to make a free download out of that. It's going to be the surf recording, band.com/frequency chart.
And it's just one of the many, many things that are in this course. So there's not only videos, but it's also like PDFs and worksheets and stuff like that. And that's one of them, I guess. That's it. Um, let's wrap it up.
Malcom: [01:02:28] Yeah. Yeah. That's it, man. We there's a lot in there. I think, uh, We just really encourage you to check out the article that we've mentioned, like countless times to this, um, how to get your low end right before mixing, uh, which was the self recording band.com/low end, right?
Yes. Um, that will, like, I would read that first, listen to the episode and then read it again. And it all makes sense. The second time
Benedikt: [01:02:52] we can, we can all just help that. Whatever Thomas makes out of this episode, once he edits, it will make much more sense than what I remember it to [01:03:00] be. Right.
Malcom: [01:03:01] Yeah. I'm like, I need to have a nap.
I'm tired. Exactly. Don't listen to listen, make notes, but that was good.
Benedikt: [01:03:10] Awesome. Yeah. Thank you for listening. Uh, hopes that brought some clarity and didn't add to the confusion. Around this topic and
Malcom: [01:03:18] you have to get more confused to learn. Yeah, exactly.
Benedikt: [01:03:20] Um, and yeah, let us know what you think as always like comment below the various social media posts.
When, when this episode goes out, um, leave us a review, send us an email, choose some way to reach us and just let us know what you think about all this. Thanks for listening. See you next week. .
TSRB Academy Waiting List:
TSRB Free Facebook Community:
Malcom's and Benedikt's websites:
Outback Recordings Podcast - Benedikt's other podcast
Your Band Sucks (at business) - Malcom's other podcast
If you have any questions, feedback, topic ideas or want to suggest a guest, email us at: email@example.com
take action and learn how to transform your DIY recordings from basement demos to 100% Mix-Ready, Pro-Quality tracks!
Get the free Ultimate 10-Step guide To Successful DIY-Recording