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93: Q&A – Mixing/Mastering In A Bad Room, Kick Drum PA Feedback, Guitar Pickups

November 2021 - Q&A - Part 3!

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These are some of the questions and struggles from our community members that we've covered on the show:

  • "I think the problem is trying to do a reasonable job on less than ideal equipment and in an untreated space. I’m sure a lot of people are in the same situation… you find a spare corner of the house to put your desk and your gear and your small monitors for recording, but trying to master on small speakers in a weird shaped room is a bit of a nightmare. I always use references and try not to get sidetracked by loudness, but hearing the low end properly on tiny speakers sucks. I mostly use headphones for recording and mixing (rightly or wrongly it’s what works best for me and the rest of my household) but obviously mastering on headphones isn’t really ideal."
  • "Not a 100% recording related issue, but maybe still OK to be discussed: How do I place and set up an internal kick drum mic for a live (recording) session with sending the mic to the p.a. and preventing it from low frequency feedback? We have this issue in our rehearsal space, that the kick is always close to annoying feedbacks. We record the sessions live while rehearsing. And yes, we are loud and yes, the kick needs balls. But maybe you have some "hacks" (TM) what we can try to reduce that? Mic is a Sennheiser 602. No compressor / gate but semi parametric eq on the mixing desk available, that I already tried noodling around with a lot. And we had the same issues with a D112."
  • "Whats a good way to achieve humbucker style guitar tones with a single coil guitar? (Without buying a humbucker guitar) Ha ha"

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This episode was edited by Thomas Krottenthaler.

Benedikt's voice on this episode has been recorded with the Antelope Axino Synergy Core.


Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy (click for full transcript)

TSRB 93 - Q&A - Mixing/Mastering In A Bad Room, Kick Drum PA Feedback, Guitar Pickups

[00:00:00] Benedikt: if you want us to continue with these sort of episodes, then just keep on asking questions and we'll do it. We can because we love answering these 

[00:00:06] Malcom: Yeah, absolutely. Please post in the community self, according band.com/community. And, uh, yeah, we'll do more stuff. 

[00:00:28] Benedikt: Hello, and welcome to the self recording band podcast. I'm your host Benedict tide. And I'm here with my friend and cohost Malcolm. Oh, and flood. How are you? 

[00:00:37] Welcome? 

[00:00:38] Malcom: I'm good. I'm good. I actually have something I want to talk about that I forgot to mention on our last. Two or three episodes actually. But uh, my other podcast, your band sucks at business is back in action. Um, we took a little hiatus, just, well, life got crazy for us. And uh, I had too many things. I was juggling.

[00:00:55] So Marcus, my co-host and I took a little break, but we are back with new episodes. So if you want to learn about the [00:01:00] business side of releasing your music and all that kind of jazz had to your band sucks at business there, that's my 

[00:01:05] shameless plug for the day. 

[00:01:06] Benedikt: Totally. I highly recommend doing so I had no idea that you actually paused the podcast. I don't know how many people I sent over there just because whenever people ask me for business advice for bands, that's the. It comes to mind. So check out this awesome podcast and uh, yeah, absolutely. That's such a great resource and um, yeah. Great to hear you back. So are you 

[00:01:31] Malcom: Yeah, it's good to be back. 

[00:01:32] Benedikt: it, are you going to do more interviews as well, or is it just you and Marcus doing it?

[00:01:36] Malcom: We're going to be doing both. yeah. It'll be a mix for sure. Um, we're, we're doing it less consistent than this podcast. Like we're, we're aiming at monthly rather than weekly. Um, hopefully more than one episode a month, but just coming out at the same, like the first Tuesday of every month. Um, so whatever we get done inside of that month, we'll come out the next month kind of thing. Um, so that kind of keeps it a little more flexible to set up interviews and stuff like that and not be so. [00:02:00] Rabbit race kinda 

[00:02:03] gets hectic. So Yeah. It's but it's been a lot of fun. People were messaging us, like crazy being like, come back. I'm like, all right, we gotta, we gotta get back on this thing. 

[00:02:11] Benedikt: Yeah, I think so. I think so too. I actually, you, you guys already had a head, some sort of, yes. Some, some traction for sure. There, like the podcast has been, has been, become like it has become popular. And uh, I, I, I bet that people are glad you're back so 

[00:02:27] Malcom: Yeah, it's been good. I think we actually just hit 25,000 downloads the other day or something. Um, I'm I can't remember 

[00:02:34] Benedikt: Which is, which is pretty great. I mean, 

[00:02:37] you know, we can't like, we are really like niche podcasts or niche podcasts, and uh, that is actually a pretty impressive number. Also good to know that so many bands are interested in actually improving. Like the business side of things and like actually wanting to grow their band because yeah, let's face it like, well, that's not the most interesting thing to most artists or at least that's the, [00:03:00] that's the cliche, but your numbers show that there are a lot of people out there who are actually interested in growing their band and reaching people and making an impact with their music, which is awesome to hear.

[00:03:09] Malcom: Yeah, I'm trying to give him some traction to, to work with, for sure. It's, it's so synergistic with what we do here. It's like, here's how to make your record and here's how to get it out into the 

[00:03:17] world. 

[00:03:19] Benedikt: Yup. Yup. Yup. I'm going to have to listen to a bunch of episodes very soon, a bunch of your episodes, because I just, I think I can say that I don't, I don't want to say the name of the people yet, but I think I have mentioned it before on the podcast. I'm in a new band. And we just had a meeting last weekend. We finished our first like EAP um, that we're gonna release and they've recorded some backing vocals. We came together for the first time in person, actually, like we've known each other for a long time, but for this band, it's only been a virtual thing. So. And we came together for the first time. And then we uh, yeah, we had the meeting and we talked about how we going to approach releasing those songs and what the strategy will be. And if there is a strategy and like what we're going to do. So my plan was to [00:04:00] listen back to a bunch of your episodes and like get some information and like put together a proper plan for all of that. And we'll see how that works.

[00:04:09] Malcom: Looking 

[00:04:09] forward to your feedback. 

[00:04:11] Benedikt: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. For sure. I mean, after I have listened to some episodes, but this time I'm going to actually apply some of the stuff's. 

[00:04:16] Malcom: Great. 

[00:04:17] Great. 

[00:04:18] Benedikt: All right. Let's dive into today's episode. Um, It's part three of a Q and a series that we did. And I think I explained it last time. And the, the episode before that uh, I've been reaching out to people. I've asked what you're struggling with. I made, I did a poll in the Facebook community. Uh, At this point I might have done another poll because I want to do those regularly now. So and basically I got gathered a bunch of questions and I think I also made a post in the community asking for additional questions for this episode. And two of the questions that we're going to answer today came from that post also. So these are all real questions from our community. From the self recording band.com/community, this URL redirected to a Facebook group, you can also search for the self recording band [00:05:00] community directly on Facebook. And it's a good place to be. We just, I think, do we have, did we cross 500 already? I think we're close to 500 people, which is also cool and yeah, totally. It's such a, it's a tight knit, like small community, but it's really, really, really awesome. And the vibes are good. People are helping. And we get great, great questions and topic ideas from this, from this group. So we are answering three more questions today and we hope this really helps. Not only the people asking, but like everybody in the group. So question number one. These are long questions by the way. So these are from conversation. So it's not just a one line question, but like some thoughts and concerns or questions or things they struggle with. So I'm going to start with question one. I think the problem is trying to do a reasonable job on less than ideal equipment and an untreated. I am sure a lot of people are in the same situation. You find a spare corner of the house to put your desk and your gear, and just small monitors for recording, but trying to master on small speakers in a weird shaped room, it's a bit of [00:06:00] a nightmare. I always use references and try not to get sidetracked by loudness, but hearing the low end properly and tiny speakers sucks. I mostly use headphones for recording and mixing rightly or wrongly. It's what works best for me and the rest of them, of my household, but obviously mastering on headphones. Isn't really. So not really a question, but something the person struggles with to protect everyone's privacy. By the way, I don't tell the people's people's names. I just read the questions because I haven't reached out to two people to ask for permission, but anyway, so I think it's a very common one. Like having an untreated space less than what he calls, let us less than ideal equipment. I'm not sure about. Depends on what your monitors are and your headphones are, might actually be great equipment. I'm not sure, but in an untreated room, all that doesn't really matter as much. So I think the room is always going to be a major problem. So I tend to agree with everything the person said. We just need to figure out a way to, to actually be helpful here. My, my 2 cents, before I hand the question over to you is just my, my initial thought [00:07:00] is that. Mixing on headphones is perfectly fine, although different compared to mixing on, on speakers, but it has been done countless times and it can work mastering on headphones is something that I think people do more and more these days. It's for sure more tricky than mixing, but it also can be done, but there is a couple of do's and don'ts I guess, and now I'm going to let you answer because yeah, I just want to hear your.

[00:07:25] Malcom: Yeah, I, late last week I had an ah-ha moment where I suddenly realized while listening to a podcast that I'm a headphone mixer and mastering engineer. More so than I am a speaker mixer, a mastering engineer. And I didn't even realize, but it's been this way for like nine months and it just kind of became naturally. And uh, I just started starting my mixes with headphones and then switching to speakers part way through and lately. That process has gotten. I mean, it's just gotten longer and longer. How long I stay on headphones before I moved to my speakers. And it's Really. my speakers are kind of like my reference monitors. [00:08:00] Now I pull them up and I'm like, oh yeah, I see how it's translated here now. And I, I do some changes there again, and then I go back and forth, you know, a little bit, but it's. Like the bulk of what I'm doing is on my headphones. And I'm getting less revision requests and never got answers, just so thrilled right away. So it's like it's working, it's totally working. Um, and that's mixing and mastering. It is really the headphones I'm wearing right now are my main speakers, all of a sudden. So. Uh, and there's, there's a ton of great mixers that are headphone first as well. Um, obviously there's probably more, there's definitely more that are on speakers, but it's what we're saying is that it's totally possible to do whatever you need to do on headphones. And obviously headphones are way more affordable than turning your corner into a treated 

[00:08:46] studio.

[00:08:47] Benedikt: Yep. And I a hundred percent agree that. What you said here with dry, like the, the, the person asking the question said with trying to master on small speakers in a weird shaped room is a bit of a nightmare. I, a hundred percent agree. That is a nightmare [00:09:00] and headphones will not only be more affordable. They will be so much more accurate than a weird shaped room untreated on small speakers. That that's an almost impossible thing to master on honesty because. 

[00:09:10] Malcom: exactly. 

[00:09:11] Benedikt: Because part of it, like with mixing, a lot of people say, you just have to learn your speakers and your room and, and th th there's truth in that I think you can get used to a lot and you can, there are people who making, making incredible mixes on like setups that I just, I just can't comprehend how they do it. So that, that is possible. But I think it's different from mastering because in mastery, One of the requirements to even be able to master it all is to be able to hear all the frequencies and on tiny speakers. That's just not possible. You're not going to hear the low end and you can't fix something when you don't hear it. So that's one problem. And then also in order to make the tiny adjustments necessary in mastering situations and like the attention to detail that you need and stuff, that's just, won't be, you won't be able to do that in a weird shaped untreated room on tiny speakers. That's just a reality. [00:10:00] And you, no matter how used you get to those speakers. Accurate like detailed decisions will be very, very hard to make if not impossible. So headphones will be way more accurate if they are good or, and or if they are calibrated. So like might not, might not work for you, but good quality and maybe calibrated um, headphones will definitely allow you to do that. I find it interesting Malcolm that. That your clients like the artists you're working with are, are stoked with the work you do on headphones. And I, I keep thinking about that lately. And I think could that be because more and more people are actually listening to music on headphones, more so than on speakers, like maybe. Things have even changed to where it's, it makes more sense to mix or just spend a lot of time mixing on headphones, just because the majority of music is probably consumed on earbuds, headphones and less on speakers except for cars maybe. [00:11:00] But honestly, like, I really think that the majority of music is not like it's being consumed on some sort of headphones. I think less people than ever are sitting in front of speakers. Or like correctly set up speakers uh, to listen to music. That's just doesn't happen very often anymore, I think.

[00:11:17] Malcom: It's totally possible. I honestly just think That I'm doing better mixes

[00:11:21] Benedikt: Yeah. That for sure. I mean 

[00:11:22] Malcom: I'm just hearing better. and so I, like, I think I'm getting the important details at the, at the get-go. And then when I, by the time I moved to speakers, I'm not worried about the decay time of my lows and my sub frequencies on my kick. Like it's dialed in because I can hear it so good with my headphones. Right. Um, and, and for the reference, whoever asked this question, I have like a really well-treated room that I've spent so much time setting up and I've got great speakers in front of me, and I'm still using headphones um, as a main part of my workflow. So like I pretty much headphones solve your problem to a huge degree. I, you mentioned calibration and most headphone mixers. [00:12:00] I know, do use calibration um, in my circle anyways. Um, and so Sona works is what I use, but there's, there's other options out there. For that as well. Um, so that's a good little hack that I think is a hundred percent worth it. now on the room side of things, treatment is pretty cheap to build yourself and totally worth it a hundred percent of the time. even if you don't plan to really mix or master, I think just having treatments, just always a good investment. the last thing is just. If you don't think you have a setup that is ideal for mixing our mastery, even with headphones, like, and maybe you can't, you know, make headphones might not work for you. They work for me. Benny, you mentioned that, you tried it and you're not super sold on it um, for your workflow, 

[00:12:42] Benedikt: Yeah. You mean mixing in other funds in general 

[00:12:45] Malcom: Yeah, 

[00:12:47] Benedikt: Yeah, I'm getting better at it. I think it's a confidence. I think it's a confidence thing or like a, I don't trust myself enough yet to, to make, to do the majority of my work on headphones. Like. I feel like I still do [00:13:00] better work on speakers, but it's getting better. So the, the, the majority, like the major issue that I have with the main issue, and I've talked about that before, and I think I even made a blog post about it is that Everybody perceives the stereo image, the, the, the width of things and like the, the stereo field differently on headphones compared to speakers. And that's the thing that I keep battling. So when it comes to hearing like frequencies, making ACU decisions making like transient decisions, stuff like that, that, that is I'm pretty good at that on headphones. I even like it a lot, or like the best thing to do for me, or like the thing that were expressed on headphones. Eliminating problems, notching out things that annoy me, or even hearing like tiny, I don't know, rattle in the background or things like that. Some, some things like that. I don't even hear on speakers sometimes, but I hear it on headphones. So I just it's much more detailed. And so for correction work headphones are great for surgical work. Rev. Headphones are great for me. I can cue well on headphones. I can. Compressed well and treat transients on headphones. That all [00:14:00] is not a problem. What I'm fighting when I mix on headphones is balancing like levels. And that's because the stereo image is different because with speakers directly attached to your yours, it's a different thing then like having. Sound travels through air before it reaches your ear. And like even what comes out of only one speaker arrives at both of your ears when you will mix some speakers. And it doesn't when you mix on headphones, but there are ways to compensate for that. And I'll get to that in a second, but like, yeah, the crosstalk that you have and just the fact that the speakers are right at your years and it's not. The triangle that I'm used to in front of my speakers, that just makes it a little different, difficult for me. And I ended up mixing things too loud that are in the center. And even though I know that this is the case, I'm having a hard time getting the balance right. To be very honest. So when I mix on headphones my mix is I think what makes Stan amazing. And then I listen on speakers or listen on like mano devices, like phones or a Bluetooth speaker or something like that. And all I'm hearing is kick snare, bass and vocal. And I think [00:15:00] guitars are gone basically. And that's because I hear them so clearly on my headphones that I don't turn them up enough, or I don't make them bright or present enough because I can hear them right next to my ears. But as soon as that collapses to, or as soon as I hear it on speakers, everything that's in the center is way too loud and the stuff on the sides is too quiet. And if I listened to a well-mixed song on headphones, I have the. I want to turn up the kick and snare sort of. So I, I keep fighting that a little bit, but it's getting better. And I want to give you um, you all, and the person asking this question, a recommendation here that there is headphone calibration, like sonar works as Malcolm said, but there are also tools that sort of simulate a speaker environment, which is really interesting to me. And now just a couple of days ago, plugging the lions came up with a new thing or like a company they partner with came up with a new thing. There is a plugin that has been out for a while. It's called dear VR monitor D E a R VR monitor. Uh, The company's called D reality. [00:16:00] Um, And they are, they are, they they've partnered with plugin Alliance. So I think you can purchase their plugin on their website, but you can get it through plugging the lions as well. And it's part of their subscription by. And what it does is it simulates control rooms. And it, it has done that for a while. So you can upstair your setups. Multi-channel setups. You can switch between different rooms, you can simulate a car, you can simulate the club, you can simulate all sorts of speaker environments, but now they came out with an update that lets you do what I just described. Plus the headphone calibration. So you, you not only have the mixed room, you can choose, but you can select your specific model of headphones and it sort of eliminates the limitations or the, the, the, the footprint of the headphones you're using. So now all these rooms sound the same, no matter which headphones you use, basically like the frequency response. Because before that, if you use the plugin like that, you were still. Limited by the frequency response or the quality of your headphones. And now you can use their [00:17:00] virtual mixed rooms and take your headphones out of the equation. Basically. So I find that to be really interesting. I've, I've played around with it and it works well for me.

[00:17:09] It solves that issue almost, uh, almost entirely for me because I now have the crosstalk. It sounds not as direct as, as it usually sounds on headphones. I can switch back and forth quickly without having to put off my headphones and then switch to speakers. So I really enjoy That 

[00:17:26] That or something like slate VSX I haven't tried it myself, but I know a lot of people who love it. So it's a similar thing. You have a pair of headphones, you have a software to go along with it. You simulate a mixed room. I don't know about that. Nick house, how well the slate stuff works. I've heard good things about it, but I can't give you my own feelings on it.

[00:17:44] Malcom: Yeah, I haven't tried it either, but I do know people that like it. So essentially what we're saying is that if you don't like headphones right now, there might be a solution that makes it so that you do. And if that doesn't work and you still don't like headphones, but you don't have a space to mix your master. You just gotta outsource [00:18:00] it. That's kind of at the end of the day, if you don't have the tools to get it to the quality you want, you have to hire somebody that can. 

[00:18:06] Benedikt: Yes. That's I think, I haven't even thought about that, but that's, I think the best piece of advice in this situation, as long as you haven't figured out that situation, because your mixes and especially masters will just never be at a, at a top level or at a competitive level, if you don't treat or solve those issues. So 

[00:18:23] Yeah. 

[00:18:24] Cool. So I, I hope that helps, but to end it on a positive note here, like mixing and mastering on headphones is entirely possible.

[00:18:33] Malcom: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. That's really the takeaway. Like, honestly reading your question and again, I don't have much context other than the texts on my screen in front of me, my instinct is outsource it first and, you know, practice do your best mix with headphones and your best master with headphones and compare it to what you get back. Use it as a learning exercise, but also get the quality you you want. 

[00:18:54] Benedikt: Yep for sure. All right. And maybe 1, 1, 1 last word. 

[00:18:58] don't believe in [00:19:00] gear purchases. Like I don't believe that P gear purchases improve the quality of your work a lot, usually, except for when it comes to monitoring. So as, as much as I believe that I believe that that, that better monitors will give you better results. But I also believe that when it comes to that, Good quality headphones are important. And not only that, I believe that a good quality headphone amp is super important. Usually I don't give gear recommendations to solve people's problems, but in this case I've made the test and I've compared different things. Yeah. Mixing on like using the internal headphone output of whatever your laptop has is like not a good idea, usually because the converter and the headphone amp are just not good. And even on cheap interfaces, depending on the impedance of your headphones that might be a less than ideal situation. So investing in a good interface with a good headphone amp or just a good standalone headphone amp with the correct impedance and enough power to actually drive your headphones and have enough headroom and all of that. Is really ma [00:20:00] really makes a difference in really makes an audible difference. And if you will know that you have to stay on headphones and you have to work on headphones and you really want to do that and improve, then I would invest in good quality headphones plus headphone amp. It's not going to be super expensive, but it's, it's going to make a difference. And I would do that if I would take that seriously. So yeah.

[00:20:20] Malcom: Yeah. So maybe this conversation isn't truly complete unless we mentioned open versus closed. 

[00:20:25] Benedikt: Yeah. 

[00:20:26] Malcom: Um, we'll be pretty far cause it's yeah. we're going down the rabbit hole here, but most people that use headphones for truly professional purposes land on open ear headphones. it's a more natural, usually considered more accurate, you know, experience. Um, that said one of my favorite producers and mixers right now. Uses closed headphones. So 

[00:20:48] Benedikt: Yeah. 

[00:20:48] Malcom: you go. 

[00:20:49] Benedikt: Yeah. I, I agree though, like I used these closed ones too for the podcast, just because I have less bleed in my microphone, but when I'm mixed, I sometimes use these as well, just because I know them well, but it's more of [00:21:00] a reference thing, but I, when I mixed on headphones, I using open back high quality headphones and um, so yeah. Agreed. Agreed. 

[00:21:07] Yeah. 

[00:21:08] Malcom: All right, let's move 

[00:21:09] on.

[00:21:09] Benedikt: Cool. Next question. Not a hundred percent recording related issue, but maybe still okay. To be discussed. How do I place and set up an internal kick drum mic for a life in brackets recording session with sending the mic to the PA and preventing it from low frequency feedback. We have this issue in our rehearsal space that the kick is always close to annoying feedbacks. We record the sessions live while we rehearsed. And yes, we are allowed and yes, the kid needs balls, but maybe you have some hex trademark way for that there. Um, What we can try to reduce that. Um, Mike is a Sennheiser 6 0 2, no compressor gate, but semi, uh, parametric, semi parametric Q on the mixing desk available that I already tried noodling around with a lot and we had the same issue with a D one 12. So. We should, now we can't trademark hacks. Like everybody uses that word. [00:22:00] We just used it two times in, in like two episodes. I wish it was our trademark. Like, no. Um,

[00:22:07] Malcom: Self-reporting bat and the creator

[00:22:08] of hacks. 

[00:22:09] Benedikt: yes. Um, But yeah, maybe there are some hacks. It's an interesting question for sure. And I know exactly where you're coming from. Like I had that same issue before in rehearsal spaces and also. Gotta be honest. I don't have a really great solution to that if other than, yeah, maybe the only thing I can say is it probably has to do with the headroom you have available on your PA system, the placement of the PA system, the room and the dampening of the drums. And I know that's a lot that you can actually address, but also in my opinion, I've tried all of these. And it rarely really works if I ever like every time I had this problem in a small room that the only solution was to turn down the kick drum and live with it. Um, It's but I'm curious to hear your thoughts on that Malcolm, but it's really, it's really [00:23:00] tricky to have a loud, punchy, tight kick drum on a PA in a small room without this feedback.

[00:23:06] Malcom: Yeah, it's totally an issue. Um, but it could be not is, but could be uh, is, the, you can't really tell what's going on with the, the loudness and the lack of treatment in the room. You know um, so maybe if you've got some dampening stuff in there where you can hear things more, clearly it turns out the kick is cranked. You just can't hear the low end very much because of everything else rattling around, that could be it. So maybe treatment will make it so that you can actually turn the kick down. that is not a sure thing though, 

[00:23:33] Benedikt: Yeah. 

[00:23:34] Malcom: that could work. you know, really the answer is of course volume. Everybody needs to turn down. That's kind of always the solution, unfortunately, and it's super lame, but it always works. 

[00:23:45] Benedikt: Yup. Yup. I also, I find this interesting because I know I, I personally never had. That to be a major issue. Like with my bands, I played in hardcore bands and we are very loud and [00:24:00] we do the kick is important, but we never, never, ever miked the kick drum. When we practiced, we just heard enough punch and attack from whatever from the drum kit. It's like, we don't, we didn't hear the low end, but this didn't really bother us because we could hear what the drummer was playing. We hear it. We heard the click, the attack of the kick drum, so we could play in time. And do, honestly, I prefer that over having like, even more loud things in the room and like even more mud and stuff. So it might just be me, but I never wanted, I never felt the need to amplify the kick drum in the room. 

[00:24:34] Malcom: Yeah, with a live PA. My go-to was always send us little to it as pOS. 

[00:24:40] Benedikt: Yeah. 

[00:24:40] Malcom: Like ideally just to vocals, right? 

[00:24:43] Benedikt: Yeah, totally. that's, that's how I feel about this. If you really needed it for whatever reason. A couple of ideas. So the first idea would be to make the kick drum itself, like the shell itself to, as that as possible, I would make it super tight. I would remove as much of the ring as I could. It might not sound super [00:25:00] great then, but I think if you really stuff it with a lot of things, if you really make it dead, if you tune it very low so that you don't have, so that you basically have a very dry. Thump with a lot of attack, but not, not much tone. Like you don't want the, has to be, to be resonating a lot. You don't want a lot of the shell of the wood sound. Uh, You just want a very short, dry thump and a bunch of attack. So that's where I would start, because that will give you more control. Then I would probably. Yeah, I mean, you can't, the positioning of the mic won't really make a difference. So, I mean, it will make a difference to the sound, but it won't solve the feedback issue because I assume that the, that the PA is probably left and right, or the movers are probably left and right of the drum kit in your rehearsal space. And. Yeah, I don't, I don't think that there's so little space inside the kick drum. I don't think that a P like changing the position of the mic will make a major difference. I 

[00:25:56] Malcom: I have a 

[00:25:57] Benedikt: yeah, yeah, yeah. Go, go ahead. Go ahead. And then the room was just the last [00:26:00] thing that I wanted to say. Like, I would maybe. Try. And I don't know, I don't know how much you can do, but I think that the tighter to the low end in the room, the more bass traps you have, the less resonant, the low end of the room is the battery. Your chances of getting an audible tight kick room sound in the room. Yeah, but that's, that's basically all I can, all I can say.

[00:26:22] Malcom: So I, this could be wrong again, like, again, this is a very speculative situation here, but uh, the feedback could be coming from something totally different. And I would suspect it is my, like the kickback or the. Being fed so much volume kind of stuffed down away from all other instruments seems unlikely. So that might be getting the kick might be triggering the feedback, but it might be happening on a vocal mic, which is usually cranked way louder, 

[00:26:49] right. And positioned way higher near a speaker. so that feedback could be coming from a completely different channel. And the solution is actually the handle. The one that's feeding back, not the instrument that's causing it. 

[00:26:59] [00:27:00] Possibly. 

[00:27:00] Benedikt: Oh, yeah, that is actually a good one. Also I would try filtering as much as you can on every other mic uh, except the kick drum. Like I would filter out as much low-end as I can on all the other mix. If you have a loud kick drum with a lot of low end. And I would try to also thin out the lower mid range quite a bit. It might sound a little thin, but really all you need is, is the intelligibility and like the presence anyways, and most things you send to the monitors, or like even in vocals, they don't need to be super thick probably. And usually that's actually good advice because. People think that feedback comes from higher frequencies in vocal mikes, but oftentimes it's a low, mid build up or even a rumble that then turns into a feedback. So maybe if you get rid of some of the lower mid mud and some of the base that you can just filter out on, like vocal mikes or other makes in the room that can, that might do the trick yet. You're right. Malcolm, I think so. 

[00:27:52] Turn that stuff down. 

[00:27:54] Malcom: check out in your monitors. 

[00:27:56] Benedikt: Oh, yeah, for sure. For sure. Yeah. Yeah. [00:28:00] I think that's all 

[00:28:00] we 

[00:28:00] Malcom: Hopefully that helped. 

[00:28:01] Benedikt: I hope so. I hope so too. I mean, that's all we can really say. Control is basically is basically like try to get rid of much of as much rumble and resonance as you can in the room. That includes the kick drum itself. That includes the treatment of the room, like the room resonances and the bass buildup in the room. That includes other mics that you might need to clean up that could also include resonant heads of Toms. Sometimes these. Um, Make weird noises or like our, I don't know, it could mean all sorts of things. Everything that's rattling and rumbling in the room and it's uncontrolled try to make it as tight as possible. Try to reduce the overall volume in the room with treatment and like with turning things down as much as you can. Yeah.

[00:28:42] Malcom: Exactly. 

[00:28:43] Benedikt: Okay, hope that's still helps 

[00:28:45] then. Uh, Last question. That's an interesting one and I don't even try to answer it before I heard your opinion. Malcolm, what's a good way to achieve humbucker style guitar tones with a single call guitar without buying a [00:29:00] humbucker. He says.

[00:29:01] Malcom: All right. Unless you live in like the north pole, there's no reason you would be doing this. This is my thought, like, guitars are so easy to get ahold of you. You w you must have a friend has got a decent humbucker guitar. You can borrow, or you can rent one from somewhere, or you can buy one and then return it saying you didn't like it right after, like you can get a humbucker. Uh there's no, there's no reason to do this. Um, You know, as far as making the single coil guitar sound fat, I think big strings on a single cool guitar sounds incredibly fat. you know, w w single coil guitars often sound way fatter than humbuckers to be once they're in the mix, they just sound so clear. You get so much actual note in it. Um, rather than just like white noise to. Um, and I play humbuckers so I don't know why I'm trash talking what I play, but, but honestly, like I'm always happy with single cause I love them and I think I need something in my life now. 

[00:29:56] Benedikt: I agree. I love single coils. I especially love for [00:30:00] example, like they sound so nice. They are super noisy. So I honestly, I had this conversation with a friend of mine just a couple of days ago, and we were basically both. We both had the opinion that the only reason we use humbuckers is to avoid noise. Like if we would have a really quiet, like not noisy, single coil, All day, like any day, all day, because it's just, I like the sound of them. I really enjoy it there. The transients are super punchy. It's super clear. You hear the note as you sat, you, you have a lot of control over it. It doesn't sound, it sounds more open and less compressed. It's going to less muffled sort of mid range. I mean there are qualities and, and, and positives to, to humbuckers, but I just like single cause as well, they get a bad rep for no reason often. So. Um, but to answer your question. So when I think about what makes a humbucker sound like a humbucker to me, the B field lower mid range comes to mind that can sound a little boxy and a little compressed. Sometimes it's less, less open than a, than a single call to me, [00:31:00] but it's like this, this thick, dense, mid range that a humbucker has. That's part of it. I also think of It like a humbucker takes the edge off a little bit on the transience, like a single coil sounds really progressive and like really detailed and the transients and the pick attack and a humbucker is a little rounder and you need to pick harder to make it sound as punchy to me. So these are two of the qualities. It obviously is less noisy as we said. And so I think so what I would do if I had to do this, I would probably. Take out a little bit of the, I dunno, four K 5k area and like find where the pick attack lives and where the, the edge and the little bit of the fears, or yeah, like the scratchiness of the pick and that stuff where that lifts. And I would take out a little bit of that. I wouldn't make that a little rounder, maybe even use like a transient shaper tool to shave off some of that stuff in that area. I would try and boost [00:32:00] some thickness in the lower mid range, maybe. And I would probably compress it a little. So I think what I think could work is when you run a single club. Through something like a tube screamer without using the distortion on it. And then you dial the tone knob to the dark side a little bit. And then you take out a little bit of the pick attack and you maybe boost a little thickness. Then you could end up with something that kind of sounds like a humbucker because what these pedals do is they compress a little. They make it a little more flat sounding in a way which is often what we like, because it makes the low invest Boomi, but anyway, it will make a humbug. It will make a single core sound less a little bit more compressed. It will add a little bit of mid range density and thickness. It will take off a little bit of like the precise transience. So I would, you could try that you could try a tube screamer. Use no distortion on it, just run it through the pedal and then turn them the tone up to the darker side a little bit, and then shape the tone with the IQ. So that's probably what I would [00:33:00] try.

[00:33:00] Malcom: Totally. Yeah. So here's another little hack that's along the same lines as what you just. generally humbuckers are much hotter output than a single coil. And a lot of that sound is actually just the volume of that guitar hitting an app. You, so if you can AB them, it's like, whoa, this sounds way more palsy, but it's just way louder and causing the amp to react way differently, like very differently. So if you throw a boost pedal before the amp single coil boost pedal, crank it up. And hit the amp harder. It's going to respond much more like a humbucker would have maybe like you would expect it to respond. 

[00:33:35] Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah, totally. I wonder I'm just Googling this right now. I wonder if there is like a humbucker simulation pedal or something like that. I wouldn't be surprised if there was. 

[00:33:47] Malcom: Yeah, my eye I'm like positive. My camper has like a single coil and a humbucker kind of like preset kind of chain that I could pull up, but they're ready to use them. You know, like there's acoustic guitar simulators. There's definitely [00:34:00] the 

[00:34:00] other way around. 

[00:34:01] Benedikt: probably, probably, if I find one, I'll put it in the show notes. So yeah, I couldn't find one right now, but I, I w I wouldn't be surprised if there was one. 

[00:34:10] Malcom: Yup. Yup. Totally. But again, There's no, there's no fake in this really. So like go get one. You'll you'll be able to find a humbucker guitar. I'm 

[00:34:21] sure 

[00:34:21] Benedikt: Yeah, I think so too. I think, I mean, mean for playing around or for experimenting or for demos.

[00:34:27] Malcom: it could be for life, you know, like you just need it to sound different for your cover band or something like told to get that, that that's a totally valid. But if it's for a recording and you're you care about this recording? Um, finding the right guitar for the part is so important. 

[00:34:41] Benedikt: Yeah, absolutely. Okay. There are found something. Um, 

[00:34:46] Malcom: Coming to you live from Google. 

[00:34:48] Benedikt: ah, there is okay. There seems to be a digital pedal, I don't know anything about this. I just Googled this and found it like the Keystone exchange. And this kind of pedal helps you. If [00:35:00] I'm reading this here, this kind of pedal helps you replicate some basic types of pickups that you can find these days. It's a very versatile little thing as it features a lot of tone shaping options, but you can also find different software and plugins that do the same bias. FX apparently has many different guitar modeling options, including the type of tonewood and pickups. I wasn't aware of that. Both this and the pickup simulation pedal might be a costly addition to your rig, but they're fairly good and kind of worked both ways. I don't know about that. So that's not a recommendation from me. I had just read that there is stuff out there. I dunno. I don't know if that's worth it. I still think borrowing a humbucker is the best way to do, to go about it. And then manually simulating the sound is the second best way. And then maybe try, would fill around with those things. Uh, One thing actually that you can do that is actually something cool that you could do it, that could work very well. If you can borrow a humbucker guitar for a day that you really like, and you want to have that tone also when that guitar is not around, you can capture the eye and then use a [00:36:00] match IQ to put a DQ curve on your single quality eye that matches the sound of that humbucker guitar that will not include the transient response, but you can sort of, I think once you have the frequency response, you can sort of shape that with compressors and limiters or trends in designers, you can get close and you can compensate for the volume. So you could get that part. Right. But I think the frequency curve, the tone you can get pretty close. Probably if you use something like fab filter pro queue, and you just create an ACU profile of the humbucker guitar and then apply that to your single. Guitar. I bet that will sound pretty damn close. If you then get like this, the saturation or compression or whatever else is lacking, if you're the, add that to that curve, I think you'll be pretty, pretty close.

[00:36:44] Malcom: Yeah. it is kind of a bit of work to do that, but it kind of works. I'm always totally amazed at how well of a job it does. There's always something kind of weird about working with it. I can't really put my finger on what it is. Like I, I I've used it for bass and stuff like that. [00:37:00] Transform something into something else and it's like, okay, it's transformed, but it's still not perfect. So again, finding the guitar is of course better, but this is a pretty magical solution. If you want to put the time in. 

[00:37:11] Benedikt: Yep. All right. I think that is plenty of information and lots to let last that we recovered here and I hope this was, this was. Helpful. And if you want to, if you want us to continue with these sort of episodes, then just keep on asking questions and we'll do it. We can because we love answering these and yeah. Hope you do too.

[00:37:31] Malcom: Yeah, absolutely. Please post in the community self, according band.com/community. And uh, yeah, we'll do more stuff. 

[00:37:39] Benedikt: Awesome. Thank you for listening. Talk to you next week. 

[00:37:43] Malcom: Bye.


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