Ok, this little psycho-acoustic trick really works! Mixing through the miracle of self delusion!!!

4pickupguy

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Many of you probably already know this and do this, but, I just discovered this little trick. I saw it on this video and just applied to two songs I recently posted and it cleaned up the lower mud tremendously.



I applied the trick to the bass drum and it cleaned up the low end accumulation and tightened things up like magic. In the picture is the EQ analysis of the drums. The method goes like this, the kicks fundamental is at about 90hz. You double that frequency and create a notch or sharp bell boost, in this case 180hz (F#3). Then, you create another one at a fifth above that. That’s around 275hz or so. What you perceive is the fundamental again! Now cut or shelf everything below 180hz and, through the magic of psycho-acoustics, you just reclaimed that much low end energy! Its explained much better in the video. I am still playing and experimenting with how much Q to have on the notches etc. I may go back and add just a tiny bit of the 90hz to give it some girth, but all in all its a very effective technique. I just uploaded/posted this tune in Twanger Central called “Here We Go Again” but I continue to tweak it. Learn me more of these!!!

CB58781B-EC56-492C-ACE7-BC377F1FA096.jpeg
 

thesamhill

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I think self delusion represents the majority of my approach to life so this should be a perfect fit, lol.

I have gotten a lot out of Dan Worrell's videos but man, it takes me like 30 mins to get through a 10 minute video, by the time I get done stopping and starting and rewinding and rewatching. And even then I have to just acknowledge that most of it is going to go over my head.

But what I do understand is really interesting and often helpful.

It truly is fascinating, how much of music recording is about lining up the physics with the psychoacoustics.
 

woodman

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Just a thought, Fletch: Before committing to an arbitrary "kick = 90 Hz," I'd check out the real-life fundamental on the kick drum in my track, then double/triple etc. that. A lot of times my kick fundamental is 50-70 Hz, making it easy to slide in the bass at 90-120 fundamental. But it's all relative.

The psycho-acoustic philosophy is for real, and that's a great mixing tip that'll (1) keep your kick from hitting the mix bus or output meter too hard; and (2) help getting your kick and bass sorted out with their own real estate in your low end.

Hope you and C are surviving the Texas heat!
 
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4pickupguy

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Here is the first file using this method on the kick.

Here is the second track that got this trick applied:
 
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thesamhill

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robot "Brit" voice is dang hard to listen to

:) I enjoy that part- it's a physics lecture, done in the style of a William Carlos Williams poem, set to low key boots n pants music:

I read
In the comments

That someone had asked
How do I know if
The mix I'm working on
Sucks.

It probably does suck.

And chances are
It's because
You aren't paying attention
To Newton's fifteenth law of math.

[boots n pants n boots n pants]
 

4pickupguy

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Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Just following up on some more observations concerning method describe above. If you try this method with the bass instrument, finding the range the fundamental kinda swings through and aiming for the middle of that range. It’s not as simple as adjusting a little Q right at the cut-off frequency to maintain a little girth like the bass drum. In the video, for bass he adds some distortion through a plug-in call Saturn to the bass mid/high frequencies. This has a compounding effect to the perception of the fundamental by adding multiple harmonics above the two little bumps we added like for the kick. He uses a pretty ugly sounding distortion and blends it subtlely to add more complex highs. I had to use something way less ugly to make it work. The result was surprising and counter intuitive. It actually adds clarity to the bass. You can really hear it towards the end of that first tune where the bass starts slapping. The end result is the mix has far less sub harmonic mud accumulation down there but is still punchy to the ears.
Added bonus: I went back to some of my older mixes where I was not happy with my bass sound and applied this distortion trick to it and created mid and high/mid distortion bands for the bass and panned them a bit stereo on a whim and OMG! It must be a coupling thing because you can’t pin point what just happened but the bottom of the mix gets rich and clear and the entire space gets bigger. Still playing with this. A little goes a LONG way. Always learning…
 
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swarfrat

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90hz is close to the Back In Black SNARE drum. Even the little bop toms pretending to be "kick drums" (since it's not accurate to call a 16" drum a 'bass' drum) can be tuned in the 70-80hz range.
 




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