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My endless problem with low frequencies


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Here's the story.

I have a pair of monitors+sub that by default have a very loud bass. The problem is that there's no bass control button to fix it.

When I listen to music I cut the low frequencies using the equalizer of my player, so I don't care.

But when I create music in my Cubase it's pain in the ass.

What I actually do is that I'm guessing how my track would sound without this lousy bass. So unfortunately I can't have a proper mastering.

 

This problem causes another one:

 

Ok, I export my track and listens to it. When I stand in front of my speakers the track sounds ''dry'' without ''any lows''.

When I stand in front of my woofer the track sounds extremelly ''bassy'' and the lows cover anything.

I know that this is what supposed to happen, but in professional tracks there is a balance if you know what I mean.

My track sounds either too high or too low, depending where I stand. Professional tracks have a very good balance between the ''no woofer'' and the ''with woofer'' sound.

 

I know what you'll say, buy new monitors and a good woofer, but I haven't any money.

 

So I wonder, is there a way to fix this problem? Some specific frequencies I have to know.

 

It bothers me all the time, some help would be great :(

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mastering is another issue.. your MIXES arent done well.

 

sounds like you need to fix your room accoustics.. Make some basstraps.

more info about room accoustics here

Well yeah that's what I was meant :)

 

I know acoustics are very important but in my small room I can't have something better :(

 

Thanks anyway :)

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how small is it?

 

 

if it really isnt possible to do anything about room acoustics then try to find the spot in your room that relates to other rooms and systems best.

Or get some good 'flat' headphones. Not the ordinary ones but specially for producing.

Man I need some money! :D

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I would say you would need some new monitors then. :( You really dont have around 100 euros to spend on some semi-cool headphones? :/

Check my stuff

 

40 euros altec lansing monitors

60 euros sennheiser headphones

a sound card that bad that doesn't appear in the control panel :ph34r::unsure:

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Check my stuff

 

40 euros altec lansing monitors

60 euros sennheiser headphones

a sound card that bad that doesn't appear in the control panel :ph34r::unsure:

:( if I win a million then I will send you some propah stuff :D
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mastering is another issue.. your MIXES arent done well.

 

sounds like you need to fix your room accoustics.. Make some basstraps.

more info about room accoustics here

I would agree..

Ormion did u actually read what its stated in that article? I suppose not, otherwise, if u are low on cash like I am, you would notice paragraph about bass traps..

Best option for u (and me) is to find nearest Knauf distributor and buy thick fiberglass and use it as bass trap.. No matter how small is your room, those traps will have effect..

So after that u mix on your senheisser headphones and on your speakers.. I think that minimum cash and maximum improvement.. Otherwise you will have to mix only on your headphones..

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I would agree..

Ormion did u actually read what its stated in that article? I suppose not, otherwise, if u are low on cash like I am, you would notice paragraph about bass traps..

Best option for u (and me) is to find nearest Knauf distributor and buy thick fiberglass and use it as bass trap.. No matter how small is your room, those traps will have effect..

So after that u mix on your senheisser headphones and on your speakers.. I think that minimum cash and maximum improvement.. Otherwise you will have to mix only on your headphones..

Isn't that impossible? :unsure:

 

Anyway I don't think the problem is mostly about bass traps. Yes, my acoustics in my room are horrible, but still when I listen to a professional track it sounds ok (after I cut the lows with my player's equalizer).

 

The problem with my tracks are that they don't have a right ''balance''. When I listen one of my tracks in a poor sound system without a sub woofer it sounds very ''dry'', no bassy at all.

But when I listen to them in a heavy bass system the lows are too loud.

Professional tracks have a balance. Even in a sound system without a woofer a professional track will sound a bit bassy and in a loud woofer the lows won't ruin the track.

 

I'm looking for this balance. Of course bass traps would help me and like I said since my monitors haven't any bass control and the deafult bass is extremely loud I will never have a good mix.

 

It seems I have to buy new monitors <_<

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Just buy really good balanced headphones for $100-$150 until you budget and production skills can support expensive monitors.

Mix on your headphones and then when you are finalizing the track play it on your speakers, car, mp3 player, everything you can to get the perfect balance.

 

Good monitors doesn't = good mixing. You can mix perfectly for your monitors and have it sound like shit on low-end sound systems. If you understand how one sound system compares to another you can mix well. Pro cans won't be perfect but you can do your best and then tweak it based on your impression on how it plays on other sound systems.

 

Now eventually you will get good enough where monitors WILL make huge difference, but by huge I mean maybe 20% better and it'll pack that little extra punch that modern psy producers muster. For all practical senses getting some good headphones to acurately playback sound will be the best move for you. Those cheap subwoofers for low end 2.1 systems are really inacurate, don't trust them.

 

If you have an EQ on your sound card I recommend balancing it out as best you can so that it sounds best to you. Windows sound control should also have an advanced bass and trebble slider - do whatever you can to get it to sound as best you can. Also expirament with moving the subwoofer around, facing it the other way, upwards, etc. This is totally against what a pro will tell you to do but then again you aren't in a pro room nor is your woofer proffesional. I found that very strangely if I turn my cheap subwoofer 45 degrees so its facing diagonal to a corner in my room it sounds much better and balances the dryness and the boomyness out - why this works I have next to no idea I just know that in the position I'm sitting in it sounds much better.

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Professional tracks have a very good balance between the ''no woofer'' and the ''with woofer'' sound.

That's called "translation", as in "my mixes don't translate very well" from one system to the next. A mix that translates well is generally thanks to a mixing engineer with a lot of experience. And the song itself plays a part. Maybe you could post a sample?

 

I know what you'll say, buy new monitors and a good woofer, but I haven't any money.

I don't think you really need to use a sub. Unless your songs have have bowel-shaking bass in the sub-40Hz range, you probably don't need a sub. ESPECIALLY if you can't control the level of the sub. It's ridiculous to have a sub if you can't control the level of it.

 

In the long run, experience and subject (the song you're mixing) have more to do with the quality of the mix than gear. But on the gear side:

I just took a short glance at the website for Altec Lansing. Those are consumer PC speakers. They are intended to make music sound good (according to whatever standard they use for 'good'), not accurate. Consumer audio systems typically have a smiley-face EQ curve: over-hyped bass, scooped-out lows and over-hyped high end. A good mix will generally sound good whether its on a consumer system or a professional system. But that good mix was undoubtedly mixed on an accurate monitoring system. Accurate means, more or less, flat. When you are mixing, you want to hear an accurate representation of the audio.

 

I would start with getting a monitoring system that is at least intended to be used for audio production. I understand not having any money, but eventually you'll need something better if you continue to mix your own music. I have Alesis Monitor One Mk2 monitors, which are passive monitors that are only $200/pair (USD). They're passive, which means you would also need an amp. They're not the greatest, and I wish I had better, but I've used them for long enough that I'm used to them. That's another key to making a good mix: knowing your monitors. All monitors have limitations, but if you get used to how a good mix sounds on you monitors (ie. listen to a lot of good mixes on your monitors and compare your own mixes to theirs), then you have a better chance of getting there. Alesis also makes an active version called M1 Mk2, for about $300/pair. One monitor manufacturer that I don't think I've ever heard anything bad about is ADAM Audio. Their products are more expensive, but definitely worth it from what I hear. They sell a passive monitor called ANF-10 for about $375 each ($750/pair). Their cheapest active monitor is the A7 at $500 each.

 

One really important thing you can do is to do some serious researching on acoustics. One of the best and easiest things you can do to help improve your acoustical situation is to make sure that your monitoring setup is placed in the middle of wall. That is, make sure you don't have a wall three feet from you on one side and the other wall 12 feet from you on the other side. Of course, that's kind of funny, because as I write this I am looking at my own monitor setup, which is very similar to what I just said is bad. :rolleyes: But you do what you can, right?

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Anyway I don't think the problem is mostly about bass traps. Yes, my acoustics in my room are horrible, but still when I listen to a professional track it sounds ok (after I cut the lows with my player's equalizer).

which most likely means you need to do some acoustic treatment...

cutting the eq isnt a good idea at all unless you really cant do ANYTHING about your room accoustics.. Look into it (reading on the inet is free ;) )

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Acoustics is very important if you use full range monitors or a sub.

If you are on a budget though it's possible to get good results with a pair of nearfields, and since you will sit close to them the direct sound will mask problems with the room, so acoustics become less of an issue.

As long as they are well positioned and you don't have a very small room or extremely reflective walls you will manage fine without acoustic treatment.

 

I guess the Altecs have absolutely no bass without the sub, but otherwise I would simply turn it off when mixing if it causes trouble.

Generally if you have speakers that go down to 50hz or so you do hear the frequencies that really matter. PA's generally have a high pass around 38hz and even with a very deep bass the main area of interest hardly ever is below 60hz.

 

To be able to monitor precisely below 50hz as well is nice, but unless you can spend at least some €4000-5000 on a really good pair of nearfields as well as a good pair of full range monitors and acoustic treatment that will not happen and I would just focus on getting maximum accuracy with nearfields.

 

With your current setup I would probably reduce the sub frequencies if they are overpowering and troublesome. Usually it's not recommended, but with a pair of Altecs that hardly is flat to start with it's probably the best option. Just make sure you leave your EQ on the same settings all the time so you can get used to the response.

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Acoustics is very important if you use full range monitors or a sub.

If you are on a budget though it's possible to get good results with a pair of nearfields, and since you will sit close to them the direct sound will mask problems with the room, so acoustics become less of an issue.

As long as they are well positioned and you don't have a very small room or extremely reflective walls you will manage fine without acoustic treatment.

 

I guess the Altecs have absolutely no bass without the sub, but otherwise I would simply turn it off when mixing if it causes trouble.

Generally if you have speakers that go down to 50hz or so you do hear the frequencies that really matter. PA's generally have a high pass around 38hz and even with a very deep bass the main area of interest hardly ever is below 60hz.

 

To be able to monitor precisely below 50hz as well is nice, but unless you can spend at least some €4000-5000 on a really good pair of nearfields as well as a good pair of full range monitors and acoustic treatment that will not happen and I would just focus on getting maximum accuracy with nearfields.

 

With your current setup I would probably reduce the sub frequencies if they are overpowering and troublesome. Usually it's not recommended, but with a pair of Altecs that hardly is flat to start with it's probably the best option. Just make sure you leave your EQ on the same settings all the time so you can get used to the response.

Unfortunately that can't be happen. :(

Thanks for the advice :)

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Isn't that impossible? :unsure:

 

Anyway I don't think the problem is mostly about bass traps. Yes, my acoustics in my room are horrible, but still when I listen to a professional track it sounds ok (after I cut the lows with my player's equalizer).

 

The problem with my tracks are that they don't have a right ''balance''. When I listen one of my tracks in a poor sound system without a sub woofer it sounds very ''dry'', no bassy at all.

But when I listen to them in a heavy bass system the lows are too loud.

Professional tracks have a balance. Even in a sound system without a woofer a professional track will sound a bit bassy and in a loud woofer the lows won't ruin the track.

 

I'm looking for this balance. Of course bass traps would help me and like I said since my monitors haven't any bass control and the deafult bass is extremely loud I will never have a good mix.

 

It seems I have to buy new monitors <_<

Well I think it isnt impossible with AKG K271 S..

 

If your tracks sounds good with eq u could eq your own tracks in same way..

 

Problem with balance is a thing u have to learn, not buy.. Learn more about mixing projects, mastering.. Train your ears.. No matter how good are your monitors they dont worth anything if u cant hear them properly..

 

And I also think u don't need woofer, looks like its just making troubles..

 

Do u listen your tracks at same volume like listening references? Try shuting woofer of and make something new, see how it works and post results..

 

U could go for headphones if ur low on budget, otherwise go for monitors..

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