mixing/distortion/level issues

Discussion in 'Production' started by Groovestick, May 21, 2011.

  1. Groovestick

    Groovestick Member

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    this is in ableton 8.2

    it seems like some elements in a track will distort other elements in the same track and i'm not sure why.

    for example, i have a full song project open and my bass is peaking at around -6db or whatever and hits mainly around 50hz but it's a bit distorted so it's got some higher end stuff going on. it seems like all the higher pitched stuff in the tune like the ride especially and white noise effects i've added in for atmosphere get distorted when the bass is in the mix.

    http://soundcloud.com/bruteproductions/natural-progression

    this is the tune i'm talkin about. if you listen to the ride, especially around the 2:00 plus mark, you can hear it distorts slightly, same too with the crash sounding white noise which plays every 4 bars or so.

    i mixed this tune down then applied ozone 3 to it as a .wav and i think i might have pushed it a bit too hard with the harmonic exciter and loudness maximizer but still.

    also, can someone explain to me the whole concept of how things get quieter in your mix as you add in more elements? listen to the volume of the stabby synth right at the start compared to it in the verses. much quieter.

    i'd like to note that no tracks in the project are peaking over 0db and neither is the master.

    also, i was starting a track the other day and i just had a fat kick, a subbass synth and a reverse kick. it seems that when the reverse kick and the kick and the subbass all overlap, this weird-ass bassy clicking sound happens, some kind of distortion. is this phase interference? cause none of the tracks are peaking volume wise.
     
  2. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    It's all to do with how you EQ stuff in your track. Not the overall volume of things.

    If there are too many elements that sit around the same area on the frequency spectrum, they fight for their place with each other, thus causing certain parts to sound quieter, or muffled. Best way to sort this out is put a spectrum analyzer (Spectrum in Ableton) on each individual element, this will show you where each sound is peaking in the frequency range.

    From there, also add an Eight EQ to the channels, with this you can cut out certain frequencies that arent needed.

    Adding to this, if you have sounds that are conficting with each other, say for instance the kick and the bass. Say for example the kick is peaking at 110hz on the spectrum.....I would cut anything under around 50hz, and anything over around 500hz - 1000hz depending on the sample, also maybe slightly boosting at the peak 110hz by a db. Then in the bass channel EQ I would dip heavily at 110hz with a high Q setting, this will cut out the 110hz range of the frequency of the bass, leaving plenty of space for the kick to come through without being muffled.

    Hope I've made this clear enough as I think I've just kinda rambled on a bit......if its not just shout and I'll try to explain it better
     
  3. Wrigzilla

    Wrigzilla broke but not broken

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    Possibly you're problems are coming from a poor gain structure - check out this thread http://www.dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=74832 and pay head to what macc says.

    Although I reckon the prime suspect is over limiting and over exiting on the master. I mean lets think about this for a minute 0 dbfs (the decibel scale used in digital audio - where 0 dbfs is the loudest a digital signal can get before digital clipping happens and one signal that is 6dbfs louder than another is twice as loud).

    So if before the drop on your tune everything is being limited and is hitting at 0dbfs and then at the the drop you introduce the bass which is hitting at -6dbfs the whole track gets 1.5 times as loud; now that's a shit load more limiting going on which will most likely push the limiting from being fairly transparent to the point of audible distortion.

    Frequencies clashing could explain certain elements in the mix getting lost when another is introduced, but it doesn't explain the distortion.
     
  4. Groovestick

    Groovestick Member

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    Interesting. From what I've learned in my recording techniques class at uni, sound waves that clash cancel each other out due to phase cancellation and shouldn't create distortion although its definitely a good idea to EQ all your shit properly.

    Id say the main culprit is gain structure. Its always a battle to keep all your tracks as loud as possible without peaking and not brickwall limiting the master. I guess for a typical dnb song drum group peaking at -6db is not bad and subbass at like -7 or 8? Also, does anyone know how to get ableton to actually show decibel readings on the meters? I haven't really tried to find out how, but it would be good if someone could just tell me.

    Also is abletons spectrum analyzer good? It seems alright but im guessing there are some real good ones out there.

    So what should you mix your tune down at? -3 to 5 db to allow for limiting/compression/EQing through something like ozone?
     
  5. kama

    kama benkama.net

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    Do you have a limiter or a compressor on the master FX?

    it doesnt matter if you don't go over 0db if you're pushing a master limiter too much, the end result will be almost the same as clipping. If you get a lot of this, you should mix with the master completely clean and avoid clipping first. When you can handle that and have made a good few mixdowns without anything on the masters you can start working in a limiter that will catch any stray peaks, but still try to keep the mix low so the limiter doesnt get much use, -2dB gain reduction maximum, and only at times, not constantly.
     
  6. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    very easy to distort sound with these kind of plugins, espcially if the EQ & Mixdown needs work, the mixdown doesnt sound to bad, although theres a fair few things I would tweek personally, and i'd probly do more EQ
     
  7. Groovestick

    Groovestick Member

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    ya, it's the first time i've used ozone. what would you change/eq?
     
  8. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    its hard to tell really, all the sounds are clear, first i'd get rid of Ozone, and tweek the mixdown, and tweek the EQ, probly focus on the low-midrange which feels a tiny bit muddy, that could be the maximizer tho, ...no major issues really, just gentle tweeks, if you want, post it up without ozone on, and we can get a better idea of the mixdown, i'm guessing it sounds allot clearer without it