Sidechaining Snares to sub bass?

Discussion in 'Production' started by Polyphony, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Polyphony

    Polyphony New Member

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    I have been noticing lately that I have been trying all sorts of weird ways of butchering my mix in order to get the master loud ENOUGH. Using ozone, and I know some professionals do, but I really can't push it loud enough without distorting and making a lot of random pops and clicks.

    Something I have been noticing lately, is that the main peaks in a tune are when the snares hit while the sub is playing. Everything is eq'd fine and they are clear out of the way eachother, but sometimes I have been sidechaining even just a little of the sub to the snare. Is this a valid technique? Am I the only one with this problem and do others do this? Or am I just terrible at flattening out the sound until it's wicked loud. :|

    Thx for any help
     
  2. Sammy Dexcell

    Sammy Dexcell Stop editing my profile Smarty!

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    See I've been meaning to talk about this as its something I had a lot of trouble with when i first began making tunes.

    So first let me address what you have said and then ill move into my own techniques in mixing down. Be prepared for a ramble...lol

    Sidechaining your sub to the snare imo doesn't seem like a correct thing to do (it could work in some tunes) but unless your doing it cause you have a weighty snare in the low end then I don't really see the point it cutting the sub out for headroom?

    The way in which I work personally, is a confusing way. However, it does get me the results i'm after and I've tried MANY different techniques to achieve my own way. (which is completely different to the way the other guys in my group produce)
    So if you're an FL user this is going to be a lot more helpful to you, but I think you could easily apply the same techniques to any daw. Some act differently to others so maybe my technique won't work for it, just compensate from the idea behind this to implement it into your daw.

    So the first thing I did, as FL is generally a quite sounding program, was to establish how loud things can go in relation to FL and my PC.
    To get some basic figures I took a song I respected and stuck it in FL. I took my PC volume and started raising it until the song just started to distort, this was roughly at the 80% mark. I then played that same song in the vlc and done the same thing with the PC volume and found that the distorting place had changed to 50% volume. So with that in mind I deduced that FL was lacking in the volume department so now each time I make a track in FL I have my PC volume up to 80% and all the elements in the track I push until they start to distort, apart from my sub bass and drums, I turn them down slightly less compared to the other elements. The drums go lower than the sub bass for me. Obviously this shit changes as you do each tune so compensate etc
    At this point once im happy with the track and have got it to a place I like, I will export.
    Also I need to mention, on my FL master, I have a paramatic eq cutting the highs and lows (in paramatic eq2 there is a preset cut of low end and highs) I also have Camel Phat on a default setting and an anylser...in that order.
    Now depending on how its sounding I will either leave the master where it is and export or raise/lower it accordingly. It's at this point ide take the track and stick it in Soundforge or Wavelab and use a Waves L2 limiter and simply lower the input until it starts to distort. It's usually just below the lowest peak of the main drop. The trick here is when going from FL to Wavelab you must go from 80% PC volume back down to 50%.
    Now this is the point where you will have to use your ears and its a case of whatever isn't as loud as another element....go back into FL and up the channel you think is too quiet in the mix export and repeat until your mix starts sounding good. Don't ask me why but FL doesn't do the same thing with L2 on the master in the DAW. It's as if FL has its own built in limiting which doesn't allow you to push it as much.....
    If you've done things right then you should manage to be pushing the mix to a professional (ish) level. If not, then you have gone wrong in your mixing down process in FL before the export.

    In essence what ive done here is just made a song sounding its loudest (as if its being limited) in FL so that when I export and do go to push it. Everything will all be levelled correctly as I've technically been mixing it this whole time at its fullest sounding (i can still turn my headphones down outside of the pc so I dont blow my ears though lol) The main thing here is to get you in the habit of learning how to mix a track from the beginning and getting it all levelled before limiting, as it will then bring everything together. If it's done right...You still need to use your ears and judge snare levels etc..

    But as a bonus to doing it this way, that export you have made after FL (before L2'ing it) is ready for a professional to go ahead and master it, as long as you've not compressed the shit out of it on the master or done any unnecessary processing on the track as a whole IN FL's master if you keep it simple a professional or even yourself can push the track as much as you want and add your ozones or maximisers whatever technique you got.... do them at this stage....

    Hope this helps at least one person! :2thumbs: If anything is incoherent or you don't understand a part of it feel free to ask questions i'll be happy to answer you. OR even if you have something to add or pick a flaw in what im doing then please speak up! I'd love to hear from you as im 100% sure this isn't the be all and end all in mixing down (in FL). As I said the other guys in my group get similar, sometimes better sounding results doing their own thing...so its not gospel what I've written here.....

    Safe!
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  3. spyre

    spyre sample all the things

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    Why's that, and by how much on each end?
     
  4. Binary_UK

    Binary_UK Binary.

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    I'll take a stab and say hes cutting below 20hz and above 20khz, simply because they are frequencies we can cannot hear and can cloud your overall mix.
     
  5. Sammy Dexcell

    Sammy Dexcell Stop editing my profile Smarty!

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    Yea exactly for that reason. It's a preset on the eq labeled 20hz + 18hz cut.
    To be fair it's not that accurate as its Fruity's own in built plugin, but at least there's something there to dampen those frequencies.
    I'm yet to find a decent EQ Plugin that I can use regularly, Fabfilter Pro Q was decent but many of them eat up CPU...I tried a few and I end up mostly using loads of paramatic eq's in fruity or just using the Filter vst to make sure stuff is definitely getting cut out.
     
  6. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    I tend to high pass most of my snares at around 110 Hz depending on the pitch. I tend to pitch my snares at around A220. Most of my sub is lowpassed at around 100Hz so it sits underneath nicely.
    On my overall synth bass master bus ting I might create a dip at 220 Hz, which allows the snare to cut through. This is only the lowend of the snare that cuts through not the highs.
    I like to split my bass sounds into different frequency bands using aux sends. Sometimes I make sure one of the bands lies within a similar frequency range to the snare so that I can sidechain that band but not the rest of the sound.

    I think its best to leave sidechaining as a last resort though. I really try not to use it.
     
  7. Nekruj

    Nekruj Member

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    I always sidechaing my percs and drums what include low freq.
    I sidechai vit all of my baselines and subs, and including high end such as stabs, pads and atmosphere.
    Its good to do everything like that so it keeps the fluids of the track nicely bouncy and sorta cleans the track also.
    Ofc the main is to eq stuff right. At first you might eq stuff for their own sounds, but at master i usually touch all the eqs again to sound it perfectly.
    And ofc then i use master suit to make it more bouncy and chrispy.
     
  8. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    Can I just point out that you shouldnt be so obsessed with loudness! it's modern shit dance music that has made a lot of people feel that loudness is more important than clarity. Fuck the loudness, focus on a real solid mixdown. Get that nailed and there wont be any issues what so ever when it comes to getting a little gain on the volume.

    And as for the guy above saying that its good practice to sidechain everything to everything else? thats bollocks, if you have to do that then you have a real wonky mix that needs serious attention
     
    ApeCat likes this.
  9. ApeCat

    ApeCat Human Dubplate

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    Instead of sidechaining everything everywhere, why don't you just cut out some elements when the stabs or incidentals come in? Or even like a beat before? That'll give the listener a "Hey, what the fuck is going on?" followed by a "Whoah! Aha!"-experience. Expectations and surprise.

    Sometimes I'll sidechain the snare to the min break bus just a little, or to the midrange of the bass, but not to the sub..
     
  10. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    Yeah a hood thing to do is apply short fades to sounds as well.
    I tend to apply a slight fade to hi hats when they play simultaneously with a clicky kick drum.

    The sub should always be sitting under the snare.
     
  11. Sammy Dexcell

    Sammy Dexcell Stop editing my profile Smarty!

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    I cheat a lot when it comes to sidechaining, like you said Mr Cat of Ape I too have sometimes started the sub slightly after the kick etc it's a good trick. If your noise has no attack and a high sustain then simply cutting it out at the points you want is just as effective as sidechaining. If I could, the best thing I would do is sidechain an EQ to simply dip out the frequencies I want to avoid clashing with the exact frequencies of my kick/snare and sub/mid range. But its a mission so i don't bother.

    Sorry Fetch you're right in a way but for a big label to want to sign your tracks or a DJ to play your tunes your going to have to make sure it can hold weight with the likes of everything else out there and most of the stuff is professionally mastered. So competition is fierce and its understandable that some people push and limit things the wrong way. Clarity is a big factor and you can loose none of it with the right mix down before pushing your tune which is the point I was trying to make in my post.
     
  12. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

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    /\ This!!!!

    Proper metering is essential. I use Bob Katz' K-Metering system (K14), and after running many professional songs through the metering system, I can see they use it as well.
     
  13. subprime

    subprime Dysjoint

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    I thought the K-14 was a working level, not the mastered product level?

    A good clean mixdown will go loud, whether you mixed to -6, -14, -20 that's just a gain issue at the final stage isn't it??

    I'm still crap at mixdowns but I think trying to make a track loud at the end helps me see some flaws in the mixdown at least.

    Also as sidechaining is mostly used as a periodic volume reduction tool I agree that writing in fades by hand is just as effective.
     
  14. Polyphony

    Polyphony New Member

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    Yeah, I am doing very similar things to you. I think my mixdown is fine, but the problem is just me pulling off the loudness. Thanks for the input.
     
  15. Polyphony

    Polyphony New Member

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    I honestly think my mixdowns don't need the improvement here. I am now considering getting my mastering done by a proffesional, thanks for the input.
     
  16. Polyphony

    Polyphony New Member

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    Haha, I do fades on hats too ^^. And yeah, it's simply just the added volume of both playing.
     
  17. Polyphony

    Polyphony New Member

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    First of all, thanks for taking the time to write as much as you did. I appreciate the thorough response. Not using FL, I am working logic but I will try the things you were mentioning. By looking through all of these replies I have kind of realised the problem isn't my mixdown but really me worrying about mastering it. I am going to look into having a professional do it in the future.

    Also, why are you using camelphat (isn't this a heavy distortion plugin, I may be wrong)?

    As a conclusion here I think I am just going to keep doing my mixdowns as solid as i can, and not letting the idea of mastering compromise this.
     
  18. spyre

    spyre sample all the things

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    Its got a nice limiter built in