Tune sounds flat

Discussion in 'Production' started by jakeshiftzw, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. jakeshiftzw

    jakeshiftzw Shiftz

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    I've just started a drumstep tune, after a bit of time out and ive noticed my tunes still sound so flat. I've compared it to professionally produced tracks and when looking at the analyzer on the EQ there seems to have alot more 'spikes' put in an unprofessional term. Especially around the mid and low-mid area. What do you think im doing wrong? i always boost my drums where needed and boost my synths at the top end to give it that clarity. But ill admit i dont tend to boost them anywhere below 1khz, is this maybe why? I also tend to use the sweeping eq method aswell, but more so to cut out frequencies of the synth where the snare hits (normally hi pass my synth at about 120hz). Would it also be better to layer my synths? Have one of them ranging from 120hz - 1khz and then the other 1khz - 20khz and then bus the two tracks together? It just seems like my drums are clear and punchy enough, and my sub. But theres something missing in the middle of my track, even though my synths SEEM to have enough crisp and crunch to them. Its just driving me crazy lol
     
  2. Defect

    Defect Member

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    Professionally mastered tracks are compressed and limited to shit, youd have a hard time getting a track to that level and have it still sound good, thats what we pay mastering engineers for. So keeping in mind you wont(shouldnt) get it as flat as a professionally mastered song, some compression will take care of those peaks. Is that what you mean by spikes? or is it constant uneven frequencies rather than sudden spikes?
    Less is more with EQ'ing unless your going for something specific its easy to do too much. Layering is a good way to thicken up sounds, these days pretty much every aspect of my mix is layered except sub bass. Just be careful not to crowd the low mids, and make sure the sounds dont clash and arent fighting for the same space in the frequency range.
    Can only give vague suggestions as every song is different. Maybe post up a clip of the track
     
  3. Labrat

    Labrat Active Member

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    instead of boosting eqs cut frequencies, itll give more headroom. Probably avoid compression as much as possible except for where its really necessary like maybe a bass bus or drum bus to kind of glue it all together. remove and compression from the master channel if you got it, my advise with that is you dont need to use it if you dont know how to. any synth or drum hit that doesnt need low frequencies put a high pass filter to clean the low up.
    are the sounds your using good quality to start with, sounds stupid but makes a massive difference. maybe its just the sound palates frequencies clashing together, maybe it just wasnt meant to be for this tune..
    can be many many things but its one of the joys of producing
     
  4. RocksteadyUK

    RocksteadyUK SkimoBeats

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    My suggestion to you is to learn a bit about subtractive Eq'ing. Basically.. removing the frequencies from sounds that are either distorting or not needed. A simple search on youtube will no doubt throw up some results and how too's.

    With regards to the track sounding flat... theres a good software compressor called iZotope. or something like that. Use it on individual channels/sounds and in specific on the drum channel (main reason why tracks sound "flat" is because the drums dont have enough punch).. not on the whole tracks itself. This will give you the more professional sound that your looking for... but remember... if you are going to take your track to a mastering engineer then you need to remove all compression/limiters unless they are there part of the FX so to speak (actually changing the sound rather than improving it).

    And a tip i was given a long time ago which has stuck in my head ever since is... imagin a door... thats the frequency range... now imagin a whole group of people... these are your individual sounds.. each one of those needs to be able to fit through that door at the same time.. or at the very least a few of them do.... you need to EQ each of them to have their own space to get through the door.... if you dont give them each enough space.. then they clash with eachother and find it difficult to get through it. This leads to distortion and a general "messy" sound.
     
  5. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

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    /\ This.

    Subtractive EQ (aka surgical EQ) is perhaps the most effective means of cleaning up a mix and getting the sounds to sit proper. This especially true when trying to find the sweet spots with regards to your lowend/mid sounds like you bass, sub, kick and snare. Also, you actually want your track to have somewhat of a "flat" sound in the sense that everything sounds even across the spectrum. Leave it to the mastering pros to add the sparkle and thump.
     
  6. Lucider

    Lucider Member

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    mmmm, sparkle and thump, sounds so beautiful

    The funny thing about compression is that it flattens the dynamics so if your tune sounds flat compression is not going to help - that said, when I'm processing a break sample I'll often compress the hell out of it with a 50ms attack so that you get hard attacks without the reverb & ambience of the original recording getting in the way too much. But that's only because I'm too lazy to to work out those issues while cutting samples in Cubase.

    While we're on the subject of EQ, are all EQs equal? Should we invest in certain VSTs or avoid the pre-packaged ones in certain programs?
     
  7. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

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    I've often wondered about the whole EQ equality thing myself. I personally use the hell out of Logic's EQ, but I'd be curious to hear if anyone has had any great experiences with a 3rd party EQ.
     
  8. yogi23

    yogi23 Member

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    I use Fabfilter's pro q, its the only eq i use now and i love it. But if i had logic i would just use its native eq's
     
  9. Balthazaar

    Balthazaar Member

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    Always cut freq bellow 30 hz because it takes headroom and track sounds muddy and yea Subtractive EQ-ing all of your sounds just start sweeping freq and when you hear you changed sound just give it back a little,also be careful with sub it can really ruin your mix,and i really don't know why you shouldn't use compression on your kicks and drums if used properlly it can really fatten up your sound,and always use layering on your kicks and drums avoid coping same sample because it can cause phasing but if you really want to do that try changing pitch and one sample to avoid that and bla,bla,bla...
     
  10. Snaz

    Snaz Member

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    freq cuts probably, as for compression i dont use it much, probably because im too lazy to understand how to compress properly, if you dont undestand it it can really shit up your sound.