I've been working pretty much non-stop on the audio for the DVD this week. The other day I was reminded of a very simple concept that I thought I'd share with you. When you are mixing, "cut before you boost". I'll explain.
I was working on finalizing a mix, you may even say I was doing a little mastering on a song. I imported a Radiohead song for fun, and ran a spectrum analysis on it (that's where you get a read on the frequencies in the song- which ones stand out, and which ones are cut). I mainly wanted to see which frequencies were cut, or scooped out of their final mix. Then for the next hour, I attempted to cut everything that they cut. I used 8 ten-band EQ's to do it. Now, I realize that this is a little silly. These are different songs from different studios, with different instruments. But I was curious.
After I finished, I noticed some surprising things. The vocal was much brighter, almost too much! In fact the whole mix was very "sparkly". Remember, I didn't boost ANY frequencies. I know that whenever you want to make the vocal shine in a mix, you're tempted to grab that top band in your EQ and send that 8-10k range through the roof, DON'T! Cut before you boost. It's a very counter-intuitive way to mix, but trust me, it's the better way. You want the kick to have a little more punch? You can achieve this by "detailing" the low end, rather than just cranking up everything below 300hz. It's about keeping all the instruments in their proper place. Hope that helps!
I realized the other day that there is not a link on my blog to buy my new album. If you want to listen to or buy it, here's the link:
Thanks for reading.