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scoop the mids?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 ceiling

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 08:16 PM

I've been listening to a bunch of that industrial/experimental club music thats doing the rounds.

 

artists like amnesia scanner, toxe etc.

 

Tend to quite enjoy their production/mixing style, seems to have quite a bit of depth and clarity.

 

Are they scooping the mids out on a lot of the instrumentation? Is this whats giving their mixes that aggression but none of the mud?

 

 



#2 thawkins

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 08:35 PM

I remember reading someone doing a very quick and dirty mastering where they just EQ-d the master channel to have the visually more or less the same frequency graph than some similar track they were comparing to. This involved cutting into the mids significantly. I think they were happy with the result so I guess there is a point there.

 

Personally to me it seems that the mids are a sort of meeting or overlapping point for a lot of different instruments, and I guess this contributes to the muddying of all that.



#3 Nil

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 01:57 AM

Scooping the mids can make things sound sharper and louder. It might sound better on some PA as well.
But to sound good, that’s a decision to make from the beginning IMHO : it will be much more effective and natural sounding if you decide to compose, arrange your tune and then sound-design / mix accordingly.
Low-mids is were the mud is, mids is all about intelligibility. They’re the most crucial parts of the spectrum to get right.

#4 Leon Sumbitches

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 07:41 AM

Scooping the mids might make your mixes sounds better...

 

Smoking the mids definitely will

 

Spoiler


#5 RSP

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 08:11 AM

Attached File  mid-scoop.jpg   53.5KB   7 downloads



#6 Ragnar

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 10:58 AM

for some reason I thought 'scooping the mids' meant some specific hardware EQ where the eq curve is literally like an ice cream scoop shape



#7 ceiling

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 12:18 PM

I know that they do it a lot in metal music, they really go in on those mids.

 

For my own mixes I've been struggling to push things back without using reverb or delay etc. 

 

Noticed that with this new strain of hyper club music, their mixes tend to sound quite dry but also very distant (not right next to the ears). I'm talking about listening through headphones by the way.

 

Just wanted to know if cutting back on some of the mids will give me this effect, I've tried it out myself and it does seem to work somewhat. Doesn't lose any of the aggression but also doesn't sound like its right in front of you, buzzing around in your skull.

 

Was looking for some confirmation on whether this is the path to go down or whether i'm completely wrong and could potentially be fucking up my mixes. 



#8 RSP

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:00 PM

 

For my own mixes I've been struggling to push things back without using reverb or delay etc. 

 

 

You should dive in to the Airwindows stuff, Chris has probably a dozen different plugins that are useful as variations on "a subtle way to push things forward or back in the mix without EQ" in one way or another.  Anyway, they're free and they're all subtle but different.

 

These all work well for affecting the perception of where things sit in a mix in different ways:

 

http://www.airwindow...m/distance-vst/

http://www.airwindows.com/loud-vst/

http://www.airwindows.com/wider-vst/

http://www.airwindows.com/density-vst/

http://www.airwindows.com/hombre-vst/

 

This is a variant on his "console" system and is a bit funny to set up (you have one plugin that has to be post-fader on every track and another in the first insert on the stereo buss, but since  a lot of popular DAWs don't have post-fader track inserts you get stuck either routing things ins unusual ways as a workaround, or just not using your DAW faders at all and using a gain/trim plugin second to last in line on every channel right before the Console channel plugin instead) but it sounds really good when you get it working, and this one has the added bonus of a gain control built in so you can dispense with the separate gain plugin if you have to use it pre-fader:

 

http://www.airwindows.com/atmosphere/

 

 

These are more for rolling off highs without using conventional EQ algorithms, but they definitely put things forward or back in the mix and sound quite different than simply using a high shelf or lowpass:

 

http://www.airwindow...m/acceleration/

http://www.airwindows.com/average-2/

http://www.airwindows.com/slew-2/

 

This is really subtle but compared to more conventional dithers (and Chris' other weird dithers) it has a way of making the relationship between up-front sounds and ambiance, but again it really is subtle - just shy of placebo subtle compared to a standard TPDF (it's more noticeable compared to noise shaped dither or some of his other algorithms) - so YMMV.

 

http://www.airwindows.com/average-2/

 

 

 

This is completely off topic but it's my favorite master buss "glue" compressor plugin full stop:

 

http://www.airwindow...buttercomp-vst/

 

Even if I'm using a different, more extreme compressor on the master buss I'll usually throw that on too. No equal loudness bypass or anything, though, so you have to watch out not to add too much of it (although it's subtle enough that even "too much" doesn't really sound bad).

 

EDIT: none of those (except Density) will do very much to the mids one way or another though, so probably off topic.


Edited by RSP, 09 May 2018 - 03:07 PM.


#9 Squee

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:16 PM

If you've got FabFilter Q you can listen in on your frequency bands to determine where the mud appears. It's super helpful!



#10 Squee

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:22 PM

This is the best example I could find where this is demonstrated...

 



#11 Ragnar

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:36 PM

 

 

For my own mixes I've been struggling to push things back without using reverb or delay etc. 

 

 

You should dive in to the Airwindows stuff, Chris has probably a dozen different plugins that are useful as variations on "a subtle way to push things forward or back in the mix without EQ" in one way or another.  Anyway, they're free and they're all subtle but different.

 

These all work well for affecting the perception of where things sit in a mix in different ways:

 

http://www.airwindow...m/distance-vst/

http://www.airwindows.com/loud-vst/

http://www.airwindows.com/wider-vst/

http://www.airwindows.com/density-vst/

http://www.airwindows.com/hombre-vst/

 

This is a variant on his "console" system and is a bit funny to set up (you have one plugin that has to be post-fader on every track and another in the first insert on the stereo buss, but since  a lot of popular DAWs don't have post-fader track inserts you get stuck either routing things ins unusual ways as a workaround, or just not using your DAW faders at all and using a gain/trim plugin second to last in line on every channel right before the Console channel plugin instead) but it sounds really good when you get it working, and this one has the added bonus of a gain control built in so you can dispense with the separate gain plugin if you have to use it pre-fader:

 

http://www.airwindows.com/atmosphere/

 

 

These are more for rolling off highs without using conventional EQ algorithms, but they definitely put things forward or back in the mix and sound quite different than simply using a high shelf or lowpass:

 

http://www.airwindow...m/acceleration/

http://www.airwindows.com/average-2/

http://www.airwindows.com/slew-2/

 

This is really subtle but compared to more conventional dithers (and Chris' other weird dithers) it has a way of making the relationship between up-front sounds and ambiance, but again it really is subtle - just shy of placebo subtle compared to a standard TPDF (it's more noticeable compared to noise shaped dither or some of his other algorithms) - so YMMV.

 

http://www.airwindows.com/average-2/

 

 

 

This is completely off topic but it's my favorite master buss "glue" compressor plugin full stop:

 

http://www.airwindow...buttercomp-vst/

 

Even if I'm using a different, more extreme compressor on the master buss I'll usually throw that on too. No equal loudness bypass or anything, though, so you have to watch out not to add too much of it (although it's subtle enough that even "too much" doesn't really sound bad).

 

EDIT: none of those (except Density) will do very much to the mids one way or another though, so probably off topic.

 

 

I'm not sure about this guy sometimes but it's true that even digitally there are multiple filter approaches. Biquads have their own flavor lol but like the tone control/sloping filter type stuff (dj saint-hubert - baxandall/gammatone) has like simpler coefficient calculations maybe and there are less steps in the realtime code as well? So it would change sound quality and hopefully in a significant way



#12 RSP

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:51 PM

Yeah, he's hard to pin down but his stuff sounds good to me, and it's all free and open source now so it's not like some kind of mysterious black-box "we have an algorithm that will make everything you do sound better than it possibly could otherwise, and it costs $800" sort of thing.  He definitely has an element of carny but I like what he does.

 

He's completely transparent about one of his most popular plugins being a single mathematical operation that you can achieve with one or two lines of code.

 

I don't think a single one of those plugins I posted has any kind o filtering at all, in the conventional sense.  Most of it's messing with slew rates.



#13 Ragnar

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 05:10 PM

Most of it's messing with slew rates.

 

would need to know 'slew rate' better, I think I'd consider a lot of types of math done on the sound to be 'filtering' still, stuff with 'memory' per se



#14 cwmbrancity

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 02:17 PM

Scooping the mids might make your mixes sounds better...

 

Smoking the mids definitely will

 

Spoiler

 

 

touche

 

from an alternative angle, playing other people's productions on vinyl/wav/mp3 on a decent PA with an old rotary mixer, the mids are where a lot of troubles lurk regardless of whether yer beatmatching summat like House or blending beat-less drones/ambient

 

if you can balance the mid-ranges thru transitions you can have a lot of fun particularly modular synth recordings because their tonal harmonics are usually so rich, get it right & its schmoov & lovely, get it wrong at a chunky volume & it can sound horrendous.....if producers get these areas "right" it makes blending tracks a fk load easier cos anyone can beatmatch