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Fix the Mix, Sharing Frequency Space.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by zac2944, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    In a recent thread about getting P-bass tone to cut through the mix in a large band, someone suggested "parceling out frequencies" in an effort to make room for each other in the frequency spectrum. The idea being that if more than one instrument is occupying the same frequency range the resulting group of sounds will be muddy and unclear, and if each instrument is confined to its own frequency range the resulting group of sounds will be more clear and defined.

    I'd like to try this with my band soon at a practice. If it works there we might try it live if we can find a sound guy that is willing.

    I was in a studio last night and was able to ask the recording engineer about this idea. He said it is used in recordings sometimes, but he didn't know if it was done live.

    Has anyone ever tried this? Did you have any success? Does this sound like a crazy idea, or might it work?
  2. It will make a big difference in how good you sound live. (over)simplified, it is as simple as having guitar, vocals and in some cases keys cut down on the bass frequencies. Too often they are set to sound rich and full as if the will be a solo performance but when you add it all together it's a roar of sound that sounds bad.
  3. Kronos


    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    My old band used to do this. We'd have one guitarist with a "scooped" sound, and the other guitarist with humped mids. I carried lows and mid/highs, which added a growl to the overall sound. Worked well, IMO.
  4. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yeah - it SHOULD be done live!

    The simplest way for the soundguy to do it is to use the sweep-mids on board channels- he can set two channels to the same frequency, but then cut one, and boost the other. Of course you have to find two channels (instruments) that would do that in a complimentary way for a given frequency. Kronos' scenario above makes much sense - but I'm sure it's best when the guitarists go-along with it with their individual tones.

  5. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    Obviously, you probably won't do this live to the extent that you can in the studio, but you should certainly be aware of the situation.

    Guitars and basses fight all the time. Basses and kick drums fight all the time. Acoustic guitars and hi hats, keyboards and EVERYBODY, vocals and cymbals, different toms... you want to make sure that each thing has its own space.

    I usually like to let the kick drum sit on the bottom of the mix, then bass, then guitars, etc... that means kicking in the low-mids on the bass, which will make it sound rather thin solo, but great in the ensemble.

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