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Hollow/Thin Sounding Recordings

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by cassanova, Mar 4, 2016.


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  1. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    I have to do my recordings through a pair of Sennheiser HD 202 headphones, as I don't have monitors just yet. I've not heard the recordings through anything but the cans until tonight when at a friends house, and I noticed something. When played back through speakers/monitors, the bass sounds very thin/hollow/airy as does the entire recording. Yet when played through my cans, it's a completely different story. Everything sounds quite full, and overall decent. I'm not quite sure what's going on here, but I'd really like to figure out whats going on, and make what I hear in the can's, come out the same on real speakers/monitors.
     
  2. Get a few songs that you like the sound of (and are familiar with) and reference them while you mix. They don't have to sound exactly like what you're doing but if they are somewhat similar it will be easier.

    The goal isn't to try and make your recording sound exactly like them, but it will make it obvious by comparison if your mix is too boomy, too thin, too harsh, too bright ect.

    Either setup the tracks in your DAW, or there's a plugin called Magic AB which is very useful.
     
  3. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    You said "do your recordings" which doesn't really explain what you're trying to accomplish. Are you simply recording your bass part and monitoring via headphones, or are you trying to mix a song that happens to include your bass parts?
     
  4. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    Maybe it's a phase issues? I'd suggest a mono track for bass. If have stereo, and add stereo effects it could affect the phase between channels. With headphones it can be hard to hear phase as your brain figures it out.

    With Monitors in the room phase issues can happen before it hits your ears.
    There are "Phase" plugins, and headphone plugins that simulate speakers in the room type mixing.
    http://www.waves.com/plugins/nx#introducing-nx-virtual-mix-room
    Worth a free trial.
     
  5. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    I'm usually given the other tracks from friends, then record my bass part after I get their tracks. All the monitoring is done via the headphones. I was recently sent a track by my brother that includes all parts, so I'm also going to try and mix that down to see if I get the same results.


    All my bass tracks are recording mono. As far as I know, I'm even recording mono when I connect my BP355 into the interface. Thanks for that link, I'm going to be checking it out a little later tonight to see if it helps.
     
  6. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    This sounds like you need to spend more time learning the craft of mixing. That's not a slam on you, it's just that it's a very involved art unto itself and when you first start out you'll have a hard time achieving the tones you're after. Wimpy sounding bass is among the most common problems mixers new and old alike seem to have. Keep at it!
     
  7. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    You could also try LANDR {{ meta.title | translate }}
    There's a free session for signing up.
    Compare your mix/master to what LANDR gives, if the LANDR sounds better starting comparing what it did compared to what you did.

    Try several sets of headphones, earbuds, monitors, cars, and friends stereos. Your brain will even out the difference after a few listening sessions, and you'll know if your headsphones lack, or boost bass, how it will related to real world playback.
     
  8. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    How do other tracks sound through these speakers? Any chance that they are wired with reversed polarity?

    Otto
     
  9. Nowadays everyone can record at home but it takes some great quality gear (mostly an interface with high quality converters and preamps such as a RME Babyface or Apogee Duet) and most of all a lot of experience to make a good sounding recording.

    You do not provide enough information for anyone to answer your question. What gear do you use, how do you mix?
     
  10. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    Never took it as a slam. I'll be the first to admit that I need to spend more time learning how to mix. I've also done a bit of research on the topic, and everywhere I've checked said it's a bad idea to use headphones to mix, and why. So I'm going to likely spend part of a paycheck on a pair of inexpensive, but fairly decent monitors.

    Thank you for that link. I'll be looking into it more tomorrow evening at some point. I'm curious to see what it's doing that I'm not. Or what I might be doing that it's not.
     
  11. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Monitors are a good idea. Phones sound rather different and much more intimate and detailed. Cheap monitors for overall sound paired with phones to check the low end make a good combo.

    Otto
     
  12. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    Perhaps your stereo needs a subwoofer for more accurate playback?
     
  13. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    I had a friend come over last night with his monitors, so we could record in my room. They made a world of difference. I was able to hear things that I simply couldn't in the can's, and even though the cans get good bass, his monitors projected the bass, and overall output of what I was recording far better. So today, I'm going out to buy a pair . I'm torn between the JBL LSR305 and the KRK Rokit 5 G3. I'll be putting whatever I get on the shelves on my computer desk, and that particular area is enclosed, so I'm leaning a little more towards the KRK's due to them being front ported.
     
    seamonkey likes this.
  14. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Good. Either model will work.

    I won't belabor the point, but you will hear things more clearly and accurately to the extent you can keep stuff away from the monitors. Also, symmetry of position helps. If there is a way to not have them enclosed, it's worth trying.

    Otto
     
  15. I'd encourage you to compare them with some music that you know well and go with your gut, don't worry about the front/rear port thing too much. The KRKs have a hyped up low end and I bet that your mixes will come out thin and hollow because you are compensating for the extra bass they have. Their upper midrange also sounds weird and smeary. The JBLs are impressive for the price, in my opinion a much better buy.

    I don't think that getting monitors is suddenly going to fix your problem, just like the headphones you need time to get used to them and you're also introducing potential room problems, and you still need to reference your mixes.
     
  16. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Careful with this suggestion. I agree with it on the sides and front, but the back can be a very bad move unless you have a large room. Most people think you want the monitors off the front wall (i.e. the one behind your monitors) a bit, but that's actually causing more problems unless you have enough space (generally speaking about 5' minimum). In small rooms monitors should be placed with their backs as close to the front wall as possible without actually touching.

    Here's a link that explains the science behind that and includes a placement calculator: mh-audio.nl - Acoustic
     
  17. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Agreed. I was speaking of reflective stuff around the monitors, like enclosing shelves.

    Here's a quick shot of my modest rig. I have the monitors close to the back wall, but the wall has broadband absorbers behind the speakers and there are Studio traps to the sides. The point is to keep reflecting surfaces away from the monitors and possible reflection points. The small mixer is located down low, several feet below the monitors to minimize reflections.

    9FF442C7-0923-432B-9A8E-01C2175A19B5_zpsujepwscj.

    Otto
     
  18. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Btw, Studio Traps are a brilliant solution for the problems of reflected sound off the back wall. At mix time, set them up, spaced 6 inches apart, behind the listening spot with absorbing sides facing the back of your head. You get very little direct reflection off the back wall, but you do get later multiple reflections from various rearward directions. Both of those are good things.

    Otto
     
  19. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I'm loving all of that @ofajen! Looks like you've got substantial monitor stands as well.
     
  20. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Those are 11" Tube Traps. They work well as monitor stands.

    Otto
     

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