July 31st 2018: Site development on hold until Autumn. Following last week's unwelcome hacker attack, the Cambridge-MT site seems now to be back in a reasonably stable and usable condition, although we can't guarantee we've completely removed all malicious scripts from the server. However, I was already planning to completely redevelop the site in September/October to accompany the forthcoming second edition of Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio, during which process the server will be totally cleaned out and reinitialised. Until then, though, I won't be adding any new resources, so as to avoid destabilising the current site in the short term. If you'd like to support my ongoing development of this site, please consider joining the Cambridge-MT Patrons. Thanks for your understanding. Mike S.



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Chapter 3: Low-end Damage Limitation

AUDIO FILES (To download all WAV examples at once: 59MB ZIP)

  • LFSineTones: (Ex03.01:WAV/MP3 bp) Do not play this at high volumes or you may damage your speakers! This file contains a chromatic scale of sinewave tones spanning 24Hz-262Hz. In conjunction with the Table 1.1 in Section 1.4, you can use it to work out the resonant frequency of a speaker's port.

  • ConeFlapper files: ConeFlapperOut (Ex03.02:WAV/MP3 bp) is a section of R&B-style backing track with well-controlled low end. Now compare it with ConeFlapperIn (Ex03.03:WAV/MP3 bp). Do not play this at high volumes or you may damage your speakers! In the latter version a strong subsonic element in the kick drum eats up around 3dB of extra headroom in return for negligible audible change.

  • Kick-drum Low-end Lag: Here are two examples of kick drums with sluggish low frequencies. The first (Ex03.04:WAV/MP3 bp) is more obvious, the second (Ex03.05:WAV/MP3 bp) more subtle. Compare these with the following versions, which have been processed to reduce the lag: first (Ex03.06:WAV/MP3 bp) and second (Ex03.07:WAV/MP3 bp). For more information on the processing used, check out these two Mix Rescues: article 1, article 2.

  • Restricting Low-end Contributions: A good example of the 'simplify the problem, simplify the solution' tactic mentioned in Section 3.5 can be heard in this Mix Rescue. Here the three main electric-guitar layers (Ex03.08:WAV/MP3 bp; Ex03.09:WAV/MP3 bp; Ex03.10:WAV/MP3 bp) were all high-pass filtered to make way for the bass guitar (Ex03.11:WAV/MP3 bp), which itself was high-pass filtered to leave the bottom octaves for a sub-bass synth part (Ex03.12:WAV/MP3 bp). By combining all these elements (Ex03.13:WAV/MP3 bp), you get an ensemble sound which still provides plenty of low end, but in a way that allows you more easily to work around low-frequency monitoring problems in your listening environment.

LINKS



  • Affordable Spectrum-analysis & Level-metering Plug-ins: Voxengo’s freeware SPANMac LogoWindows Logo and Melda's freeware MAnalyzerMac LogoWindows Logo are very good for spectrum analysis, although I personally use Stillwell Audio’s affordable SchopeMac LogoWindows Logo most of the time. For fully-featured full-band level metering, check out Sonalksis FreeGMac LogoWindows Logo and Tischmeyer Technology's freeware TT Dynamic Range MeterMac LogoWindows Logo. There's also LSR's freeware LVLMeterMac LogoWindows Logo and Sleepy-Time DSP's freeware Stereo ChannelWindows Logo which both provide nice stereo moving-coil displays for those who like the way that type of meter responds.

FURTHER READING

  • Audio Metering: If you'd like to know more about the mechanics of using audio metering, check out this nice little FAQ.

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