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drums and guitars EQ problem

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  • drums and guitars EQ problem

    i noticed that the guitars sound gets drowned out once the drums enter like in the intro (when the guitars start the intro riff and drums enter). especially with the snare drum. is this normal? is there a way around this problem?

  • #2
    mix it better...seriously. Without knowing how you are recording an mixing, how can we advise you?
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    • #3
      Sounds like you have an issue with masking.

      Masking occurs when you have two instruments trying to occupy the same frequencies.

      What you have to so is notch out the frequency bands of the drums so the guitar has some frequencies that are only being used by guitar.

      Here's one example

      You can see where the drums have a notch in the 2~5K range and the guitars peak above the drums between 2~5K.

      Guitars are rolled off below 1K and above 5K so there's room for vocals above and bass below. If you have two guitars like rhythm and lead, you'd have to create two different guitar bands. One may peak at 3K and the other at 5K. Electric Guitar pickups don't produce much of anything above 6K or below 200 so you remove those frequencies all together using a High pass and Low pass filter.

      Here's another example that shows the peaks of some key instruments. Of course something like this is only accurate for one song, in one key and one genre of music. Things may shift left or right in frequency depending on the key of the song, drum tuning, how you want the song presented etc.

      I know you're into metal music. Guitars tend to have a wide 300Hz scoop which lets the drums come through at that frequency quite well.
      The other thing is you use a stand alone recorder which makes viewing the actual frequencies you have impossible. You're stuck probing around in the dark and only have your ears to guide you. Without a solid understanding of basic audio technology you can waste years of effort trying to achieve a good mix. You obviously have a computer because you're posting on this site. That Boss unit should be able to act as an interface. If not you should get an inexpensive interface which allows you to run a free DAW program. You can then upload the separate tracks and play them within the daw program and mix there where you are able to SEE what is going on while you're listening to the tracks.

      You can insert a Frequency analyzer like Voxengo Span in the tracks and see where your EQ peaks are. Ten to One you have the drums peaking in back of the guitars masking them. You can then use and EQ to create a hole for the guitar to fit in and hear them just fine.
      Once you've learned this technique you can go back and try it on the stand alone. From my experience, stand alone recorders have primitive EQ's so you really have to have this technique mastered to use it well.

      You'll also learn just how important it is to track properly. Much of the EQing occurs before you hit the record button. If you don't have the right tones set up when recording you have to use too much EQing when mixing which can make the instruments sound weird and artificially spliced into place. You want the tones as close to what you need as possible before you record them. Then you'll only need minor EQing when mixing which preserves their natural sound quality.

      My guess is, you already had clashing/masking frequencies when you recorded your tracks. You should have fixed allot of that before you recorded by dialing up the proper frequencies before hand. Getting things unmasked after words using allot of EQ is highly destructive. Unfortunately its the only option you have once you've botched the tracking, Spend more time getting the right frequencies dialed up before hand and you'll have less problems getting the tracks to mix properly.

      Back in the day they didn't have EQ's, or separate tracks. A good recording came from capturing a great live sound. The frequencies had to be dead on accurate or the recording sucked. All the technology we have today has made some post recording things easier but the actual tracking hasn't changed since Edison invented the phonograph.

      The live sound you track needs to be spot on. When it is you can leave your EQ completely flat and simply adjust your volumes up and it will sound great. Effects are then simply icing on the cake. When you have one track masking another completely like you have now, you have seriously neglected getting the right tones dialed up before you recorded. I suggest you re-record your tracks till you get the best balance possible instead of trying to fix these serious issues when mixing. You'll never get great recording quality otherwise.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        if you are using a compressor on your stereo mix then the drums may be pushing the compressor which then brings down the overall mix and everything, including the guitars, gets turned down.

        I recommend the book 'The Art of Mixing' by David Gibson.

        "Isn't it a pity, isn't it a shame,
        how we break each other's hearts
        and cause each other pain"


        • #5
          I think each case is different.
          The only way to make sure you are well equipped with your future tracks is to keep mixing trying to separate and enhance difference points of frequency for each instrument.

          Experimenting with what frequencies suit different sound sources you want to bring out in the mix is key to understanding how all your instruments will work together.
          MixButton Mixing Studios