Boomy mixes

I seem to be having some trouble mixing in Ntrack (probably not Ntracks fault!), and trying to track down the source. Most of my mixes are coming out quite boomy sounding, that’s about the best way I can describe it. Lots of bass and mud, not enough clarity. (This is mostly metal type music).

I know this can be a variety of factors, such as recording, mics, room noise, eq, reverb etc…

Is it common to have to eq the bass out of everything to bring the boominess level down? I admit I am not too good with eq, and don’t know how to properly adjust it track by track in ntrack. (i.e. do I just use the three knobs, or do I have to go in an make minute adjustments)?

Hi Arioch.
Im not expert, but if you want tweak a final result file a little, you can start with a triple compresor plugin like this

edmon old post (shareware
or this one
Freeware one

You could insert the para eq into the stereo master bus and examine the eq with the fft analyzer.It is in ver4 I don’t know about the earlier releases as I just started using ver4. Boominess usually runs from 70 down to 20 Hz. You could try and cut those freq a little but be careful because the kick really moves air in that range, and with metal I imagine you would want that. You can narrow the sweep of the boost or cut also. If you can, post a song to hear as we all do better with our ears. Good luck

Sorry I can’t post anything, I know that the sound will speak a thousand words. :slight_smile:

I’ve sent the mix through the Ozone mastering plugin and applied judicious compression, and some eq, to fix it, but I think I should be fixing it in the mix instead of trying to fix it in the master phase.

I’ll try playing with Ntracks Eq a little more.

I’ve just found this on Audiominds which should help :slight_smile:

That looks really helpful! You are right about the mix instead of the mastering. Cutting and boosting freqs a good amount on the stereo track could really be harmful. Good luck

I’m no expert but you can contact me through my email and I can take a listen if you would like. You can attach an mp3 and email it to me. I can handle up to 5 megs.


There is a ton of learning material over on audiominds…look at the “Limey’s Pyramid” section while you are over there.

Funny thing, I just listened to a few of my mixes through a PA…Mudsville! Back to the drawing board… :O


The main thing to keep in mind is that every instrument needs it’s own sonic space in the mix. If you’re like me, your guitar tone is probably pretty bass heavy - which sounds great when you’re practicing - but doesn’t work in the mix, because the bass guitar, kick drum, etc are fighting for those frequencies.

So you shouldn’t have to roll off the bass off everything, but roll it off on the instruments that aren’t using those frequencies as part of their primary sound. When you solo the guitar tracks they’ll sound thin and crappy, but in the mix they should sound good.

Depending on the guitar tone I’m using I tend to roll them off between 100 and 120 hz. I also usually roll off everything at 60 - 80 hz which really helps with overall clarity.

Arioch -

What uncoiled says is true! It is also the reason that a lot of local bands do not sound good live.

The traditional way of dealing with this is to give every instrument has its own sonic space, just like everyone is saying.

Another way to do it would be to use a side-chain compressor to cut the bass frequencies out of the rhythm guitar when the bass or kick drum come in strong. That way, you can get the instruments to share the sonic space without a noticable change in the overall EQ. So, the thump from the guitar would be more audible when the bass was playing less, etc.

The problem with this solution is that there do not seem to be any decent side-chain compressors available for N. There was a recent thread about them (called “sidechain”), there were a couple of links to compressors in there, but I have yet to try them out…

- Ben

Hey Ben
Is this one of the comps you had seen listed?Sidechain comp

jeromee -

I d/l that plugin, but it doesn’t seem to play well with N. It might be expecting a bus archetecture like protools and cakewalk have. What you need is a way so send audio from one channel to another.

This plugin appears to do that, but I’m not sure if it is actually sending the audio from one track to the other…

I know it is possible because these guys have a frequency analysis program that compares the spectrum of one channel vs. another.

- Ben

It’s quite common to need to scoop out lower mids in various tracks to avoid boominess. Especially true for dreadnought acoustics. Lots of rhythm electric guitarists want a really thick sound, but if it overlaps with the bass – mud.

Start playing with scooping the lower mids in different tracks. Instead of thinking of just getting rid of overall boominess, think about carving the different parts so that they dovetail. If you can do that, much of the boominess might disappear.

The other issue is what are you listening on?

If you mix and it sounds good, but take it to other systems and it sounds boomy, then you need to learn how to compensate. (This is important! Listen to your mixes on as many stereos as you can.)

You should also listen to pro music in the same genre as much as possible on your mixing monitors. Get used to “normal” and shoot for that, rather than shooting for the best sound on your monitors.

However, if the boominess is in your mixes in your mixing station monitors, then you just have to learn to control it! (THEN do the rounds – most stereos are boomier than studio monitors, so you’ll probably find you need to remove yet MORE boominess.)

HTH :)