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muddy low end

Discussion in 'Studio Techniques' started by Taybot, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. Taybot

    Taybot Senior member

    I have a beat I made that I wanted to use during a performance but, after I played them on my boombox, to my horror, the low end was very muddy. It didn't sound like that at all on my monitors.

    I'm wondering what I can do to fix this? I have already gone through all the sounds to try to find what sounds bad and I have also checked to see what combination of sounds it could be causing this. I've worked on EQing everything but I just wanted to see if there are any tips you good people could throw out there?

    Also, my monitors are Tapco S8's and I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about these monitors and if there is a way to set these things up so I can actually hear when the low end will sound awful. I thought these were good monitors and I don't understand why I can't hear this muddy low end on these speakers.

    One thing I did to get around the problem, so I don't have to constantly burn cds and play the beat on my boombox, is my iMac speakers at least give me a better idea of what the beat will really sound like.

    Does anyone know about Tapco S8s? Should there be a way I can set them up to hear this low end mud? And if not, then what is the point of using these monitors at all, if I can't get a realistic idea of what my beat sounds like?

    i know that is alot of questions but thanks a ton for your help!
  3. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    One vital factor you need to be aware of is your studio acoustic. What steps have you taken to ensure a listening environment you can trust to allow you to work with your speakers and create mixes that translate to other rooms/speakers?


  4. Taybot

    Taybot Senior member

    Shoot I have not taken any steps. I am just in a tiny room. Can you please tell me how to set it up to ensure a listening environment I can trust? Or can you tell me where to look for that info?

    I thought I could wait on that until I start recording audio but maybe I need to already get on that?

    Still, regardless of how my room is set up, I can tell when something sounds good on my boombox and when it sounds awful. I don't need to be anywhere special to know when my low end is all muddy. I mean, I can turn on any radio station on my boombox and it sounds fine, but then I put my beats on there and the low end sounds like garbage. So maybe some info on how to fix the low end would be great too.

    I also need to figure out why my monitors don't just give me an accurate representation of how my stuff will sound on other stereo systems. Isn't there a way to set it up that way?

  5. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    Here you go:

    Don't expect any " instant 5 minute" solutions, though. Studio acoustics is a complex subject.

    kind regards

  6. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    This is really a job for an expert (why we pay for mastering!), but there are some DIY things you can try for diagnososis. Curing the problem can be a bit more difficult, especially with low frequences. (mids to highs can be tamed with some acoustic baffling)

    As a start though, you could try this: play a sinewave that sweeps slowly through all frequencies and record it. If the audio waveform has some obvious peaks and troughs those could be your problem areas.

    I get round this whole issue by using monitors that can be tuned to the room,

    these are JBL LSR4328P and are great speakers for the money as well.
  7. Taybot

    Taybot Senior member

    thx for the response pete! so those speakers actually let you hear if you have muddy low end?

    Right now I'm just frustrated because I feel like my Tapcos are not giving me an accurate portrayal of what my beats will sound like on other stereo systems. I mean, one of my beats was soo muddy on my boombox and it sounds fine on my monitors. I don't get it.

    thx again
  8. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    Sounds like your monitors don't have much bass and the boombox a lot. Or the high frequency response of your room is very strong and you compensated with too much lows. Both is necessary: a treated room and monitors with an even frequency curve.
  9. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    ... or bass frequencies sound so nice on the tapcos that the temptation to bring them up to levels that are too high for other, lesser speakers is hard to resist.

    kind regards

  10. ibt

    ibt New Member

  11. Taybot

    Taybot Senior member

    Well bass frequencies do sound nice on the tapcos but I constantly go back and forth between my beats and CDs I like and I make sure to not have the bass louder than the bass on those CDs.

    But of course those CDs don't sound terrible in my boombox. They sound fine. but then MY beats sound horrendous on the same boombox. This is why I'm so confused.

    I'm about to listen to that soundonsound thing right now. Thanks for everyone's help so far!
  12. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    Well, a temporary solution is to mix using your boombox (if there is a line input).

    The mixes will then sound like you want them to on that (but not likely to be too good on other systems).
  13. Taybot

    Taybot Senior member

    yea, I don't know why I was so concerned with how it sounds on my boombox. someone gave me the advice of cutting the bassline and the kick right around 50Hz and 20Hz, that seemed to help. It sounds good on my imac, my laptop and my ipod headphones at least ha.
  14. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    Well, I assumed you were using your boombox (appropriate name for something with muddy low end!) for performances, so it is important.

    This is an age old puzzle really, bit of a holy grail to get a mix that sounds good on everything.

    I would recommend you just filter out stuff really low down. No need for sub bass on your boombox (or on most systems IMO) try a high pass filter in Logic,e.g something that seems quite drastic, e.g. 50 Hz up to 80 Hz and see what happens.

    If I'm doing a mix for TV music, I will filter any possible sub bass that might be there as it's all wasted with TV speakers, and leaves more room for the actual stuff people can (and may want to) hear!
  15. Taybot

    Taybot Senior member

    Ha no I'm not performing w/ the boombox.

    I was wondering, when you say to use a high pass filter, do you mean a special plug-in in Logic 8 or do you mean I should make it myself, by putting an eq on it and turning the bass down, only allowing the high end through.

    I always thought when people say to use a high pass filter, they mean make it yourself with the eq, but maybe I'm wrong? Thanks!

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