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How To Make Your Songs Sound Better In 3 Easy Steps: Part 2


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blog-0370371001372964261.jpgI wanted to post about getting better mixes. I know we all struggle with this. You've got your tracks all recorded. Everything is in tempo and on key. When you mix it your final result is not sounding good. Why not? What Happened?

3 Easy Steps to Better Sound

I'll try and give you a three step process you can use as a starting point to get better results. This is not a magic bullet. It will not make your music better than what you recorded but your overall sound should improve in three areas.

PART 2

This is part 2 of 3 of making your songs sound better in three easy steps.

You should read part one first but it is not needed nor required. Yet It would be recommended, it will make part 2 easier to understand.

Remember!

This EQ plug-in is for the Main Mix Track, this is done so that these EQ changes will be heard for every track in your mix.

The Three Steps ;

  1. Low Pass Filter - Less low noise, -this will clean up your sound and make all the parts sound out clearly
  2. Sweep - Find the bad sounds and cut those frequencies from your song
  3. High Frequencies - Control Your High end, - give some sparkle and air

Getting started with 'The Sweep'

You should now have your low range frequencies under control. Time to get out the stethoscope and do a fine tune check for the 'bad' sounds.

How do you do that?

It's pretty simple.

  1. We start by creating a bell type filter in our EQ plug-in

FF_EQ_Bell_Swp_01.jpg

2. Now change the bell to look like the narrow spike show above

3. Now boost it to about +10.

Make sure your song is playing....

...and move this narrow bell filter from the left to the right and back again. Yes, its that simple.

What you've created is a powerful and focused stethoscope. As you sweep you hear a boosted part of the full EQ. As you move the bell filter, focus on the sound. I'll even close my eyes while I do this.

You are going to find some frequencies that are creating a sound that you will want to remove or cut. Once you find one you will then cut that frequency by -2 to -6. You can create as many bell shaped filters as you need. In the below screen I've located a frequency to cut.

This is all about the Ears

Listen for those sounds that grate on the ear. Go slow, take your time. The more care you take here the better. So take your time.

FF_EQ_Bell_Swp_02.jpg

Below is a sample of my sweeping. You'll hear the music and then I isolate the frequency I'm going to cut. Again this sample is of my song! Your song will be different but you can use this technique for any song.

NOTE: Make sure your speakers or headphones are turned DOWN! This is a bit painful.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/62908045/Mix%20screens/Sweep%20To%20Bad%2001.mp3

Below I show what this looks like on my EQ plug-in. The Dark Grey wave form is the original sound. The Brighter grey is the banshee wail.

FF_EQ_Bell_Swp_03.jpg

You should have some fun here and just create as many of these sweeps as your song needs, again judge how many you need with your ears. These examples are what I found for my songs. You'll find different ones. Maybe more, maybe less. There is no rule to this, just trust your ears.

You could end up with an EQ that looks like the screen below.

FF_EQ_Bell_Swp_04.jpg

Two short music samples.

The first example the EQ filter is OFF. The next one is ON. - Listen carefully for the difference.

These changes are subtle, it can be a struggle to hear the difference at first.

When you start doing this for your songs, your first might sound like its doing nothing at all. That's OK! just means your doing it right.

The effect slowly builds up as you find more of what you need to filter out of your mix.

Don't worry about losing some of the high end. We are going to address the final stage in part three.

The EQ plug-in is OFF

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/62908045/Mix%20screens/Sweep%20Off%2001.mp3

The EQ plug-in is ON

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/62908045/Mix%20screens/Sweep%20ON%2000.mp3

You can find the full mixed versions of these songs here

note: I've had to remove the demo songs-- they are part of a new album and I can't have them out in the public. Sorry :(

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