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Quick Compression Trick to Tame the Low-Mids of the Snare

Got a good question from Tim Hope-Falkner inside the Facebook community yesterday that I thought I’d elaborate cleaner.

Tim is a Quick Mixing customer, but he was having some drum mixing issues because he was working on an unfamiliar genre:

Mixing drums for a hip hop track – it’s got a late 90s feel, similar to La The Darkman’s “Heist Of The Century”. A little different to indie rock – Drums are a bit more in your face. Sometimes the resonance the snare creates at about 200 Hz over powers everything else. How would you approach this?

When a specific frequency range is overbearing, you can always cut it with EQ.

However, sometimes you want that thickness overall, and when you cut it out with EQ, you lose the weight of the track.

Therefore, I told him to use a multi-band compressor that targeted only that specific frequency area. That way, the 200 Hz weight is compressed a little more aggressively than the rest of the frequency spectrum, allowing the rest of the snare track to breathe while keeping the 200 Hz from overpowering everything else.

A similar problem happened to me the other day while working with a keyboard track.It was causing muddiness in the mix and I didn’t want to get too aggressive with EQ. A hunt around the low-mids and a quick tweak from the multi-band compressor cleared up the unnecessary muddiness in the piano and cleaned up the rest of the mix in the process.

EQ is so important that its necessity bleeds over into how you use other processors. In this case, a multi-band compressor fixed the problem, but you still had to know where the frequency problem was so you could fix it.

If you keep having low-mids problems and can’t figure out how to clean up the low-end in your mixes to make them cleaner, the frequency overview videos inside my EQ Strategies guide will help you master every part of the EQ spectrum.

Click here to start making cleaner mixes.

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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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