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Thread: Room Resonance, Loud "C" Bass Note

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    Room Resonance, Loud "C" Bass Note

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    Hey all, haven't been around much lately. Hope everyone's doing well.

    Anyway, I'm working on the final mix of a track, it's a basic F-C-G-Am thing, and I noticed something when putting it to the speakers for the first time after getting most of the mix done on my headphones (I do this often since I mix a lot late night, always check finals on my speakers though)

    Anyway, the "C" note on the bass is booming compared to the others (3rd fret, A string), literally sounds like 5db or more louder, things even rattle a little on my desk, I think. Only on that note, at lower volumes too. This wasn't happening on the phones. Obviously a room issue, right? Maybe a desk issue? So I did some tests.

    Imported some similar, commercial released tracks into the session, songs that have distinct "C" notes on the bass. They didn't seem to resonate at all really. Sounded even. Test 2, took my track to the car stereo. Sounded fantastic, perfectly even bass notes. Must be a room or desk thing then, but why aren't commercial release "C" notes resonating like that in my room/desk then?

    I then noticed that the C boomed a little more in context with song (not solo'd, still boomed solo'd though). Found the culprit, a doubled guitar track with light distortion has a light palm-mute part during the verse, and when on the "C" it was resonating too loud, along with the bass.

    Again, in the car, no problems. Again, commercial release "C's" don't resonate badly in my room. I'm at a loss. Track needs to be done and mixed by early tomorrow, and it's basically done, 'cept for this "C" problem. Since it sounds great to my ears everywhere else, I should just leave it as is, I assume. Too afraid to clip-gain down the C's.

    What do you guys think is going on? I could post some pictures of the room and desk if anyone wants to see. I could post the song in the clinic if need be also.
    Pro Tools 12.7 - Superior Drummer 2.0 - Sound Forge Pro 10

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    This is over my pay grade, but that's never stopped anyone before....

    Is the the offending note actually loud? Can you pull up an EQ on the track and see what it's doing?

    Do you have any multi band compression that would allow you to isolate this track, this frequency, and then add some compression.

    If it's a room problem, you might start by seeing if there is ringing at the frequency that corresponds to the note. This might help: amroc - THE Room Mode Calculator

    If you can identify the approximate frequency, you could try playing a test tone and walking around the room--particularly at the boundary--to look for an area that's louder than expected. Then it's a question of whether treatment will work and what kind. Going to the car to listen is a pain and a waste of gas. Plus, you are ten times more likely to get in an auto accident in your car compared to your studio.

    Finally, and this may seem harsh if you are a bass player, can you arrange your way out of the problem by not playing the note at that point. In a rich and complicated mix, not all notes and all instruments have to play at once. In fact, sometimes the ears need for the rhythm section to shut up or just quiet down. I would argue that it improves dynamics. It's like a song where the singer sings at full blast for three minutes straight . It's not very interesting. In fact, depending on the singer, it could be extremely annoying. The same applies to bass, lead guitar, etc. And especially to the drummer. "D

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    My room resonates at the low F#. I think its just a standard room thing to have a mode.
    Win 7 Ult Dell i7 4core 6700ghz 32 GB, 1,2x2, 4 Tb Barracuda HD's running Pro tools 2018 through Allen&Heath Qu-32

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyAmato View Post
    Hey all, haven't been around much lately. Hope everyone's doing well.

    Anyway, I'm working on the final mix of a track, it's a basic F-C-G-Am thing, and I noticed something when putting it to the speakers for the first time after getting most of the mix done on my headphones (I do this often since I mix a lot late night, always check finals on my speakers though)

    Anyway, the "C" note on the bass is booming compared to the others (3rd fret, A string), literally sounds like 5db or more louder, things even rattle a little on my desk, I think. Only on that note, at lower volumes too. This wasn't happening on the phones. Obviously a room issue, right? Maybe a desk issue? So I did some tests.

    Imported some similar, commercial released tracks into the session, songs that have distinct "C" notes on the bass. They didn't seem to resonate at all really. Sounded even. Test 2, took my track to the car stereo. Sounded fantastic, perfectly even bass notes. Must be a room or desk thing then, but why aren't commercial release "C" notes resonating like that in my room/desk then?

    I then noticed that the C boomed a little more in context with song (not solo'd, still boomed solo'd though). Found the culprit, a doubled guitar track with light distortion has a light palm-mute part during the verse, and when on the "C" it was resonating too loud, along with the bass.

    Again, in the car, no problems. Again, commercial release "C's" don't resonate badly in my room. I'm at a loss. Track needs to be done and mixed by early tomorrow, and it's basically done, 'cept for this "C" problem. Since it sounds great to my ears everywhere else, I should just leave it as is, I assume. Too afraid to clip-gain down the C's.

    What do you guys think is going on? I could post some pictures of the room and desk if anyone wants to see. I could post the song in the clinic if need be also.




    That is why you use cans.

    It takes the room problems out of needing consideration.

    If it sounds good everywhere else then declare success.
    That is the goal. not to just have it sound good in one room with problems and bad everywhere else.

    it

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr average View Post
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS]
    That is why you use cans.
    I never understood the "cans" thing. Every time I've tried this, I cut my ears. Are you using string, too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr average View Post

    If it sounds good everywhere else then declare success.
    That is the goal.
    I agree that this is the goal. The problem comes when you mention the concept of everywhere. That's a very large number of rooms and possibilities. It's not infinite but damn close. You can listen in a car, at a friend's house, through earbuds, a laptop, and ten other places and it's impossible to know if you've even some close to sampling "everywhere."

    This is why people argue for the basic foundation of a controlled room. If you start with that, you improve your odds. It's not the final answer. You can still listen in other environments and you should. But it reduces the chance that you will get something horribly wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr average View Post




    That is why you use cans.

    It takes the room problems out of needing consideration..

    it
    We've had this discussion before, right. My argument then was a simple one: Headphones control for the room but they introduce other issues which are equally significant. I'm going to punt on repeating a list of those issues and leave it for the OP to determine. But they are real and they will mess with your head and your mix.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gtoboy View Post
    My room resonates at the low F#. I think its just a standard room thing to have a mode.

    Yup. Rectangular rooms have modes which happen at certain frequencies. Those frequencies correspond to notes. The amount of ringing you experience is variable, though, depending on bass trapping. There is ringing and then there is ringing like an angry neighbor whole holds down your doorbell until it sounds continuous. That's the stuff that really meddles with your interpretation of the bass and kick when mixing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwillis45 View Post
    We've had this discussion before, right. My argument then was a simple one: Headphones control for the room but they introduce other issues which are equally significant. I'm going to punt on repeating a list of those issues and leave it for the OP to determine. But they are real and they will mess with your head and your mix.
    But the mix was fine everywhere else.

    Only thing messing with my head is trying to fix a bad room when headphones eliminates the need to do that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwillis45 View Post
    I agree that this is the goal. The problem comes when you mention the concept of everywhere. That's a very large number of rooms and possibilities. It's not infinite but damn close. You can listen in a car, at a friend's house, through earbuds, a laptop, and ten other places and it's impossible to know if you've even some close to sampling "everywhere."

    This is why people argue for the basic foundation of a controlled room. If you start with that, you improve your odds. It's not the final answer. You can still listen in other environments and you should. But it reduces the chance that you will get something horribly wrong.
    Lots of people say lots of things. Does not make them right.

    Seems like using headphones fixes that room problem.
    Nothing you can do about other rooms and their problems.

    Make a good mix and let others fix their own room problems.

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