Turn up the bass or how to screw your mix
Hi guys, it’s Andre.
Radio Imaging is all about the creative use of music, sounds and voices in a maybe 30 seconds long piece of art. Coming with an idea and export this into a 30 seconds Promo is one thing. Finishing this off with the perfect mix is like the cherry on the cake.
But how to get this mix proper and everything clear? – There are a tons of various answers on how to process music, VO or FX and which techniques are the best ones. Sharing them all would be miles longer that this single post should be, so I’ve got only one important tip, this time – Watch your bass!
Almost every element which is used in radio imaging has a certain amount of lower frequencies. Of course they might not be so easy to hear, but they are still here. Having one or two elements with bass in your session is not bad at all, but just imagine various songs, drums, voices and sound effects clash and create one muddy low-frequency disturb signal called bass. Remember, you’re producing radio elements, no Dubstep rave anthem, so contain the bass within a limit. From a certain limit on, lower frequencies can’t be heard via broadcasting any more. Least radio listeners own a subwoofer anyway.
Get a grip on your bass by using either an EQ on every single track or on Aux tracks you can use to sum your tracks. Here’s an example of a simple Low cut EQ as my pre-master EQ.
This will keep a lot of that unwanted bass noise out of your element. Try use side chaining to avoid clashing or use clever filtering to not make two low-frequency elements clash like FX impacts and kick drums. Otherwise you will have massive and loud impacts and the rest of the Promo won’t be heard.
If you’re working for a station, try to get in contact with your station’s sound engineer or any other person which is responsible for the final station processing. Listening to your elements with on-air processing will help you fixing your mix and making it perfect for the future.
Cheers and have a great one.