How to… Find a com­pro­mise be­tween loud­ness and bass weight

Future Music - - PRODUCER’S GUIDE TO -

Sub bass en­ergy eats up head­room, and you need head­room to make a mix loud. Iron­i­cally, gen­res that need pow­er­ful, ex­ag­ger­ated bass are of­ten the ones that must be made to ap­pear loud. It’s a strug­gle even for ex­pe­ri­enced mix­ing and mas­ter­ing en­gi­neers. As a gen­eral rule, the louder a track’s sub fre­quen­cies, the less lim­it­ing you can ap­ply be­fore dis­tor­tion. So if you want a huge bot­tom-end, you’re prob­a­bly go­ing to have to sac­ri­fice a few dB of gain re­duc­tion on that mas­ter max­imiser; like­wise, if supreme loud­ness is your goal, you may have to rein in sub fre­quen­cies so you can push the lim­iter harder.

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