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My mixes sound kind of “muddy.” I’ve tried rolling off the bass, but that doesn’t really seem to help it just ends up sounding “thin.”
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My mixes sound kind of “muddy.” I’ve tried rolling off the bass, but that doesn’t really seem to help; it just ends up sounding “thin.” I’d love to use a pro mastering engineer, but these are just recordings to sell at gigs, and I need to watch the budget. How do you guys get rid of “mud”?

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Live’s 8-band EQ, which is inserted in the master bus, is cutting –1dB at 425Hz and boosting 1dB at 4kHz.

EQ: It’s hard to give specific recommendations without listening to your music, but check what’s going on around 300–500Hz. Most instruments have some energy in that range, which tends to build up. That’s not low enough to hit the bass range, but it’s low enough to give a bit of a “muddy” sound.

Try using EQ (the processor, not the magazine!) to add a broad, shallow cut around 400Hz. Don’t take away too much, or you’ll lose some warmth and power. This should help reduce the mud.

If you also need some more “definition,” try adding a broad boost around 3–4kHz. This should be only a db or so, as the ears are very sensitive in that frequency range. This will impart a certain amount of “crispness.”

As with all EQ, before deciding you need to make radical changes, do subtle changes and let your ears get acclimated to the difference. Often, you don’t need as much EQ as you might think at first.

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