The high-end content in the frequency spectrum is one of the regions where incorporating it into the overall mix may be difficult. If you have too much high-end content in your mix, it will irritate your ears. On the other hand, the mix sounds quiet lifeless if there is too little of it. Some certain approaches and processes could be applied which will allow you to achieve the perfect balance of the high-end content with the rest of the elements in your mix. In this tutorial, we will guide you through 5 tips for nailing hi-end in your mix.
Reduce That Sibilance
The de-esser is probably the first thing that comes to mind when trying to tame the sibilance. In many cases, this is insufficient to complete the task. Instead, you might try to use volume automation or clip gain to decrease sibilance. Clip gain does a terrific job of pulling down the volume before it enters any processing because these sounds may often trigger compressors.
Another effective method is to use a multiband compressor to compress the vocal’s sibilant range (usually around 4-10k). Multiband compressors work similarly to de-esser`s. Although the extra control may sometimes help a vocal fit properly.
Replace the EQ With Harmonic Exciter
If you want a shining high end but don’t want to use EQ, use harmonic exciter or a full-on distortion effect instead of EQ. These processors add harmonics to signals for a warmer “enhancing” sound than normal digital EQ (think tape recorders and tube amps). Some outstanding exciters can accomplish things that equalizers and compressors cannot. But they are the processors that should be added last after the majority of the surgical equalization and compression has been done. When altering effect levels, some caution is advised since too much harmonic excitement may ruin a mix by making it too bright.
Clashing Elements in the Mix
Especially in the higher range, the mix is a battleground for frequency space. If you have an arrangement with a lot of crashes, clanging percussion, and “in your face” vocals and synthesizers, you’ll need to decide which parts should be prominent and which should be filtered away. Subtle low-passes on secondary/darker elements of your mix will not only open up space in the mix but will also assist to build a feeling of depth. Filter away some of the highs from huge reverbs and long delays in your mix. It is to minimize the buildup of sparkling overtones that smear a mix.
Get Tonal Balance Under Control
When lows and mids are in relative balance, mixing high-end is simpler. Listen to the problems between kick drums, bass, and other low-mid parts before making any modifications to avoid making mistakes that will hurt the mix and ruin your efforts. Trying to control highs while lows and mids are suffering is a waste of time. You’ll get a more accurate estimate of your mix if you check these areas. You’ll know what has to be done to get the highs in proportion to everything else.
Try Using Analog Modeled EQ
In the current market, there are several different EQs that have been replicated by both hardware and software firms. Adding this to the master bus and boosting in the 10-16k ranges, in general, gives clarity and definition to mixes as few other EQs can.