Am currently mastering a work for a client who had two tracks. Both were dreamy, ambient pieces with a definite subaquatic feel. The first track had a lot of bass, which enhanced the total atmosphere but also inhibited a good sensation of the frequencies on top of that. Plus, I didn’t really hear anything higher than 4 khz. The client liked what he had done but somehow had the feeling that it wasn’t good enough.
I set to work and first cleaned the bass and after that enhanced the sound in the higher frequencies. This opened the sound up without pushing the bass away too much. Actually that was that and then I opened up the stereo field more. It sounds easy but it takes a lot of listening back and forth to get a grip on these things. I also used [ Schwa’s Spectro ] to see the sound image. That helps to see where frequencies are excessively present.
The second track is a more difficult one. It is also of the same atmosphere but there is a loud sound at 500hz, a synth with a really round ringing sound. The problem is that it is out of phase. That is the reason that it is so loud and actually not sounding as good as it might. I have, again with the use of Spectro, cut this frequency out of the original track and manually set the phase straight. Now I can place it back and make a new mix that sounds much better.