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  • Writer's picturehorizonsoundstaff

About cutting the low-end


I'd like to introduce you to an interesting article that discusses how to handle the low end of the spectrum in the article "The Problem of Strong Low End Gains When You Leave It to Ozone".


I have always resisted cutting off the low end mechanically below 50Hz, but after reading this article, I have learned how to handle the low end. Now I see a couple of options.

  1. Textbook (?) Cut the frequency below 50 Hz.

  2. For dance music, EDM, and other genres where low end is especially important, cut below 30Hz.

  3. Adjust the low end only loosely by cutting below 20Hz, and leave the low end in the mix as much as possible.

  4. Do not cut the low end, but leave the low end in the mix.

I personally don't like to mechanically cut the low end at 50Hz without thinking, because it may cause discomfort depending on the playback environment, and it may change the atmosphere of the song.

I think the most correct way to adjust the low end is to leave as much low end as possible in the direction of preserving the nuance of the mix. In other words, I'm in the camp of "3. Adjust the low end only loosely by cutting below 20Hz, and leave the low end in the mix as much as possible". However, if you need to cut below 50Hz to match the reference song, you can do it.


In the same way for boosting the low end, I think it is "possible" to boost the missing low end as an adjustment when it becomes necessary to match the reference.

There are some books and blog posts that state that the reason for cutting the low end is that sounds that can't be played in most playback environments are the source of noise and need to be cut, but most sounds that can't be played are simply inaudible and rarely become noise. (However, most of the time, sounds that cannot be played are simply inaudible and rarely become noise.)


At least the idea of "1. Textbook (?) Cut the frequency below 50 Hz" is a result of the era's trend toward cutting the low end when considering how to cut sounds that do not contribute to sound pressure in the midst of a sound pressure war. Nowadays, with the spread of music distribution, mastering with sufficient headroom has become the norm, so there is no need to distort the entire song to cut the low end. I think it's fine to just adjust the way it sounds.


By the way, I don't throw Ozone around either, and I don't use it in the first place. When I'm experimenting with some EQs, I'll use them, but in the end, I'll use another EQ. I think the worst thing you can do is not to blindly trust a tool like "Waves is safe" or "Ozone is safe".


After all, not trying may be the biggest mistake.


The above is my opinion and I am sure there will be criticisms, but I hope it will be helpful to those who find it useful.

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