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The Blackbird Academy Tip #3 – Safely boosting the low frequency elements of your mix

By LIVE instructor Kyle Welch:

For this tip I used the Plugin Alliance Maag Audio EQ4 to sweeten the sub-bass region of a kick drum during live sound playback on a large PA system at The Blackbird Academy’s live sound facility. If you’re not careful, this has the potential to add too much bottom and cause damage to your system. The procedure outlined here lets you do this safely, getting great sounds while protecting your system. 

I first cut the low mids on the kick drum at 375Hz using the channel EQ on an Avid Profile console. This removed some of the lower mids that can make a kick drum sound tubby and lacking in definition. At the same time, to protect my subs I used the console’s 25Hz High Pass Filter to shelve out some potentially damaging low frequency.

To provide the finishing touch on the kick, I instanced the Plugin Alliance Maag EQ4 on the kick drum channel. The plugin’s super low latency allows you to use it in a live sound application without worrying about timing issues with the rest of your tracks. I cut the 160 Hz band by 4.5dB while boosting both the Sub and 40 Hz band by 1.5dB. The Maag EQ4 and other Plugin Alliance plugins worked perfectly inside the Avid console framework, bringing great sound and increased sonic potential to the mix and system.

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