How to find a balance EQ'ing lead synths

Normally I would put this under Dubs. But, I’m not really looking for reviews. (I am open to critique) I’ve go the main lead that comes through with the bass. Sounds awesome on cans but when I play it back on other speakers for reference its really sharp. The instrument is a basic hypersaw with an automated LPF for wobbles. So far I’ve tried lowering the peaks for the wobbles automation and varying amounts of Highshelfs applied at 16khz and above. Either way I can’t seem to find a balance much. It loses the sheen it has, or that is ear-piercing. What do you guys recommend to tame the high frequencies without loosing the overall sound?

Synths are in intro but for ease they come in at :45

Can’t listen to it atm but:

You can multiband compression to lower the highs/boost the lows or really whatever you want.

If you’re comparing good speakers/headphones to shitty ones… Yeah the shit ones are going to sound shitty. A lot of lower end equipment tends to make the highs much worse than they are.

Also ask a friend what they think play it for some people (I know its what you’re doing here but its different when they’re right there.) Could be just you.

I’ll take a listen when I get home from work and can use my good headphones

1 BigUp

Perhaps I’m oversimplifying, but I just think you need to turn the gain down on the fader a bit. Take it all the way down and bring it up again, gradually. After that, set up an EQ as an LP filter, take it up to 20k and bring that down gradually.
It’s not bad that it sounds bright because you’ve mixed it fairly well against other elements.

1 BigUp

Just listened to it on my phone cuz I’m bored af. Really isn’t bad. I think a tiny bit of reverb would smooth it out. Also what Morris said. Could also eq down the highs. Tbh I think the bigger problem is that it’s such an aggressive sound while everything else is pretty chill.

So yeah I’d fuck around with reverb (possibly even a little delay) and eqing down the high end a bit.

1 BigUp

Instead of a filter try a high shelf and being the highs down by a few dB
Maybe from like 12k up


Yeah it sounds like when the filter opens up the highs are too strong. I would prob start with the LPF fully open and mix the sound so it is mixed at it’s max freq range and then work backwards to make sure when the LPF is cutting the highs, it still comes through evenly.

Is there a lot of compression on the saw? It sounds like it might be too dense. I am wondering if it was a little lighter and less dense if it would mix better too. The dryness of it might make it stick out a bit also so like Tolsof said maybe some reverb would help set it back in the mix a bit.

1 BigUp

I think selective EQing could probably fix it all tbh. Start with cuts, and cut narrow - you might find that it’s just one or two ranges that are harshing it out so.

1 BigUp

Read about a technique from Noisia where they’d slightly bitcrush anything above 4khz to make the highs more pleasing. Haven’t tried it myself, generally I cut anything above 11khz on synths purely for preference. Think a lot of love for analog stems from the fact the higher range is degraded, those freqs can make soft synths sound really harsh and digital.

Seems to be the best way so far. Will post an update soon.

I don’t know if you’ve heard Flume or Vannic? I’m aiming for that lofi feel. Drums kick and cymbals lofi. Then Synths come in to contrast it all. Not quite there yet I think

No, the saw has no compression (At least pre mastering) I did an eq High shelf to dampen the high frequencies otherwise if i did it to the auto hpf filter it kinda kills the wobble effect. The saw is set for 12 unison and sligtly detuned. Reverb is set for both size and mix% on an Lfo along the same lines of the hpf. I tried increasing the amount this time around.

I’m starting to get the feeling that that might be a necessity going forward.

Updated version. Minor tweaks with High shelf pulled down to 8.9khz. Opened up reverb a little more on main wobble synths. Let me know what you guys think of the changes!

Will listen shortly but subtractional eq can help when things are too sharp or sounds need to be removed, sweep through with the eq and find the spots.

1 BigUp

Yeah nice work!

1 BigUp

Thanks man, it’s definitely better than it was before! Eq’g is key

1 BigUp

This isn’t a technique from Noisia,this is a misguided/ill informed comment that the know where near in the same league Camo&Krooked made.if anybody actually thinks that murdering the dynamics of your hi-mids and top end is going to make them more sheeny and louder they must be smoking rocks.that would fully explain why alot of DNB and Dubstep has horrid mixdowns these days though,besides the elites of the genres.i don’t think it gets any more bloody than bitcrushing.what you hear as sheen i hear as noise floor as that is essentially what a bitcrusher does. decrease the disparity between the noisefloor and the program material via quantization distortion

This maybe counterintuitive to what you know to be true,but murdered/flat dynamics does not equal requires a great deal of smarts and know how to get that illusion (keyword) of crushed yet dynamic sound of Noisia,Spor,Knife Party etc

If it is not being brickwalled then how do they create that illusion?

I think your equation is the wrong way round. Think non-linear.

you mean like your name? (baddum tsk)