Sounding too "raw" (not crisp, full, or clear)


My problem is that all of my sounds that I produce sound so “raw” compared to other producers. (Especially compared to VirtualRiot) What I want to know is how they make it sound so clear and crisp and full. Because that is what I’m lacking right now. So if you guys have any tips and suggestions on how to do this, that would be very helpful.


This is too vague / nothing to base an answer around

Give examples etc maybe someone will provide an idea then


I think I may have figured it out, my compression is lacking. ill post an example of what I mean when I get time.


Careful - you can get a “bigger” sound with compression or hard limiting, but you’re destroying something important in the process - dynamic range.

Work with EQ first - that’s where the real magic is, the color and balance of a mix. Compressors, limiters, expanders etc. all have their uses too but usually it’s best done sparingly.

And while it’s important to learn this stuff yourself you’re not the first one to attempt to crack this so start learning from those who’ve done it before you. There’s a ton of good tutorial vids and books. Maybe something like the Dance Music Manual (cheese name but pretty solid basics.)


Do you suggest layering basses for dubstep? I haven’t explored too much on that subject.


Sure - it’s fairly common. A lot of people break it out into frequency sections - subs, mids, and top - as long as they’re nicely slotted EQ wise and not stepping on each other too much or causing phase problems.

Mind you there are bass patches tho that also nail those ranges all in one voicing, so that’s an option too.


I’ll second the EQ angle. Just starting producing myself about 3 months ago.

Learn EQing. Learn the shit out of it.
You’ll notice much more vibrancy and clarity when you start getting the hang of it.

Also sample selectuon is key.
Garbage in = garbage out. More or less.


Who is the author of the Dance Music Manual? I’d like to look into that. Btw I just dived into using EQ’s, and I’ll say that yes they are definitely useful. Right now I’m putting together a song, taking some time with it to make sure everything sounds right. Then I’ll post it here so you guys can check it out and see how it turned out.


Check ya PMs :wink:



snares can vary way too much for this to be a hard rule imo

i think this was made with acoustic drum kits in mind


That’s true - but if you can grasp the concept on that level (acoustic drums) it’s applicable to anything.

Bruce Swedien - master Engineer, ton of all-time classic recordings under his belt - is about 90% EQ, a little delay/verb, and avoids compressors like the plague. Man gets big sounds with virtually nothing but EQ.


lol there are other big producers who have all kinds of particular methods

the guy who does coldplays shit iirc only uses compressors and no other tools

Four Tets stuff sounds good and he specifically never uses EQs

the point is that OP just needs to delve deeper and spend more time and he’ll understand why ppl can’t rly help him much at this stage



Feel like compressors are just the go-to when they’re so poorly understood. I’m tired of getting ear fatigue from SoundCloud tracks too lol.


Thanks a lot! I will continue to mess around with everything until I like what I get. Any comments on OTT?


how the hell can you make music without EQing? instruments and samples etc are bound to clash


Ppl do it. Sometimes it works. Usually not so much.




Use sample packs that are already EQ’d


He talks abt it in here iirc. Lol using pro tools for writing and no EQs. Absolute madman