August 21, 2013

Understanding the low mid-range

The science of making a good beat for a song starts with the understanding of how humans can perceive music.  We aren’t cats and dogs, so there are frequencies that are completely out of our range, and thus out of our speaker’s range as well.  Extremely low bass and highs aren’t as difficult to play with as the mids and mid to low ranges of drums.  In particular, there needs to be careful attention given to how we arrange the snare in comparison to the heavy elements of the lower end.  A natural snare drum will have the bite of a high end ring – but it will also come with some lower end ringing from the actual size of the snare drum.

In a production setting, these can be tweaks in ways that would be nearly impossible using an actual snare drum – and more often than not, it is actually necessary in order to define where the kick and snare actual rest along the spectrum of frequencies.  Basically we want to make sure that the snare doesn’t intrude with the high hats, and any sort of low tone that the snare also provides needs to be kept separate from our low bass.