Humans are sensitive to certain frequencies that are covered by speech. When you hear a powerful sound in the high-frequency range, it could hit your eardrums. When the frequency range is boosted inappropriately, there is harshness in the music. Therefore, it crucial to ensure that your mix sounds clear as well as bright without being harsh.
Causes of Harsh Mixes
Most of the time, poor sonic, as well as EQ choices like choosing harsh synth sounds or pushing for the bright mix, are the root cause of harshness. The wrong choices are made because of unreliable listening environments as well as not using the right reference track. Along with this, layering multiple sounds in the wrong frequency range for all elements without EQing space could also lead to harshness in the mix.
Process of Fixing Harshness
By getting the right tonal balance while selecting samples and during the sound design of the synths, you could avoid a harsh mix. However, in case you committed to the sounds already, follow the given steps to reduce harshness
- Balance the Frequencies
Improving the overall tonal balance in the mix is an effective way to solve the problem of harshness. The 1 to 10 kHz might be loud relative to low-end as well as low-mids. A boost in those areas could lessen the harshness.
- Dynamic EQ
Look for the channels contributing to the harshness problem. After that reduce the frequencies while they are at the loudest.
- Final Fixes
Certain plugins reduce the harshness effectiveness. After fixing the tonal balance as well as resonances, consider the plug-ins to reduce the harshness.
Knowing the root cause of the harshness helps you make an informed decision. This means, while mixing as well as mastering the song, you would have few harshness issues. You could opt for a mastering tutorial and expand your knowledge about mixing methods, important plug-ins, working of compressors, and much more.