Had a mastering engineer talk to me about dealing with the low end on mixes. Said he likes to cut 2dB at 60Hz and the boost 2dB at 40Hz using a pultec style eqp1a's.
Said it brought out the right harmonics and removed the wrong harmonics to make the low end fit right.
Thoughts and opinions?
Well, I am no mastering engineer, but I am recording and mixing quite a bit and I have a habit to put my stereopultecclone on the 2 bus before I start mixing. Then I listen and really most of the time my roughmix is a little bit cloudy sounding, having too much energy in the 200/300 Hz region and is missing a bit of hi frequency content. In this case the pultec is a real blessing: 20Hz or 30 Hz Boost and cut to taste and the lowmids are sitting there just right in second. And a little boost at 10k, 12k or 16k helps to get all the sparkle you need.
I don't want to be patronizing, but if your mix has too much low-mid, it's because one or several individual tracks have too much low-mid, so you should fix that at the track level, not at the mix level.
Of course it helps to have sources that are recorded with quality equipment in a good room, so the treble does not get harsh and lowmids not too boomy. I think the most challenging thing while mixing is to get the 200 -700 Hz region right (full, but not cloudy) and there the pultec helps a lot, better than any other EQ I Know.
So maybe that mastering engineer might be up to something, depending on his clients, because a lot of nonprofessional mixingguys have problems with those lowmid freqs.
There are two different aspects to this.
Most often, "nonprofessional mixingguys"
have a problem with their monitoring system (loudspeakers, room acoustics mainly) and their monitoring paradigm (listening at wrong level, on inappropriate speakers, with tired ears, booze, marijuana
...). Then a ME, with the right monitoring resources will pinpoint the problem area and fix it.
The other case is someone like you, who has the monitoring capability, but applies a global remedy when it should be individual. Then supposedly, the ME should not have to EQ. Caveat: this is only my opinion; in the end, if it sounds good it is good.
, just never have EQ nor comp on the master bus. I only have a steep limiter at -3dBfs.
BUT, sometimes I feel like using EQ at the mastering stage; I give it a go, and then I have enough information to redo the mix - an easy option for me, since everything is automated.
BTW, I just saw this morning an interview of George Masseburg; he has an intermediate approach, where he EQ's subgroups.