Clarity is vital in mastering. In case the track sounds muffled or muddy, it could be hard to make out the individual tracks. The instruments might clarity making the track sound like mush. It could be tricky to nail down muddiness. Typically, it occurs when the build-up in low-mids is around 200 to 500 Hz. It could occur due to different reasons like poor EQ choices, issues in the recording process, and poor arrangement.
Steps to Fix Muddiness
In order to glue the tracks together, compression could be a great choice. However, it could cause the muddy mix to sound worse. The dominant frequencies become defined through the smashing of low-mids that make it difficult to hear the instrument. Therefore, it is advised to use the compressor along with the side-chain filter. This helps you focus on compressing the frequencies you require. Here are three steps you can follow to fix the muddiness
Step 1: Cut Low-Mids
Addressing the issue at the source with the EQ is the right and easy way to fix the muddy mix. Load the BASSROOM on the master channel, select genre-specific EQ target, loops the chorus, and then press play. The BASSROOM would make suggestions instantly on how you could improve the mix.
Step 2: Dynamic EQ
It is worth noting that cutting the low-mids makes the song sound thin as well as weak that makes it hard to find the right balance. This is where the dynamic EQ comes to the rescue. With this, you could set a threshold for every band like the compressor. Target the issue frequencies in low-mids and then set the threshold so that the EQ engages only while the track begins to sound muddy.
Step 3: Boost the Highs and Lows
In case you still find that the mix sounds muddy, consider using your shelving EQ for boosting the highs as well as lows of the mix. By adding some shimmer to the highs and boom to the low-end, you could rebalance the track as well as tone-down midrange.
To learn about the mixing techniques that music producers use, a mastering tutorial is the best choice. This would help you take the mixing and mastering knowledge to a new level.