Mixing kick drums can be a challenge. Even experienced engineers struggle to dial in a perfect kick tone. In recent years, sample replacement has become standard practice. This technique may be necessary for certain styles of music. However, it causes many engineers to abandon proper mic placement. It is better to get a great kick sound from the source.
It can be difficult to mix a kick drum that translates to all speaker systems. A kick may sound great on studio monitors but, doesn't on consumer systems. Engineers need a way to ensure their kicks will translate accurately.
Home studios are more popular than ever. The introduction of affordable equipment has democratized the recording process. Enthusiasts can produce high quality music from their bedroom. This has caused some young engineers to turn away from large studios. There are some definite advantages to being able to produce music from home. However, small rooms can introduce problems in the recording and mixing process.
Poor acoustics lead home studio engineers to craft mixes which don't translate. A mix may sound great in the studio but, doesn't on other speaker systems. Engineers need to ensure that their mixes translate accurately.
Harshness is a term that is often used in the audio industry. However, harshness can mean different things to different engineers.
So, what is harshness exactly?
Harshness is the result of an unbalanced audio core. The core is the frequency range which the human ear finds most sensitive, 2kHz - 5kHz. Balance in this range is essential for crafting a mix that translates.