Fluttering sound? - Mixing Problem?



Hi I was wondering if anyone here might know why I’m getting this. I’ve a track I’m working on and have had mastered, however now that it’s mastered I’ve noticed some slight fluttering on some loud peaks of the track and also on some strings… it seems to be when the cymbals come in.

I’ve checked my original mix and it is there too… although I’ve noticed when I mute some other instruments the cymbals are perfect and so are the strings on their own.

This is obviously a mix problem and I was just wondering if anyone knows a solution to it so that I can avoid it in the future please?



Without listening to your mix it’s hard to tell, but it is a common problem with high frequencies that are overly compressed on the stereo bus. Try to reduce compression and limiter gain and see if the problem persists.


If the instruments sound OK on their own but not with others, it must be frequency masking. Most likely multiple instruments are fighting for the same frequency range. So go through the instruments and try to identify exactly which instruments are playing in that range where you hear fluttering. Then use EQ, panning and faders to get rid of masking.


@Stockwaves is right. Without an audio example, we cannot predict what problem you have.


Hi thanks for replying… here is the hardware I use incase you want to know (other people on other forums asked for this but I don’t think it’s related to the problem);

iMac with the following specs;

  • Model Name: iMac
  • Model Identifier: iMac14,2
  • Processor Name: Intel Core i5
  • Processor Speed: 3.2 GHz
  • Number of Processors: 1
  • Total Number of Cores: 4
  • L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
  • L3 Cache: 6 MB
  • Memory: 24 GB

Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitors + Sennheiser HD239 Headphones
M-Audio M-Track Hub
Logic Pro X

Track is made up of a mix of live orchestra recordings and also multiple East West Composer Cloud libraries.

I’ve included two samples of the audio affected at the following private link for reference;

I think it could be a problem with the Timpani drums causing some sort of interference… I double them up with a Wagner Bass Drum to give it a nice rumble on the lows?.. I’m still learning so possibly as you it might be an EQ problem on these or as others suggested possible improper use of a compressor on these maybe? The Master output comes in at around -2.5db

It’s made more audible now that the track has been mastered. It wasn’t as noticeable before but it was there on the file I sent… only noticing it now myself though.


I think you’re right. It could be the massive low end of the timpani or wagner roll pushing your master compressor too hard and bringing down the whole track as a result. You probably have a really fast release on the mastering compressor as well.

Try filtering out some of the low end at track level on the low percussion instruments. It should clear the mix up and not push the compressor as much. If that isn’t enough, try inserting a multi band compressor before the main master compressor just to deal with the lowest bottom end.

Also checked out your soundcloud. Really cool tracks. Great work mate.


I think I may have been able to limit the problem… I can’t really go back and do a totally new mix as that wouldn’t count as a revision with the ME, it would be a totally new mastering session… so I’ve taken onboard some of the advice and cut or lowered the frequencies below around 30hz, on the Dass Drum Wagner and also the Timpani’s… it means I loose the nice deep rumble which was in the sub lows but if it means not disrupting the main instruments then I can live without it.

Here’s a screenshot comparison of one of the areas that was previously affected… you can literally see the difference? (top track is before, bottom is after)… You can hear the difference when listening on headphones.