Originally Posted by foamboy
Sorry that I'm lazy, did you mention that you A/B by also playing the reference material through the same D/A converter?
No. I didn't mention it,but I do A/B this way.
Thanks for the informative post! I will consider these facts in my quest.
No problems my friend. BTW. what are your frequency tuning habits? Are you primarily tuning frequencies early or late in the recording workflow? I find this to be pretty important actually. Right now I'm in a period when about 50% of the frequencies are tuned before the A/D converter and 50% of the frequencies are tuned after the A/D converter. When it comes to the frequencies that are tuned after the A/D converter, I try to divide it pretty evenly between coloring FXs on instrument track, EQ on instrument track, volume fader adjustments in rough mix, and EQ on FX tracks. So I currently have a distributed approach to tuning frequencies. Having said that, what's more important I find is to tune the frequencies EARLY in the recording workflow, I recommend it during the tracking and mix baselining in the production process, I do this in track solo. That requires a really high quality monitoring chain. For this I use a dedicated headphone set which is very reveiling and confirm with three other headphone sets and I encourage you to do the same. Even better is to combine that with a really high quality loudspeaker + control room monitoring setup. That is more demanding and for me it currently does more harm than good because currently I don't have that kind of monitoring context. What I also do is before recording, I turn up the volume of the sound source I am about to record pretty loudly because that helps in noticing what frequencies I truly have in the sound source. Typically I have too much mids making the sound a bit harsh/hard, I then remove about 50% of that frequency issue before I record.
If the input frequencies are wrong and that goes through a long chain of processing, the final mix is at risk of being unbalanced and a quite dramatic EQ application might be the reaction during the finalization process to try remove the unbalance, but at that point it can be very tricky to make the sound good and the whole mix is likely going to suffer. These days I'm more and more leaving frequencies totally untuned during the finalization process because it helps me look for the underlying issues in the production where I can target the issues more efficiently. The frequency difference you are experience could partly be due to your frequency tuning habits.