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Lawrence
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#1
14th October 2006
Old 14th October 2006
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Har-Bal

I purchased a copy of this software just to see what it does and was quite surprised. Is anyone using this?

With respect to the mastering engineers here let me say ...

1. No software is a replacement for a mastering engineer and house.
2. Any tool (mastering or otherwise) is only as good as what you know about it.

With those things said, Har-Bal is IMHO an excellent tool for shaping a final mix. Not letting it do it's automatic thingy so much but by studying the tool and using it as designed. It really does (or CAN with proper use) make obvious overall improvements in a final mix.

Rather than using Waves Linear EQ on my mixes (for final tweaking mixes that won't go to a mastering house) I use Har-Bal exclusively now. With a little study of how it works (or how it was intended to work) it's a great tool, but you have to understand it first.

I'm finding this to be one of the most flexible "eq's (if you can call it that) for shaping program material I've ever used.

And no, I'm not associated with the software or the company in any way.

Lawrence
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14th October 2006
Old 14th October 2006
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I don't like things like this. Really. But adding AIR in HarBal is great thing. In small or bigger doses. It works great! I'd like if they could make plugin from it, I would use it in the mix mostly... But I don't really like it as a mastering tool. Never mind, I don't master our tracks. Engineers do, but that's my opinion.

So, guys from HARBAL, make this one usable as a plug in! For mixing...
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Lawrence
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14th October 2006
Old 14th October 2006
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I hear you. I get all the air I need when mixing but I just use Har-Bal for eqaulization, balance and level matching a bit.

I think they looked at making it a plugin and decided against it for some reason.

Lawrence
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14th October 2006
Old 14th October 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
I hear you. I get all the air I need when mixing but I just use Har-Bal for eqaulization, balance and level matching a bit.
Yes, but there is something special with HARBAL's AIR! We got it too in the mix. But 10-30% of air from HarBal is great. But as I told above, it could be very useful in the mix!
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14th October 2006
Old 14th October 2006
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#6
16th October 2006
Old 16th October 2006
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My borther just gave me a copy of Har-Bal, and of course my instinct was to turn up my nose at it. However, I have heard increasingly good things about it, but all from rock musicians that are looking for a magic bullet cure for their mixes and essentially only interested in its automatic functions. i am glad to hear that it can be made useful without the automatic functions.
#7
16th October 2006
Old 16th October 2006
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The opposition I've read in this forum to this product falls mostly into the category of "dismissal by incredulity" - something I find frightening - so I've not commented.
However, I've been using this for over two years now and it's become my Swiss Army knife`- I never leave home without it.

I love it to bits and use it for a vast range of things – including mastering.
#8
22nd October 2006
Old 22nd October 2006
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harbal

As the name implies....
Harmonic Balance
The ability to zero out the need for several different speakers in a mastering session.. Instead replace it with a mathmatic formula of reductionism in sound. Which I have studied the program. Very stellar achievement in my own humble opinion... Bob Katz might disagree, but then again I have read his book.. Awesome, I can say I learned everything from him. However, softies such as Harbal are a great quick fix for adding that air feature... Which of course you can use a plug already there kiddos.. Just bounce your tracks. Not really a plug but more of an extra step. However, having evaluated and consequently purchasing this product I do find my self using it more than Waves too. I like the Match Loudness feature since the loudness wars have seemingly won. I also like the ease of being able to match a similar style of music that has been mastered by the greats and just adjusting the high and lows to have a similar reference.... I guess you could say its kinda cheating but oh well....
Bottom line this is an awesome piece... I just wish it had more presets for different styles. .... I also wish that it would do its harmonic balance on pieces of music rather than a finite style wholistically....
My two cents...
#9
10th September 2007
Old 10th September 2007
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flatfinger is offline
All the mastering cows agree : Stay away from H.B. , and eat more chicken!!

these new fangled gizmos can help you to train your ears Faster . If I had mission critical recordings and could afford a quality M.E. ( not a monkey with a limiter) I'd certianly go that route , If not for the technical superiority of there gear , at least for an objective , non- forrest through the trees second opinion.


There is obviously no reason to try and have an honest debate with all your livelyhoods involved, especially on this forum of all forums . I don't blame you , good luck . Signing out of this thread, all respect .


I think The mods should just stop all H.B threads in there infancy because it's just an automatic train wreck here. I respect all you guys and have learned allot from you!!!!

I hope we can just agree to disagree and move on.
#10
30th December 2011
Old 30th December 2011
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So... more than 4 years have passed since the last post on this subject (see sleeper icon in last post). Being that they just released a mac version of Har-Bal does anyone have any further information on the use of this product? Is there a steep learning curve? Can the average home hobbyist use this product to match the EQ curve of their favorite songs?
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30th December 2011
Old 30th December 2011
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Har-Bal is a useful analysis tool to have in your mastering arsenal. I tend to use it for spectrum analysis purposes rather than as an EQ. I prefer to make surgical EQ changes using a dedicated high quality plug in and I do my general shaping using an analog EQ. But I dare say if you don't go over the top with EQ changes then it could work quite well. The program takes a while to get used to, but its complexity is manageable. Put it this way, if you can work with a DAW, then you will be fine.
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#12
30th December 2011
Old 30th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adigga View Post
So... more than 4 years have passed since the last post on this subject (see sleeper icon in last post). Being that they just released a mac version of Har-Bal does anyone have any further information on the use of this product? Is there a steep learning curve? Can the average home hobbyist use this product to match the EQ curve of their favorite songs?
Well, it is not quite that simple. There is a pretty steep learning curve but if you are willing to invest some time in it you will be rewarded. This not a "soundgooderizer". It is an analysis tool with functions to change the frequency-spectrum in a "Harbal"-manner. In the new version there also is an dynamics-tool, which purpose is to compress your mix where it is needed. The result is a subtle compression, without the "squashing"effect. The best way to describe it is a sort of subtle limiting.

The purpose of Harbal in my opinion is to master your tracks without killing the dynamic range and without squashing the hell out of your mix, but to make it "cd-ready" anyway.

EDIT: If you listen to my tracks on the myspace-site you can hear what using Harbal can give as a result. Good mixing is always the most important thing, but for the final touches Harbal is essential for me.

Can't put it better than that, but you'll have to try it for yourself to get a picture.
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#13
16th August 2012
Old 16th August 2012
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philvos is offline
@MelodyMan. I agree. HB is great but you need a good mix. I use HB and compare with professional mastering is very close. 9 to 10.
Thomas W. Bethe
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#14
17th August 2012
Old 17th August 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Bauer View Post
Har-Bal is a useful analysis tool to have in your mastering arsenal. I tend to use it for spectrum analysis purposes rather than as an EQ. I prefer to make surgical EQ changes using a dedicated high quality plug in and I do my general shaping using an analog EQ. But I dare say if you don't go over the top with EQ changes then it could work quite well. The program takes a while to get used to, but its complexity is manageable. Put it this way, if you can work with a DAW, then you will be fine.
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