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EQ in mastering? Dynamics Plugins
Old 11th November 2009
  #31
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Old 11th November 2009
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
This is usually where I mention that our ears tell us how much bottom there is, not charts.
I'm a pianist and a writer, and trying my ass off to get better at recording and mixing. It feels like I'm making progress, although it's a bumpy ride.

I have looked at those charts, and they don't seem at all useful to me. Everything starts and ends with listening, including (especially) the music performance itself.

Mychal
Old 11th November 2009
  #33
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Sorry, that chart wasn't meant to start up conversation on instruments and note/freq adjustments. [if only I could find a face-palm icon]

I was really posting in reference to the subjective terms at the bottom as a means of communication and general ranges for people new to eq'ing (as is the OP) -- ie, "where to look" not as an instructional manual on "what to do." Obv, it's about listening. (Also, the Fletcher-Munson curves on the right could be helpful for someone new to eq'ing -- or to just keep in mind.)

I've seen some pretty rough eqs from song writers because they don't realize where things like mid-range, treble, or bass are located in the general freq spectrum and imagine it vastly more spread out across the 20hz-22khz range.
Old 11th November 2009
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
How did things get to this point?


DC

Yea, I was thinking that earlier today ...

I assumed the visual thing was a flash that would dissipate, but I was wrong, it seems to be growing.
Old 11th November 2009
  #35
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All in all, I have to say it comes down to listening (or exercising your listening if you need to), and gaining a feel for what the music needs – Hear this in your head first, then work towards that. Of course, the better the monitoring environment the easier this is to get right* repeatedly on a range of projects.

Subjective terminology? It can be a starting point... A band last week wanted more "bass". The producer and I knew the low end was fine and not lacking, but knowing how broad a term this is, and after discussing and hearing some reference tracks they brought in, I realised the band meant what hit me as being "fatness", which in this case was circa 100hz and just a hint of clean, tight compression (which can change the tone of things as well). And any upper mid EQ applied worked fine if pre-compression, but if post-compression things began to go backwards.

So listen, listen again, and keep it all in context!

*read: translation, both in terms of playback devices/environments and artists' vision
Old 11th November 2009
  #36
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I make subtle cuts and boosts depending on whats missing or overpowering, I think of it like tuning the mix where the EQ knobs are the tuning pegs. A good mix won't need much EQ, sometimes a single subtle notch in a good mix can make everything come together to make a great master. The most important thing is to use your ears!

There is a mode with the sonnox EQ that is called use your ears mode or something which disables the graphic part. Even if you're really listening close the graphic tools can interfere with your perception.

Analyzing commercial masters can give you some ideas, but don't try and graphically match anything because the FFT's and such are not nearly as accurate as a good set of ears. Do as much listening as you can to what you consider great mix/masters.

Lastly, there is no substitute for experience so keep at it
Old 11th November 2009
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
What's the best MIDI controller for mastering?
Yamaha SHS-10?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Gold View Post
EQ as I hear it is more like timbre than pitch.
Your bell shapes are way too broad!
Old 11th November 2009
  #38
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But in all seriousness, it's all about balancing things when we're talking EQ in mastering. Reducing something might make something else poke out too much, and sometimes a problem needs to be fixed "the other way". If you have compression applied, EQ affects compression and vice versa. Another balancing thing.

I have noticed that the more I've gained experience, the less EQ I use and I tend to cut more than boost.
Old 11th November 2009
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtalahde View Post
I have noticed that the more I've gained experience, the less EQ I use and I tend to cut more than boost.
Same here.

jdg said on here (yes!! an actual wise statement from jdg!), something like 'if I need more than 5 bands of eq I'm in for a bad time'. That helped me a lot. Pick your punches.
Old 11th November 2009
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtalahde View Post
I have noticed that the more I've gained experience, the less EQ I use and I tend to cut more than boost.
+2: that's me in a nutshell.

Top moment in EQing for me is when you hear a move in your head, make it, and then sit back as the track comes into focus in the way you imagined. Had an album the other day where about all that was required was a severe bass cut (-3 to-5 shelf @ 80ish) because of client monitor issues - did that, snap! - there was the music again.
Old 11th November 2009
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowland View Post
Top moment in EQing for me is when you hear a move in your head, make it, and then sit back as the track comes into focus in the way you imagined.
Some weeks back I was working on something that required a little EQ - not a lot but just tiny touches. I did the touches and was happy with the result.

Then I noticed the EQ wasn't in the chain.

I stopped the playback, leaned back and took a deep breath. Then I put the EQ in-line and started listening, being sure it would have sounded like crap. But no - it sounded just like I had imagined it to sound like. In the end I took one band back some 0,5dB, but nothing else changed.

This sounds like an user error (it IS an user error), but the flipside is that in any processing, you need to form a vision on what you want to achieve with it. I had, and did the required changes even if I had just imagined the result.
Old 11th November 2009
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
How did things get to this point?
Internets and Mboxes.
Old 11th November 2009
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtalahde View Post
Then I noticed the EQ wasn't in the chain.
Happenings like such are extremely important in order to become a lesser processer.

And - I love the feeling of switching something in just to hear that I must switch it out again. Those times I kind of become very happy for the music and the mix. And those times I think of the EQ as a "OK" tool. It can tell me that things are ok the times I might be doubtful.

I'm OK'ing rather than EQ'ing.


Best Regards
Patrik
Old 11th November 2009
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon502 View Post
I want to learn more about EQ in the mastering stage. I'm practicing mastering but I find it difficult to determine where to boost and cut. Are there any 'sweeping' techniques I can use?

What I usually end up doing with my practice masters is:

1. Waves SSL Buss compressor (2:1 ratio and about 3dB gain reduction, slow attack and AUTO release)
2. Sonnox EQ (see picture)
3. Sonnox Limiter

But I never know what to do in the midrange with the EQ, I always only boost the highs to get clarity, and boost the bass if necessary. I have never cut frequencies before because I'm always afraid I'm cutting something important.



Any help/techniques about the EQ midrange would be highly appreciated!
Thanks!

Don't wanna be out of order but this represents the epitome of missing the point of mastering. I'd suggest you would do far better to think that mastering is the application of these 4 questions to every element of what you can hear: "what's bad? what's better? what do I need to acheive this? and is it actually an improvement".

Go over your song with a fine tooth comb repeating these four questions and you will be much quicker on you way to success than by using sonnox smiley curve works every time BS.

PS in order to hear properly, you need a pair of speakers you can trust. That's all there is to it.

heh
Old 11th November 2009
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyleDiSanto View Post
Monitoring. Hands Down. Accurate Monitoring and Room Acoustics.


If you cant hear what you are doing, then UR guessing with the EQ.


Old 11th November 2009
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
Subjective terminology? It can be a starting point... A band last week wanted more "bass". The producer and I knew the low end was fine and not lacking, but knowing how broad a term this is, and after discussing and hearing some reference tracks they brought in, I realised the band meant what hit me as being "fatness", which in this case was circa 100hz and just a hint of clean, tight compression (which can change the tone of things as well). And any upper mid EQ applied worked fine if pre-compression, but if post-compression things began to go backwards.
Anyone else ever think there's a need for clarifying and standardizing the terminology? Not that the bulk of folks out there would ever hear of it, but I've heard so many journalists, not to mention inarticulate musicians describe frequencies inaccurately. There doesn't seem to be agreement even amongst the cognoscenti.

I've fantasized something like the following:

ultra lows - below 30Hz
low bass - 30-60Hz
mid bass - 60-120Hz
upper bass - 120-250Hz
lower midrange - 250-500Hz
mid midrange - 500-1KHz
upper midrange - 1-2KHz
low treble - 2-4KHz
mid treble - 4-8KHz
upper treble - 8-16KHz
ultra highs - above 16KHz

All in favor say "aye".
Old 11th November 2009
  #47
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i am very surprised that someone has not stated the most obvious thing that must be done to learn eq..... MATCH THE VOLUME!

it was my big 'a ha' moment years ago when i worked out that you can't judge the eq change until you match the overall volume of the original track to the newly eq'd track. this may sound obvious, but anything louder sounds 'better', even by 0.5 dB.

there is a bit of software called harbal that does this for you on the fly (great for learning). it will always adjust the overall volume back to the same after the eq so you can make a proper judgement. voxengo software has a little reading which shows the difference between the input and output so you can adjust it yourself. wavelab full version has something that can do this for you too.

unfortunately you usually have to do this by ear every time in most plugs, which i am sure some people will say is best anyway.

there is some cool 'eq training' freeware software too (not perfect, but a nice start):

blogohl: resone

don't give up, it can be frustrating sometimes, best to take regular breaks as your ears get tired and also get accustomed to a certain balance which may be a bad one. always a-b with great mixes on a regular basis.
Old 11th November 2009
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtalahde View Post
I did the touches and was happy with the result.

Then I noticed the EQ wasn't in the chain.
That's awesome! I've been there more than once. It's incredible what your mind can tell you you're hearing.

Mychal
Old 11th November 2009
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtalahde View Post

Then I noticed the EQ wasn't in the chain.

I stopped the playback, leaned back and took a deep breath. Then I put the EQ in-line and started listening, being sure it would have sounded like crap. But no - it sounded just like I had imagined it to sound like. In the end I took one band back some 0,5dB, but nothing else changed.

This sounds like an user error (it IS an user error), but the flipside is that in any processing, you need to form a vision on what you want to achieve with it. I had, and did the required changes even if I had just imagined the result.
In a way, I like it when this happens to me as it reminds just how suggestible we are.


DC
Old 11th November 2009
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
Anyone else ever think there's a need for clarifying and standardizing the terminology?

All in favor say "aye".
Nej. There is no standard for these terms. And one does not necessarily mean the same thing to two different people. Sure you can speak in generalities, but personally I don't think there is any need, or possibility, of a "standard" set of adjectives about sound.


DC
Old 11th November 2009
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waltz Mastering View Post
Internets and Mboxes.
Frequency charts.


DC
Old 11th November 2009
  #52
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presets...
Old 11th November 2009
  #53
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DeCompressors
Old 11th November 2009
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
In a way, I like it when this happens to me as it reminds just how suggestible we are.


DC
No doubt. I actually "hear" what's happening for that moment as I turn the knobs, lol.
Old 11th November 2009
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobius.media View Post
Why are you high passing above 20 hz? Anything >20 is audible.
I make cuts at 20hz that make a difference, if you're mastering drum n bass for example they have tons going on down stairs, making a low cut makes a big difference. Mainly due to making the compressor would differently in the mids.

Charts : never seen one, let alone used one...keyboard and midi (too Katz for me...)

Eqing : Cut or Boost - Thinking about it I cut less than I boost.
Learning to eq : Buy a great EQ, stick with it for about a year don't use another and it'll soon train you to learn what works / what doesn't.

Analysing unmastered to mastered : use your ears not a meter the instruments are reacting differently throughout the track and differently on every track so how can you match that???

Well that's my 2 pence...shoot me!!
Old 12th November 2009
  #56
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So here's one for you chaps....

How do YOU find the right frequency? When there's something poking out in the track and you need it sorted out. It's nice picturing it in your head, setting it up and then flicking it in, and obviously greater experience gets you closer but you can't be right first time, every time. Or it may not quite work as you expect. Or something else might happen that isn't quite right. or whatever.

I ask because I've seen different engineers handle it different ways. Some sweeping boosts fast, some sweeping cuts, some switching in and then when it isn't right switching it out before choosing again. And sometimes the opposite to what they end up doing - sweeping a boost to find where to cut (lots of times) and sweeping a cut to find a boost (once).


I know, it doesn't matter, do what the song demands, horses for courses etc etc heh But I thought it would be interesting as a 'survey'.
Old 12th November 2009
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
Anyone else ever think there's a need for clarifying and standardizing the terminology?

All in favor say "aye".
Naye. Part of the point I was making was that direct communication and discussion is what got us through in the end, where "bass" in this case meant "upper bass", to fine tune the subjective aspects.
Old 12th November 2009
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
So here's one for you chaps....

How do YOU find the right frequency?.
Instinctive with experience, and via monitoring that requires absolutely zero guess work. Fine tuned with discussion if necessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
I know, it doesn't matter, do what the song demands, horses for courses etc etc heh But I thought it would be interesting as a 'survey'.
Should we not call an EQ survey a "curvey"?
Sorry... I'm in a heatwave with a throat infection on doctor's orders to drink only warm liquids (but no coffee)...
Old 12th November 2009
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
Instinctive with experience, and via monitoring that requires absolutely zero guess work. Fine tuned with discussion if necessary.
So you don't *ever* have to switch to the next setting? Say, 400 to 430 Hz for example? Jaysis. I'm usually not more than one out and thought that was alright. Better get to work

Quote:
Should we not call an EQ survey a "curvey"?
heh

Feel better man.
Old 12th November 2009
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david1103 View Post
i am very surprised that someone has not stated the most obvious thing that must be done to learn eq..... MATCH THE VOLUME!
Yes maybe that's too obvious many of us don't consider mentioning it, as mastering consoles like ours allow this very simply, always gain matching the source. Let it be habitual.
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