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EQ in mastering? Dynamics Plugins
Old 13th November 2009
  #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peakly View Post
Nice way of putting it! The note, and then that great spread depending on how good the instrument is.


Are you sure you're not speaking of relative pitch?

Mychal
Quite certain.

...and not "on how good the instrument is" but what the instrument is and the qualities of it, good or bad.
Old 13th November 2009
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
I NEVER use a spectrum analyzer to tell me "what's going on" in terms of 'how much to EQ", not in any way. That's for the ear. If you want to find out the frequency of a bass note that you already know (by ear) is standing out too much, and you want to use an FFT to find it, you're going to need 3 Hz resolution or better because whole steps in the low bass octaves are less than 5 Hz apart, some half steps as little as 3 Hz apart! Fortunately, the bass player rarely plays accidentals, but it does happen.
That's good Bob, that gives me a friendly edge over you. I also doubt you are going to spend the amount of hours I had on these tools. WFYB.

I never said that a RTA is going to replace your ears, NEVER. You heard a bad bass note first then took all those steps shown in your tutorial video. All I am saying is that, instead, someone can use a RTA a lot faster and accurately. Just one look, that's all it takes.

If you hear something wrong with music is usually correlated to the frequency spectrum. In this case that bass note should show up as a "bump" wider than 10Hz for sure. Even if your bell filter misses the center frequency, you are still going to dip that band low enough so as to make that problem disappear. In some cases the note and its shape is so visible I can precisely determine how much Q and how much cut is needed. Of course Bob, you are going to probably disagree with me and that's fine.
Quote:
We can have dueling ears vs. FFT anytime you'd like.
If you think I am going to fall for that, you are mistaking. This isn't about proving if Bob Katz can hear a bad booming bass note {You admit having a perfect pitch} but about how fast and accurate these two methods are in practical terms. I think your method is good, but only in the absence of a RTA or visual guidance. And, it only addresses one issue while the RTA does many more. You also know that a test like that would be very difficult to do over the internet.

I'll tell you what Bob, and I'll use your own words:
"Who says you can't teach an old mastering engineer new tricks?"
Send me the exact clip you used on your video, I will tell you the exact {or very approximate} center frequency of the note in question, band width and how much cut I can recommend, so you can apply that to your copy at your end. What am I supposed to prove to you? I am going try to prove to you that there is a good chance that you compromised some of the good adjacent bass frequencies in that sample, thus doing it with visual guidance makes the process less damaging or "obtrusive". I would be surprised quite frankly if this was the case, but I would like to take a look at that. For that I would obviously need the before and after clips. Forgive me Bob for making these assumptions, but IMHO, that would be a more reasonable and interesting test to me. Your call.

Best regards,
Old 13th November 2009
  #93
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Not that he needs me to speak for him but I think Bob's point was that he has no doubt in his skills in comparison to your method, not that he really wants to go to the trouble of bothering with such a contest.

Also I don't get how you think he may have dug into the wrong frequency. A B is a B.
Old 13th November 2009
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
Not that he needs me to speak for him but I think Bob's point was that he has no doubt in his skills in comparison to your method, not that he really wants to go to the trouble bothering with such a contest.
Please read my posts. I've never challenged his personal skill, only the method's practicality over a RTA.

Quote:
Also I don't get how you think he may have dug into the wrong frequency. A B is a B.
So what happens if you are slightly tone deaf?
Old 13th November 2009
  #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post
Please read my posts. I've never challenged his personal skill, only the method's practicality over a RTA.

So what happens if you are tone deaf?
I did read your posts and I'm not saying that you're challenging his skill. It's just that although you sound to me like you're very well intentioned and respectful, it's starting to get a bit silly to me. I'm also not challenging your technique, only your pushing of its superiority. And if someone is tone deaf, I would suggest they not pursue sound engineering.
Old 13th November 2009
  #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
not "on how good the instrument is" but what the instrument is and the qualities of it, good or bad.
How good an instrument is, be it a piano, guitar, bass, violin, etc, will have an impact on how the harmonics develop as well as everything else. The quality of the wood, craftsmanship, and everything else all affect how an instrument sounds.


Quote:
There is strong evidence that most humans are actually born with perfect pitch, and it is "unlearned."
My wife just told me the same thing, so it must be true heh


Quote:
There have been many case studies on people who exhibit perfect pitch, those who learn relative pitch,
That's been my experience with it - the people I know who have perfect pitch simply have it, and they don't know why.

Mychal
Old 13th November 2009
  #97
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Edward_Vinatea's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
it's starting to get a bit silly to me.
Agreed.
Quote:
I'm also not challenging your technique, only your pushing of its superiority.
Sorry if it does come out that way.
Quote:
And if someone is tone deaf, I would suggest they not pursue sound engineering.
You'll be surprised how many slightly toned deaf engineers I've met in my life and one was completely tone deaf and mastering for a living. Being tone deaf won't stop anyone from recording music.
Old 13th November 2009
  #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peakly View Post
How good an instrument is, be it a piano, guitar, bass, violin, etc, will have an impact on how the harmonics develop as well as everything else. The quality of the wood, craftsmanship, and everything else all affect how an instrument sounds.
What I meant is that all instruments have lots of harmonics, not just good ones. It is the specific way that "better" instruments sound that we interpret as "better". I'm an instrument maker (a good one heh) as well as a professional performing musician and I can personally vouch for the fact that instruments that are considered bad can have an abundance of harmonic content, just not the harmonics that are considered pleasing. To take it a step further, in some cases, it can be the absence of some of these unpleasant harmonics that defines it's value. Of course, the opposite can also be the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peakly View Post
My wife just told me the same thing, so it must be true heh
LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peakly View Post
That's been my experience with it - the people I know who have perfect pitch simply have it, and they don't know why.
If they can identify a C# as a C#, in so many words, they still had to learn what C# per se is. A friend of mine developed a well known and well advertised course that teaches how to develop perfect pitch. Here's a quote from a website that reviews perfect pitch courses, debunking some of them, talking about my friend's course.

"David Lucas Burge stunned the music world when he released his original Perfect Pitch method way back in 1981. He published his method in a small booklet which has since grown into his famous Perfect Pitch Ear Training SuperCourse home study method. Back then, most musicians took it for granted that you had to be born with Perfect Pitch, and that it was a kind of musical gift. Few believed there was actually a way to develop this impressive virtuoso skill, the Holy Grail of musical talents. But Burge changed all that sort of thinking...

I don't remember a time when I didn't have Perfect Pitch. But I never understood how Perfect Pitch works! That is, until I heard Burge speak about it."
Old 13th November 2009
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post
Sorry if it does come out that way.
You'll be surprised how many slightly toned deaf engineers I've met in my life and one was completely tone deaf and mastering for a living. Being tone deaf won't stop anyone from recording music.
No prob. You obviously know you're stuff. The last bit is interesting but a bit scary. Having said that, everybody has their angles, good and bad.
Old 13th November 2009
  #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
Right, well it's my opinion that these charts are counterproductive and confusing even to the experienced engineer.

They don't have anything to do with EQ'ing music, as I have come to do it. In fact it's almost funny how different my approach to "Thump, Warm or Tinny" is compared to the chart.............


DC
Nice...at last, someone who listens to music and doesn't measure it.

BTW guys, I think the smiley face is the wrong paradigm for a smooth response.....I'd go with a frown over smiley face.

The smiley face boosts all the frequencies that please the boom & sizzle crowd....low bass and high frequencies, and cuts from the heart of the music: the midrange. Unfortunately this is a rather popular preference for many uninformed listeners, so it's a sad reality that needs to be dealt with. Mastering is a business ultimately.

A frown will essentially do the opposite, which IMO is desirable if you are an experienced listener not looking for a flashy or loud sound.

Bass below 30 hz is not really that important, nor will it help you get your goals most of the time. It's nice to have fundamental information go as deep as possible but you do not want your 25-30 hertz range boosted excessively compared to 40-80 hertz. Most of what we perceive as "low bass" rarely drops below 40-50 hertz yet people swear anything deep is like 25-30, lol.

I heard a Tony Dawsey (Masterdisk) recording recently and while it was very nice for the most part, I felt that he should have rolled off the bass at 30 hertz or so. It creates unnecessary distortion in the speakers regardless of size and this was an older recording from 1995 that wasn't too loud I thought. The song was "Round and Round" by The Twinz.

The irony is that cars aren't large enough to support these ultra low frequencies (except of course you can hear it from 50 feet away), and most listening rooms cannot take advantage of them either.

Agree with the viewpoint that you shouldn't use a preset EQ curve to work with. It's best to avoid boosting/cutting as much as possible, only where necessary. In an ideal world there would be no EQ....EQ can help correct problems but should never be looked at as a way to make great sound....that would be an error in tuning ideology, IMO.

Too much EQ can have an adverse effect on the sound stage.
Old 13th November 2009
  #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
Have I mentioned lately how much I disagree with using charts for eqing? If not, I should do it soon.


DC

Hahahahha…

Classic DC!
Captivatingly whizzy..



KAyo
Old 13th November 2009
  #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioaddict View Post
Nice...at last, someone who listens to music and doesn't measure it.
Sometimes I feel like a lonely voice in the wilderness. Having to constantly stand up for something as controversial as listening. In a mastering forum, no less.

A daily battle against the forces of Treo, RTA and graph! If I could draw, there would be a comic book.


DC
Old 13th November 2009
  #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
A daily battle against the forces of Treo, RTA and graph!
I think it's just like the general G.A.S thing, by buying the latest/most expensive thing, you can sound better.

Similarily, you can always push away the fact that you really need to learn to listen, and good monitoring chain is essential in this. Because this requires hard labor and is not too hip, it's easier to measure and call it a day.
Old 13th November 2009
  #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
... If I could draw, there would be a comic book.
DC
win!
Old 13th November 2009
  #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
Sometimes I feel like a lonely voice in the wilderness. Having to constantly stand up for something as controversial as listening. In a mastering forum, no less.
A daily battle against the forces of Treo, RTA and graph! If I could draw, there would be a comic book.
DC
I am really empathetic of that feeling DC, but no one that I am aware of is advising engineers to NOT listen. I don't see Bob doing that either.
Look, what's the point of being able to hear so well {like you} if the monitor speakers are not full flat response? Then, wouldn't you agree that if someone is working with poor monitors in a room flawed with problems like comb filtering, could use a little help from this teeny weeny RTA software program to prevent at least some fundamental problems from developing in the mix?

Again, nobody is asking people not to listen. But, what good can a fresh pair of teenager's ears or an old mastering guy's be with bad monitoring? All equalization decisions will be wrong.

Regards,
Old 13th November 2009
  #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
Sometimes I feel like a lonely voice in the wilderness. Having to constantly stand up for something as controversial as listening. In a mastering forum, no less.
No need to be overly dramatic to the cause, you're hardly alone!

I notice that even looking at the RMS meter is a distraction to listening. Listening to balance is partly emotional and too much visual, takes away from that side of the brain. Feeling where the eq needs to go works best for me.
Old 13th November 2009
  #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post

I notice that even looking at the RMS meter is a distraction to listening. Listening is partly emotional, and too much visual, takes away from that side of the brain.
Perhaps that's your "limitation" for lack of a better word. But, I am perfectly adept for doing both. And, I am sure I am not alone. Engineers look a visual guidance equipment all the time. The goniometer is pretty common one. Not everybody starts recording music inside a room acoustically treated with 12" thick walls, with floating floors and $10K speakers. If we are talking about equalization such as the prevention of problems similar to the one on BK's video, then RTA is your best friend.

One more thing, it's looking at a RTA occasionally to check things, not eyes glued to one.

Regards,
Old 13th November 2009
  #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post
Perhaps that's your "limitation" for lack of a better word.
Or an "advantage"? No one looks at a meter on playback, but they do feel it, we hope.
Old 13th November 2009
  #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioaddict View Post
... I felt that he should have rolled off the bass at 30 hertz or so. It creates unnecessary distortion in the speakers regardless of size ...
I've run into many occasions where the high pass "cure" sounded worse than the below 30 Hz. "disease."

Mastering is always a compromise. I would never second-guess a mastering decision without both having actually worked with the original mix and knowing what the client asked for.
Old 13th November 2009
  #110
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanstoner View Post

I can tune a guitar by ear to within a few cents of the correct notes, but I always lean more toward sharp. I just prefer the sound - it seems more "right" to my ear.
Speaking of geek off-topics...

Some bass players and some classical violinists purposely play a bit sharp for emphasis or interest. It probably explains the great pitch shift over the last few hundred years. Haven't we reached the point where the A we're tuning to today is the G of the 1700's? We're just about ready to transpose everything down a whole step! A little bit sharp does sound a hair nicer (and more tolerable) to the ear than a little bit flat.
Old 13th November 2009
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
A little bit sharp does sound a hair nicer (and more tolerable) to the ear than a little bit flat.
Sharp compared to what? Tuning is about voicing. And voicing is always a matter of taste, as individual notes (or strings that make up one key in a piano) are technically off by many cents in both directions, to sound 'nice'.
Old 13th November 2009
  #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
Exactly. These components are the harmonics.

Unfortunately, it's just another de-construction of the argument that a chart of fundamental frequencies of individual instruments is going to be any help in mastering.

But you knew that already.


DC
I can name four good reasons (and probably more) why the "Carnegie Chart of the audio ranges of the fundamentals of musical instruments" is very valuable for musicians and mastering engineers alike, but I won't be dragged down into the mud by the audio curmudgeon in attack mode and before this discussion becomes decidely unmusical.

BK
Old 13th November 2009
  #113
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The stakes are high. Careers threatened. Three methods:

1) Expensive monitors + acoustically treated rooms and 30+ yrs of listening experience.
2) A note hum {on key} a midi-keyboard, and a chart.
3) An itsy-bitsy RTA software you can download from the web FREE.

And the winner is....................
Old 13th November 2009
  #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
I can name four good reasons (and probably more) why the "Carnegie Chart of the audio ranges of the fundamentals of musical instruments" is very valuable for musicians and mastering engineers alike, but I won't be dragged down into the mud by the audio curmudgeon in attack mode and before this discussion becomes decidely unmusical.

BK
Arguing, while not seeming to, and acting superior to those who do ... what's that called again?
Old 13th November 2009
  #115
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Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
Few believed there was actually a way to develop this impressive virtuoso skill, the Holy Grail of musical talents.
I would hardly call it a musical Holy Grail. In fact, it wouldn't even be on a list of things I would consider important to being a virtuoso. Thanks for the replies though - lots of great info there, and I appreciate it!


Quote:
A little bit sharp does sound a hair nicer (and more tolerable) to the ear than a little bit flat.
That would depend on the context. Sharp can be like nails on a blackboard, while soulful flat "blue notes" can feel better than sex.

Mychal
Old 13th November 2009
  #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
A little bit sharp does sound a hair nicer (and more tolerable) to the ear than a little bit flat.
I think this is all a bit subjective.

Would Neil Young or Dylan sound better singing sharp or just under the note, where they do? Will a blues player sound better playing a head of the beat or behind it?
Old 13th November 2009
  #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post
The stakes are high. Careers threatened. Three methods:

1) Expensive monitors + acoustically treated rooms and 30+ yrs of listening experience.
2) A note hum {on key} a midi-keyboard, and a chart.
3) An itsy-bitsy RTA software you can download from the web FREE.

And the winner is....................
Why does there have to be a "winner?"
Everyone has their own approach - respect more, preach less. If someone finds any one of the above "methods" more valuable for their own purposes, then swell for them. That doesn't mean that someone else's approach is "wrong." I think both extreme camps have their rewards and the people in them have their unique experiences - but why is it a damn competition all the time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
Speaking of geek off-topics....
I'm also a bit of a math nerd, and so I once created and sampled a sine-wave scale where middle C was set to 256 Hz (instead of the standardized A = 440 Hz intonation where C = 264.298 Hz). Then I composed a song and switched between the intonations. They had different vibes... it was really rather interesting. C = 256 really lends itself to creepy and chilling chord progressions. Major progressions sounded better ("more happy/resolved") on A = 440. Obviously, YMMV.
Old 13th November 2009
  #118
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Arguing, while not seeming to, and acting superior to those who do ... what's that called again?
Having Lucey as the referee in this battle is like asking John McCain to judge a debate between Sarah Palin and Al Gore. When Gearslutz ceases being fun, then, sadly, I'm outa here.

BK
Old 13th November 2009
  #119
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peakly View Post
I would hardly call it a musical Holy Grail. In fact, it wouldn't even be on a list of things I would consider important to being a virtuoso. Thanks for the replies though - lots of great info there, and I appreciate it!




That would depend on the context. Sharp can be like nails on a blackboard, while soulful flat "blue notes" can feel better than sex.

Mychal
Very true. I take my generalization back, but I do think that except in a blues context, there is a greater tendency to tolerate sharp than flat.
Old 13th November 2009
  #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanstoner View Post
Why does there have to be a "winner?"
Everyone has their own approach - respect more, preach less. {snip}- but why is it a damn competition all the time?
For crying sake Jordan, It's a JOKE. Look at the emoticon in my post, pay attention to nuances. If we can't make light of all this, we might as well ask for this thread to be closed.
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