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EQ in mastering? Dynamics Plugins
Old 13th November 2009
  #121
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peakly View Post
Sharp can be like nails on a blackboard, while soulful flat "blue notes" can feel better than sex.

Mychal
Yep!

Sharp sounds like a bad singer in a beauty contest. "I've gotta be meeeeeEEEEEE..."

Many great singers & tenor sax players go a little flat, and soulfully use it to their advantage.

Cheers - JT
Old 13th November 2009
  #122
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Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
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.
You're now threatening to leave (sadly) because someone dare question your passive aggressive argument style and take away your fun? I'm sorry Bob. Didn't mean to hurt your feelings. Yet you do talk in a lot of absolutes that are convolutes to others. So people will disagree. That's life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
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.
For who? For you. Fair enough. But why the need to make the subjective into a dogma?

Ever watched a piano tuner work a note? Or even tuned a guitar by using a chord in the tune? It's all relative. A piano is re-tuned per performance (classical soloist) for this very reason. The player, the key, etc. Nothing about sharp is tolerated or preferred universally. I've never heard anyone make that comment, ever.
Old 13th November 2009
  #123
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Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post
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.
I wasn't just pointing at you, Ed. DC, Lucey, and others are on the opposite side of your argument, and between you all there doesn't seem to be a very lighthearted vibe when it comes to visual-aids vs. listening. I was simply pointing that out in the hopes of moving the thread away from that road. Sorry for using your quotes only, they were simply the most accessible and direct to my point at the time.

Quote:
Nothing about sharp is tolerated or preferred universally. I've never heard anyone make that comment, ever!
Actually, there have been case studies done, and there is a tendency of the general population to find "sharp" more pleasing than "flat." This is not in the context of music, but relative to single tones and intonation. Music is a different animal, unless you have perfect pitch - in which case, anything flat or sharp can be extremely annoying, even if it's tasteful and purposeful.
Old 13th November 2009
  #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
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.
A little off topic, if I remember correctly A=440 was only adopted as "standard" in the late 1930s. Mozart used A=421 whereas Bach early on had tuned as high as A=466.

I have two recordings of Mozart piano sonatas (one at A=421 and the other at roughly A=442) and much prefer the recording using the lower "standard".

cheers,
Reynaud
Old 13th November 2009
  #125
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Originally Posted by jordanstoner View Post
Actually, there have been case studies done, and there is a tendency of the general population to find "sharp" more pleasing than "flat." This is not in the context of music, but relative to single tones and intonation.
Ah, okay then...
Old 13th November 2009
  #126
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24-96 Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post

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....................
4) Sweeping a narrow EQ boost. So simple, so effective.
Old 13th November 2009
  #127
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
You're now threatening to leave (sadly) because someone dare question your passive aggressive argument style and take away your fun? I'm sorry Bob. Didn't mean to hurt your feelings. Yet you do talk in a lot of absolutes that are convolutes to others. So people will disagree. That's life.
If people can disagree without attacking the poster, that's fine. But unfortunately there's some pubescent, testosterone-laden, aggressive posturing going on, which at this stage in this thread is being manifested by coded language so very few people here recognize the subtext, without knowing the history. I don't think it would be productive to expose the language and simply better to remain above the fray, and disappear from this thread and if necessary, the forum.
Old 13th November 2009
  #128
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Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb View Post
"I've gotta be meeeeeEEEEEE..."
Ha ha! Ouch! That actually hurt just looking at it heh

To be honest, sometimes it does sound cool when a singer pushes sharp a little just for the effect. They need to know they're doing it though!

Mychal
Old 13th November 2009
  #129
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 24-96 Mastering View Post
4) Sweeping a narrow EQ boost. So simple, so effective.
If you can do this on a walking bass line that hits ONE OFFENDING NOTE in a minute, tune the narrow boost down to a Q of 15 or higher, and get to the desired frequency faster than with the piano keyboard method, then you do get the gold medal, Robin!

To my experience, the tried and true methods of eq sweep which work well when trying to find a medium-width problem area are no longer as effective when you're down to a single note. Been there, done that, got the tee shirt :-).
Old 13th November 2009
  #130
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Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
simply better to remain above the fray
My two cents, that seems like a good idea.



Quote:
disappear from this thread and if necessary, the forum.
Please don't.

Old 13th November 2009
  #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post
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.
Are you calling me old?


DC
Old 13th November 2009
  #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
To my experience, the tried and true methods of eq sweep which work well when trying to find a medium-width problem area are no longer as effective when you're down to a single note. Been there, done that, got the tee shirt :-).
If that single note is really that much of a trouble I'd say it's time for the ME to ride the fader.

When did EQ's become note-tools? Isn't music more like...buzz?


Best Regards
Patrik
Old 13th November 2009
  #133
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Cellotron's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
Are you calling me old?


DC
Morris Day & The Time - Tricky - Free MP3 Stream on IMEEM Music



Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 13th November 2009
  #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 24-96 Mastering View Post
4) Sweeping a narrow EQ boost. So simple, so effective.
Agreed. However, whether you cut or boost, your adjustment is as good as your monitoring chain. Therefore this is still within method 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
Are you calling me old?
Aha, so the self-proclaimed "Nutopian Ambassador to the sarcasm" has an Achilles' heel. FWIW, the answer to your question is no.

Regards,
Old 13th November 2009
  #135
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Originally Posted by PatrikT View Post
If that single note is really that much of a trouble I'd say it's time for the ME to ride the fader.
I have to respectfully disagree. In my direct experience that's way more disruptive than simpy notching down the freq of the single note that is poking way over the mix. Of course a remix is the best alternative to both methods - but sometimes it's simply not possible to do this - and notching can generally deal well with the problem so it isn't really a problem to take care of this in mastering.

Quote:
When did EQ's become note-tools?
99% of the time they're not. But once in a blue moon there are indeed mixes where a single bass note pops out over the mix, and where to expedite things it gets dealt with in mastering.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 13th November 2009
  #136
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Dipping a toe into bizarre mating rituals of the mastering gods...I'd just like to point out...

It seems there is a desire of some to make this a musical exercise, to talk about the intention of the musicians wrt what notes they are playing. But those are very rarely a problem, only a problem when they are playing broken or poorly tuned instruments. That is not something that mastering can fix, nor mixing, you'd have to go all the way back to editing to even have a shot at doing so reasonably, and really, your better bet would be to re-cut the part with a working instrument and player.

So I would disregard that as a non-starter. What I do find relevant to mastering and EQ in general isn't the fundamentals or even so much the tambral distribution of harmonics (which may best be addressed with microphone selection IME) but correcting for errors in the rooms (tracking and mixing) and the engineering. So if the engineer was in a poor mix room and cranked some frequency irresponsibly that needs to be corrected by mastering, or if there was a resonance in the tracking room that made things boomy somewhere, that is your opportunity for EQ.

There is no predictive science that I can think of which would tell you where those points are likely to be. Other than "room modal resonances tend to be worst under 400Hz" or some other crude generalization.

But I think if you're trying to look at fixing the music itself in the sense of the notes the players are intending through their instruments it's probably a matter of feeling helpless coming in so late in the history of a production. It's a bit late in the day for that. What you are trying to do in mastering is peel away all the misery between the listener and those instruments that has gotten in the way. There's usually plenty enough of that to keep you busy.

Old 13th November 2009
  #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
99% of the time they're not. But once in a blue moon there are indeed mixes where a single bass note pops out over the mix, and where to expedite things it gets dealt with in mastering
Why can't the remaining 1% of "un-perfecition" in todays technologically streamlined music be left alone?

If you expect a bass note to be so troublesome that it will poke out on every playback system on earth, then what? Do you consider the music to translate well or bad? I would say "well as is".

Besides - how many EQ's are tuned anyway?


Best Regards
Patrik
Old 13th November 2009
  #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrikT View Post
Why can't the remaining 1% of "un-perfecition" in todays technologically streamlined music be left alone?
Because the client hears it and wants it taken care of. There's been cases also where the client hears it and wants it left alone. Kind of figured that would be obvious.

Quote:
If you expect a bass note to be so troublesome that it will poke out on every playback system on earth, then what?
Some folks want the bass to be even, others want it to be more dynamic. Sometimes the mix has these elements deliberately set the way they want it, other times they come into mastering hoping to make changes to these elements. It's all a case by case basis and good monitoring and good communication is the only way to handle it well.

Quote:
Do you consider the music to translate well or bad? I would say "well as is".
Dunno - I'm just here to make the client happier with the way their track sounds after they've mastered it than they were with the unmastered version.

Quote:
Besides - how many EQ's are tuned anyway?
Every eq is different, and very often what's on the faceplate's silk screening ain't what it's actually doing. I've got some digital eq's that do in fact correlate to their marking that can do seriously narrow Q's though if you want them to. In either case this cool thing called listening allows you to figure out the best way to set them.

Further on other topics in thread:
My RTA is left off 99% of the time as well, but there have been indeed a few times where I've turned it on to find the frequency center a note that is popping out of the mix is quickly. Not a daily occurrence by any means but something I'll do if it expedites the session.

And I'm not a user of "eq charts" - especially for arbitrary assignments of adjectives to frequency ranges - but I do think it's valuable knowledge for an audio engineer of any specialty to have a good idea in what frequency ranges the fundamentals and harmonics of commonly used instruments are.

Again - these are not techniques used to supplant listening by any means, but simply aids that once in a blue moon can help expedite going to the exact knob you are wanting to tweak without hesitation.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 14th November 2009
  #139
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24-96 Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz View Post
If you can do this on a walking bass line that hits ONE OFFENDING NOTE in a minute, tune the narrow boost down to a Q of 15 or higher, and get to the desired frequency faster than with the piano keyboard method, then you do get the gold medal, Robin!
Hi Bob, no idea if it's faster or not. But whether I'm spending 10, 20 or 30 seconds on a cut doesn't really make much difference to me. What, in my view, puts a simple high Q sweep over other methods is that there is no possibility of error (through different tuning, through looking up a wrong note, through identifying the wrong harmonic, whatever) and no approximation. You'll be cutting exactly what is offending, be it a chromatic note or an atonal resonance, at the right frequency (whether that's in the double or quadruple digit frequencies), with an effective bandwidth, and all that inherently by the methodology of identification. I find that both simple and elegant where using a frequency chart, to me, seems like a detour.

Quote:
To my experience, the tried and true methods of eq sweep which work well when trying to find a medium-width problem area are no longer as effective when you're down to a single note.
In my experience, sweeping a boost actually works especially well to pinpoint narrower bandwidth anomalies. But whatever works best, different people work differently, my post is not meant to critique others' techniques or to be offending in any way.
Old 14th November 2009
  #140
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Originally Posted by audioaddict View Post
Bass below 30 hz is not really that important.
I certainly wouldn't go as far as saying that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioaddict View Post
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..
Yes, let that range do its thing. A filter at 20Hz or below can still affect those above it. But yes, much of what many people claim as "subsonic" is often circa 40-50Hz.
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioaddict View Post
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.
Interesting.. Couldn't have been pre-existing distortion <30Hz? In which case it may well have been a case of erring on the side of "keeping it real". Or erring on the side of what the artist wanted for added "weight" in that range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Vinatea
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.
I wouldn't go that far, either. Listening+experience trumps all else. (and communication regarding what the client wants trumps that).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron
It's all a case by case basis and good monitoring and good communication is the only way to handle it well.
In either case this cool thing called listening allows you to figure out the best way to set them.
thumbsup
Old 14th November 2009
  #141
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24-96 Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrikT View Post
Why can't the remaining 1% of "un-perfecition" in todays technologically streamlined music be left alone?
Why should it be left alone, assuming that imperfection, in your judgement, doesn't contribute to the feel of the music / performance, but detracts from it? That, imo, is the deciding question.
Old 14th November 2009
  #142
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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!
agreed. 'tweren't my quote. just illustrating a point.
Old 14th November 2009
  #143
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Originally Posted by 24-96 Mastering View Post
Why should it be left alone, assuming that imperfection, in your judgement, doesn't contribute to the feel of the music / performance, but detracts from it? That, imo, is the deciding question.
Breaking news: Because it will start to chew up the "perfect" 99%.

At some point you have to ask yourself if you (or your client) want it flat as a pancake or not. The mission is not necessarily to hunt down "problems" all of the time - the real challenge is to know how to not kill a song.

Music is a grand total.


Best Regards
Patrik
Old 14th November 2009
  #144
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24-96 Mastering's Avatar
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Originally Posted by PatrikT View Post
Breaking news: Because it will start to chew up the "perfect" 99%.
This just in: Your reply is ignoring what I wrote. See:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 24-96 Mastering
assuming that imperfection, in your judgement, doesn't contribute to the feel of the music / performance, but detracts from it
I think we're saying the same thing, only assuming a different premise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrikT
flat as a pancake
Now I want pancakes!
Old 14th November 2009
  #145
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i use EQ's in 2 different ways,

to filter out 'humming' frequencys

or...

to create a sound i like. i believe EQ's should not be used to add puch to an instrument eg kik drum, a compressor and parralell compression on the subgroup is all you need to add puch to your drums.

also...

dont have much faith in boosting high shelf, could be to do with my room and monitors, very high ended, but my mixes sound sweet in the car or on the living room hi-fi. also, does anyone have any tips on how to stop frequencys from gathering up in a live concert recording? doing a lot of those latley and having trouble with a 'white noise' effect. dont know if im not giving everything enough sonic room or what . its pleasent to listen to but can get really annoying.
Old 14th November 2009
  #146
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Originally Posted by spicemix View Post
What you are trying to do in mastering is peel away all the misery between the listener and those instruments that has gotten in the way. There's usually plenty enough of that to keep you busy.
A great post overall, this part highlighted. Initial and/or intended musicality is what matters most.
Old 15th November 2009
  #147
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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

in my humble experience i feel it's best to understand both charts of instrument range and the musical effect freq. boost and cut has on music.....

if you work with live sound especially you need an understanding of both....you need to know that if your PA is "hurting" you, you can cut 2.5 - 4 for starters......you also need to know precise freqs/pitches for feedback elimination in monitors.

in mastering and mixing you obviously need "ear/head" connection of the "musical" effect of freq areas but you also need to know the pitches - ie:
Bob has a web tutorial of a bass guitar that is jumping out of the master only on his "low B" ....if i remember correctly .....so knowledge of your charts allows you to get down to 31 hz with a fine Q and cut without taking more bottom than is neccesary!

gotta know it all IMO!
Old 15th November 2009
  #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyp View Post
in my humble experience i feel it's best to understand both charts of instrument range and the musical effect freq. boost and cut has on music.....

if you work with live sound especially you need an understanding of both....you need to know that if your PA is "hurting" you, you can cut 2.5 - 4 for starters......you also need to know precise freqs/pitches for feedback elimination in monitors.

in mastering and mixing you obviously need "ear/head" connection of the "musical" effect of freq areas but you also need to know the pitches - ie:
Bob has a web tutorial of a bass guitar that is jumping out of the master only on his "low B" ....if i remember correctly .....so knowledge of your charts allows you to get down to 31 hz with a fine Q and cut without taking more bottom than is neccesary!

gotta know it all IMO!
Old 15th November 2009
  #149
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I fail to see the importance of a chart when working with music. It just sounds like a crutch to me.
If you hear the offending frequency they you deal with it appropriately.
If you do not hear it then it is questionable if you are capable of doing your job.

No chart will point out a problem.
No chart will tell you if you're cutting too much.
No chart will tell you that you fixed the issue at hand.

If anything I would think the use of a chart would inevitably develop bad habits for the user and inhibit their natural progression.

No charts, just ears.
Old 15th November 2009
  #150
Mastering
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatSoundsWHAMMY View Post
I fail to see the importance of a chart when working with music. It just sounds like a crutch to me.
If you have to rely on a chart to do your work, then you're going to produce very unmusical results. The chart is an educational guide for the beginning engineer. I do feel that having the knowledge of what frequency ranges a bassoon plays versus the flute is going to help you in the long run. Recognizing that the fundamental resonance of a tenor sax is different than an alto or soprano is also part of ear training as well as being able to identify the center frequency of those resonant points by ear. Nothing turns you into an expert more than 10,000 hours of practice, but a chart such as this can help you get started on the first 100!

By the time you graduate to turning the knobs yourself, you should have it all internalized. The only one responsible for what frequency you choose and how much you boost or cut is you.

It's also an entertaining and informative piece of history that you can frame and put on your wall.
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