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What is the most frequent problem frequncies to deal with in mastering
Old 15th December 2010
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

What is the most frequent problem frequncies to deal with in mastering

I tend to compare my mixes to my commercial cds
and even got one mastered but mine sounded very classey and harsh
just wondering is this normal when ME get songs to master?
Old 15th December 2010
  #2
RE: What is the most frequent problem frequncies to deal with in mastering

I have found that around 250 Hz and around 2.7 kHz, where a lot of instruments start to pile up, are the areas that I have to deal with the most when mastering.

I deal with these two on my masterpiece, the muddy area with the variable phase, and the harshness with the "classic" applied only to the highs. Both deal with the problem without EQ and without affecting the gain a lot.
Old 15th December 2010
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

yeah ive noticed alot from 300 -3/4k in my mixes
im always kinda afraid to take too much freqs out
tho i better its to take out then add maybe im wrong
Old 15th December 2010
  #4
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jayfrigo's Avatar
 

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And don't forget about deep bass when it was mixed on small speakers in a personal studio. That's probably the toughest for the mixer to judge in that environment, so we'll check that in mastering.

It's hard to pick specific frequencies since every song is different, but I do notice 200-250 range causing boomy trouble sometimes, or it can be 500-600 boxiness, or 2k harshness, or 8k excessive sizzle. Then again, there are some projects that need a boost at one of these frequencies, so you never know.
Old 15th December 2010
  #5
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is it common tho to take alot of freqs out with regard to music that is recorded in peoples room as apposed to proper studio?
Old 15th December 2010
  #6
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OK, I'll go ahead and say it:

It Depends, every project is different.

Use your Ears.

Don't use an RTA or other crutches to "help" you decide.

If needed, sweep around with a parametric till you find a problem area, then make small changes to see if it actually improves the mix.

We ME's all probably have our "pet" areas that we go to, but it's different for everyone, find your own path.

JT
Old 15th December 2010
  #7
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Vocal ring in the 2-5k range and sibilance above that seem to be really common now. Don't know if it's cheap mics ringing or cheap speakers keeping people from hearing the problem or maybe a little of each. Clients listening on good monitors for the first time is interesting to watch...


GR
Old 15th December 2010
  #8
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20-20k generally.

Nah, it's always different. One particular ' ' area for me is scratchy, pokey 808-style hi-hats at 7-8kHz. Irritating.
Old 15th December 2010
  #9
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Waltz Mastering's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
One particular ' ' area for me is scratchy, pokey 808-style hi-hats at 7-8kHz. Irritating.
Had that happen yesterday and used a de-esser to tame them a bit. Generally it can be anything. If I had to pick common problem frequencies, it would be 80-110 Hz and 6-8k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by finlove View Post
I tend to compare my mixes to my commercial cds
and even got one mastered but mine sounded very classey and harsh
just wondering is this normal when ME get songs to master?
If the master comes back sounding harsh and the mixes that you gave them weren't, explain that to the ME and see if they can remedy that or shop for a new ME.

I recently had a client explain to me that he wanted his masters to have the characteristic of a 1073. Luckily I knew what he meant.
Old 15th December 2010
  #10
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ed littman's Avatar
 

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Your hired...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb View Post
OK, I'll go ahead and say it:

It Depends, every project is different.

Use your Ears.

Don't use an RTA or other crutches to "help" you decide.

If needed, sweep around with a parametric till you find a problem area, then make small changes to see if it actually improves the mix.

We ME's all probably have our "pet" areas that we go to, but it's different for everyone, find your own path.

JT
Old 15th December 2010
  #11
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macc's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waltz Mastering View Post
Had that happen yesterday and used a de-esser to tame them a bit.
In that particular area I prefer a de-esser (or part de-ess, part eq) over straight eq almost half the time, almost independent of the material. Set up right it jsut sounds better in that area to me a lot of the time.

There you go. Fascinating!
Old 15th December 2010
  #12
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed littman View Post
Your hired...
perhaps a guitar duet is in order...

Cheers, JT
Old 15th December 2010
  #13
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Your place or mine? he he

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb View Post
perhaps a guitar duet is in order...

Cheers, JT
Old 15th December 2010
  #14
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de-clicking tutt ... oh no , that's not a freq. specially on vocal parts ... what's happening ????
Old 15th December 2010
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayfrigo View Post
And don't forget about deep bass when it was mixed on small speakers in a personal studio. That's probably the toughest for the mixer to judge in that environment, so we'll check that in mastering.
I edit and largely mix at home using a pair of small PMC DB1s and Senn HD650 headphones which in both cases give a good coverage of the spectrum but as you say the proper deep bass does suffer.

Since realising this, I now always do my final mixes in a pro studio with large mains where I can really hear what's going on, I had some mixes that I thought were great but there was stuff 60Hz downwards letting them down, once I played it on some big Dyna M3s these become plain to see and I sorted them quick style and was done.

I would thus not be surprised to see these as among the biggest problems for mastering engineers. When I'm finishing a mix, I also tend to find that 250ish is a problem (low snare, guitar), 800Hz (just a horrible muddy one!) and 3k are all issues.
Old 15th December 2010
  #16
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What is the most frequent problem frequncies to deal with in mastering

Quote:
Originally Posted by finlove
is it common tho to take alot of freqs out with regard to music that is recorded in peoples room as apposed to proper studio?
I tend to find vocals sometimes sound boxy or nasal when recorded with cheap preamps in bad rooms so sometimes dipping somewhere between 400-1000hz can help, but obviously by no means a rule
Old 16th December 2010
  #17
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any of you guys ever been handed a song where it seemed totally fine and all you really had to do was push it for volume with a limiter? To clients still get charged the full amount then? :P
Old 16th December 2010
  #18
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Nordenstam's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
One particular ' ' area for me is scratchy, pokey 808-style hi-hats at 7-8kHz. Irritating.
8-12k harshness have been a trend here lately, much more than before. Coincidence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mardi Gras View Post
any of you guys ever been handed a song where it seemed totally fine and all you really had to do was push it for volume with a limiter? To clients still get charged the full amount then? :P
Even without the limiter. Can you imagine?

How much time do you think it takes to decide a track doesn't need anything, compared to decide it needs something? If I recall correct, I did spend some time trying some ideas before I decided it wasn't worth it. Same price.
Old 16th December 2010
  #19
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

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most common mix issues - to resolve in the mix when possible

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayfrigo View Post
And don't forget about deep bass when it was mixed on small speakers in a personal studio. That's probably the toughest for the mixer to judge in that environment, so we'll check that in mastering.

It's hard to pick specific frequencies since every song is different, but I do notice 200-250 range causing boomy trouble sometimes, or it can be 500-600 boxiness, or 2k harshness, or 8k excessive sizzle. Then again, there are some projects that need a boost at one of these frequencies, so you never know.
I'd have to agree.. mostly sub bass, or low-mid boxiness from vocals recorded in untreated small rooms, or vocal level in general would be the most common mix issues I encounter. All part of the reason for nipping such things in the bud with a pre-session evaluation. If ever in doubt: send multiple mix versions (labeled accordingly) and all is good.
Old 16th December 2010
  #20
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Masterer's Avatar
 

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6.5k.

I ****ing hate 6.5k.




... sometimes 250hz really pisses me off.
Old 16th December 2010
  #21
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Lagerfeldt's Avatar
It's called tinnitus, Chris.
Old 16th December 2010
  #22
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my main fixes : 55, 61, 65, 73, 82, 87, 97, 110, 123, 146, 164, 174, 195 if A=440
Old 16th December 2010
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inlinenl View Post
my main fixes : 55, 61, 65, 73, 82, 87, 97, 110, 123, 146, 164, 174, 195 if A=440
That's what faders are for! tutt
Old 16th December 2010
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
Vocal ring in the 2-5k range and sibilance above that seem to be really common now. Don't know if it's cheap mics ringing or cheap speakers keeping people from hearing the problem or maybe a little of each. Clients listening on good monitors for the first time is interesting to watch...
GR
or because they are recording in really small DIY vocal booths and after that when they hear that it sounds like a scream in a box they are trying to get it clearer and higher only by EQ-ing.
Old 16th December 2010
  #25
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Table Of Tone's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
Vocal ring in the 2-5k range and sibilance above that seem to be really common now. Don't know if it's cheap mics ringing or cheap speakers keeping people from hearing the problem or maybe a little of each. Clients listening on good monitors for the first time is interesting to watch...


GR
Oh boy,
Happens to me all the time!

The client comes over and hears stuff that they didn't hear when tracking and mixing the record.
I had the voice of someone saying "Sorry", picked up in the recording of a performance.
Everyone missed it until they bought it round for mastering.

It is great to watch their faces!
Old 16th December 2010
  #26
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Switchcraft's Avatar
 

I find a lot of younger mix engineers (im not old though) tend to think that 4-6K is the hi freq area so there is a lot of build up there and i falls off after 10K. Not much air and a bit of build in the 4K area. That is a harsh place to be building.
Old 16th December 2010
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mardi Gras View Post
any of you guys ever been handed a song where it seemed totally fine and all you really had to do was push it for volume with a limiter? To clients still get charged the full amount then? :P
Why has this happened to mastering? Mardi Gras tried to imagine an extreme ultra-minimalist mastering scenario...and he still brought level boost into it. It's like, even if you don't do anything else you have to level boost. It's just not mastering without that!

But to answer the question: Yes. Mastering can be nothing more than giving an intense deep listen to the material and proclaiming that it cannot be improved upon (plus the mechanics of actually making the master for replication). And it can come in both "level boost only" and "non-level boost" varieties. And since hours of intense listening is still hours of a workday burnt up, you do have to pay for it.

If I'm not mistaken, NIN "The Downward Spiral" was such an album.
Old 16th December 2010
  #28
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 

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20 Hz to 20kHz pick one or many. Any and all of these frequencies can be "problematic" It just depends on what you are doing.

FWIW and MTCW
Old 16th December 2010
  #29
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Probably the frequency that I receive heavily limited mixes....
Old 16th December 2010
  #30
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