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EQ: How to cut offending freuqncies without changin the tone
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
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EQ: How to cut offending freuqncies without changin the tone

I was wondering what the best way to find offending frequencies with eq without changing the tone characteristics of the sound for example im trying to eq a piano and i dont want to change the tone charaterists i just want to make more headroom by removing some of those nasty frequencies.
Thanks in advance
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Just don`t cut too much. Make sure you only remove just enough of the offending frequency. Play around with the Q value to focus in on it. If it`s not there all the time, then use a dynamic EQ. I`ve seen some screen shots of guys removing "Offending Frequencies", but it looks like a comb filter on the EQ. That`s really too much. That usually happens when you cut too much. Then something else sounds off, so you cut that too much as well etc. Chasing the dragon basically. Completely destroying the tone. I`ve made this mistake myself.

Also try the feathering technique where you make small bumps on both sides (or one) of the cut.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendonintendo View Post
I was wondering what the best way to find offending frequencies with eq without changing the tone characteristics of the sound for example im trying to eq a piano and i dont want to change the tone charaterists i just want to make more headroom by removing some of those nasty frequencies.
Thanks in advance
Never solo an instrument you are editing. When adjusting the EQ for an instrument, you listen to it in the mix and cut and boost frequencies that you determine are not needed for that particular mix.

Your question has no right or wrong answers, as what you cut and boost, depends on all the other instruments in the mix.

So you just do what sounds best for that particular mix. The same piano track in 2 different songs can be EQ'ed differently. Once you understand that, you'll understand that there are not right or wrong things to cut and boost
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
I think the OP is asking specifically about removing ugly resonances from a recording in a mediocre room. Just use an EQ which offers a really tight Q. Make it as tight as possible, boost and sweep through until the offending part sticks out really nasty. Then cut as much as you can get away with. Often, resonances occur through the octaves, so also search at double and half the frequency. It can sound better if you cut less, but at all of these. A frequency analyser set to a longer average measuring time span (e.g. Voxengo Span, free) can be helpful finding resonances If it's not a room resonance, dynamic EQ may indeed be the better choice.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
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Owen L T's Avatar
Other than when using a hi-pass to remove low end energy from a kick that has significant, unneeded low end information, there are no headroom advantages to this kind of EQ - it's purely a tonal thing. (Yes, technically, any EQ cut reduces the dB by a certain amount, but it's negligible - and better to think of these types of EQ purely for tonality, rather than loudness/headroom.)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
While I basically agree with you, I have dealt with tracks where pulling out some nasty rings has definitely led to a much more even level which also led to better compression results afterwards, so all in all it definitely saved significant headroom. Not the primary goal, but a welcomed side effect.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen L T View Post
Other than when using a hi-pass to remove low end energy from a kick that has significant, unneeded low end information, there are no headroom advantages to this kind of EQ - it's purely a tonal thing. (Yes, technically, any EQ cut reduces the dB by a certain amount, but it's negligible - and better to think of these types of EQ purely for tonality, rather than loudness/headroom.)
Maybe OP doesn't mean that cutting unneeded frequencies, increases loudness/level of the instrument track itself, but, doing it in context of the mix like CJ Mastering mentioned, makes room for each instrument to shine in the mix and, together with the cumulative small db increase in each individual track, results in a louder?, more powerfull MIX.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSchlomo View Post
I have dealt with tracks where pulling out some nasty rings has definitely led to a much more even level which also led to better compression results
Cutting "nasty" resonances out of a track will deifinitely allow the instrument to be mixed in louder and with the other advantages you already mention, result in a more powerfull MIX.

There's a difference in UNNEEDED frequencies (which Owen LT is adressing), which may not always be audibly disturbing, but are crowding/fighting the mix, and UNWANTED frequencies that you're talking about, the latter being more audibly apparent.
Although identifying either one is done differently, they both need to be addressed accordingly.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendonintendo View Post
I was wondering what the best way to find offending frequencies with eq without changing the tone characteristics of the sound for example im trying to eq a piano and i dont want to change the tone charaterists i just want to make more headroom by removing some of those nasty frequencies.
Thanks in advance
Beside these two corrective uses of EQ (for the instrument itself versus within the whole mix), EQ-ing also has an "embellishment" function.
If you approach EQ just as a corrective tool, like the "chasing offending frequencies" trend dictates, you'll end up ruining your mixes.

The answer your question "what the best way to find offending frequencies with eq without changing the tone characteristics of the sound" is just LISTEN.
And listen to the whole mix (again as CJ Mastering suggested).
Do not set out to find "offending" frequencies (you'll end up with silence ); if you cannot hear that something's wrong OR GOOD by listening, there's no trick that will help.

Most of the time it's very easy, even for unexperienced ears, to indentify and locate the frequecies that we like and do not like.
It's only when people put on the hat of " mixing engineer" that they think that it's about turning knobs or that there's some absolute list of "offending frequencies", or something.
LISTENING is the primary skill of a mixing engineer.

Of course, you might not have the experience to know right away what frequency range is to be boosted or cut, but just as you'll definitely hear when you EQ sweep past a nice frequency, you will hear it when you sweep past the "nasty" ones.

So, you just listen and note the things that sound off or great to you and address them, it's as simple.
If you have trouble LOCATING the identified "nasty" frequency, you can boost the EQ and do a sweep, listening for the "nasty" frequency to jump out, then cut just enough for it not to disturb you anymore (WHILE LISTENING TO THE WHOLE MIX).

I hope this helps.

Success.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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Owen L T's Avatar
To clear up my earlier comment: you will freqiently/at least sometimes, hear mix engineers saying "I'm going to put a hi-pass filter at 30 hz on the kick drum, as I really don't need all that low end, which is also eating into my headroom". You will never (or, at least I have never) hear one saying "I'm going to notch out a few dB of that nasal 1k frequency on the piano ... which is really eating into my headroom". And that's because the unneeded low-end information in some kicks can have significant energy, whereas if you add up the small notches you might make to various instriments, they likely won't add up to as much as that unwanted kick low end by itself.

Also, and I'm just thinking out loud here, the massaging of unpleasant/resonant frequencies is ... because they're unpleasant/resonant/masking. Whereas when you"re hi-passing a kick at 30-40 Hz, it's not that you're going "I really don't like the way that 20hz sounds on that kick". Rather, it's that it IS eating up your headroom, but none of your listeners will ever hear it anyway. In fact, typically you'll set the hipass filter just at, or just before, the point where you can hear what it's doing - so tbe exercise is all about housekeeping, and freeing up room, rather than primarily about "how do I make this sound nicer". If that makes sense.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
I find Dynamic EQ is best for this sort of thing.
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