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Nasty Resinating Frequencies with Ambient Music
Old 21st December 2010
Gear Nut

Nasty Resinating Frequencies with Ambient Music

Hey guys, Merry Christmas.

Ok, I need some help figuring this out, driving me crazy.

I'm working in the box with Ableton Live. I've noticed that almost all my strings and pad sounds have a nasty resinating frequency, even when played on regular speakers. I even noticed it on most SoundCloud ambient tracks from other people as well.

I'm speaking of Synthesized sounds or samples.

It's not really noticeable by the average ear consciously. But it stands out like a sore thumb for me. It's almost like a ringy sound, best way I can explain it. A peaked frequency that is most common with digital recordings. Even with the highest quality samples, regardless of source.


If I download some of my favorite Ambient tracks on itunes, such as Steve Roach, Michael Stearns or Jeffrey Fayman. There are no annoying peaks. Their stuff is so creamy smooth like.

So my conclusion is this. Either it's fixed during mastering, or they run it through analog gear to reduce resinate freqs.

What is your thought? Am I alone??


BTW, the two artist's I named are only examples, it's unheard on many retail recordings.
Old 21st December 2010
Lives for gear
code green's Avatar
If I understand your question correctly: It has nothing (at least nothing directly) to do with digital v. analog--resonant frequencies are present in all sources (though astute micing of acoustic sources and room treatment can go a long way toward cutting down on them). They're something a mastering engineer might tackle, sure, if a piece got to him with problem frequencies...but they're more likely to be addressed on a track-by-track basis in mixing.

Last edited by code green; 21st December 2010 at 04:37 AM.. Reason: oh yeah, and...
Old 21st December 2010
Here for the gear
Jaypin's Avatar

Can you locate the frequency (or more) with an EQ or analyzer?

It's probably just something easy to find with ambient music because of the style itself - resonant, atmospheric (generally). Reverb and delays are often used in ambient so they can build certain freqs up too. Some people may even do it intentionally. I'm a little surprised that you find it so different for commercially released stuff.

On the other hand though, yes, if the resonances are annoying they probably shouldn't be kept there and so fixed in mastering or beforehand.
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