freqeuncy responce

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2009/09/16 15:10:15 (permalink)

freqeuncy responce

   I have finally been able to make some use of seeing the
visual freqeuncy responce curve on a final mix/master.
it turns out that its all about being "relative". I finally
acheived a good mix so i checked the freqeuncy responce.
  Im not saying this new mix is world class or anything it's
just that finaly i got a good one. I checked the difference
between 100hz and 10k. there is about a 36 db difference.
100 to 500hz is about a 15db difference.
   100 to 1k is also about a 15 db difference. I then
checked some comercial mixes that i concider good
and they were very similar. my conclusion is i doubt
a person can have much succes copying a given
responce in order to get a satisfying mix because
of so many facters.
   but seeing the relative levels of of lows/mids/highs
sure seems to go a long way in knowing whats going on.

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    Kim Lajoie
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    Re:freqeuncy responce 2009/09/16 18:34:35 (permalink)

    Personally, I think frequency analysers are not very useful.


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    Re:freqeuncy responce 2009/09/16 20:18:52 (permalink)
    I don't use them. If it sounds good...let it roll!

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    Re:freqeuncy responce 2009/09/16 20:27:29 (permalink)
    When my old amp died and I could no longer use my EQ with its built in FREQ AN, I missed it in a big way.

    I have finally gotten a plugin that gives me a track by track look at what's going on. Sometimes it really helps to know which specific freqs are causing the problems.


    (PS it is spelled response)

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    Jeff Evans
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    Re:freqeuncy responce 2009/09/16 20:43:14 (permalink)
    I think Spectrum analysers are an amazing tool. Sure you dont have to look at them while you are using your ears but they can be invaluable especially when looking at difficult sounding issues. They can explain a lot of what you are hearing also also identify very accurately various parts of the Spectrum.

    I am doing some interesting work looking at what a tom tom looks like when struck and analysing the various harmonic structures that pop up when you do. I am tuning these major harmonics into the key of the music and also the drums are becoming aligned to each other as well. The result is a killer drum sound. You would never be able to do work like this without a spectrum analyser.

    Also when setting up PA's in large rooms looking at pink noises responses can be very revealing. All these things are tools and in the hands of different people will produce very different results. An oscilloscope or accurate RMS AC voltmeter are also fantastic tools. For people who want to calibrate things and set up their systmes more precisely these tools are invaluable.

    You can sometimes be too much oh yeah if it sounds right its got to be right but sometimes precise measuring tools are the only way to go. I once had a difficult time mixing a band with getting the vocals and heavily distorted guitars to sit properly with each other. After fiddiling around for hours I just used an analyser to show me where most of the vocal energy actually was. After carving out a similar EQ on the guitar buss everything fell into place. There is a good example of using it. When your ears are tired it is harder to identify accurate parts of the frequency spectrum so the analyser can be your friend.

    Also Bob Katz talks about getting the top end rolling off correctly during the mastering phase. People have too much top end usually and final masters can be too bright. Checking your mix on a spectrum analyser will show you what the slope of your high frequency energy is and therfore you can keep it in check more easily.  When you get the top end right in a mix or master your ears are not being assulted any more up there and they open up and things actually get clearer!
    I have got a hardware unit (Behringer) sitting across my mix whenever I want to see it and it is always valuable.
    post edited by Jeff Evans - 2009/09/17 15:17:54

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    Re:freqeuncy responce 2009/09/18 17:47:27 (permalink)
    I've taken your (and Katz') advice on rolling off the top.

    Myself, I love graphs to aide/validate my hearing; I also study waveforms to make sure they appear dynamic and not too squashed. 

    When squashed its usually too bass-intensive.  The specto-graphs give me supporitive data.

    Btw, its a reasonable challenge to me to compare my graph slopes to commercial ones.

    And when Jimmy or someone says, too harsh, too boomy, its nice to be able to see it graphically while sweeping that area (even on the master, Jeff) ... to get it commercial approximations within a decibel or 2.

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    Re:freqeuncy responce 2009/09/18 19:02:57 (permalink)
    I am a big fan of visual feedback.

    I am, after all, an evolved tool-user. I don't check for a live electrical circuit by sticking my finger in the socket, I use a voltmeter.

    OK, bad example. How's this: I don't guess which transistor is blown by replacing them randomly until the amp starts working again, I use an oscilloscope. And I don't try to guess if that woofy resonance is at 60Hz or 70Hz, I just look at the spectral display.

    This being my admitted prejudice, that visual tools are effective, convenient and sometimes essential, I have to add the following caveats:

    - ears alone are the ultimate arbiter of quality
    - ears alone are sometimes quicker and often more accurate
    - our visual input can override aural input, making it potentially deceptive, IOW your eyes can make you hear incorrectly

    That last point is an important one. And here's an example:

    Almost all movie dialog comes out the center speaker at the theater in a 5.1 or 7.1 system. Yet, if the image on the screen shows two people talking at opposite sides of the frame, our minds construct an illusive reality that refuses to accept that both actors' voices are actually emanating from somewhere in between! We are unaware of the aural trickery because our eyes claim precedence.

    The same is true of a spectral display. If you are focused on what the curve looks like, and not allowing your ears to validate it, it's entirely possible to make bad EQ decisions and not know why the right setting is so damn elusive.

    Next time you're tweaking EQ, try this method: first find the band that your eyes tell you needs to be adjusted, and then close your eyes before actually making any adjustments. You will find that if you use your eyes for some initial guidance but then let your ears alone make the final choice, you'll do less trial-and-error bumbling about.

    All else is in doubt, so this is the truth I cling to. 

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    Re:freqeuncy responce 2009/09/19 10:58:57 (permalink)


        you've got so many great points. I cant really even
    respond to what you said other than to say your comments
    should be a "sticky".

       I feel I've learned much more in the last year than ever before.
    but I've spent way more hours in the studio than ever before.
    it gets even more involved than that too. it isn't only spending
    a lot of time doing things but also "what" we are doing/developing
    learning in the process.

       Its interesting how i can "now" "know whats happening"
    in a mix (in a being aware manner). It feels great to be at
    this level but the fact is i'm in many ways only just beginning to
    get a grasp on  the complexity of sound.

      Analyzers and the study and understanding of tools used
    to analyze frequency responses to me is an important subject
    to study and learn about.

      I think those "tests" or "curve readouts"  are not a "means
    to an end" however they tell us something and those things
    we need to know. I almost wonder if the better recording
    engineers know something about a lot of things as well.

      I remember learning some things that set the "record
    straight" so to speak.  one subject is "flat frequency response" 
    maybe that should be called "how well balanced the frequency
    spectrum is".

       its interesting that a readout tells us something. I would
    speculate that a "problem" frequency for example would
    have to be very "problematic" for an analyzer to pinpoint

      Thus the ear is still the all too important thing. but the
    tools sure are great to have to have and use for what we
    use them for.  

    Kim Lajoie
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    Re:freqeuncy responce 2009/09/20 18:44:15 (permalink)

    - ears alone are the ultimate arbiter of quality
    - ears alone are sometimes quicker and often more accurate
    - our visual input can override aural input, making it potentially deceptive, IOW your eyes can make you hear incorrectly

    That last point is an important one.

    True true!

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    Re:freqeuncy responce 2009/09/21 16:03:24 (permalink)
    "Response" may refer to:
    Response (liturgy), a line answering a versicle Response (music) or antiphon, a response to a psalm or other part of a religious service Output or response, the result of telecommunications input Response, a phase in emergency management

    just sayin'

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