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Thread: Understanding EQ / Everthing in its own space

  1. #101
    Smooth L is offline Universal Soldier
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    I’m in somewhat of a rush, but a quick glance at your post suggest the following:
    You’re making some pretty deep cuts in some of your frequencies, especially your bass; you’re over-compressing, as not every track needs compression; and you’re over-saturating—you shouldn’t be adding a simulated tube effect to all of your individual tracks. I can only assume your end results sound muddy and dense. I hope I’ve helped you in some way. Check back and let us know how things are progressing.
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  2. #102
    EL_HOlandes is offline Senior Member
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    ok, I will come back. I just add tube-like effects cause the add a roffa sound to it and you increase volume as well. I know that in studios they use tube-transistors in their recording (bass, kick, pianos and ....) and the only way to achieve this through vst plugs. Otherwise it sounds tooo digital, you know? It sound too clean and too midi-like. I check out less comrpession.

  3. #103
    R2B
    R2B is offline Registered User
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    EL_HOlandes -I must admit you've been putting the bar quite high. The artists you mention were produced on top notch analogue gear (the top for their time that is). Although some of their productions are fairly old, that sweet analogue gloss is there and hard to emulate in a 100% digital world.

    When I feel I'm stuck in a situation like yours I tend to go back to a complete eq flat the next day with fresh ears. Then instead of blindly tweaking the freqs 'by the book' I listen carefully to the flat mix. I try to figure out where the offending bits are or what's still missing. As you mentioned 'lacking shine', I've noticed that it makes a big difference in many cases to just add a lil' cabassa sound on the hi-hat or double certain sounds that are lacking, with an octave up or with the harmoniser for instance. Sometimes it makes sense to completely replace certain sounds that just don't bite it however madly you DSP it...

    Likewise, when different sounds are clashing or make the mix muddy I first step through the soundbanks to look for alternatives before I start doing the fine-tuning on the eq. I see the sound controls on the raw sounds as an airbrush whereas eq is the fine paintbrush to even out details. (The compressor is more the ruler or the hammer

    Are you sure ALL your instruments need compression at this stage? Do they have that much dynamics that need to be evened out?

    Anyway, I suppose you're running your project on at least 24 bits (?) What exactly do you mean by 'not clean enough'? Is the mix distorted or does it have artefacts? I'm also wondering why you boost the kick by 4 db and cut the bass at the same freqs. Are you sure that's where they're overlapping or disturbing each other?

    Back to the Reggae heroes, keep in mind that mastering also adds some of the shine you're missing (yet).

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  4. #104
    Buddha is offline Registered User
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    "Are you sure ALL your instruments need compression at this stage? Do they have that much dynamics that need to be evened out?"

    Isn't compression used for more than evening out dynamics?

    I used compression on a sampled kick drum, and obviously in a one hit situation there's not that much variation in volume through the sound. I use it at the highest ratio, lowest threshold, and medium to high attack and release, to get a more solid punchy sounding kick.

    Just saying evening out dynamics isn't the only reason to use compression. I use it to make everything sound LOUD!

    I guess if you've got a nice Rhodes playing sustained chords with a natural decay, then compression at certain settings will stop the decay happening, and that could mess with the way the Rhodes is heard. But apart from situation like this where attack and decay is an important feature of a sound, I compress everything, like I said, to get it loud.

  5. #105
    R2B
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    Of course you can use compression for various things, also as an audible effect but EL_HOlandes issue was clarity and sparkle of the mix. Unless you can get your hands on a first class outboard compressor, VST plugin compressors will always ultimately degrade the sound. I'm not saying they're poor quality, I would just use them when really needed or when you're after a punchier but grittier sound.
    ** people will forget what you sound like but they'll never forget what you made them feel **

  6. #106
    Tim20 is offline Insane FP Patriot
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    El I am goingto assume you are likely using lot of sampled sounds?

    First off take it back to basics, i.e. lose the compressors. A lot of samples will already be compressed and EQ'd to make them suit what the orginator had in mind. It is really hard to tell as not every sample is necessarily done that way.

    A tube emulator, in my mind is a nasty tool. PSP Vintage warmer can make things sound ok, but used across every track might make it muddy.

    If you can get your hands on a ART Pro VLA compressor try it on a master without all of the above. It is probably the best thing I have used on the below 500 that is going to give a warm "real tube" color that is musical. Play with the settings and I think you might find what you are after.

    This whole thread was about carving out space for something, but using EQ is not required in every situation.

  7. #107
    Buddha is offline Registered User
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    I've been experimenting a lot with the basics lately, EQ and compression,trying everything, seeing what it does. I'm slowly comming to a conclusion. I want to do LESS EQing! The less the better. I use sampled sounds and synths, not live instruments excpet voice. And I find it's hard to make things sound any better than they already are in most cases. My first instinct now is to look for a new sound, and my second instinct is to rework the music so that parts arent fighting. Only after these two things have been tried will I go to EQ. I keep the increases very small. I also make the cuts narrow, otherwise you lose too much of the sound's character.

  8. #108
    DaLabRat is offline Registered User
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    Can someone please explain to me the definitions of some of the terms used when describing how to use e.q.? For instance, exactly what is 'Q'? What does it do and how does it work? I've read the definition in the glossary of this forum but it really doesn't explain what it is or how it works. The same goes for frequency cutting, boosting or shelving. How do you actually cut or boost the freq.? If someone could explain how to do so using either a parametric or grahic e.q. this would be helpful. I know there are other terms used when talking about e.q. that I'm not familiar with (maybe I should've written them all down first) but the definitions in this forum really don't help. If someone can explain this in laymans terms that would be even better.

    Thanks in advance.
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  9. #109
    Tim20 is offline Insane FP Patriot
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    I know I won't get all of the terms covered but let me try to explain some basics.

    The average human hearing bandwidth it 20Hz to 20,000 Hz or 20 Hz to 20KHz.

    In its basic form an EQ will have 3 knobs: Frequency, Gain, and Bandwidth or(Q)

    Frequency is the center frequency of what you are adjusting.

    Gain is the amount of boost (raising of the volume) or cut (lowering of the volume and this is displayed in decibels.

    Bandwidth (Q) is the width of the frequency which will be affected. If the frequency knob is set to 1000 Hz and a Q of 2 is selected then the total bandwidth affect is determined by dividing the frequency by the Q. So it would be 1000 divided by 2 = 500.

    At this setting the total frequency which could be affected by the Gain knob would be 500 to 1500 Hz. Change the Q to 3 and it would be 667 to 1333 Hz.

    Some outboard mixers will have a preset Q and you can only adjust the center frequency and the gain.

    Other terms you have heard are a lot of times interchangeable.

    Cut when talking about EQ type means that everything above or below that frequency is cut or just down right turned off.

    Cut when someone says to Boost/Cut a frequency means to raise/lower the gain.

    Lo Cut and High Pass are essentially the same. At the selected frequency everything below the setting is cut AND everything above it is allowed to "pass" through.

    A lot of times the jargon is confusing, however since it is being used in different contexts the meaning is different. Kind of like that sentence I just wrote: Confusing.

  10. #110
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    CubaseRox is offline Status: Producer Mode
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    I always refer this thread when anyone posts an EQ question.

    This should get a sticky!
    I dont read long posts....

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