I got some really good EQing and mixing advice today

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evon
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Re: I got some really good EQing and mixing advice today

Post by evon » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:39 pm

oblique strategies wrote:It pays to know the overtone structure of any given sound before cutting (or boosting for that matter). And, as always, use your ears.
This is a very interesting observation and one that I have often thought about. But how would this be applied within a mix. How would you know a square, different from a saw and so on when you are listening to the sound of a Bass Guitar, Horn etc.?
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perplex
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Re: I got some really good EQing and mixing advice today

Post by perplex » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:56 pm

evon wrote:
oblique strategies wrote:It pays to know the overtone structure of any given sound before cutting (or boosting for that matter). And, as always, use your ears.
This is a very interesting observation and one that I have often thought about. But how would this be applied within a mix. How would you know a square, different from a saw and so on when you are listening to the sound of a Bass Guitar, Horn etc.?
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ikeaboy
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Re: I got some really good EQing and mixing advice today

Post by ikeaboy » Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:31 pm

oblique strategies wrote:It pays to know the overtone structure of any given sound before cutting (or boosting for that matter). And, as always, use your ears.
But isn't that a complex verbal description of a very simple act of discrimination you do by ear?

evon
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Re: I got some really good EQing and mixing advice today

Post by evon » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:02 pm

As far as I understand one note from an instrument is a very complex mix of waveforms. So I cannot see how you would be able to isolate and treat that sound as a whole to know where its harmonics lie. For a single waveform that would be easy.

In fact I don't think most people understand the depth of the statement of knowing which "overtones" to play around with. We just look at a spectrum and cut, but do we really know where the real harmonics lie.

In other words do we really know what we are doing? or are we only reacting wildly to what we are seeing?
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oblique strategies
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Re: I got some really good EQing and mixing advice today

Post by oblique strategies » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:04 am

I guess I would counter by saying that it is more about hearing than seeing.

There are sources for learning about the fundamental & harmonic overtones of common instruments available online & in books. By using these, & spending time listening & experimenting, some positive results may be achieved.

ze2be
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Re: I got some really good EQing and mixing advice today

Post by ze2be » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:37 am

Has anyone heard about an eq with bands pre-set on notes, and looped over octaves? Would be much quicker to mix this way. Maybe a fun mission for some Max wizzard? I could create it with racks, if they had 12 macros.

evon
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Re: I got some really good EQing and mixing advice today

Post by evon » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:38 pm

ze2be wrote:Has anyone heard about an eq with bands pre-set on notes, and looped over octaves? Would be much quicker to mix this way. Maybe a fun mission for some Max wizzard? I could create it with racks, if they had 12 macros.
Explain some more you may be on to something....but dont shout the Abes might be listening :)
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ze2be
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Re: I got some really good EQing and mixing advice today

Post by ze2be » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:11 pm

evon wrote:Explain some more you may be on to something....but don't shout the Abes might be listening :)
Every octave up is a doubling in Hertz. In the western 12 note scale, that means A4 is 440Hz, A3 is 220Hz, and so on. In a rack, simply map a macro to gain all the A note frequencies. Though we need 12 macros for a full western scale EQ..

If the sound source has resonating peaks at certain frequencies, it would be much quicker to get them down this way. Just look at a visual analyzer, and you see what I mean.

ze2be
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Re: I got some really good EQing and mixing advice today

Post by ze2be » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:32 pm

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chapelier fou
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Re: I got some really good EQing and mixing advice today

Post by chapelier fou » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:34 pm

Interesting thread !

A friend of mine did a remix a a radiohead's song, for a kind of contest.
Anyway, what he told me was :
"listening to the stems one by one, they sounded like shit. Like just filling a small range of frequencies. But put them together, and wow !"
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evon
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Re: I got some really good EQing and mixing advice today

Post by evon » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:56 pm

Yes ze2be I see what you mean. But this would be good for certain situations but I dont think I would want to EQ like that. I love to do the carving intricately and manually.
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ze2be
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Re: I got some really good EQing and mixing advice today

Post by ze2be » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:44 pm

evon wrote:Yes ze2be I see what you mean. But this would be good for certain situations but I dont think I would want to EQ like that. I love to do the carving intricately and manually.
If you love to go slow, Im fine with that. :wink: Of course, its not this or that. In some cases there's no reason to use it, like noisy drones, etc. But most content we mix are harmonic western-scale resonating frequencies. For now, this is just theory. But lets have a closer look, and see.

If you use an equalizer like Pro Q, you can easily pin point where the sound source resonates, by holding the mouse over the peaks. Peaks at A? Just pull down the gain for all A notes. Need a boost at C? Simply gain the C macro. Of course, I would use an eq after this one for HP, LP, and for cutting frequencies that overlap in the mix.

Hmm.. I might do a proper test of this later on. So far, here from the couch I can see that a simple A3 sine wave from Operator has a lot more notes in it then only A. (Using Spectrum) But the frequency peaks are at the A's, with the highest peak at A3. When I pull down all the A's with this Rack, the audible sound almost disappear. But there's still lots of frequencies there. If now we would do the opposite, and isolate only the A's, the mix should be a lot cleaner. As long as it does not kill the sound source, that is..

From here on I have to continue in the studio.

evon
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Re: I got some really good EQing and mixing advice today

Post by evon » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:00 pm

I can see where you are going and it opens up all kinds of ideas.
Of course you can even set the macros to operate at off sets or design your own proportions with which to cut the desired frequencies. You could even do it mathematically based on principles relating to harmonics of the various instruments.

I tend to think that this is in the realm of mastering. I have never really done any formal training on the topic(mastering), however I have stopped creating for a while and start to focus on visualizing in a greater light the medium of sound, and even how it relates to the two dimensional realm with which we use to work on it.

Like I have never before really related the sound wave and the frequencies to the speaker and the speaker-cones. Even the x and y axes we use to map frequencies on a graph. I am now starting to look at it in three dimension.

Whew..gotta stop.
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abluesky
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Re: I got some really good EQing and mixing advice today

Post by abluesky » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:06 am

Z3NO wrote:Ok, I'm already preparing myself for a battering here, but...

Although this is not technically incorrect advice, it is a rather simplistic technique and sign of a beginner's approach. It is very difficult to achieve professional results relying primarily on the foundations of EQ.
It is very common for a number of instruments to occupy the same frequency band (a good drum and percussion group can easily occupy the entire spectrum in itself) and cutting a whole chunk out of an instrument's freq. to accommodate another isn't always an effective solution. Of course much of the the work lies in the composition and arrangement process, but the science behind a 'good mix' is far deeper than that.

Extreme panning can also often be a baddie... more on that later...

(Please don't hurt me)
+1. I use this surgical technique only when there is extreme clashing. I carve out space for frequencies during sound design and composition.

innerstatejt
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Re: I got some really good EQing and mixing advice today

Post by innerstatejt » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:02 am

I think this is a brilliant way of taking a daunting task and making it manageable. A couple of things that I might do would be to close the group tracks but not bounce them. This way you can do more detailed tweaking, panning etc if you feel the need. Also not a bad idea to mix groups and the full track in mono as a way to check for phase issues & simplify mixing. Once the song sounds good in mono, it's almost guaranteed to sound great in stereo.
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