high-cut everything at 8-13khz...?

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golemus
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high-cut everything at 8-13khz...?

Post by golemus » Sun May 18, 2014 2:53 am

Hey what do you think? I have lately started to high-cut almost everything else than hihats (even crash cymbals, uplifters and downlifters) from somewhere between 8-13khz (usually 10-11) with EQ8 lowpass filter. I feel just that there is almost always something up there that feels like like knife cutting my ear.

I am not sure yet though if it is a good thing or not. It certainly makes the hihats more audible though.

What is your opinion? Try it and tell.

murgatroid
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Re: high-cut everything at 8-13khz...?

Post by murgatroid » Sun May 18, 2014 3:25 am

oh well

NoSonic822
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Re: high-cut everything at 8-13khz...?

Post by NoSonic822 » Tue May 20, 2014 4:41 am

A B it to something

turnitto11
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Re: high-cut everything at 8-13khz...?

Post by turnitto11 » Tue May 20, 2014 6:28 am

There's a lot of implied clarity in the last octave of the human hearing (10kHz+). It's beyond pitch recognition, but there's a lot of upper harmonic sparkle and shimmer that you're really going to be missing if you remove it. Removing them is going to dull everything out and probably make you end up with a pretty muddy track. If you're having a brightness problem, I would first grab a shelf EQ. When people master tracks, they frequently end up BOOSTING those extremely high frequencies to improve clarity and add "air".
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doghouse
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Re: high-cut everything at 8-13khz...?

Post by doghouse » Tue May 20, 2014 12:29 pm

Agreed, the top octave is where "air" and "sparkle" lie. Also hiss when using analog sources :?

BUT

You might be surprised how few speakers and headphones actually get to 20K (or beyond) in the first place. FM radio broadcasts are bandlimited at 15kHz to leave room for the stereo subcarrier (19kHz).

Try this experiment: highpass each track in your mix, sweep the frequency up beyond 8kHz and listen to what's actually up there 8)

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Re: high-cut everything at 8-13khz...?

Post by re:dream » Tue May 20, 2014 12:45 pm

I have of late gotten interesting results by being a bit selective about using this range. So I cut the hi hats at 16 K but other instruments (e.g. a nice resonant synth) don't get cut. It's a bit like reverb or distortion: if overused, it becomes less effective, but it can make an element 'stand out' very nicely.

footsy
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Re: high-cut everything at 8-13khz...?

Post by footsy » Wed May 21, 2014 6:33 am

I sometimes will cut 18th sometimes to cut out mud but that depends on the track.

A lot of times I'll color those frequencies to get more brightness especially with pianos
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Ronin1973
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Re: high-cut everything at 8-13khz...?

Post by Ronin1973 » Wed May 21, 2014 3:07 pm

Before you start cutting the high-frequencies in your mix you should check a few things.

1. Get your ears checked by a professional. This is the weakest link in the audio chain and the most overlooked. Many people have hearing damage from loud concerts, loud monitoring, or just loud recreational listening.

2. Poor D-A converters. Once you've developed a critical ear for listening. You'll begin to hear the effects of sloppy converters. You may not even so much as consciously recognize it. Cheap converters have relatively unstable clocks, which means your high frequencies get smeared. Years ago, in ProTools, syncing your 888 interfaces to a third party sync generator (Aardsync, BigBen, etc.) would do wonders to improve the sonic quality of the boxes... and they were considered high-end interfaces!

3. Poor speakers. Inferior speakers will lead to bad mixing decisions or even make your high frequencies shrilly. Someone already mentioned this, but load some professionally mixed material into your system and listen to it (completely flat).

4. Listening fatigue. If you monitor for too loud and/or for too long, your ears fatigue. When your ears are subjected to loud volumes you will temporarily attenuate the higher frequencies you're able to detect.

5. Music styles/mixing techniques. If you're adding distortion to your tracks, you're generating additional harmonics. This could be the culprit as well. So you may be warranted in cutting high frequencies if you're generating too many of them. Again, A-B your mix against another track and see if things tighten up for you.

Hope that's helpful. I'm not really answering your question, but brain-storming possibilities. Remember, you could have MULTIPLE factors summing together to create the perfect storm. Hi-hats are generally short in duration and if they are the only thing sitting in the top of your mix and you're having any of the problems above, it's going to sound better to cut high-frequencies, but you may be producing a dull mix. High-frequencies give definition and clarity to a mix when done right.

golemus
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Re: high-cut everything at 8-13khz...?

Post by golemus » Wed May 21, 2014 3:42 pm

Ronin1973 wrote: 1. Get your ears checked by a professional. This is the weakest link in the audio chain and the most overlooked. Many people have hearing damage from loud concerts, loud monitoring, or just loud recreational listening.
I thought about this. I actually made a hearing test in the internet:

http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/hearing.html


But if you had hearing damage it would be more likely that you mix upper end too loud? So instead of cutting from there you would boost from there, no...?

2. Poor D-A converters. Once you've developed a critical ear for listening. You'll begin to hear the effects of sloppy converters. You may not even so much as consciously recognize it. Cheap converters have relatively unstable clocks, which means your high
My audio goes from NI Komplete audio 6 to M-Audio Firefire 1814 and then Dynaudio BM-6A monitors. Although there are higher quality DACs I think these are good enough for me :)

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Re: high-cut everything at 8-13khz...?

Post by memes_33 » Wed May 21, 2014 3:46 pm

do what you think sounds good to you. don't second guess yourself. unless you know your monitoring situation is sub-par. if that's the case, do something about it (acoustical treatment)
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JoshG567
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Re: high-cut everything at 8-13khz...?

Post by JoshG567 » Wed May 21, 2014 4:59 pm

Beware that if you typically apply EQ to music in the program you LISTEN to it with (not Ableton), your concept of what a mix should sound like includes that EQ curve. I boost lows and highs and cut mids with the winamp EQ and realized if I mixed my tracks in Ableton shooting for the same balance that my ears like, and then exported that audio and played it in winamp with that EQ on top of my mix I would end up with lows and highs that had been boosted too much and mids that were cut too much. I used an EQ8 on the Master channel to mimic the EQ curve from winamp while I track and mix, and I turn that off whenever I render to give me a balance that doesn't sound awful when I put it through winamp.

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