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The 3kHz-10kHz range

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Birdinator99
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The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 13th, 2012 @ 06:29 PM Reply

My track that I'm working on seems to be missing some of this -- that is, after viewing a spectrum analyzer on the master bus (during a busy part of the song), it's the frequency range that is noticeably quieter.

It's important to note that most effects, including EQ and compression, have already been applied. This is a pre-master, of course, so I guess that has a role as well.

I've compared my spectrum graph to other songs', and they all have much more of this range than I do (they sound "airier"). Any tips on getting it up to par? I don't think that adding more instruments at this point would be a good idea, but I'm curious as to the solution.

Is this sort of alteration mostly done in mastering? Could multiband EQ help me out here?

Here's a pic:

The 3kHz-10kHz range


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LiquidOoze
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 13th, 2012 @ 06:32 PM Reply

You could try to put an equalizer on the master bus and increase the treble.


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Birdinator99
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 13th, 2012 @ 06:41 PM Reply

At 8/13/12 06:32 PM, LiquidOoze wrote: You could try to put an equalizer on the master bus and increase the treble

I usually do this at the mastering stage, but if I try it now, I need to boost quite excessively to get that section of the graph to more or less level out (like 10dB). I'm guessing it'll be a similar case while mastering.


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Buoy
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 13th, 2012 @ 06:45 PM Reply

Deeper frequencies (and extremely high ones) need to have a larger amplitude than higher frequencies to be perceived as equally loud. So most songs will look like that. The only way to know that you need to boost a highs or lows is if you can HEAR it, a spectrum analyzer isn't very useful at all for figuring out how your song should sound (it's more useful for things like if you for example have some awful howling resonant tone that you want to cut).

If you feel that the high mid range is lacking when you actually listen to the track, you can usually get better and more natural sounding results by amplifying individual instruments with pleasing content in that frequency range (cut other frequencies as needed), than if you EQ boost the entire mix.


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Buoy
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 13th, 2012 @ 06:52 PM Reply

At 8/13/12 06:41 PM, Birdinator99 wrote: I need to boost quite excessively to get that section of the graph to more or less level out (like 10dB).

okay I might have to emphasize here

DON'T aim for a level graph, it will NOT make your mix sound balanced, don't trust a spectrum analyzer over your ears. If you want something that looks flat on a spectrum analyzer, try white noise. Pleasant isn't it?


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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 13th, 2012 @ 07:02 PM Reply

At 8/13/12 06:52 PM, Buoy wrote: DON'T aim for a level graph, it will NOT make your mix sound balanced, don't trust a spectrum analyzer over your ears. If you want something that looks flat on a spectrum analyzer, try white noise. Pleasant isn't it?

Holy shit, just add a ton of whitenoise to your song, Birdinator, and you're good to go!

Birdinator99
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 13th, 2012 @ 07:07 PM Reply

At 8/13/12 06:45 PM, Buoy wrote: If you feel that the high mid range is lacking when you actually listen to the track, you can usually get better and more natural sounding results by amplifying individual instruments with pleasing content in that frequency range (cut other frequencies as needed), than if you EQ boost the entire mix.

I feel like I cut unwanted frequencies well enough, although looking at it now, many (narrow) cuts are in that range, and I'm a little hesitant to boost more than I do (most boosts around 1-2 dB). Maybe I should look at boosting certain instruments a bit more to make up for my other cuts.


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Birdinator99
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 13th, 2012 @ 07:51 PM Reply

At 8/13/12 07:02 PM, SineRider wrote:
At 8/13/12 06:52 PM, Buoy wrote: DON'T aim for a level graph, it will NOT make your mix sound balanced, don't trust a spectrum analyzer over your ears. If you want something that looks flat on a spectrum analyzer, try white noise. Pleasant isn't it?
Holy shit, just add a ton of whitenoise to your song, Birdinator, and you're good to go!

Fuck that, I'll just upload 3 minutes of NOTHING BUT white noise, and call it "Experimental Dreamscape", then let the money flow into my pockets.

Seriously, though, the more commercial songs I look at, the more of them look like this, which is what I want to attain:

The 3kHz-10kHz range


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DavidOrr
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 14th, 2012 @ 01:38 AM Reply

At 8/13/12 06:29 PM, Birdinator99 wrote: My track that I'm working on seems to be missing some of this -- that is, after viewing a spectrum analyzer on the master bus (during a busy part of the song), it's the frequency range that is noticeably quieter.

It's important to note that most effects, including EQ and compression, have already been applied. This is a pre-master, of course, so I guess that has a role as well.

I've compared my spectrum graph to other songs', and they all have much more of this range than I do (they sound "airier"). Any tips on getting it up to par? I don't think that adding more instruments at this point would be a good idea, but I'm curious as to the solution.

Is this sort of alteration mostly done in mastering? Could multiband EQ help me out here?

Here's a pic:

Mixing a track has always been a weak point of mine, and it's something I've been working a lot on in the past year, (lots of reading, listening, experimenting, etc.). A couple of things to note:

-- Multiband Compressors tend to do more harm than good at the mixing stage, but are sometimes used in the mastering stage to fix issues that could have been avoided earlier in the mixing process. I wouldn't aim to use a multiband compressor if you still have control of the mix.

-- What genre are you working with? This is really important! Take compression for example. Generally speaking, the philosophy with orchestral music is don't use much compression (if any). With rock, you probably end up compressing your drums to some extent (especially the kick and snare). With dance music, you'll almost definitely add some compression to your kick, to add more "punch" to the beat.

-- In general, when you're EQing, you want to "boost wide, cut narrow". If you're going to boost the 3-10 khz range, make sure it's a gradual, smooth boost so you don't neglect any frequencies. Also, you usually don't want to boost more than a few DB if possible -- any more than that and you should go back and look at the levels of your instruments and see if they're not balanced volume-wise.

Would it be at all possible to upload the draft of the track in question? If we could get a listen (Even to an excerpt), it would be easier to pinpoint the problem and suggest ideas. Spectrum analyzers are awesome, but it's only a snapshot.


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boney-man
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 14th, 2012 @ 02:10 AM Reply

Since when was music something people looked at?


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midimachine
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 14th, 2012 @ 03:50 AM Reply

At 8/14/12 02:10 AM, boney-man wrote: Since when was music something people looked at?

this. a million times this.
birdinator, did you feel like your song was bright enough before you looked at that graph?


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Birdinator99
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 14th, 2012 @ 03:20 PM Reply

At 8/14/12 01:38 AM, DavidOrr wrote: -- Multiband Compressors tend to do more harm than good at the mixing stage, but are sometimes used in the mastering stage to fix issues that could have been avoided earlier in the mixing process. I wouldn't aim to use a multiband compressor if you still have control of the mix.

Alright, that makes sense.

-- What genre are you working with? This is really important!

It's a folk song, so it's new territory for me. Some compression on acoustic guitars and auxiliary percussion.

-- In general, when you're EQing, you want to "boost wide, cut narrow".
Also, you usually don't want to boost more than a few DB if possible

I am familiar with this philosophy, and I practice it. One boost is about 4dB, and the rest are 2-3dB I believe.

Would it be at all possible to upload the draft of the track in question? If we could get a listen (Even to an excerpt), it would be easier to pinpoint the problem and suggest ideas. Spectrum analyzers are awesome, but it's only a snapshot.

Good idea, but Newgrounds Dump won't let me upload .wav files. I never have to use file sharing sites, so could you point me in the right direction?

At 8/14/12 03:50 AM, midimachine wrote:
At 8/14/12 02:10 AM, boney-man wrote: Since when was music something people looked at?
this. a million times this.
birdinator, did you feel like your song was bright enough before you looked at that graph?

I was having doubts, and I was curious about a second opinion. I guess should take its "advice" with a grain of salt.

I appreciate the feedback, guys.


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Mrmilkcarton
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 14th, 2012 @ 03:42 PM Reply

At 8/14/12 02:10 AM, boney-man wrote: Since when was music something people looked at?

Like forever ago? Sheet music?

descara
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 14th, 2012 @ 03:56 PM Reply

At 8/14/12 03:20 PM, Birdinator99 wrote:
At 8/14/12 01:38 AM, DavidOrr wrote:
Good idea, but Newgrounds Dump won't let me upload .wav files. I never have to use file sharing sites, so could you point me in the right direction?

Just make a .zip out of it and you can upload it.

Know the feeling you're having, don't have any to offer though, except what's been said already!

Birdinator99
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 14th, 2012 @ 04:31 PM Reply

At 8/14/12 03:56 PM, descara wrote: Just make a .zip out of it and you can upload it.

Know the feeling you're having, don't have any to offer though, except what's been said already!

Thanks mate.

I've got a .zip uploaded. Mr. Orr, do you want the link PMed to you or should I just share it here?


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DavidOrr
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 14th, 2012 @ 08:48 PM Reply

At 8/14/12 04:31 PM, Birdinator99 wrote:
At 8/14/12 03:56 PM, descara wrote: Just make a .zip out of it and you can upload it.

Know the feeling you're having, don't have any to offer though, except what's been said already!
Thanks mate.

I've got a .zip uploaded. Mr. Orr, do you want the link PMed to you or should I just share it here?

Up to you! I'm happy to take a listen either way -- PM might be smarter if you're super concerned about leaks, but you'll also miss out on other opinions.


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Birdinator99
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 14th, 2012 @ 10:50 PM Reply

At 8/14/12 08:48 PM, DavidOrr wrote: Up to you! I'm happy to take a listen either way -- PM might be smarter if you're super concerned about leaks, but you'll also miss out on other opinions.

Well, I'd better play it safe, I guess. I'll send you the link.

Many thanks to the others that shared their thoughts as well!


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boney-man
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 15th, 2012 @ 10:17 PM Reply

At 8/14/12 03:42 PM, Mrmilkcarton wrote:
At 8/14/12 02:10 AM, boney-man wrote: Since when was music something people looked at?
Like forever ago? Sheet music?

Oh you, you know what I mean. That's just a representation of music, not the music itself.


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jarrydn
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 16th, 2012 @ 11:10 AM Reply

i like to look at music sometimes

The 3kHz-10kHz range

seel
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 17th, 2012 @ 10:39 AM Reply

How about actually posting a clip so people can give some tips? You should aim to do as little as possible in the mastering stage, ie go back to the mix to fix your frequency balance. But of course most preferably, go back to the source to fix it, depending on what instruments you're working with of course. If you're just using a sample library it would be hard to adjust mic choice and position obviously.

Birdinator99
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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 19th, 2012 @ 12:58 AM Reply

At 8/17/12 10:39 AM, seel wrote: How about actually posting a clip so people can give some tips?

It's already been taken care of via PM, and I have confidence in my mix again, but thank you for the words anyway.


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Response to The 3kHz-10kHz range Aug. 19th, 2012 @ 07:37 AM Reply

Bass destroys the other parts of the frequency spectrum, especially on the master bus.


no, really...DON'T CLICK THE PIC

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