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Author Topic: EQ Help,.. please and thanks. clueless is I  (Read 821 times)

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: EQ Help,.. please and thanks. clueless is I
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2017, 01:22:24 PM »
Parametric EQ's offer more control for the advanced user, and are really the only choice for the narrow forensic correction stuff, yet I'd suggest playing around with a graphic EQ first (the kind with little vertical sliders for a range of frequencies) which I think will be more productive for you for tonal shaping, at least at first.

That's because I feel you can train your ear and develop a better sense of what's going by pushing the sliders around and immediately hearing the resulting changes.  Make smooth, broad curves which emulate shelf filter type curves.  You can then go through the spectrum adjusting each slider to hear the difference even a  slight adjustment in only one small region of the curve makes, and how the overall steepness and smoothness of the curves you make affect the sound.

Parametric EQs can of course be set to make broad tonal changes (low Q filters) instead of narrow, targeted corrections (high Q filters), but fine-tuning the specific shape of the curve and hearing just that specific adjustment is not as direct.  The shape of the entire curve changes.  More later, gotta go..

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Offline chk

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Re: EQ Help,.. please and thanks. clueless is I
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2017, 04:04:03 PM »
Parametric Eq's are the best IMO. Obviously the world has uses for graphic and such, but when I did FOH and live PA sound, the discovery of parametric EQ's (Ashley, then Meyer Sound) was one of the best tools I ever found. This was in the big bad analog era (1980's) so now with the digital and software age these tools have become miniaturized and the software ones are more affordable compared to their hardware brothers ans sisters.

this Massenburg one looks nice, anyone know of others and/or relative costs of them? (i.e. I am interested in the Ozone software for my processing and am still not committed to any platform yet)

I like the Tokyo Dawn plug ins. Their EQs (Nova and slick) work well and are built around transparency, though do have the ability to add some warmth if you so choose.
http://www.tokyodawn.net/tokyo-dawn-labs/

Offline chk

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Re: EQ Help,.. please and thanks. clueless is I
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2017, 04:04:48 PM »
The TDR plugin standard versions are free

Offline Sloan Simpson

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Re: EQ Help,.. please and thanks. clueless is I
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2017, 04:15:17 PM »
I'm using FabFilter Pro-Q 2 for surgical EQ. It's not cheap but I like the interface quite a bit. I use FabFilter Pro-MB for tonal shaping and can't recommend it strongly enough.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: EQ Help,.. please and thanks. clueless is I
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2017, 04:22:21 PM »
Clarifying my previous statement a bit-

A simple parametric EQ can be used just like a bass, midrange, and treble tone control on an old receiver.  In that way it's easy to understand.  Just turn a knob for more or less bass or treble.  It's the adjustment provided by the other knobs and achieving more complex curve shapes which make using one more complicated. 

But somewhat more complex (yet not overly complex) curves are generally called for when doing tonal type mastering EQ, which is pretty much the main focus of the EQ work we are doing to our live music stereo recordings.  That's because in mastering were dealing with a complex acoustic mix of the sounds of all instruments combined with the ambience of the room.  In contrast, simpler curves can work fine for tonally EQing individual instrument channels intended for mixing, where that EQ adjustment is only affecting one instrument's sound.

So for really learning one's way around tonal EQ for mastering, I think is is easier to home-in on whatever specific shaped tonal corrections are appropriate for each individual recording using a graphic EQ, because it makes it easier to tweak smaller portions the of the larger broad curve in a straightforward way, without also affecting other areas that aren't of immediate interest, and immediately hear that change as you make it.

Start by making broad curves which target the general tonal quality you want- shelf-filter shapes which bring up or reduce the bass and/or treble, and/or broad (low Q) curves targeting the upper or lower midrange.  This part is actually slightly easier with a parametric EQ where you just turn a knob or two to make that kind of smooth, broad curve, whereas with a graphic EQ you need to move a number of sliders and position them next to one anther to approximate a smooth curve.  The next step is the key to why I suggest playing around with a graphic EQ first- Making small adjustments to refine the shape of the large curves while keeping a relatively smooth overall shape as much as possible. You can modify the shape of the curve slope slightly, make it slightly more or less peaky at the highest point, carve out a bit more or less from the "side of the hill", add or subtract a dB or two around specific frequency or whatever while getting audible feedback of just that change while you make it.  Playing around with slight adjustments to smooth out the curves in various ways is a key aspect to getting good tone shaping with a graphic EQ.  It is perhaps ironic that we are doing tonal-shaping EQ here, yet these seemingly small slider adjustments to individual portions of the broad curve will be easily audible.  (See the end note on this message which plays directly into this)

You can do something similar with a parametric EQ by first making the broad curve, then activating additional narrower range filters which further modify the shape of the first one.  That's how most professional mastering engineers would go about it.  But that's a more abstract way of working and does not really provide the same kind of direct finger-movement-to-ear-reaction targeted feedback loop for the changes your are making.  Without overlaying multiple parametric filters that way, the individual parametric curves are always symmetrical.  IMO, you have to already have a trained ear and know your way around the EQ to work productively that way, whereas you can sort of home in on things in a more iterative way using a graphic EQ and going up and down the curve making small adjustments.  That's why I feel its a better basis for leaning what to do, providing a more direct connection between the specific small change made and the audible change heard.

For very top quality, parametric software EQs have potential to sound better.  Sound guys are used to them- each channel strip EQ on a soundboard usually has high and low shelf filters and a parametric Mid filter, sometimes two of them.  But software certainly makes for far better sounding cheap or free graphic EQs than the cheap consumer analog graphic EQs of decades back, and I don't have much problem with the sound of most of them used wisely.  Key phrase being used wisely.  Keep your ears open.  If it starts to sound weird bad back off and try again.  The main thing is to learn how to use them to avoid outright pilot error.  It's easy to get lost in concentration listening to EQ adjustments until you loose the big picture and begin to overlook the forest for the trees.  Or to be that guy that EQs things to sound great on his (less than linear) playback system, such that it sounds terrible everywhere else.

Standard EQ advice- Alternate listening to the corrected and uncorrected version.  Compare against a similar recording you know sounds correct.  Ask Sarge if it sounds right to her when she sticks her head in, make a mental note to pack it up and try again later if she high-tails it out of the room. Take a break and listen later with fresh ears.  Sometimes its surprising how far off track we can get without realizing it.  Listen on other systems.  EQing for tone is highly dependent on the accuracy of your monitoring (or at least being very familiar with it's deficiencies, which is why comparison against a known good sounding reference recording of similar material played through the same system is a good idea) and the effects of listening fatigue.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 04:24:16 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: EQ Help,.. please and thanks. clueless is I
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2017, 05:20:27 PM »
More tips-

Find a general approximate broad curve shape for the entire frequency range first, then refine that more specific region by region.  Broad changes in distant portions of the spectrum will change the specifics elsewhere.  Revisit what you think you got just right.  It's probably not just right anymore if you've made changes elsewhere.

In general I think broadly of tonal EQ in terms of thee or four general frequency regions. To get the overall bass, mid and treble regions sounding correct, you may need to smoothly sculpt some stuff out between between those regions.

Lets see, in circumspect, I generally think of a bass region (~<200Hz), upper midrange (say 1kHz to ~6kHz), top end (~>10kHz), and upper bass/lower midrange (~200Hz to 600Hz).  I might have something of a broad curve through a few of those areas and work on appropriate transitions between them.  I might need to address more narrow categories within those regions, such as in the bass or upper midrange.

Sometimes the mid and top end has mic response resonances and addressing them begins to cross the line from tonal EQ toward more targeted forensic EQ.  If hunting to reduce an offending region, find it and pull it down (we can discuss how to find them), then boost a bit on either side of to restore the naturalness of the surrounding spectrum.  Play with that push-and-pull aspect of the surrounding frequency range to find a reasonable balance.  This works for both boosting and cutting.

Somewhat more 4060 specific, since you use them frequently, although I'm loath to specify anything too specifically-
Try a smooth curve which boosts the upper midrange helping clarity as that seems to improve the presence range of most omnis, drop it down somewhere around 12kHz to cut stridency, then boost the higher treble range to restore the air and brilliance otherwise lost to the depth of the ~12k cut.  Likewise at the bottom, for acoustic non-PA amplified material like you frequently record, some boost to the very bottom (even with the flat omnis) along with a slight scoop to the sometimes muddy 200 - 500Hz range can clean up and reinforces the low end.  That kind of gentle alternation of boosted and cut areas often works well.  When you find a trend like that you like identify it.  Then work on smoothing it out and reducing it until it still works audibly, yet is less intrusive.  This can be poo-poo'd as little more than making and advanced simile-shaped EQ curve (more of a lopsided 'W') but is something of a general trend. 

Be careful cutting that "sometimes muddy" upper bass/lower-mid range, it can be tempting to cut there to let the lower bass bloom and enhance clarity of the stuff above, but much of the power and energy of the music lives there, especially classical music.  The complication is that this is also where a lot of room acoustic issues lurk, which is why that region can sometime sound cluttered or muddy.  Listen carefully and don't just cut it by rote, which is basically what a Bose system does.

Oh, and don't get overly wedded to the visual feedback of the position of the sliders or the shape of a displayed EQ curve, ears don't see, ears are what mater, do whatever your ears say is good, as confirmed by other,  rested and trusted ears.

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Offline Moke

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Re: EQ Help,.. please and thanks. clueless is I
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2017, 05:43:55 PM »
Indebted.
Many thanks, Lee, and, all!

What I realized last night in toying around with about 30 seconds of highlighted track,.. is that I can use this to help bolster my Senn MKE2002 low-end.  They are a beautiful sounding acoustic recording mic, w/ slight exception to their bass roll-off characteristic.   But, if the bottom end can be boosted safely, without too much futzing around, I can see where this is a big help.

alright, more absorbing of an avalanche of information to go yet. Probably a ton of questions not yet thought.

Actually, one more immediate question:
At the furthest knob to the left in the original EQ image, at 165hz, am I seeing an HPF slope of 12dB per octave?
If not, what is the significance of that setting?

OK,.. for now,... readying for a classical guitar duet recital this evening.  yummy.
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Offline jefflester

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Re: EQ Help,.. please and thanks. clueless is I
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2017, 06:13:26 PM »
Actually, one more immediate question:
At the furthest knob to the left in the original EQ image, at 165hz, am I seeing an HPF slope of 12dB per octave?
If not, what is the significance of that setting?
It's turned off ("Out" button rather than "In"), so I don't think there is any significance to that setting. If it were in, it would be rolling off the bass, counteracting the 8.5 dB shelf at the lowest frequencies.
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Offline Moke

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Re: EQ Help,.. please and thanks. clueless is I
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2017, 06:36:28 PM »
thanks. That was forefront in my thinking, and confusing the heck out of me; but, this is all new at this point.
thanks again.
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