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Author Topic: EQ Question (clean up "distant/open" and occassionally muddy)  (Read 4507 times)

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Online opsopcopolis

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Re: EQ Question (clean up "distant/open" and occassionally muddy)
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2015, 01:05:48 PM »
Well it sounds to me like it was recorded with limiting, meaning the limiter in the record deck was on (unless you have added compression in post already).  Not a bad setting to have on, but to avoid it you need to set your levels lower.  There is not an easy way to get rid of that limiter once it is written to the track.  Do you know anything about compression/limiting in general?
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Offline StarkRavingCalm

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Re: EQ Question (clean up "distant/open" and occassionally muddy)
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2015, 01:09:28 PM »
Definetly only using Bass Roll Off on the DR-2D
The CA pre-amp and mics were my first time using them.

I know some on the limiting and stuff but no practical experience

Online opsopcopolis

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Re: EQ Question (clean up "distant/open" and occassionally muddy)
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2015, 01:13:30 PM »
Hmm... I'm not entirely sure then.  I'm pretty same sure that I'm hearing limiting, but afaik the CA stuff doesn't have any sort of built in limiting
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Offline StarkRavingCalm

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Re: EQ Question (clean up "distant/open" and occassionally muddy)
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2015, 12:33:45 PM »
I did have to level out parts since i was messing with the levels from the preamp.
But that was a matter of highlighting a section in Audacity and changing Ampitude till it was in line with the rest of the wave file.

Offline dyneq

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Re: EQ Question (clean up "distant/open" and occassionally muddy)
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2020, 04:15:23 PM »
Bump!

I've recently gone back and played around with EQ on some of my HRTF omni masters (SS DSM-6 and Radio Shlock 33-3028), so small omnis - nothing fancy). What a revelation it is to give them a little high frequency boost! To my ears, it's a night/day difference for the better.  I'm not an EQ expert, but I did attempt to use Gutbucket's excellent W shape EQ description and I'm intrigued. I think the main advantage is that I can more clearly hear the cymbals, but there is also an overall 'presence' (to steal that term from this thread) that brings the recording to life.

I know that tastes vary, but does anyone else have an EQ workflow/tools/curves similar to Gutbucket's that they can share? I'm really interested in learning about how to do this well because, overall, I really prefer my omni recordings compared to my cardioid ones and would like to learn more about the process.

Offline goodcooker

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Re: EQ Question (clean up "distant/open" and occassionally muddy)
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2020, 02:06:08 PM »
Bump!

I've recently gone back and played around with EQ on some of my HRTF omni masters (SS DSM-6 and Radio Shlock 33-3028), so small omnis - nothing fancy). What a revelation it is to give them a little high frequency boost! To my ears, it's a night/day difference for the better.  I'm not an EQ expert, but I did attempt to use Gutbucket's excellent W shape EQ description and I'm intrigued. I think the main advantage is that I can more clearly hear the cymbals, but there is also an overall 'presence' (to steal that term from this thread) that brings the recording to life.

I know that tastes vary, but does anyone else have an EQ workflow/tools/curves similar to Gutbucket's that they can share? I'm really interested in learning about how to do this well because, overall, I really prefer my omni recordings compared to my cardioid ones and would like to learn more about the process.

There are many variables for this but for recordings that I make with open pattern mics (omnis or subcardioids) from any sort of distance (farther than on the stage or directly in front of it) I use a simple EQ plugin from API - the 550 stereo equalizer.

I typically add some midrange 3dB in the 1.5-3 kHz range and up to 5dB in the "presence" range around 8kHz.

Often I will cut the very low frequency by up to 6dB below 80Hz.

All this is dependent on the source material and is subject to walking away from it for an hour and doing it again.
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Offline nulldogmas

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Re: EQ Question (clean up "distant/open" and occassionally muddy)
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2020, 02:16:01 PM »

I know that tastes vary, but does anyone else have an EQ workflow/tools/curves similar to Gutbucket's that they can share? I'm really interested in learning about how to do this well because, overall, I really prefer my omni recordings compared to my cardioid ones and would like to learn more about the process.

My "workflow" is to open a 10-band EQ filter, grab the rightmost slider, close my eyes, then slide it up and down until it sounds the best. Then proceed with each slider in turn, and finally smooth out the curve a bit when I'm all done.

Sometimes I'll fine-tune with a graphic EQ, but usually my ears can get me at least 90% of the way there.

Offline dyneq

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Re: EQ Question (clean up "distant/open" and occassionally muddy)
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2020, 07:43:38 AM »
Thanks. I am not a post-processing guy, and prefer to leave my recordings alone, so I appreciate having somewhere to start. I will try both of these methods and listen on my reference system.

Offline noahbickart

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Re: EQ Question (clean up "distant/open" and occassionally muddy)
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2020, 09:52:09 AM »
Lots of good advice here. I’ll only add that it’s really important to listen on a number of monitoring systems. Transducers are the weak link in audio and vary significantly in terms of frequency response.

What can sound great on one set of bass heavy headphones can sound lean on flat speakers, etc.

For my own “tapes” I don’t do eq. Not because it sounds better untouched, but because I can do better by tailoring the eq curve to the speakers and room *during* playback.

For example, I'm sitting here at "work," listening to Dave's Picks #32 (3/24/73) in Audirvana, using Grace m903> Hifiman HE-400 headphones. I've got 4 AU plugins going, a compressor, a "tube" saturater, an EQ, and a brick wall limiter. I had it all nice a groovy. But then my head got tired, as the Hifiman cans are a little heavy. So I switched to the AKG k701s. I had to change the eq curve significantly to get me back into the zone.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 11:05:39 AM by noahbickart »
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Offline rumbleseat

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Re: EQ Question (clean up "distant/open" and occassionally muddy)
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2020, 03:42:33 PM »
Personally, I don't fully trust my ears, my headphones, or any particular set of speakers.  I tend to rely more on a visual spectrum to manage EQ.  I pulled one from your audio file (attached)
This isn't too bad.  The cymbals might be a bit harsh at 10 kHz and you might want a bit of a bass bump at 80 Hz.
But... I agree that you've got a problem with this recording.  Need a fresh battery in the CA-9200 preamp?  Running it too hot? (I run mine at about half-way up with CA-11s into a line-in on an iriver H340)
Give it another go!

(PS - The spectrum is from Voxengo's free plugin SPAN.  Routing is "Dual Mono" with the right channel as the red underlay.  You can also try "Low Frequency Inspection" to get a more clear picture of the low end.)
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: EQ Question (clean up "distant/open" and occassionally muddy)
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2020, 05:13:48 PM »
Looking at energy distribution across the spectrum is good as a double check combined with listening.  But make sure to combine it with careful listening.  It is dangerous to rely on the visual curve alone.  Many times things which are quite easily audibly apparent will not be visually obvious, and sometimes what appears visually odd may sound just fine.
^
I just wrote that with frequency balance questions in mind, since that is the subject of the thread, and then went on to download the sample file posted back in 2015 to give a listen.. only to find there is a far more fundamental problem than one of frequency balance.  The sample features severe overload clipping EQ cannot correct, which actually serves to reinforce the statement made above even more strongly.  The SPAN frequency analysis image does not identify the presence of audibly obvious clipping distortion at all.

So, best to use visual display tools as a cross-check to listening and vice-versa.

With regards to the problem with the posted sample-
I don't hear any AGC or limiting working, and the OP states neither was used.  I suspect that either the CA-9100 had a dying battery which was starving the preamp circuit during the kick drum hits, or the level setting used for the DR-2d's Line input was set lower than 95 (below which the recorder will "brickwall" clip with a hot input without the meter display indicating any overload problem).  Both are forms of analog distortion which occur prior to digitization.  I would not suggest use of the 120Hz High-Pass filter on the DR2d, which as applied here serves only to skew the frequency balance toward ovelry bass-light and "anemic" sounding, after the distortion has already been incurred.  The HPF is positioned too late in the signal chain to mitigate the distortion.

Avoiding the problem-
Use a fresh or freshly charged battery in the preamp. Turn off AGC and HPF on the DR2d.  Run the CA-9100 into the DR2d Line Input with the line input gain set to 100 (no lower than 95, which is set prior to recording via the DUAL button on the face of the recorder, not by using the Mic-input gain toggle-switch on the side of the recorder), then adjust gain on the preamp as necessary to get good levels on the DR2d meters.

That should produce a recording free of self-imposed distortion which can be EQ adjusted to taste afterwards as discussed in the thread.
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