Discussion in 'Recording' started by jakep, Oct 8, 2005.
When you hear the term sweep the frequencies what exactly is does that meen?
With a parametric EQ, you can increase/decrease the volume and width of the band and sweep the band from low to high. Sounds a little like a wah-wah pedal.
Im still not quite understanding the purpose of sweeping compared to just adjusting the freg where needed. When you say the width of the band could that that be for example:60hz-1khz or 60hz-250hz?
Sweeping is a method to locate frequencies that are either a problem or a fundamental of the track. Bandwidth is a measure of the db's per octave of cut or boost. A tight bandwidth is a notch filter, a wide bandwidth includes a wider range of frequencies besides the center frequency you've chosen. By selecting a tight bandwidth, using a large amount of gain and sweeping the frequency knob, you can quickly identify where the most energy is on the track, as it will jump out at you when you sweep past it. What you do with it from there is a matter of whether you're looking to cut out some crap or fill in some detail.
sweeping IS adjusting the frequency where needed. its just easier to say 'sweep' than 'adjust the frequency where needed'
Put simply, "sweeping" is a way of saying "finding".
I have an old British console called a Neve ( from the mid-1970s, the best sounding consoles in the world to this day) (I've been dooin' this for over 35 years) and it's equalizer settings are what we call fixed frequencies and you cannot sweep them. The high frequency control is only a fixed "shelf" and it has much fewer frequency selections but they sound great on everything!
George Massenburg is the "father" (not really) of the "parametric" type equalizer, like you discribed. He likes to adjust his equalizer to specific frequency points, by ear, and then adjust the width or "Q" (how wide an area) where the centers of the frequencies selection are and and how wide their "bell" or "notch" is, then adjust the amount of boost or, cut, but you gotta' know what you're doin' and what your listen' to (that's what ear training is all about). As a novice I would suggest staying away from that type of equalizer until you get a few more years under your belt, as you can make things sound really horible with those. Go with a graphic or also what we consider to be a "program equalizer", like the kind you find in most consoles, with less adjustability and you will be much safer.
Hey thanks alot guys I am defintaly clear on sweaping and that there is no set way of doing this except for looking for that sweet spot and trusting your ears. Oh yeah trial and error. I have been reading this great book called mixing engineer and I have learned a ton from it along with this forum. Thanks again
What are your preferences between Eq's do you digital or analog?
I use both old analog equalizer's and current digital equalizer's, some within my software, some plug-ins. They both have their place.
My old analog units are made by API and Neve, (2 of the most famous in recording). The API units use what we call capacitor, resistor networks. The Neve use what we call iductor, capacitor network. When using the APIs, with some extreme settings, the type of distortion components that it produces do not generally include the artifact we refer to as "ringing", which can make things sound like you are crashing on a cymbal and thus the term. This is not always bad, for example: when recording electric guitars with a shure SM57, I have fun turning the Neve equalizer mid-band control, to an extreme boost (frequency selection to taste). If you heard it, you would recognize the sound immediately! Heard on many major hit recordings. It's cool! The APIs generally sound a little cleaner, truer and of course have been heard for many years on all of the other hit recordings.
This is when being an old engineer, like myself, comes into play. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the units specifications, just its sound through experience and experimentation. That is to say, that you do not need to own either of these 2 manufacturers units. There are many other manufacturers making some fine sounding aftermarket equalizer's. Many use operational amplifiers or, "Op-Amps", integrated circuit chips, in a circuit referred to as a " gyrator", to imitate or mimic the sound of some of these great older equalizer's. Conversely, many of the software designers are writing algorithms that also try to mimic the characteristics of some of these classic equalizer's. You just have to try some on and see how they fit your music. Let your ears be your guide. Some folks like our moderator and people like Tom Jung, use some very esoteric units for their purity of sound (especially for fine arts classical recording and jazz). Some of us like the grunge, depending on the application. Have fun making your decisions, it's not brain surgery.
Yeah I have been reading that book that I mentioned and alot of the engineers he interviewed in that book reference using the Neve. Thanks alot for your time.
I write "neve" on all my gear in black Sharpie. I get five extra sound quality points when I roll 2d20 for doing that. But then, I'm a 15th level Vibe Aficianto.
So can I get a cup of decaffeinated coffee for having 48 of those terrible old Neve thingies?
No, but you can get a brick thrown at your head if you mention it about one more ^#$%ing time.
Now, now...TheRealShotgun knows that sticks and stones and shotguns can break my VU meters but names can only indicate that he is jealous that he doesn't have old intermittent equipment instead of his cool new reliable stuff. I don't get it? I certainly can't relate to the new stuff because I don't got it. Such language you're using on a fine old lady like myself. I'm shocked! No I'm not, we are all audio degenerates!
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