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Frequencies and the science of such

Discussion in 'Recording' started by jmoraragweed, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. jmoraragweed

    jmoraragweed Guest

    Hey all! I'm new here.

    I have a few obscenely newbie questions. I've been recording at home for a few years now, but it's all been trial-and-error, with varying degrees of results.

    pre-1) Does the site have an FAQ? Or can anyone recommend a few good FAQ URLs? I come from the world of linux/oss, so that's kind of how I'm used to learning on my own. ;-)

    1) What is the study of frequencies and such called? Music has Music Theory, but when I read a post that has something like,

    "boost your mid freq eq 6 to 8 dB with a narrow bandwidth "Q". Then move the frequency selector up and down the band until you find that one frequency that really sounds bad. Apply cut at that frequency. You can do this in the low/ mid bass, mid and low/ high regions but be careful not to over do it. Cutting 3 frequencies is about the most you can get away with without doing serious damage to the sound."

    I'm not sure where to begin. Is there a book that explains any of the above in a real-world way? What is the study of such things called?

    2) I'm currently using Samplitude, simply because a) I have a PC b) I have little or no disposable income and c) it was immensely easy to learn. Is there another PC-based software recorder that more professional studios use? Cubase seems to be pretty popular, it seems.

    It's one thing to simply record and mix by ear, sort of dumbing my way through the process. I'd like to be able to be able to mix things so that end-listeners think the recordings are decent, rather than just crap home recordings. I mean, they'll still be crap home recordings - I would just like to hide it a bit better.

    Thanks again for your help. I've read some other posts and everyone here seems pretty cool. I again apologize for the newbie questions.
  2. jmoraragweed

    jmoraragweed Guest

  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Let's see if I can make this in real world speak...I thought I made it relatively simple but I guess not. I said; "boost your mid freq eq 6 to 8 dB with a narrow bandwidth "Q".
    Boost = (turn up) mid freq. = (middle frequencies) 6 to 8 dB = 6 to 8 decibels / a measure of sound amplitude relates directly to the numbers on your mixer.
    Narrow bandwidth "Q" = bandwidth or "Q" for quality... is how wide or narrow a range the control affects. Wide "Q" would be a wide or broad cut or boost and a narrow "Q" would be a narrow cut or boost. I have never worked with Sampletude so I don't know what the EQ is like..In Cubase you can call up the eq section and there is a graphical representation of the audio spectrum. You can apply some cut to it and it will show the dip on the screen. If you turn the "Q" up or down the dip will become wider and narrower. I hope this helps, remember "there are no dumb questions." Please ask away at this until you understand it. That's what we're here for! .... Good Luck.... Fats

    It's my opinion, I'll play with it if I want to!
  4. jmoraragweed

    jmoraragweed Guest

    That all makes perfect sense. I've just been a bit perplexed by EQ forever. Now it's just a matter of finding a good book, I suppose.

    Blind mixing has always been hit-or-miss: either good or complete mud.
  5. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    The best all-around book I've seen for what you want is The Mixing Engineer's Handbook, by Bobby Owsinski - Amazon.com sells it if your local bookstore is as useless in this area as mine is...

    What version of Samplitude are you using? If it's fairly new, like 5.58 or later, here's a tip if you haven't already found it -

    Open a VIP (song project)

    hit the Enter key to maximise screen usage

    hit the M key to bring up the virtual mixer

    find the track you want to tweak

    RIGHT click on ANY of the EQ knobs

    a window pops up with sliders for Q, level, and freq for each EQ band (3 bands on older versions, 4 bands on newer)

    move one of the sliders for level UP so there's a change, note the graph line gets a "hump" in it

    If you are doing this during playback, you will HEAR what you do while you SEE the Freq response graph - if you're doing something you plan to do over and over, you can SAVE that preset for later call-up - call it "snare-eq1", or whatever makes sense.

    If you don't like what you've done, click cancel or tweak til you DO like it.

    Buy Bobby's book so you understand what you just did, and why you did/didn't like it.

    Don't get the Mastering Engineer's Handbook, or if you do, don't bother reading it til you're familiar with the Mix one. Walk first, then run... (Then get up, wipe mud from face, try jogging :=)

    All kidding aside, you'll really like the Bobby Owsinski Mix Engineer Handbook - Even if you're an old pro, there are things there you may have forgotten... Steve
  6. jmoraragweed

    jmoraragweed Guest

    Thanks for the book suggestion! That gives me some place to start.
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    noisey bumble said;
    Just use your ears. Reading is fine and all but the real feat is in learning to use your hearing.. Ear training is the whole ball of wax, so to speak. This only comes with time and expierence. Just mix, mix, mix, record and then mix some more. You will get there! .......... Fats

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