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frequencies between 300 - 900 Hz?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by wallyjoe, Nov 20, 2002.

  1. wallyjoe

    wallyjoe Guest

    Most EQ guides and tips I've found on the web are great, but they seem to gloss over this range of frequencies.

    Do you agree "the music is in the midrange?" (Bob Clearmountain)

    Do you guys cut or boost them often? If so what do you find yourself doing, and to what instruments?
  2. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    True. Fortunantly, I have dynamically accurate speakers in said region (rise time is very close at this spectrum as frequency balance at my seat) and it is utmost important.

    Look at it this way from 20/20K.

    20/40 1 octave
    40/80 1 octave
    80/160 1 octave
    160/320 1 octave
    320/640 1 octave
    640/1280 1 octave
    1280/2560 1 octave
    2560/5120 1 octave
    5120/10240 1 octave
    10240/20480 1 octave

    So it this 10 Octave range, clost to 1/3 of the entire range lies close to this region and is the entire body of the fundamentals for many sounds..of course without harmonics, you would know the difference from a clarinet and a flute.
  3. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    just north of NYC
    Home Page:

    Usually in mastering I find myself cutting at the low end of that spectrum (to reduce muddiness) & occasionally gently boosting near the top of that range (to bring out vocal or kybd or guitar). And yes, The music IS in the midrange. If that's wrong, everything else is likely to be skewed.

  4. antonio

    antonio Guest

    300-900 Hz I always find myself cutting from most instruments like guitars, keyboards and/or brass.

    IMO this area is best left alone for lead vocals to dominate. If this area is too cluttered up, the vocal will not cut through enough.

    The 300-900 area always gets cluttered up because an arrangement usually contains more than just 1 guitar. The average arrangement might contain a piano, 2 guitars, synth sound, strings and maybe even some brass. Such an arrangement might be considered overkill but necessary to fulfill an artist's needs.

    Pile all those tracks onto eachother and you have too many instruments competing for the same space in the 300-900 because there's too many fundamental tones clashing down there. Panning things apart might help but you still get a frequency build-up at the master around 300-900.

    My method is to carve out 300 on maybe the piano, 400 on the 1st guitar, 500 on the 2nd guitar, 600 on the strings, 700 on the brass and maybe some more 800 or 900 on the less important instruments out of the whole lot. Generally using medium Q-widths to do the carving. This way, the lead vocal (most important) doesn't get a reduction in that range and sounds warm.

    The cutting of the fundamental range of 300-900 is not best left for mastering IMO. Clutter and masking is unavoidable by this stage and surely a reduction with a wide band between 300 and 900 htz might make the mix less muddy but it won't solve the problem of everything fighting with everything in that range. It is best done in the mix and not all at the exact same frequency. That is why I might cut at different frequencies for different instruments. It creates distinction because at the same time as cutting the lower mids at 300-900, it boosts the harmonics of the instruments and makes more aparent exactly what instrument it is.

    The same goes for boosting. If an instrument needs more fundamental tone, I will boost it, but not at the same place I have boosted another instrument.

    I find out where the vocal has most energy between 300-1k and if it ends up being 500hz, I will take 500hz away from the competing instrument.
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Marin huh? I used to live on Johnson St. up on the hill in Sausalito.... Beautiful. I was sitting on the steps on Bridgeway across the street from the park (this was in the late 60's, early 70's...it's all a blur now) playing my guitar....this was a cool thing to do back then,.... I was singing "Wooden Ships" and I looked up and crossing the street smiling at me was David Crosby. Whut a trippp!

    Oh well, freqs, Here's what I do... Turn down your monitors, and solo a track. Boost the mids about 6 dB and sweep the frequency selector up and down slowly.. you will come upon a freq that is really nasty.. cut it. That will help. Also I will sometimes cut a little in the 200 - 225 region, this is where the murph-murph and competition with the bass instruments happens. I will boost bass guitar in the 180-225 area if it doesn't make it sound murph-ie. This helps the bass stand out in a mix without being overbearing and cut through on the Boratones...(cheap speakers).

    Antonio posted:
    The solution to this quandary is to alter the arraignment... I don't get why two guitar players always want to play the same exact chords! There are several different places on a guitar to play a given chord and it helps if everyone isn't stacking up, as Antonio pointed out. Get them to try different inversions...it sounds bigger and better. Harmonic chords can be nice too but sometimes that is just over the top. But different inversions, like a piano... sometimes 10 notes.. a long chord. .......... Fats

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

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    Also, implied notes are sometimes just as real as real ones, without all the mud - RE: those two note "chords" in the rhythm track for Spooky - you'd swear there were 4 or 5 notes there... Steve
  7. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Distinguished Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    OT here...sorry!

    Oh fine Steve...bring up "Spooky" on me!!! This song has been my nemesis for years! I love the song (especially the guitars on the Atlanta Rhythm Section version...awesome!), but have never been in a band that wanted to play it, or could pull it off. It seems like such an easy song, but in one band I was in, we got down fine in rehearsal, but when we played it live for the first time, it really sucked, and nobody wanted to play it again. Grrrr... It is such a cool song, and really can set a mood. I get bummed everytime I hear it, or someone mentions it! Thanks for bringing back the memory!!!

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