Frequency chart.

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Aneil, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. Aneil

    Aneil Guest

    Is there anyone that can provide me with the correct frequency for Instruments. what to cut, what to gain what instrument to compress. I am getting alot of different frequency changes. I know that there is a standard for each instrument. Can someone please help me I work with numbers as well as my ear but I like to keep my ear relaxed to when it is time for the real "ear kill", i would be ready for it.

    Thanks in advance
    "knowledge is power"
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Distinguished Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    In your case, your knowledge is about as powerful as a watch battery.

    You can't just say..."Hey, if you are recording a flute, cut the 3k by 5 db for the best sound" or "YO, your recording a sitar? Well give it a little 2 db boost around the 2.5k and it'll sound dreamy".

    It doesn't work like that. Imagine that what I just said above was actually true. Now lets say I'm at a studio and I have to use this one specific microphone on a flute but the microphone has characteristic dip right around 3k. If I were to follow my "rule", then I'd be cutting that frequency too much and would ruin the theory.

    That simple example should illustrate the fact that it's all relative.

    Sure, certain instruments "occupy" certain frequency ranges, but there are no hard rules for boosting or cutting specific frequencies. Where as one engineer might always cut a frequency, another might always boost it. It's all a matter of what is needed to make it sound right.

    If you still don't believe me, I will put together a list of instruments and put down which frequencies you should enhance (either by cutting or boosting) for them. Then you must follow my rules without question, without input, without modification, without care about what anything sounds like....period.
  3. Shinyville

    Shinyville Guest

    This is a decent frequency chart for starters:

    I don't think you'll get far trying to compress "by the numbers" in general, though. Charts like that account for the range of each instrument--the range actually used in a given song or part may be MUCH smaller. Different instruments, micing techniques, etc, may also attenuate different frequencies than "normal" for the instrument. The best guide is still going to be your ears, and practice/experience.
  4. zemlin

    zemlin Distinguished Member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    I sometimes find this useful

    but my ears work better than any chart. Preview through a Parametric EQ - a high "Q" and hi gain (or a sharp cut) - drag the freq slider around until you find the freq you're looking for. The adjust the Q and gain to taste.
  5. jahtao

    jahtao Guest

    yeah i went thru that phase a while back... looking for 'how to do this' how to do that etc. i've never really worked out if it was counter productive for me... maybe i should have just been listening to good records and compraing my joints to them and working out my own ways to get to that sound. i do know that cutting the low mid flab* out a bass drum was a useful revelation at the time... and the difference between 6k and 12k on cymbals... so it is useful to know but you'd be surprised at just how little it helps in the grand scheme of things mate, sorry! also don't solo too much!!

    *200 - 400hz tight deep cut for those taking notes
  6. JoeH

    JoeH Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Is there anyone that can provide me with the correct frequency for Instruments. what to cut, what to gain what instrument to compress.

    NO NO NO NO NO......a thousand times NO. It just doesn't work this way. There's a master chart for all the instruments of the orchestra, but thats' only a start.

    Yes, every instrument has it's working range of fundamental tones, but that's about it as far as that goes. There's overtones, room resonance, chorusing effect (with additional instruments, as in an orchestra) microphone choices, preamps, the instrument itself, and about a thousand other variables. A snare drum produces complex tones, so does a piano. A piccolo or a trumpet, on the other hand can almost be sinewaves in actual use. Trying to change one or the other in a mix - without knowing the changes that affect everything else can cause more trouble than its worth.

    Ditto for compressing. That's something that's needed when other things go wrong, or for an effect or a sound. By itself, it's not nec. anything you MUST have to make a good recording, and there's no one set way of setting a compressor or limiter. Every situation is different.

    Please, don't take this approach right now while you're learning. You'll spend years undoing this after you learn the rest of the pieces of the puzzle.

    Knowledge may indeed be power, but only a little of it can be a dangerous thing.

    Try to look at the whole picture, not just frequencies.
  7. Brandon

    Brandon Guest

    Ouch! lol

    Remy? Is that you? lol
  8. wayne

    wayne Guest

    Looking at the frequency chart's instruments you'll see a huge amount of overlap.
    The unique sounds of boosts or cuts in the various octaves apply in most cases to all of them. In other words, focus on learning the frequency ranges, as too much '300 on a vocal is essentially the sound of '300 on another instrument or track.
  9. Brandon

    Brandon Guest

    check out page 43 of bob katz's book, art and science of mastering audio

    i think it might actually be just what you were looking for
  10. Aneil

    Aneil Guest

    Thanks guys/gals


    If I knew as much as you ??? maybe I would be a little nicer to those people who are still trying.

    Thanks for your advise eventhough. All I am looking for is a start, I already know the stuff that progr4m is trying to say. Every song is different but, there is always a range.
  11. Aneil

    Aneil Guest

    Thanks guys/gals

    Thank you very much. This is exactly what I am looking for. Now I can figure out how much air can go into each frequency to give a unique sound.

    Thanks again to all.

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