Harmonics

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by niros, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. niros

    niros Guest

    I read somewhere that if you want to make an instrument or sound stand out in a mix. You should try to boost the harmonics of the fundamental frequency not the fundamental frequency itself. if this is true and you know the fundamental frequency your EQ'ing how do you find out the frequencies of the harmonics you need to boost. I know the first answwer Use your ears, But is there a process a engineer uses or is taught.

    thanks
    Niros
     
  2. splurge

    splurge Guest

    The harmonics of the fundemental are exact multiples of the fundemental. eg: 40Hz fudemental =80Hz 1st harmonic, 120Hz 2nd harmonic, 160Hz 3rd harmonic etc.......

    You just keep adding the fundemental to the result.

    Hope this helps

    Liam
     
  3. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Is this in regards to mastering? The harmonic thing that is.
     
  4. niros

    niros Guest

    No not specifically. But I thought a ME would have a better understanding of the question. I was not sure where to post it, So I posted the question here, hope this is not a problem. If there is anything you can add to the harmonics topic with respect to mastering I would greately appreciate it.

    niros
     
  5. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    The unique sound of something is the relation of the harmonics to the fundimental. The difference between a sign wave and a square wave is the harmonics that are generated. If you radically alter the harmonics of a sound, you can change it's characteristic. It all depends on how it was recorded as to whether altering the harmonics will make it sound better or not. Tweek and listen.
     
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey guys, this is good info to know, but it's a little bit different than what you suggest here Liam. Here's my post from a subject similar to this from a while ago

    ******************************
    Overtone 1: 1 octave above fundamental
    2: 1 5th above overtone 1
    3: 1 4th above overtone 2
    4: 1 major 3rd above overtone 3
    5: 1 minor 3rd above overtone 4
    6: 1 slightly low minor 3rd above overtone 5 (This is a dangerous tone - it's not a real pitch according to Herr Bach.)
    7: 1 slightly high major second above overtone 6 (bringing the overtones "back in tune")
    8: 1 major second above overtone 7
    9: 1 major second above overtone 8
    10: 1 slightly low major second above overtone 9 (also a dangerous overtone as it is not a "real" note either)
    and so on.... decreasing in interval as you go up.
    ****************************

    That comes from this post here:
    (Dead Link Removed)

    Hope this helps.

    J.
     
  7. niros

    niros Guest

    Thanks I understand the way Erik explained it in the other thread. I'll have to some brushing up on my music theory to get a better understanding how you explain it.

    With that arises a new question!!

    So now that I understand how to find the harmonic of the fundamental frequency I can improve an instruments sound and imageing if I know it's fundamental frequency. Correct?

    What if the instrument is a tom or a kick drum, is there a tool or a way to find the fundamental frequency so you can fatten it up, for instance you can boost or cut the kick drums harmonics to do this. Correct?

    Niros
     
  8. dpd

    dpd Active Member

    so - how are you going to EQ just the harmonics of an instrument? That's simply impossible
     
  9. Javier

    Javier Guest

    Michael Fossenkemper wrote"The unique sound of something is the relation of the harmonics to the fundimental. The difference between a sign wave and a square wave is the harmonics that are generated. If you radically alter the harmonics of a sound, you can change it's characteristic. It all depends on how it was recorded as to whether altering the harmonics will make it sound better or not. Tweek and listen.[/quote]

    I agree totally on this and I may add that for me, the best balance is defined by; "Enough fundamental in order to know what note, enough harmonics in order to know what instrument".
    All wind instruments have a fundamental frequency which is the one generate by air vibrating inside a pipe of a given lenght. All of them generate different notes by adding lenght to that pipe (brass instruments) or substracting lenght (woodwinds), thus generating a different lenght instrument and therefore changing the fundamental. The case i know best is the trumpet (been a trumpet player myself). It generates a Bb2 (116.5 hertz)at the lowest tone in open position (we call it first pedal, no valves pushed) and by adding valve combinations (up to three valves down, maximum pipe lenght) it goes down to E2 (82.4 hertz). These notes are of seldom musical use however, these are the fundamental notes of the trumpet from the physical point of view. But, if you record a, lets say Bb 4 (466 hertz) and then remove all the above partials or harmonics you will end up with an almost pure sine wave at 466 hertz although this note is the 3rd harmonic of the fundamental Bb2. So for me, in audio, I take as "fundamental range" the actual "note range" of the instrument, be it string or wind. In the case of the Bb trumpet would be from E3 (lowest usable note at 164 hz) to E6 (1318 hz) typical. Anything above that is regarded as harmonics or "ID information" so I balance between note and harmonics. Best regards to all. Javier
     
  10. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    Personally, I know exactely what this is all about, I studied this harmonics stuff a while ago but sincerely, I never applied this approach or even think about that while mastering.

    Even if I know Herr Bach's theory (which I find very interesting), I still cannot imagine myself tweeking the eq to dip the 6th harmonics of a fundamental Eb from an Tenor sax :?

    Even if I do it :shock: , will the Master sound better ?

    Now, if I open that Belgium beer that is looking at me since I am writing this, will it taste better ?....You bet ! :cool:

    Richard
     

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