Mastering with RTA and EQ....

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by JDriver, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. JDriver

    JDriver Guest

    Years ago when I was just learning about audio engineering, I used to work for a University audio department. I had the long grueling job of remastering old reel to reel tapes of music by the composer for the symphonic orchestra :? . I would feed the signal into a Goldline spectrum analyzer and find where the peaks and valleys in the frequency spectrum were. Then using a 1/3 octave EQ I would adjust the frequencies until the Goldline gave me a flat response (all 33 frequencies at 0db) This was a great mastering tool and I used it for all my band's demos which worked great. That was 15 years ago and since that time I found myself off in the world of performing music. Now I am returning to recording and adjusting to digital recording technology. My question is this...

    Does anyone know of a software that has a spectrum analyzer and a 1/3 octave EQ built into it? Is there any such thing and if so what is it? I know this does not replace a good mix, so please spare me the lecture about good mics, monitors and ears. I am currently working in pro-tools and keeping with a digital format I would love to find a way to master demos to a decent quality with-out building a seperate mastering studio. :shock:
     
  2. bblackwood

    bblackwood Active Member

    Mastering is not about making it look right - forget the meters and use your ears.
     
  3. pingu

    pingu Guest

    Har-bal :)
     
  4. JDriver

    JDriver Guest

    Thanks Brad, your a real help.
     
  5. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    I would not think this technique would work at all since if you look at any modern recording the frequencies' amplitude gradually decrease as the frequencies go higher so if you brought up the higher frequencies to match the lower frequencies the result would be an overly bright CD.

    I am with Brad don't use your eyes but your ears to master.
     
  6. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Har-bal will do that I think. Can't think of anything but white noise that should look flat though.
     
  7. JDriver

    JDriver Guest

    I should have added that in conjunction with using this method I would use my ears to decide if it was too bright or not. I also took a peak-hold curve for the entire song, not an on-the-fly reading. Also most curves on music drop off not only in the higher range but usually in the lower range as well. Mostly it helped in the mid frequencies to fill in some gaps in curve. Also this is something I was taught about 18 years ago so I'm sure there are some better methods out there today, which is why I am writing. Also in regards to using my ears, I do that when I'm mixing with over-all good results. I am just looking to sweeten up the curve and get good volume without sqashing the crap out of it. Har-Bal sounds like it does just that. Maybe a multi-band compressor is a better way to go as far as the digital software is concerned? Thoughts anyone? I am looking for a way to cost-effectivley master demos in my home studio.
     
  8. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Har-Bal? Multi-band compression? Spectrum analyzers? 1/3rd octave graphic EQ?

    I thought this was about mastering? :lol:

    Sorry - I'm firmly in Brad's camp on this one. You use your ears. Not every good sounding recording has the same visual spectrum. Allowing some "visual aid" to make critical sonic decisions for you?!? Not a chance.

    Now, if HairBall or maul-the-band compressors or a graphic EQ will actually give you the sound you want, I suppose I can't particularly argue with that. If that's what works for you, go for it.

    But do do anything to make something "look" right just seems... I dunno...
     
  9. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Get Voxengo's Curve EQ. It is a linear phase EQ that allows you to draw in the EQ curve you want and you can view the input or the output freq response on the FFT spectrum analyzer. Or get Voxengo's Soniformer. If 32 bands of compression can't get your audio as flat as you want it, then there is a problem. But I must say this....:

    YOUR METHODS FOR MASTERING YOUR HOME RECORDINGS ARE NOT GOOD. YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME TRYING TO GIVE YOUR RECORDINGS A FLAT RESPONSE ACROSS THE SPECTRUM. DO NOT BLOW OFF WHAT THESE DUDES ABOVE ME ARE TRYING TO TELL YOU.
     

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