Question for the big boys.....

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by OTRjkl, Mar 29, 2002.

  1. OTRjkl

    OTRjkl Guest

    .....or anyone else in the know:

    Back in my younger days (I won't say how long ago that was... :eek: ), I used to work out alot at what was then Presidents Health Club. One of the trainer guys was telling me that their term for bulky, well-defined triceps was "muscle-cuts".

    I have adopted this term in describing the lower end of the audio spectrum. In looking at numerous FFT graphs of great sounding, punchy tunes, I have noticed that the low-mid (I mean, mud) region (~130Hz-400Hz) is well "cut". It looks as if it were intenionally and deliberatly carved out to look/sound a particular way. In other words, the shape of the graph in that region has very defined slopes.

    The term "muscle cuts" applies here as these freqs. along with the bottom end really do provide the muscle (punch/drive) of the song. If the bottom end is flabby, the whole song sounds flabby.

    OK - Understanding that this spectral region can make or break a tune.... do you big boys do it? ("cut" the bottom end)...EQ?, M/B compression?, What? Is it a secret?

    We little guys would really appreciate some hints from you heavyweights! Thanks.
  2. brad

    brad Guest

  3. OTRjkl

    OTRjkl Guest

    OK - I'll sound dumb.....
    .....what do you mean by M/S EQ? How does that work? Is that specific to certain types of gear? (Help!)

    Shapes? as in Bell, Shelf, Resonant, etc.?
    Tones? :eek: )

    Thanks again!
  4. brad

    brad Guest

  5. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Brad, thank you for sharing the information in the proceeding posts. Your answers are very complete and shed a clear light on the intricacies of mastering, though just a tiny bit, but a lot of information just the same. Volumes can be written in the areas of just the subjects you mentioned alone.
    Truly thankful,
  6. Dave McNair

    Dave McNair Active Member

    Mar 6, 2001
    Jeff, I'd add one more thing to answer your question. I am primarily a recording/mixing engineer, however I've been doing quite a bit of mastering in recent years. That region you speak of is the hardest thing to get right when you are mixing. Part of why it's hard, is that recording studios rarely have a monitoring environment that will really tell you what is going on there. And consequently in mastering, you had better have your room/speaker system up to a high level of accuracy and resolution to allow you to hear that high bass/low mid area and make eq choices there. The funny thing, is when you get that area right, it sounds good on any system. My .02 worth.
  7. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Distinguished Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    Nashville TN
    Home Page:
    In my experience you get far better results from remixing than from any extensive processing such as MS eq or multiband compression in mastering.

    Yes, there are times we need to really "step on" a mix in the mastering room because of time constraints but the real power lies in tracking and mixing rather than trying to use an equilizer as a bass drum, a guitar or a vocal fader.
  8. brad

    brad Guest

  9. mknappe

    mknappe Guest

    Could you list some of the specific EQ's that do M/S manipulation?


  10. mknappe

    mknappe Guest

    Found an answer, Weiss for example has digital filters with integrated M/S processing.


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