which frequency for what instrument???

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by nackattack, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. nackattack

    nackattack Guest

    OK I have heard that a good place to boost the voice is around the 5k frequency...any tips on good frequencies for backups. guitar and base? Any help or opinions are greatly appreciated!!!

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    Here ya go

    i was actually trying to find another chart but this layout is pretty good ,,


  3. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Guest

    What a bunch of crap!
    Sorry, but that's the truth IMO.

    You will learn it better by using your ears while doing the EQ points.
    If you can't hear it you can't do it right.

    Best Regards
  4. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    ok, well here's some more "crap" guidelines,,

    But as Ammi says, best to go with ears and not just what a setting is dialed in at,,


    1. Increase to add more fullness to lowest frequency instruments like foot, toms, and the bass.

    2. Reduce to decrease the "boom" of the bass and will increase overtones and the recognition of bass line in the mix. This is most often used on loud bass lines like rock.

    1. Increase to add a harder bass sound to lowest frequency instruments.

    2. Increase to add fullness to guitars, snare.

    3. Increase to add warmth to piano and horns.

    4. Reduce to remove boom on guitars & increase clarity.

    1. Increase to add fullness to vocals.

    2. Increase to add fullness to snare and guitar ( harder sound ).

    3. Reduce to decrease muddiness of vocals or mid-range instruments.

    4. Reduce to decrease gong sound of cymbals.

    1. Increase to add clarity to bass lines especially when speakers are at low volume.

    2. Reduce to decrease "cardboard" sound of lower drums (foot and toms).

    3. Reduce to decrease ambiance on cymbals.

    1. Increase for clarity and "punch" of bass.

    2. Reduce to remove "cheap" sound of guitars.

    1. Increase for "clarity" and "pluck" of bass.

    2. Reduce to remove dullness of guitars.

    1. Increase for more "pluck" of bass.

    2. Increase for more attack of electric / acoustic guitar.

    3. Increase for more attack on low piano parts.

    4. Increase for more clarity / hardness on voice.

    5. Reduce to increase breathy, soft sound on background vocals.

    6. Reduce to disguise out-of-tune vocals / guitars.

    1. Increase for vocal presence.

    2. Increase low frequency drum attack ( foot / toms).

    3. Increase for more "finger sound" on bass.

    4. Increase attack of piano, acoustic guitar and brightness on guitars (especially rock guitars).

    5. Reduce to make background parts more distant.

    6. Reduce to soften "thin" guitar.

    1. Increase to add attack on low frequency drums ( more metallic sound ).

    2. Increase to add attack to percussion instruments.

    3. Increase on dull singer.

    4. Increase for more "finger sound" on acoustic bass.

    5. Reduce to decrease "s" sound on singers.

    6. Increase to add sharpness to synthesizers, rock guitars, acoustic guitar and piano.

    1. Increase to brighten vocals.

    2. Increase for "light brightness" in acoustic guitar and piano.

    3. Increase for hardness on cymbals.

    4. Reduce to decrease "s" sound on singers.

    1. Increase to brighten vocals (breath sound).

    2. Increase to brighten cymbals, string instruments and flutes.

    3. Increase to make sampled synthesizer sound more real.
  5. nackattack

    nackattack Guest

    Thanks for the reply. I know that the for the most part you need to use you ears but it is also nice to have a refference point to start with. With everything in this business you need to use your ears but there are some simple "guidelines" that still hold true.

    Thanks again and happing recording!!! :cool:
  6. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Distinguished Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    All these guidlines would be great if everyone recording exactly the same way, but they don't. There is absolutly no general rule for any instrument. You have to use your ears and you have to learn by trial and error. Everyone does things differently to achieve the results they desire.
  7. Ed Littman

    Ed Littman Guest

    Maybe they based their chart on this historic Carnegie Hall Musical Instrument Frequency Range Chart on Bob Katz's site.
    scroll down

    (Dead Link Removed)
  8. Every instrument covers a much wider range than the fundamentals. You have subharmonics and upper harmonics that give the "flavor" of the instrument "its" unique sound.

    A kick drum can go from 20Hz to 20Khz.

    Ears game.
  9. splurge

    splurge Guest

    Grab a CD, play it through an EQ, boost different frequency ranges and see what jumps out. If you do this lots then you can make your own chart. :)


  10. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Guest

    He he Ed... :lol:
  11. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Guest

    Is this what you have done...? If so, what did you archieve by using this technique?
  12. splurge

    splurge Guest

    When I first started to learn about sound engineering this was suggested to me by a tutor. I found it more useful than looking at charts.


  13. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Distinguished Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    Yes, this is a good way to learn. It's called Freq sweeping. Basically it's more of an ear training than finding the freq range of instruments. After awhile you will not have to do this anymore, you'll just be able to hear it and grab the right knob.
  14. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    Montreal, Qc, CANADA
    Home Page:
    IMO I think everything could be useful for starters, what's wrong with it (chart)? Of course that does not implies everything about ranges, harmonics, subs ...there are also great litteratures that deals with these subjects. I doubt that there are a lot of people that they know about harmonics and harmonic intervals. Is it useful? I think it is. Is it mandatory ? I guess not. Is it crap ? Why would it be ? I think there are more subtleties than Black or White, right or wrong.

    If you are curious and interested about theory, go for it. We all know that you have to "listen" and trust / train your ears but it is not always all black or all white.

  15. rrybaker

    rrybaker Guest

    When I first started doing sound, EQ was the hardest part of the job. It is so easy to mess something up by adding a little boost here of there to get a good sound. What I ended up doing is masking something that was already good with the boost. So try the other approach, attenuate. Take out what is bad and give yourself more headroom. Makes perfect sense. I still had no idea what I was doing, I was just playing with things until it sounded better. With experiance and the use of charts and listening exercises (Golden Ears) I finally began to get a handle on what 250 Hz really sounds likes, or 3K or whatever frequency. The point is I finally had a knowledge of what it truly did, not only to that track, but to the entire mix. Mixing and recording is an art just like playing or writing the music. It takes practice, patience, and more of both. The more you do, the better you get. However, all these exercises were guidelines. I had to make the choice of what sounded best. The charts were great to get me familiar with the range of the instruments and how to arrange them in a mix, but it took doing several mixes until I learned how to really place them in there spot in the mix. The final answer is your ears, however, ears have to be trained just like fingers on a piano, or breath control on a wind instrument. Use whatever it takes to get that accomplished.

    Rory Baker
    Clearwater Studios
    Norman, OK
  16. axel

    axel Guest

    yepp, totally agree on the last post.

    my adwise, don't use charts at all, train your ears instead.
    a chart will most probably "program" something into your head which is way out of reality, every recording is different, and each instrument can be tuned different, etc.... etc....

    even after long experience, sometimes you still have to "sweep" trough a diffcult or very complex recording to find the right "spot"

    just train your ears, to do what sounds right!!
  17. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    Montreal, Qc, CANADA
    Home Page:
    Well, for me charts could be useful just like anything else. It is like saying "don't learn grammar, just learn to speak and read by the sound" :? . Could probably get good result without it but certainly, grammar (some theory) can't do damage !! Why everything has to be all Black or White without any nuances ??

  18. axel

    axel Guest

    well, than use charts. :cool:
  19. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Guest

    What do you mean, my Piano is Black and White!?

    I think a good balance between the two is essential.
  20. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    Montreal, Qc, CANADA
    Home Page:
    Yeah, it is like I need to raise the 125 hz but on my EQ I only have 120 and 130without trying to solve it with techniques or a different EQ because I think it is not good. :?

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