Skip to main content

HAR-BAL harmonic balancer eq

Member for

21 years 2 months
hey guys what do u think if this? is this any good? has anyone tried using this before?


Member for

16 years 2 months

RemyRAD Tue, 05/09/2006 - 17:09
Oh sure, I've been using Har-Bal for years! Unfortunately it does seem to make my kitty toss those things up more often?

Automatic equalizers are like automatic microphone mixers. They are there for people that do not know how to make good recordings. The basic reason why you are now here is to learn how to make good recordings and so you won't have any Har-Bal problems with your kitty.

Blechhhhhh Cak Cak wretch
oh no!

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Mon, 05/22/2006 - 12:36
"Automatic equalizers are like automatic microphone mixers. They are there for people that do not know how to make good recordings. The basic reason why you are now here is to learn how to make good recordings "

:shock: wow, what a narrowminded, presumptuous thing to say.... coming from the moderator no-less.

1. Maybe not all of "us" are here to uh, "learn". Maybe we're here to just read for fun.

2. I hardly call Craig Anderton,who actaully uses har-bal " a person who doesn't know how to make good recordings." Incase you don't know who he is, I suggest you do a google search on him, read what he has to say, you might pickup a few tips.

3. Anyone who's been around and who knows anything about recording in general also know that the acoustic path to the Speakers VS the electronic signal path in the gear are NOT one in the same.

4. Even " Major" label recordings AREN'T "perfect". They suffer from EQ deficiencies as well, maybe not to the extreme of "home recordings, but the do infact suffer.( just load one into a spectral prog and you'll see) What may translate well on a fine set of highend speakers may not translate so well on a cheapboom box. The whole goal here is to make things work for the "realworld" as best as possible. Even the best ears in the biz cannnot dot all the I's and cross all the "T's". there's ALWAYS some compromise going on. That's a stone cold fact in recording.

I've read some of your posts here... I guess it's nice to call out how you need a cut here a boost there, or how the uh..."bass sounds too boomy or the guitars ratty. But in reality, even the best ears are flawed. Why? Your human, that's why. SO even the great Bob Katz for example.... isn't perfect.

My point?
I think spectral progs such as harbal and the like are VERY GOOD because it puts eyes on the mix, you can see as well as hear. Of course you cant "steal a EQ curve and make a turd better. ( Or even apply another curve to a good mix for that matter.")
No two mixes are alike, or share same decisions made for that matter.

But you can atleast see where the mix is lacking, say in a Freq range your speakers might be lying to you at. ( even the best speakers money can buy lack too, you're fooling yourself if you think otherwise. See: acoustic path Vs signal path)

Who knows lady, maybe you have an ok ear, but you don't have a "perfect ear". IE: not are truthful as spectral analysis. These readings come straight from the electral signal path. they don't lie. Yes, you cannot "mix by numbers" but you sure get into the ballpark much quicker.

" there's no such thing as a bad recording, taste & ears vary"

Member for

16 years 11 months

Reggie Mon, 05/22/2006 - 13:53
What one person might call an "EQ deficiency," another person might call "the natural tone of the recorded instrument/voice" or "a sonic decision based on artistic whim." Or is Har-Bal the name of a wizard who judges and regulates the correctness of our opinions and tastes?
Must be a very smart wizard indeed....but is he to be fully trusted?

Member for

16 years 2 months

RemyRAD Mon, 05/22/2006 - 18:08
"wow, what a narrowminded, presumptuous thing to say.... coming from the moderator no-less."

Well thank you Mranalog for those kind and relatively pompous opinions. Perhaps this is just some fun bathroom toilet reading for your self?? But it's education for other people of less experience.

Many pieces of software these days have built-in spectral analyzers. With one looking at a spectrum analyzer one can " tweak" their equalizer's for a flatter looking spectrum. You don't need no stinking standalone program to do that. Your software may even contain multi-band dynamics processing which tries to do an automatic equalization thingy based on the level of spectral content in several frequencies bands.

I know all about Craig Anderton and have been following him throughout the years. We are contemporaries. Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn what he uses. He is not the be all end all expert. He is no more knowledgeable than I am and please, DON'T YOU FORGET THAT.

Of course the acoustic path and the electronic path may be different but they are related. You take out the acoustic equation when you use headphones but then all headphones sound different from each other as well. Your perceptions of the " Major" labels not being perfect? Well DUH! So basically what you are saying is everything should sound the way you think it should sound? Well you are wrong! The only thing that is deficient here is your perceptions. Why? Because you are an inhuman audio guy, a computer methinks?

This "Lady" has more than an OK ear, my hearing is as good as any spectral analysis program! I don't need no stinking ballpark to get me closer to a good mix then you must be capable of?

At least you and I agree on one fact that there's no such thing as a bad recording (even if there are plenty of them in all reality) just variables in what people perceive as being good.

Now it's time for you to go take out the trash.
Ms. Remy Analog David

Member for

17 years 5 months

JoeH Mon, 05/22/2006 - 21:04
There are so many things wrong with this concept - using software to magicially "FIX" or Master EQ on something subjective alone, I don't know where to begin. (And if YOU reading this dont' get it, I can't help you, either....)

Sure, it looks like a great tool to visually inspect a recording's EQ curve, make some adjustments on the fly, etc. But the end result will be "Different", not necessarily better or worse. It reminds me of guys who used to play with graphic equalizers back in the 70s with their 8track tapes, making everything sound "Better" afterwards. (if you say so, kiddo....)

If you're naive enough to think that dialing in the EQ curve of your favorite thrasher CD and convoluting it with your own record is going to let you make YOUR recording sound better, then I can't help you either. You're missing so many of the fundamental concepts of randomness in recording, coupled with the millions of variables that go into each unique recording of sound, it's almost laughable. Sorry kids, it just does NOT work that way.....

As PT Barnun said: there's one born every minute. I know Craig Anderton, and I have always appreciated his work. (He's a homeboy from this area, as well. Go and google "Mandrake Memorial" for a little history lesson. ( ) Craig's a great guy, and knows his stuff. He's practically a force of nature in this biz, without question. But he needs bucks like anyone else, and I don't see the big deal that a quote from him (probably pulled from a paid review) is used in their ad. It doesn't convince ME to run out and buy it. Nope.

And saying it's great because Craig likes it is, well, just pathetic.

Kids. Whatareyagonna do. :roll:

Member for

20 years 9 months

FifthCircle Mon, 05/22/2006 - 23:31
Not to mention that many folks that don't know what they are listening to are try to use a frequency-domain tool to solve problems that may be time-domain issues. Just because you can change the spectral content doesn't necessarily make it better.

Now, I've heard a few folks that I trust say the Har Bal is a pretty cool tool and is a good start point. however, I have yet to hear anybody give it the props that the marketing material makes it seem to deserve...

There is a similar tool in Sequoia and it is fun, but in the end, I find it to be of very limited use in the end.


Member for

17 years 4 months

Massive Mastering Tue, 05/23/2006 - 00:04
I'm actually proud to be "dissed" - by name - somewhere on HairBall's site or their forum or something...

I actually took advantage of the "30 day no questions asked" refund.

After an awful lot of questions - And fine explanations if I say so myself, I went for the refund. Worthless as teats on a bull for what it was designed for.

THAT BEING SAID - It isn't the worst sounding EQ I've ever heard. But it certainly doesn't compete with what I'm using already. *IF* it was a VST plug, I probably would've kept it around. But for a stand-alone? Not a chance.

Member for

17 years 5 months

JoeH Tue, 05/23/2006 - 01:37
John, I'll bet that big ol' lump of grey matter between your ears does a MUCH better job of picking out the "Good" frequencies vs. the "Bad" ones, and making it all come together as one coherent master.

I'm no luddite, and I'm certainly not anti-computer. I use them all day long for the work I do. But some "magic eq" fix just isn't the answer either. The "Magic EQ" is based on the assumption that there is always going to be some mathematical, predictable profile or algorithmn that needs to be changed "for the better"; as if there's a profile that can be read by this thing, and adjusted to sound "Better."

Again, I say it will indeed sound different - brighter, duller, squakier, mellower, smoother, whatever you dail in. But in the end, it's your brain and your ears, coupled with a great monitoring system that will tell you what's correct or not.

If it was as easy as just a few mouse clicks, then what are we all doing HERE, anyway?

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Tue, 05/23/2006 - 12:18
first off "lady": :shock: Calm down, don't get your blood pressure up, It's all O's & 1's here. All in good fun, don't have a stroke!

let's do a Remy Rad reality check here shall we? :lol:

1. where are your published books on the subject of recording? I would love to see them.

2. you procliam to have these" great golden ears", what label do you currently work for? I'd love to see your references and hear some of your work.

3. someone what such a "gift" is merely wasting talent lingering around here as a forum MOD. Have you thought about a "career move"? Maybe one that pays for a change?

Yes, it's the truth "laDy".... I find 99% percent of what yer posting around this fourm to be VERY useful when I'm sitting on the commode with my old laptop. ( prunes would probably less painful...) Outside of that, I really could do without your very weak attempts at uh...."humor". which I seem to stumble upon ALOT in the threads I read. Ah, the pun on words... " har-bal/hairballl" the belittling remarks you make to others about they're gear and recordings they post.

Oh... let us not forget the all the "slapstick, side splitting uh... humor". It's the kind of humor that takes one back to the Vaudeville dayz of the 1920's. :? Yer showing yer age.

Laurel and hardy would be proud. Hey, if the music biz doesn't "pan" out (no pun) you can alway knock em' dead with your uh... "stand up". I know, I know, you're trying to show peeps a good time here and trying to look cute, but you're NOT.... in more ways than one I might add. Ooh.... Let me try some humor like the lady does: One could say, yer face is so ugly lady, you need to cut it off and grow a scab. It would be an improvement.)

at anyrate, spec progs such as harbal are good, regardless of how 'golden" your ear is. this is the reason why Craig is making a killing and your not. " I believe they call that "being openminded".

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Tue, 05/23/2006 - 12:29

I'm laughing my a$$ off over here. Remy is suppose to be "in the same league" with craig and the like, you know... the ones who make money and are world reknowned.....yea right..... just throw the amazing remy rad in a google search... You'll find that Ms. Rad runs a hack mobile recording service and lives at home recording forums online. wow.... Oh boy, what a life! geez, I think I will use the Neuman 87 as a fake dink...seeing how I don't like the sound....

The inside of the recording truck looks like something out of the beverly hillibillies. She proclaims to have over 30 years in, by the looks of the pic, looks like she hasn't showered in that length of time as well. yuck! Now I see why yer pissed off with life lady.

I wonder what other " non-showering-pros" are here? what a joke!

Thanks to a selct few: I've learn my lesson here today.... I would like to share what I've learned: Stay the h@ll out of forums. I've come to learn that forums are chuck full of know it all a*** with nothing better to do execpt let everyone know how great & ALL KNOWING they are. It's funny because you "pro -recording asses" secretly think you're the best of the best and youre' the only one here that knows what yer talking about.( that includes you're peers) A bunch of self -asborbed a******* is what you really are. the only ones here that even thank anyone for the "advice" are the noobs"... to me that speaks volumes upon itself. you "pro a****" can't be taught anything.....

I've also come to realize that these " so called pros" get off on helping "other noobs" for an ego boost because in the real world they don't have a life. So It's time to play Mr & Mrs recording overlord....

seeya A****!

(next time can you please catch all of you cuss words. less work on my part. MOD)

Member for

16 years 7 months

jonnyc Tue, 05/23/2006 - 12:54
I love it when dips*** get on here with 3 or 4 posts and start telling pro's what they should and shouldn't say. I also love when the newbs press people's buttons then proceed to tell them to calm down. Mr. A***, you're a d*** and pretty pathetic, especially to bash someones physical appearance. I mean most of us aren't really lookers in this business so I'm not sure how that makes one bit of difference to Remy's talents. She's classy, you aren't, end of story. Oh and it will truly be joyous if you f*** off and never return.

Member for

17 years 5 months

JoeH Tue, 05/23/2006 - 13:07
such pathetic stuff, indeed.

Actually, I think we've been lucky. This sort of stuff used to happen more in the "bad old days" of internet forums. Ya don't see it all that often, but occasionally, it does rear it's pointed little head here from time to time. The morons show up with no profile or other info, cause a stir, leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth, and dissappear again after leaving a cloud of noxious GAS behind.

Glad MrAnal is gone, indeed. Just trying to imagine the mindset that creates that kind of spew....

I'd say pathetic, but I'd be repeating myself. Again.

(hey Remy, maybe you can share his email address with us, so we can give him some parting words, eh? :twisted: )

Member for

16 years 2 months

RemyRAD Tue, 05/23/2006 - 22:01
Thank you jonnyc for your kind words. While there may be many other people's that may be more professionally known and labeled successful, than myself, nonetheless I have had the pleasure of being employed as an audio engineer in numerous professional studios from NYC to Fort Lauderdale and a broadcaster from local stations in Baltimore to NBC TV and radio network in Washington DC. I have the distinction of having been employed strictly in professional audio throughout my over 35 years of working in the broadcasting and recording arts and sciences business.

One of the reasons why I have always had a particular fondness for rock-and-roll and other forms of popular music is because, it's like the lottery. You've got to play to win! I have heard plenty of dreck that has been successful and some very talented people but that never became famous. So you roll the dice and try again because you never know when Ed McMahon may walk up to your front door and tell you you have won a Grammy award!

I can understand other people's frustrations as well. Little does bozo boy realize that I was pointed here by technical wizard John Klett, a professional acquaintance and friend. This was also an important place for me to be during my convalescence after lifesaving brain surgery eight months ago. I have a lovely variable schedule and am quite the night owl and insomniac, so I sit and watch my cable television and eat my food while playing on the Internet after coming home from doing audio and/or video. And I like to share my knowledge with others and realize there is always more than one way to do something.

I believe preproduction is important prior to recording. Particularly before a live show. But don't get me wrong here, I love spontaneity, I love the glitches, it makes for greater excitement of live and in the studio productions. I believe in spontaneity because if things were always perfect, how did we end up with George Bush? I'm not sure what I'm trying to say? They say stuff happens and we got George. To make good recordings all you merely have to do is know the equipment that you are using, good or bad and how best to utilize the stuff. Many people here like myself are here to share our experiences with others. But I want everybody to be able to make solid and gratifying recordings, so I present my experience and flair. If you try things that I recommend, you'll get a good recording. If you try things that other people recommend, you will get a good recording. If you plug things in wrong and turn all the knobs the wrong direction from lack of knowledge and experience, you will get a bad recording. Life is really that simple, when it comes to recording.

Simply nonplussed
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

19 years 11 months

Thomas W. Bethel Wed, 05/24/2006 - 06:27
Where do these posters like mranalog come from and go to? They seem to be the proverbial "troll" but why even start downgrading a person who freely shares her vast audio knowledge with every one here like RemyRAD? and then he puts Craig Anderton on a pedestal (maybe he has a shrine to him in his bedroom). Yes Craig is probably up there with people who's names are synonymous with audio but I bet he puts his pants on one leg at a time just like everyone else.

Any way I hope mranalog got his rocks off striking back for the freedom and justice for his way of life.


Member for

17 years 5 months

JoeH Wed, 05/24/2006 - 15:47
IMHO, that guy is a PERFECT example of why it should be mandatory to register to post here with a working email address, a location (at least a hometown, I"m not talking about home addresses), and if applicable, a website.

Going further, I'd even support a private list (known only to the webmaster) with more important info (phone #, altertnate contact info, etc.) for private use when registering. (Not stuff that would be made public, but certainly stuff that would deter idiots like Anal from posting and scooting.)

Nobodies like him can show up, create problems and then just disappear into the wind.

They are the ultimate losers and cowards - total zeroes who make trouble by tearing up the hard work of others.

As much as I enjoy this place the maturity of 99% of the posters, I'd LOVE to see this place filter the last bits of that stuff outta here with a few simple additions for membership/registration.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 05/25/2006 - 06:51

Now I know that this little flame war happened some time ago, but I'd like to get back to the topic.

One doesn't have to use Harbal to 'rip' eq curves. In fact, this is one of the least sucessful ways to use the programme. Personally, I use (and rather like) this programme as a quick check on the average/peak spectrum and a quick nip/tuck on the bass end before sending out monitor mixes or demos for approval. It's bloody fast, easy to use and sounds surprisingly decent in combination with a quick 3-5 dB reduction of peaks using an external L2 or sometimes even the internal limiter.

I have recommended this app to several people to check (not to actually burn) files before sending off to our mastering engineer as I find the metering and subsequent 'toe-in-the-water' changes clear and easy. Using the interface, I can show them where their monitors are cheating them - mainly of headroom due to sub-bass and overenthusiastic use of bass. We use it in this way to get people to remix based on what they have learned and to see what good, reference mixes look like and I think some of the home recorded work that comes in has improved as a result.

The whole approach of this app appears to me to be one of education, home mastering and a quick job that does not require the full process of a paid mastering engineer. The fact that it can display instruments in their respective frequency areas points towards this.

When Bob Katz can bring himself to write a quick tutorial on the TC Finalizer I think that what we can lose track of here sometimes is horses for courses.

In fact, I have heard our mastering guy do a couple of quite decent jobs when he came to our studio. At first he was horrified (and not just about Harbal) but on the condition I did not let anyone know who he was and what he did he is now comfortable using this app as a pointer to what he can do on the occasional job - not in his room, of course!