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POWERFUL, NEW HARMONIC EQUALIZATION SOFTWARE PRODUCES FLAWLESS SOUND TRACKS 100% OF THE TIME WITHOUT A MASTERING ENGINEER

Atlanta, Georgia - August 15, 2003 – Har-Bal International - a joint venture between TAQUIS (Australia) and HDQTRZ Digital Studios (US) - announced today the release of Har-Bal (Harmonic Balancer) A powerful, new mastering equalization system for all Windows systems (95,98,ME, NT, 2000 or XP) that corrects inconsistencies in mixed track sound files 100 percent of the time. Har-Bal will revolutionize the music industry by completely eliminating the need to have a mastering engineer in the end process of music production.

The software is composed of two parts: a spectrum analysis engine and a high-resolution linear phase digital filter to perform the EQ'ing so there is imperceptible degradation in quality (i.e. noise wise). Har-Bal analyzes a recording, which gives a measure of the average and peak spectrum content (displayed graphically) from which any user can easily judge the spectral balance. Next, through a novel user interface, the software allows you to design a matching digital filter. This differs from conventional approaches in that you no longer need golden ears to judge the problem areas of a particular recording. The spectrum measurement provides you with an accurate indication of any problems in the recording. Har-Bal International is the first company to address the classes of frequencies that have proven to be troublesome to the human body. Frequencies felt in the body, i.e., low frequencies, with high amplitudes and throbbing, pulsing envelopes can make listeners sick to their stomach...so the expression goes. There definitely seems to some connection with the corrected resonant frequencies of a song that has been harmonically balanced as opposed to mastering.

For an undetermined period of time, a restricted version of Har-Bal can be downloaded at http://www.har-bal.com. You will no longer need to test your mastered CD in cars, boom boxes, walkmans, etc. The software uses an 8192-point linear phase FIR filter whose characteristics are designed to match and compensate for the average spectrum as closely as possible.

The degree to which you can boost and cut a particular region is essentially unlimited. Har-Bal International has proven that by coupling spectrum analysis with linear phase digital filtering, Har-Bal provides a powerful, yet functionally simple means of re-adjusting the spectral balance of sound recordings…be they original new masters or re-masters of existing works.

Har-Bal International is currently working on a plug-in version for individual tracks. Har-Bal has definitely taken the pain out of mastering music and will prove to be a necessary tool in any producer or engineer’s studio. Har-Bal International may very well be the next Microsoft of the music industry. Their product really works!

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Comments

falkon2 Wed, 08/13/2003 - 22:15

This sounds just as corny as MTV's new "COMPUTARIZED AUTOMATED HIT DETECTOR MANCHENED" and that "SUPER VOICE SYNTH SIMULATOR WITH SPRINKLES" that popped up at various times. Sure, it's a novel idea. Sure, people spent millions developing it. Sure, it's still a stupid idea.

Bad news is, more people are likely to flock to this than the other two products, and ego will dictate that people will "no longer need a mastering engineer". It's going to be like the dawn of "mastering plugins" all over again, except a whole lot worse this time around.

My two cents.

falkon2 Thu, 08/14/2003 - 09:18

... Maybe they're trying to showcase advanced dithering and noise shaping techniques which work with 8-bit. "What? Only 256 possible values each sample can have? No problem! Our software will smoke that!"

I just went and read the site a little more. What the hell? Using a spectral analyzer and EQ to master? That's hardly ground-breaking in any way.

Hot damn, I use a sonogram all the time, and I don't even consider what I do anywhere close to mastering. It's a visual aid to reinforce what my ears tell me - nothing more.

elkanah Fri, 08/15/2003 - 06:47

The static is entirely due to the 8 bit restriction in the demo version. I would agree that this limits the performance but to say that you cannot evaluate the effectiveness of the product is not the
case.

If you have the eq filter out of chain then you hear the original track quantized at 8 bit (ie. with the static) and with the eq filter in you here the filtered result which includes the static. This
allows you to realisitically judge the effectiveness of the filter playback as the same static is present in both. It's equivalent to doing mastering equalisation on a recording that was done on 8 bit
equipment.

I am sorry if this is inconvenient but if there were no restriction on resolution what would be the motivation to purchase the product? You could argue that we could put a time restriction on the full
resolution playback but that leaves our software open to piracy through cracking. The resolution limitation in the demo is our attempt to avoid this problem.

If you believe the product has potential you can purchase the product and if you are not satisfied request a full refund and be granted one provided that you do so within 30 days of the initial
purchase.

Regards,

Paavo Jumppanen.

falkon2 Fri, 08/15/2003 - 08:26

elkanah: What kind of dithering does the demo version use to truncate to 8-bit, if at all? For the sake of fairness, converting the sample track to 8-bit for an A/B comparison would have to undergo the same process.

When we're talking about a mastering software, I'd say quality is of the utmost importance - Isn't that the root of mastering, after all? This is like saying a Ferrarri is fast, but you're not allowed to go over 30mph. In the meantime, you can test out the Ferrarri at 30mph and see if you like it better than an old jalopy going at 30mph.

But hell, you've probably thought about all this a lot more than I have, since you're the guy behind the product, so what do I know?

Best wishes.

Profile picture for user Rod Gervais

Rod Gervais Tue, 08/19/2003 - 11:00

I dunno bout anybody else....... but i have this feeling that Dorothy and her doggie are around here somewhere.....

And until we find her......... ignore the man behind the curtain...........

ROTFFLMFAO

I believe in a few things in this world of ours...

One of which is: if it looks like a duck - and walks like a duck and sounds like a duck - it's probably a duck.

Next is - If it looks toooooooo good to be true..... it isn't.

Happy Hunting.... til we find the next clue to the Holy Grail of music.......

Rod

Profile picture for user Kurt Foster

Kurt Foster Tue, 08/19/2003 - 11:12

I personally think it is a load of sh*t.. Anything that supposedly takes an audio experience and turns it into a visual is way off track.. like “You too can master, even if you can’t hear”… Hopefully this product will fail miserably otherwise some day all tunes run through this program will all have the same spectral balance.. yuck! Let’s just remove the last vestige of art that the industry has for the sake of profit. If these guys have their way, no one will need any talent to make a record.. Pitch correct, time correct and now mastering correction… I’m sooooo glad I’m old and I will be dyeing soon someday. I guess I need to make arraignments to be cremated, otherwise I’ll be spinning in my grave… Kurt
-------------------------------------------------
You don’t let blind people drive, so don’t let deaf people master

Profile picture for user kevinwhitect

kevinwhitect Sat, 08/23/2003 - 14:46

Paavo (Your name shows you to be Finnish, does it not?...Not important, just curious.)-

Members of this board have many years of experience. Therefore they are naturally going to be somewhat skeptical regarding the claims of the product as outlined in the press release.

For each has, at one time or another, encountered a manufacturer of a new product making an outlandish, if not downright false claim regarding their product's prowess (not that you're doing that...but believe it or not, others have! :eek: ).

While it is counter-intuitive to demo, through a low resolution lens, a product that promises high quality performance, I understand your concerns about piracy...they are very real.

I am not a software manufacturer, so I obviously don't have the same perspective or concerns that you do.

Nor do I work in the recording industry. So my butt (read: livelihood) is not on the line should your program actually live up to it's claims. I've consequently no emotion (read: fear)invested.

But I can tell you this: I am a consumer. I, and others, would not lay out the amount of cash you are requesting unless I was absolutely certain that it worked, it was exceptional, and I therefore truly desired it.

But I definitely don't want to have to go through a refund process. That, to me, is a hassle. I try to avoid hassles in my life.

I wouldn't want to give up the dough unless I knew it worked, and it would properly serve my needs.

To me, that requires a demo that shows the product's full potential.

Here's how I see it.....

The balance between a consumer and a company is theoretically supposed to be even....fundamentally based on trust.

Some companies are more trusting, and by consequence are easy to do business with. Some are less, and the reverse is true.

I always play scenarios off of what I term "The Test of The Extremes" in order to determine whether something makes sense or not. Meaning, if we push a scenario to each polar extreme outer limit of the range, how does said scenario hold up?

The far right side of the balance says, "In order to fully protect our copyright, why don't we put out a completely non-functional demo...or even, no demo at all. Then, if someone is dissatisfied with their purchase, we'll give them their money back."

The far left side of the balance says, "The demo is fully operational, pay us if you want."

Of course, neither extreme works. One is too far on the side of the consumer, the other benefits only the company.

Next, let's identify where your demo falls on the grid.

Hmmm....I think you've got a demo that leans to much toward the company's interest....I don't think you've yet achieved a fair balance.

You've drawn the line too much on your company's side...providing the public with an inadequate opportunity to fully appreciate your product.

The consequence of this is, obviously, less sales.

But the ball, is, as always, in your court. You make the product. It is totally your business and your call.

As is, as a consumer, I've no interest yet.

Good luck though!

Best-

Kev.

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P.S.- I have a little knowledge about what I speak. In my younger days, I was a manufacturer's rep in the pro audio/music industry....working for companies ranging from Ovation and Kramer guitars to ElectroVoice/Denon/Hafler/QSC/Symmetric/DOD/Cerwin Vega amongst many others.

I currently own and run a multimillion dollar financial services company.

I write and record music for fun, relaxation and creative stimulation.