hearing fequencies

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by sammyg, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    Hello all,

    Was wondering if anyone had any advice on learning what certain fequencies sound like. Any techniques, particularly the upper end of then spectrum. The reason I ask is because I feel fairly confident when it comes down to eq'ing low mids and lows, I feel I know what 250hz sounds like, I feel I know what 100hz sounds like, but when it comes to the other end of the apectrum I dont know where to start because I dont know them well enough, im finding it difficult because to me its as if the higher end of the spectrum isnt as obvious or revealed and easy to hear as the lower end.

    Example, when I track drums and listen back to them off tape I know almost straight away where to start my eq plan of attack, but if It was a vocal or string line im like.....hmmmm. This is of course because I dont know what 3kz sounds like or what 10kz sounds like, hence not knowing how it will affect the track.

    As a result my mix's are ok in the lower end but they tend to sound a little flat in regards to the upper mids and highs. I know this is something I need to address and correct in order to get my mix's happening.

    Any advice is appreciated, Thanks,

  2. tmcconnell

    tmcconnell Guest

    eq experience

    This comes from experience using eq.

    Most people I know, even those who have the frequency range in mind before they touch a dial, think in terms of what they want to accomplish. Does a vocal need "air" (8-10k), sizzle (3k), growl (700).

    You get this sort of fluency after mixing day in and day out.

    doing a parametric sweep, in context, until you have what you want, and then noting what q and center frequency you arrived at is a good way to learn. I usually start with a q of 1 find the right spot, and then adjust the q. Another trick - usually in a resonance hunt - is to use a narrow q, with huge boost, and then the bad resonance will pop out when you sweep to it. Then just stay on that frequency, and take it out.
  3. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    One reason it's tougher to learn about identifying upper mids and highs is that there are so many more frequncies within an octave the higher you go. Each instrument or voice you record will have different harmonic content as well, so one guitar might benefit from a boost at 3k while another wants 4.5k. The parametric sweep is definitely the way to go for picking out the high end energy in a track.
  4. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    try taking some fullrange (white) noise and sweep a narrow Q parametric through the spectrum....

    you'll be suprised :shock:
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    The best way to learn what all this junk sounds like, is to purchase a relatively inexpensive graphic equalizer. Play your favorite CDs through its and start tweaking each frequency band. It shouldn't take you long to figure out what everything is. Can't afford the graphic? Just turn the treble control up and down and I think you will figure it out quickly. Remember that is only a single group of frequencies. I mean, you don't usually put your underpants on backwards to you? Don't answer that!
  6. T-Slice

    T-Slice Guest

    Check out the golden ears cd collection:
  7. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    Jan 31, 2005
    Lowell MA
    Home Page:
    I did golden ears in college. It sorta sucked to do but useful.
  8. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    Thanks guys,

    I will give the white noise sweep experiment a go.


  9. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Another piece of advice -

    Look at a piano. A above middle C is 440 Hz. One octave higher is 880. One octave lower is 220. (Pretty simple math here.)

    That will show you an awful lot of the spectrum if you just do this much over the entire range of the piano.

    For example, if you're 2 octaves above A440, then you are at 1760 Hz. If you're a little lower, then you know to move your eq lower than 1760.

    When in doubt, I turn on my DAWs tuner and then do some math. If I can find a fundamental frequency or pitch, problem solved.

    Of course, over time, this becomes pretty easy to recognize ranges. The hard part is not abusing the Q on your EQ. Remember just how wide an octave is in many cases.

  10. Rider

    Rider Guest

    i wouldnt use a pianoa for frequencies due to harmonics. graphic EQs can be very limited unless you get at least 20 bands. parametric is good, i also did the messing with q and freq to learn them, im not as experienced as most people here (like, been mixing my stuff for a year or so), but i can even tell pretty much which freq ranges are what. white noise is pretty good, distorted guitars are also good (power chords) as they have so much going on throughout the spectrum, especially in what you want to learn about, 500ish to like 5k. add a drum beat in there and you can capture a broader spectrum. bass is the trickiest thing to EQ imo. esp when youre trying to bring out those nice clicks while keeping a solid smooth tone. as people say over and over, less is more with EQ. hell i even listen to music flat nowadays on my computer or with maybe 2db boost in sub and 4k+.
  11. dwoz

    dwoz Guest

    I've read this three times, and still can't figure out what you're on about.

    If white noise is equal power per frequency, and pink noise is equal power per octave...

    ...then what color is this noise? (equal power per non-sequiter)


    oh, yes. As loathsome and dirty as it feels to agree with RemyRAD in any way, his answer is the one you need.
  12. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    White noise. Pink noise. The last answer is..... Do Do noise. And RemyRAD believes SHE IS CORRECT! javascript:emoticon(':lol:')
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