Old 12-22-2011, 07:09 PM   #1
jerome_oneil
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Default 200 - 250Hz Sounds Like Ass

What is it about the 200-250Hz band that sounds like absolute mud? I put band EQ on it almost every time, and it makes things sound way better. Is that normal, or is there something about the way I'm recording that causes it?
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:44 PM   #2
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It's pretty normal to scoop that range pretty heavily. The fundamental frequencies of a lot of instruments live around that place, so you put them together and it all just ends up colliding. The only instrument that I think I've ever boosted in that range is snare drum... Maybe certain types of electric guitar.
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:55 PM   #3
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It's generally only normal to scoop that range pretty heavily if there's something wrong. Could be your monitoring, or something else in your front-end/capture, or an aversion to those freqs you have developed, or that you simply don't like things to have body/size/weight/thickness.

Part of it is the arrangement of instruments/parts/register of course, but otherwise i think it's as "wise" as saying "it's better to cut with EQ than to boost".

How does 1k sound to you? Like midrange ass? Cut it. 500hz? Boxy and ass. Cut it. 4-5k? Shrill, harsh and... ass. Cut it. 150hz? ...
Ahhh.. finally. Silence.

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Old 12-23-2011, 12:58 AM   #4
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My bet is that your monitoring and room need some care and attention.

I bought a pair of Yamaha HS80M{ monitors recently to supplement my elderly Tannoy System 6s with a very elderly Quad 405 amp.

The new monitors were bought mostly to use when I have folks round to jam, as the Tannoys are relentlessly honest & I thought a little flattery from the 80s would help people get comfortable.

Yes they are loud and they give me a little more extension in the bass area, but boy did they also show off all the shortcomings of my room!

Boom boom boom. So when we use the Yamahas I slap a broad-Q cut around that area.
MUST get some more Rockwool....
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:26 AM   #5
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240Hz is your friend. Learn to tame the beast.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeroephonics View Post
240Hz is your friend. Learn to tame the beast.
FULLNESS!
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Old 12-23-2011, 11:19 AM   #7
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Well 200/250Hz is fine when there is the right amount of it.
When there is the wrong amount (either way) you soon know about it.
As always the key is accurate monitoring and knowing what sources
naturally sound like and having a goal and getting there.

I suggest when you start making adjustments here listen to other frequency ranges as well.

cheers

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Old 12-23-2011, 02:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
My bet is that your monitoring and room need some care and attention.
Yep, I'd bet it's the room. OC703 or rockwool panels to the rescue.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:49 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies. It's not the monitoring setup as the effect happens no matter how I monitor. Ear buds? Ass. Studio monitors? Ass. Near field monitors? Ass. Whatever my recording engineer uses at his studio? Ass. It doesn't seem to make a difference. And while I'm the first to tell you this particular room needs a little (for some measure of "little," meaning "lots of") work it's the same thing no matter where I'm at, including treated studios. I've noticed this a while back, and it's carried over a couple of locations, which is why I figured it was something in my recording technique or something inherent in the acoustics of guitars.

Anyway, I'm a stats geek by trade, so I did a bit more digging to see if I couldn't figure out why it sounds like there is more going on down there than I think, and the answer is because there actually is more going on down there than I think. Turns out that the natural harmonics for a guitar are heavily weighted between 200 and 400 Hz. The harmonic model shows that there are more harmonics generated at lower frequencies, and the distance (frequency wise) between natural harmonics grows with the first harmonic. It's not linear, so it really is busy down there on the bottom end.

I haven't tried to figure out how wave interference might amplify or phase out signal as interferometry is hard and I'm lazy, and I don't know why the 250Hz number seems to be the right one, when 350Hz aught to have the same general effect, but it is an interesting problem.

Thanks again for the input.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:26 AM   #10
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Have you run sweeps of the listening position or at least measured pink noise? If that is flat maybe have your hearing checked? (Not being sarcastic).
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:56 AM   #11
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A wise man once said "cut everything below the frequency ranges you WANT to hear and leave room for the other sources."

I routinely drop anything below the lowest key frequency of each individual instrument by just enough that it doesn't fight with anything that actually NEEDS that space.

You can always add some back but at least if you CUT you are not hyping anything.
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Old 01-09-2012, 02:11 PM   #12
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If it sounds like ass, maybe try recording your ass, and then inverting the phase?

I'll get my coat....
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:54 AM   #13
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I'm okay with 200 - 250Hz, it's 600Hz that makes me rage.
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:43 PM   #14
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Maybe there's a lot going on in guitar, but instrumentation is a factor here too. In your regular rock outfit you'll have bass, keys, and guitars eating up that range and not much else. Bass won't have too many harmonic overtones to screw things up and you're going to want to focus on its weight and attack - you may be able to get away with cutting that range. Guitar you'll probably have a HPF between 100-200hz and you could probably, with all it's intrusive overtones, let the guitar be the voice for your 200-250 range. Piano covers a lot of ground and is going to be genre specific. At the end of the day, arrangement is going to be a factor too. Maybe you have too many guitars going at once or you need shift one up an octave.
I don't think there's any particular problem with the frequency range you specified over any other, except that as said before you're going to have competing sounds there...but not nearly as many as you have at 1k. I think it's a personal thing, you have to work out exactly what your particular problem with that region is and correct it.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:11 AM   #15
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It is really a matter of genre and taste really. In a mix down with 1/2 decent sources you have incredible amounts of control available in the context of a multi track recording.

I earn my living from judging and manipulating frequencies day in day out.

Accuracy of monitoring, acoustics and hearing acuity are the fundamental factors.

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