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Trance Forum  Forum  Production & Music Making - EQ is used to Equalize
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EQ is used to Equalize

routingwithin
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  46
Posts :  204
Posted : Apr 26, 2016 13:43:50
"Equalization is the process of adjusting the *balance* between frequency components within an electronic signal."

It is really within the name that states the purpose of this tool. In music production the most popular term is to roll-off the low end to make way for the bass elements and also keeping the low end as clear as possible, due to the fact that low frequencies are slower / bigger and can easily muddy up when too many exist at the same time.

However rolling off will not always make it fit. Many times before I have struggled with just making a synth sound fit with the beat even though it stays clear of the low and high end. The truth is that every sound can fit together with another. Well not all - but you get the point.

The secret here is when it comes to the second EQ. The first one rolls off and the second equalizes the frequencies. Breaking it down to the origin meaning, equalizing is to level the frequencies of the signal. Not talking about resonating frequencies, present in recordings, which falls under surgical EQ.



Note that it should never be overdone, trying to get a strait line on your spectrum analyzer, because too much EQ causes unnatural phase shifts, but when applied to certain frequency locations - let's say where the 500-1000khz frequencies is louder than 2-3Khz, a cut of about -6db @ 500-1000khz, medium Q will balance out the whole individual sound more.

If you have used Nexus 2 before you will realize that the presets fits easily and also sounds more soothing than some other synths. Why ? - Well put a spectrum analyzer on it and you will see. The balance of the frequencies are very leveled.

All frequencies fits better with each other when they are leveled. Yes you can use volume to do this also, but will find that some sound disappears when all plays together, because the frequencies helping it to be audible is softer than the fundamentals.

Also before thinking of EQ when designing a sound it's also best to tweak the signal within the synth to be leveled in frequency. This will be much more natural souunding, but with WAV samples you don't have the luxury.




          " We are together in this matter you and I, closer to death, yes, closer than i'd like. How do you feel? - There can be no division in our actions, or everything is lost. What affects you affects me. "
knocz
Moderator

Started Topics :  40
Posts :  1127
Posted : May 15, 2016 23:05
Hi!

Great topic IMO although EQ is meant to help "equalize" the frequency balance of a specific sound, it's only a(nother) tool that we can use to help us sculpt the final tune, which could just be considered as a bunch of stacked filters

I mean, there are no rights and wrongs; and if the end result sounds great, then no one can state that cutting the life out of the mid range of a vocal or guitar track will be in improper balance, even if it sounds like crap alone..

I like this example, such a pumping and uplifting track, the bass sounds incredible in the track, but alone... lifeless, powerless and empty: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ReSk1nNdz8

This is why I tend ever more to EQ in context of the mix - while making psytrance, EQ the kick and the bass in context of each other and keep on cutting out spaces in my spectrum so that certain aspects of other sounds can be enhanced. It's hard finding room for it all (and very easy to get out of hands - this is when the EQ swiss-army knife comes in) so if each element has a lot going on across the spectrum, they're fighting each other when placed in a mix.

For psytrance sake, embrace the unusual For most other traditional genres, natural sounds is the way to go.
          Super Banana Sauce http://www.soundcloud.com/knocz
moki
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  38
Posts :  1931
Posted : May 16, 2016 21:48
Fabfilter is an interesting example for me because fabfilter timeless 2 belongs to my top favourite tools, if not the most favourite. Timeless 2 is unique and really powerful, I actually believe I use it excessively and it causes overload on a regular basis.



But I never came to the idea to EQ with a fabfilter product which is probably much more efficient and systematic.
routingwithin
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  46
Posts :  204
Posted : May 21, 2016 20:37

I get what you're saying yes, and obviously one needs to take into account that with excessive EQ you do run into phasing issues etc.

the best way is always to use a RAW sample or sculpted sound that is perfectly balanced.

cheers

          " We are together in this matter you and I, closer to death, yes, closer than i'd like. How do you feel? - There can be no division in our actions, or everything is lost. What affects you affects me. "
Vermeee
IsraTrance Full Member

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Posts :  1069
Posted : Jun 30, 2016 04:49
highpass nodes ( rolling off as you speaking ) on kick and bass are better used in last of the chain.....

exemple on bass

distortion > compression > equalization > sidechain > highpass filter.

and yes EQ is used for "equalization" but it also can be used as design in mind, like rolling off high to pretend sound underwater, or rolling off lows to bring distance off... or bringin a node up to make some cool resonance noisy where you can automate etc etc etc           
http://soundcloud.com/bgos
knocz
Moderator

Started Topics :  40
Posts :  1127
Posted : Jun 30, 2016 11:39
Quote:

On 2016-06-30 04:49, Vermeee wrote:
highpass nodes ( rolling off as you speaking ) on kick and bass are better used in last of the chain.....

exemple on bass

distortion > compression > equalization > sidechain > highpass filter.


It's one way to look at it, it always depends on the context. If you bass is really sub-heavy, then the subs will have a great affection on the compression - it will trigger the "little monkey inside the compressor that ducks the volume fader" and make the compressor act on the bass.

After you remove the subs you don't want with the HP filter, your signal could be driven by the compressor even though it shouldn't have the power to do so.


But I think the thread author was mentioning "rolling off" the low frequencies on the other elements of the tune, so using an EQ to help balancing the mix.           Super Banana Sauce http://www.soundcloud.com/knocz
PoM
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  162
Posts :  8087
Posted : Aug 15, 2016 21:36
the hp filter change the waveform so all dynamic processing after it won t behave the same and may sound slighty worst than if it was not hp (depends..). if possible it s probably more safe to hp after all dynamic processing if you want the most transparent result specially on a saw wave or not hp if possible and use a band ..then hp the kick bass bus so even with the phase shift it keep the kick and bass tightness more or less cause the filter is identical on both sound ,same slope same freq, same phase shift..anyway all this porbably doesn t matter much it s just theory
frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Aug 17, 2016 16:58
Quote:

On 2016-06-30 11:39, knocz wrote:

After you remove the subs you don't want with the HP filter, your signal could be driven by the compressor even though it shouldn't have the power to do so.



This is important and the reason why some compressors have an internal filter for their detection circuit - commonly named side chain filter. The deep low end rumble is unpredictable and will make the compressor work in a less stable manner, which is not what we want.

I get the point about the phase shift. It may be that it sounds great or you may feel like you need to compensate for it afterwards. There's plenty of ways to do that, if that's really a concern. It might be so for stuff like Bass.

In which case, using something like this:

http://www.voxengo.com/product/pha979/

... will probably solve the issue altogether or for even more stability, one can always sample the notes after all the processing has taken place and choose a proper initial phase for all notes, ensuring that you always get the best attack possible.

So, the phase shift does occur and it can, indeed, be a problem. Not just that, but some plug-ins generate latency that you may have to account for, despite the inclusion (which is not only normal but mandatory these days) of plug-in delay compensation in every software suite there is today. The fact remains that after you bounced your material to audio, you'll still be surprised to find some lag. Some people use the track delay option to compensate for this and get a tighter feel.

All this things matter, of course. But I think it's one thing to be familiar with this issues and ways to solve them, and it's quite another to be too precious about it. You may feel like you lost some of that attack, you may even compensate for this with some transient shaper, or using a compressor to accentuate the attack of it, or some layer. It doesn't really matter. But feeding a compressor with an untouched signal is probably not helping at all with any of this issues. It's probably just making the detection circuit struggle and giving you an unstable behaviour - since the subs are probably behaving more wildly then anything else.

I'd say EQ prior and afterwards. It's a good thing to have the distortion before the last EQ stage, simply 'cause you need to account to all the extra harmonics generated. The same holds true for some compressors which emulate analogue circuitry, like tubes, which also generate harmonics, or even for some EQs.

PoM
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  162
Posts :  8087
Posted : Aug 21, 2016 15:06
depends the filter and waveform but after a hp the saw can be less symetrical making the compressor work more and also compressing may accentuate some of the artifacts cause by the hp filter.

but hp is so untrasparent in general that it should be done first (placed pre or post all comps and sats depending the sound,post could be more suited for a transparent sound if it s what is needed on a good source) in general it s betetr to do it first cause if you hp your bass after equign it you will have to retweak all bands to get best result .. same if you compressed before hp you will have to rewteak the comp, you will have retweak saturator too. (assuming using a non linear phase eq)
frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Aug 30, 2016 23:50
an high pass filter does indeed produce a phase shift. and this is naturally a concern for bass, since a nice attack is so important for its definition that most of us will use either synths which enable you to choose the initial starting point of the waveform or layer some kind of click in, so forth and so on. I think this isn't really problematic because, for one, you can always go back to the synth after you apply the high pass filter and adjust so you get the attack that you want back; you can also just use a linear phase EQ or something in between minimum latency and linear.

The fact remains that a compressor will work better if fed with a more controlled signal to begin with, like knocz has pointed out. The artifacts that it will presumably enhance are just a consequence of its settings and the kind of material it's dealing with. If it's emphasizing the transient and the transient feels off due to the high pass filter, then the problem lies elsewhere, it's not caused or enhanced by the compressor - it's just some kind of domino effect.

Anyway, if you decide do sample your Bass and choose the initial attack note by note, then all your problems are solved. I've always felt that, for example, this is actually the best way for more reasons then assuring a stable attack for all the notes (and volume across the notes as well). There's much more to it then that. You can go deeper with the EQ and actually dig much further, as long as you keytrack your EQ settings (easy these days with plugins like Pro Q2 or others), or use one note and use the pitch shifting options of the sampler - which for a smaller range, can perhaps do the trick just fine.

knocz
Moderator

Started Topics :  40
Posts :  1127
Posted : Aug 31, 2016 13:17
Quote:

On 2016-08-30 23:50, frisbeehead wrote:
Anyway, if you decide do sample your Bass and choose the initial attack note by note, then all your problems are solved. I've always felt that, for example, this is actually the best way for more reasons then assuring a stable attack for all the notes (and volume across the notes as well). There's much more to it then that.


100% agree, but this is the most tedious work for me Go note-by-note, micro-tune the guy until it's exactly as I want - is amazing and extremely powerful, but it's not "easily playable"

So if you just want to jam out and search for the next bassline, this process gets in the way -> but if you already have a solid bass already laid down for the entire tune, and you really want to micro-tune it and make it crystal clear and absolutely perfect, then I would go into this arduous task and loose a couple of hours           Super Banana Sauce http://www.soundcloud.com/knocz
frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Aug 31, 2016 21:50
Well, everyone talks about this route and most people stay away from it due to it being tedious. That's hardly news.

The number one reason people did it (or used to do it) was to ensure a consistent attack and volume regardless of note changes.

The other reason for it, though, is that you may have a consistent attack, your initial phase locked, your volume consistent, your envelopes shaped to perfection, and all that jazz. But still, the EQ you did that makes one note (say, you're root note) sound fantastic, may be just the thing to make others boom or disappear - in other words, making things go havoc. Solution for this? Don't go so far with the EQ settings, make more broad and gentle curves or... that's right, either that tedious task again (and you can try to comfort yourself by thinking you're saving precious cpu cycles, on what's probably a multi-core beast... or just have tea and cookies) or further processing to make things blend well together and call it a day. Perhaps sticking a compressor afterwards will even out things a bit, but your leeway isn't so big, if you know what I mean...

But the fact remains that you can go much deeper with it. If only you adjust your EQ settings note to note somehow.
PoM
IsraTrance Full Member

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Posts :  8087
Posted : Sep 7, 2016 19:33
if you like to eq each notes you can use a synth with a eq that can be modulated by key tracking, like spire or serum and both are capable of good bassline.
but imo it s not a big deal with most common bassline you can hear here these day ,not much different notes used
PoM
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  162
Posts :  8087
Posted : Sep 7, 2016 20:11
or you need EQuilibrium for midi key tracking

frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Sep 9, 2016 01:13
Quote:

On 2016-09-07 20:11, PoM wrote:
or you need EQuilibrium for midi key tracking





Yeah, I've been doing that for a while now. This and sampling allow one to go really deep with the equalization, really sculpting the sound to taste.

Trance Forum  Forum  Production & Music Making - EQ is used to Equalize
 
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