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FFT Analyzers not relevant?
Old 1st February 2009 | Show parent
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flatfinger ➡️
When I
increase the block size to look at lower frequncies in greater
detail , I'm doing so to deal with a spectral problem , I'm not
going to make changes in the temporal content based on what I see
in the FFT at that point , I'm looking for spectral anomillies
ONLY .
Nice one, flatfinger. That's a great use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flatfinger ➡️
Look , why don't we just let this guy try it out for himself ?? The more he studies the theory behing FFT , the more success he will enjoy .
Cuz I don't think it helps a newcomer to FFT to tell them to just go off and try it for themselves, and go read the theory. I believe it does help if you provide, as you just did above, some good practical advice on when and how an RTA "is" a useful tool. Or when and how it isn't, as I pointed out and you further expanded on.

Yeah, you're right, it always seems to be a polarized discussion. That's precisely why I was asking Edward for his practical take on their use. Ya know, give the thing some relevance the OP is looking for.

But sure enough, I must have misjudged the subjects volatility, eh?! Yikes.
Old 1st February 2009 | Show parent
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fader8 ➡️
Nice one, flatfinger. That's a great use.



Cuz I don't think it helps a newcomer to FFT to tell them to just go off and try it for themselves, and go read the theory. I believe it does help if you provide, as you just did above, some good practical advice on when and how an RTA "is" a useful tool. Or when and how it isn't, as I pointed out and you further expanded on.

Yeah, you're right, it always seems to be a polarized discussion. That's precisely why I was asking Edward for his practical take on their use. Ya know, give the thing some relevance the OP is looking for.

But sure enough, I must have misjudged the subjects volatility, eh?! Yikes.



If I am zealous about this subject , it's because , not that long ago , I was in th OP shoes , asking a question about RTA's. And , as seems to be the rule , not the exception around here , Got the usual sundry, cutsie " RTA= THE DEVIL" type of reponses.

I'm glad you want to help educate the OP, I do think he will need a lot of initiative ( maybe his friend can help ). However , giving him a "forget about it , you cant handle it " message is'nt of much use either is it ??

As I've said here before , it seems that this forum should have a sticky to handle this question ,as it comes up with great frequency.
But It should not only contain the possible pitfalls and caveats that are possible with this tool . With all the great minds around here , it seems that there would be folks who would also advocate the positive uses of the tool . ( or maybe the tidal wave of mis-information is brought on by a conflict of interest in this community ; if so , it's quite sad , because the tool can be vey usefull in tracking and mixing also , which would make an M.E.'s job easier in the long run !)

I also would never advocate the elimination of experienced ears and a great room in the process on the way to great recording , so it's not like I'm some kind of rebel really .

So I have to ask ... Where is the sticky ???

Why not save the thread space for more productive discussions ??
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fader8 ➡️
Yeah, you're right, it always seems to be a polarized discussion. That's precisely why I was asking Edward for his practical take on their use. Ya know, give the thing some relevance the OP is looking for.
I am not leaving you without at least pointing you at this thread which may also help the OP as per your request. So long now.

Regards,
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➡️
I am not leaving you without at least pointing you at this thread which may also help the OP as per your request.
Well, that's an interesting list. Not withstanding that I think many of those items are addressed by basic ear training, it remains a list of "what" and not "how". For example, if I look at just these items you list:

Increase/decrease vocal presence
Correct vocal imbalances
Anchor lead vocal "within the music".


I'm seriously curious "how" you manage to determine these attributes from an RTA. I agree there's little sense in having a back and forth pissing contest, thus my attempt to defuse just that and have an intelligent discourse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➡️
Do yourself a favor and use a professional software version like the AD-1 above. It will blow your mind.
I recall the AD-1. Isn't that the old Nubus TDM plug? Is that still supported? I think I have it on a floppy somewhere here. Regardless, I use Spectrafoo Complete, very highly regarded package.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➡️
So long now.
Are you leaving the forums?
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #35
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This Thread is a Repeat

This Thread is a Repeat.
A Repeat.

DD
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➡️
I am not leaving you without at least pointing you at this thread which may also help the OP as per your request. So long now.
I don't see anything on that list I couldn't do simply by listening.

By all means, if it works for you to use an analyzer then do, but I find it pretty odd to say people (many of them with years of experience behind) not using analyzers are doing half-ass jobs.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtalahde ➡️
I don't see anything on that list I couldn't do simply by listening.
Just to mention one, I am sure you can surgically insert a parametric equalizer at the precise center frequency where sibilance occurs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtalahde ➡️
but I find it pretty odd to say people (many of them with years of experience behind) not using analyzers are doing half-ass jobs.
You are putting words in mouth now? I don't remember ever saying that about my 'professional' colleagues.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➡️
Just to mention one, I am sure you can surgically insert a parametric equalizer at the precise frequency where sibilance occurs.
Yes. But I'd rather use a de-esser.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtalahde ➡️
Yes. But I'd rather use a de-esser.
Well, there you go! A de-esser may or may not be at the center frequency and since it's used mainly for mixing not for mastering, you'll be destroying quite possibly the wrong high frequencies of the entire mix.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➡️
A de-esser may or may not be at the center frequency and since it's used mainly for mixing not for mastering, you'll be destroying quite possibly the wrong high frequencies of the entire mix.
As opposed to constantly reducing the sibilant frequency throughout the track?

There are adjustable de-essers too, you know.. And you can use them only where needed. Hell, I've EQ'd the esses out when a de-esser didn't cut it. Apply eq only to the S and crossfade as needed.

And all that I did with my golden ears.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtalahde ➡️
As opposed to constantly reducing the sibilant frequency throughout the track?

There are adjustable de-essers too, you know.. And you can use them only where needed. Hell, I've EQ'd the esses out when a de-esser didn't cut it. Apply eq only to the S and crossfade as needed.

And all that I did with my golden ears.
We are talking mastering here Ok? You can't place a filter and get rid of that sibilance accurately without RTA guidance, so your "golden ears" don't really know better. You want to believe that you can? then suit yourself.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #42
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Who cares what the *center* frequency is anyway? The RTA can tell me the center frequency - I'm going to cut the one that's "most irritating" -- The two aren't necessarily the same.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➡️
We are talking mastering here Ok? You can't place a filter and get rid of that sibilance accurately without RTA guidance, so your "golden ears" don't really know better. You want to believe that you can? then suit yourself.
Oh god...
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MASSIVE Master ➡️
Who cares what the *center* frequency is anyway? The RTA can tell me the center frequency - I'm going to cut the one that's "most irritating" -- The two aren't necessarily the same.
I am not sure what you mean, but if we are talking about only one vocalist, then you only get one "s" frequency problem and thus the need to know exactly where is centered (or located). If the mix has several vocalists with sibilance problems at different frequencies, the more reason to use a RTA. Otherwise, you'll be filtering out high end harmonic information of instruments like cymbals and hats.

Regards,
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➡️
We are talking mastering here Ok? You can't place a filter and get rid of that sibilance accurately without RTA guidance, so your "golden ears" don't really know better.
Accurately means to me something that is in balance with the context. On a punk rock track, a little sibilance can be good. On something softer it might take your attention away. How do you judge that on an RTA?
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtalahde ➡️
Accurately means to me something that is in balance with the context. On a punk rock track, a little sibilance can be good. On something softer it might take your attention away. How do you judge that on an RTA?
We are not talking about that. You know well what kind of sibilance problems I am talking about. If you don't, then you are not an ME for lack of better explanation.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➡️
We are not talking about that. You know well what kind of sibilance problems I am talking about. If you don't, then you are not an ME for lack of better explanation.
You've got to define "accurately" to continue the discussion.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtalahde ➡️
You've got to define "accurately" to continue the discussion.
Accurately {example}:

Singer on the second verse of the song sings a lyrical content that creates sibilance at 8.5 kHz per RTA readout and verified by hearing. The transient reaches -0.5dbfs. We still would like to preserve some of that 's' for emotional content.

Solution: Simply place your filter at that frequency and drop a few dBs {or more if still too sharp to hearing}.

EDIT: I don't just talk but sometimes present examples. Hear is a good example> Just download Mix1 and Mix2. You should hear a clear difference.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MASSIVE Master ➡️
Who cares what the *center* frequency is anyway? The RTA can tell me the center frequency - I'm going to cut the one that's "most irritating" -- The two aren't necessarily the same.
It never ceases to surprise me how often this turns out to be the case. It seems I prove to myself time and again that apparent loudness has very little to do with absolute energies, rms, peak, etc. It's always a much more complex combination of masking effects, timing and whatnot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➡️
Solution: Simply place your filter at that frequency and drop a few dBs {or more if still too sharp to hearing}.
I'm not sure I subscribe to that method, Edward. I would much prefer to use a dynamically triggered filter for this, ie de-esser or equivelant and use proper sidechain conditioning. I just don't like what steep filters of any kind do to the audio. Often they don't show up immediately but raise their ugly head later in the process chain.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #49
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Good. I still do not see the necessity of an RTA to do this, but whatever works for you. I still just listen, notice something's going on between 8-9k and focus there.

Sibilance problems are pretty complicated, and it's not at all rare to see that removing the apparently peaking frequency is not the heart of the problem, but it's below that. Maybe the mic has choked or otherwise reacted to the S while recording and there's a pink noise type of swoosh going on below that frequency that does not show on an RTA and needs to be taken care of. Or maybe you need to do both.

I hope you're talking of placing the EQ on that specific spot and not all the way through the track? If you automate that, it's a de-esser, doesn't differ in any way except that you define your own time constants.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fader8 ➡️
I just don't like what steep filters of any kind do to the audio. Often they don't show up immediately but raise their ugly head later in the process chain.
I am absolutely with you in here, that's why the mix example I posted above was processed with a narrow band compressor {instead of parametric eq} which in essence is eliminating the problem without so much of a side-effect
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtalahde ➡️
Sibilance problems are pretty complicated, and it's not at all rare to see that removing the apparently peaking frequency is not the heart of the problem, but it's below that. Maybe the mic has choked or otherwise reacted to the S while recording and there's a pink noise type of swoosh going on below that frequency that does not show on an RTA and needs to be taken care of. Or maybe you need to do both.
You have to be kidding. Sibilance is not a complex sound and it does depend on who's singing. I've always fixed accurately sibilance issues all my life but again, I don't use a parametric for that. Take the RTA away from me and I am sure I'll be placing the nb comp in the wrong place. Even if it's close enough to the sibilance's center frequency, you can still be ruining good frequencies. Why take chances? Logically, the ideal thing to do would be to fix the sibilance at the mixing stage. Apply a de-esser there or whatever, but many times the mixes come that way for mastering or they develop more sibilance as a result of say, using high frequency shelving.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➡️
EDIT: I don't just talk but sometimes present examples. Hear is a good example> Just download Mix1 and Mix2. You should hear a clear difference.
I'm not sure which one you fixed with the described method. I prefer mix 1. While the sibilance is noticeable, it's not overbearing. On the other hand, mix 2 has what sounds to be an occasional abrasive artifact of the sibilance, and it's position in the stereo field no longer seems to match the vocalist's. There's some air missing from the instrumentals in mix 2 as well. At least that's how it sounds here. Which one did you fix?
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fader8 ➡️
I'm not sure which one you fixed with the described method. I prefer mix 1. While the sibilance is noticeable, it's not overbearing. On the other hand, mix 2 has what sounds to be an occasional abrasive artifact of the sibilance, and it's position in the stereo field no longer seems to match the vocalist's. There's some air missing from the instrumentals in mix 2 as well. At least that's how it sounds here. Which one did you fix?
Yes, thank you very much I was told that I made that mix sound better, but please dont tell that to SH of SH mastering. Thanks. You should hear clearly that the sibilance still there but a lot less and it sounds a lot better!

Case in point
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➡️
Thanks. You should hear clearly that the sibilance still there but a lot less and it sounds a lot better!

Case in point
Sorry, I'm not following you, Edward. Mix 2 sounds like a processed version of mix 1. Sibilance is slightly reduced in mix 2, but there's a sibilance artifact that kicks out just left of center. Which mix did you fix? How does this have anything to do with SC Mastering?
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #55
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Quote:
Take the RTA away from me and I am sure I'll be placing the nb comp in the wrong place.
Then you need to work on your listening skills. Wouldn't you *hear* if it's clamping the wrong frequency?
Quote:
Even if it's close enough to the sibilance's center frequency, you can still be ruining good frequencies.
Even if it's *exactly* on the center frequency, you have no control over everything else in that area. So your entire point is moot.
Quote:
Why take chances?
Indeed. That's why you should use your ears.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fader8 ➡️
Sorry, I'm not following you, Edward. Mix 2 sounds like a processed version of mix 1. Sibilance is slightly reduced in mix 2, but there's a sibilance artifact that kicks out just left of center. Which mix did you fix? How does this have anything to do with SC Mastering?
Mix 2 which is the one with less sibilance. Let's just end it here.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #57
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Quote:
Even if it's *exactly* on the center frequency, you have no control over everything else in that area. So your entire point is moot.
No, it's not as per the example above.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➡️
EDIT: I don't just talk but sometimes present examples. Hear is a good example> Just download Mix1 and Mix2. You should hear a clear difference.
There is a different in the sibilance, and mix1 is better. Mix2's S's aren't really reduced much at all, they just sound more annoying to me. Mix1 isn't bad, and I would've just put a tiny bit of basic de-essing, grabbing only the loudest peaks. This judgement is done at home on a lovely Sony micro stereo set that makes everything sound the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➡️
You have to be kidding. Sibilance is not a complex sound and it does depend on who's singing.
Not in the example you posted. It was a very basic sibilance problem. But there are other kinds of sibilance problems coming from bad choice of microphones, bad preamps clipping, bad mixing techniques.. All need to be approached as an individual problem.

And the key is to listen, in every kinds of sonic problems. What is it that makes takes you attention? Is it something that is left there on purpose, but is just overdone? Is it actually lack of something else that brings the specific problem on table?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➡️
Take the RTA away from me and I am sure I'll be placing the nb comp in the wrong place. Even if it's close enough to the sibilance's center frequency, you can still be ruining good frequencies. Why take chances?
I feel sorry to say this, but if you can't fix sibilance problems without an RTA, you don't know how to listen. And based on the example you posted, the combination of listening and looking is taking your attention away from the sound. You probably removed something showing up on the RTA, and ended up making things worse.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtalahde ➡️
There is a different in the sibilance, and mix1 is better. Mix2's S's aren't really reduced much at all, they just sound more annoying to me. Mix1 isn't bad, and I would've just put a tiny bit of basic de-essing, grabbing only the loudest peaks. This judgement is done at home on a lovely Sony micro stereo set that makes everything sound the same.



Not in the example you posted. It was a very basic sibilance problem. But there are other kinds of sibilance problems coming from bad choice of microphones, bad preamps clipping, bad mixing techniques.. All need to be approached as an individual problem.

And the key is to listen, in every kinds of sonic problems. What is it that makes takes you attention? Is it something that is left there on purpose, but is just overdone? Is it actually lack of something else that brings the specific problem on table?



I feel sorry to say this, but if you can't fix sibilance problems without an RTA, you don't know how to listen. And based on the example you posted, the combination of listening and looking is taking your attention away from the sound. You probably removed something showing up on the RTA, and ended up making things worse.
The whole point of the test is to show you how you can reduce sibilance at will armed with a RTA and a nb comp. I could have used a lower threshold and completely taken it ALL off!! But, I think that it needs some of it.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtalahde ➡️
And based on the example you posted, the combination of listening and looking is taking your attention away from the sound. You probably removed something showing up on the RTA, and ended up making things worse.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➡️
. The whole point of the test is to show you how you can reduce sibilance at will armed with a RTA and a nb comp. I could have used a lower threshold and completely taken it ALL off!! But, I think that it needs some of it.
Edward, I think that's unfair. Virtalahde's analysis is quite competent and I happen to agree with it, pursuant to my previous comments. From listening to the results myself, I have to conclude that either you're simply not hearing or being attentive to these problems or your monitoring system is in serious question. Whatever the reason, I'd suggest you take a new approach to how you tackle sibilance problems.

There are many here that can help you with that, but alienating them isn't going to get you that help you need. We're all here to learn from each other. Try to keep an open mind and disposition and you'll benefit from the collective.
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