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irvin

Oldtimer's ears and bad habits?

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Yes, I'm an old-timer at 54. I go back to the glorious 80's in New York, recording several nights per week at the long defunct Variety Studios on 42nd St. I went through the transition to digital, owning a 24-track studio (all ADATS!) in the mid-nineties. Nowadays, I track, mix and master ITB exclusively. The rambling is to say that i love all that digital has to offer and fully realize this is much better than tape splicing and needing extra hands for complex mixes.

There is something I have not fully overcome, though: equalizing by ear. I love the modern plugins. The recently released FabFilter EQ-2 is a work of art. Yet, I find myself far more engaged when twisting little virtual knobs in Sonimus SonEQ. Somehow, I "hear" better when I'm not looking at graph or spectrogram. I love simple EQ plugins with just a few knobs (the fewer the better). I feel a signal that needs fixing on more than a couple of bands is probably a bad one to begin with.

I'm not saying one plugin or method is better than the other - I'm just wondering how it is for other users. Is it just old/bad habits on my part? Is it like that for most people? Maybe I have not overcome the limitations of the past, when you could not easily get away with the now-common 'we will fix it in the mix' - even though people tried it even before my time. Whatever it is, I prefer to EQ without my eyes. Is it like that for you? Please, share your experience...

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I'm 57 & swing both ways, but I like to remind myself that it's not about the pretty graphics.

And sometimes, I even succeed! smile.png

Cheers,

Bob.

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Good point about "hearing" better when not looking at the screen. There might be some eye-ear-brain distortion of perception going on where the eyes synapses interfere with our ear synapses?!

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Good point about "hearing" better when not looking at the screen. There might be some eye-ear-brain distortion of perception going on where the eyes synapses interfere with our ear synapses?!

This is called multitasking, something only women can do - at least that´s what they think...

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I'm not sure whether to say "I hear ya" or "I see"-

...regarding Irvin's original notion, I suppose you can try the mouse wheel to raise/lower values as you listen without looking

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I am 65 .I hear detail in music far better with my eyes closed,nuances,timbre, placement ,etc., so I prefer old style

knobs to turn on an EQ ,whilst my eyes are closed.

One of my favourite EQ` s is from Nomad factory, .....,but then again I don`t have music as a living.

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I am 65 .I hear detail in music far better with my eyes closed,nuances,timbre, placement ,etc., so I prefer old style

knobs to turn on an EQ ,whilst my eyes are closed.

One of my favourite EQ` s is from Nomad factory, .....,but then again I don`t have music as a living.

On the topic of favorite EQs, I absolutely love SonEQ Pro and Sweetone from Sonimus. To me, they sound much better than the visually striking Fabfilter EQ-2. There is something very "sterile" about FabFilter plugins, but can't honestly say I know what it is; perhaps they just give users too many options, too much power! But then again, I'm not into 'surgical eq' and never needed 17 parametric bands to ''enhance" a track.

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I prefer to EQ without my eyes.

Miller Brewing Company's sales had been dropping gradually and steadily, so recently according to a Bloomberg Businessweek article:

"The brand replaced the blue cans that have been in beer aisles since 2001, and an unexpected thing happened: Miller Lite sales immediately increased in the U.S. Aside from standing out on shelves, the new design also has the effect of making people think they’re not buying the same old Miller Lite (it is, in fact, exactly the same old Miller Lite). “A lot of people said, ‘I think the beer even tastes better,’” says Ryan Reis, senior director for Miller’s family of brands."

So there you have it -- don't trust your eyes!

Walt

OMG! I'm OT. blush.png I'd better go post this in the Beer forum. smile.png

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Miller Brewing Company's sales had been dropping gradually and steadily, so recently according to a Bloomberg Businessweek article:

"The brand replaced the blue cans that have been in beer aisles since 2001, and an unexpected thing happened: Miller Lite sales immediately increased in the U.S. Aside from standing out on shelves, the new design also has the effect of making people think they’re not buying the same old Miller Lite (it is, in fact, exactly the same old Miller Lite). “A lot of people said, ‘I think the beer even tastes better,’” says Ryan Reis, senior director for Miller’s family of brands."

So there you have it -- don't trust your eyes!

OMG! I'm OT. blush.png I'd better go post this in the Beer forum. smile.png

lol...good one, Walt!

It's human nature - just a couple of days ago I had to laugh at myself: when Fabfilter announced the release of EQ-Pro v2.0, I watched the demo video and was so impressed by the features, interface, bell curves, blah, blah, blah, I almost had a sonic orgasm. The 'air' in my pants became fully 'saturated', the 'warmth' and 'aural excitement' leading to a full-spectrum Nyquist erection. Sweet (and odd!) harmonics enveloped my scrotum like a silky veil softly caressing the rosy cheeks of a Mayan Princess. It was plugin nirvana. Then the bad news hit me: reading some comments at GearSlutz (yes, I enjoy it! sorry...), someone suggested the new release was not very good because it lacked a "saturation" per-band control. In my mind, it made so much sense, that I felt the plugin was not as good or complete as I first thought...lol...then it hit me: there is nothing wrong with the plugin...we are just guilty of gluttony...

We always want and 'need' more. Or just different...

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There is something I have not fully overcome, though: equalizing by ear. I love the modern plugins. The recently released FabFilter EQ-2 is a work of art. Yet, I find myself far more engaged when twisting little virtual knobs in Sonimus SonEQ. Somehow, I "hear" better when I'm not looking at graph or spectrogram. I love simple EQ plugins with just a few knobs (the fewer the better). I feel a signal that needs fixing on more than a couple of bands is probably a bad one to begin with.

I'm not saying one plugin or method is better than the other - I'm just wondering how it is for other users. Is it just old/bad habits on my part? Is it like that for most people? Maybe I have not overcome the limitations of the past, when you could not easily get away with the now-common 'we will fix it in the mix' - even though people tried it even before my time. Whatever it is, I prefer to EQ without my eyes. Is it like that for you? Please, share your experience...

Well, I really came ITB from the ground up, discounting the little 3-band semi-parametric graphic eq on my rehearsal board. So, very well versed with all the graph parametric eq-s. Yet - my main mix eq these days is Waves API... Not only doesn't it have an adjustable or any other kind of graph, neither is it fully parametric, it only has 4 bands, doesn't have Q, it has rather few fixed frequency points and it only moves in 2dB steps! Yet somehow I find that I mix faster, my mixes sound better in the sense of pleasing my personal HiFi sensibilities and at the same time are more musical and everything just gels better. Funny that.

Mostly people - well, at least I did - think that what is said by "more musical" is something like an old Zeppelin record or something, definitely something "old" - no can't have it, need CONTROL!, need NEW sounding - and whatnot and that was my biggest surprise graduating everything from SSL X-EQ (a 10 band fully parametric Algorithmix port) to API - it just isn't. I can mix even more "modern" with API and all it's limitations than I could with much more control that SSL and the likes were offering. That said, I sometimes grab the X-EQ if something is absolutely broken to my ears, there the control can be useful.

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Interesting topic. I'm going on 57 and been recording/mixing bands and myself since the early 70's. Like you Irvin, I went through the sudden change to digital - more and more digital things just showing up in the studios and no one telling us anything about how to use them..I'll never forget when I mixed to a DAT for the first time and the studio manager came in and said "just saturate the input levels real good"!!!

Anyway, I left the studio scene in 1994 before computers really had come into it, and since then have only worked at home. I used ADATS for a couple years until my first DAW which was Samp 2496 back around 1998 (?) and since then I have learned to be perfectly comfortable in "seeing" what I'm working on (edits, crossfades, curves of any kind etc) and still always let my ears decide, and even so, I'm frequently listening while not looking at the screens.

Often when I've got a "client" sitting next to me, and we are doing an edit or crossfade etc, I can tell right away that they are sometimes paying more attention to what the edit "looks like" rather than the sound, which makes them believe they can hear it. When I know it's because they are looking at it, I roll back a bit before the edit, hit play and minimize Samp so there is nothing on the screens. Usually that results in "hey where was the edit?!"

I am not much of an EQ user, most of my mixes apart from high or lowpass here and there, are EQ-free, but I can understand when doing additive EQ and seeing the curve going up, part of me wonders if I ought to be noticing more of a change than the visual representation could account for, and makes me feel I ought to be a tad more conservative although the ears win out 100% of the time. It's not only because of aging ears either, I still find so many mixes sent to me for mastering sound much too bright, and in my own work you will still never see high frequencies being added - always the opposite if anything. So, yes, it's a very interesting psycho-acoustical phenomena! Or is it "phenomenon", I never remember...

Bob

www.bdrak.com

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I

Often when I've got a "client" sitting next to me, and we are doing an edit or crossfade etc, I can tell right away that they are sometimes paying more attention to what the edit "looks like" rather than the sound, which makes them believe they can hear it. When I know it's because they are looking at it, I roll back a bit before the edit, hit play and minimize Samp so there is nothing on the screens. Usually that results in "hey where was the edit?!"

Yeah. I have found, that turning the monitors off works psychologically even better, as it totally throws them off their game and preconcieved and -remembered notions of the edit point.

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58 here (and just found the 'general' forums - thanks Tim for the nudge)... Don't do much except for my own enjoyment anymore, but going over several decades of work in the past few months, I've found that hands down, the best sounding stuff -not necessarily the best, but the best sounding- all came from projects on which screen were not necessary, or in some cases invented yet....

Screens and the subsequent shifting of priorities - fistfights break out over this, but face it: no computer EQ, summing, etc, will ever match the interactive wonder of a properly positioned quality mic, going thru a decent board with all its crosstalk and such, each channel competing with the next for power...

The focus of the music on the performer, not the editing skills of the operator; the focus of acoustics on the recording space, not the control room; etc. playing it right instead of fixing it to resemble something it wasn't... A handful of Ashly SC50s is exponentially better than 1000 instances of artificial 1176s, and 16 channels of Soundcraft 1600 EQ smokes 1000 channels of an SSL plug in.

I dont like the idea of people looking at waveforms to determine the quality of a mix, without even knowing what it sounds like...who the hell knows what it sounds like when you (anyone) are making judgements from a low rate mp3, or listening to a CD in your car on $4 speakers while traveling 75 MPH in traffic? Has to be louder than the last song, right, so people will remember it...

Feel free to borrow my cane anytime

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