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Applying EQ ???

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Applying EQ ???

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:02 pm
by DigitalMusicProduction
Hi

At the mastering stage when deciding to apply EQ which feature would be best recommended to use, the dedicated EQ effects tool inside the Garritan CFX piano sample library, or an EQ preset inside Logic?

I understand its down to personal choice, but sound design is not really my thing.

Re: Applying EQ ???

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:12 pm
by manwilde
I´d say whatever sounds good to you, if needed.

Re: Applying EQ ???

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:15 pm
by desmond
It depends, but basically you use the most appropriate tool for the job you want to do.

If you want to do gentle tonal shaping to brighten or darken the piano, you might choose to just use the tool in the piano plugin, as it's already there and designed for that.

If you want to specifically carve out problem frequencies, or have needs that that go beyond just a stylistic tone control, eg control the mid range more, then a dedicated EQ plugin will offer you more in that regard.

So how to choose the right tool starts from what you want to do.

With a classical solo piano piece though on a well-recorded piano, EQ adjustments should be pretty much unnecessary, and people are very attuned to the sound of a piano - too much EQing a piano will sound bad really quickly.

Re: Applying EQ ???

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:55 pm
by CS70
DigitalMusicProduction wrote:Hi

At the mastering stage when deciding to apply EQ which feature would be best recommended to use, the dedicated EQ effects tool inside the Garritan CFX piano sample library, or an EQ preset inside Logic?

I understand its down to personal choice, but sound design is not really my thing.

It's just your workflow. DAWs usually have better facilities for templates, repetitive patterns etc - and you can use the same interface and way of working across projects, independently of whether or not you use that specific software instrument.

Sonically, obviously in the DAW you can chose EQs with slightly different sounds, but I doubt it would make a great deal of difference unless the Garritan built-in EQ really sucks. :)

Re: Applying EQ ???

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:03 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
DigitalMusicProduction wrote:At the mastering stage when deciding to apply EQ which feature would be best recommended to use, the dedicated EQ effects tool inside the Garritan CFX piano sample library, or an EQ preset inside Logic?

At the mastering stage, the track is already recorded as audio, so the EQ built in to the sampler is of no use whatsoever. The EQ plugins provided in Logic are your only option.

However, if you aren't recording audio, just MIDI performances, then the sampler EQ is an option but you are essentially still mixing, rather than mastering...

Re: Applying EQ ???

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 12:39 pm
by DigitalMusicProduction
Hugh Robjohns wrote:However, if you aren't recording audio, just MIDI performances, then the sampler EQ is an option but you are essentially still mixing, rather than mastering...

How does that work out?

My work flow is that of recording the Yamah CFX sampled piano in MIDI, to edit, then add any effects processing tools if necessary such as EQ or a mastering preset, all this will be done in MIDI, then the final action is to gain stage, then bounce the project to audio, is there anything I'm missing?

Re: Applying EQ ???

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 12:49 pm
by desmond
No that's fine. Hugh generally works with audio tracks, but leaving MIDI tracks as they are in the project and bouncing out as you say is fine.

Personally I like to bounce out a "mix" audio file, and then "master" that mix file as a separate process, but it's common for people to do everything on the project mix bus these days.

Re: Applying EQ ???

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:26 pm
by DigitalMusicProduction
desmond wrote:With a classical solo piano piece though on a well-recorded piano, EQ adjustments should be pretty much unnecessary, and people are very attuned to the sound of a piano - too much EQing a piano will sound bad really quickly.

Thats an interesting point as I'm using the Sony MDR 7506 monitoring headphones which provide quite a flat signal, that said with no EQ applied the overall low mid and high frequency range sounds well when recording with the Classic version of Garritans Yamaha CFX Piano.

Naturally reference monitoring headphones are used to identify the most intricate details of a mix as well as providing a correct balance in EQ, so as you mentioned above, that just might be the case?

Re: Applying EQ ???

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:38 pm
by Sam Spoons
DigitalMusicProduction wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:However, if you aren't recording audio, just MIDI performances, then the sampler EQ is an option but you are essentially still mixing, rather than mastering...

How does that work out?

My work flow is that of recording the Yamah CFX sampled piano in MIDI, to edit, then add any effects processing tools if necessary such as EQ or a mastering preset, all this will be done in MIDI, then the final action is to gain stage, then bounce the project to audio, is there anything I'm missing?

Just trying to understand this, do you mean you put the processing/mastering in the audio output while the VSTi playing from the midi track before rendering the midi/VSTi to an audio track? Obviously audio processing/fx won't have any effect on a midi track.

Re: Applying EQ ???

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:41 pm
by CS70
DigitalMusicProduction wrote:
desmond wrote:With a classical solo piano piece though on a well-recorded piano, EQ adjustments should be pretty much unnecessary, and people are very attuned to the sound of a piano - too much EQing a piano will sound bad really quickly.

Thats an interesting point as I'm using the Sony MDR 7506 monitoring headphones which provide quite a flat signal, that said with no EQ applied the overall low mid and high frequency range sounds well when recording with the Classic version of Garritans Yamaha CFX Piano.

Naturally reference monitoring headphones are used to identify the most intricate details of a mix as well as providing a correct balance in EQ, so as you mentioned above, that just might be the case?

Headphones that are good for mixing do not favor (too much) certain frequency bands over others, so they don't lead you to mistakenly compensate. If you mix on a Beats by Dr. Dre for example, the bass is so hyped that you will turn it down when mixing, resulting in a mix that will have no bass when played on more normal playback systems.

That said, no headphone (or playback system) is perfectly flat, and certain aspects of mixing (the stereo image, for example) are inherently different in headphones, so you need to "learn" their sound anyways.

As for piano, desmond is spot on: you very seldom need to equalize it if it's "naked" (as in a classical recording) and in a pop mix at most you may want to cut some midrange to avoid clashes with other components, especially if the full range of the piano is used.

But in general: record a good piano in a good space with good microphones and leave it alone. Same goes with sampled or modeled pianos.

Re: Applying EQ ???

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:09 pm
by DigitalMusicProduction
CS70 wrote:As for piano, desmond is spot on: you very seldom need to equalize it if it's "naked" (as in a classical recording)

What exactly do you mean when you refer to a "Classical Piano recording" What is unique about it, that effects processing tools such as EQ need not be applied, does it have something to do with the quality of the piano? Or the recorded sound environment?

CS70 wrote:But in general: record a good piano in a good space with good microphones and leave it alone. Same goes with sampled or modeled pianos.

I could be wrong? But Garritans Yamaha CFX Concert Grand Piano from Abbey Road Studios is rated one of the best sample Pianos out there. Having recently purchased it i found, out of the 3 perspectives (Classic, Contemporary, and Player) the Classic default version with AR1s natural acoustic sound environment sounds absolutely perfect.

After studying the microphonic recording process of the CFX, i believe it's this Piano that resembles the qualities in contrast to your quote above, so as say, leaving such a piano naked as it is, is probably the correct thing to do.

Re: Applying EQ ???

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:14 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
DigitalMusicProduction wrote: ...the Classic default version with AR1s natural acoustic sound environment sounds absolutely perfect.

Then you need not worry about EQ and just record your masterpieces...

Re: Applying EQ ???

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:14 pm
by desmond
DigitalMusicProduction wrote:
CS70 wrote:As for piano, desmond is spot on: you very seldom need to equalize it if it's "naked" (as in a classical recording)

What exactly do you mean when you refer to a "Classical Piano recording" What is unique about it that effects processing tools such as EQ need not be applied, does it have something to do with the quality of the piano? Or the recorded sound environment?

Classical musical is not a playground for production techniques. No one is distorting the oboes, putting delays on the flutes, and harmonizing the timpanis. Classical music is orchestrated and arranged to fit together, so there isn't much EQing, panning and so on to try to mix together multiple sources into a mix - the composer, arrangement and performances already do that.

DigitalMusicProduction wrote:the Classic default version with AR1s natural acoustic sound environment sounds absolutely perfect.

So why are you thinking about EQing it?

Re: Applying EQ ???

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:56 pm
by Luke W
desmond wrote:Classical musical is not a playground for production techniques. No one is distorting the oboes, putting delays on the flutes, and harmonizing the timpanis.

An orchestra with pedalboards is something I want to see...

In seriousness though, and other have pointed it out already, working with sampled instruments is rather different to recording the sources yourself. With a decent piano library for example, a lot of effort and skill will have gone into recording the instrument in the first place, so it's already going to sound good as a lot of the work has already been done.

The last few projects I've mixed that featured a piano have all been done from sample libraries (some just solo piano/vocal and some as part of a larger arrangement) and I don't think I used any EQ at all on the piano. It was just a case of picking the library that best fitted the material, and then adjusting the mic/lid positions within the plug-in got the sound to where I wanted it to be.

Re: Applying EQ ???

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:39 pm
by The Elf
DigitalMusicProduction wrote:Garritans Yamaha CFX Concert Grand Piano from Abbey Road Studios is rated one of the best sample Pianos out there...
You do seem to be placing an awful lot of faith in this one product as if it is the only answer to everyone's piano prayers. It really isn't.

Given your overriding desire to get these piano pieces as perfect as possible it makes me wonder why you are using samples at all, rather than a real piano in a real space with good engineers.