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Old 11-25-2008, 06:59 PM   #31
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Originally Posted by Vyasa View Post
...I know that the elite acousticians will say "always fix the room, don't depend on fixing it in the mix", but as a practical matter, I was able to set a parameteric equalizer to focus narrowly on the problem frequencies and pull them down just enough to where it sounded natural.

Negative effects ? I really didn't notice any. Maybe the "phase errors" would show up in a big mix. I don't know.
Let's back up for a second.

Assuming that there were acoustical effects due to standing waves embedded in your recording, ordinary eq would not "fix" them any more than you can make a miked solid-body electric guitar sound like a great acoustic by applying eq.

However, the fact of the complexity of acoustical effects does not in any way imply that room artifacts are necessarily "bad," they're just there, like the different resonances of an acoustic guitar. Acoustical effects are what make a viola sound different from a piano or a woman's voice, even if all three are playing the same note with similar dominant harmonic overtones. The difference between instrument designs and bedroom studios is that bedrooms are rarely designed with hundreds of years of acoustical trial-and-error in mind.

We would not consider an acoustic guitar to be "fixed" if we eliminated the resonances (yes, standing waves) that were designed into the instrument. The ideal acoustic guitar sound is NOT the pure sound of steel strings, not even close.

I put so many posts above the actual recipe for room treatment is for exactly this reason. Few singers sound better in a dead iso booth than they sound in the bathtub, and the bathroom can be a great place to record all kinds of stuff, even though it is probably the most distorted room in the building. But it is almost certainly not the ideal place to use as a control room.

The only criterion that matters for making recordings is whether they sound good. Technically, you could say the same about mixing, but mixing and evaluation decisions usually require a certain degree of reproducible accuracy. If you're getting great recordings without having to think about acoustics, then more power to you.

But for a lot of home recordists, there is a frustrating gap between the satisfying sounds they achieve in the real world, and the unsatifactory sounds they are producing on record. And some attention to acoustics can help.
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