Author Topic: Compression with EQ  (Read 1842 times)

marob

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I've noticed that when you use EQ to boost the bass a little, there is some compression enabled, making it sound like ass.  This is most noticeable when listening to newer rock songs that are loud to begin with.  Is there a way to disable the compression? I'd rather have clipping and reduce the EQ than some compressed shit.

sveakul

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It's news to me that MusicBee does any form of built-in compression.  I use the built-in EQ, and do boost some bass and treble ranges with it, along with a separate VST plugin that allows you to vary/balance both limiting and compression (Sonic Anomaly's "Unlimited", http://www.vst4free.com/free_vst.php?plugin=Unlimited&id=2843).  You may want to give that a try (you'll need to add the MusicBee VST Host plugin first if not installed).

frankz

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It's news to me that MusicBee does any form of built-in compression.
It doesn't.

OP, best use of EQ, especially with music that is already close to peaking, is to decrease undesirable frequencies, not boost frequencies you want more of. You're taking frequencies that are already peaking and pushing them past 0 and wondering why it sounds bad?

Honestly, mastering professionals sitting behind tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment know what they're doing. They're trained and skilled. What are you going to do at home with free plugins to improve on their work?

hiccup

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Honestly, mastering professionals sitting behind tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment know what they're doing.

In defense of e.q.-ing sometimes:

I own a rather unforgiving set of very neutral speakers that would be considered high-end.
There are recordings that have extremely low volumes at low frequencies.
It could be that they are mixed and mastered for cheap radios in the old days, could be that it was not mixed in an expensive studio, and the monitor speakers had too much bass.
Also, I have some modern recordings that are of a great sound quality, but have a bass that is so extremely loud in some specific low frequency that it scares even me. (and I like bass)
That is probably because the room or the speakers originally used for mixing didn't reveal those specific low frequencies.

Also, many speakers and headphones (especially in the lower price range) won't have a flat frequency response, can sound boomy, have exaggerated highs, etc. It's perfectly valid to try and make those sound a little bit more pleasant by using some e.q.-ing.

And, at low volume levels, the human ear is far less sensitive for low and high frequencies.
That's also why the (often mis-used) 'loudness button' was invented...

So, while I do agree that you should always try to get (your ears) used to listen to music without fiddling with e.q., there are some very valid reasons to use them.

At the O.P.:
But be sure that when in MusicBee you increase some sliders, also make sure that you lower the pre-amp slider on the left with a substantial amount to prevent clipping or distortion.

frankz

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hiccup, I understand I'm a bit of a zealot when it comes to EQ. For me, it's like tweaking the colors of a painting in Photoshop to personal taste.  Audio vandalism.  I'm not normal in this.

Just to be clear, this was the advice.

OP, best use of EQ, especially with music that is already close to peaking, is to decrease undesirable frequencies, not boost frequencies you want more of. You're taking frequencies that are already peaking and pushing them past 0 and wondering why it sounds bad?
And this is pure zealotry.
Honestly, mastering professionals sitting behind tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment know what they're doing. They're trained and skilled. What are you going to do at home with free plugins to improve on their work?

hiccup

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hiccup, I understand I'm a bit of a zealot when it comes to EQ. For me, it's like tweaking the colors of a painting in Photoshop to personal

No problem, surely everybody is entitled to his opinion.
But I think the examples I presented are much closer to facts than opinions. (in my opinion ;-)

The analogy to Photoshop:
A (semi) professional will also adjust his monitor to get things displaying correctly using contrast, gamma, colour correction, etc.
He will also run into sub-par quality sources once in a while. Perhaps the camera that took the picture was not adjusted properly when the picture was taken. Perhaps it was processed inbetween by somebody with a badly calibrated display, or it was optimized for print instead of for monitor display, etc. etc.
All valid reasons to make adjustments to photographs sometimes too.

(The life of a zealot will surely be simpler in this regard.
But he might miss out on some extra enjoyment... )


Back on-topic:

Your advice of lowering frequencies instead of increasing is certainly a good one.
But when you take human nature into account, if a person hears too little bass to his taste, his impulse will be to turn up the bass.
So realistically, that's just what any regular person will do.
And it's not a problem, as long as he understands he then consequently should lower the pre-amp slider.
Last Edit: January 20, 2020, 05:40:03 PM by hiccup

marob

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Here's a sample of what's going on: https://soundcloud.com/user-584171021/mb-comp/s-bHhLT.  I extremely overdid the EQ to make the compression painfully obvious.  It doesn't happen on iTunes. 90% of my music is old, non-remastered stuff that I do add a slight amount of low end to.  The problem is when a new (1990-present) song like the example comes on, it usually has much louder bass and it compresses the hell out of the high end.  Even with a minuscule amount of EQ, I can immediately tell something is amiss on one of these new songs in my collection.

mastering professionals sitting behind tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment know what they're doing

That's just it though, they are sitting behind thousands of dollars and I am sitting behind a couple hundred dollars.

hiccup

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Can you post a printscreen of your Preferences > Player panel, and of your 'Equaliser and DSP Settings' panel?