Enige tijd geleden heeft een spaanse vriend een korte handleiding geswchreven m.b.t. masteren met Wavelab en Izotope Ozone, het beslaat niet het gehele traject maar is een goede start. Misschien heeft iemand er verder nog iets aan, wel in het Engels. De auteur heeft jarenlange ervaring en doet (o.a.) mastering voor producties wereldwijd.
Homemade tuto about EQ in mastering with Izotope+Wavelab
Lets beguin with a little Wavelab´s setup:
In order to be able to store Izotope´s presets opened in Wavelab using all keyboard letters, we have to deactivate the shorcuts keycomands from Wavelab for Izotope, or they will interference your storage operation.
Inside Wavelab: Go to Audio/Keycommands ; select "short by key", select any key
press the "Exclude windows" button and write/paste exactly the following:
Press ok, and now the shorcuts wont interference your work inside Izotope... I wish I had knew this before than I did !!! hehe. You can repeat this for any other plugin that you havethis problem with.
Wavelab´s info about this window:
The Exclude Windows dialog
This window is used to specify windows that should not be affected by Key Sequences. It is mainly for plug-in windows. Since some plug-ins, especially from third-party manufacturers, have their own set of key commands, you way want to disable WaveLab key commands for these windows.
Let's say you assign a key command to "Render" in the Master section, and a certain plug-in already uses the same key combination for an internal operation. Then, pressing this key command might lead
to the wrong operation being invoked when this plug-in has the focus.
"Exclude windows" allows you to prevent this situation:
To exclude a window, type its name in this dialog. You can include DOS "wildcard" characters. For example, to exclude all products from the manufacturer Waves, you can type "Waves*".
Izotope Ozone 2 - Insert this plug in in Wavelab´s rack module.
PART A: PARAGRAPHIC EQUALIZER SECTION
In order to be able to "see" the EQ curve a sound file produce, we need
that the reached peaks remains drawed in the screen and don´t fade away
or move up and down all time in the screen as we play the sound.
For this purpose, we have to do some tweaks in the PARAGRAPHIC EQUALIZER
section of Izotope.
1 - Turn off every module except "PARAGRAPHIC EQUALIZER"
2 - Right-click in the screen of "PARAGRAPHIC EQUALIZER", to view
a new screen, in wich you have to select the following parameters:
SPECTRUM TYPE= LINEAR
AVERAGE TIME= INFINITE
PEAK HOLD TIME= INFINITE
CHECK THE FOLLOWING BOXES:
SHOW PEAK HOLD
ENABLE EQ SPECTRUM
ENABLE MINI SPECTRUM
SHOW HZ/DB READOUT
Press OK and save this preset under the name that you want, for allways recalling it.
Use Izotope´s own preset system, not the Wavelab box, as it gives problems with this plug in and also this way you´ll be able to "transport" your settings to any other software were you may open Izotope.
I allways back up my mastering collection of plugins used in every session.
Now, if you play any file inside Wavelab you´ll see that the EQ curve with the reached frequencies gets freezed in the hight points.
If you double-click in the freq screen, you´ll reset the EQ curve, wich is good to refresh when you change audiofile or simply want to beguin from scratch.
PART B: "SNAPSHOTS" function
The snapshots are the "photos" of the EQ curve that you can take from any soundfile.
You can store and recal up to 8 different snapshots and whatch them as you try to EQ your song in realtime.
The use of the snapshots is to "steal" the EQ curve of a mastered album song, compare it with the EQ of your audiofile, and make the necessary adjustments in EQ in order to make it sound similar.Izotope´s EQ section is amazingly transparent to do this tweaks.
Click in "SNAPSHOT" button and check the box "6 DB GUIDE".
This is the EQ that most albums follow , as all cds are allways rounding that EQ in the high frequencies, it helps to visually fine tune your hight EQ, besides the snapshot this is an adittional
OK, here´s where the real use beguins:
For EQing your track, you need a commercial song for reference that has more or less the same instruments and sound as your own song, althought nowadays all pop/rock/techno/etc..... albums has almost the same overall frequency response, you won´t use that EQ to apply it to a piano solo record for example.
If your song has the normal drums, bass, etc configuration, being it any style, even techno - synth oriented, I recommend to take a new production cd as last Michael Jackson, Christina Aguilera, etc as the reference track,
because those cds sound amazingly good, and you´ll be surprised that also share more or less the same overall eq, the freq range of lows, mids and highs will be very similar.
Once you have the selected track follow this steps:
1 - Open Wavelab and load Izotope with the preset we created earlier.
Note: I like to have the reference track allways opened in a Winamp window, so I can A/B it playing it again whenever I want to make sure that I´m not going too far. Opening it outside Wavelab helps, as that I don´t have
to bypass the mastering FX everytime I want to hear it again if I had it opened in Wavelab. When you´re mastering for long sessions your ears get tired and you loose objetivity, its easy to get too much highs harsh frequencies if you don´t pay close attention to detailed listening.
2 - Play the file, watching at the same time the frequency that it generates and althought is not necessary to play it entirely, it is important to grab the parts that has more instrument intensity,where more frequencies, lows, mids and highs happens to be. This intensity normally is located on chorus
or similar parts in music that hasn´t the standard song structure format.
For example, you don´t want to take a synth intro freq as the overall freq to eq your whole song.
3 - When you have that part located, you can make a loop and play it continously.
Now click the "Snapshot" button, it will open its own window but you´ll be able to see the file curve drawing. When you have the higher point happening, click on one of the 8 boxes, and here you got your pic of the spectrum, you can try as many times as you need to get it right.
That file keeps in memmory, so you can close the snapshot window and get back to the main screen, The drawing will be there as a fixed ghost image in other color than the green one that happens in real time, even after closing Wavelab, as you have it stored.
4 - Double click on the screen to erase the realtime drawing and load your own song file and play it. You´ll see that the EQ curve it generates as it plays is different as the commercial CD, thats normal. It usually lacks mid-highs and needs lowend fix ( too much or too less, etc)
5 - Now we have to remove the inaudible LOW frequencies - the excess of sub-bass sound - that may be present in your mix, that can blown the speakers and affect the functioning of following compresors, etc... Its good also to remove the extreme highs with a low pass filter.
You can do this with izotope without any problem, but I preffer to insert an EQ before Izotope, as it lets me without having to care more about it. You can drag the Izotope plugin module to the second fx slot of wavelab and insert in the first one a dedicated EQ asigned to do this cuts. I like to do it this way with Waves Lin Eq Broadband, make and store the following preset:
Left module: Select Type: HI pass
GAIN: 0 FREQ: @22 Hhz Q: 2.00
Center modules: ALL OF THEM Switched Off
Right module: Select Type: Resonant Low Pass
GAIN: 0 FREQ: @16 Khz Q: 0.90
Now, you can beguin trying to match de desired EQ of your reference track by carefully adjusting Izotope´s EQ. You have to be aware that when you add compression and limiting later to your mix, the overall EQ curve will change
again, so I like to adjust the EQ more or less in this stage, put the following compressor and needed fx, and add another Izotope module right at the end of the chain (same init preset), to make sure that the final EQ curve is the
desired one. This way I can re-eq the changed freqs here or in the initial Izotope module.
One thing that normally happens when compresing the mix, is that the mid and highs raise its level, so maybe you don´t need to add a lot of highs as it seems at the beguining stage, in the first Izotope.
Other thing that can happen is that you have carefully eqed your track highs as the reference track, but you have harsh sounding freqs that bleeds your ears when playing loud.
Well, to get rid of them, you have to find them and narrow cut them. They can happen anywhere, but usually concentrate @2.500Hz, 3.500hz, maybe 4.500hz, depending of the mix and sounds present.
Its very easy to locate those FREQs inside the last izotope module screen:
Press and hold the ALT key, then as the soundfile plays an cycle in the section you have may selected, move the mouse all the way up and left -right the screen searching for those freqs (start 2.500Hz, etc).
Using the ALT key funtion you will able to hear the frequency your are pointing with the mouse, so when you reach the bad one, also having raised some dbs of it because you´re moving with the mouse up (you can raise up to +15 dbs with Izotope ) it will be evident when you have find it.
Take note of the freq and make a narrow cut of some dbs in that same founded freq using Izotope EQ. To build a narrow EQ in Izotope, click on a EQ point and move the brackets as you need to make it wide or narrow, and drag from its center green point to go to the desired FREQ. For cutting undesired freqs I use the narrowest position and cut a few dbs, usually between 7 to 10, it depends. Repeat if there´s any other offending freq still present.