The Harbal mastering software has been around for more than seven years now, and its first release version was reviewed by Martin Walker back in SOS March. After WaveLab, I have to have Harbal. The name is a short form for Harmonic Balance. It solves one of the most challenging phases of the mastering process.
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The following is a mastering tutorial explaining many tips, tricks and audio mastering secrets. There are a number of methods used to accomplish harmonic balancing or spectral correction. Ahrbal large number of audio mastering software packages presently available have real time spectrum analyzers included in their bundle. Har-Bal allows you to instantly identify rogue resonances and correct them on the spot.
You can substitute the plugins after Har-Bal with any of your favorites. This instruction manual is designed to get you up and running and hopefully give you a superior understanding of the mastering process. You should to pay special attention to your RMS power masteding and adjust these based on the genre of the music.
I know there are a few mastering engineers out there that hate the loudness war rightfully so happening with certain types of music.
These are just the times we are living in. Check your RMS level in your mix…. We need to get it to or to suitably fit in with other similar songs. Take out your calculator and input This is the number we are shooting for and will probably be the number you feed into your limiter.
Remember with RMS levels the lower the number the louder the song. You can input this number as a negative into your limiter and your RMS level for your overall loudness will be Quite a few mastering engineers use what they call a mastering chain and during the course of building or fattening the song they already have an idea what they would like the end result RMS to be. As you get into mastering deeper you will find that it is more than just sticking a number into the limiter and your done.
Place hrbal following plugins into the chain in this order and save mastwring a preset with the same numbers I have inputted. Below is the process for using the Waves Linear Phase Multiband. The process will still be the same. You may need to make small adjustments to the individual attack and release buttons for the first two bands. Usually, I leave the harval three bands alone unless the highs are so uncontrollable my eyes start bleeding. Please keep in mind that you may not need to use masfering one of these each time and can simply bypass any of them.
You will always need the Limiter. Always, always to listen your song at 85db while mastering. This is not loud and it enables you to darn near HEAR your music harbwl flat.
If your song is too bassy or trebly you will know immediately at this volume. Phasescope — To check the stereo image Image should be mostly vertical upright with a little body to the east and west.
You should get into the mastrring of taking any commercial song and studying them while these meters are running. It will open a whole new world of understanding. If you master your next project better than the last, you are only getting better.
Get used to it. You will discover on a daily basis the real concept of mastering and the real reason why there are no perfect settings that can be used with every song. The trick is to listen to a song completely and KNOW which tools to use. This knowledge comes from an understanding of the functionality of those tools. This material is free masternig copy, print and distribute freely. You can also download the. We hope you enjoy it, Har-Bal International Figure 1. You need to highlight the wave file before doing this in Wavelab.
Remember with RMS levels the lower the number the louder the song You can input this number as a negative into your limiter and your RMS level for your overall loudness will be Which song is louder RMS level Your mastering chain should consist of the following: Below are some options Figure 4.
Harbal: My Second Right Arm!
When you are finished mixing a track, import it into Har-Bal and check for peaks and valleys. This is how your track should look before going any further. Do not worry about peaks to the right of the 5k mark. Getting rid of peaks yellow line and filling holes green line in the spectrum is the real magic of Har-Bal and prevents your compressor from working too hard. Open a wave editor Wavelab, Sound Forge Place the following plugins into the chain in this order and save as a preset with the same numbers I have inputted.
Waves Q10 Paragraphic EQ or something similar. Adjust your high pass filter between 40 and 60hz to get rid of low rumble Sweep back and forth until it sounds right. You may need to use a subwoofer.
Too much in the low end will prevent you from increasing your overall volume. Allow your song to play through completely to the end.
Observe the numbers at the bottom of each band. These are your peaks Figure 9. Change the threshold numbers for each band to match the new peak numbers that appear at the bottom. This will keep your volume the same while you are pulling down your master threshold. Limiter — Always use this and set the Out-Ceiling for You will always need the Limiter Always, always to listen your song at 85db while mastering.
Three meters you should always have open are below: These are included with Wavelab Phasescope — To check the stereo image Image should be mostly vertical upright with a little body to the east and west. In other words even though I am increasing the overall volume, I am still maintaining my listening level.
Har-Bal | The Scientific Audio Mastering Solution – The Scientific Audio Mastering Solution
Spectrum Analyzer — checking for sudden spikes and overall patterns and adjust with your EQ You should get into the habit of taking any commercial song and studying them while these meters are running. Your tracks will sound their best when they are first processed in Har-Bal before any digital eq or multiband [Read More].
When do you anticipate that a DirectX version of HarBal will be available? I do all my mastering work in Sound Forge 6, and it would be a lot more convenient if barbal plug-in was available. I know very little about sound, but I am interested in learning more and getting a home studio setup for music production.
Can I create and save presets? Start typing and press Enter to search.