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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An extremely beneficial one when used properly.

The name is a short form for Harmonic Balance. Change the threshold numbers for each band to match the new peak numbers that appear at the bottom. If you master your next project better than the last, you are only getting better.

Calling it just an equalizer diminishes what it can accomplish. Equal loudness contours for human hearing subject to pure tones in a free-field with the subject facing the source from ISO recommendation R How is this different from the conventional approach? We hope you enjoy it, Har-Bal International Figure 1. How the Air then affects spectrum then depends upon whether the peaks and troughs of the Air response line up with the peaks in the spectrum.

Har-Bal | The Scientific Audio Mastering Solution – The Scientific Audio Mastering Solution

By that I mean with a normal compressor masterong would typically have a fast attack time and slow release which means that the gain quickly drops at the start of a transient and slowly rises at the harrbal after the transient. In the above example, to accurately judge the effect of the EQ change would require that you reduce the overall volume while boosting the mid-range but by how much? I know very little about sound, but I am interested in learning more and getting a home studio setup for music production.

When do you anticipate that a DirectX version of HarBal will be available?

You will always need the Limiter. Below are some options Figure 4. The net result is that the dynamics processing in Har-Bal works more like the volume riding technique of recording engineers of days gone past where they would adjust down the mawtering while the music is being recorded because they knew when the loud parts were coming. Place the following plugins into the chain in this order and save as a preset with the same numbers I have inputted.


Limiter — Always use this and set the Out-Ceiling for If your song is too bassy or trebly you will know immediately at this volume.

I know there are a few mastering engineers out there that hate the loudness war rightfully so happening with certain types of music.

Remember with RMS hrbal the maatering the number the louder the song. Observe the numbers at the bottom of each band. 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. By using a slow moving envelope for dynamics processing we ensure that the short term transient material remains largely unaltered and we simply change the relativity between loud and soft passages of a track.

Three meters you should always have open are below: You can substitute the plugins after Har-Bal with any mastwring your favorites. Even for the most proficient of operators this task can be particularly difficult to do well and this in turn mqstering a result of the way in which we perceive sound. Either way, this is achieved by a studio engineer of varying skill adjusting the controls on a graphic, or more commonly a parametric, equalizer while monitoring the resultant sound through speakers to obtain the desired effect.

The effect the new Air has on the spectrum is actually rather small when used modestly.

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So when you combine the effect of loudness sensitivity and equalization changes, how do you tell how much of the improvement was due to the equalization and how much was due to the overall increase in perceived loudness? If you find this hard to believe try this for a challenge. Imagine if you will a great recorded part of a vocal that explodes in volume on a couple of notes.

Please keep in mind that you may not need to use every one of these each time and can simply bypass any of them. The program will then match the volume of the current file to the reference file based on your input criteria. Users of the software report that this new process has demonstrated itself time after time in producing a harmonically balanced sound from one that was wanting.


Getting rid of peaks yellow line and filling holes green line in the spectrum is barbal real magic of Har-Bal and prevents your compressor from working too hard. I know very little about sound, but I am interested in learning more and getting a home studio setup for music production. Complex time selection and filtering is our take on how to control errant peaks in highly dynamic instruments such as vocal parts.

At low volumes we find it hard to hear low and high frequencies but as the volume increases the spectrum extremes become progressively easier to hear as is illustrated in the equal loudness contours for human hearing shown in Figure 1.

We need to get it to or to suitably fit in with other similar songs.

The current practice for mastering of popular music will typically involve a combination of processes including mix-down, dynamic range compression, equalization and normalization or limiting. The designed filter can be tested by listening to the effect it has on the recording and comparing it with the un-balanced version in real time. Start typing and press Enter to search. These are your peaks Figure 9. After compression some degree of equalization may be needed to compensate for the shift in spectral balance that compression often causes, or worse still, to compensate for a poor mix-down.

In this way the you can be sure that the differences you hear are due to the change in spectral balance and not the change in volume.

Below is the process for using the Waves Linear Phase Multiband.