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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This instruction manual is designed to get you up and running and hopefully give you a superior understanding of the mastering process. I know very little about sound, but I am interested in learning more and getting a home studio setup for music production.

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

To accurately judge a process that involves changes in spectral balance requires that you account for the change in effective loudness. 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 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.

Allow your song to play through completely to the end. By using a slow moving envelope for dynamics processing we ensure that the short term transient material remains largely hqrbal and we simply change the relativity between loud and soft passages of a track.

Always, always to listen your song at 85db while mastering. Add to that a certain level of automation with something called Intuit-Q which attempts to remove masking between frequencies.

By coupling spectrum analysis with linear phase digital filtering Har-Bal provides the most powerful, yet functionally simple means of re-adjusting the spectral balance of sound recordings, be they original new masters, or re-masters of existing works. It solves one of the most challenging phases of the mastering process. Can I hharbal and save presets? Factors such as masking, poor monitoring acoustics, and poor speakers play a significant part but most importantly the issue of human loudness perception makes the task very difficult to do well.


You can input this number as a negative into your limiter and your RMS level for your overall loudness will be Firstly, you do not need golden ears to judge where the problem areas of a particular recording lie as the spectrum measurement gives you an accurate indication of this.

This is masterring loud and it enables you to darn near HEAR your music almost flat.

Mastering Tutorial

It is realized as a log normal random deviate applied to a unity gain all pass response with the variance of the deviate tapering at higher frequencies to add warmth.

We hope you enjoy it, Har-Bal International Figure 1.

Figure 2 is a illustrative case in point of two recordings in the same genre but with vastly differing listenability. 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.

The process will still be the same. If you find this hard to believe try this for a challenge. This can be indispensable to having sonic consistency on editing projects; playlists; or an album, for example. It is pretty well documented that prolonged periods of harba to improperly mastered recordings usually leads to hearing fatigue that ultimately takes the pleasure out of the listening experience.

Equal loudness contours for human hearing subject to pure tones in a free-field with the subject facing mastdring source from ISO recommendation R The following is a mastering tutorial explaining many tips, tricks and audio masterong secrets.

With experience you will come to a better understanding of the relationship between a particular spectral shape and the overall sound quality. The conventional approach is multiband compression, for which we have a disliking, mainly because to our mind it seems like a poor match to the problem at hand.

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 a plug-in was available. Limiter — Always use this and set the Out-Ceiling for An extremely beneficial one when used properly. This will keep your volume the same while you are pulling down your master threshold. You can substitute the plugins after Har-Bal with any of your favorites.


So why is Har-Bal better than conventional approaches? Without compensating for loudness it is very easy to make EQ mistakes.

Har-Bal is essentially composed of two parts: For example, you might raise the mid-range by 6dB because it sounds better but do you know if this improvement is actually due to the equalization or just merely the fact that the effective loudness has increased by something less than 6dB? It does not mean give way to your eyes if your ears tell you everything you need. Below are some options Figure 4.

Start typing and press Enter to search. Below is the process for using the Waves Linear Phase Multiband. Your tracks will sound their best when they are first processed in Har-Bal before any digital eq or multiband [Read Harbql. The program will then match the volume masterjng the current file to the reference file based on your input criteria. You will always need the Limiter. How is this different from the conventional approach?

Contact Me Free Sample. By that I mean with a normal compressor you 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 tail after the transient.

Complex time selection and filtering is our take on how to control errant peaks in highly dynamic instruments such as vocal parts. In fact one company has very cleverly used this feature to harbxl ‘restore’ classical recordings from the 78 era.