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phroh 2009-08-30 08:13

Reason/Record NEEDS Spectrum Analysis
Hello all you beautiful musicions and engineers out there at Propellerhead.

I recently took a course on Audio Engineering and vastly expanded my knowledge of how to properly mix down musical compositions.

One thing that was driven into my head was the need to use Spectrum Analyzers when doing mixdowns.

Reason / Record is LACKING in this.

I Currenly need to rewire into a 3rd party application to use a spectrum analysis plugin so that I can SEE the frequency ranges my sounds have in order to properly EQ them for mixdowns.

Reason / Record would be vastly more powerful for creating better sounding music if it had a device that had a proper spectrum analysis view. Perhaps even the Hardware Device could include it at the top of the rack.

Currently the only thing remotely close is the Vocoder's spectrum analysis bars but this device is grossly inacurate and does not meter correctly. What I mean by this is the bouncing bars representing the frequency are not accuratly labelled and so you can not figure out what bar is what frequency and therefore you can not use the eq easily to adjust frequencies.

I absolutely LOVE Reason and am thrilled by the coming of Record however both do not seem to include one of the most powerful tools for a recording engineer. The spectrum Analyzer.


Please please please build one into the next version,

Yours Truely,

DJ Phroh

BrianHook 2009-08-30 08:51

I doubt it's the "only thing missing" but I agree, a spectrum analyzer would be great.

That said, anyone know of a good/simple/cheap way of getting spectrum analysis? Is there a simple/cheap ReWire host that can do it?

mattias800 2009-08-30 18:14

Umm, so basically you are saying that you cant mix without a spectrum analyzer?

fgitler 2009-08-30 19:24

phroh 2009-08-30 19:33

I'm not deaf! But in school I was taught to use a spectrum analysis tool to figure out the PRECISE peak frequency of each particular instrument in the mix. Then to using thin EQ notching on the other instruments to turn down the peak frequency of the instruments that are important in the mix.

This precise frequency adjustments reduce clutter in your mix with UNBELIEVABLE results!!! The sound quality of my music when I use this technique is improved TEN FOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I highly recommend anyone who wants to improve the sound quality of thier music to use this technique.

Here is a run down of how to do it:

Lets say you have a song with drum, piano, and vocal.

1. Solo each instrument one by one. Each drum must be put do a different channel in the mixer so you can isolate them.

2. Use a note pad to record the peak frequency of each sound as you solo them and play them using the spectrum analyzer.

3. Lets say you have a snare that peaks at 100hz and the vocal peaks at 1khz. You would use the MClass mastering EQ to notch 100hz in your vocal and notch 1khz in your snare. Since the peak frequency in each is different you will not reduce the sound quality very much by doing this. But what you will find is that you can now turn your snare up louder in the mix not by boosting its level in the mixer but by notching 100hz in the vocal. This is because the vocal although peaks at 1khz still has a broad frequency range that spans through 100hz. By Notching 100hz in your vocal the snare will appear louder in the mix.

4. Repeat this for every instrument in your song. or every instrument that is important to be loud in the mix example: Drums, vocals, guitar, piano etc...

You will find that you have dozens of MClass Equalizers in your rack but trust me its worth it!!!


Try this out and let me know if you can improve your mixdowns!! Then send me a check cuz I just saved you thousands of dollars in sound design education!!!!


mattias800 2009-08-30 19:40

If you gonna do every permutation there will be tons of EQ's. I'd like to hear an example though.

phroh 2009-08-30 19:41

I built my own version of this combinator and was using it but ITS CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP!!! Sorry to say!!

The reason its crap is because the spectrum analyzer in the vocoder has the decibal level labelled but there are no labels for the frequency ranges. I can't PRECICELY determine which bouncing bar is 100hz and which is 200hz etc..

Its a good idea but its not accuratly enough to be REALLY useful!


phroh 2009-08-30 19:43

You are right.. the other thing, with respect to this same concept of mixdowns... would be to make the MClass Equalizer actually mute a frequency when you notch it and turn it completely down. Currently i have to stack several MClass EQ's to do this.


phroh 2009-08-30 19:44

I can only suggest trying this on your own to hear the difference. My studio is in shambles at the moment since i'm moving houses but once its back up and running if we are still debating this i will post some mp3 files to demonstrate the sound quality difference.

And yes as I said in my post your rack will be full of TONNES of EQ's. To reduce clutter create a combinator with 6 EQ's in it and use it as your own little custom MClass mastering combinator.


phroh 2009-08-30 19:46

Can someone who works as a Reason Engineer PLEASE respond to this thread so I know i've got your attention? I would like to know if i'm making any sense to the product designers.


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