Adding an EQ on the master = DISTORTION ?

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marvomusic
 
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Adding an EQ on the master = DISTORTION ?

by marvomusic » Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:45 pm

I just figured this out by accident. On my latest track, I added a Fabfilter Pro-Q 2 on the master just to do the usual low-cut/high-cut and remove some ringiness. I forgot to do it before I rendered the track, so I re-opened the project and added the EQ. The thing is after I did the eq-ing, my kick started to sound different each time it hited. I thought it might be just in my head, but after several listens, I found out it's not. The eq was affecting my output. And I decided to make a short test.

I took several tracks, applied an EQ plugin on the master channel and (very important) started to low cut/high cut (basically "cut" some frequencies). I was very surprised to see that my master gain blew up by 5-6 dbs over 0! Now the question is... WHY? I didn't add any dbs, didn't boost anything. On contrary, I cutted out some frequencies that weren't needed. I tried this with Fabfilter Pro-Q (1 & 2) and with Ableton's stock EQ Eight. I even tried all the different processing modes from Fabfilter (Zero latency, Natural Phase, Linear Phase). It did the same for the "Zero Latency" and "Natural Phase", but it worked better with the "Linear Phase" mode activated. The thing is the "Linear Phase" adds pre-ringiness, which I obviously don't want.

Can someone please explain the "magic" behind this? Why is the output going red (by so many dbs lol) when doing frequency cuts?

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marvomusic
 
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Re: Adding an EQ on the master = DISTORTION ?

by marvomusic » Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:14 pm

So I guess it's all about phase shifting, but there's still a big question: which processing mode should we use on the master channel? If "zero latency" and "natural phase" cause the troubles mentioned above... The "linear phase" might sound good, but it introduces pre-ringing.

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JeroenJongsma
 
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Re: Adding an EQ on the master = DISTORTION ?

by JeroenJongsma » Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:47 am

I don't know man, have you found out?

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marvomusic
 
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Re: Adding an EQ on the master = DISTORTION ?

by marvomusic » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:32 am

Yes and no, man. I found out why it's happening, but I didn't find out what's the best way to avoid it... Lately I ended up not using an EQ on the master at all lol. I watched a very interesting video only about this matter, I recommend it to everyone.


(watch all the video, you'll understand how different processing modes affect the waveforms)

I don't know, it's like a vicious circle... We should use linear phase on our master channel, but in most of the cases it will introduce pre-ringing (which I'm still not sure if it's on after rendering the track, it's hard to hear it when listening to the track as a whole) and latency (but latency wouldn't be a problem, you don't have to work on your track with the EQ turned on).

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Xmint
 
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Re: Adding an EQ on the master = DISTORTION ?

by Xmint » Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:55 pm

In this video you can find some examples about how EQs internally work in amplitude and phase ;) Hope this help!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efKabAQQsPQ

Best Regards,
Xmint.

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Aryss
 
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Re: Adding an EQ on the master = DISTORTION ?

by Aryss » Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:23 pm

I think a linear phase EQ mode will be the best option if you're applying EQ on the master. As long as you don't make ridiculous peak cuts or boost, there won't be a lot pre-ringing going on.

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Håkis
 
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Re: Adding an EQ on the master = DISTORTION ?

by Håkis » Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:02 pm

Well yes eq on the master= distortion! I got to learn it recently in school but it's often a very subtle distortion that, and the distortion itself is a result of non-linearity. This non-linearity then changes the frequency curve a bit( doesn't have to be audible by itself, but it can cause peaks that go over 0 dB if the track already peaks at 0 dB. Also when you hicut/lowcut you remove undertones and overtones from every sound in the entire track, so that could be the reason the kick sound so different, because a kickdrum has a frequency span over the entire spectrum.
Even a clap(that generally don't sound bassy at all) can have undetones below 60 Hz, it doesn't make the clap sound bassy obviously but it affects the amplitude of the clap, so when cutting low end away from that, one cuts away undertones that is a part of the sound. But every time one uses an eq or compressor, a subtle distortion occurs as a result of non-linearity! Hope this was a bit helpful or at least interesting! :D


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