A Mark In Time

Start Here => Technical Help => Topic started by: Gerry on August 23, 2008, 10:49:02 pm

Title: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Gerry on August 23, 2008, 10:49:02 pm
Nope, nothing to do with the planets. Since discovering the wonderful world of MK boots, I have been using a program called Har-bal for "remastering" these great concerts. Basically, Har-bal allows the user to correct for many of the variables that affect the sound on these live recordings, the dips and peaks in the balance caused by the venue's acoustic, the sound guy's mix, the position of the recorder in the hall, etc. The results can be quite amazing and greatly increase one's listening pleasure. And the best part is you don't have to be a recording engineer or have a lot of technical expertise to use this program. When you open a wav file in Har-bal you see a spectrum graph of the track with often large peaks and valleys in the waveform. By reducing these peaks and valleys, a pretty good balance can be achieved. Now, there is a learning curve as with everything, but the basic procedure is pretty easy to understand and apply. I first used this program with Gayle's recording of Boothbay, but as MK says I need to take another "swing" at it as I've become more skilled using Har-bal. Frankly, it's pretty addicting. There have been so many great recordings from the latest tour that I could spend all day and into the night working on them!

Here's the bad news. Har-bal costs about $100 US, but I have to say, it's the best 100 bucks I've ever spent. So if you are so inclined, check it out at www.har-bal.com. And if you have a favorite boot that I have also, I'll send you the remastered version so you can hear for yourself! Another disclaimer: I balance for my 60 year old ears and the audio equipment I have. But since Har-bal is a visual program, some of the subjective element is eliminated. Essentially, a good sounding track will be pretty flat from around 60Hz up to 1-2kHz and rolling off to around 10-20dB at 10kHz.

So, here's to MK and good listening!

Gerry
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: gbobmi on August 24, 2008, 12:38:14 am
Welcome, Gerry (even if you're not my husband-but you are!)

I agree with Gerry....the stuff he's done with tweaking boots is nothing short of amazing! He's cleaned up the Boothbay audio (and continues to do so). It sounds better than ever!

Check it out and verbally kick my gbobmi a** if you find fault with this. I can take it (and pass it on to Gerry)! NOT!
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Fieneke2 on August 24, 2008, 02:21:33 pm
Hello Gerry! Welcome to the site, it's great to see your message!  I hope you will have a good time reading serious information but also have fun with all of us. Oooh well, with a lady like Gayle around you every day, you must have the same kind of humour, so that is already good! ;D

Thank you for this interesting information. I am sure many guys and some ladies of this board can use it for their recordings. I don't know much about technical things and am too busy with reading, writing and listening music.

*Hey pppssttt Gayle, now hubby is at the board, can we continue talking about .......the man we all adore??"  :P ;D

Fieneke
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: superval99 on August 24, 2008, 03:01:02 pm
Hello Gerry - Welcome to the forum!   A thought just struck me - do you and Gayle have twin computers and will you be sending messages to eachother via the forum, in fact will you ever need to speak to eachother at all again!  The mind boggles! :o  ::)  btw  I hope you won't be too embarrassed when us ladies drool over "our man"!   :P  I agree with Fieneke, you must have a good sense of humour to be married to Gayle, who has given me lots of laughs since I met her through the "old" forum!   :D   Val. 
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Pottel on August 24, 2008, 03:05:09 pm
shall we set up a drool section ladies? within the pics forum maybe? and i mean the 18+ part of that board!!
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: superval99 on August 24, 2008, 03:09:51 pm
Oh, yes please Maarten, it probably would need an X Certificate, though!   :o
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Fieneke2 on August 24, 2008, 03:31:55 pm
Quote Pottel: "shall we set up a drool section ladies? within the pics forum maybe? "

WHAT?  ........Sorry I almost can't read the words! There is too much drool at my screen, I just saw some  :P pictures of Mark!!! ;D

Fieneke
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: gbobmi on August 24, 2008, 03:43:42 pm
shall we set up a drool section ladies? within the pics forum maybe? and i mean the 18+ part of that board!!


We have an 18+ part of the board? Where?

I think we hijacked this thread from Gerry! Sorry, honey!

Seriously, he has done some great things with Harmonic Balancing. *I have very sensitive ears*. (waiting for Val or Fieneke to comment on that)
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Rollergirl on August 24, 2008, 03:45:18 pm
Oh Yes please I want my I want my I want my drool section!!

Oh and welcome, Mr Gayle, sorry about your thread.  ;D I didn't understand a word you wrote, anyway  ;D
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: superval99 on August 24, 2008, 03:51:59 pm
Sensitive ears!   :o   I think this thread is definitely heading for the X Certificate 18+ Section - wherever that might be!! ???
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Rollergirl on August 24, 2008, 03:54:09 pm
Sensitive ears? I am not surprised, after years of living with Gayle!  :P
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: gbobmi on August 24, 2008, 03:57:00 pm
OK. I started a DROOL SECTION (thread, actually)...We can let Gerry get back to Har-Bal....
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Gerry on August 24, 2008, 04:05:14 pm
Ladies, ladies, please!!   ::)  I can see I took the wrong tactic describing the benefits to Har-Balling (oh-oh, more trouble here!) the MK boots. How's this: By remastering with Har-Bal, the deep, strong resonance of Mark's voice comes alive, every breath is heard, every sign and moan, and the song comes alive in the listener as if MK were in the room, singing only to her!

How's that? Drool on Ladies, drool on.......... ;D
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Fieneke2 on August 24, 2008, 04:14:27 pm
Quote Gayle: "*I have very sensitive ears*. (waiting for Val or Fieneke to comment on that)"

Uhhh living so long with you together Gayle, he must have more sensitive parts!  ;D

Ooohhh poor Gerry, now we spoiled his very interesting and intelligent thread, talking about drool etc!

Gayle please give him a big  :-* and hug on behalf on me!

*hey I still wish I could use my hug and other emoticons here, otherwise I could have done it myself!*

Fieneke
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: gbobmi on August 24, 2008, 04:19:25 pm
OOOH! GERRY!!!!!! You'd better move this to the DROOL SECTION!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Fieneke2 on August 24, 2008, 04:24:45 pm
Quote Gerry: "By remastering with Har-Bal, the deep, strong resonance of Mark's voice comes alive, every breath is heard, every sign and moan, and the song comes alive in the listener as if MK were in the room, singing only to her! "

OMG Gerry after reading your messge and listening to one of Mark
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Rollergirl on August 24, 2008, 04:29:09 pm
I can tell you, there won't be much Harmonic Balancing the next seconds between hubby and me!  ;D


LOL :D
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Simon on August 25, 2008, 01:08:42 pm
Hi Gerry - do you have the new version of Boothbay upoaded somewhere so we can hear the difference?
Sounds an interesting tool.
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Gerry on August 25, 2008, 08:53:17 pm
Hi Simon,

I am just beginning to re-work Boothbay and will be done in a day or two. I'm sorry to say I've never uploaded any boots to one of the torrent sites like Dime or SC. My impression is that the remastering of someone else's recording is frowned upon, understandably. But, since this is my wife's recording of Boothbay, I would be willing to upload the finished product. Perhaps, an experienced uploader on this forum could help?
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: IrisRose on August 26, 2008, 06:12:26 pm
Hi Gerry,
Can your program remove coughs, conversation, and very annoying noise caused by the stupid taper's handling of the microphone.    That would be moi. :-\
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Fieneke2 on August 26, 2008, 08:51:11 pm
ROFL IrisRose!  ;D

Gerry I don't have Boothbay yet, can you please tell me where and when you upload? I would like to download then. ;)

Fieneke
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Gerry on August 27, 2008, 05:27:18 pm
Hello IrisRose,

I'm sorry to say Har-Bal cannot help us with the coughs, burps, snorts, off-key sing-a-longs and out-of-time clapping. Too bad we don't have a good SB recording of this tour. Between song comments can, of course, be edited out. You know, like the F-bombs tossed around by Gbobmi and Scupperman on Boothbay for those with more delicate sensibilities (no one on this Forum, of course! ;D). I know it's possible, probably with more sophisticated software.

Can you help me get the new remaster of Boothbay uploaded somewhere online? I'd be happy to send the discs to any experienced uploader. 
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Pottel on August 27, 2008, 08:20:42 pm
well i am experienced, me thinks,..then there's allen...
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: allen on August 31, 2008, 05:54:48 am
Hopefully we can get a copy from you, Gerry, I'm really interested in your final edited version, and wanna upload and share with more fans, although I've got 3 versions, and the fourth's on its way.  Just reviewed the whole show yesterday, and I'm now more interested in this particular show.  Here's my address below.

Wishes
Allen
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Gerry on August 31, 2008, 07:24:14 pm
Hello Allen,

I'll be happy to send you a copy. I'm also sending Pottel a copy which he is going to upload. It's a holiday here (Labor Day), so I won't be able to mail until Tuesday. I have no idea how long it will take to get to you. Hopefully, soon! :)

Best Wishes,
Gerry
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: allen on September 01, 2008, 03:40:17 am
Thanks in advance!  I'll let you know when I get it.  And hopefully Pottel could ease my thirst a little bit earlier.

Wishes
Allen  ;)
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Hoops McCann on September 01, 2008, 05:31:23 am
I'm sorry to say Har-Bal cannot help us with the coughs, burps, snorts, off-key sing-a-longs and out-of-time clapping. Too bad we don't have a good SB recording of this tour. Between song comments can, of course, be edited out. You know, like the F-bombs tossed around by Gbobmi and Scupperman on Boothbay for those with more delicate sensibilities (no one on this Forum, of course! ;D). I know it's possible, probably with more sophisticated software.

A few months back, I was reading an article about a piece of software that can directly access notes in music and subsequently change their pitch. There is also a youtube video about it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFCjv4_jqAY

The program is still in its infancy, but I think the possibilities for removing noise or "interruptions" from audio (and even remixing it!) will be endless as this type of software evolves.
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: IrisRose on September 01, 2008, 07:05:13 am
Hi Gerry,
Thanks for the reply.   I just figured since all of those genius techs on the cop shows could do it, anyone could.   ;D Ah well.
It the remaster copy of Boothbay yours or Elian's?   How many versions are circulating now?  Is Elian's new one out now?   
Is the one that Gayle circulated the remaster you're talking about?   Or Matt's?
Are the three versions so different that we are going to need them all?
Since Allen and Pottel volunteered first, I'll defer to them for uploading.   But I could also do so, with your version.   
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: allen on September 01, 2008, 09:10:24 am
The one Gerry is talking about is Gayle's final edited version.
And the one that is circulated is Gayle's raw version, enhanced version by a Spanish guitarist, and an adjusted version.
Elian has Booway's (Nomad B) version and that was used for the first edition of Boothbay DVD.
The second edition that we are expecting is still under construction.  The audio is said to be better than any of the other two sources.  Yes, as you know, it's from Matt.

But I really want to have a listen to Gerry's final work and have an impression of how efficiently Har-Bal can do.
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Simon on September 01, 2008, 08:38:49 pm
I'm sorry to say Har-Bal cannot help us with the coughs, burps, snorts, off-key sing-a-longs and out-of-time clapping. Too bad we don't have a good SB recording of this tour. Between song comments can, of course, be edited out. You know, like the F-bombs tossed around by Gbobmi and Scupperman on Boothbay for those with more delicate sensibilities (no one on this Forum, of course! ;D). I know it's possible, probably with more sophisticated software.

A few months back, I was reading an article about a piece of software that can directly access notes in music and subsequently change their pitch. There is also a youtube video about it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFCjv4_jqAY

The program is still in its infancy, but I think the possibilities for removing noise or "interruptions" from audio (and even remixing it!) will be endless as this type of software evolves.

This really looks a superb piece of software - might have to have it myself! I debated the possibility of separating notes from chords about 8 or 9 years ago on various recording software forums and so called 'experts' then were really quite rude and dismissed the idea as impossible and even called supporters of it a 'joke' - nice to see that the worm has turned:-)
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Gerry on September 01, 2008, 09:16:58 pm
Marie: This is a remaster of Gayle's recording. I've done a much better job this time around. mostly due to listening and learning with Har-Bal. I have no idea how many versions are out there. Gayle recorded Boothbay with an Edirol digital recorder, sitting in the 2nd or 3rd row, to the right of center. I would think the differences in the recordings will be primarily due to the position of the taper and the equipment used. Course with the other versions you won't get to hear Gayle, Spence and Emily's editorial comments!  ;D I'll send you a copy. Let me know how it sounds to you.

Dan: Are you speculating that this software can distinguish between musical notes and audience noise and chatter like it can do with notes in a chord? That would be pretty amazing. Jaysus, does that mean I'll have to redo all my boots?
 
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Hoops McCann on September 01, 2008, 09:36:58 pm
Dan: Are you speculating that this software can distinguish between musical notes and audience noise and chatter like it can do with notes in a chord? That would be pretty amazing. Jaysus, does that mean I'll have to redo all my boots?

I'm not 100% certain because I haven't used the program. One of the problems that could be introduced is the difference in volume of the audience noise compared to the the music "behind it". If you were to actually separate the audience applause, the only audio information left behind would be whatever the microphones picked up. Depending upon how loud the audience noise is, this could be nothing.
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Jon on September 01, 2008, 09:39:38 pm
Har-Bal is indeed a great piece of software.  Gerry, I'd be interested to know how you get on making everything flat as opposed to balancing against a reference file, which is how I use Har-Bal.  I tend to listen listen to a recording, decide on a recording I already have that has similar broad tonal characteristics (or characteristics that I would like the new recording to have) and use that to create a reference to match to.  I find that just making everything flat can create odd false resonances - boom and rumble on recordings lacking bass for instance, or harsh results on recordings originally lacking top end.  I'd be surprised if there are many (any) albums that are totally flat across the frequency spectrum.  Your experience may be different of course.    
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Gerry on September 02, 2008, 04:21:34 am
Hi Jon,

I think the general guidline of flat from 60Hz to 1-2kHz and then rolling off 10-20 db at 10kHz is a useful starting point. When I analyze the waveform of a particular track, I first just even out the peaks and valleys a bit in the yellow trace, following the natural curve of the waveform. Then I listen and use the low and high shelving cursor tools to achieve a pleasing balance. But you're right about the bass. If it ain't there on the recording, it ain't there! Same with the higher frequencies. So I try to be conservative, but I'm a compulsive tweaker, I'm afraid. Man, do I go through the cdr's! Gotta get a music server!  ;D I need to experiment more with a reference file. Since I primarily work with boots, it might get me in the ballpark faster. Recently, I've been eliminating the splits for each individual song to create one large wav file, doing a overall balance and then re-splitting into tracks again. A little time consuming... I have found the "Advance Tutorial - An Introduction to Emphatic Equalisation" in the manual to be very helpful also. With commercial recordings, especially older cds, I have been able to pretty much eliminate the digital harshness that drives me knuts. So I think the aim, especially with commercial recordings, is not to do violence to the overall sound intended by the artist and producer, but just to make a more pleasing sounding recording based on one's own ears and listening environment. Thanks for posting!


Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Pottel on September 02, 2008, 08:52:40 am
can't wait to get your Boothbay Rev A Gerry!!
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Gerry on September 02, 2008, 11:57:40 am
It's in the mail today Pottel, along with Allen's and Marie's! I hope I haven't built expectations too high.

Dan: It's not the general audience noise that bothers me, just the loud talking of someone near the taper. For instance, the rowdy Las Vegas crowd from this tour can be heard throughout the performance, but what a performance! It's my favorite from this tour so far. even though JM was not with the band for this show. So if we could just edit out the nearby talkers on some recordings.....
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: IrisRose on September 09, 2008, 06:47:42 pm
Gerry, thanks for all the great work on the Boothbay audio.   The recordings get better and better.   I'd like to learn to do this.  Right now I have Music Editing Master, a program that costs less than half of your program.  I can't figure out half the things there, so I'd better learn that first.    I wish to heaven, or someplace good, that in my tiny town there could be classes.    it's nice to be able to get the instructor's arse over there when you can't figure it out for yourself.    I hope my students didn't think, "Hey Mrs. Neer, get your ass over here."  though.   ;D
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: allen on September 20, 2008, 07:39:59 am
Got the parcel today, Gerry.  I have just finished listening to the whole remastered recording.  What can I say?  It really got a lot of improvement.  As far as I've heard, this is the best sound quality of this unique show.  Thanks very much, Gerry!   I will find a time to share it on the tracker soon!!!

Wishes
Allen
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Ian Lewis on September 20, 2008, 04:32:51 pm
Got the parcel today, Gerry.  I have just finished listening to the whole remastered recording.  What can I say?  It really got a lot of improvement.  As far as I've heard, this is the best sound quality of this unique show.  Thanks very much, Gerry!   I will find a time to share it on the tracker soon!!!

Wishes
Allen

Looking forward to that!! Thanks Allen and Gerry!!! :)
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: Gerry on September 20, 2008, 06:26:39 pm
Glad you got the disc, Allen! Boothbay is such a unique performance and I have to give credit to Gayle for doing such a good job recording it. Remastering with Har-Bal just makes it that much more enjoyable. I sent a copy to Pottel and Marie, also. I think Nelly is creating some artwork for Pottel and he is also planning on uploading it. And thanks to you, Allen, for all your hard work uploading so many great recordings to the tracker!
Title: Re: Harmonic Balancing
Post by: allen on September 21, 2008, 03:53:58 am
Your remastered version has been uploaded on the tracker, glad 7 more fans have got it, and still there are 3 downloading.  Hope they'll enjoy your work on this recording.  And yes, thanks so much, Gayle!  It's you who gave us the chance to keep this unique performance in memory for ever.   And last but not least, Nelly's artworks are excellent, as always.  Here are the samples.