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Author Topic: Bass/Treble Balance  (Read 1846 times)

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Dick Rees

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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2020, 10:47:06 PM »

Another easy way to quieten your bass is to use it less. I think a good bass line should be … about 50% empty space. This is particularly true in 3/4 or 6/8  time

Don't worry about rhythm, the right end, and audience's brains still carry that. And frankly, a quaver of silence is as much a rhythm event as a quaver with your finger jamming the button down.

Guess I’m echoing George, and definitely Anahata, whose creative left end lines can be fabulously light. Not a felt blanket in sight …

Well said, Chris.  I notice this in retrospect as I've played stock Hohners for more than 40 years and somehow have learned to balance the two sides as my "style" developed over time.  A couple of observations:

Not only does varying the LH touch and content help balance, but shading the chord buttons toward a percussive rather than a tonal component can well resolve and/or expand the modal palette in playing beyond the literal comp of "oom-pah" LH.

I often will use a boundary  coupling to enhance the bass by dropping the LH side to reflect sound off the floor.  I suspect bellows control also factors in but assume that it's a subtle, results-driven phenomenon developed over years of playing.
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playandteach

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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2020, 11:06:54 PM »

I often find that there's a wonderful richness to videos of French music melodeons in the bass end. The basses are frequently full length notes, and cross chords. There's usually a swan neck mic involved, and I've always wondered if that richness is achievable live or whether it's only in careful recording and editing that it happens.
In this recording Duo Montanaro Cavez - Gaspacho - there's frequently a drone and some punchy basses, but always out of the way.
Is it the box, the recording, the voicing...
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Anahata

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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2020, 11:32:15 PM »

I'm sure those bass notes don't sound as they would when heard purely acoustically, so they will have made the best of it with the recorded sound. That said, Sophie's very clever with her basses. At the start of that tune, she's holding sustained thirdless chords (inherently quieter than full triads) while hitting bass notes in a syncopated and quite staccato rhythm where the gaps between the notes make them less intrusive.

Interesting to compare with https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKW4mxiiXY4 where there's no close miking. I wonder if she's cut out the low reeds in the basses there, because they sound much thinner.
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Dick Rees

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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2020, 11:56:43 PM »

I often find that there's a wonderful richness to videos of French music melodeons in the bass end. The basses are frequently full length notes, and cross chords. There's usually a swan neck mic involved, and I've always wondered if that richness is achievable live or whether it's only in careful recording and editing that it happens.
In this recording Duo Montanaro Cavez - Gaspacho - there's frequently a drone and some punchy basses, but always out of the way.
Is it the box, the recording, the voicing...

Pretty sure the primary difference is achieved in post by active mixing of discrete miking.
Big tell-tale is the low noise floor/ambient component compared to area miking or camera mic(s).
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playandteach

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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2020, 01:14:09 AM »



Pretty sure the primary difference is achieved in post by active mixing of discrete miking.
Big tell-tale is the low noise floor/ambient component compared to area miking or camera mic(s).
Dick, can you put the second sentence in laymen's terms for me?
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Dick Rees

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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2020, 02:10:43 AM »



Pretty sure the primary difference is achieved in post by active mixing of discrete miking.
Big tell-tale is the low noise floor/ambient component compared to area miking or camera mic(s).
Dick, can you put the second sentence in laymen's terms for me?

Think of your linked example as hi-rez audio and Anahatas link as low-rez.  In your example there's no "room" component per se due to the closely focused pickup of the instruments.
In the second example you hear a lot of random reflected sound (and possibly ambient room noise) with the resulting phase anomalies due to multiple arrival times of sound at the mic(s).

Close miking allows for mixing of the sound with a high degree of fidelity.  Area/room miking "is what it is" and is not really amenable to a significant increase in fidelity  with post-production.

Sorry for the pedantry.  Comes from working as a broadcast engineer.
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playandteach

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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2020, 08:06:38 AM »

Expertise isn't pedantry. I also worked in that industry, but on the other side of the mic's. I used to hate recording in the churches that were commonplace choices in London, even though the bloom on the sound made me feel like a superhero. I found that the BBC were incredibly clued up and very very fast to problem solve compared to even very good studio technicians.
I guess what you are saying though, is that the boxes don't sound that fabulous in real life.
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Julian S

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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2020, 08:32:20 AM »

I feel we ought to spare a thought for any non-melodeonistas sitting on our left in sessions. It's all very well having a good balance in front of the instrument, but sat next to the bass end the treble can easily be drowned out. Definitely less is better in these circumstances !

Julian
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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2020, 08:45:17 AM »

I found that the BBC were incredibly clued up and very very fast to problem solve compared to even very good studio technicians.
Indeed! I remember an occasion back in about 1970 when I was a clarinettist in the Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra. We'd been invited to make a recording as part of a BBC Radio 3 programme. The orchestra set up in the BBC Maida Vale studios in NW London and about 5 minutes into the first take, the studio manager (or whoever) came in from the control room and stopped the playing. Although no-one else had heard it, he'd picked up the tiniest creaky chair sound from the depths of the 2nd violins. A quick chair swap to replace it with a silent one and off we went again.  I probably still have the recording of the Radio 3 programme on reel-to-reel tape somewhere...
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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2020, 09:58:16 AM »

I feel we ought to spare a thought for any non-melodeonistas sitting on our left in sessions. It's all very well having a good balance in front of the instrument, but sat next to the bass end the treble can easily be drowned out. Definitely less is better in these circumstances !

Julian

I remember being at a mixed (i.e not just Melodeons!) weekend at Halsway and the lady who had been sitting to my left all morning repositioned herself at the back of the room for the afternoon. “Are you ok?” I checked, “Yes and I’ve heard quite enough of your left side thank you!” Oh.
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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2020, 10:21:32 AM »

Last monday I tmre-positioned myself to angle away from the melodeon on my right.
Someone I've known for gover 40 years, a stunning box player and very good friend. I just angled my body away from his bass end so I could hear myself better. He understood, took no offence.
It's a fact of life in a session or playing with others, you position yourself so you can hear what you are playing....
Q
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I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

Rob2Hook

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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2020, 01:17:03 PM »

you position yourself so you can hear what you are playing....
Q

WHAT???   Are you some sort of masochist?  Wait, what am I saying...?
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2020, 01:27:37 PM »

Well, only vaguely  ::)
 ;D
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Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

george garside

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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2020, 02:25:59 PM »

an advantage of having 2 hearing aids is the you can turn off your right side to quieten the bass   next to you on that side . those without hearing aids  may find relief by bunging some cotton wool in the right earole  or maybe using a proper earplug

george
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Rob2Hook

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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2020, 02:33:10 PM »

I often will use a boundary  coupling to enhance the bass by dropping the LH side to reflect sound off the floor.

Interesting...  In a practice room situation where background noise and so many bodies in the room tend to absorb the bass, I used to position close into a corner which would then reflect the bass out in a more concentrated way!  If I could have got closer to the ceiling it would have been even more effective, but a short@rse like myself gets stuck in the two dimensional effect rather than three dimensional.

Rob
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tirpous

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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2020, 05:20:25 PM »

Quote
If I could have got closer to the ceiling it would have been even more effective, but a short@rse like myself gets stuck in the two dimensional effect rather than three dimensional.

No problem, the same effect could be achieved by sitting on the floor.  (:)  See Wall and Corner Loading on this page: https://www.presonus.com/learn/technical-articles/configure-your-pa
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Rob2Hook

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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2020, 06:07:29 PM »

Yes, that's exactly what I was meaning though with a room full of dancers' bodies the projected sound would only make it to the first set of knees!  If you could use the ceiling it would project overhead to their ears.

Rob.
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forrest

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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2020, 08:40:31 PM »

     Well, this thread got rather interesting. :|glug But back to my enquiry, which I perhaps had not defined well enough. Firstly, the bass reeds are not too loud. It's that their tonal quality and pitch is not good. It's not a matter of how long the finger is pressing the button, nor who's finger is pressing it.
   As the reeds were all tuned in their respective left and right end cases and set using the same test bellows, there is a shift somehow when they are put together with the original bellows. The basses get a raspy and flatulent sound, and the hi and low bass diverge from one another. My theory is that, compared to the trebles, the basses are getting pushed harder so that there is some distortion. Thus far, I've found that slightly limiting the air flow settles things down. I'm thinking it has more to do with physics and the design of the box. My other 2815's don't exhibit this.
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Theo

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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2020, 08:55:24 PM »

Hohner bass reeds do vary greatly in their tonal quality, and in their pitch stability.  Some of the older ones on Zinc plates have a lovely smooth sound, respond quickly, and have pretty good pitch stability (for bass reeds).

Bass reeds can take an appreciable length of time to come up to their stable pitch, so in normal play they may never reach their "correct" pitch.  To compensate when tuning bass reeds I sometimes find that they sound better tuned so that their stable pitch is a little sharp.  This is a matter of judgement and will vary depending on the reeds, and they way they are played.
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Pearse Rossa

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Re: Bass/Treble Balance
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2020, 09:13:16 PM »

  The basses get a raspy and flatulent sound, and the hi and low bass diverge from one another.

Check your valves.
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