Questioning the plot spectrum (frequency) analysis

Reading the Audacity plot spectrum:

Question: Is there a general consensus for frequencies/peaks below 100 hertz, roughly the 0 to 70 hertz range, that these should be reduced, if too high, to a certain level?

It seems about 25 dB lower than the songs peak seems the norm (?).

For vocals, peaks below about 100 Hz tend to make the sound “muddy” / “boomy” and can make it difficult to get the vocals high enough in the mix without distorting. For bass instruments (such as bass guitar, kick drum…), frequencies below 100 Hz are an important part of the sound and should normally be retained, though you probably don’t want frequencies much below about 50 Hz.
A simple “high pass filter” (“low cut”) is usually sufficient for reducing frequencies that are below the useful range. You don’t generally need to go extreme with this - just 6 dB per octave is usually adequate, though there are no hard and fast rules.

Thanks, Steve

What about the high end, any such behavior/suggestions up there? Say, like should everything above a certain hertz be cut? 8, 10, 20 kHz? … thanks

Why the giant writing?

Essentially not, quite the contrary. The range above ~8 kHz adds clarity transparency, presence and air.
Most people add a high shelf boost of 1 to 3 dB, starting at 4 to 8 kHz.
Apart from low-cut (100 to 200 Hz) and high-shelf (at about 8000 kHz) there’s often a cut in the mids (around 450 Hz) and some engineers throw these three EQ settings automatically on a track.

Kick and Bass need a slightly different set-up.
However, the treble range shouldn’t be cut there either.


Sorry about the big text/… And thanks Robert, interesting.

I noticed on my MP3 player’s EQ when listening to low quality podcasts that cutting the highest band of the 5 band EQ, and some of the 4th helps lower the screechiness… though…/??

Here’s one… (see picture attached) Got this song from Youtube with a download helper that I downloaded as MP4 and edited with Audacity to normalize (etc.) and convert to MP3. It came in 1 or 2 decibels in the red and has this incredible 40 hertz peak (maxed) BTW It’s a controversial rap song by Eric Dubay. So I experimented bringing the peak down with EQ and it totally took away from the song’s essential bass element… 40 hertz peaked! Wow, anyone know how they do that? Is this raps modus operandi /secret…(?).

BTW I am not a rap entusiast… as it is usually a trite disregard for any kind of benevolent reality… I do not tolerate well. If not another covert culture creation programming scheme, secretly being manufactured for the ignorant, to keep ignorant, by the crafty malevolent media conglomerates, and otherwise powers that be.

Anyone, please share frequency knowledge, particularly the effect on man’s psyche…

From what I’ve heard so far, something to do with man’s ‘frequency’ being around 8 hertz with brain waves 18-20 hertz (?).

There’s also great info out there about how musical instruments were recalibrated about a hundred years back from 432 hertz tuning to current 440 hertz… And this is thought to be for a nefarious reason… research that one. “Out of tune” may not be out of tune!

I’d guess they’ve got a synth bass drum sound that has a 40 Hz sine as a strong element.
An anecdote: Back in the days when Dub reggae was the big thing on the urban / underground live music scene, huge home-made speakers were a common sight (the size of wardrobes). These speakers were not well designed, they were just big, so although they produced huge amounts of bass, it was a strange kind of bass with strong resonance at certain frequencies. This was sometimes referred to as “one note bass”. It became such a distinctive part of the live sound, that in more recent times, some producers have emulated this “flaw” deliberately.

If you’re interested in the science behind the myths, look up “Neural oscillation”. Pretty sure that Wikipedia has an article on the subject… yes, here: Neural oscillation - Wikipedia (also see the “talk” page. That’s where you’ll find discussion about what has been written)

Most of it is bull. Due to the amount of misinformation that was being posted about this subject, I did some research about it a while back. A very brief post that I wrote around that time: Hz Conversion - #13 by steve

Many (classical) composers associated certain key signatures with certain emotions.
If a part in a Beethoven symphony is called “Majestic” then it will most likely be in a majestic, triumphant key (such as D Major or A Major).
See for example:

A lot of music purists claim that due to the adoption of 440 Hz tuning the original intention of older compositions is somewhat lost. Mozart for instance based his work often on A4=428.

Some compositions in the orchestral context are indeed harder to sing/play with A4=440. Most noticeably flutes and brass instruments have not a linear harmonic spectrum over the their range and a tuning up can therefore make the sound thinner.
This does certainly also apply to string instruments. A violin manufactured by Stradivarius was probably differently tuned in the beginning and the resonator modes are therefore slightly off (although the art is to actually disguise these modes in order to have a almost linear sound)
I’m sure Steve knows how awful cheap fiddles can sound at certain keys where the resonance is either exaggerated or nearly cancelled by the strong corpus modes.

There’s also a reason that we guitarists prefer the “CADGE” keys… or do you have a lot of songs in Eb major? :wink:


My main violin is around 120 years old. If it’s not tuned to A440 I can hear / feel that it’s a bit “off”. The way that it vibrates doesn’t “feel” right. Unfortunately, when playing against some folk instruments I have to detune it slightly so as to be in tune with other instruments (some instruments, notably whistles and accordions, are just tuned the way their tuned and on a cold / hot / wet / dry day they’re likely to be a bit out from standard pitch).

There’s also a reason that we guitarists prefer the “CADGE” keys… or do you have a lot of songs in Eb major? > :wink:
Robert JH

CAGED… yeah true. Well being a blues style picker I utilize the more open type positions on the guitar (at the neck) as much as possible, E A D with G C being second favorite… and use a capo on ocassion to vary things, though I some times do feel to go else where (I improvise a lot as well …hardly ever E flat unless w/capo. Then again, I never document or would even remember, where I was on the guitar on most of my impromptu recordings).

As well, I have an old tuner (that shows 430 to 450 of the scale) and when I tune, since I’ve been privy to the aforementioned info, I tune to 432… But when it goes out of tune I just tune it to itself often, where ever it may have wandered.

This former tuning standard may very well be why I like older music so much better… Pre WW2 recorded stuff, especially blues. Many old performers may have even let things go lower by neglect, even if first tuned to 440… As well, most of the oldest blues was solo, not having to tune to another members tuning. Also, whatever year the standard changed, no doubt there would have been a lag in response by the ‘old timers’, if not an outright rejection or preference to just keep whatever method they tuned with, guessing that would have been tuning forks. Interesting stuff.

And interesting responses, thank you all, will check links ASAP.

QUOTE Posted by Robert J. H. » Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:17 am ALSO confirm link is to Characteristics of Musical Keys article

Interesting /and I’m on the fence to the reasoning of this switch… it’s not clear to me with the brief psuedo reasoning and seemingly defensive conclusion given at this thread (with all due respect gentlemen): viewtopic.php?p=267178#p267178

The following quote below is seemingly supporting 440 hertz tuning (excerpted from above given thread /link):

“Many instruments can’t be re-tuned and it’s a huge job to re-tune a piano. So, this is the standard that allows all musicians to play in-tune together.”

From my understanding there is ‘no good reason’ why our tuning was changed… While the reasoning (quoted above) offers what seems like a good explanation, assuming it was intended as that. If so, I believe it inaccurate because if I recall correctly (from media available on this subject) many instruments became unusable after the switch because of this very same reason, they can’t be retuned, so a new batch of such instruments were manufactured after the change to accommodate 440 hertz tuning. Thus, yes, now the given reasoning applies under these new 440 permanently-altered situations. Though to what extent all instruments are now designed specifically for 440 hertz tuning I do not know.

Long standing theories of nefarious intent are usually long standing because they supercede their official stories due to offering more of a thorough, understandable, believable explanation (e.g., ‘Bldg. 7’'s official story versus the more obvious). Supposedly more than fifty percent of the world now suspect 911 was an inside job. Regardless of the repeating of side tracking rhetoric and self policing learned behaviors, truth often prevails, and sooner now in our information driven modern world.

From the great tuning change to many other monumental changes and shifts throughout history. Conspiracy theories usually arise for good reason, like ‘There was a conspiracy!’ Conspiracies happen, often for multiple reasons. Sure some conspiracy theories themselves are conspiracies (which are usually the official stories, requiring false theory to cover up the actual conspiracy, crazy, I know… lies to cover up lies, but that’s what liars do), but who the heck would come up with the tuning change as a subject of conspiracy just to demonize a particular group?! Unlikely to me…

More likely, as is usually the case. Is that there was a conspiracy and the true authors of it are unknown (to all but a few select groups anyway). The blame, if any should arise, gets methodically directed at the innocent through the media. With the media, as connected and crucial as they would be, having a limitless amount of funds to accuse anyone of anything. When that fails, the blame by default would go to the all too obliging middlemen and fall guys who actually did the ‘dirty’ work (along with their unknowing accomplices and dupes).

In this fray of meticulous evildoing; As usual, the unsuspecting, fairytale believing commoners are exploited; seemingly time immemorial, and if one of them question, they are pounced on the head and accused of all manner of things, with not the least being racism. I would look more towards the English aristocracy as being at the heart of most of these conspiracies, definitely the western elite.

Using the opportunists of any race, religion, or creed to impliment their deeds past to present. Regardless, these oportunists ‘sell-out’, and through the monetary system (a conspiracy itself) all are made groveling oportunists… Some more organized and not above betrayal of their fellow man than others.

The “Characteristics of Musical Keys” article is interesting but I was thinking something more like certain tones and or frequencies (possibly some even inaudable) having certain effects on us, more literal and involuntary. With this given hypothetical scenario being possible: ‘Beamed from the cell towers or the numerous wireless frequency transmitting devices, which are everywhere now; accessible by nefarious covert groups, government connected or otherwise. Devised to keep calm (or worse), people that otherwise should be quite alarmed at the ever increasing Orwellian state unfolding around them.’

Which begs the question, at which point does a sound wave become a wave that is wirelessly transmitted?

So, taking it back to sound, as I know it anyway, with the possibility of certain tones or frequencies being utilized through music or music playing equipment. Other than the obvious sad songs and minor chords evoking sadness and the like. The potential of frequencies having a more physiological effect on us, effecting our subconscious or even the brain directly. Like the rap example I shared previous post. This pronounced 41 hertz signal in the song, a good 20 decibels louder (Audacity plot spectrum > frequency analysis wise anyway) than the rest of the song. Just bass for bass sake, or something more insidious?

Another hypothetical example: ‘Scientists discover certain fequencies that increase the number of purchases one makes when shopping. Masked by or in the store’s ‘music’, or inaudable, or part of some other electrical apparatus…’

Then there’s Dave McGowans thought provoking research: “Inside the L.C.”, an online article (which I guess has been removed since his passing! (frequencies to give people fast acting cancer!?) yet available as a book I assume, link below). Though I don’t remember him delving into the technical possibilities of what pop music may be hiding.

or PDF someone saved…!:

Hopefully this will not be considered too far off topic. If so, I truly beg to differ, as Audacity could be a great tool for someone to research the frequencies of popular songs, for a school paper or for possible ground breaking research! Postulating a theory or theorizing a conspiracy, either way, realizing music is more than what most of us think.