[ardour-dev] Advice on FFT Analysis ... How to Read it, and What Can it Tell You?

Jack O'Quin jack.oquin at gmail.com
Fri Nov 3 18:54:51 PST 2006

On 11/3/06, Shayne O'Connor <flowbot at machinehasnoagenda.com> wrote:
> i'm gettin ready to master some tracks, so i'm trying to get used to the
> idea/purpose of FFT Analysis ... here's a composite graph of a short
> region of all my tracks from a session:
> http://s52.photobucket.com/albums/g11/machinehasnoagenda/screenshots/?action=view&current=BassGuitar.png
> ... and here's the guitar and bass alone:
> http://s52.photobucket.com/albums/g11/machinehasnoagenda/screenshots/?action=view&current=BassGuitar.png
> ... would i be right to assume that this graph is suggesting the bass
> and guitar are a bit close in frequency range and need to be eq'd to
> avoid muddiness?
> any tips on how to get the most out of the FFT Analysis would be much
> appreciated ;)

Your xaxis needs to show the low end more clearly.  Try something like
the spectrum analyser or the HDEQ in jamin.  Those frequency axes are
based on the 1/3 octave values in a standard 30-band EQ.  It starts out
like this...

  25, 31.5, 40, 50, 63, 80, 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 315, 400, 500, 630 ...

You need that kind of low-end resolution to see the difference between
guitar and bass spectra.  Their ranges are only an octave apart.

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