How Thor Taught Me That All Frequency Ranges are Made Up
One of my favorite lines from the new Avengers movie, Infinity War, is when my god Thor is talking to the Guardians of the Galaxy.
In fact, the whole scene where they’re interacting with each other on the spaceship is fucking hilarious, but this one line really made me laugh.
On the spaceship, they’re talking about this place called Níðavellir, which is one of the realms in Norse Mythology. It’s the home of the dwarves. Níðavellir is actually mentioned in V0luspá, the epic poem of the world’s creation and end as told by an oracle to the god Óðinn. We have to read that stuff in school so I’m pretty familiar with it. Epic is an accurate word to describe it.
Anyway, back to Infinity War.
When Níðavellir is mentioned in Infinity War, somebody exclaims, “That’s a made up word!”
And Thor quips back, “All words are made up.”
And even though it was a “blink and you miss it” line, I thought it was hilarious because it’s so true.
All the words we use are made up. We’ve just agreed on their meaning.
Take the word “muddiness” for instance.
For us audio engineers, it means that our mixes have too much energy in the low-mids, causing the mix to feel bloated and unclear. Where the muddiness is in the low-mids is another matter though. That’s dependent on what’s causing on in the mix, what instruments are in the arrangement and how it’s been mixed so far.
However, what we haven’t agreed upon is where exactly the low-mids are.
Are low-mids from 100 Hz – 250 Hz?
Or would you go higher and say it’s the range from 150 Hz – 400 Hz, labeling the range below 150 Hz as “Low-End.”
Is it 123 Hz to 384 Hz?
Honestly, I think defining the exact frequency range muddies the point, no pun intended. It doesn’t matter. The important part is that we understand what a muddy mix means, regardless of what the exact frequency is causing it.
Arguing semantics is pointless.
Finding a solution to a muddy mix is what actually matters.
And that’s where EQ Strategies – Your Ultimate Guide to EQ comes in.
There’s a whole chapter dedicated to the vocabulary of EQ’ing. It’s kind of like a dictionary, except less boring and more practical.
It teaches you how to understand the vocabulary of frequencies so you can fix your muddy mixes. It won’t tell you the exact frequency “muddiness” lives. That’s impossible. But, it will teach you how to know where to start looking when you run into EQ problems.
Here’s what Jaymal, a self-proclaimed “intermediate” engineer, had to say when I asked him what he learned from EQ Strategies:
“Got a very good understanding of the various frequencies that influenced different instruments, how to create separation and how to fix boxiness and honkyness. Mixing Bass tracks has always been a problem. The EQ strategies…showed me what to focus on and what frequencies to focus on.”
If you want to understand all the made up words of the frequency spectrum, click here to get started.