AES Section Meeting Reports

Salt Lake Community College - November 16, 2015

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The focus of this workshop was to show students the professional approach to equalization performed by Cliff himself. To do this he demonstrated his new company Maag Audio's line of hardware EQ's including the 500 series format EQ4 and preamp PREQ4, as well as the 1U rack mount stereo mastering version the EQ4M.

Harking back to his more than four decades worth of experience in the industry Cliff described the almost intuitive process that went into his development of the innovative idea that became well known as the"air band" EQ back in the 1980's. This term became the source of many of the questions presented by the attendees as he had to technically describe exactly what was happening during the subjective listening of the mixes. This led Cliff to explain that although the threshold of human hearing is around 20 kHz there is still acoustical information well above that, and if you introduce a relatively high amount of gain to a bandwidth that extends upwards of 40 kHz it creates the psychoacoustic effect of adding an "openness" or "breath" that essentially adds a live quality back into a recorded track.

Ultimately everyone's reservations were eliminated when he processed a mastered version of an Eagles live performance through the EQ4 and to the students amazement it seemed as though you were in the middle of the concert when listened over the control room's 7.1 Genelec monitors.

By the end of the lecture it was understood by everyone how there was a great potential to use equalization for effect and character rather than just cleaning up a track and designating its place in a mix, which is exactly what Cliff aimed to accomplish with his design in the first place.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society