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An Investigation into the Efficacy of Methods Commonly Employed by Mix Engineers to Reduce Frequency Masking in the Mixing of Multitrack Musical Recordings

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Studio engineers use a variety of techniques to reduce frequency masking between instruments when mixing multitrack musical recordings. This study evaluates the efficacy of three techniques, namely mirrored equalization, frequency spectrum sharing, and stereo panning against their variations to confirm the veracity of accepted practice. Mirrored equalization involves boosting one instrument and cutting the other at the same frequency. Frequency spectrum sharing involves low pass filtering one instrument and high pass filtering the other. Panning involves placing two competing instruments at different pan positions. Test subjects used eight tools comprising a single unlabeled slider to reduce frequency masking in several two instrument scenarios. Satisfaction values were recorded. Results indicate subjects preferred using tools that panned both audio tracks.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society