Many modern EQs have a spectrum analyzer on board. You can also use them as a VST plug-in. But is an audio spectrum analyzer useful?
To answer the question right away: no, not really.
While it can sometimes come in handy, a spectrum analyzer is often more a distraction than a usefool tool.
The problem with spectrum analyzers is they don’t know what an instrument’s role in the mix is.
When you see high peaks in the spectrum, it’s tempting to fix them with EQ. But the peaks might be the character that the sound gives to the mix.
An analyzer quickly provokes an aversion against peaks. And it can cause you to start adjusting sounds unnecessarily.
In addition, frequency peaks that are enormously disturbing, may not appear significant at all on the analyzer.
Frequency components that have been created by distortion, for instance. They are relatively weak and therefore hardly visible. Buut you can definitely hear them, and my want to treat them with EQ.
So to summarize, you can say that analyzers can be handy. But it’s better to rely on your ears than on your eyes.
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