SoundBetter PRO

Harbal:
My Second Right Arm!


SoundBetter PRO


After WaveLab, I have to have Harbal.

The name is a short form for Harmonic Balance. It solves one of the most challenging phases of the mastering process. And it does it with results like no other tool can.

Having spent hundreds of hours with the program it literally becomes a secret weapon.

What Is It?

It’s an Equalizer. But...

Calling it just an equalizer diminishes what it can accomplish. Har Bal balances the overall tone of a track. It also gives:

  • visual analysis
  • comparative analysis
  • image adjustments and enhancements
  • dynamics controls
  • loudness maximization

Accurate visual feedback is why this becomes a powerful weapon.

Add to that a certain level of automation with something called Intuit-Q which attempts to remove masking between frequencies. All while maintaining the individual character of the mix. This 'prevents' louder frequencies from unduly overpowering softer ones.

All under total user control to give the proper final result..

How It Works:

It has a natural, highly intuitive workflow:

  • You hear a problem
  • It verifies it visually
  • You correct the problem

It can balance and restore tracks capable of being restored. And it also reveals what tracks can’t.

Comparative Analysis:

It lets you place two traces on your screen to allow you to compare files. This can:

  • Highlight strengths
  • Expose weaknesses

And if you like, filter your file to match the reference. The program will then match the volume of the current file to the reference file based on your input criteria.

This can be indispensable to having sonic consistency on editing projects; playlists; or an album, for example.

'EQ-ripper'? That’s a simplistic viewpoint.

In fact one company has very cleverly used this feature to innovatively 'restore' classical recordings from the 78 era.

Image Adjustment:

It’s no secret that I think a proper image is one of the important keys to a balanced master. Although it bills itself has having  mid-side EQ, technically speaking you can only control the side EQ.

It’s an very minor point outweighed by the...

Benefits:

For you, it:

  • provides greater clarity and power to a mix
  • makes music less fatiguing to listen to for longer periods of time.


And also, for those who care, it:

  • avoids over-equalization
  • balances the image
  • avoids dynamics destruction
  • gets cleaner overall louder levels, if needed

The People behind Harbal...

... are Paavo Jumppanen and Earle Holder. Paavo, who hails from Australia, does the programming and developing. Earle, another top flight mastering engineer from Atlanta, also contributes to the testing and development.

Together they deliver exceptional support for all their users.

In the end...

Harbal is a tool. An extremely beneficial one when used properly. But ears will always be the final judge.

No amount of software will ever replace those!!

Mastering depends on the SOUND of the final results. Har Bal helps me with those results.

That’s why I use it: Results are what matter.


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