Understanding Sound Frequency

First things first. Let’s define sound frequency. Sound frequency is a property of sound that is typically associated with the musical pitch. Sound frequency is the number of waveform cycles that happen within a specific time. Frequency is measured in Hertz. 

Every musical instrument has different amounts of energy depending on the frequency range. Every sound recording in unique. Every mix is peculiar, so knowing the frequency spectrum division is essential in order to achieve an adequate mix. The broad classification is simply bass, midrange, and high end. The bass division includes deep bass, low bass, mid-bass, and upper bass. The midrange section includes lower midrange, middle midrange, upper midrange, and presence range. Finally, the high end of the frequency spectrum includes high end and extremely high end. 

Sub-bass frequencies range between 20Hz and 40Hz. It’s worth mentioning that these are the lower limit frequencies of human hearing. Most speaker systems struggle to reproduce these frequencies accurately. Low bass frequencies range between 40Hz and 80Hz. At this range, many amateurs struggle to get good results, since it’s a critical area of the mix for foundational elements such as kick and bass. Sound engineers should decide which of these elements will be the lowest in order to avoid competition between them. When the decision is made, the other elements should be emphasized.

Upper bass frequencies range between 40Hz and 200Hz. Musical instruments that are not focused in the low bass usually fit great within this area. Low midrange frequencies include chordal and melodic musical instruments. Midrange frequencies range between 500Hz and 1.5kHz. These frequencies are essential for both clarity and separation of different musical instruments. It’s worth mentioning that when too much energy is applied, the mix can turn out cloudy and boxy, whereas when loo little energy is involved, the mix sounds thin and poor.

Upper mid frequencies range between 1.5kHz and 5k. These frequencies are critical since too much energy can cause mix issues, leading to harsh sounds. High-end frequencies range between 5kHz and 12kHz. These frequencies are typically associated with mixes that provide a sense of realism, depth, and liveness. Air frequencies range between 12kHz and 20kHz. These frequencies are at the top end of the frequency spectrum; which is outside the audible range.