One of the things I’ve found over the years is that it’s easy to interpret the demands of a client during a mix if you understand what they’re trying to get across. It’s amazing how just a single word can describe a frequency condition if we know what to listen for.
That said, it’s sometimes easier to visualize the audio spectrum in one-octave increments (like those found on a graphic equalizer). Still, there are a lot of descriptions the musicians and artists come up with for what they’re hearing that can leave an engineer totally puzzled. Luckily, there are some descriptions that seem to be interpreted the same way.
Here’s a chart from The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook 4th edition that describes each frequency band with just a single word (along with some alternates), and will give you some insight into your client wants and needs as well.
Boom, Thump, Warmth
Sibilance, Definition, “Ouch”
Sometimes the best way to think of a frequency band is in the simplest way possible, and the above chart can help that happen.
You can read more from The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.