The Ideal Curve is back. This time with different versions, and it warrants a full topic for itself. I don't think many people had found it in the 2 topics it was posted in before.
What are the Ideal Curves? Well... what I did was take an hour of maximum intensity white noise, loaded it into Har-Bal and EQed it along what I call "Ideal Curve". Basically flat until above 1kHz where it starts to slope downwards so that 20kHz is 10db less than 1kHz, and it seems to always produce very natural & flat sounding results.
Then I rendered the EQed white noise and loaded them into Har-Bal to create the ANL files you are about to download.
How you use them is simple.1.
You just drag whichever ANL file you want onto the Har-Bal window, and make sure the "Toggle reference spectrum plots" button in the bottom-right is enabled, and you will see the ANL curve you just loaded as darker colored lines of the Peak, Mean, and Average plots... whichever of the three you have enabled at the time.2.
Not needed but I highly recommend it, that you "Select the parametric EQ cursor" and selecting from 1kHz make it as wide as it will go (past the edges, and then some) and adjust the whole level of the track so that it's average relatively matches the level of the Ideal Curve you loaded. Usually it will be lower. If it's not, then you probably should ask for an unlimited mix, or a remix. 3a.
Either do what I do, and use the curve as a visual reference. Don't underestimate the power of just having a quick visual reference there. Or...3b.
"Select the intuitMatch cursor" and try dragging it from just above where the bass peaks are (usually not much higher than 100 Hz) and drag it up to where the treble drops a lot. You can also try dragging it all the way to 20kHz, just experiment, see what happens, and don't be afraid to Ctrl+Z (Undo) as much as you need. Once you have a good starting point, then experiment with how intuitMatch cursor reacts around the track's "problem areas" that it may have after the initial whole-spectrum intuitMatching. Remember not to overdo it, and always Ctrl+Z if the change didn't make it sound better.
That's about it. Enjoy the references, and let me know how it goes with using them in this topic.