Are spectrum analysers a useful tool or a distracting diversion?
It’s been written in many words and at many places that spectrum analysers are a Good Thing(tm). They let you see what you can’t hear, help you overcome deficiencies in your monitoring environment, and help pinpoint problem areas.
Having said that, I don’t use spectrum analysers, and I’ve advised others not to use them. The justification I usually provide is that it’s better to mix with your ears instead of your eyes, and even if you’re not very experienced, it’s better to train your ears as much as you can instead of learning to rely on visual aids. After all, this is music, right? Audio? Your listeners aren’t listening with their eyes…
But am I right?
Does using frequency analysers really result in poorer mixes? Do they really slow down ear training?
This is my opinion, but it’s an only an opinion. A good friend once told me “An opinion is what you have when you don’t have all the facts. When you have all the facts, you don’t need an opinion.” I’ll admit it: I don’t have the facts to support these assertions, and I don’t think I ever will. All I have is based on my own style of working, and my own beliefs and values.
I still maintain that spectrum analysers are to be avoided, but I don’t have any supporting evidence to show you. You have to try them out and make up your own mind.