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Vocal EQ basics and fast EQ routines

by jiang 2 months ago in how to
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Vocal EQ Basics

A. Vocal EQ basics

Note: There is no way to correct badly recorded vocals with EQ. So, please make sure the vocals are as clean as possible before mixing.

Vocal EQ system architecture diagram in mixing (Young's length to avoid shortcomings and create perfect vocals)

1. Super low frequency

Usually, you can filter out the lowest frequency band of the vocals. When recording, you can turn on the low-cut filter on the microphone to cut out the low-frequency rumble. Usually, this can be set near 75Hz. When mixing, you can filter out even more. Of course, it depends on the singer's voice, but I usually go to 80 Hz. Serious monitoring is needed here because you don't want to cut the vocal characteristics of the singer, especially one with great bass.

2. Thickness: 150Hz

To make the vocals thick and full, I would explore around 150 Hz. Some singers have very thin, nasal voices, and you can do some boosting in that range to make the vocals more powerful.

3. Boring: 4-500 Hz

If your vocals lack discernment and sound muffled, sweep a little in this area, even up to 800 Hz. Remember, when cutting, you need to have a very small Q because you are trying to fix the recording and cutting too wide will break the naturalness of the sound.

4. Nasal voice: 1KHz

If the vocals sound cold, then you can excise the area around 1 kHz. The content of this region can make the sound bad and sound icy, so handle it with care.

5. Lean forward: 5 kHz

If the singer's voice does not come to the fore in the mix, then you can boost the band around 5kHz. Doing so will bring the track more forward and give the singer's voice more of a presence.

6. Dentition: 7 kHz

Some people will have more alveolar sounds. The "S" sound will have more energy than other consonants. If the singer has too many "S "s, you can try to make some cuts around 7 kHz.

This will make the "S" less pronounced. If possible, insert a de-esser or a compressor for the "S" region only. Male voices are mainly around 3-7k Hz and female voices are usually around 5-9k Hz, so you can experiment a lot and look for the annoying "S" sound.

Second, the human voice EQ adjustment common method skills

1. Removal of unwanted frequencies.

Low cut (to give a cleaner recorded sound)

High cut (to bring the overall sound of the song into balance)

2. Adjust the EQ to change the position and warmth of the sound (timbre).

By attenuating some of the high frequencies you can get some distance to the sound, which can make the whole piece more layered. Try to highlight the midrange to make your sound more forward and rich in warmth, but of course do not do too much attenuation of the low end, which will make the sound thin and weak.

Note:High and midrange frequencies can enhance the sense of vocal presence, while low and midrange frequencies can increase warmth.

3. Eliminate "problem" frequencies: The appearance of certain low and mid frequency muddy tones in the mix can lead to poor vocal clarity, most of these frequencies are between 200Hz-500Hz. It is common practice to adjust the Q of a low bandwidth, boost 4-6 dB, then sweep the band as needed, and when you hear muddy tones appear, attenuate at that frequency until the muddy tones disappear. To protect your ears: use the EQ plug-in to have the function of soloing on individual frequencies, turn on solo mode you can hear the sound of individual frequency points appearing within this track. By sweeping the frequency band in this mode, you can quickly find out which frequency points cause muddy sounds and attenuate them. This method is the most accurate and effective way to remove muddy sounds.

Thoughts on frequency points.

1.80-100Hz low cut

2.200-300Hz, too much emphasis will be muffled, use a slightly larger bandwidth to attenuate the main frequency band, the sound will become clear, but too much attenuation will make the vocals faint

3.500hz-1Khz, a slightly smaller bandwidth to emphasize the second overtone, can make the vocal sound more clear

4.1.5Khz-2.5Khz, a small bandwidth to emphasize the 5th overtone, can present a bright, thick sound

5.3.5Khz-4Khz or so, emphasizing the 5th overtone to make the sound more impactful

6.8K-12Khz emphasizes detail and magnetism

7.Above 12Khz airy sound Enhancement will make the sound bright, but too much will have a burr.

.Do low cut and attenuation with digital EQ

.Gain and coloring with analog EQ

First observe the spectrum with Q3 or DMG EQ, you will generally see prominent fundamental frequencies and occasionally prominent harsh overtones. Attenuate a few of the more muffled fundamental frequencies, probably around 200-300hz left, or maybe 150hz left, usually 200-1Khz are attenuated using a relatively large bandwidth.

The next use of analog EQ (such as API550, puigtec EQP1A, maag EQ4), use them to the vocal FM appropriate gain, sometimes also deal with the midrange and low frequency. API550 features a very comfortable high-frequency gain, you can try to use the Vocal preset, on the basis of the preset small changes, EQP1A features a very comfortable low-frequency coloring; EQ4 this Classic.

Vocal EQ operation

pro Q3

1. first low cut (12 or 18dbOCT, 80hz), the next 5 points of concern:

2. The first point: about one or two hundred hz (100-200hz), which is a thicker band of vocals. Generally with a small Q value of 1.5-1.7 cut.

3. The second point: about four or five hundred hz, generally with a small Q value of 1.5-1.7 cut.

4. The third point: about a thousand HZ (900-1300Hz), the middle frequency area, pull down can be integrated with the accompaniment, q value of about 4.

5. The fourth point: about three thousand hz, the feeling of this medium vocals from the accompaniment out. Presence band. After this band is boosted, the tooth sound becomes more, and then add the de-tooth sound plug-in later.

6. The fifth point: about 10,000 hz upwards, 12,000 13,000 air audio band.

De-tooth Pro DS: RANGE 6-7db, tune the threshold to about the same, range point split band when 6-12Khz.

SSL E Channel has stained EQ

Remember to light up the by pass of DYB TO when using only this plug-in EQ (i.e. turn off the right compression part)

Boost HF with shell: 12-13khz, boost air tone by 2.2dB (this is the fifth point of the sixth step)

In the HMF band, look for a boost of 2-3db around 3Kh (to find a comfortable band of presence)

In the lmf band, in the 80-1000hz attenuation 2-3db ((at the same time, pay attention to the Q value adjustment, the impact of the range))

Compressor operation Threshold Ratio Attack Release (EQ-DS - first with a faster attack, slower release of the compressor control sound; add a dye EQ, and then a slower attack, faster release of the compressor to the head pressure out, so more impact)

The first compression RCOMP overall control of the vocal: ratio2:1, ARC mode (vocal Attack10ms\Release100-150ms), adjust the thresh use of compression does not exceed 6db (large places)

A dye EQ (SSL EQ or 550B)

Second compressor head press out: RVOX CLA-2A 1176

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