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Equalization?!

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Equalization?!

Post by Skullka on Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:03 am

Hello friends!
I'm sorry to bother you with these stupid questions of mine... but well, I'm new to mixing and I just don't think I get it all and I would really appreciate some help. (And also reassurence that I got it right?)

So, like, I figured out that learning these things is going to make my vocals blend better with the instrumental track etc. I understand what compression is for, or like at least I hope so - it reduceds huge changes in volumes in track to make it more even, so like there aren't soft part you could barely hear neither are there really loud parts that would make you want to turn down volume, right?
Amplification is when you choose part of vocals and make it softer/louder separately.
But I don't understand equalization at all. Like, it should help blend the track together without having to change the volume separately, but like... How does it work? What are these "frequencies" even? I read some mixing tips, and it said that you have to compare your frequencies and the frequencies of backround music, but I just don't really seem to get it...
Also with the blending, I know this may really seem stupid, but to have my voice more "centered" in the song, isn't there also something and stereo settings and/or putting bgm more to side channels? (Because I have the idea that I've read something like this somewhere, but I can't find it and I'm not really sure if I got it all right...)
So, uh, yeah, that's it. I'm sorry if it's too long.

Also sorry if there's something that's hard to understand. I'm not a native english speaker, so I might have not expressed myself very well maybe, haha...

Anyway, thanks for any advice in advance!! c:

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Re: Equalization?!

Post by Kitoku on Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:20 am

Hm... It really depends on the program you use.

Equalization just lets you increase the volume of some more dominant things while holding back other noises. I think the frequency relates to how loud all the sound sources are....? I'm actually pretty new to this as well, so sorry if my advice isn't really that great! Good luck though!
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Re: Equalization?!

Post by Skullka on Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:41 am

Kitoku wrote:Hm... It really depends on the program you use.

Equalization just lets you increase the volume of some more dominant things while holding back other noises. I think the frequency relates to how loud all the sound sources are....? I'm actually pretty new to this as well, so sorry if my advice isn't really that great! Good luck though!

Oh, thank you! Nono, it's okay, I'm grateful for any advice!!
For the program, I use either Audacity or Adobe Audition... though I'm open to try any new one.

Thank you once again!

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Re: Equalization?!

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:12 am

Hey there,

Equalization is, i think, one of the most important tools in mixing and it will definitely help you blend vocals with either other vocals or the background music! 

When I started out mixing, it was hard to grasp the concept of "frequencies" as well but I always thought of it as similar to the game of Tetris. Every song is different in either the type of instrument or how many instruments there are and EQ is there to help you sit your vocals inside the music so that your voice isn't over/under powered by the music and allow it to sit nice and easy so it is easy to hear.

Most importantly, EQ is almost like a surgical tool for your voice too! It can add or remove things you would like to make it sounds 'good'. Such examples are like if you are sick or nasally, you can remove it from the vocal using EQ. Or if at certain parts of the song you are singing a high note and it hurts your ears when you play it back, you can fix it using EQ! Or for guys, if the voice has too much or too little bass, you can always add more or less using EQ.

Most programs have an EQ plugin or feature that allows you to do this but it is preferred you choose a "multiband EQ" to since it has more "tools" for you to use when you EQ. Adobe Audition and Audacity both have EQs, so you can experiment with them and see which one is easier for you.

If you'd like to dig deeper into the world of EQ, I'd suggest looking up Youtube tutorials to help you out by using keywords like "vocal eq mixing" or "eq in audition". There are many out there to help you, good luck!

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Re: Equalization?!

Post by wonnabi on Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:42 pm

Frequencies as essentially notes. You have 0Hz to 20kHz, which is low to high. If you sing a very low note, you will be hitting towards the low end of the spectrum, where as if you sing a very high note, you will hit towards the high end of the spectrum.

What eqing is for is to control these frequencies. It can be used to shape the tone of a sound, or to remove parts from it.

If you were to open up one of your vocal clips and then cut off everything below 7kHz, you'd get a very thin, high end sounding vocal clip. That is because when you cut off frequencies from a sound, it removes it from the audio

Further more, vocals even have their own frequency range that most mixers know of and design the track around. In fact, vocals are usually mixed last in tracks so that they can make sure they sit on top. Al you have to do is cut out where the vocals don't hit in the frequency range, and they'd shine through much better without using volume boost.

I could probably make a tutorial using freeware VST effects (EQ's, compressors, etc.) if you'd like, I think Audition and Audacity can use VST Effects anyways.
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Re: Equalization?!

Post by Skullka on Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:14 am

Oh, ok, I get it now! Thank you very much!

@wonnabi: ohh, a tutorial would be great!! i'm sure it'd help many people!! (including me lol)

Because, like, I understand how it works now. But what I don't know still: HOW to find out which frequencies should I cut? (Also should I manipulate with eq only with the bgm, or even within my own vocals?)

Ugh also if you don't feel like explaining some dumb noob feel free to just tell me where to find some info or tutorials or anything like that, since even this would be huge help for me.
Thanks everyone once again!

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Re: Equalization?!

Post by wonnabi on Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:22 pm

When mixing your vocals with an off-vocal clip, or instrumental, you are going to want to EQ both. You're going to want to use some sort of spectrum analyzer to see where your vocals hit. Once you find the frequency range of your vocals, you simply need to slightly cut out those frequencies in the off-vocals.

Also, you can google this and research for yourself, finding where to cut that is. But generally it's going to depend on the mix and your vocals.

It's sorta like baking a cake; You can make all sorts of different cakes, but regardless, you generally want to bake it around X time.

Once you find the vocal sweet spot, it's rather easy to adjust it to your vocal style.

Also, if you need tutorials, simply google, or youtube "How to eq vocals with free vst" Or "Mixing vocals with Audacity"

I'm always around to pm as well if you need!
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