Vocal EQing

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edteja
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Re: Vocal EQing

Post by edteja » Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:23 am

I just went back and remixed a tune based on some of these ideas. The difference is subtle but, I think, a major improvement in creating the desired impression on the listener. More practice is required and past results are no guarantee of future performance. but what the heck?
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Re: Vocal EQing

Post by ernstinen » Fri Sep 15, 2006 11:48 am

I've been a recording engineer for over 30 years, and my mantra is:USE YOU EARS. Maybe that's too obvious! Here's what I do: Match the mic to the timbre of the singer's voice. As has been said, flat is good. I like singers to be pretty close to the mic.But I don't subscribe to the "cut eq only" theory. It really depends. Use your ears. For instance, if your compressor takes some of the clarity out of the vocal, it's not a sin to find the frequencies that are lacking and boost them back up a bit.However, if you have a vocalist who has a real cutting voice, it's fine to find the offending frequency and roll that off a bit. In any situation, though, don't overdo it. 4 db is a LOT of eq. If you're going beyond that, you're doing something wrong somewhere along the line.Basically, there are no rules as far as I'm concerned. Just make it sound as good as possible.Oh, yes, the PERFORMANCE is mas importante!Ernesto

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Re: Vocal EQing

Post by andreh » Fri Sep 15, 2006 4:15 pm

Quote:I've been a recording engineer for over 30 years, and my mantra is:USE YOU EARS. Maybe that's too obvious! That's a mantra worthy of 30 years' experience! I agree completely.Quote:Here's what I do: Match the mic to the timbre of the singer's voice. As has been said, flat is good. I like singers to be pretty close to the mic.To clarify for novices (and forgive me if I'm misinterpreting your meaning, Ern), you want to find a mic that's complementary to a singer's voice, not necessarily one that matches it in frequency response. For example, my voice has a somewhat nasal, brassy quality to it that occurs in the 1-2kHz range, so my TLM103 is not an ideal candidate for me since it has a presence boost ~2kHz. This same mic sounds fantastic on my friend Leonard, however, since his voice is smoother in that area and benefits from those frequencies being brought out.I have another friend who sounds better through a Shure SM57 (a mid-range heavy mic commonly used on snare drums and guitar cabinets) than through most any other mic, simply because of the nature of her voice. So, yes...use your ears!I'm not sure I agree with the "flat" notion that keeps popping up, since this is a relative term unless you're recording pink noise, a swept sine wave, or some other source that can be measured as "flat" across the entire frequency range.Also, you'll typically pick up more lower frequencies when you record close the mic, so be aware of that...you want to find a good balance between "full" and "boomy" or "muddy." Quote:But I don't subscribe to the "cut eq only" theory. It really depends. Use your ears. For instance, if your compressor takes some of the clarity out of the vocal, it's not a sin to find the frequencies that are lacking and boost them back up a bit.Ern has a great point here. Don't beat around the bush with mixing theories when you can make a change or two that gets the job done.Quote:In any situation, though, don't overdo it. 4 db is a LOT of eq. If you're going beyond that, you're doing something wrong somewhere along the line.I have a different perspective on this point. I agree that we should be careful not to overdo EQ cuts or boosts; you can get carried away and suck the life out of your mix pretty quickly. However, I woudn't put any limits on how much cutting or boosting should occur if it sound good and achieves your goals.I do find myself adjusting is smaller dB increments (1-3dB's) more often than in larger ones, but it's not rare that I pull back or boost a range over 10dB's. Most recent examples: pushing a narrow band ~8kHz to bring out the smack of a kick drum, and pulling a wide band from ~4-6k out of some distorted rhythm guitars to make room for the lead vocal.Also, some EQ's are more "transparent" than others, so the numbers shown on their [virtual]knobs don't reflect the same perceived difference in tone from one EQ to the next. I can boost 10dB's of 10kHz with a Massenberg EQ and it's so smooth I sometimes have to bypass it to see what it's actually doing (at which time the difference is obvious). Try that with the Waves REQ and things will likely get nasty after just a few dB's. Quote:Basically, there are no rules as far as I'm concerned. Just make it sound as good as possible.Yes! Andre
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