Hi & welcome to another AAA Sound Design Blog

Every Tuesday I will be concentrating on a specific aspect of Sound Design and providing some tips as to how it is done professionally and / or how I would go about it. By all means feel free to disagree, add to or contribute further to the topic, thats the idea.

This week I will be concentrating on EQing Vocals

Top Tip 1 : Remove the Low end – I try to minimise this at the recording stage by using a High Pass Filter. When you get to the mix stage remove any low end frequecies that occur around 100HZ or below (60HZ to be safe but generally I don’t find much of use below 100). Ideally use a spectrum analyser so you can see where the “noise” is and eliminate it.

Top Tip 2 : Sweep the EQ around the 1 – 2 KHZ range to find the area where the vocal becomes nasal. Use a narrow bandwidth and put the gain right up to find the area that needs treatment. Then apply a cut at this point, not to drastic that you lose the characteristic of the vocal though

Top Tip 3 : Experiment with a High Shelf between 12 – 16KHZ to give the vocal some “Air”, not too much though, always in moderation

Top Tip 4 : Add a bit of warmth to the vocal by adding some EQ  sweeping the EQ through the 80 – 200 HZ range with plenty of gain until you find the warmth of the vocal, then apply a fairly wide bandwith ‘Bell’ EQ

Top Tip 5 : If you want the vocal to really jump out in the mix particularly if it is a lead vocal sweep between the 2 – 5 KHZ range and apply a ‘Bell’ EQ with a wide bandwith (Q)

With all EQing I tend to raise or cut by 3dB increments and always listen to the vocal in the mix aswell as on its own, it has to sit right

These are the fundementals I’d always use before using some more advanced eqing techniques but these will certainly improve the overall sound of the vocal

Hope you find this of some help, check back next week where I’ll be looking at another aspect of Sound Design and giving you some useful information

Regards

Neil

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