EASIEST WAY TO EQ VOCAL
If you want to find out how to EQ vocals - this blog is for you!
Not only will you be able to cut through the mix and find the right frequency range, but you'll also learn how to apply a high pass filter and vocal EQ effect for perfection.
Whether it's to boost or cut stray frequencies, after EQing vocals the final sound will be awesome!
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What exactly is EQ?
Before learning how to EQ vocals - you should know what vocal EQ is.
EQ stands for equalizer.
This is the act of finding the mid-range of some vocals and editing the frequency spectrum.
The goal is for the frequency range to be balanced across tracks.
When you boost or cut frequencies the objective is always vocal harmony.
Balanced = Equalized.
This is done by selecting a mid-range of frequencies, and then cutting high & low frequencies to leave you in the sweet spot.
Not everyone knows how to EQ vocals well, it's a delicate process to do vocal EQ right.
That's why most recording artists hire an engineer to do their vocal EQ for them.
Warning: before you learn how to EQ vocals
When learning how to EQ vocals consider the fact that the vocals will sound different depending on the equipment.
EQ vocals will produce a different sound on monitors and headphones.
(Not to mention the frequency range between lower and higher-end sound equipment.)
This is why it's important to work in a frequency range common across most sound equipment.
This is the secret to good vocal EQ!
It can sound harsh on crap equipment if all the mixing is done on equipment that makes it all sound good.
This is one of the most common issues when learning how to EQ vocals.
Not all music fans listen to audio with the same thousand-dollar sound equipment as you.
Remember to test the mixing a little bit across different devices to make sure the vocal frequencies sound right.
These are the best sound equipment to test EQ vocals:
- Apple Airpods vocal
- Headphones vocal
- TV vocal sound
- Car speaker vocals
- Studio monitor vocal
- Mobile Speaker vocal
When the Vocals sound good & you hit the sweet spot across all of the audio equipment then you're good!
Frequency Range based on the desired sound
The mid-range for different frequencies changes depending on the size you want.
It's better to be safe than sorry when EQing vocals - stick within a manageable frequency spectrum.
When figuring out how to EQ vocals you should note that adult men and women have different frequency ranges.
The male voice has a frequency spectrum of 85 - 180 Hz.
The female voice has a frequency spectrum of 165 - 255 Hz.
Children have mid frequencies of around 300 Hz.
Just because you know how to EQ vocals for children - doesn't mean you can apply the same tactics when you EQ vocals of adult men.
Practice makes perfect!
What is parametric EQ?
In the beginning, parametric EQ may look like a bunch of confusing curves at first but it's much more simple than you think.
When you hear the vocal sound of a track there's a frequency range.
This frequency range is all of the possible frequencies in that vocal sound.
Unless you have the best-sounding microphone in the world...
You'll need to learn how to EQ vocals so that the end sound is polished.
The trick to EQing vocals is to cut through the mix and chisel away at the high pass and low frequencies.
That way the vocals sound good. Parametric Equalizer is the way to go for this.
Free vocal EQ plugins & tools
You need to know how to EQ vocals depending on which dynamic EQ plugins you have.
Mixing should be done using professional tools - especially if the song has lots of instruments that clash with the audio recording.
Here are wonderful equalizer plugins for you to use:
Make your vocal mix sound perfect with these:
Use a High Pass Filter to cut out low frequencies
Fortunately when you EQ vocals there are tools in place.
If you don't have these EQ vocals plugins don't worry!
These tools make EQing vocals a breeze - so long as you know how to EQ vocals.
Here is the ideal Hz to make your track sound good with the high pass filter:
Remove sub-frequencies (20 to 60 Hz.)
Human vocals don't contain these frequencies, to begin with so any frequencies at this range just ruined the mix by adding noise.
A high pass filter creates a barrier on frequencies - allowing only the vocals above the set frequency to take effect.
It does not remove the low frequencies - it simply hides them.
That being said, be careful with your parametric EQ.
The high pass filter should be adjusted throughout the full duration of the vocals, since some singers like to sing at both high and low pitch.
Boost the low frequencies to add depth
Sometimes you want a little bit more boost in the mixing.
It's hard to find a sweet spot but if the vocals sound harsh you may want to increase the range of vocal frequencies.
EQing with more range gives a life-like sound to the vocals!
That's why Michael Jackson's vocals are such a breath of them - adding a high-shelf dynamic EQ effect can you get this boost to your sound.
Ideally, you want to have multiple vocal tracks when you EQ vocals.
Applying different vocal EQ thresholds to layered vocal tracks will give a more polished end sound.
Listen to this song as an example of layered EQ vocal tracks:
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