Vocal EQ question

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Member Since: Feb 10, 2013

When EQing a vocal track for a male tenor, what should be my starting settings on the 31-band Equalizer?

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Since: Dec 04, 2007

Feb 10, 2013 08:18 pm

Short answer, the starting EQ should be flat. xD

Long answer:

I'd say there really isn't a "standard" setting. All voices are unique, and all voices will have certain frequencies emphasized just by the nature of the singer's genetics (shape of vocal chords, lung capacity, fitness, etc.) and how the mic response (along with the room/stage) emphasizes the vocal source.

Use your ears to get a feel for how the untreated vocal track sounds, and ask yourself if it sounds muddy, or sibilant, or harsh, or whatever. Think about what frequencies exhibit those qualities, and use an EQ to zone in on the problem areas.

You could get a parametric EQ, create a notch of about +10db, sweep it, and find the ranges where the problems come out the most, then, using your ears to judge, cut where and how much your ears tell you is appropriate. If it sounds a bit dull after cutting the problems out, then maybe add back a little presence somewhere in the 3 to 5khz.

Or, with the 31-band, lower the fader a bit (3 or 4 db?) in the ballpark where you think the problem is occurring. If it sounds better, leave it. if it sounds worse, move it back to flat, and listen again, and try to figure out where the problem is occurring.

Just be careful when cutting and boosting. If you cut or boost too much, it's easy to get a vocal to sound unnatural.

Also, is this in a recording situation, or a live PA/stage situation? If it's a live situation, I'd use the 31-band to tune out problems in room and feedback. Then use the mixer EQ to adjust vocals if absolutely needed. If it's recording, then yeah, what I said above should help.

bace135 in the house tonight!
Since: Jan 28, 2003

Feb 11, 2013 02:03 am

In general, and I want to emphasize these are general settings, I will remove a couple db on anything below 200Hz and make a small boost between 1.2kHz to 1.8kHz or so. Specifics depends on the other instrumentation and how many other vocal parts will be present. But that is kind of a starting point for me.

MASSIVE Mastering, LLC
Since: Aug 05, 2008

Feb 11, 2013 02:50 am

what should be my starting settings on the 31-band Equalizer?

Dumping the EQ (a 31-band graphic EQ? Is it actually a plugin?).

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