How to EQ vocals in your mix:
EQ is a fundamental part of mixing. Through the use of parametric EQ, pass filters and shelving filters, you can manipulate the frequency response of the instruments in your session. Doing so allows you to alter the character of an instrument, increase separation, create effects, and more.
In this lesson, we’ll focus on the key frequencies that you need to know when equalizing a vocal track. Vocal recordings exhibit a number of different characteristics at different frequencies. By learning the kinds of characteristics that occur at various frequencies, you can use vocal EQ to achieve your desired sound. If you want to increase a particular characteristic, then you boost its related frequencies. If you want to lessen a particular characteristic, then you cut the relevant frequencies.
The following vocal frequency guide comes from the free Mixinglessons.com EQ Settings Cheat Sheet. The EQ Settings Cheat Sheet gives you a breakdown of the key frequencies that you need to know to EQ drums, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, and vocals.
Click here to download your free copy of the EQ Settings Cheat Sheet.
10kHz and up: Air
Cutting or boosting these key areas can help you to tailor the frequency response of the vocal tracks in your mix. Of course, no two recordings are the same. The mic, the room, the singer, etc. all play a role in making your vocal recording unique. So use these frequencies as a starting point, but don’t be afraid to experiment to achieve the sound that you’re looking for.
What are the key frequencies that you like to focus on when you EQ a vocal track? What character are you looking to get out of the recording, and what EQ moves do you feel have the biggest impact on your mixes? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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