Basics of EQ and its importance
When using any sort of vocal preset, understanding the audio effects on your vocal chain is vitally important in producing a quality mix. Effects such as EQ, reverb, delay, distortion, de-essing, pitch shift, compression are all common vocal chain effects, but EQ seems to be prominently emphasized in the recording process. Mixing your vocals is a difficult learning process (and mastering is an entire world in itself), but tuning into subtle details can be the difference in a professional-quality recording.
Purpose: To adjust the volume level of a frequency (or range of frequencies) within a sound, and cutting unwanted frequencies and/or boosting others, all to balance out sounds so they sound good together.
Whether it’s FL Studio, Logic Pro, Ableton, Pro Tools, etc, every DAW has a stock EQ. But the best EQ’s are external plug-ins from companies such as Waves Audio. Every EQ has filters that allow you to boost and lower certain frequencies. The filter type determines the general shape of the EQ band. The most common types are high/low pass, bell, notch, and high/low shelf.
- A low cut filter removes all frequencies below a specified frequency cutoff point. This filter is also known as a high pass filter because it passes all high frequencies above the cutoff point.
- A low shelf filter boosts frequencies below a specified frequency point and gradually reduces or boosts bass frequencies.
- A high cut filter removes all frequencies above a specified frequency cutoff point. This filter is also known as a low pass filter because it passes all low frequencies below the cutoff point.
- A high shelf filter boosts frequencies above a specified frequency point. They gradually reduce or boost treble frequencies.
- A band pass filter allows Low and high frequencies outside the range are attenuated
- A notch filter allows low and high frequencies to pass on either side of the frequency range. Notch filters are also known as band stop filters.
Knowing what type of EQ to use for different situations will give you quality results and speed up your workflow.