Over the past 15 years I have learned a lot about EQ... And if you have been doing this for as long as I have, you start to see the same things over and over again...
I have especially noticed this during EQing vocals. There seems to be the same trouble frequencies every time I go to work on a singer's voice in my mixes.
These are areas of frequency buildup that can be cut or rolled off to make for a clearer and "tighter" sounding vocal. Check out these frequency areas below and try them in your own mixes!
Everything below 100Hz can be rolled off on a vocal. This should be your first step when EQing!
Anything below this frequency area is just "low end rumble". None of the information below this point is going to add to your mix. It is better to just roll all this garbage off...
Even though we have rolled everything off below 100Hz there is still usually some low end build up remaining. This is usually found somewhere between 100-200Hz.
In this picture we can see a narrow cut being made around 150Hz.
A little cut here will clean your vocal up and get your singer sounding clear and understood. But there is still work to be done...
Here we can see a cut being made just above 300Hz. This is the area of "the muffled" sound or the "mud".
It is important to search for this area by boosting up around 300Hz. This is shown in the video below.
A cut in this area will relieve the muddiness from your singers voice and add clarity to a vocal.
So we have talked about adding clarity by cutting some of the muddy areas in the low end. But there may still be some work to do on the high end of the frequency spectrum.
Around 4K a lot of singers will have a harshness to their voice.
A narrow cut in this area will allow your singer to come across less aggressive and "smoother".
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