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how to ea properly vocal eq

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how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:13 pm
by dennisgamalej
hey!) i have a question. How to eq properly vocals? i boost a lot of high frequencie and cut low. Or is that bad? thnx for help

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:57 pm
by Sam Spoons
Do as little as possible and cut rather than boost. For most live vocals a steep HPF is useful and can often be set as high as 200Hz or higher without ill effects. Start at 80-100 Hz and raise the frequency 'till you hear a difference then back up a little.

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:58 pm
by blinddrew
Generally it will be different every time. It depends on the room, the audience, the act, the mic and the voice. A low-cut filter is almost always a good start, and in general cuts are preferable to boosts, but after that it's whatever it takes to make it fit the music.

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:23 am
by Tim Gillett
The proximity effect of many mics can alter the the vocal balance hugely. For many stage vocal mics if the vocalist sings right up close, the bass is unnaturally boosted. But for say 6" or further from the mic the bass is unnaturally reduced.

A good rule of thumb is a natural vocal sound. How they would have sounded if speaking directly at us with no equipment in the way. Not hyped one way or the other.

We hear natural voices in our daily lives. With practice we can identify an unnatural sounding recorded voice and use EQ to restore the sound as best we can. EQ stands for "equalisation", meaning, to equalise what had become unequal. To restore the balance.

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:21 pm
by dennisgamalej
i have it about like this. I did it now with no equipment connected just used the ui demo version so its about. https://1drv.ms/u/s!Av-zWFU8t0cSnm2bPrLnikoydJBZ
thnx for help

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:28 pm
by James Perrett
I wouldn't bother with all that eq unless you can actually hear that you need it. Mixing with your eyes or doing something because someone said you should do it on the internet is a sure way to end up with a bad sound.

Your eq curve is similar to the curve of a typical vocal mic so all you are doing is doubling up on the work that the mic manufacturer has done. This could easily end up with an overly harsh sound.

Sam's suggestion of a high pass (low cut) filter is sensible but I'd keep it set to below 150Hz unless you really hear a problem.

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:20 am
by CS70
dennisgamalej wrote:hey!) i have a question. How to eq properly vocals? i boost a lot of high frequencie and cut low. Or is that bad? thnx for help

Close your eyes and listen while turning the knobs. There's no rules other than having a good EQ and getting the vocals to sound how you want them.

Ideally of course if you have a very good vocalist producing a very good performance recorded in a very good room with a very good mic positioned in a very good way you don't need to do anything at all, but more often than not you will have to do something.

And also in the optimal case, your goal is to go from a timbre you don't find totally pleasant to something that you do find pleasant. Don't be afraid of bold moves, if that's what's needed - but as James says, *listen*, don't look.

Mixing popular music is not about making a documentary, it's about making things popular. :)

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:25 am
by dennisgamalej
thnx guys! sc70 i love your last sentence!! ibstarted a topoc about eq so can i have more last question. Do you eq foh speakers on mixer? I eq the monitors to avoid feedback but the pa speakers i dont know if i have to do it or leave it Yes you avoid feedback but you lost also frequenties( thnx for help

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:29 pm
by James Perrett
dennisgamalej wrote:Do you eq foh speakers on mixer?

If you have a mixer with a good 31 band graphic eq or a good parametric eq with narrow cuts available you could think about it. However, you need time to analyse the room and you need to understand the effects of an audience if you analyse the room when it is empty. Eq'ing the FOH is standard for a big gig where time to do it is included in the setup schedule but for smaller gigs I'd avoid it unless there are obvious problems.

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:22 pm
by dennisgamalej
send a pic pls of how your eq curve looks like on vocals) thnx

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:00 pm
by Wonks
You don't EQ the FOH PA for vocals. You EQ it to generally give as flat a response as you can get, which will be different in every venue you set up in. But unless you have a lot of time and the equipment and knowledge to do it, you should really leave it alone. Most current active PA cabs sound fine just as they are.

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:27 pm
by Sam Spoons
This ^ :clap:

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:48 am
by James Perrett
dennisgamalej wrote:send a pic pls of how your eq curve looks like on vocals) thnx

Mine would be flat unless I hear something that needs changing.

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:01 am
by CS70
Wonks wrote:You don't EQ the FOH PA for vocals. You EQ it to generally give as flat a response as you can get, which will be different in every venue you set up in. But unless you have a lot of time and the equipment and knowledge to do it, you should really leave it alone. Most current active PA cabs sound fine just as they are.

Hm you do EQ the vocal channel if you so like? I know singers who have a preferred sound and their engineer has a basis EQ (say a little 8KHz peak) which then of course adapts to the venue and the microphones in use. It's not so different than what a guitar tech would do - setting up the amps so the sound is what the guitarist like.

Obviously we're not talking of pub events or festivals, but people touring and having regular shows at least in periods, with their own truck and engineering team.

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:02 am
by Wonks
Yes, you EQ the individual channels as needed, but the OP was talking about EQing the FOH speakers with a graphic just for vocals.

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:10 am
by CS70
Cheers :)

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:49 pm
by dennisgamalej
so i leave the eq on vocal channel flat except highpassfilter yes?

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:58 pm
by CS70
Yes, if you want to get a specific vocal sound, you put effects on the vocal channel, including EQ. Makes no sense to EQ the master bus for that.

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:23 pm
by James Perrett
dennisgamalej wrote:so i leave the eq on vocal channel flat except highpassfilter yes?

Yes, that's a good starting point. As you get more experienced you will probably find that you use certain Eq settings with certain singers but the exact settings depend on the singer, the mic, the sound system and the acoustics of the venue.

Re: how to ea properly vocal eq

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:28 am
by plodsmeade
Wonks wrote:You don't EQ the FOH PA for vocals..

True, although obviously you can EQ a PA with vocals, and I've often found it's the best way to reveal problem areas.

dennisgamalej - your eq curve does look slightly unusual for live use in general, particularly in the boosts of bands 3+4. Someone else might step in with a technical characterisation of the advantages of cutting vs boosting, and while this applies to live sound too, perhaps engineers just prefer the greater predictability of cutting in terms of gain before feedback. Having said that, your EQ curve could be equivalent to a deeper cut at band 1, shallow cuts at 2 + 3 and greater overall gain, and may be warranted if the vocalist+mic+PA+venue combo is particularly dark or muddy sounding. But as others have pointed out there's no standard curve which isn't a straight line.