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Cubase: Frequency 2’s Dynamic EQ | Audio

Hear For Yourself By John Walden
Published September 2021

Check out these audio examples which accompany the September 2021 Cubase workshop on Dynamic EQ using Frequency 2.

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Cubase 11 Frequency 2 Audio Example 01

This audio example illustrates the use of Frequency 2’s dynamic EQ on an acoustic guitar part. It follows the steps set out in the main article’s text and is split into six parts, as follows:

  • (1) the original acoustic guitar performance with no processing;
  • (2) the same performance but with a static (no dynamics) EQ cut centred on 200Hz;
  • (3) the same cut settings but with the dynamic engaged so that a cut is only applied when the frequencies within this band are loud enough to exceed the Threshold setting;
  • (4) as for (3) but with an additional dynamic EQ band centred at 8kHz, and providing both compression and expansion to even out the ‘ching’ in the guitar tone;
  • (5) the unprocessed guitar from (1) within a simple mix; and
  • (6) the processed guitar from (4) within the same simple mix.

As described in the main text, the original guitar tone is perfectly adequate in isolation, but within a mix perhaps contributes to a slightly muddy sound. A fixed cut at 200Hz removes this problem but it’s possible to create a more balanced result using a dynamic EQ. With an additional dynamic EQ at 8kHz, the final guitar tone seems more balanced in the context of a mix, it doesn’t get in the way of other sounds in the low-mids, and the higher frequencies are a little more controlled.

Cubase 11 Frequency 2 Audio Example 02

This example illustrates the use of the external side-chain input to Frequency 2’s dynamic EQ bands. The audio example is split into two sections as follows:

  • (1) the original mix with no EQ applied to the sustained pad sound; and
  • (2) the same mix but, as described in the main text, with three dynamic EQ bands active on the pad track, side-chained from the bass, guitar and vocal tracks.

The dynamic EQ bands ensure that the pad’s frequencies that overlap with the bass, guitar and vocal are compressed (ducked) when each of those three instruments are present. In combination, they dynamically remove elements of the pad sound below 500Hz.

I’ve exaggerated the settings used here to make the difference more obvious. Similarly, the Attack and Release times on the vocal side-chain band have been set so that you can hear the effect of the dynamic EQ more clearly (the pad’s tone changes and you can hear a change in level) as the vocal comes in and out of the arrangement. By adjusting the Attack and Release times, you can create a more transparent result, if preferred.

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