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Catmosphere

Woot ... I think I'm finally getting the hang of vocal equalisation...

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Ok, so in the past I've posted vague threads about wanting to understand the equalisation knobs on a mixer board. And lots of kind people posted back information which I dutifully read but had problems trying to apply to what I was doing.

 

So here is the penny that has finally dropped for me. Feel free to add your extra 2 cents.

 

So what I was trying to understand was what to do with booming and with sibilances and how they apply to the frequency filters and amplifiers on the mixing board. My latest mixer (which I'll have to get the model of so I'll look up response characteristics now I kind of understand how I am to interpret them) has about 32 channels with I think 6 equilization adjustments for frequency. So that's a highest and a lowest freq rolloff point (I assume a 3dB but maybe a 30 or something else... a question I now understand enough to ask/look up). And then 2 for amplitude per filter, and two to move the window of the filter. And I worked out that booming is kind of knocking on the resonant frequency of the building/space. Therefore as someone pointed out, just move the lower frequency point. Similarly with the upper frequency point for sibilances. Although upper is not a resonance thing. This is where I need to ask further - just chatting to a friend who loves this stuff and listens to albums not for musical value but for their recorded properties. He was talking about the power of the siblilance being at a particular point - so (guessing here) you shift it away from the centre of the amplifier off to the side a bit... hmmm. He was also talking about the frequency characteristics of the voice - which while I've read before, now that the penny has dropped makes a bit more sense.

 

Sorry I'm so slow to anyone this is incredibly obvious to and was patiently trying to explain to me before. I'm just excited it's finally starting to make sense to me. :)

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What kind of mixer is it?

 

Its hard to remove sibilance using a channel eq because they are generally designed to affect a wide range of frequencies, so when you try to cut sibilance you are cutting a lot of highs. It sounds like your eq doesnt have a quotient adjustment, which makes it even less able to remove sibilants effectively. Think of the mixer eq as something that is made to do broad adjustments in tone, rather than surgical adjustments like removing sibilance. A 31 band eq will do a much tidier job.

 

The best trick is simply called the pencil trick. Attach a pencil so that it is splitting the diaphragm down the centre. Hard to attach to a 58, but for a large diaphragm condenser its easy to attach with tape or a rubber band. This is often enough by itself for reducing sibilance, as long as the singer is not wildly out of control.

 

Another trick is to offset the mic in relation to the vocalists mouth. People usually project sibilants a little harder on one side of the mouth, so you can just shift the mic over to the other side for a slight reduction.

Edited by komuso

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It's handy to know if it's a parametric EQ or just a 6 band fixed EQ.

 

Parametric is better and easier once you get your head around how it works.

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Sounds like the desk has parametric control over the mids to me.

 

+1 to the 31 band Graphic EQ tho...worthwhile investment for sure.

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