“What is Equalization”
Equalization in audio mixing is the process of adjusting the balance between frequency components, in other words, the equalizer is useful in audio mixing for controlling the tone of an incoming audio signal. Equalizers can be used to create new tonalities and to help correct problems that occurred in the recording. The tone of an incoming audio signal can boost or cut depending on the tone you want to achieve through the equalizer. Every popular DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) comes with Parametric EQ in stock. Let’s deep dive into its components and some general uses.
“Components of Parametric EQ”
Most of them have two filters “Low Cut or High Pass” and “High Cut or Low Pass” filters and have multiple bands( 4 bands, 5 bands, 6 bands and so on). You can either boost the specific frequencies or do the opposite i.e. cut the specific frequencies using available bands of your equalizer In addition to Bands EQ also have “Q” (Bandwidth) that is useful to control bandwidth or size of frequencies.
Uses of Specific Bands and Filters
Low Cut or High Pass Filter: As the name says, this filter is used to cut low frequencies of the incoming audio signal. A general example is to CUT everything below 30Hz to 40Hz of Bass or entire mix to clean some muddiness.
Shelving: It attenuates or boosts frequencies above or below a specified cutoff point. Example: if your cymbals, hats, vocals or entire mix needs some of that silky high-end air, then use high shelf band of your EQ.
Peaking: Use peaking band to cutting or boosting certain frequency of the incoming audio signal.
Now you know the components of Equalizer, let’s observe the following frequency chart:
Key Points from the Chart
- 20Hz to 60Hz: This range is where the Sub Bass lies. Mostly feels than heard. Be cautious with this range too much can muddy your mix.
- 60Hz to 250Hz: The fundamental notes of the rhythm section(Bass, Drums, Snares, etc) lies here. Too much can be boomy.
- 250Hz to 2kHz: This range can add warmth to certain instruments. Boosting too much results a muddy mix and cutting too much results thin mix.
- 2kHz to 6kHz: This range can mask the important speech recognition sounds it boosted too much, makes sounds like “b”, “m”, “v” indistinguishable. Tip: Cut around 3kHz on instruments and boost 3kHz on vocals to make vocal more standout in the mix.
- 6kHz to 20kHz: This range is used to add clarity in your instruments and mixes. Too much can result a harsh sounding mix.
Sometimes you don’t need an EQ on certain sounds as they don’t have any problematic frequency. Try cutting the frequency than boosting. Cutting is mostly helpful in mixing. Hope you find this helpful. Share this post with your friends.