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How to Equalize Your Music Mix


Date Posted: 6/28/2013 2:36:23 AM

Posted By: BrianL7  Membership Level: Gold  Total Points: 2289

Have you ever heard a song and really enjoyed the sound and the music itself and was pleased by it and just wanted to hear it over and over again and after each time you wonder how they did that? Well, I have. I've always wondered and wanted to know how those unique sounds came about throughout the whole song and if you have to, then you are in the right place my friend, I will explain all you need to know.

First of all, what is EQ? What is the craze about it? I will start here and then I will jump into explaining how you can use EQ in your own music mix.

EQ is basically altering the frequency and adjusting the sound of your music or vocals. EQ systems are everywhere from our home theater system to our phones audio player and even cars therefore they are around us. I do not want to indulge in that topic however. I want to teach you how to eq your own music and vocals.

So why would one eq music in the first place? Isn't the song as good as it is without the need to alter the frequency? It is pretty simple really. It is necessary to equalize because frequencies are different, some are louder than others despite having the same energy. The human ear can perceive 20-20,000 Hz, this is the approximate range and the closer we approach or exceed these boundaries the softer the sound. There is also a need for this due to the fact that our houses, rooms, cars and buildings have all different shapes and sizes therefore sound quality will be different. You may hear the same song in different venues but it will not sound the same.

So, how do you equalize music?

Equalizers work in ranges

known as "bands". Professional sound systems used in studios use 20-30 bands and therefore provide divisions in the range of human hearing and each band consequently controls a small range of frequency and thus allow more control over sound. It is important to know this as indeed if you are going to equalize your music, it has to be of quality and has to be heard.

There a 3 types of equalizers; parametric, bass and graphic equalizers.
Parametric equalizer is the most widely used and popular audio equalizer and this is because it allows you to filter, boost and cut any frequency range and also to define the width of your cut. This is what I mean: first listen to your music and identify the problem frequencies and cut them. To find problems using this EQ, make a cut in the lo or hi-mids, then sweep through the frequencies, listening to the alterations in each band. When you identify a problem frequency, you can minimize the cut to a few decibels. Once you have identified the problem frequencies, identify the good frequencies that you want to boost. The same technique in finding the problem frequencies is used, only this time instead of making a cut, make a drastic boost in the lo-mids or high-mids. When you identify a good frequency, boost down to a few decibels. Although this is up to the user, who may be looking for a unique sound.

The Graphic EQ is used when you need to tweak specific frequencies in a live sound situation. So this comes in handy during a live performance. Basically it uses the same principal as the parametric EQ but only that it has controls for specific frequencies. So the advantage here is that you do not need to sweep through to identify a problem frequency. You can make a sudden cut in each band and listen to the outcome and then edit them later on. After this identify complimentary frequencies and raise them. Boost each frequency to discover the best in your music and if it so pleases, use it.

So in summary the audio spectrum frequency range is 20 Hz to 20 KHz. To Stand out cut the lower frequencies and then blend in by cutting the higher frequencies. When cutting remember to use a narrow Q (bandwidth) and when boosting use a wide Q (bandwidth). Do not forget that it's okay to cut frequencies.

I hope this was of help, now you can freely equalize your music and vocals and come up with a new sound.

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