So, you wanna learn how to eq afrobeat vocals properly right? Firstly picture this : You got a neatly recorded song and now it’s time to mix it. But wait! The vocals are sounding too muddy, hollow, honky or too bright. Now you’re wondering how you can get this fixed because you are practically new to the music making scene. Worry not because I’m here to share with you 6 tips to help you equalize vocals properly.
Learn How To EQ Afrobeat Vocals
- THE VERY LOW-RANGE : Normally, vocals can be filtered quite severely in the lowest range. Simply turn on the low-cut filter on the condenser microphone (most condenser microphones have this feature) when you’re recording to cut out the low-end rumble. Usually, this cuts at 75hz or so but during mixing, you can filter it out even more. Obviously, this largely depends on the singer’s voice but I would normally go for a little over 105 Hz. Listening is crucial here because you don’t want to cut out the singer’s character, especially if the singer has a good presence the lower register. For female singers, you can go even higher with the cut.
- THE ROBUST 150 Hz : For rounding out a vocal and making it more robust and full I would search around the 150 Hz area. Some singers sound thin and nasal-like and can do with a little hump on their vocal cords. Boosting here can give the vocal more punch.
- HONKY-BOXY 4-500 Hz : If the vocal track lacks definition and sounds boxy you can sweep around this area, even going so far as up to 800 Hz. Remember that when cutting you should have your Q pretty narrow because you are trying to repair your recording, and cutting too broadly from the frequency spectrum will severely compromise the natural sound of the vocal.
- NASALNESS AT 1 KHz : If your vocalist sounds like they have a bit of a cold then cut around the 1 kHz area to get rid of it. Too much of a cut will sound worse than just having a cold so make sure you’re subtle about it.
- IN YOUR FACE PRESENCE OF THE 5 KHz : If your singer doesn’t seem to be cutting through the mix, he might need to be presented to 5Khz. It will push the track a little more to the front and give the singer a much-needed presence.
- SIBILANCE AROUND THE 7 KHz : Some people have more sibilance than others. The s’ sounds have much more energy than other consonants. If your singer has an excess of S’s you can try cutting around 7 kHz. It will make the S’s less pronounced and won’t make them jump out too much. Better yet, inserting a de-esser or a compressor that only compresses the ‘s’ area can work even better. Male sibilance is typically 3-7k Hz and female sibilance is typically 5-9k Hz so there needs to be some experimentation to find that annoying ‘s’ sound.
Eq’ing vocals is no rocket science. With a little trial and error you too can become a pro at it!
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