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Working with filters and EQ effects

From: Audition CS6 Essential Training

Video: Working with filters and EQ effects

Audition comes with an excellent collection of built-in graphic equalizers and equalizer-based effects to let you filter your audio to emphasize or de-emphasize various frequencies across your recordings. EQs allow you to get fine grain control over a very specific range of frequencies. You can boost to low levels to get more bass or cut the high and back if your recording sounds too trebly. EQ effects are often also referred to as Filters because they filter specific frequencies relative to the rest of the signal. Let's take a look at some examples. I've opened up the file Sing Real Loud, which we have seen already in this chapter.

Working with filters and EQ effects

Audition comes with an excellent collection of built-in graphic equalizers and equalizer-based effects to let you filter your audio to emphasize or de-emphasize various frequencies across your recordings. EQs allow you to get fine grain control over a very specific range of frequencies. You can boost to low levels to get more bass or cut the high and back if your recording sounds too trebly. EQ effects are often also referred to as Filters because they filter specific frequencies relative to the rest of the signal. Let's take a look at some examples. I've opened up the file Sing Real Loud, which we have seen already in this chapter.

Let's give it a listen again. (video playing) Now, earlier we talked about how to use compression to compensate for the wide dynamic range in this recording. But another issue here is one of sibilance. Sibilance is the overly harsh sound that sometimes is created when someone speaks or says words with the letter S and to a lesser extent the S-H and C-H sounds. You can hear a lot of S sounds in this recording every time the singer says sometimes, sings, soft, and so on.

Listen again. (video playing) Now of course, S sounds are required in order to properly speak and sing words, but you can reduce their harshness by filtering some of the frequencies that cause sibilance. This is called the De-essing, and you'll actually find an automatic de-esser under the Favorites menu, right here, but I would like to show you how to do this more manually because while the automatic de-esser does an okay job, it targets a general frequency range where most people tend to say their esses, but being able to manually target individual speakers can often get you better results.

So I'll go to the Effects menu > Filter and EQ, and here you'll find a couple of different types of EQs. You're probably most familiar with the graphic EQ like this. Here in Audition you have a 10-band EQ and a 20-band EQ and a 30-band EQ. Obviously, the 30-band EQ gives you the most control over specific frequencies but it might not always be necessary to adjust your frequencies with that much control. For some projects you might find that switching to the 10 or the 20-band EQ works better, and the main fact that you EQ your file more quickly, but each works the same way.

You'll just drag the sliders up and down. Each slider is like a volume control for just that frequency. So, for example, if I were trying to get more punch out of a snare drum--in fact, I've got snare drum still open back here, and let me just play this for a second. (video playing) So that snare drum sounds okay, but it doesn't have a lot of punch. Simply increasing its volume isn't going to increase the snap of the snare drum just its amplitude. So I'll open up that graphic EQ. I'll go with 20-band again. So to get more punch out of the drum, I probably need to increase the level of the frequencies in about the 3 to 5k range.

Let me go ahead and play this, and I will exaggerate it a bit so you can hear the difference. (video playing) So there's the extreme there. If I drag those down, you'll see how it robs the snare of pretty much any punch. Let's try something like this. (video playing) And now that has a little bit more punch.

So that's an example of how to use a graph EQ to filter specific frequencies to emphasize them more. Okay, let's switch back to the Sing Real Loud file. So in this case I have those sibilant S sounds that I want to de-emphasize. I'm just going to highlight this first phrase so we can work on that one. (video playing) And I have the 20-band graphic EQ open. Now again, sibilance is different for every person, but you can pretty safely start by pulling down the frequencies around the 5 to 8k range.

Notice if I boost this frequencies and if you're wearing headphones or have your speakers turned up loud right now, you might want to turn them down. You will hear that the S sounds get much harsher. (video playing) Let's pause that for a moment, and I'm just going to return this to the default flat setting. So I'm going to drag those both down a little bit while previewing. (video playing) I can toggle the Preview on and off to hear the difference.

(video playing) So the esses to me aren't quite as sibilant anymore. I want to go ahead and close that without applying the effect. Now another built-in tool you can use is the FFT filter, again found under Filter and EQ > FFT. FFT stands for Fast Fourier Transform-- not that you need to know that--but it's the algorithm this filter uses to adjust frequencies. Unlike a graphic EQ, this filter lets you drag this blue line kind of like a rubber band to increase and decrease frequencies relative to each other.

So dragging down the frequency also slightly drags down those around it and vice-versa. And that might give your audio a more natural sound than the graphic EQ and you can click to add additional points to the line. But also notice that the FFT filter like many of the other filters comes with some presets designed to handle various issues or to apply an effect. For example, the telephone receiver drops off the low and high frequencies giving you a result that sounds like it's coming from a telephone receiver. (video playing) And you will also find a de-esser here.

Now this place is small dip that reduces the frequencies where most sibilant problems occur. (video playing) Now if you're not happy with the results, you're still free to use this just as a starting point and drag any of these other handles around, or you can create more points on your own. Maybe I want to drag the bottom of this curve down a little bit more for more reduction. (video playing) Can you hear the difference there? (video playing) And I think that cuts down some of the harshness of the S sounds there.

I'll go ahead and apply that. So you have got a full range of EQ tools available at your disposal here in Audition. And of course, lynda.com has you covered if you want some in-depth instruction on the ins and outs of EQs in filters with our course called The Foundations of Audio EQ and Filters. So be sure to check out that course for a lot more information on how to use EQs and filters.

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This video is part of

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Audition CS6 Essential Training

56 video lessons · 22735 viewers

Garrick Chow
Author

 
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  1. 1m 7s
    1. What is Audition?
      1m 7s
  2. 1m 55s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 1s
  3. 21m 6s
    1. Understanding the Audition interface
      8m 49s
    2. Setting up input and output
      4m 7s
    3. Setting essential preferences
      8m 10s
  4. 25m 3s
    1. Importing audio files
      6m 39s
    2. Extracting audio from a CD
      4m 6s
    3. Importing video files
      2m 21s
    4. Recording audio
      4m 50s
    5. Creating a multitrack session
      7m 7s
  5. 8m 8s
    1. Understanding frequency
      1m 50s
    2. Understanding amplitude
      1m 40s
    3. Understanding sample rate
      2m 34s
    4. Understanding bit depth
      2m 4s
  6. 37m 59s
    1. Understanding the Waveform Editor interface
      6m 2s
    2. Making selections
      6m 5s
    3. Adjusting the clip amplitude
      2m 49s
    4. Fading clips
      4m 5s
    5. Normalizing
      5m 17s
    6. Copying, cutting, and pasting
      7m 40s
    7. Undoing, redoing, and using the History panel
      4m 5s
    8. Generating silence
      1m 56s
  7. 24m 1s
    1. Using the Spectral Frequency Display
      2m 53s
    2. Using the selection tools
      7m 18s
    3. Using the Spot Healing Brush
      6m 34s
    4. Removing background noises
      7m 16s
  8. 46m 31s
    1. Understanding destructive vs. nondestructive effects
      12m 35s
    2. Applying compression
      9m 20s
    3. Understanding reverb vs. delay
      4m 44s
    4. Working with filters and EQ effects
      6m 46s
    5. Using special effects
      4m 26s
    6. Isolating vocals in a stereo track
      4m 27s
    7. Working with time and pitch effects
      4m 13s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Creating a multitrack session
      6m 1s
    2. Recording and importing audio
      9m 42s
    3. Understanding the multitrack interface
      5m 20s
    4. Understanding the Mixer panel
      6m 13s
    5. Editing clips in Multitrack View
      9m 49s
    6. Grouping clips together
      2m 43s
    7. Creating bus groups
      7m 42s
    8. Routing and working with sends
      4m 7s
    9. Using automation
      12m 25s
    10. Pre-rendering tracks
      2m 19s
    11. Exporting the mix
      4m 13s
    12. Exporting the session
      3m 22s
    13. Burning the mix to a CD
      4m 45s
  10. 25m 17s
    1. Working with audio from video
      6m 23s
    2. Importing a sequence from Premiere Pro
      3m 59s
    3. Adding a soundtrack to a video
      3m 45s
    4. Exporting a session back to Premiere Pro
      3m 32s
    5. Using Automatic Speech Alignment
      7m 38s
  11. 9m 46s
    1. Understanding the interface
      6m 17s
    2. Using pan envelopes
      2m 44s
    3. Exporting a multichannel mix
      45s
  12. 52s
    1. Next steps
      52s

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