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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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