Audio equalization is the act of altering the frequency of a sound signal in order to improve, enhance, or change it. In the world of video editing, this can mean a lot of different things. But in our case, it most often means that we're manipulating the frequency to reduce unwanted frequencies and enhance desired ones. Now, there are several useful built-in EQ adjustments in Final Cut Pro X, and there are also some tools where you can do this manually if you know little something about audio frequencies. Let's take a look. So, I'm going to open up 6.4, and we're continuing to work on the audio of our interviews.
Specifically I'm going to take a look at the ones in worst shape, which is John Downey and Justin. Let's start off with John Downey here. We have already applied some Background Noise Removal. I'm going to quickly show you where we came from, where we're at now, and then we'll go forward with some further EQ adjustments. So, I have the Inspector open, and I'm going to just turn off Background Noise Removal for a moment, so you'll see where we came from, and then I'm going to enable it so you can see where we're at. So, I'll turn that off, I'll solo this, Option+S, and I'll play a loop, Shift+Question Mark.
(John Downey: --its freshness, its flavor-- --its freshness, its flavor--) So, greatly improved, but let's see what else we can do. I'm going to come back to the main Inspector View. I'm going to come down to Equalization. And right now, Flat simply means that there's no EQ adjustment applied. If I click on this menu, I have a number of options that I can choose. Most of the time with interviews, I like to choose Voice Enhance first to see how it sounds, and so I'll press Voice Enhance. And before we play this, I want to show you what's going on here.
I'm going to click on this button here, and we can see exactly what's going on. Voice Enhance is going to boost the frequencies around the human voice spectrum, and reduce the lower ones. Notice that this is editable. I can grab these, and drag them and edit this further if I like. But I want to see what this sounds like before any editing. So, I'll go ahead and play loop again, and see how Voice Enhance sounds, Shift+Question Mark. (John Downey: --its freshness, its flavor-- --its freshness, its flavor--) I don't really like what that did to it. I think it was better before.
Another EQ template that I use a lot is Loudness. And let's just take a look at what this is doing. This is an interesting template. Let's see how it works with our audio here. I'm going to go ahead and Shift+Question Mark. (John Downey: --its freshness, its flavor-- --its freshness, its flavor--) I think it sounds pretty good. I could either leave it like this, or I could come in and edit this further. I can edit in 10 bands, or I can go up to 31. You can see that this is very specific on exactly what frequencies I'd be boosting and cutting.
I'm going to go back to just Loudness, and I think I'm actually pretty happy with it. Now, this course won't cover the science of audio frequencies, but you can always find out more about this in several of the audio postproduction courses on lynda.com. Let's just go quickly into Justin's interview, and see how we can improve that, Option+S, and let's see where we're at. Remember, we did remove some background sound already, so I'll Shift+Question Mark. (Justin: --all these farms, that's for sure. --all these farms, that's for sure.) So, the background noise is gone, but it does kind of sound like he is on a telephone.
Let's see what the Loudness EQ adjustment does to this one, and Shift+Question Mark. (Justin: --all these farms, that's for sure. --all these farms, that's for sure.) Let's go ahead and try to edit this just a little bit further. I'll go ahead and open up the Graphic Equalizer. While this is playing, I'm just going to sort of ride a couple of these sliders right here in this general region where the human voice spectrum is. So, I'll go ahead and Shift+Question Mark, and I'm just going to be doing a little bit of editing. (Justin: --all these farms, that's for sure. --all these farms, that's for sure.
--all these farms, that's for sure. --all these farms, that's for sure.) (video playing) So, what I was doing was taking the sliders right around the human voice spectrum and then making some rather severe adjustments, going way up and way down and seeing how that worked.
And then once you make a severe adjustment and see what happens, then you can kind of make smaller adjustments until you're happy with it. So again, experiment with these templates to see what blanket adjustments are being done, and then you can tweak from there.
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