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Equalizing tracks

From: GarageBand '11 Essential Training

Video: Equalizing tracks

As the name implies, equalization is a process that aims to make specific portions of the frequency range of a given instrument or a voice in your song less out of proportion with other portions of the frequency range of the sound, Much could be said about EQ and this GarageBand Essential Training course is not the place for it. The art of EQing recorded sounds is a lifelong pursuit for many engineers. It will be helpful to you to practice listening to sounds you've recorded with the Visual EQ Effect open and the Analyze check box checked.

Equalizing tracks

As the name implies, equalization is a process that aims to make specific portions of the frequency range of a given instrument or a voice in your song less out of proportion with other portions of the frequency range of the sound, Much could be said about EQ and this GarageBand Essential Training course is not the place for it. The art of EQing recorded sounds is a lifelong pursuit for many engineers. It will be helpful to you to practice listening to sounds you've recorded with the Visual EQ Effect open and the Analyze check box checked.

Let's take a look at the Bass Guitar track. While we're here, I'll replace this icon with a Bass Guitar just for fun. It's easy to do. You can change any of your icons, just by clicking on this box in the Browse window. Let's move over to the Edit tab and focus on the EQ. Visual EQ currently is turned off. I am going to enable it and then click the Adjust EQ button to bring open the window. I'll move it over here so we have enough room to see. Now, you can click the Analyzer button, bottom-right, solo the Bass Guitar, and hit Play.

Watch what happens in this graph here. (Music playing) This graph is a representation of the low frequencies on the left, and the high frequencies on the right. It's showing you what exists on the track in terms of frequency. (Music playing) This whole range, 20 hertz to 20 kilohertz, which is cycles per second, represents the range of human hearing.

This bass has loads of bottom end and not a lot of highs. (Music playing) If you listen to the bass track and felt the bass was too bassy, then you could look at this Spectrum Analyzer and determine where the offending frequencies are. Let's just look at a part of this and decide. (Music playing) I don't think this is particularly overbassy, but if it was and you were looking at this graph to try to bring down the bassiness, we'd look for the highest peaks in the low range and attempt to cut them a bit.

So that's a process of clicking and dragging within each of these lanes. You have up and down to boost and cut a given frequency and you can move to the left and the right to alter the frequency value itself. If we display Details here, we can actually see these numbers changing on the fly. So this is the frequency here. 560 is where we are currently. As I move to the left, that decreases. Move to the right, it increases. The Cut and Boost value is displayed in plus or minus decibels.

So you can reduce a given frequency by say 6 decibels by making this position move. So I'm going to flatten that back out again and I'm going to cut some of the lows and take a listen to how that affects the sound. (Music playing) Now, I'll boost them. (Music playing) Notice that when I matched that section of the Analyzer with my boost, I was given a total over compensation. Basically had a resonant frequency that was just jumping out louder than just about anything else.

(Music playing) That's just too much sound in that one area, so that's no good. If I wanted to reduce that offending frequency, I can just put down just the smallest bit. So it takes some of the edge off that very bass-y sound. (Music playing) Something else that's nice with the Visual EQ is again just like any of the other GarageBand plugins and effects, there is a series of presets. So I'm going to look for bass and try one that I like on my Bass Guitar called Bass Strengthen.

We've already made some edits, so it's just telling us, hey, you've made some edits, are you sure you don't want to save that preset? I'll say nah, I will Continue, and notice there's a little boost here around 100 and that's right at that place that we are seeing that most of this bass lives, and there is also another little boost here around 2K. So let's listen to a little bit more of it. (Music playing) I'll turn this off and on while we go, so you can hear the difference. (Music playing) So that will really help the bass to sit well within the entire song.

(Music playing) With EQ, it's always important to use your ears. Make things sound the way you want them to. If you listen to it in the car stereo or in your headphones and things are sounding too distorted or too overblown, use the EQ Analyzer to find out where those loud frequencies are and then cut those frequencies by a few dB and see if that takes care of your problem.

Keep in mind these two factors. A little EQ goes a long way. Be gentle with your EQ adjustments, and it's better to cut frequencies that you don't want, called subtractive EQ adjustments, than it is to boost frequencies you do want, called additive EQ adjustment. Just remember, every time you boost something you're adding overall volume and may need to make adjustments in your overall track volume to compensate for that increased gain. Before the next movie, I'm going to go through and make some additional EQ adjustments to some of the other instrument tracks, and I encourage you to go ahead and use this exercise file 09_ 03 to make adjustments yourself and see what you come up with.

If you want to catch up and see what EQ adjustments I've made, you can open up the next exercise file as we begin to work with compression.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for GarageBand '11 Essential Training
GarageBand '11 Essential Training

50 video lessons · 23403 viewers

Todd Howard
Author

 
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  1. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      1m 13s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 4s
  2. 23m 4s
    1. Connecting instruments, MIDI controllers, mics, audio interfaces, and speakers
      4m 24s
    2. Setting important Mac OS X and GarageBand preferences
      4m 32s
    3. Creating a project with tempo, time signature, and key
      4m 37s
    4. Creating a track
      9m 31s
  3. 25m 42s
    1. Exploring Real Instrument tracks and setting a good input level
      6m 20s
    2. Exploring Software Instrument tracks, keyboard velocity, and MIDI
      6m 59s
    3. Exploring Electric Guitar tracks and monitoring
      7m 48s
    4. Positioning the cursor on audio regions to access different tools
      4m 35s
  4. 10m 23s
    1. Choosing a genre in the Project Chooser
      2m 3s
    2. Auditioning players in the band and hiring new players
      8m 20s
  5. 16m 45s
    1. Browsing and filtering the Apple Loops library
      5m 20s
    2. Dragging Apple Loops into your arrangement and choosing from alts
      6m 33s
    3. Jamming along with your composition
      4m 52s
  6. 35m 11s
    1. Setting tempo, enabling count-in and metronome, and dragging in a drum loop
      5m 22s
    2. Using GarageBand as a scratchpad for recording new ideas
      3m 29s
    3. Using the Arrange track to create song form sections
      3m 1s
    4. Splitting Apple Loops and choosing alternates to build a drum part
      6m 36s
    5. Recording multiple takes with cycle record
      4m 32s
    6. Punching in a small section of audio
      6m 20s
    7. Using Groove Matching to tighten up the rhythm of a performance
      5m 51s
  7. 33m 56s
    1. Tuning up and tracking a rhythm electric guitar part
      4m 26s
    2. Customizing the guitar sound using amps, stompboxes, and effects
      11m 44s
    3. Using Flex Time to fix a double-tracked rhythm guitar part
      7m 40s
    4. Using Cycle Record to record multiple takes for soloing
      3m 40s
    5. Compositing a final guitar solo from multiple takes
      6m 26s
  8. 19m 25s
    1. Recording a Software Instrument track
      3m 48s
    2. Editing the parameters of Software Instruments
      8m 44s
    3. Editing MIDI notes in the piano roll editor after the performance
      6m 53s
  9. 14m 12s
    1. Recording lead vocals
      6m 39s
    2. Correcting pitch with automatic tuning
      4m 16s
    3. Reordering, duplicating, and deleting song sections using the Arrangement track
      3m 17s
  10. 1h 7m
    1. Creating successful mixes
      7m 4s
    2. Pre-mixing
      15m 31s
    3. Equalizing tracks
      5m 51s
    4. Compressing tracks
      10m 13s
    5. Adding reverb and echo effects to individual tracks
      6m 39s
    6. Creating automated volume and pan moves
      10m 41s
    7. Freezing tracks to improve system performance
      2m 0s
    8. Using master track effects and automating a fade-out
      3m 31s
    9. Creating a final mixdown: Exporting a finished song to disk
      5m 40s
  11. 12m 51s
    1. Sharing your songs with iTunes and burning CDs
      3m 6s
    2. Opening a GarageBand project in Logic
      4m 26s
    3. Archiving GarageBand project files
      5m 19s
  12. 36m 44s
    1. Taking music lessons
      7m 32s
    2. Creating ringtones
      3m 50s
    3. Creating podcasts
      14m 12s
    4. Scoring a movie
      11m 10s
  13. 53s
    1. Goodbye
      53s

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