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Exploring inserts: Using EQ as a mix tool

From: Logic Pro 9 Essential Training

Video: Exploring inserts: Using EQ as a mix tool

We can measure sound waves in terms of their frequency and their amplitude. Frequency is what determines the pitch content of a sound, how high or low pitched it is, while amplitude is the sound's volume. In this video, we're going to look at a plug-in tool called an Equalizer, or EQ, that controls the frequency of a sound in a track. By altering the frequency within EQ, we can carve out a unique space for a track, so it fits better in our mix. An EQ can be inserted as a plug-in on any track. It can be used to enhance elements of a sound, and fix problems. It can even be used to make a sound compliment another sound on a different track, when it's combined in a mix.

Exploring inserts: Using EQ as a mix tool

We can measure sound waves in terms of their frequency and their amplitude. Frequency is what determines the pitch content of a sound, how high or low pitched it is, while amplitude is the sound's volume. In this video, we're going to look at a plug-in tool called an Equalizer, or EQ, that controls the frequency of a sound in a track. By altering the frequency within EQ, we can carve out a unique space for a track, so it fits better in our mix. An EQ can be inserted as a plug-in on any track. It can be used to enhance elements of a sound, and fix problems. It can even be used to make a sound compliment another sound on a different track, when it's combined in a mix.

The most common EQ you'll see is the Channel Strip EQ in Logic. Let's insert one on the Snare track. Click under the Inserts to an available plug-in slot and go to EQ > Channel EQ - since this is a mono track, we can choose Mono. The plug-in window pops-up, and you also see a green area at the top of the track. This is a handy, quick-glance visual reference for our EQ Settings, once we make them. That way we can see what's going on in the EQ of the track without opening the Plug-in window. Let's look at the Plug-in window itself.

The range across the middle is the range of human hearing. At the lowest, we have 20. That's 20 Hz, or the lowest frequency we can hear. On the right, we have 20 kHz, or 20,000 Hz. That's the highest pitch we can hear. Let's Solo the Snare track so we can hear it by itself. Click the S button in the Mix window. EQ settings can be made in real- time while you listen to the audio. We have a loop cycle here so the snare will just keep repeating. As I listen, I'll click and drag on the line in the middle to make some rough EQ settings.

(Drum playing.) Finer tuning can be done with the controls below each band. The top number is the frequency you're working at in Hz. Right now, this low boost is at 106 Hz. The number below that is how much we're boosting or cutting. In this case, we're boosting by 7 dB, at 106 Hz.

The number below that is the Q or the width. It's the shape of the band. I'll now use these fine controls to adjust the EQ as I listen. (Drum playing.) The Q value can be a little bit confusing. The lower the Q value, the wider the band.

The higher the Q value, the sharper the band. You can use a very sharp band to fix problem areas. I am going to use the sharp band to identify a ring in the snare drum, and then I'll remove it. To do this, I'll boost the setting really high so I can hear the ring, and then I'll bring it down to remove it. (Drum playing.) After boosting, I identified that the ring was at 210 Hz.

Then I was able to pull it back to remove the ring from the sound. If you EQ your track with it soloed, make sure you always put it back in the mix to make sure it works with the other tracks. Let's hear it all together. (Music playing.) It sounds good. Now let's EQ the vocal. Go over to the Vocal track and we're going to insert the same type of EQ. This time, instead of making the settings yourself, we're going to use a preset.

Go into the Plug-in Preset menu. Under Voice, we have one already made for Male Lead Vocal. Just because Logic made it as a preset, doesn't mean it will work for every male singer. But it's a good place to start. One thing you notice on this EQ is that there is a low cut. This is useful because for a male voice, there is not a lot of frequencies below 95 Hz, where the cut happens. This way we can use the EQ to filter out any low rumble or anything going on below the voice. Let's take a listen and I'll alter the EQ a little bit to match what I want to here. (Music playing.) If we like this setting for this particular singer, we can always save it.

Save Setting As, just call it, My lead vocal eq or something descriptive. It will now be available for all your other Logic projects. Let's try a different kind of EQ. We'll go over to the Background Vocal tracks. On one of them, select EQ, but this time choose Fat EQ. This is a different style of EQ. It has cruder controls, but it has a different more analog sound. I am going to Command+Tilde to my Arrange window for a second, and then adjust the playback so it's going over where those background vocals are.

Now I am going to adjust this EQ to where I like to hear it. I'm going to move up the fourth band to get some more high frequencies in there, and then I am going to turn up the Master Gain just to give it a little more gain. (Music playing.) That sounds good. Let's go back to the Mix window. You might have noticed I only EQed one- half of those vocals, the one on the left.

So, I want to copy these settings over to the other side. To move a plug-in from one track to another, you can Command+Click on it. That makes your cursor into a hand, and you can click and drag it. We want to copy it over too. So, I'll hold Option+Command, and that will allow us to copy the plug-in with the same settings over to the other track. See? Both tracks now have the same plug-in settings. Let's hear how that sounds. (Music playing.) EQs are essential tools in mixing.

It's not uncommon to have an EQ on every track of a song by the time you're done mixing. Equalizers in Logic don't take up too much processing power. So, you can feel free to use them as often as you need them.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Logic Pro 9 Essential Training
Logic Pro 9 Essential Training

74 video lessons · 28005 viewers

Scott Hirsch
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 55s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 5s
  2. 17m 39s
    1. Installing the software
      3m 19s
    2. Launching Logic for the first time, using the templates
      5m 15s
    3. Understanding audio interfaces
      3m 35s
    4. Understanding MIDI interfaces
      5m 30s
  3. 32m 15s
    1. Getting to know the Arrange window
      5m 15s
    2. Using the many windows of Logic
      4m 13s
    3. Creating your own screensets
      2m 23s
    4. Using the Transport window and controlling playback
      4m 54s
    5. Using the Toolbox
      2m 37s
    6. Naming tracks and regions
      3m 27s
    7. Learning useful and custom key commands
      5m 18s
    8. Saving and going mobile with your project
      4m 8s
  4. 41m 41s
    1. Setting up for recording
      5m 43s
    2. Understanding Metronome settings or the click track
      4m 7s
    3. Understanding tempo
      4m 37s
    4. Recording live instruments and vocals using multitrack recording
      3m 56s
    5. Playing with guitar madness: Amp design
      5m 13s
    6. Playing with guitar madness: Pedal board
      4m 5s
    7. Working with takes recording and comping
      4m 51s
    8. Punching in to replace bad audio
      4m 51s
    9. Using Varispeed to create an old tape machine sound
      4m 18s
  5. 1h 8m
    1. Understanding MIDI
      4m 41s
    2. Using the Logic synth instruments
      7m 4s
    3. Working with the emulator instruments
      5m 23s
    4. Using the EXS24 sampler
      3m 7s
    5. Building tracks with Ultrabeat
      5m 31s
    6. Using channel strips to select a virtual sound
      5m 29s
    7. Understanding the basics of MIDI recording
      4m 38s
    8. Learning how to use MIDI with Cycle Record
      4m 9s
    9. Using Logic's step input
      4m 3s
    10. Mastering quantization
      6m 18s
    11. Working in the Piano Scroll window
      5m 33s
    12. Editing controller messages with Hyper View
      4m 8s
    13. Working with the Hyper Editor
      5m 29s
    14. Working with the Events List
      3m 20s
  6. 29m 49s
    1. Importing prerecorded audio into Logic
      4m 5s
    2. Exploring Apple Loops
      4m 40s
    3. Creating your own Apple Loop
      4m 21s
    4. Conforming tempo, region to session, or session to region
      3m 51s
    5. Using the new Flex Time feature
      5m 17s
    6. Beat mapping your project
      4m 41s
    7. Importing elements from project to project
      2m 54s
  7. 24m 15s
    1. Understanding the basic editing techniques in the Arrange window
      7m 5s
    2. Tips for editing and arranging
      3m 21s
    3. Editing and merging regions in the Arrange window
      3m 45s
    4. Mastering fades for audio region arranging
      4m 58s
    5. Fixing and morphing sound with the Sample Editor
      5m 6s
  8. 11m 12s
    1. Working with notes and composing in the Score Editor
      4m 26s
    2. Editing notes, keys, and time signatures
      3m 35s
    3. Creating scores and lead sheets for musicians
      3m 11s
  9. 9m 8s
    1. Setting up for a sync video project
      4m 50s
    2. Scoring music to video
      4m 18s
  10. 56m 32s
    1. Mixing philosophies and five tools for mixing
      3m 37s
    2. Setting up for a mix
      5m 11s
    3. Directing audio traffic with fader levels
      5m 7s
    4. Exploring Logic's panning features
      4m 37s
    5. Exploring inserts: Using EQ as a mix tool
      6m 51s
    6. Exploring inserts: Using compression as a mix tool
      5m 38s
    7. Using advanced signal flow with aux and send tracks
      3m 12s
    8. Using advanced signal flow with time-based FX to create space in your mix
      3m 44s
    9. Using automation to create dynamic mixes
      6m 22s
    10. Giving your mix life with automation
      2m 45s
    11. Optimizing performance with freeze tracks
      4m 42s
    12. Using channel strips for audio processing
      4m 46s
  11. 16m 7s
    1. Understanding surround hardware requirements
      4m 5s
    2. Building surround mixing workflows
      6m 17s
    3. Using the surround panner
      5m 45s
  12. 15m 48s
    1. Bouncing down your song
      5m 31s
    2. Understanding why alt mixes are a good idea
      2m 22s
    3. Exploring Logic's export options
      3m 37s
    4. Mastering your own Logic project
      4m 18s
  13. 37s
    1. Goodbye
      37s

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