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Foundations of Audio: EQ and Filters
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Putting it all together with multiband EQ


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Foundations of Audio: EQ and Filters

with Brian Lee White

Video: Putting it all together with multiband EQ

Now that we understand the different types of filters commonly found in both hardware and software equalizers, it's worth mentioning that many EQs will incorporate multiple filter types into a single processor. This is often referred to as a multiband EQ. Multiband EQs generally feature one or more parametric bands in addition to high- and low-shelving filters and high- and low-pass filters at each end of the frequency spectrum. Many multiband EQs will also feature input and output gain controls that can be used to raise or lower the entire level of the signal.
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  1. 3m 28s
    1. Welcome
      1m 36s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      35s
    3. Using the exercise files
      58s
    4. Using the "Get In the Mix" Pro Tools and Logic Pro session files
      19s
  2. 15m 46s
    1. What are frequency and amplitude?
      2m 27s
    2. Measuring frequency
      1m 48s
    3. Measuring amplitude
      1m 58s
    4. The perception of frequency and amplitude
      4m 18s
    5. Frequency and pitch
      5m 15s
  3. 36m 10s
    1. What is an equalizer?
      4m 14s
    2. Hardware and software EQ
      1m 58s
    3. Understanding frequency and gain EQ controls
      3m 41s
    4. Using the bandwidth, or Q, EQ control
      5m 35s
    5. Parametric equalizers
      2m 36s
    6. Shelving filters
      5m 11s
    7. High- and low-pass filters
      5m 42s
    8. Putting it all together with multiband EQ
      3m 43s
    9. Using graphic EQ
      3m 30s
  4. 46m 13s
    1. Creating focus
      3m 47s
    2. Get in the Mix: Using EQ to fix problems and place elements in the mix
      8m 30s
    3. Get in the Mix: Creating complementary EQ curves
      9m 7s
    4. Get in the Mix: Creative EQ with the telephone effect
      5m 30s
    5. Get in the Mix: Frequency bracketing with filters
      5m 44s
    6. Get in the Mix: Automating EQ
      6m 18s
    7. Learning to listen
      3m 10s
    8. Balancing expectations from the recording process
      4m 7s
  5. 41m 14s
    1. Get in the Mix: EQing FX returns
      4m 29s
    2. Using common vintage-modeled EQs
      5m 2s
    3. Using frequency analyzers
      3m 44s
    4. Using harmonic generators to excite frequency content
      5m 44s
    5. EQ or compression first?
      3m 3s
    6. EQ and room acoustics: Is your room lying to you?
      6m 15s
    7. Boost or cut? The relative nature of EQ and headroom
      4m 0s
    8. Building healthy EQ strategies
      8m 57s
  6. 19s
    1. What's next and EQ summary
      19s
  7. 5m 51s
    1. A session with Brian Lee White
      5m 51s

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Foundations of Audio: EQ and Filters
2h 29m Appropriate for all Jan 11, 2012 Updated Jan 17, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this installment of the Foundations of Audio series, author Brian Lee White shows producers and audio engineers how to properly apply equalization (EQ) and improve the sound of their mixes. The course covers the use of parametric and graphic EQs—and filters such as the high/low pass filters and shelf filters—in a variety of musical settings. These principles can be applied to any digital audio workstation platform, including Logic and Pro Tools, as well as analog workflows.

Topics include:
  • Measuring frequency and amplitude
  • Understanding the relationship between frequency and pitch
  • Working with EQ controls such as bandwidth (Q) and gain
  • Using graphic EQ
  • Understanding the shelving and high-pass and low-pass filters
  • Creating focus with EQ
  • Creating complementary EQ curves
  • Performing frequency bracketing with filters
  • Automating EQ
  • Using frequency analyzers
  • Using harmonic generators to excite frequency content
Subjects:
Audio + Music Mixing Music Production Audio Foundations Audio Effects
Software:
Logic Pro Pro Tools
Author:
Brian Lee White

Putting it all together with multiband EQ

Now that we understand the different types of filters commonly found in both hardware and software equalizers, it's worth mentioning that many EQs will incorporate multiple filter types into a single processor. This is often referred to as a multiband EQ. Multiband EQs generally feature one or more parametric bands in addition to high- and low-shelving filters and high- and low-pass filters at each end of the frequency spectrum. Many multiband EQs will also feature input and output gain controls that can be used to raise or lower the entire level of the signal.

They usually have a phase or polarity invert button also. The phase flip switch allows you to invert the waveform's amplitude, swapping the pushes for pulls and the pulls for pushes shown here in the graph. This switch is often used to compensate for phase offsets created in multi-mic recording scenarios. For instance, if you mic a snare drum with a mic on the top head and the bottom head, those two signals might not reach the listener at the same time and will thus be out of phase, potentially canceling out, or in the least, sounding not quite right.

Flipping the polarity of one of the signals can alleviate this problem. This SSL console I'm sitting at, like many analog and digital recording consoles, feature a channel EQ that incorporates a high-pass filter, shelving filters for both high and low frequencies, and two parametric filters with sweepable Q. Most standard DAWs feature built-in multiband EQs, like the ProTools EQ3 and Logic's Channel EQ.

Certain plug-ins, like the Waves' Q series EQs, allow each band to function independently as any filter type, offering up to ten bands of whatever you need. During recording and mixing, a multiband EQ is ideal because most EQ tasks require a combination of filters, with varying degrees of boost and cut. For example, to EQ a vocal track, I might start by engaging the high-pass filter to remove any low-frequency rumble below the vocal's fundamental, or lowest note.

Then I might notch out some of the low-mid resonance in the vocal's harmonics to increase clarity and remove mud. After that, I'll use another parametric band to increase presence and intelligibility. To top it all off, I might strap on a high shelf add a bit of the top-end air and sheen. (music playing) While EQs can certainly be used in a single-band capacity, you'll often find yourself using multiband EQs for many of your basic EQ tasks.

Don't let the additional controls scare you, and don't feel like you need to use every band of a multiband EQ just because it's there. A multiband EQ is just a bunch of filters bundled into one convenient package, so if you can understand and use a single band of EQ, you can certainly use and understand a multiband EQ.

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