Wednesday, August 19, 2015

More notes to self on treating vocals

Steps to follow:

Remove background noise using gate

  • e.g.: threshold: -17dB, reduction: -100dB, attack: 5ms, hold: 30ms, release: 60ms, hysteresis: -3dB, lookahead: 0, high cut: 20kHz, low cut: 20Hz

Corrective Equalization

see "Remove Rumble" and "Sweep Sound" part of previous post

Normalize gain to -3dB

De-esser (some say it should come after compression)

  • e.g.: detection frequency: 9800Hz, sensitivity: 26%
  • e.g.: suppressor: 9300Hz, strength: -9dB


  • e.g.: attack: 2ms, knee: 1, threshold: -22dB RMS, gain: 8dB, limiter threshold: -0.5dB

Equalization and Enhancing

see "Give Glitter" part of previous post. 

Note: to make sure that all similar vocals are treated similarly, route them through a common bus and apply the effects on the bus.

Add reverb and delay

use send/return configuration for all time based effects

Last minute fix-ups

Autotune + see "Special fx" part of previous post

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Note to self about equalizing vocals

Since I'm sure I will forget this information, I'm putting it online where I know I will find it back. After each step, also check the effect in the mix (i.e. together with other instruments). A subtle effect is usually better than an over-the-top effect. The information here is summarized from . Be sure to check out their video for sound examples.

Step 1: remove rumble

Use a high pass filter (aka low cut filter). Increase the cut-off frequency until you just start to hear the difference, then reduce it a bit. That's right, aim for not hearing the effect. This ensures that you only remove rubbish, and don't remove valuable data. A typical cut-off frequency will be around 80Hz-120Hz.

When done, check the effect in the mix.

Step 2: give glitter

For this purpose use a high shelving filter. Try to boost frequencies above 8kHz with anything from 1dB to about 6dB. If you want a more subtle effect, try to boost above 12kHz-16kHz instead.

When done, check the effect in the mix.

Step 3: sweep sound

Use a small bandpass filter, vary its center frequency and search for frequency bands that obviously stand out compared to other frequency bands. You can attenuate these a bit. A typical action is to attenuate around 800Hz-1kHz.

When done, check the effect in the mix.

Step 4: special fx

This step is optional.
  • To make sound brighter, try to boost 2kHz-5kHz.
  • To make vocal sit better in the mix in quieter passages, try cutting between 100Hz-250Hz
When done, check the effect in the mix.