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EQ settings for live low voice

Member for

21 years
I'm having trouble with some live music in the way that we have just okay mics, and the songs we play sound pretty good, but sometimes when the vocal melody has a really low part, it gets lost in the music and you can't understand the words, which is understandable because the bass frequencies mix and mingle with the other stuff and don't get heard as much. Just wondering if there are some tips on how to bring the low voice out more clearly. Thank you so kindly.


Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Thu, 07/03/2008 - 11:44
This is precisely why one needs to use the high pass filter on the microphone or on the console/preamp. Too much proximity effect always yields muddy vocals . This can work for you if you offset the extreme proximity effect with extra mid-& high-frequency boost.

When recording you also need to add copious amounts of compression/limiting so that the vocal doesn't get lost in the mix. Settings of 4: 1 to 20: 1 with at least 10 to 20 DB of gain reduction occurring when the singer is at their loudest passage. So you need lots of compression. But you really can't get away with that during live PA reinforced performances. Generally, only limiting can be tolerated since compression makes feedback a reality. But it's still usable on that lower voice. So some limiting is in order.

It really doesn't have that much to do with your microphone not being up to snuff. Provided you're using something as commonly good as a Shure SM57 with a nice big foam pop filter and/or SM58. Yup, one of my all-time favorite vocal recording microphones. Condenser microphones for vocals and PA generally don't go well together as you can rarely get enough gain before feedback. Besides, I'd rather record a vocal utilizing an inexpensive SM57/58 than any other inexpensive Chinese/Russian/Japanese condenser microphones. Really. Believe it. OK so the Audio Technica's & Sony's ain't bad. But they don't sound like a SM57/58. They're different beasts but there for you if you want a quality condenser sound, which isn't always necessary.

Once you learn that natural dynamics really don't work for/with pop recording and you begin selective compression and/or limiting of your vocals & other instruments, will you finally get mixes that sound professional. Where everything sits where it's supposed to. Where you put it. Popular recordings don't need much more than a 15DB dynamic range. Anymore than that and things sound out of control.

My mixes are always in their place, in my place.
Ms. Remy Ann David