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EQing spoken word

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by zac850, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    ok, later today im going to need to EQ a mic, and i want to know what leavels to try and push up and keep down

    this mic is used just for spoken words, no music, no singing, just spoken words. What leavels do I want to bring up, or down?

    Thanks,
    Zac
     
  2. seanb

    seanb Member

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    you'll need to use your ears :) On spoken word, a boost in 3-5kHz will give you decent intelligibility. That's a good start...
     
  3. The_Terg

    The_Terg Active Member

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    Agreed.

    When I do spoken word, and other forms of vocals such as singing, I start by adjusting the low shelf of my board to suit the person. Sometimes the high shelf also needs adjusting, depending on the mic, and on the amount of hiss/fuzz/pop.

    For singers, I like to try and notch out the 'shrill' in the singers voice. Thats usually where it peaks the highest. Sometimes the 'shrill' has a tendency to become annoying, atleast to my ears, so I find it by fiddling with the parametric eq and notch it out.

    (I usually use the [email protected] computer next to the sound board for assistance in analyzing the Frequency spectra of the audio signal. I use a program called Spectra Plus, a no-frills Spectrogram/Frequency analyzer program to find the peaks in a voice, and to generally level the eaveform, while boosting a little on that 4K range :))

    Just a personal opinion.
     
  4. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hiya, well I see I"m a little too late most likely to be of help today, but I'll go ahead and answer cause you will probably have another go at sound for a solo speaker. Speech....well depending on how the persons voice sounds and comes over will depend on what you EQ. I have run into a few folks who sound SO nasal and awful, there isn't ANYTHING you can do to make it better or at least not so horrible--its just their voice (or the fact that they speak out of their noses but still move their mouths for some reason) and...well.."crap in is crap out"--there is only so much a sound person can do. If your source is awful--not much you can do to fix it.

    But speech in general is pretty easy... here's a few pointers to get you started.. First things first--use a HPF to roll off the low end from about 250hz on down--it cleans up and eleminates low-frequency room noise and any podium bangs or clanks. Human voice isn't in the 250hz range--no need to have that extra "noise" being picked up. Second--give a slight boost in the 2khz - 4khz range for clarity. If the person is sybilant or really bad on the SSSS sound, you can do a slight cut in the 6-8k range.

    Other things you can do--If the person sounds overly nasal or "boomy" you can give a slight cut in the 500hz-800hz range. If the mic or person speaking sounds "ringy" or shrill, and has a slight ring you can't pin down when they talk, that frequency is usually in the 1k-3.15k range, and a slight cut will clean that up.

    Other things you can do, insert a compressor on the channel to cut down on some of those "puh-puh-puh" P's that seem to burst cause the person just talks like that or is too close to the mic. Minimal compression works well--a 2:1 or 4:1 ratio reduction with a fast attack, low threshold and medium release. Idea being you don't want it to compress them when they speak, but only when they emphasize or get louder or slip closer to the mic. Other toys out there which IMO you do NOT need are De-Essers and companders..there is no limit to what I've seen people use on a simple speakers mic..

    Make note--you don't NEED to use compressors or toys...you don't need to go crazy using EQ.. I'm a minimalist when it comes to EQ & toy useage...I mean with a proper gain structure, mic choice and speaker placement you should be able to get enough gain with lots of headroom and no feedback or proximity effect for everyone to hear even some of the whispers whether you have a professional speaker or a amature who talks like theyare whispering. But if you were doing say the CEO of a fortune 500 company and its going out for broadcast and media was recording, it can't hurt to go that extra mile with the extra EQ and toys to get the best possible sound with no surprises or feedback or "pops" that go to tape or to broadcast... Best thing you can do is rely on your ears and your skills in gain structure etc, and not technology or other devices to solve problems for ya.

    Hope this helps ya...

    wolf
     
  5. seanb

    seanb Member

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    wow! That spectra plus is pretty nifty! I could see myself using that in a live sound situation very easily. Do you just use a PFL/AFL/solo output on it? That would be seriously wicked :)
     
  6. cruiser

    cruiser Active Member

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    if your desk has a control room send, and your not actually using it for a "control room" then you simply use that as your send, as that is just like another headphone output. When you pfl/afl the control room will pfl/afl and you will get a pfl/afl read on your spectrum analyser. Alternativly you can get a double adaptor for your headphone jack, and take a line off that into your soundcard!

    I have a spectrum analyzer (not computerized) that sits in my rack with a specrtum analyzer microhpone that i will sit about 5 mts back from the stage above the audience, this gives a read out similar to the software. They are very nifty units, check in your sound stores...

    As for computerized, i use pingin audio meter availble from masterpinguin.de
    Similar to spectra plus, but has more features on it, and more readouts.
     

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