In article 2, The Sound Spectrum, we identified potential conflict between our two vocal tracks in the range 1,200 Hz to 3,000 Hz. We can use our EQ plug-in to do two things:
- Identify the best frequency within this range for each individual track.
- Adjust the EQ for our tracks accordingly.
Insert an instance of your EQ plug-in into the first of your tracks. Select any band and change its type to Bandpass. Set a fairly narrow bandwidth and select a frequency about 1,200 Hz. Solo the track and play it. You will hear only that part of the frequency range that is allowed by the bandpass filter. Gradually adjust the frequency within the range that you are interested until you find that at which the voice sounds better than any other, This is known as one of its key frequencies. In the example illustrated, we have discovered a key frequency for this vocal at around 1397 Hz.
Now do the same for the other track. Find a key frequency within the conflict range as far from the key frequency for the first track as possible.
Now convert your bandpass filters to ordinary Band filters. For each track, add some gain at its own key frequency, and some reduction at the other track's key frequency, An example of this for one of our tracks is shown in the second illustration.
You might wish to tweak your settings somewhat, but you will be amazed at the difference these few adjustments will make to the individual clarity of each of your voices.
This technique is not only suited to vocals. For example, it also can be highly effective in resolving conflict between different instruments, such as guitar, banjo and mandolin. Be prepared to be patient, to experiment and learn.
That's it then? Well not quite. In fact we've a lot more to learn yet.
In this article we have looked at resolving one kind of conflict that can arise in one of the dimensions in which space and sound interact. In our next article you will see that there are many others.