When you are making royalty-free beats, you must remember: The voice is one of our most familiar musical instrument. We hear vocals more often than all other instruments, and our auditory experience with them is the richest. Proceeding from this, the equalization of the voice should be especially clear, soft and almost invisible. You should check your work by putting the equalizer in bypass mode to understand the difference between what it was, what became and whether it became better. And here the situation is the same as when editing, if there is an uncertainty that the equalization has gone to the vocal and makes it better, it is better to work on it more, listen to it in different monitors or even abandon it altogether.
The equalizer can also serve as a means of building a mixed space and, in the case of vocals, a means of indicating the location of the vocalist in the mixed space. When you build this location, you need to do a style analysis of the composition in general and to ask yourself the following questions:
- To which style does this composition belong?
- In what room is the composition of this style actually performed?
- What is the position of the vocalist in relation to the musicians, typical for the compositions of this style?
- What is the position of the vocalist in relation to the audience, typical for the compositions of this style?
In your royalty-free beats, with the help of an equalizer, you can bring the vocalist closer to the viewer (listener) by raising the upper and lower frequencies. Alternatively, you can “drown” them into a phonogram by directly opposing actions, you can make a retro-style voice, slightly telephone, raising the level of the upper mid-range from about 2k to 3k, etc. Therefore, if you correctly answer all the above mentioned questions, you can make your equalization, as a characteristic of the style of a particular song, and depart from the usual rules of a particular style.
So, we know that for Rock performances, the musicians are close to a vocalist. Nevertheless, the vocalist is the front-man, which means, he or she is located a bit closer to the audience than the rest of the group of musicians. In the old school, the vocalist himself / herself is on stage alone as a rule, because he or she is the star, and the distance between him or her and the audience is much less than the distance to the musicians accompanying him/her.
When it comes to the equalization of your royalty-free beats, these are often already completed and prepared for vocals, and the additional interference with the equalizer in most cases is unnecessary.
In particular, it is particularly very noticeable when the arrangement lacks upper or lower frequencies. However, what if the vocals come into conflict with the arrangement and does not lie in it? Based on the fact that the main working voice’s frequencies are usually in the range from 1.5k to 2.5k, you can make a small descent (for a couple of dB) in the negative in the same range. You do this, of course, selecting the exact frequencies and taking into account the voice characteristics of a specific vocalist. But do not conclude that you need to equalize to the arrangement for vocals. If the voice does not “fall” under the royalty-free beats, you need to check again and try to change the equalization of the voice itself.
Thus, it’s getting clearer that the equalizer is not only the means for the vocal, which is capable of eliminating recording defects, but also as a mean of creating a spatial mix environment. Finally, it is also a tool for creating an artistic image and using it as a necessary not so much technical but creative and even philosophical approach.