In this feature of MakeMineMusic, Marc Daniel Nelson shares the one thing he does to every vocal while mixing. If it’s too much lo end, muddy or too much harshness, dynamic eq will tighten and clean the problems in your vocal recordings.
Multiband compressors and dynamic EQs are some of the most useful tools available to audio engineers. They allow for dynamic control of defined frequency ranges, providing some of the functionality and benefits of both EQs and compressors. Their ability to correct “problem” frequencies in a detailed and generally transparent way makes them extremely helpful for balancing a single sound or a full mix.
However, these two processors are often confused with one another, as they function on similar concepts and are used in similar scenarios. In this article, we’ll cover the technical differences between dynamic EQs and multiband compressors, general uses for the two, and instances in which you should use one over the other.
Digital multiband compressors are designed to function as their analog counterparts do. First, the full signal’s frequency content is split into several bands, usually three or four. These bands allow certain sections of the frequency spectrum to pass through, and on most plug-ins look like band-pass filters on an EQ.
Dynamic EQ is quite similar to multiband compression, with many dynamic EQ plug-ins using common language found in compression.
Dynamic EQs and multiband compressors are extremely similar, and it’s no wonder that they’re often used interchangeably.
The absolute simplest way to differentiate them is that a multiband compressor functions mostly like a compressor, but with some aspects of an EQ. A dynamic EQ functions mostly like an EQ, but with some aspects of a compressor.
Multiband compression functions like normal compression, but can act independently upon separate frequency ranges like an EQ. A dynamic EQ band functions like a standard EQ band, but processes signal non-linearly like a compressor.
Whether you end up using a dynamic EQ or a multiband compressor in your next project, both provide advantages that make a mix engineer’s life much easier. These processors can be used to control frequencies in a way that is transparent and musical, and using them in the proper circumstances is way more time-efficient than writing in gain and EQ automation.
The balance that these processors can help achieve and the time saved can make both your mix and the production process a whole lot smoother.
Watch the video below to learn more about what Marc Daniel Nelson does to EVERY vocal!