Vocal Equalization Tutorial

Duration : 00:27:05

The vocal tends to be the most important part of modern popular music. It's everywhere, front and center, but anyone who's ever tried to mix a record will know that's it's pretty hard to make lead vocals sound good over a thick pile of tracks and even harder to make them sit in the mix properly.

In this video Fab goes over the principles, explains techniques and shows examples of the processes that will teach you how to set your equalizer and your vocal tracks to get pro sounding results.

- Male Vocal: Fixing Eq
- Female Vocal: Fixing Eq
- Vocal Frequency Chart
- Fixing and Enhancing Eq

The attached zip file contains the instrumental tracks and the vocal tracks that we used in this video. You can download them and try it for yourself.

What you have to say
Another wonderful aid for anyone who aspires to get better. Fab you're are as good a teacher as anyone is ever likely to find.
Cheers, Ross
Great video. I will recommend a subscription to my production students !
Superbe vidéo. Je vais recommander de s'abonner à mes étudiants producteurs ! ;-)
Excellent video, my vocal EQ'ing has dramatically improved having watch this video twice and taking notes.
Fabulous Fab
@TheHunter: It's a transient thing. Over the years the converters have gotten really great at being transparent and holding nothing back. the transients @ 3K ish tend to be fast and in your face. It's an issue because most gear these days is as fast as the converters. It's the stuff that tape and transformers used to shave off. Without that layer of goo things get harsh and bunched up and hurt your eyes. I'm not aware of any literature on that. It's obvious when you turn modern mixes up. we just got used to feeling pain in our eyes when listening to loud music. It does not have to be that way.
Hello Fab !
Excellent video as always ! In one night just watching just a few of these
premium videos, I feel my subscription has paid for itself in knowledge.

You mentioned briefly in this video about "digital noise" in the
2.5k to 3.5k range, and that a lot of converters have issues in this
area. Do you have any other videos or articles you can point me
to for further discussion on that specifically?

Thank you !!
Good Video!
Ottimo tutorial, bravo, sarebbe bello se anche a tutti gli altri ci fosse la lingua italiana.
This tutorial finally makes me understand. Now I know what to look for and why. A breakthrough for me. After watching, and making notes I took two songs and made the vocals better than ever. I'm not affiliated. Thanks.
This is absolutely the best EQ video I have seen, tremendous
Excellent tutorial on EQing Vocals. Thank you for explaining it so well.
Becky Jo Benson
FAB, this is the 5th time that I have watched this video in the last 18 months. Why do I watch it again? Because the first time I took a lot of notes on all the dbs and where I thought I should watch for the problems, then I listened to other recordings and tried to match those settings (waste of time because every room and singer and instrument and song is different). Bottom line, we must listen with our eyes closed so we can focus on the sound, but also the FEELING of what style and mood is being promoted. Wonderful 'how to' make it brighter yet meld into the track. THANK YOU, FAB!!
Wow, amazing video on eq-ing vocals! Awesome! Thanks Fab!
facebook.com/onesunonemoon (sorry, hopefully this is not going overboard)
BTW - I hope one day my band can be engineered/produced/mixed by you :)
Fab, thank you for your time and effort into this video, it's helped me a lot! Can I recommend you include your own "fixed" track with each vocal as well? I'd like to compare my plugins against yours, and see what I can come up with, on budget EQ's. Thanks!
The best eq vid i have ever seen...
i went from giving up 100 times trying to mix for a whole year..running to guitar center and other stores waisting money buyin equibment.watching and studying over 200 youtube videos that never teach you real mixing or hearing....i gave up after memorizing each page on the book "mixing secrets..i gave up after 100 vocal mic placement tricks and 200 questions i analyzed everyday overwhelmed and lost ...the part that most stuns me is i started this commitment because i admired rap and poetryso i bought alot of mics and plugins becoming depressed badlybut can someone tell me y i love mixing now?
FAB ..YOUR SICK !........to all artist listen carefully ,..this is what youve been looking for..
fab teaches you how to listen to frequencies in a vocal (resonances) and how to care for them(poking out=cut ) ..after you find those target chunks..you begin to hear the vocal become stable (vibeful) and controlled in a musical way...(all this time we thought the poking out freq were ok and hard to hear lmao....i cant believe he than teaches how to listen to your feelings which somehow does the mixing for you in a magical way (while your controlling the vocal before compression !) godblessufab!
uh yeah I was hoping I'd get a lesson on EQ'ing with 500 series EQ processors like my Neve 1073 EQ and STEP EQ. the frequencies on a plugin are totally different than on an analog processor I just don't know how I can use this info in a beneficial way as I always use only outboard gear and very little plugins.

just wanted to chime in thanks.
This teaching is excellent. It can make the difference between someone choosing you to mix and someone electing not to use your mix. Thanx for caring about the art and sharing at such a reasonable fee.
Great video! Really drives home that a little goes a long way.

@Il Pianista: I don't have that particular plugin, but I'm guessing that the top-left bypass switch is for the extra midrange eq only, while the one he uses bypasses the entire plugin. There's also a bypass switch for the 'classic' pultec section.
Il Pianista
Not to be annoying.. :) but, are you sure you are really bypassing the mid-range on the pultec? Isn't the "on-off" button in the top left side of the plugin?
Thank you Mr. Fab..... Great
Fantastic, straight talking tutorial again:-) Would love to see one's on drums, acoustic bass , brass etc, especially with the common problem area's of EQ for each instrument?!


wow this helped alot many thanks

Hey Fab,Thanks to you Bro. I just bought your Vocal EQ video,and it totally improved my understanding of vocal. I just mixed the best vocal of my life!!! lol Thnx man. Good Stuff
This is great, I knew a lot of it already, but wasn't sure on some parts. Essential info that will be with you for life, I'm glad I invested in this video.
Very good video!
I rally enjoyed this tutorial. This video reminded me how important it is to get the sound right (correct) at the source. Therefore, if I find myself needing to cut more than 3db to fix, or boost more than 1.5 db to enhance...I have most likely chosen the wrong mic or mic pre for the job. Thanks FAB!
Watched the whole thing, very well done, highly recommended!
Fab you get great clarity with the vocals without it sounding harsh! Amazing
Wow. Lots of little things in here that are often overlooked and yet really important. The chart was really helpful too! I'm loving this site man and more so how much my stuff is sounding better because of it. Keep em' coming!
Dave Zerio
The frequency chart in this video is EXTREMELY useful! Screenshot - Print - Memorize. Everyone needs to see/hear this video!
Magic. Just magic.
Fab could You tell me: why do You compensate loss of dbs with fader not using gain in eq?
Lets have it then :-)
i check here everyday now just to see if its out already. Cant wait Fab
Looking forward to this also.
Kiant Wait for this
I cannot wait for this to be released!!!!!

How To Eq Vocals