EQ Evolution

I’ve got this song, where the “band” drops out about 3/4 of the way thru it…Now, that wouldn’t normally be a problem, except I’ve been listening to much of the great wisdom on this forum and others, which goes something like this:

“Just because a solo’d track sounds great doesn’t mean it will sit in the mix. Listen to the whole song (or parts of it) while you’re EQ’ing a track and make sure the track sits well within the other tracks around it.” This, I have done. The vocals sound pretty good (ok, maybe passable is a better word) within the context of the mix, but when the “band” drops out (I’m beginning to suspect they’re all union players–they do this EVERY time on this tune), the vox goes very thin.

Now, the obvious thing to do would be to just record the a capella part over. But for the sake of education, let’s say I’m just the engineer and not the bass player/vox guy/roadie/manager/guitar player too, and that the vocal was very please with THAT take and is now on tour in Uganda until 2007 and I can’t get him back in the studio to overdub.

I also realize I could duplicate the track and mute one and not the other and put different EQ settings on each. But I’m already at the limit and my CPU’s running consistenly at 98-100% on this particular tune (14 or 15 tracks already). I’m just wondering what the “best practice” would be for a seasoned engineer. How do you change the EQ settings within one track over the length of a tune?

…Now, where did I put that union book… ???


As far as I know, EQ evolution is not possible (at least with N-Track’s built-in EQ)
You may be able to use a third party EQ plug that exposes it’s controls, but I don’t know of one.
My approach would be to do a partial mixdown (you’re already red lining) and copy and paste the part into a new track.
I don’t consider myself a “seasoned engineer” just an enthusiastic amateur. :D


it would be possible to insert one more plug-in? With the FaSoft Parametric Eq is possible to have EQ evolution but it’s not so easy.

i’m listening. how would you do that?

yeah, if it was me, i’d have gone with your second idea. i’ve done this alot myself, and even heard it in commercial rock cd’s where you can tell the vocals are processed completely differently/seperately from the rest of the song when they are singing that one acapella moment.

i would clone the track, then in the original track cut that one acapella piece out, and in the new track, cut out everything else EXCEPT for the acapella piece. now process each track differently.

if you’re short on resources, freezing the two vocal tracks might help, depending on what kind of fx/plugins you’re using on the vocals.

Select the Track:
Menu Track > Effects > (Choose an Effect) > FaSoft Parametric EQ
On the Draw Volume Envelopes button
Effect Parameters…
Select Track channel X -> Fasoft Parametric EQ
Select the desired band boost
You will have one line like volume evolution to work with the parameter.

But the dimmer77 idea will give to you much more control over.

You could create an envelope to an aux file and have the aux set to contain the different eq settings you want for the solo.

so, would that fight the existing EQ settings? IOW, if I say @ 2khz on the “normal” eq, I’m @ -6hhz, what does the envelope need to be set at in order to bring the 2khz range up to say +3? Would I move it to +9, or just +3?

Eh, I would go back to the vocals in the mix. If they are ust passable at this point, I have a feeling there is more going on that will benefit the mix as a whole and perhaps solve your probem durning the drop out.

Bubba –

Ok, so I have a false sense of modesty. They’re actually about as good of a take as I can do–just not something that would scream "HIRE ME!!! HIRE ME!!!"

Then I EQ’d them to death. make sense?

And besides that, remember, the vocalist is on tour in Uganda.

Road trip, anyone?

Okay, so are you saying the performance is passable? Or are you saying the sound of the vocals are passable? I am a bit confused as to where your issue is at. My guess is that you have indeed EQd them to death… thus they sound thin.

If there’s a way to confuse the issue, I’ll find it. Sorry for the confusion. Let me start over. The vocal take(s) are perfect. There’s nothing wrong with the tracks. I EQ’d it to make it sit in the rest of the mix well, but when the track(s) (there are 3 of them) go a capella, then the EQ’ing makes them sound thin–they are now exposed, and thus no longer “sit well”. BUT, I’d rather not re-record them, if I can avoid it. If I have to, I have to–I’m just pleased with the raw tracks.

Thus the dilemma.

Thanks for the input and chance for me to clarify. :)

Okay, then me thinks you have the EQ hosed. You probably aren’t making space properly as in letting something else take up the space where the vocals should be. Do you have a clip you can post?

Sure thing. Can I PM you w/ the details?

hey, I realized that the automation works if you use the record and playback automation buttons rather than the effects automation envelopes. you of course, this will be hard to do exactly what you want, but it works well for say moving the center frequency of a bandpass for a wah like effect.


If you’re red-lining, you really should freeze a track or two (or “print” a submix or whatever you want to call it) in order to free up some cpu. I’m sure there’s a compressor on the bass or reverb on the drums that you don’t need to keep tweaking anymore, right? (You can always unfreeze and tweak if you feel the need.)

Now maybe the following idea might help:

Why don’t you send the vocals to an empty aux bus (make sure the send is pre-inserts and pre-fader) and use “Draw send to aux” to set it to -inf for most of the song except for the acapella section. Then use “Draw Volume Envelopes” to set the track volume to -inf during the acapella section. This way the vocals will be going ONLY through the aux for that section.

Note that you’ll be bypassing any compression (or anything else) you’ve put in the track effects. This is a GOOD thing - compressed vocals which sit well in a mix may sound pretty squashed (and NOISY) when acapella. You can always throw a bit of light compression or whatever you want in the aux, though.

By the way, which version of n-Track are you running? I didn’t see it in any of your posts. If you’re running 4.x then the aux busses have their own built-in EQ. If you’re running 3.x then you’ll need an EQ plug-in for the aux IIRC. Kjaerhaus has a nice freeware one.