How to Use EQ to Enhance Your Audio Mix

You’re working on the audio mix for your video project. You like the music selection and you like your voice-over choice too, but when you put the two together, it just doesn’t sound right. It’s like the music and voice are competing with each other. If you lower only the music, then the mix seems unbalanced. If you just turn up the voice, that doesn’t work either. Often, this is because the same audio frequencies that we want to hear in the voice are also present in the music.

10-Band Graphic EQ
10-Band Graphic EQ

An effective way to blend the two together is by using an equalizer. Try a 10-band Graphic EQ or a Parametric EQ applied only to the music. If you slightly reduce or cut the frequencies in the 2kHz to 5kHz range in the music track, it will help the voice stand out. That’s because these frequencies are the ones that give the voice its “presence.” You’re creating a pocket in the music frequencies for the voice to sit in.

Parametric EQ
Parametric EQ

By cutting these frequencies in the music, the voice is no longer competing for the same frequencies to be heard. Don’t cut the frequencies too much or the music will sound hollow or flat. You can also do the opposite when the voice or dialog seems a little muffled or muddy. If you boost or turn up the 2kHz to 5kHz frequencies, the voice is a little clearer and has more presence. Experiment and see what works best. Try it next time you’re mixing music and dialog.

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