How to Automatically EQ Audio for Pro Sound
Before the days of digital audio production, all equalisation tasks would have been performed using analog equalisers. These would be either built into a mixing desk, or separate hardware EQ units. Engineers would have to manually control EQ parameters throughout a recording to compensate for frequency changes.
Now, thanks to automatic EQ technology, engineers can use auto equalizer software to help with the process.
Auto EQs analyse the spectral content of your sounds. Then they automatically adjust their EQ curve so that an ideal harmonic balance is achieved. This improves clarity and eliminates frequency masking.
Automatic equalizer software usually works by comparing the frequency bands’ average peak levels, and calculating the correct gain change to apply to the EQ to match the desired response.
Automatic EQs are a great time saving tool that can help you achieve balanced sounds with little effort, and can be used creatively or correctively.
While each Auto EQ will have different controls or different terminology, they usually revolve around these elements:
Auto EQs use spectrum analysis to determine which frequencies to cut or boost. This is normally an automatic process.
Style preference and presets
Some auto EQs will have the option to switch between different algorithms. This allows you to choose different styles of equalisation to achieve different sonic qualities. Auto equalisers also often have different presets for different voice types, sounds or musical instruments.
Some auto equalizer software allows you to sculpt the balance of frequencies, choosing which areas have priority. You may also have controls that set when the auto EQ is activated (a threshold control).
Auto EQs have a simple and quick workflow. This means that video editors with very little audio experience can achieve professional results.
- To begin with, place your auto equalizer on the channel you want to use it on. Let’s say it’s a voice over.
- Next, allow your automatic EQ to analyse your audio signal. Once this is done your equaliser should apply an EQ curve to your audio.
- All that’s left to do now is tweak the style settings of your EQ or choose a different preset. This is all a matter of personal taste, try things out and see what sounds best to you!
Thanks to their flexibility and usefulness, there are many situations in which you’ll find yourself reaching for an auto EQ.
Auto EQs are a great tool for mixing as they help with frequency balance and distribution. They can be used correctively - for instance if you have clashing frequencies, the auto EQ can be used to pull them down in areas so there is more space for other sounds. They’re also fantastic for adding clarity to voice overs so they stand out in your mix.
Auto EQs are great for smoothing out any inconsistencies in voice recordings. These inconsistencies could be due to anything from voice over artists moving in and out of the mic, to sibilance and plosives.
For example, an auto EQ could help calm down overly sibilant voice recordings by cutting the frequencies in this area of the spectrum. This will be very useful for anyone whose ears aren’t trained to pick out certain frequencies.