Equalizing Instruments To Keep A Good Balance
If you are performing or rehearsing with a group, then you know automatically that the final step before taking the stage is ensuring that everything blends together. Nothing kills a musical performance more than when you don’t have the correct fit. Many of you have no doubt experienced attending a performance when a female voice took over the whole band or noticed one of the mics had prevented the other instrumentation from being able to get into the proper groove.
In terms of finding the right balance, recording is exactly the same. This occurs in two different areas. One is the physical recording, which gets balanced through the use of equalizers, or EQs. When working inside your studio, you need to ensure that you stay aware of what those sound levels are in your recording since it will make a huge difference in how the sound ends up.
The physical presence is where the sound balance’s first part comes from. The mixing board is used to achieve this. The instruments will need to be balanced since they will be recorded in a track to prevent the volume from peaking too high as well as so that every individual instrument is able to have its own natural sound. When you are building this portion of the equalization, it is very important to pay close to attention to the input that is going into the computer in addition to the output that people are hearing through the monitors.
During this part of the process, the main concept is to ensure that everybody is equal. What that means is that everyone should have the same volume levels on them. Keep in mind that the lower the volume is, the more room you will have for changing the mix at a later point in time. You don’t want anybody peaking with their instrument at any point in time during the recording. Doing sound checks will help to ensure both the output and input parts of the recording.
The next important aspect to getting the correct mixes together are the equalizers. This is something that gets started with the mixing all the way to the final mastering. With each step along the way, you need to ensure that you maintain a balance between the low sounds and the high sounds so that one of them doesn’t end up dominating over the other one.
There are various standards that are followed to keep the equalizers at certain levels. It is based on industry standards divided by the specific genre of music as well as on personal preferences. The main thing to remember here is not letting one frequently be too loud over another one. So the low part on an instrument needs to be about the equivalent as the high end is.
The same should also be true for instruments blended together. So unless you are wanting the recording to have an extra boost of bass coming through, or wanting the piano to completely dominate all of the other instruments, you need to ensure that everything stays at around the same volume level. This can be done through mastering, mixing and normalization, in addition to placing envelopes throughout the various instruments. That will allow certain portions of a song to remain at a specific level and then in another part return to a normal dynamic level.
The best thing you can do to ensure that all of the components are working properly is checking the sound on the monitors. The monitors need to be positioned in a high place on both sides of the room in order for you to hear how the sound bounces back. On the bottom part of the monitor, the low ends will let you know if the bass is set too high while the high ends will inform you whether or not the high ends are set too high. Adjust according to your preferences until there is a good fit.
Whatever your music style happens to be, don’t ever begin without first getting the right balance between the whole group and individual instruments settled. The more familiar you are with the EQs and mixing process, the more professional your recording will sound and the better the CD will turn out. Looking into the standards and discovering your preferences will provide you with a jump start for keeping everything well balanced.