Often misunderstood by Hams, equalizers (EQ) should only be used judiciously to achieve improved transmit audio reinforcement. As such, knowing how to properly EQ your transmit audio is one of the most critical tasks to master. From correcting problems and enhancing your sound to adding cohesion to your voice, there’s a lot you can accomplish with proper equalization. Excessive EQing should be avoided! Don't ruin a great sounding voice and microphone with heavy-handed EQing! Concentrate on achieving great sounding audio at the source, and you will achieve far better results. This means choosing a high-quality microphone, minimizing shack noise, and employing the proper microphone technique. As such, understanding how to use it to your advantage can greatly enhance your sound. Learn to "work your mic by adhering to these techniques:
1. Placement of the microphone, relative to your mouth, plays a large role in the clarity and character of your voice. Experiment with mic placement. A good starting point is 3 - 5 inches.
2. Avoid lateral movements to either side of the microphone. Generally, it is necessary to remain "on-axis" (in front of the microphone) to ensure a clear tone.
3. It is preferable to remain the same distance from the microphone to ensure a consistent volume.
4. Consider proximity effect whereby base sounding tones are enhanced by "close talking" a directional microphone, the type most hams use. Be careful doing this as it may make you more prone to "popping your Ps" when a burst of air from your mouth overloads and distorts the microphone. Popping occurs mostly on "plosives" (words that begin with "p," "b," and "t.") A windscreen or pop filter is a useful deterrent.
Follow these techniques, and you will sound better and appear more experienced. While equalization can do wonders, it’s important to consider the bigger picture every time you reach for the EQ.
An equalizer (EQ) is a filter that allows you to adjust the level of a frequency, or range of frequencies, of a human voice audio signal. In its simplest form, an EQ will let you turn the treble and bass up or down, allowing you to adjust the coloration of your transmit or receive audio. Equalization is a sophisticated art. Good equalization is something to strive for.
The parametric EQ is the most common equalizer found because it offers continuous control over all parameters. A parametric EQ offers continuous control over the audio signal’s frequency content, which is divided into several bands of frequencies (most commonly three to seven bands). A fully parametric EQ offers control over the bandwidth (basically, the range of frequencies affected), the center frequency of the band, and the level (boost/cut) of the designated frequency band. It also offers separate control over the Q, which is the ratio of the center frequency to the bandwidth. A semi-parametric EQ provides control over most of these parameters but the Q is fixed.
Q is the ratio of center frequency to bandwidth, and if the center frequency is fixed, then bandwidth is inversely proportional to Q—meaning that as you raise the Q, you narrow the bandwidth. In fully parametric EQs, you have continuous bandwidth control and/or continuous Q control, which allows you to attenuate or boost a very narrow or wide range of frequencies.
A narrow bandwidth (higher Q) has obvious benefits for removing unpleasant tones. Let’s say you have a particularly annoying nasal quality to your audio. With a very narrow bandwidth, you can isolate this one frequency (usually around 650) and remove, or reject, it. This type of narrowband-reject filter is also known as a notch filter. By notching out the offending frequency, you can remove the problem without removing the instrument from the mix. A narrow bandwidth is also useful in boosting pleasant tones as well.
A broad bandwidth accentuates or attenuates a larger band of frequencies. The broad and narrow bandwidths (high and low Q) are usually used in conjunction with one another to achieve the desired effect.
A shelving EQ attenuates or boosts frequencies above or below a specified cutoff point. Shelving equalizers come in two different varieties: high-pass and low-pass.
Low-pass shelving filters pass all frequencies below the specified cutoff frequency while attenuating all the frequencies above it. A high-pass filter does the opposite: passing all frequencies above the specified cut-off frequency while attenuating everything below.