As the low midrange around 250-500 Hz tends to get muddy (up to the midrange, 2 kHz tops) when you’re the process of mixing, here’s a simple trick for making room for vocals in your mix using only the F6 Dynamic EQ.
It uses Mid-Sides sidechain processing in order to compress the frequency areas from the center where the vocals should (usually) be more prominent but keeps the Sides intact so that no sidechain “effect” is actually heard:
- Output all your vocals to a “Vocals” bus and the rest of your playback to a “Playback” bus.
- Insert F6 on your Playback bus, turn on the plug-in’s external Sidechain.
- Send your main vocals (or the entire Vocal bus) to the Playback bus’s F6 sidechain input.
- In the F6 window, select Filter Band 3 (Low Mid).
5.Set the SC Source to Ext and in the left-hand side, select “Mid”.
- Lower the Threshold down to about -8 dB, then start decreasing the Range until you see the Low-Mid area pumping and compressing the center according to your vocal.
- Set other parameters like Freq. Q, Attack and Release to your liking in order to extend the frequency range that gets compressed and its dynamics, according to your mix.
Obviously, you can use other filters to compress your playback as well.
I suggest starting with low values for Range and Threshold in order to make sure you’re not destroying your precious mix. Always monitor and compare A/B to notice the results.
What are your mix clearing tips?