Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Advanced EQ Ducking Technique in Logic Pro

Ever wanted to bring out a voice in your mix without using compression? Try this EQ ducking technique which subtracts frequencies from the offending audio. There are simpler way to do this, but this time we will use the Match EQ and Ducking using a side-chain bus for the most versatility later on.

So If you ever wondered just how they made a vocal track so crystal clear against a wall of distortion, take notice!

Track 5 contains distorted guitars that run the full spectrum but Track 8 contains a synthesizer that gets lost in the mix

The Setup: Audio 1 was our original guitar part, but we cut it, dragged it down into a new track below (audio 5) for processing when our synth line came in (audio 8).

1. Cut your track that you want processed. With the scissors tool, cut your lead sound (Track 5) during the duration that track 8 takes place and place it on a seperate track. Since the effect is temporary and not dynamic it is necessary to do this.

2. In the mixer window, set up your two tracks (5 & 8 in this situation) like below.


We are sent our guitar part to bus 1 and shutoff its output.
We also deleted the output of track 8.

3. Create a Match EQ and then a Duck EQ in that order on Bus 1

4. Put your Match EQ's sidechain on Audio 8 (the synth or voice) in the upper right corner of the plugin. Hit learn and play your audio. The plugin is capturing the EQ balance of your synth. When you press match, and subtract with the apply slider, the guitar part will be properly processed for when the synth line plays and fills that frequency void.

5. The problem we have now is that the synth line is not playing. We can either reactivate it it's original track, or using the Ducking plugin on Bus 1 if we want a further decrease in overall gain (like a compressor).

Confused? Copy the settings in the picture below.

On the left is the match EQ is sidechained which is applied to the guitar (Bus1). We have used moderate EQ subtraction and filtered out the extreme frequences, an option in match EQ.

On the Right we have the Ducking plugin which brings in our synth line on the same Bus1. Using Ducking we can bring down the audio level of the guitar dynamically as our synth line plays each note. You can copy these settings and modify to taste if you like.

Overall we precicely subtracted some EQ out of one track when another track was playing and took priority.

This is a slightly advanced technique, while not quite easy or dynamic, it got the job done and did not screwing with perceived volume, which is often very noticeable. If you listen to your favourite recordings you just might hear something similiar as different melodies come and go throughout the mix, especially in heavy, full, music.

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