Are There Any EQ Plugins for Audacity?

Profile picture of the author James Liberty by James Liberty Posted: 02/26/2009
Are there any EQ Plugins that you would recommend for use with Audacity?
#audacity #plugins

  • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
    Brandon Tanner
    Hey James,

    If you use the VST enabler, you can use any VST plug-in with Audacity.

    The Kjaerhus EQ is a really good free one (if you don't need more than 7 bands). In fact all their plug-ins are good...

    Kjaerhus Audio - Professional Audio Plug-ins
  • Profile picture of the author James Liberty
    James Liberty
    Rock on. Any idea how far I need to lower the high-end EQ in order to "de-ess" myself?

    Oh... and I just downloaded the VST Enabler and Kjaerhus. I attempted to install the VST Enabler by clicking the "Setup" icon, and I think it worked. But I'm not quite sure how to install Kjaerhus. Anyone happen to know?
  • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
    Brandon Tanner
    Originally Posted by James Legacy View Post
    Rock on. Any idea how far I need to lower the high-end EQ in order to "de-ess" myself?

    Oh... and I just downloaded the VST Enabler and Kjaerhus. I attempted to install the VST Enabler by clicking the "Setup" icon, and I think it worked. But I'm not quite sure how to install Kjaerhus. Anyone happen to know?
    That wouldn't be the best EQ to use for de-essing... not enough precision to zero in on the offending frequencies without removing a some of the good frequencies too.

    Your best free option for de-essing is probably Spitfish...

    digitalfishphones.com - free audio effects plugins

    To make any VST plug-in work with Audacity, just download the plug-in and put the plug-in's .dll file in the 'Plug Ins' folder (Program Files > Audacity > Plug-Ins). After you do that it should show up at the bottom of the 'Effects' menu in Audacity.
  • Profile picture of the author James Liberty
    James Liberty
    You rock, dude! Thanks!
  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    BrianMcLeod
    Originally Posted by James Legacy View Post
    Also, do I need to adjust the EQ prior to recording? Or should this be done after the recording has been completed?
    Most definitely AFTER. Applying an EQ after you've captured the audio is a non-destructive process until you "print" that effect and save the file.

    But truthfully, a graphic EQ is not the ideal solution for De-Essing. You are going to be altering the overall tonal balance even when you're not SSSssss'ing. A parametric EQ is better suited for the job as you can dial into the fundamental frequency that's most offensive and cut a couple of db with a tight "Q" (width of the frequency band you're working with).

    Frankly, the best solution for De-Essing starts at the source -- YOU and the mic. Post--processing with a de-esser can help, it's done every single day, but it's a band-aid, not a cure.

    The cure is to track the "vocal" without excess sibilance in the first place.

    Ok, probably more than you wanted to know...

    Brian
  • Profile picture of the author James Liberty
    James Liberty
    Anyone happen to know why my Spitfish interface looks so different from the one on their website?

    Their interface:
    http://www.digitalfishphones.com/ima...s/spitfish.jpg

    My interface:
    http://img178.imageshack.us/img178/4394/shizzleo.png
  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    BrianMcLeod
    It's not displaying the GUI.

    The sliders are the the same parameters as the "knobs" and "buttons".

    Spitfish plugs are pretty cool but have always been a little buggy for me in pro level DAW's. I imagine only more so in Audacity.

    Does the plug in pass audio and do the sliders work?

    Brian
  • Profile picture of the author Scott Lundergan
    Scott Lundergan
    Brandon brings up some great resources for what you're looking for and at the same time, Brian kind of took the words out of my mouth.

    While a parametric EQ is ideal and is exactly what people use when they run into, if you can get it at the source that are caused by a variety of factors like less condenser mic sensitivity and proper mic placement (6-10 inches depending on the studio mic)

    And/or if you run into those "popping p's", then the resource below will help.
    Buy On-Stage Stands Microphone Pop Filter | Pop Filters | Musician's Friend

    Cheers,
    Scott
  • Profile picture of the author James Liberty
    James Liberty
    Originally Posted by LoudMac View Post
    Does the plug in pass audio and do the sliders work?

    Brian
    Actually, I just cranked up the sliders... but it didn't seem to change the sound at all. :confused:
  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    BrianMcLeod
    Originally Posted by James Legacy View Post
    Actually, I just cranked up the sliders... but it didn't seem to change the sound at all. :confused:
    Herein lies the problem with Audacity... It's kinda buggy.

    Add a free plug-in that probably hasn't been updated in eons and you're REALLY begging for weird behavior like missing GUI, failure to pass audio, etc.

    I used to really dig some of the spitfish plugs because they have a lot of "character". They make a really cool little "colored" compressor as I remember. But it's been years since I used them, honestly.

    Sometimes, the fastest solution is to just bite the bullet and do another take. By the time you dick around with the sibilance you could have probably tracked another non-sibilant take and be done with it.

    Good luck,

    Brian
  • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
    Brandon Tanner
    I don't use Audacity much as it's not my preferred audio editor, but yeah, Audacity's VST Enabler definitely leaves much to be desired. From what I recall it does not typically display a VST plug-in's GUI. It only displays the plain text and sliders, etc. But regardless it should still work (at least most of the time, lol).

    Did you read the manual that comes with Spitfish? If you don't have it set up right you probably won't notice any improvement in the sound. Also I'm assuming that you know that you have to select a section of audio in Audacity first before you can apply any effects to it (Edit > Select All).

    Anyways, if you can't get Spitfish to work then the next best option would be to use a parametric EQ. But they're a bit more complicated than a graphic EQ, so if you don't know what you're doing then you might be better off just using a graphic EQ (ie Classic EQ). As I mentioned earlier that's not the best option for reducing sibilance as it will remove some desired frequencies as well, but it will at least take some of the "edge" off of the sibilance.

    But Brians right - the best way to prevent this is to use better hardware and/or technique to get a better recording in the first place. It's always harder to have to "fix it in the mix".

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