Equalization – or “EQ” for short – is an extremely useful audio editing tool. In a way it’s sort of like Photoshop-for-audio. But instead of colors and brightness, etc. EQ adjusts frequency. I know! Just stay with me:).
It helps a lot to understand at least a little about what we mean by “frequency” so that you’ll have a better idea of what is happening when you use the controls on an EQ or EQ plugin. The concepts are actually pretty easy to understand. But the terminology typically used to explain them are often very “techie” sounding and confusing.
In our beginner course – The Newbies Guide To Audio Recording Awesomeness 1: The Free Recording Studio – I devoted one lesson to simply explaining frequency in a way that anybody can understand it. You can see that video below:
So What Is The “Cool And Easy” Way to Learn This Stuff?
Okay, So my wife found this site called myNoisetm.net that plays background noise that is designed to help you relax, focus, sleep better, etc. But rather than just a single volume control for white noise (or whatever kind of sounds on offer on other such sites), myNoise offers something called “custom-shaped” noise machines. And by “custom-shaped,” they mean you get to control several different frequencies to tailor the sound.
If you watched the above video, you’ll have an idea what I mean when I talk about segments of the frequency spectrum using terms like “lows” or “bass,” “mids” and “highs.” Well myNoise.net lets you control (with what is basically a “graphic EQ” control) 10 such segments of the frequency spectrum for each of its noises as follows:
- Sub-bass: This is the really really low frequencies (approximately 30-40 Hz) that we almost feel more than we hear – like on a dance floor at a night club, say.
- Low bass (around 60 Hz)
- Bass (around 125 Hz)
- High bass (around 250 Hz)
- Low mids (around 500 Hz)
- Mids (around 1,000 Hz or 1KHz)
- High mids (around 2 KHz)
- Low treble (or low highs – around 4 KHz)
- Treble (highs – around 8 Khz, sometimes just referred to as “presence” range)
- High treble (high highs – around 10KHz and higher, sometimes called the “brilliance” range)
Usually the tone controls on your car’s audio system only lets you control JUST the high/treble and the low/bass – just 2 frequency controls. With 10, not only can you start to really understand what those frequency bands/segments, sound like. Ironically, hearing how one of the noises on the myNoise site respond to boosting or lowering any of those 10 frequency controls will allow you to better understand how those same frequencies apply to your music or voice. And that helps to really learn what a “low mid” or a “bass,” etc. frequency sounds like in general.
Other Awesome Stuff You Can Do
myNoise.net is incredible because not only can you use it as a fun way to learn about EQ and frequencies, they offer tons of different Noise Generators from Rain on a Tent, Ocean Waves and Cat Purr to atmospheres like Church and Nocturnal Garden. And each noise has icons next to it telling you what that particular sound is good for, such as “meditation,” “noise blocker,” and “sound therapy.”
So while you are learning about audio, you are also able to use the power of audio to improve your day:). Oh, and the best part? It’s free! And they have a free iOS app. They say Android is on the way. Though they do offer an incredible, potentially life changing tool for you, they also have a way for you to donate via PayPal, Stripe or bitcoin. This would help them keep the site running and growing without ads or paid subscriptions. Plus they offer some extra deals for donating visitors.
So go check them out at myNoisetm.net immediately. And set some time aside because you’ll almost certainly want to stay and play around for awhile.