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Discussion Starter #1
I have a kenwood x796 head unit, which has a 3 band parametric equalizer. I would like actual instruments and music to be more noticeable than vocals. My head unit has a mid adjust feature with bands at .5k, 1k, 1.5k, and 2.5k. It also has the q factor and level adjust. What are the best settings to achieve less vocals and more "music"?
 

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Hmmm... to me that's a tricky question as vocals can spread across quite a few octaves starting down low in the 300's with male vocals and extending upwards past 2-3khz where your points are with females. Fundamentals can go a bit lower at times I suppose, but the type of music you're listening to as well as how it is recorded can make an entire difference. A lot of instruments occur in that same range. Can you elaborate a bit more to as what the problem is (perhaps there's a certain offensive peak)?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's not a "problem." I just want the vocals to not be as loud compared to the rest of the music. Mainly I listen to metal, rock, and rap.
 

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The presence range is often cited as being in the 2k to 4k range so I'd try that 2.5 band first. and play some with the q. It usually makes the vocals seem to come from further away. Might be just what you want. But as said, a lot of instruments are also hitting notes in that same area. You're almost creating a loudness curve by cutting that band.
 

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a lot of instruments are also hitting notes in that same area.
This is what I would be concerned with with what you are wanting to do. Instruments are playing thru the entire spectrum and the vocals are playing in more then half of that same spectrum. So by reducing anything that affects the vocals you are also reducing the instruments.

It could be that you do need to create a loudness curve with the ends going up on both sides. So like from 300 and below and 4k - up to be louder then 301-3,999.
 

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Some time with an RTA or fooling around with different settings should reveal what's going on. That range where vocals & instruments mainly occur is best to leave alone only flattening large peaks. In most of the vehicles I've messed with the usual problems are from 200 to 500hz being too prominent. I also tend to cut around the usual 2 to 2.5khz to cut back on shrill. Other than that perhaps there is a certain sound you may be desiring which the others are hinting at.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have another question. How does the q factor affect the equalization. I know that a higher q factor affects less range of frequencies and a low q factor affects more range of frequencies, but exactly how many frequencies does it affect? And how big is the range depending on the q factor? (My head unit has mid q factor adjustments for .75, 1, and 1.25)

For example, if i set my mid center frequency at 2.5k, and the q factor at .75, how big is the range of frequencies that will be affected?
 

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Not sure if you can really tell the exact numbers or if it will even matter unless you're using an RTA. Basically just take some time to fiddle around to see what sounds best to you, but be sure to only make slight adjustments between each evaluation.

As a hint, you can start at a certain frequency you think is offensive, then adjust the level, then Q up & down to find the sweet spot. Return the Q to reference point, change frequency adjacent of last adjustment (up or down), adjust level, then Q again if need be. Time consuming but works if you have good hearing. Just remember.... slight adjustments and write down what was closest to your preferred target sound.
 

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I have another question. How does the q factor affect the equalization. I know that a higher q factor affects less range of frequencies and a low q factor affects more range of frequencies, but exactly how many frequencies does it affect? And how big is the range depending on the q factor? (My head unit has mid q factor adjustments for .75, 1, and 1.25)

For example, if i set my mid center frequency at 2.5k, and the q factor at .75, how big is the range of frequencies that will be affected?
there is no way to make just the instruments louder and make the vocals softer. as others have said, vocals spread pretty much half the audio spectrum.

here is a great calculator if you want to know how Q factor effects an EQ.

Q factor bandwidth in octaves filter calculator formula bandwidth - quality factor Q to bandwidth BW width octave convert filter BW octave mastering slope dB/oct steepness EQ equalizer ?? - sengpielaudio Sengpiel Berlin
 

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I'm still wondering if there's an unsettling peak somewhere within that range. Not sure how accurate a smartphone RTA app is but it may be worth a try to see if you can find it.
 

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I'm still wondering if there's an unsettling peak somewhere within that range. Not sure how accurate a smartphone RTA app is but it may be worth a try to see if you can find it.
Was gonna suggest the same thing... Just listen to the song that you want vocals to sound quieter and hold your smartphone with the RTA app on in front of your face to see if the singer hits a note that makes you cringe.

Kelvin
 
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