How to Use Fruity Parametric EQ 2
Fruity Parametric EQ 2 is one of FL Studio’s native plugins. It’s a non-linear phase seven-band equalization module that also serves as a spectrum analyzer. This means that as the frequency response of the input signal is altered, the phase of constituent frequencies within the signal are also altered and by different amounts with respect to each other. In this tutorial, we’ll learn all about Fruity Parametric EQ 2 and how you can use it to achieve a better-sounding mix.
Fruity Parametric EQ 2: An Overview
First, let’s take a look at the Fruity Parametric EQ 2 user interface. I’ve numbered all of the buttons, sliders, and knobs in the screenshot below. We’ll go through the list and then learn how to use these features in a practical manner.
1. Fruity Parametric EQ 2 Frequency spectrum
This area shows which frequencies are present along with their amounts in the input signal going into Fruity Parametric EQ 2. The higher the amplitude of any given frequency, the more pink and vibrant that area of the spectrum will appear.
At the top of the spectrum, we can see that there are useful ranges of frequencies that are called out.
- Sub – this is the sub bass regime, very low frequencies ranging from 40 Hz to 80 Hz. Anything lower than this is mostly inaudible, but if you have a very large subwoofer these frequencies can be physically felt.
- Bass – low frequencies ranging from 80 Hz to 250 Hz
- Low-Mid – lower middle frequencies are from 250 Hz to 500 Hz
- Mid – middle frequencies are from 500 Hz to 2000 Hz
- High-Mid – upper middle frequencies are from 2000 Hz to 4000 Hz
- PRS (presence) – this area encompasses frequencies between 4000 Hz to 6000 Hz
- Treble – this area is between 6000 Hz and 20,000 Hz. Human hearing is said to be limited at 20 kHz, so anything higher than this is reserved for dogs, whales, bats, and extraterrestrials.
At the bottom of the spectrum, we can see other ranges of frequencies that may also be useful to you. These mostly serve as a scale to gauge where you’re at in the spectrum.
2. Fruity Parametric EQ 2 band control points
These seven points can be moved up, down, left, or right anywhere in the spectrum. They control the shape of Fruity Parametric EQ 2’s frequency response curve. Left to right controls the frequency of the band, and up to down controls the gain of the band.
On the right side of the spectrum, we can see a scale showing gain next to the gain faders, ranging from +18 dB to -18 dB. By default, all control points are smack dab in the middle at 0 dB of gain.
Right-click on these points to access other settings outlined below:
- Reset – you guessed it, this resets the point to it’s default position and settings
- Type – here we can choose how the point will effect the frequency response curve by changing it’s filter type. We’ll cover this in it’s own section further down in section 9.
- Order – the order is basically the steepness of the frequency response curve. We’ll cover this in it’s own section further down in section 8.
- Key – this setting is muy importante. Every key on your keyboard has an associated numerical frequency value in the frequency spectrum. Here, we can set the band control point frequency to these associated key frequencies.
3. Frequency response curve
This white curve is telling us how the frequencies of the input signal will be altered by Fruity Parametric EQ 2. The height of the curve within the spectrum represents the gain increase or decrease at that specific frequency. The band control points control the shape of the frequency response curve.
4. Response curve gain slider
This is the overall gain of the frequency response curve. Click and drag to move the entire curve up or down.
5. Band gain faders
This controls the gain of each band control point. These change automatically when moving control points in the spectrum. Use the dB scale on the left to get an idea of exactly how much gain you’re applying or removing.
Notice the effects this has on the frequency response curve. These faders can be automated and linked to controllers for dynamic EQ.
While hovering over one of these sliders, look at the top left of FL Studio’s user interface. It tells you the gain (height), frequency, and bandwidth of that control point.
6. Band control point frequency knobs
These control the exact frequency that the corresponding band control point falls on within the spectrum. These also change automatically when moving control points in the spectrum, and can also be automated just like the gain faders.
This set of knobs controls the bandwidth, also known as the filter Q factor.
The bandwidth is basically how wide the peak or trough will be when the filter is set to “peaking”
8. Filter order
This setting controls the filter order, which effects the steepness of the roll-off. Remember from our audio signal filters article that the roll-off is the slope or steepness of the frequency response curve. The roll-off can be very gentle, or it can be very steep as indicated by the settings. To change the order, just click and drag or scroll with your mouse wheel.
Here, we can see the effects that scrolling through the filter order has on a low-pass filter activated on Band 7.
9. Filter type
We covered many of the filter types in the audio signal filters article linked above. If you aren’t familiar with filters, I suggest reading that to gain a deeper understanding of what’s going on here. But this section is where we change the filter type for each band. To change the type, just click and drag or scroll with your mouse wheel.
Two types of filters that we did not cover in that write-up are the low shelf and high shelf types. These are the default filter types for Band 1 and Band 7, respectively. These are shaped like shelves, hence the name. Take a look.
Keep in mind that the “low” and “high” are referring to the frequencies that are being altered, and not the gain settings. The gain can be lower or higher than 0 dB for each of the filters. The low shelf alters everything lower than the cutoff frequency and the high shelf alters everything higher than the cutoff frequency.
10. Mix level and On/off button
The mix level allows you to bypass Fruity Parametric EQ 2 in the Mixer altogether by a certain percentage. At 100%, the input signal is passing completely through the equalizer. At 50%, half of the signal is “leaking by” and gets mixed back in with the wet signal that’s been altered by the frequency response curve. The on/off button deactivates Fruity Parametric EQ 2 and has the same effect as turning the mix knob to 0%.
11. Monitor function
These three buttons change whether or not anything is is being displayed in the spectrum, and what is being displayed.
- The far left button (horizontal line) toggles the spectrum analyzer on and off.
- The middle button (vertical line) will tell the spectrum analyzer to display the input (dry) signal
- The right button (circle) will tell the spectrum analyzer to display the output (wet) signal – meaning the signal after it has been altered by the frequency response curve
Fruity Parametric EQ 2: Conclusion & Tips
This is an overwhelming amount of information to grasp at once. Let’s recap what we learned here and look at some practical applications of Fruity Parametric EQ 2.
- The frequency spectrum is the range of frequencies from sub bass to treble – roughly 40 Hz to 20 kHz
- Fruity Parametric EQ 2 has seven band control points that can be moved and set to alter the frequency response curve – the white curve that shows how the plugin will alter the input signal
- Each point has controls for gain (y-position in the spectrum), frequency (x-position in the spectrum), bandwidth, filter type, and filter order. We can use combinations of these settings to achieve greater control over the frequencies in your input signal.
Tip #1: Use the Fruity Parametric EQ 2 presets
At the top of your Fruity Parametric EQ 2 window, you can see the Presets menu. There are some pretty interesting presets available here. One mastering tip is to use a 30 Hz – 18 kHz cut which can be easily accessed here in the Presets menu.
Another pair of interesting presets are called called Old Telephone and Radio. These are basically band-pass filters designed to make vocals sound like they’re from an old radio or phone.
Tip #2: Tuning & Finding Key With Fruity Parametric EQ 2
Tuning samples is important! We want to make sure the frequencies present in our samples are in key. One way we can do this is by setting the band control point frequencies to specific keys and altering the pitch until the fundamental frequency aligns with the peak.
First, find the fundamental frequency of your sample. The fundamental frequency is the most prominent line that is located at the lowest frequency in the spectrum. Note that some samples will not have this, and for some it is difficult to find.
Then, make a peak. Raise the gain all the way up, and then tighten the bandwidth so there is a prominent skinny peak. Set the peak key to whatever you want to tune to.
Now just shift the sample pitch until the fundamental frequency aligns with the peak. Finally, reset the band control point. Now your sample is in key!
Tip #3: Dynamic EQ Using Automation & Controllers
Like we mentioned earlier, all of these parameters can be automated and linked to controllers. This is called dynamic equalization. We can link the gain fader of one of our control points to a peak controller. Check it out.
Let’s say we have two Sytrus presets. One is called Flaming Chainsaws, a drawn out chord that takes up a lot of space in the spectrum. The other is a more transient stab called Brassius Maximus. We’re going to use a Peak Controller on the Brassius Maximus Mixer track to control the EQ band gain on a Fruity Parametric EQ 2 control point on the Flaming Chainsaws Mixer track.
- Add Parametric EQ 2 to the two mixer tracks
- Add a Fruity Peak Controller to the Brassius Maxiumus Mixer track
- Look at both spectrums and find where there are interfering frequencies
- Set the band frequency of one of the points in the Flaming Chainsaws Fruity Parametric EQ around where the interfering frequency is
- Right-click on it’s gain fader
- Link to controller
- Pick Brassius Maximus Peak controller – Peak
- Go to the Brassius Maximus Peak Controller and change settings so that the EQ point on Flaming Chainsaws moves down and lowers the gain of the interfering frequencies as Brassius Maximus is played
It should look something like this:
What this is doing is cutting out frequencies of the Flaming Chainsaws synth ONLY when the Brassius Maximus signal is present. Very powerful for mixing and mastering.