In this Photoshop tutorial we will make a music equalizer and then we will apply the equalizer effect on a text using some awesome techniques.

I did some research on some big tutorials sites and i didn't find anything about this, so i decided to make one, hope this tutorial helps you to make some pretty nice graphics, and i hope you will share them with me, maybe i will make a showcase with all work done using our tutorials.

  • Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Program: Adobe Photoshop CS5 (CS4 compatible)

Download (.psd + .png)

Download (MgOpen Modata font)

Here is a taste of what we are trying to accomplish in this tutorial.

tutorial result

Step 1: Setting background

Create a 530×330 pixels RGB and 72 dpi psd document, then right click and select Layer from background and press OK, then double click on that layer, go to Color overlay, and set the color to: #040404.

eq text step 1

Step 2: Starting to create bullets for equalizer

Select Rounded Rectangle Tool (U), then set the Radius: 3px, and start to draw the bullets. The bullets needs to have - width 19px / height 7px and a 3px space between them.

eq text step 2

Step 3: Finalizing the equalizer pattern

The best way to make this pattern is to make 5 bullets, select them all with Shift + Left Click and after Right Click - Merge layers, and duplicate the merged layer until it will look like the example below.

eq step text 3

Step 4: Applying gradients on equalizer pattern

Double click on bullets layer (Blending options) . Apply Gradient Overlay with left color: #de0303 and right color: #ffcb05.

eq step 4

It will look something like this:

eq step4 result

Step 5: Cutting equalizer pattern

Select Polygonal Lasso Tool, and start draw some lines with it, including some of the dots in your selection, like below:

Then Ctrl + X to cut them, and after CTRL + V to paste them.

Set the Opacity at 15% for the layer you just cut. It will look something like in example below:

eq step 5

Step 6: Adding text

Here is the font i used (download).

Now we need to write a text: select Horizontal Type Tool (T) from your tool box and click somewhere in your document and start typing music.

Select font MgOpen Modata, apply font style Bold, set font size at 120px, and anti aliasing on Sharp.

Now in Photoshop CS4/CS5 you have a right tool bar i don't remember if you have same toolbar in older Photoshop versions but anyway, if you don't have the Character Tool on your right toolbar, go to Window top horizontal menu and select Character from there, then set the distance between letters at -95, and it will look something like in example below.

eq step 5

Step 7: Using Layer Mask on text

Now select the 2 layers , right click on them and apply Create Clipping Mask, see example below:

eq step 7

Step 8: Hiding unwanted graphics

Now we need to hide the white spaces that remains from clipping mask , how you can do that?

Select the text layer and Double Click on it (Blending Options), and modify Fill Opacity to 0%, and be sure to deselect Blend Clipped Layer as Group.

eq step 8


The vertical lines that i made as a background for this tutorial, are made with some simple techniques that i explained in one of my tutorials:

How to: Vertical Lines for a cool background

tutorial result


Hope you like this tutorial and found it useful in your creative designs.

And don't forget to be creative!


  • just
    how do you get the background lines that wide?
  • vlad
    @Carel Thanks! Yes you can use the psd file.
  • vlad
    @just, Actually i duplicate the bullet layer and i used the techniques from one of my old tutorials, Noise + Motion Blur
  • NizarPsCS3
    A Very Very Very gooood work !
  • oland
    Great! Simple and impressive!
  • yeah
    cool tut.. simple but elegant to look at... :)
  • sharky
    yes! thats what i found!:) realy thx...very easy and i like it;)
  • mafasmunaseer
    reyaly good i like it.
  • audrey
    wow..this looks REALLY DIFFICULT!!!
  • campo
    waw very nice but can u tell exactly who u get the lines in the background that wide ?
  • vlad
    Hi @campo. Use Motion Blur from photoshop. See this tutorial: How to: Vertical Lines for a cool background
  • niisDe
    AWSOME tutorial!! :) this is my result: :):):):):) + colors:
  • dar
    amazing.. i followed your tutorial and i created a amazing text effect..
  • istanbul yoga
    thank u ! ver munch.
  • mersin tatil
    nice work. thank you very much
  • 8 Photoshop tutorials to create spectacular text effects
    […] this Photoshop tutorial, you will learn to make a music equalizer effect and then apply the equalizer effect on a text […]
  • JeshCore
    How can I make the background lines?
    • Vlad Georgescu WEB DESIGNER
      follow this tutorial for adding lines