3 Rules Of E.q.
Todd Simpson
Apr 30 2020, 05:31 AM
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If you are still new to the world of HOME RECORDING you may not really understand E.Q. (Equalization). It’s that plugin in your daw that you may sometimes skip by. Often, you can get a good start on E.Q. just by loading a preset that is designed for what you are doing, e.g. a preset called “VOCAL” when you are working on a vocal track. It’s important to remember that presets are meant as a starting point, not an ending point. Each track is different, each performance is different, so each E.Q. setting is different. Let’s review smile.gif

1 E.Q. IS ABOUT BALANCING FREQUENCIES

O.K., what are “FREQUENCIES”? In short all audible sound happens in a certain range. We hear sound waves. These waves go up and down sort of like waves in an ocean. How fast they go up and down is their “Oscillation speed”, or how “Frequently” they go from high point to low point. If it’s more frequent, e.g. faster, it’s happening more frequently, and has a higher “Frequency” simple because it’s happening more often. If it is happening less frequently, it’s said to have a lower “Frequency”. High Frequency sound are high pitched/treble sounds and low Frequency sounds are low pitched bass sounds. Those in the middle are called “Mid Range” sounds. Simple eh? So E.Q. is a tool to balance out all the things we can actually hear, in rough terms of course. So if there is too much happening in the low end/bass range, then the mix will sound muddy, if there is too much in the high end/treble, it may sound thin. It’s important though to mix with your ears and not your eyes.

2 GET TO KNOW THE 5 MAIN FREQUENCY RANGES

Imagine all audible sound (20hz through 20khz) cut up in to 5 zones. 50 Hz / 100 HZ / 500 HZ / 100 HZ / 10,000 HZ. If one of these zones is out of balance, you end up with a very bad mix. It’s important that your playback system can actually reproduce frequencies down to 50 HZ. If you have a pair of monitors that have a 4 inch woofer (The bigger of the two drivers, the smaller one is the “tweeter”) you may not even be able to hear the lower/bass range. If this is the case, adding a matched brand subwoofer to your monitor setup can help quite a bit. If you have not bought monitors yet, check what is called the “Frequency Response” curve to see how low and how high the monitors can go. If one section of the 5 sections is out of balance, the mix won’t travel well and will sound bad when played on other systems. This is why pro studios use more than one set of audio monitors, in order to see how a mix will sound on various playback systems.

3 CUT BEFORE BOOST
If possible, try to CUT or Lower a given frequency before you boost or increase it. For one thing, when you boost sound you also boost noise. In addition, you now may need to boost something else as it’s easy to unbalance a mix with boosting. Try cutting/removing instead. This can give things more room to breathe and keep your mix from sounding to cramped. Always try the before and after approach when using your CUT. Listen with your e.q.cut, then turn off the e.q., and see if it’s made your mix better or worse.

ANYBODY HAVE ANY OTHER E.Q TIPS?

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This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Apr 30 2020, 05:32 AM
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klasaine
Apr 30 2020, 05:10 PM
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Related to individual instruments, guitar and bass in particular - as much as possible, sculpt your tone/sound before you commit to 'record'.
There's an old saying in recording, "garbage in, garbage out".

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Todd Simpson
May 1 2020, 01:46 AM
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Very true. Especially if you are using amps/mics. You can only polish bad sound so far. If you've got bad tones going in, you'll have bad tones coming out. simple as that. Part of why I'm so fond of recording use amp sims. Lets you entirely re shape the tone at any stage in the mix which is handy.

QUOTE (klasaine @ Apr 30 2020, 12:10 PM) *
Related to individual instruments, guitar and bass in particular - as much as possible, sculpt your tone/sound before you commit to 'record'.
There's an old saying in recording, "garbage in, garbage out".

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


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Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!
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klasaine
May 6 2020, 03:27 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Apr 29 2020, 09:31 PM) *
3 CUT BEFORE BOOST
If possible, try to CUT or Lower a given frequency before you boost or increase it. For one thing, when you boost sound you also boost noise. In addition, you now may need to boost something else as it’s easy to unbalance a mix with boosting. Try cutting/removing instead. This can give things more room to breathe and keep your mix from sounding to cramped. Always try the before and after approach when using your CUT. Listen with your e.q.cut, then turn off the e.q., and see if it’s made your mix better or worse.

ANYBODY HAVE ANY OTHER E.Q TIPS?


In relation to 'cutting before boosting' - use that HPF or high pass filter. Whether you're recording in the box or actually micing amps, cutting the low lows tends to let the guitar sit better in a mix. Most interfaces have a hpf button right on the front or top. Some mics have a switch and all the amp plugins that I've seen do too. It's a quick remedy that a lot of folks don't take advantage of.

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Mertay
May 6 2020, 05:04 PM
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We often don't get a desired sound exactly how we hear in our head when creating guitar tones itb. At that stage its usually best not to add extra eq, relying on amp and cab. sim. mainly.

After we record the other elements in a song, its then to consider if still extra eq'ing is needed. Cause now we can reference the other tracks and the overall mix which helps avoiding eq mistakes.

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klasaine
May 6 2020, 06:25 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ May 6 2020, 09:04 AM) *
We often don't get a desired sound exactly how we hear in our head when creating guitar tones itb. At that stage its usually best not to add extra eq, relying on amp and cab. sim. mainly.

After we record the other elements in a song, its then to consider if still extra eq'ing is needed. Cause now we can reference the other tracks and the overall mix which helps avoiding eq mistakes.


Very true!
The biggest mistakes guitar players make is that they'll sculpt this big, beautiful, full and lush tone ... that ultimately ends up not working in the track.
It takes a lot of practice and experience to "hear the tone that's going to work".

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Todd Simpson
May 7 2020, 12:13 AM
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Sage advice as always. Using a HIGH PASS FILTER e.g. eq filter that lets high sound pass through, and reduces the volume of lower sounds, is a great way to keep noise and fizz from wrecking guitar tone. Keeping each instrument in it's own appropriate range can really help in any mix.

QUOTE (klasaine @ May 6 2020, 10:27 AM) *
In relation to 'cutting before boosting' - use that HPF or high pass filter. Whether you're recording in the box or actually micing amps, cutting the low lows tends to let the guitar sit better in a mix. Most interfaces have a hpf button right on the front or top. Some mics have a switch and all the amp plugins that I've seen do too. It's a quick remedy that a lot of folks don't take advantage of.



Another great point. GREAT TONE is tone that works in a mix. Tone that sounds great by itself is fine during practice. But, if it doesn't work in a mix, it's no good. What's great about a good guitar sim is you are recording clean with nothing on the guitar and so you can change everything about it once you are in the mix. if you record through an amp, it's an ART in and of itself. It takes practice. You have to record knowing that the tone must fit in a mix. Using an HPF on input and making sure the tone won't hog up the space the bass player needs, etc. is all part of it. For those that have never used a real amp/mic, it's worth learning as it will help you understand what you are doing when you do the same thing in software.

QUOTE (klasaine @ May 6 2020, 01:25 PM) *
Very true!
The biggest mistakes guitar players make is that they'll sculpt this big, beautiful, full and lush tone ... that ultimately ends up not working in the track.
It takes a lot of practice and experience to "hear the tone that's going to work".

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!
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