I’ll be back tomorrow to answer any questions you have on the last Q&A blog so please follow @krecording on Twitter, “like” Krecording on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get questions to me.
This is a biggie. I have been an engineer for over a decade and I’ve spent most of that time developing an “ear” for how I should EQ instruments and tracks. My best advice is use EQ as often as possible. The more you use it, the more you develop an ear for it.
At first your EQing will more than likely be quite drastic but as you learn you’ll find that the subtle changes make a big difference.
A typical EQ plug in will have multiple bands, High, High Mid, Low Mid and Low. You can either turn up (Boost) or turn down (Cut) these frequencies. You can also sweep along the frequency range and choose how wide or narrow your cut or boost will be.
|Typical software EQ with only Cuts applied|
The three main controls on these bands are:
Cut/Boost (GAIN)– The volume you are turning up the frequencies by
Sweep (FREQ)– The frequency you are turning up
Q – The range of frequencies you are altering
The easiest way to use EQ is to select a frequency band, make the “Q” relatively narrow, and boost the frequency all the way. Don’t be afraid of it. Now that you can hear a frequency boost use the Sweep to listen to other frequencies. Do you hear anything you don’t like? Cut it. Anything you do like? Either leave it alone or boost it slightly. EQ tends to work best if you mostly cut rather than boost.
|Waves Renaissance EQ with high frequencies boosted|
When you choose a track to EQ the first thing you should do is listen to that track in the mix. Is it dominating other instruments? Is it really dull or too harsh? You can base you EQ decisions on what it needs to sound like in the mix.
If it is dominating other instruments, find the range of frequencies that are most troublesome and cut them. Keep listening to the instrument on it’s own (solo) and in the mix. If you don’t reference it to the mix then there is a danger you could be going in completely the wrong EQ direction.
That’s only a starting point of course, by and large there isn’t a single track on any of my mixes that doesn’t have some sort of EQ on it. If you want to make good sounding mixes then learning EQ is paramount. Be aware also that the better your speakers and listening room, the better you can judge your EQ. So don’t skimp on either of these. That’s one reason that studios will never go out of fashion, they (by and large) have good sounding speakers and rooms making mixing and recording much more pleasurable.
That’s all then! Please send me your questions and I look forward to imparting more knowledge on the course that’s on this weekend. As it stands we have one space left so if you are interested in doing it then please contact Maggie asap on 01-6709033