Software EQs
Software Spectral Processors Software EQs
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I wanna learn how to correctly EQ

 
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fenderbender88

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fenderbender88
10 posts
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1 Posted on 10/23/2014 at 03:33:58
Hello everybody, first time poster.

I'm not new to music, but very new to mixing (i.e. just starting out). I know an EQ will make my music sound better, but I have very little idea as to why, and I don't think I understand or can properly use EQ without the presets. Thanks in advance for any help

EQlikeaboss

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EQlikeaboss
30 posts
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2 Posted on 10/23/2014 at 06:46:35
Pretty general question but I'll have a go at it. Basically, each room has its own frequency profile. Many frequencies get absorbed by furniture, walls, etc while others get reflected. Ideally, you'd want all frequencies to be the same volume when played back at the same volume. But since you can't always change the dynamics of your room, you can directly modify the output of your system by altering your EQ.

Now if you're using presets and don't have a clue what the levels and specific controls mean, here's what the frequency levels are adjusting:

  • 16Hz - 60Hz = SUB BASS: This is the lowest of low end that can physically can be felt by your body on a good subwoofer. Sounds in these frequncies are the most powerful, and will take up a LOT of room in your mix. Try and use this frequency range to fatten up your kicks or sub-bass patches. BEWARE: too much volume in this range will muddy up yourmix
  • 60Hz - 250Hz = BASS: This is where your bass lines and kicks have their most important sounds. Most instruments contain a wide range of frequencies to make up their sound, but the most important frequencies for that instrument are within a smaller range. In this case, 60-250Hz represents some of the more important frequencies for a bass. A common issue that occurs is when the bass and kick cancel out one another due to phase problems. A great fix is to try phase inversion on EITHER the bassline OR the kick drum, compressing the kick and bass together and/or avoiding placing a bass note in sync with a kick drum. This range should also be lowered (or cut) in most other sounds like guitars/synths/vocals in order to not interfere with the kick and bassline. Too much volume in this range will make your mix sound "boomy"
  • 200Hz - 400Hz: Too much volume within this range will muddy up your vocals and make them unclear. Cut this range to thin out drum parts like snare, hihats, percussion and cymbals. Boost to make them sound "warmer"
  • 250Hz - 2kHz = LOW MID or MID-LO: Most instruments contain their 'dark' sounds within this frequency range (guitar/piano/synth). Boosting around 500-1000Hz can emulate a sound more like a horn section, while boosting higher up at around 1-2kHz will create a more metallic sound
  • 400Hz - 800Hz: Reduce some of these frequencies on the MASTER MIX if you'd like to have your overall bass level sound tighter. Boost (cut) to fatten (thin out) the low end of guitars, synths and vocals.
  • 800Hz - 1kHz: You can also get a fatter, warmer sound for your vocals in a slightly varied manner than the aforementioned technics. Specifically, boosting at around 1kHz helps add to the punch of a kick drum
  • 1kHz - 3kHz: This represents the harsher (not necessarily in a bad way) part of a sound. SLIGHTLY (emphasis on the word slightly) boost here in order to help define guitar, piano and vocal parts as well as add some clarity to basslines. Cut here to remove the painful mid-frequencies in your vox tracks. This frequency range is very harsh and potentially detrimental to your ears and their health, so take care to not add too much volume in this range!
  • 2kHz - 4kHz = HIGH MID or MID HI: Vox have a lot of osund in this region, particularly the sounds from pronouncing B's, M's and V's
  • 3kHz - 6kHz = PRESENCE: The pluckiness of a fingered guitar or bassline can be better defined by boosting within this range. Cut in the lower part to remove the harshness of a vocal. Cut in theupper part to soften or round off sounds, and BOOST to add more clarity/presence to a sound. Boosting here can help define most instrument and vocal tracks
  • 6kHz - 10kHz = HIGH: Boost in this range in order to add more airiness to a sound. Crispness and sparkle can be added by boosting this range on guitars, strings and synths. Snares and bass drum can also benefit from a slight boost within this area. In vocals, CUT some of these frequencies (something a de-esser can quickly take care of) to remove the hissing sounds (particularly from S and Ts, which lie between 6kHz and 8kHz). Too much volume in these harsher areas will cause the vocals to stress and fatigue the listener's ears
  • 10kHz - 16kHz = HIGH: This frequency range contains the crispness and brightness of a sound, most notably of hi-hats and cymbals. Boost here to add even more air to your sound, cut here to reomve noise and undesirable hissing sounds from a bassline (for example). Atmospheric sounds (should you have any) can benefit from a boost within this range, but do NOT boost too heavily, otherwise your mix will just sound noisy


That should help understand an EQ a bit better. I remember when I started mixing, it can be pretty intimidating and daunting at first, but the more you try, the more you learn and the easier things get so just don't get discouraged. Good luck.

[ Post last edited on 10/23/2014 at 06:48:20 ]

MagicMan73

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MagicMan73
4 posts
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3 Posted on 10/23/2014 at 07:54:18
Quote from EQlikeaboss:
Pretty general question but I'll have a go at it. Basically, each room has its own frequency profile. Many frequencies get absorbed by furniture, walls, etc while others get reflected. Ideally, you'd want all frequencies to be the same volume when played back at the same volume. But since you can't always change the dynamics of your room, you can directly modify the output of your system by altering your EQ.

Now if you're using presets and don't have a clue what the levels and specific controls mean, here's what the frequency levels are adjusting:

  • 16Hz - 60Hz = SUB BASS: This is the lowest of low end that can physically can be felt by your body on a good subwoofer. Sounds in these frequncies are the most powerful, and will take up a LOT of room in your mix. Try and use this frequency range to fatten up your kicks or sub-bass patches. BEWARE: too much volume in this range will muddy up yourmix
  • 60Hz - 250Hz = BASS: This is where your bass lines and kicks have their most important sounds. Most instruments contain a wide range of frequencies to make up their sound, but the most important frequencies for that instrument are within a smaller range. In this case, 60-250Hz represents some of the more important frequencies for a bass. A common issue that occurs is when the bass and kick cancel out one another due to phase problems. A great fix is to try phase inversion on EITHER the bassline OR the kick drum, compressing the kick and bass together and/or avoiding placing a bass note in sync with a kick drum. This range should also be lowered (or cut) in most other sounds like guitars/synths/vocals in order to not interfere with the kick and bassline. Too much volume in this range will make your mix sound "boomy"
  • 200Hz - 400Hz: Too much volume within this range will muddy up your vocals and make them unclear. Cut this range to thin out drum parts like snare, hihats, percussion and cymbals. Boost to make them sound "warmer"
  • 250Hz - 2kHz = LOW MID or MID-LO: Most instruments contain their 'dark' sounds within this frequency range (guitar/piano/synth). Boosting around 500-1000Hz can emulate a sound more like a horn section, while boosting higher up at around 1-2kHz will create a more metallic sound
  • 400Hz - 800Hz: Reduce some of these frequencies on the MASTER MIX if you'd like to have your overall bass level sound tighter. Boost (cut) to fatten (thin out) the low end of guitars, synths and vocals.
  • 800Hz - 1kHz: You can also get a fatter, warmer sound for your vocals in a slightly varied manner than the aforementioned technics. Specifically, boosting at around 1kHz helps add to the punch of a kick drum
  • 1kHz - 3kHz: This represents the harsher (not necessarily in a bad way) part of a sound. SLIGHTLY (emphasis on the word slightly) boost here in order to help define guitar, piano and vocal parts as well as add some clarity to basslines. Cut here to remove the painful mid-frequencies in your vox tracks. This frequency range is very harsh and potentially detrimental to your ears and their health, so take care to not add too much volume in this range!
  • 2kHz - 4kHz = HIGH MID or MID HI: Vox have a lot of osund in this region, particularly the sounds from pronouncing B's, M's and V's
  • 3kHz - 6kHz = PRESENCE: The pluckiness of a fingered guitar or bassline can be better defined by boosting within this range. Cut in the lower part to remove the harshness of a vocal. Cut in theupper part to soften or round off sounds, and BOOST to add more clarity/presence to a sound. Boosting here can help define most instrument and vocal tracks
  • 6kHz - 10kHz = HIGH: Boost in this range in order to add more airiness to a sound. Crispness and sparkle can be added by boosting this range on guitars, strings and synths. Snares and bass drum can also benefit from a slight boost within this area. In vocals, CUT some of these frequencies (something a de-esser can quickly take care of) to remove the hissing sounds (particularly from S and Ts, which lie between 6kHz and 8kHz). Too much volume in these harsher areas will cause the vocals to stress and fatigue the listener's ears
  • 10kHz - 16kHz = HIGH: This frequency range contains the crispness and brightness of a sound, most notably of hi-hats and cymbals. Boost here to add even more air to your sound, cut here to reomve noise and undesirable hissing sounds from a bassline (for example). Atmospheric sounds (should you have any) can benefit from a boost within this range, but do NOT boost too heavily, otherwise your mix will just sound noisy


That should help understand an EQ a bit better. I remember when I started mixing, it can be pretty intimidating and daunting at first, but the more you try, the more you learn and the easier things get so just don't get discouraged. Good luck.


This is spectacular. Thanks!

Mike Levine

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Mike Levine
1064 posts
AFicionado

4 Posted on 10/24/2014 at 05:21:49
Quote:
This is spectacular. Thanks!

It sure is! Kudos to EQlikeaboss for the detailed, knowledgeable and useful reply! Thanks!! :bravo:

fenderbender88

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fenderbender88
10 posts
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5 Posted on 10/27/2014 at 05:22:27
Quote from Mike Levine:
Quote:
This is spectacular. Thanks!

It sure is! Kudos to EQlikeaboss for the detailed, knowledgeable and useful reply! Thanks!! :bravo:


+1. Bookmarking this.

CaliMoose

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CaliMoose
121 posts
AFfinity Poster

6 Posted on 11/11/2014 at 07:46:38
Thanks for the help EQlikeaboss. For anyone else who wants a sort of EQ cheat sheet to refer to, I've just stickied a thread on the topic, which could be found here. Hope that helps!
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