Sunday, June 12, 2011

Quick EQ Advice

This issue has popped up way too often, EQ techniques.

People are always asking for EQ charts.

For EQ, I don't believe in charts. They don't help. You need to master the sweep technique. Once you have that down, life gets much easier.

1) Don't think of EQing as something you are supposed to do like X. It's not like you are trying to do the Electric Slide on a wedding dance floor where every move is choreographed. (I have to be really crushed for that one! What a stupid dance! I'll do my own dancing thank you very much and it won't involve Nazi-style no-brained marching moves!)

2) Listen to a track. If it sounds good, don't do anything to it.

3) If there is something that sucks about it, identify the problem in your head. Let's say the vocals are kinda boxy sounding. Say to yourself "that boxy stuff sucks".

4) Grab a parametric EQ. Boost by 8-12dB with a kinda sorta narrow Q / bandwidth. Start at 20Hz and increase the frequency until you start to hear that problem get WAY WORSE. Granted, you will be causing other problems by boosting so much that were otherwise fine. Ignore them. That's why #3 is so important. When you make the problem worse, stop increasing the frequency. You've found it.

5) Now, instead of idiotically boosting 12dB, try cutting. Start small (1-2dB) because your ears will be goofed from the sweep. If you want more of the frequency at hand, boost it a few dB. (Definitely do not start with 12db!)

6) Keep mixing

7) If that same problem pops up again in a minute or two, just use more.