EQing a track

Hi, I’m learning and I have a question.

Before EQing a track

  1. need to understand the range of the instruments/ vocal track
  2. know whats sounding good and bad within their range and then EQ.

For instance if a guitar is sounding thin - check the low end or the mids , harsh than check the 1k to 3k range and then use boost or cut.

so first listen make a note of whats good and bad in that, then within their range need to eq.

am i following correctly the EQ ? is there something else i can do to identify those frequencis.

Many thanks.

Google is your friend on this subject, there are a zillion instrument frequency range charts available, you could also use a multiple frequency analysis plugin like the melda production multitrack one or a similar blue cat audio one to help identify eq clashes and cut to make room for other instruments. you could also use a dynamic eq for the same but with a bit more subtlety.

The traditional rules of eq to “mix down” a track and give instruments “room” to be heard seems to have given way to using eq to drastically alter the source sounds. Fair game in this day and age for EDM and other genres, but the basic “rules” are still important to grasp, especially with orchestral/acoustic or rock band genres. Just play around, let your ears be the judge of what sounds good to you

thanks for the insights Outsounder

There are two distinct activities that you need to consider when doing EQ:

  1. Taming frequency bands that have too much emphasis because the original signal path wasn’t “ideal.”
  2. Boost or attenuate frequency bands to allow each instrument to shine.

An example of #1 is using a super cardioid mic for a guitar amp instead of something more directed like a 609. As a result, you may pick up a lot of boominess from the surrounding space if you are recording in a non-treated room. So you would definitely want to use a HPF to kill anything below a certain frequency (I use 90Hz but that’s personal preference) to clean up any muddiness.

An example of #2 is adding sheen to vocal tracks. I use a Neumann TLM103 to record vocals, and it adds a certain brightness to the track. But even with this, I always add a high shelf EQ band around 2.5kHz (+3dB) to really allow the vocals to cut through the mix.

I realize the end result of both activities is that you’re tweaking the EQ, but I tend to approach the activity of mixing as two distinct actions: get the tracks to a good baseline sound and then go back and modify as needed.

A soloed instrument may sound thin, but if you crossover the instrument’s range with adjoining instruments, the sound was thinned for an instrument that sits in the same range, it can sound full when in a full mix.

Food for thought

Good advice indeed!