Just a few quick things I learned about EQing

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Kithairon
KVRer
23 posts since 30 Apr, 2018

Post Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:42 am


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shodri
KVRist
51 posts since 3 Mar, 2016

Re: Just a few quick things I learned about EQing

Post Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:57 am

Some good hints how to use EQ that you should keep in mind!
Whereas the video itself could be a little shorter just to cover my typical attention span of 5mins.

What I have scribbled down while watching:

1. Don't boost the signal, only cut.
1.a) Or boost the whole signal and then cut.
2. Cut a bad frequency with narrow-Q and boost wide around same area with broad-Q.
3. Discover bad frequency by guessing first the frequency and then sweep around this area with a peak-Q.
3.a) Don't start scanning the complete spectrum.
4. Playing Tetris: If two elements are clushing in the same frequency area, then boost the one and cut the other in this area.
5. Cut the sub on most elements.
6. The more "analog" (or natural) an instrument is the less drastic EQing should be applied.
7. Do not EQ if it's not necessary.

Bonus: The closer you get from the first production step (sound design) to the last one (mastering) the more gentle you should apply your EQing.

Vanderspank
KVRer
8 posts since 26 Feb, 2019

Re: Just a few quick things I learned about EQing

Post Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:39 pm

Nice video, thanks!

SoundPorn
KVRian
556 posts since 24 Jul, 2018

Re: Just a few quick things I learned about EQing

Post Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:46 pm

These EQ tips are basically copy pasta at this point. Seriously.

Stamped Records
KVRist
166 posts since 20 Sep, 2018 from UK

Re: Just a few quick things I learned about EQing

Post Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:59 am

Whether they are copy and paste or not, they will benefit someone. I disagree with number 4, but only slightly. I've recently realised that 2 instruments can indeed be boosted in the same range, as long as they each have a cut for the other somewhere within that boost.

Edit; I think when you say, boost the whole signal, you are actually refering to the mixer channel volume, rather than the EQ.

MogwaiBoy
KVRAF
3028 posts since 26 Nov, 2015 from Way Downunder

Re: Just a few quick things I learned about EQing

Post Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:35 pm

I think the "don't boost, only cut" rule/guide thing is a bit overstated. I know in general you will run into less digital-ness but people will have their own preference.

I am waiting for an EQ that can convert boosts to inverted cuts, though :)

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Guenon
KVRAF
1562 posts since 17 Jun, 2005

Re: Just a few quick things I learned about EQing

Post Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:06 pm

Just a heads-up, Kithairon, your video has some conflicting info.

On the other hand, what you describe as the most important tip (and imo it's a really good tip indeed!) : "Do not EQ if it's not necessary. Listen to the sound. Think to yourself, is it bad? Should I EQ it?"

But then again, earlier in the video: "Cut the sub on most elements."

As cutting the lows is obviously EQing :), and you actually don't need to do this on most elements, it goes against your most important tip. In other words, in great many cases that is exactly "EQing when it's not necessary."

See here, for example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SQ9hwuMtmg

Yes, that's a good watch despite the "provocative" name ;)

Stamped Records
KVRist
166 posts since 20 Sep, 2018 from UK

Re: Just a few quick things I learned about EQing

Post Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:26 am

The problem with that, is how do we know when and when not to eq if we don't play aroubd and get it wrong a few thousand times.

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BlackOctopus_Slade
KVRer
7 posts since 27 Feb, 2019 from Bern, Switzerland

Re: Just a few quick things I learned about EQing

Post Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:47 am

Cool input and video. I want to chip in here too, as there is so many times I hear lifeless music because of overly EQing elements, and much of that comes from the assumption you have to EQ everything. Even stems I may get for mixing, the producer had over done the EQ on his source sound. This is very genre-specific too, of course. Some great tips in there.

But as mentioned above, some conflicting views on EQ's approach in mix or productions such as low-cutting most all elements for sub. This can do more harm than good.

The don't boost part is not always true in most cases to be honest. Cut first then boost later is a better rule of thumb in some channel chains. For instance, with many analog variety of EQ you can get amazing sparkle or lift from boosting. But you may need to tame first before doing so. In many elements to gain attack you wont want to cut all around where you can notch and boost instead. Adding air is a great way to boost too. Also running post-compressor is a great way to boost where the compressor may have dampened (i.e. parallel this is important).

Not always such thing as "bad frequencies" either. Clashing? sure, it happens. Figure out which one needs to take the lead. Bad resonant frequencies? Definitely tame these. Dynamic EQ sometimes is best bet for this.

The More analog a sound is the less EQ, this is a good input too. But also, it is to be stated that MOST analog signals and recorded instruments will also need much more EQ treatment in the long run. Maybe not as "drastic" depending on signal but definitely way more focus than a drum sample already processed. So this isn't fully accurate.

My main input I give is that any and ALL things that are already highly processed, i.e. in most sample based productions/electronic music productions and so forth, wont need near the attention of EQ at the start as lets say, a rock recording or recorded material when it comes to EQ (or even compression). Overdoing the EQ stage will end up sounding super lifeless, digital and not very natural at the end. It's good though to get the idea of WHAT EQ is doing.

Bottom line, don't overthink, overdo, or overuse in most cases with Mixing and processing such as EQ. Let your ears be the boss. Does it sound good? Is the source sound problematic? Does it fit together due to great production design and giving you better 'puzzle pieces' to fill the spectrum? These are the things that matter most. EQing then can be used to fix or adjust to be sure they do.
Record Producer and Engineer at Multiplatinum Awarded Influx Studios (Bern/Berlin) : https://www.influx-studios.com/
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Stamped Records
KVRist
166 posts since 20 Sep, 2018 from UK

Re: Just a few quick things I learned about EQing

Post Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:27 am

The question is, what does "very little EQ" actually mean? This is where the conflict arises in the mind of people who don't understand EQ. Unless you're going to be taught by somebody, in a studio, on a live project, all these words really mean very little indeed.

For example, a little EQ could refer to the amount of bands used, or it could refer to the amount of cut/boost - and there in, lays the endless circle of experimentation that will be your true teacher.

Personally, I disagree with the whole ethos of not boosting, although, generally, I think a good rule for boosting is one boost per track - that doesn't mean you have to boost once per track, but if you do boost, one is enough, because in theory, cutting in the middle of where you would put the two boosts has the same effect, and is much better practise.

Another thing that can lead to good EQ results when looking for cut points, is not to stop at the first point that sounds good. I've found, while learning, that EQ can be a trickster and that if I go past the first point that sounds 'right', I often find that a little further in whichever direction I am going, sounds more right. Basically, cutting on either side of the frequency you want to keep, will sound good, but one will sound better and accent the frequency you want to keep, more.

Also, over the years, I must have seen a thousand times, someone saying, cut narrow, boost wide, but not a single individual has ever specified approximate q values that represent the terms, narrow and wide. It's all a bit abstract.

ramseysounds
KVRist
211 posts since 9 Jul, 2014 from UK

Re: Just a few quick things I learned about EQing

Post Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:04 am

shodri wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:57 am
1. Don't boost the signal, only cut.
One of the biggest EQ myths known to man.
Just get the low end sounding great and then EQ everything else.
The longer mis-information like this is spread, the more kids just starting out will learn bad habits and wrong ways of doing stuff. :dog: :roll:
I wonder what happens if I press this button...

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DJ Warmonger
KVRAF
2978 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Re: Just a few quick things I learned about EQing

Post Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:15 am

1. Launch iZotope Tonal Balance Control in fine mode.
2. EQ until your spectrum fits exactly in the middle of a graph.
3. Profit. (No, seriously, just signed another contract yesterday)
http://djwarmonger.wordpress.com/
Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)

Stamped Records
KVRist
166 posts since 20 Sep, 2018 from UK

Re: Just a few quick things I learned about EQing

Post Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:56 am

DJ Warmonger wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:15 am
3. Profit. (No, seriously, just signed another contract yesterday)
So only 3 months to wait for that 100 dollar check :hihi: Kidding man, congratulations.

Stamped Records
KVRist
166 posts since 20 Sep, 2018 from UK

Re: Just a few quick things I learned about EQing

Post Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:19 am

ramseysounds wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:04 am
shodri wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:57 am
1. Don't boost the signal, only cut.
One of the biggest EQ myths known to man.
Just get the low end sounding great and then EQ everything else.
The longer mis-information like this is spread, the more kids just starting out will learn bad habits and wrong ways of doing stuff. :dog: :roll:

I also concur with this opinion. Now that I've come to grips with EQ, I feel extremely misguided by a lot of information regarding EQ.

harveywright1995
KVRer
8 posts since 29 Feb, 2016

Re: Just a few quick things I learned about EQing

Post Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:42 am

cool video

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