EQing for hours...

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KVRAF
16257 posts since 24 May, 2009 from A galaxy, far far away

Post Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:38 am

fese wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:35 am
el-bo (formerly ebow) wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:53 am
No!

Seems like ye olde turd-polishing to me. Your energy would be much better spent on the front-end, by choosing/creating sounds that already fit together well. A little bit of cutting and shaping, here and there, as you progress, and you may find that mixing isn’t such an arduous task :tu:
But you don’t always have control over that. What if you’re recording in a sub-par room (which most of us do) which sub-par talents (like me), or you get tracks from other people that aren’t top notch professional recordings (most likely not)? You gotta dig in, fix resonances, do some drastic EQ-ing here and there.
I agree though that the better the arrangement, the easier the mixing gets.
Indeed! I agree that we may end up with sub-par quality tracks. Even then, there's nothing that would need 3 hours eq'ing.

Reading the op, it's not a huge leap to suggest that this has far more to do with 'bad' workflow practices, and an inability to trust their ears, than trying to deal with shit source material. This is not a criticism. These things take time to learn.

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Banned
490 posts since 29 Jun, 2020

Post Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:11 am

I'm more like eq 3 seconds type..

KVRAF
1569 posts since 26 Aug, 2012

Post Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:07 am

el-bo (formerly ebow) wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:53 am
No!

Seems like ye olde turd-polishing to me. Your energy would be much better spent on the front-end, by choosing/creating sounds that already fit together well. A little bit of cutting and shaping, here and there, as you progress, and you may find that mixing isn’t such an arduous task :tu:
this guy has the most useful info out of everyone. it's always the arrangement that matters. poorly arranged music dont mix well like anything from Adam and the Ants, non-acoustic Oasis or Prodigy and of course Blur
Last edited by Kinh on Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

KVRAF
1569 posts since 26 Aug, 2012

Post Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:11 am

shit

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KVRAF
4109 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Post Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:00 pm

poorly arranged music dont mix well
For me it's the opposite, nicely EQ'ed sounds mix well in any arrangement, as they simply fit together. There are no "WTF" moments when you interchange the sounds with same spectral content.

But no, I'm not into Oasis :hihi: More like dense trance with elaborate sound design.
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(...)

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KVRian
1068 posts since 10 Oct, 2018

Post Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:50 pm

Lately I watched this vid and I think it's great for people "who are stuck."

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p9aDCLUDomg

That said, take breaks frequently; it'll refresh your ears. If I can't get something well rather quickly, I usually leave it for the next session.

KVRer
8 posts since 3 Jul, 2020

Post Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:46 pm

Honestly, maybe you need to get your compression right first. I've found that sometimes if I've been futzing with EQ too long, it's because in reality i don't like where it sits in the mix, and a lot of times it's because the energy isn't there because i haven't set my compression right yet.

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KVRAF
9985 posts since 13 Mar, 2009 from UK

Post Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:24 pm

I find the EQ "phase" of mixing to be the most interesting and instructive, especially with "ambient" music. If I spend a day putting the music for a track together, another day spent on the mix doesn't seem excessive to me.

I am comfortable spending 1-2 hours on the individual track EQs especially when applying extreme reverbs, or PaulStretch, and/or when complex FX routing is involved. I often choose to incorporate different instruments whose frequencies don't socially distance, so the importance of EQ quickly becomes apparent, although levelling and panning can make the job easier. I tend to use the DAW EQ for the HP/LP stuff and maybe EQuivocate for the surgical edits on the individual tracks. After that, my master EQ changes tend to be minimal.

I have found that taking notes of EQ changes, and my reactions to them during the mixing (and even the mastering) process can be very helpful, especially when taking breaks, or if a distraction should occur. A systematic, and logical workflow should make the job easier.

KVRAF
3655 posts since 26 Nov, 2015 from Way Downunder

Post Sat Jul 04, 2020 4:42 am

In my experience, spending more than a certain amount of time on something like EQ'ing can indicate that something is wrong at the source. If you can rectify it there (record it again with better mic placement / select better samples / etc) then you'll not only get a better result but improve yourself. Turd polishing is a fool's errand.

And then there's the EQ game of cat chasing its own tail....

"I think it needs some sparkle" (treble)
"OK, now it sounds thin, I'll boost the low end" (bass)
"Hey, it sounds OK but a lot better when I crank some 1.5k" (mids)
(anddddd you're back where you started, only with a lot more ugly processing)

Everyone goes through that.

I could have an instance of Pro-Q on an instrument with 8 points, carefully auditioned cuts and boosts at what I thought at the time were smart moves - this could have taken quite some time to achieve. Then I'll come back some other day, mute Pro-Q, and for the hell of it throw Kuassa BasiQ (3 knobs, bass / mids / treble, can't go wrong) on the channel - and within seconds it'll sound as good or objectively better than the Pro-Q instance. I could have lunch in my left hand, and be sitting there casually just smirking and thinking WTF I'm so amateur.

So many lessons to learn. Always learning.

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KVRAF
1581 posts since 4 May, 2012

Post Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:46 am

I consider EQ as a two stage process. The first is to clean the audio so it sounds the best it can in isolation. Then follow with tonal control so that it sits in the mix. So the first stage likely involves establishing the bandwidth of the sound and attenuating unwanted resonances with narrow peak filters. Then you can use wider banded peaks and shelves to shape the tone in context with the mix.

That's pretty much it. Apply side-chains to your tone parameters if there are issues with sounds masking others, you want to draw attention to one particular sound or if you just want to impart some movement on the signal.

Knowing what or when not to EQ is also important. I think I wrote about this recently though so unless requested, I'll leave it there.

And as already mentioned, if you're shoehorning sounds into a mix then they probably don't belong there in the first place.

lwj
KVRist
403 posts since 3 Feb, 2018

Post Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:40 am

esppse wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:33 pm
Am I the only person who has EQed something for 3 hours straight?

Anyone also in my worn out shoes?
Oh for sure. But at some point I realised I was getting stuck on engineering challenges more than making music. Focusing on the technical side and sound quality also made my music dull and inexpressive. I want to be a musician first, not an engineer.

So that kind of changed my approach. Spending more time on the sound design, making better choices and actual composition (as far as that applies to my music) and removing any technical barriers so I can get ideas down intuitively and just roll wherever they take me.

Obviously I trained my ears all the while. So probably all that time spent Eq’ing tracks to death and beyond was well spent after all.. but just saying: a perfect mix doesn’t make a bad song better, just more bland. Plenty of great songs have horrible mixes though :party:

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KVRAF
1982 posts since 31 Jan, 2020

Post Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:08 pm

DJ Warmonger wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:23 pm
Izotope Tonal Balance Control is a solution to that problem.

/thread
Quick question, hope you don't mind.

I saw your advice yesterday re. Tonal Balance Control which i own but wasn't using. I tried it, and so far so good, but what do i do about for example breakdown section? (i'm doing clubby dance music using "EDM" setting on TBC) In the breakdown section it for example has no bass and no drums. I can keep between the lines during the "meat" of the song when more instruments are present but then during the breakdown section or quiet section with few instruments or no bass/drums (obviously) i can't make it keep between the lines.
You said you've had songs released, so what do you do about it?
BTW i'm using Bitwig EQ+ to make all my adjustments.

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KVRAF
4109 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Post Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:11 pm

Typically if you continue playing your instruments during breakdown, you will end up with tons of mids but no low end or high end. So, either add some extra insuments - like heavy low-end pad (many trakcs have these). Or, just add extra smiley curve on top of your instruments to block the mids and add some lows and highs back to the mix.
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(...)

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KVRAF
1982 posts since 31 Jan, 2020

Post Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:34 pm

DJ Warmonger wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:11 pm
Typically if you continue playing your instruments during breakdown, you will end up with tons of mids but no low end or high end. So, either add some extra insuments - like heavy low-end pad (many trakcs have these). Or, just add extra smiley curve on top of your instruments to block the mids and add some lows and highs back to the mix.
Ok so i am supposed to keep it between the lines for the whole length of track else it won't sound balanced. Thanks. I'll have to look at adding other instruments because i thought between the lines is frequencies that just don't exist in this part of the song however i eq it.

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KVRAF
4109 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Post Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:14 am

Well, just try it and hear if it sounds better ;)
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(...)

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