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EQ plugins/technique
Old 22nd March 2010
  #1
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🎧 10 years
EQ plugins/technique

In the ever marching drive to improve sound and skillset, ive decided to focus right now on my EQing, as I find it as my current weakest link. I bring before the board another discussion on EQ plugins and EQ plugin technique, as the other threads that i could find were a bit inadequate and basic.

My situation is like this: As i started mixing and EQing, i greatly over EQed everything. I didnt sweep, I just took big chunks and steps out to try to tame things like muddiness around 200 and harsh highs, to build a more flat output EQ, etc. However, as my ear developed I really came to be dissapointed with the unnatural sound I was getting with my overzealous cuts.

I finally relented and for the past two weeks I've been reading about and focusing on trying to sweep the band for 'unpleasant' frequencies. I have noticed an increase in clarity and cleanliness that comes with this, but on tracks where I just isolate the resonant harmonics that are either out of control loud or full of bad sound from the mic body, i find that when im 'finished' with this process, my tracks are way too sharp and biting. the overall EQ pattern looks flat and more balanced and things sound clearer, but its way too sharp on the high end.

Then, when I go back and try to make bigger more broad range cuts to the high end and mid high areas to bring the areas like 2800-3200 and sibilance areas under control, i find that I am again causing my ear to cry 'bullshit!' 'this sounds unnatural and strange!', even before I really even completely take care of the sharp harsh sound.

I am running Logic Pro 7 wih the built in EQ plugins. I feel most acquainted with the multiband linear phase EQ.

my immediate questions for the board are:
1) for the 'low end theory' project studio users out there, have you encountered/overcome a similar problem with your DAW EQ plugins?
2) is there large difference in effect caused by various EQ plugins? what is the main reason people use, for example, a more expensive UAD EQ over a packaged DAW EQ? for the more monetarily gifted out there, what are the benefits of a dedicated rack EQ?
3) my gut tells me that this is probably more a technique problem than a gear problem though, so if any of you guys have overcome this one and can offer any tips you think would be useful, i would be extremely grateful.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #2
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Piedpiper's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Sounds like you're learning lots, maybe just over doing it. Keep at it. And apply what you learn to anticipating your needs when tracking and capturing it with mic choice and placement up front so you don't have to wack it out with EQ so much downstream. I almost always cut to reveal clarity rather than boost, except for when I want to add air on the very top. If I have to put High Pass Filters on relevant tracks to keep the mud zone from building up, I keep them first order 6db per octave and I make sure to put them high enough but no higher. Overdoing EQ can reek havoc on phase as well as the basic tone. There are advantages and disadvantages to minimum phase and linear phase EQs. Some EQs are designed to emulate the harmonic distortion of classic outboard gear. This can add character and effect the basic tonal characteristics but can be a separate issue from the EQ itself. If you don't overuse it, you don't have to spend a lot for it to be useful.
Old 22nd March 2010
  #3
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiro ➑️
In the ever marching drive to improve sound and skillset, ive decided to focus right now on my EQing, as I find it as my current weakest link. I bring before the board another discussion on EQ plugins and EQ plugin technique, as the other threads that i could find were a bit inadequate and basic.

My situation is like this: As i started mixing and EQing, i greatly over EQed everything. I didnt sweep, I just took big chunks and steps out to try to tame things like muddiness around 200 and harsh highs, to build a more flat output EQ, etc. However, as my ear developed I really came to be dissapointed with the unnatural sound I was getting with my overzealous cuts.

I finally relented and for the past two weeks I've been reading about and focusing on trying to sweep the band for 'unpleasant' frequencies. I have noticed an increase in clarity and cleanliness that comes with this, but on tracks where I just isolate the resonant harmonics that are either out of control loud or full of bad sound from the mic body, i find that when im 'finished' with this process, my tracks are way too sharp and biting. the overall EQ pattern looks flat and more balanced and things sound clearer, but its way too sharp on the high end.

Then, when I go back and try to make bigger more broad range cuts to the high end and mid high areas to bring the areas like 2800-3200 and sibilance areas under control, i find that I am again causing my ear to cry 'bullshit!' 'this sounds unnatural and strange!', even before I really even completely take care of the sharp harsh sound.

I am running Logic Pro 7 wih the built in EQ plugins. I feel most acquainted with the multiband linear phase EQ.

my immediate questions for the board are:
1) for the 'low end theory' project studio users out there, have you encountered/overcome a similar problem with your DAW EQ plugins?
2) is there large difference in effect caused by various EQ plugins? what is the main reason people use, for example, a more expensive UAD EQ over a packaged DAW EQ? for the more monetarily gifted out there, what are the benefits of a dedicated rack EQ?
3) my gut tells me that this is probably more a technique problem than a gear problem though, so if any of you guys have overcome this one and can offer any tips you think would be useful, i would be extremely grateful.
The logic EQ is pretty good as a character-less go-to EQ for just cutting and boosting the frequencies you want. That makes it pretty good for getting rid of the 'orrible stuff. It's useful because unlike a lot of Pro Tools EQs, you can drag the tip of the EQ contour with the mouse. IE - click the line in the EQ, and push it up. Then drag it left and right listening for the nasty frequencies, and pull them out. Use more or less Q depending on whether the frequencies directly either side are also horrible or are nicer or whatever. The less 'Q' the wider the adjustment will be.

Then, using a Logic EQ to help you find the sweet spot frequencies, take out the Sony Oxford Parametric which is an awesome EQ, and put some character into the sound. You say you systematically cut around 220... any reason? On snare and guitar, this is probably the nicest frequency. It gives snare a lot of body and balls, and warms up guitar.

Gear and plugin, different plugins just give different tonal character. A lot of vintage EQs add nice harmonics, some modern EQs are super-accurate and 'clinical', which can be nice too. IMO you can't turn your nose up, if running Logic, to the Logic packaged EQ, then a Sonnox (Sony Oxford) parametric EQ with filters. If you've got some extra cash left, I really life the TLAudio ivory compressor for outboard - it's a well priced unit and can add some nice vintage valve EQ to warm up your tracks - it's equally suited to mastering as it is to vocals or snare drum.

Finally, in Logic - remember to use both the Analyser in the Graphic EQ (button on the left), and/or the 'Mutlimeter' spectrum analyser plugin, which breaks up the frequencies a lot better and shows you what's going on EQ-wise.
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #4
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper ➑️
Overdoing EQ can reek havoc on phase as well as the basic tone.
yea, im assuming this is what causes my ear to call 'bullshit' when im trying to bring the highs under control.

re: mic placement, unfortunately, alot of my work right now is strictly as a mixing engineer. i live in beijing and between the deflated currency and the affordability of new digital equipment, there are a plethora of cheap dead-room $10/hour studios all over the city, but none of the chinese guys who claim to be recording engineers even bother try to claim that they are mixing engineers, so they send their clients my way. basically, in alot of projects recently, I dont have any control over mic placement, equipment settings, drum tuning, etc. just have to take what they give me and try to make it into something i can live with myself.

my EQ problems are fairly consitent though, so i know i cant try to pass the buck on it to each and every chinese 'recording engineer' who throws a sm58 on a cranked tom and presses the round red button. therefore, i need to consult some of you guys back at home who actually know what youre doing, unlike myself and my chinese audio compadres.
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #5
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd ➑️
You say you systematically cut around 220... any reason? On snare and guitar, this is probably the nicest frequency. It gives snare a lot of body and balls, and warms up guitar.
its not a systematic thing, its more of just a problem area for me that seems to always be hot for competition among alot of the instruments, and eats up a disproportionate amount of overall track db energy.

next project, i will pay more attention to the guitar down there though. last project i was having lots of trouble getting the kick and bass to play nice together, so i politely asked the guitar to vacate the premises. i was definitely dissatisfied with the overall guitar in the end result though, so its definitley a good thing to think about next time, thank you.
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #6
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd ➑️
take out the Sony Oxford Parametric which is an awesome EQ, and put some character into the sound.
firstly and quickly...where do i take it out from? is it a free download? if it shipped with logic 8, its definitely not on hand in my pro 7 bundle.

next, putting character into the sound. this is something i really would like to talk about more. do you mean, trying to find the frequency areas that sound particularly nice, and augmenting them?

In this part of the 'sweeping' technique, i still dont have quite a grasp on what im doing. Im not 100% sure that i know how to identify where the good and bad frequencies are. ive currently been looking for a region gives a nasty ring or buzz when i slowly sweep through it. ive tenatively been telling myself, this is the 'orrible type of section you guys talk about, and that the sections that dont really have much of a negative effect at all when the super sweep gets to them are decently good ones. am i off the mark here? do you approach it differently?
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #7
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🎧 15 years
The thing that has been most helpful for me is realizing that every eq change you make will effect something else in the track. There is a limited amount of room in each mix, and you have to decide what is going to occupy which portion of the frequency spectrum. Understand that if you boost 3k in your snare, you'll probably have to take some 3k out of your overheads, for example. Or you may need to cut around 1-200 hz in your guitars if you want to boost there in the bass, and so on.

Don't worry about tracks sounding bad when solo'ed. A guitar or a rhodes may sound terribly thin by itself, but will fit perfectly in a song where the bass needs to be dominant in the midrange, for example.

I try not to solo things when equalizing to get things to 'fit', but rather when I'm affecting a sound or trying to find problem areas in a specific track that is giving me trouble, adjusting a gate, reverb etc. I do, however listen to groups of tracks that are dependent on one another such as snare and overheads, drums and bass, keyboard, bass and guitar. . .

Don't worry about a method of equing, just do what sounds right. A lot of people get on a high horse about only using 'subtractive' eq. . . but you'll often find that subtractive eq won't always get you the result you're looking for.

Regarding which eq's, I'll echo everyone else by saying that different eq's do different things. . . . .
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #8
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiro ➑️
firstly and quickly...where do i take it out from? is it a free download? if it shipped with logic 8, its definitely not on hand in my pro 7 bundle.
no you need to buy it. It's quite expensive too. But it's the best EQ going, so it's worth it. Most engineers will agree it's the best overall EQ in plug-in form.
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #9
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GoldenOne's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
When you eq each track, you really need to do it in relation to all of the other tracks. I've learned not to solo each channel to eq it and sometimes taking out the "horrible" sounds in a track isn't a good idea. Sometimes what sounds terrible soloed is actually allowing that guitar track to cut through, or that muddiness is actually making the song full rather than if you cut it the song will sound thin.

Cut first and boost later!!
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #10
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Adda Audio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Ok my technique is to often mono my mix and starting with the low end high pass filters on varying degrees - relative to instruments - or keep in mind that only kick and bass sit down there and though they may need to be filtered to some degree its other instruments that need to be removed - I often also use a shelve here as this can help reduce bass freq's without removing too much mid - use linear phase eq's on low end material. Next section is lower mids - this is mud or this is where clarity lies - this is what you need to carefully sculpt - from 150-300 is the zone. This is where snares hit you in the gut, the kicks punch, the violins enrich, the vocals weigh in and the guitars grunt. All the time leaving space for the bassline.

Higher mids are important - esp around 1 & 2K - trim to taste and definition. Careful about how it affects those transients. Often low pass elements as I like a dark, warm clear mix. Any boosting is done my most expensive eq's and that gives me definition above the deck in a mix...

Ears need to be trained and tuned so keeping a reference mix on the arrange page (not running through your plugins on the master bus) is a great idea. I will eq a track several times - first time is pretty savage cutting and then slowly bring everything back into size, focus and the warmth by lots of careful Q'ing or bandwidth control - Suddenly it will all come together!
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #11
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Adda Audio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yup don't even think about eq'ing in solo unless you know exactly what you're doing
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #12
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🎧 10 years
I've been finding that boosting gives a more 'modern' sound and cutting gives a more transparent sound, letting the miking technique show through.

Is your room treated? That can be the biggest problem when eq doesn't translate well to other systems. You might be mixing poorly because you simply can't hear what to do in your room.

Also, keep ABing back and forth between your reference tracks and the one you're working on. It helps keep your ears in perspective!
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #13
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Unclenny's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ah yes.....EQing is another of those Black Arts that we may never get right....and the harder we try the worse it sometimes gets.

I'm feeling better about my mixes now that I have gone on a mission to use as little as I can get away with. I find that much of the time I can get away with filters on both ends and a cut for mud.....maybe a little boost here and there for sweetness.

Then again....I have never tried to mix a piece that I didn't track.

The one thing that has helped me the most......spend some quality time mixing in mono.
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #14
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🎧 10 years
I don't see why everyone is getting so up it about boosting or cutting. There is, in reality, no such thing.

Boost 220 by 10dB, or cut everything apart from 220 by 10dB, and turn the fader up 10dB, same result. Yet one was cutting, one was boosting, right?

See what I'm getting at? EQ something in Logic's EQ then play with the master gain control and watch the graph on the right.

Bring the master down by the same amount as the highest boost on any frequency, and you will essentially have cut everything else, but by varying amounts. This does leave more options on the fader front and it is good practice not to let your EQ increase the track's overall level.
Old 22nd March 2010 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 10 years
I try to eq individual tracks solo at first, and then do the final tweaks during full playback to make sure it sits in the mix better. I think eqing is probably the hardest part to master followed by mic placement and compression. It takes practice for sure.
Old 23rd March 2010 | Show parent
  #16
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🎧 10 years
EQing is probably the home studio engineer biggest nightmare, do in part to poor DA/AD conversion, so so speakers, and of-course that fact that it is in
the spear bedroom. with that set is really hard to properly eq tracks under those circumstances as 85% of it wont translate properly to the real world.

1 thing that has given me an edge on my mixing is that i have IK - ARC on the master track so it takes the room out the mix take a look at the attach
snap shot of my ARC presets.

Picture 1 represent a pair of M-Audio BX8a the orange line is what my room sounds like and the white one is what that speakers sound like after ARC. this is will give anyone a huge advantage on the mix.

Picture 2 is a pair of Resolv 65a.

anyone in this thread that wants to put this to a test we could use a session of your choice and you will EQ it with digi EQ then send me the session and i will do it as well. and people will vote on it.
Attached Thumbnails
EQ plugins/technique-picture-1.jpg   EQ plugins/technique-picture-2.jpg  
Old 23rd March 2010 | Show parent
  #17
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Piedpiper's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AOS ➑️
EQing is probably the home studio engineer biggest nightmare, do in part to poor DA/AD conversion, so so speakers, and of-course that fact that it is in
the spear bedroom. with that set is really hard to properly eq tracks under those circumstances as 85% of it wont translate properly to the real world.

1 thing that has given me an edge on my mixing is that i have IK - ARC on the master track so it takes the room out the mix take a look at the attach
snap shot of my ARC presets.

Picture 1 represent a pair of M-Audio BX8a the orange line is what my room sounds like and the white one is what that speakers sound like after ARC. this is will give anyone a huge advantage on the mix.

Picture 2 is a pair of Resolv 65a.

anyone in this thread that wants to put this to a test we could use a session of your choice and you will EQ it with digi EQ then send me the session and i will do it as well. and people will vote on it.
not much of a test in that it is also a matter of taste and skill. nonetheless an interesting offer.
Old 23rd March 2010 | Show parent
  #18
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🎧 10 years
You actually right, im gonna find a session that i did before i had ARC and post it up then remix it with ARC.
Old 23rd March 2010 | Show parent
  #19
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AOS ➑️
You actually right, im gonna find a session that i did before i had ARC and post it up then remix it with ARC.
IMO, Arc is a bit of a misleading substitute to real room treatment.

To apply EQ correctly, it does help to have a half-decent room treatment first.
Old 23rd March 2010 | Show parent
  #20
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd ➑️
IMO, Arc is a bit of a misleading substitute to real room treatment.

To apply EQ correctly, it does help to have a half-decent room treatment first.
Up to certain degree i agree with you, if you have some room treatment it will help.

back to the EQ thing here are some A/B of a song i mix (2007 "i was so proud of it back then now it gives me a headache")heh, i did some tweaking i think it sound a bit better but still sound bad overall LOLOLOLOL.
Attached Files

Old.mp3 (2.90 MB, 371 views)

New.mp3 (2.90 MB, 438 views)

Old 23rd March 2010 | Show parent
  #21
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🎧 10 years
Before you even worry too much about EQ, you need to take two things into very serious consideration. 1) If you have bad monitors and a bad room, it will be nearly impossible to EQ correctly. You simply can not fix what you can not hear, but to extend that further, with bad monitoring, you can't tell when you are making something sound worse. 2) Although you can "fix" things with EQ, your primary goal should be to get your source material to sound better in the first place. It doesn't matter how good you get at EQ'ing, a good recording will instantly sound better than a poor one. Basically, if you spend more time making your source sound better than you do eq'ing, your production quality will advance by leaps and bounds. Most professional tracks sound better rough (before being mixed or mastered) than amateur tracks sound even after being "prettied up."

For example, if you know there's too much room sound in your vocals, that they are honky and you have to de'ess a lot, it's fine and dandy to try to learn how to eq that out, but if you throw up some blankets, change the mic and practice better mic placement, your stuff will sound 10x better than whatever eq fix you can come up with.

Once you start taking care of 1 and 2, EQ'ing becomes a breeze. I also recommend the Golden Ears audio course, or just doing it yourself and becoming accustomed to what frequencies sounds come from. If you start cutting above or below the problem area, you may weaken the integrity of the track unnecessarily.
Old 23rd March 2010 | Show parent
  #22
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jitterybit's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
cut with narrow bands(first)
boost with high bands
most "magic" analog eq's (trident 80B, pultec) have a very wide, yet musical band for boost/cut
Old 23rd March 2010 | Show parent
  #23
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangible ➑️
Before you even worry too much about EQ, you need to take two things into very serious consideration. 1) If you have bad monitors and a bad room, it will be nearly impossible to EQ correctly. You simply can not fix what you can not hear, but to extend that further, with bad monitoring, you can't tell when you are making something sound worse.
That was my point exactly. There's no point bringing the bass down thinking it's too bassy when actually it's because you've got some massive 8" monitor shoved up in the corner of the room and you're listening to more reflection than speaker.

Quote:
2) Although you can "fix" things with EQ, your primary goal should be to get your source material to sound better in the first place. It doesn't matter how good you get at EQ'ing, a good recording will instantly sound better than a poor one. Basically, if you spend more time making your source sound better than you do eq'ing, your production quality will advance by leaps and bounds. Most professional tracks sound better rough (before being mixed or mastered) than amateur tracks sound even after being "prettied up."
And yes, that too. I am primarily a tracking engineer, and I show people my tracks to show them the difference between a professional tracking engineer and a guy with some mics! If a good mix engineer can use EQ to make a bad sounding guitar sound good, what can he do to a guitar which was recorded properly and sounds good already?!
Old 23rd March 2010 | Show parent
  #24
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🎧 10 years
maybe it's just me, but if your spending too much time corrective eq'ing, you need to reevaluate your source tracks. maybe you should cut them better; either in a better room or with better gear. great source trackes make for less corrective eq and make mixing more enjoyable. i hate fixing with eq(though we all have to do it), but i love sweetening with eq.

kudos to spending time with eq. that is how we all learn. also, how is your room? the monitoring environment plays a large part in what you are hearing and that will impact how you process tracks.
Old 23rd March 2010 | Show parent
  #25
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangible ➑️
Before you even worry too much about EQ, you need to take two things into very serious consideration. 1) If you have bad monitors and a bad room, it will be nearly impossible to EQ correctly. You simply can not fix what you can not hear, but to extend that further, with bad monitoring, you can't tell when you are making something sound worse. 2) Although you can "fix" things with EQ, your primary goal should be to get your source material to sound better in the first place. It doesn't matter how good you get at EQ'ing, a good recording will instantly sound better than a poor one. Basically, if you spend more time making your source sound better than you do eq'ing, your production quality will advance by leaps and bounds. Most professional tracks sound better rough (before being mixed or mastered) than amateur tracks sound even after being "prettied up."

For example, if you know there's too much room sound in your vocals, that they are honky and you have to de'ess a lot, it's fine and dandy to try to learn how to eq that out, but if you throw up some blankets, change the mic and practice better mic placement, your stuff will sound 10x better than whatever eq fix you can come up with.

Once you start taking care of 1 and 2, EQ'ing becomes a breeze. I also recommend the Golden Ears audio course, or just doing it yourself and becoming accustomed to what frequencies sounds come from. If you start cutting above or below the problem area, you may weaken the integrity of the track unnecessarily.
yeee-uh!
Old 23rd March 2010 | Show parent
  #26
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rty5150 ➑️
maybe it's just me, but if your spending too much time corrective eq'ing, you need to reevaluate your source tracks. maybe you should cut them better; either in a better room or with better gear. great source trackes make for less corrective eq and make mixing more enjoyable. i hate fixing with eq(though we all have to do it), but i love sweetening with eq.

kudos to spending time with eq. that is how we all learn. also, how is your room? the monitoring environment plays a large part in what you are hearing and that will impact how you process tracks.
9 times out of 10, that is where it lies.

you need a basic level of equipment, but people just don't realise how important the room is to the sound! Yes, even if you ram the mic so close to the amp that there's no hope of it 'hearing' the room, a bad acoustic environment will still produce a boxy, air-deprived track.
Old 23rd March 2010 | Show parent
  #27
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Storyville's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hey Chiro,

Couple things in response to your post.

The first is that the practice of sweeping is often very much misunderstood and misused. Many engineers grab an eq with a narrow Q and do a broadband sweep. This is problematic. All you really hear in doing this is a moving resonance - it just always sounds weird. Moving a wider band doesn't help much either because you're always bringing out tones and textures, which will yield immediate gratification and sound good at first.

UNFORTUNATELY (or fortunately) the best way to learn eq is to practice your ability to identify characteristics of sounds and to relate pitches to frequency areas. My ear usually tells me a range in which something is occuring. It let's me approximate my target frequency. Then I'll do sweeping in that target range, slowly, listening for something to "lock in." If I intend on cutting, I will sweep with a cut - just boosting for sweeping has always struck me as counter intuitive.

Second thing is that there is NO SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE WITHOUT A POINT OF REFERENCE. Yesterday, I added 10.5db of gain at 350hz to a kick drum. That might seem extreme. To me, not adding 10.5db at 350 would have been extreme. It needed 10.5db of gain - could you imagine only adding 3db when it needs 10? That's pretty extreme. By the way, I started with 250hz, and swept up to 350. 350 was the top of my range and sounded right, but I swept a little further just to hear what would happen - I got up to 400 and could tell 350 was the mark. I didn't sweep from 1k, or from 20hz to 20k.

Ultimately - don't eq something just to eq it. Listen to the sound and ask yourself: a) what role does the sound play in the mix/arrangement, and (b) what do I like and dislike about this sound? And be willing to answer with I love everything it needs no change, or I hate it and it's time to sample replace that shit.
Old 23rd March 2010 | Show parent
  #28
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🎧 10 years
Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by therealbigd ➑️
And yes, that too. I am primarily a tracking engineer, and I show people my tracks to show them the difference between a professional tracking engineer and a guy with some mics! If a good mix engineer can use EQ to make a bad sounding guitar sound good, what can he do to a guitar which was recorded properly and sounds good already?!
Yup. When you take the time to become a better tracking engineer, eq'ing becomes waaaay more easier.

Also, I think that when it comes to monitoring, you need a setup that makes good things sound good and bad things sound bad. If you have monitors that make everything sound good, that should instantly be a red flag. You might really be making some terrible eq decisions and have no idea. I've had people send me mixes to fix having no idea that their stuff sounded horrible. When I went to their actual setup, the mixes sounded okay, but when I put in my reference songs, the reference songs sounded like they were out of wack. If you can't tell what's up or what's down, good luck trying to become great at eq.

How can you learn to trust your ears, when you are in an environment where what you hear shouldn't be trusted?
Old 23rd March 2010 | Show parent
  #29
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangible ➑️
Yup. When you take the time to become a better tracking engineer, eq'ing becomes waaaay more easier.

Also, I think that when it comes to monitoring, you need a setup that makes good things sound good and bad things sound bad. If you have monitors that make everything sound good, that should instantly be a red flag. You might really be making some terrible eq decisions and have no idea. I've had people send me mixes to fix having no idea that their stuff sounded horrible. When I went to their actual setup, the mixes sounded okay, but when I put in my reference songs, the reference songs sounded like they were out of wack. If you can't tell what's up or what's down, good luck trying to become great at eq.

How can you learn to trust your ears, when you are in an environment where what you hear shouldn't be trusted?
tis the reason I use PMCs

They're quite honest with you when you do a rubbish mix and depressing as it is, it's good to know stuff isn't sounding good!

It is a pet hate of mine when people go looking for a pair of 'nice sounding studio monitors' - I mean, isn't that a bit contradictory?? If they're good at being studio monitors, they'll only be as nice as what you play into them.
Old 23rd March 2010 | Show parent
  #30
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🎧 10 years
thanks for all the responses guys

the current project im trying to finish that drove me to the point of coming here for you guys' help unfortunately has very little 'mixing'. its a solo performance. i have multiple mic sources, but theres only one instrument at any given time, so the 'never EQ in solo' strategy cant really be applied.

unfortunately, it seems the consensus to the question

'what sounds wrong with my EQing technique'

sounds worryingly like the answer is

'nothing. the problem is the mic placement in the recording stage and the the quality of your mixing environment'

bummer...

however, its not a case of: i get it to sound alright in my 'low end theory' mixing environments, and then it turns out my mixes sound like crap when other people hear them, its that, im dissatisfied with the sound even in this environment, but when i try to make the changes i feel should be made to the EQ, im getting unnatural tones and phase problems...
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