A Newbie wants to know why there are 7 numbers in EQ?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by rodkneekeeng, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. rodkneekeeng

    rodkneekeeng Guest

    Hi I had a question

    Boost means to increase the volume
    And Cut means to decrease the volume right?

    I read a tutorial on EQ from this site and I had a question about what this guy means when:

    My software EQ has 7 numbers lined side by side in the center of a graph
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7

    And it has these options and I will put a definition of what I think next to the items.

    Disabled - (Is this to get rid of the sound in that area? But which number should I use 1 2 3 or 7?

    Low Pass - (Is this only to allow low sounds to be heard? Like drums and bass?)

    Band Pass - (Is this to make all mid sounds be heard??)

    High Pass - (Is this to make the high sounds to be heard like hi-hats and claps?)

    Notch - (I'm not sure what this is)

    Low Shelf - (Not sure what this is)

    Peaking - (Not sure what this is)

    High Shelf - (Not sure what this is)

    I did reading about it, but I still don't get it
    When do you use them properly, and why are there 7 numbers to use ? Which number do you use? I know the whole idea of EQ is to place different instruments from interfering with each other in space, but still I lack the understanding of all these definitions, can a master help me?

    Thanks, stacy
  2. dementedchord

    dementedchord Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2006
    it's all about filters...

    you've kinda got the idea but maybe it'll come to you if you understand what exactlly we're dealing with...

    all EQ comes down to filters... and there are three parameters ... all of those different "types" you listed are variences of the more basic idea....

    A. amount... that is to say boost or cut and how extreme the action taken

    B. frequency... yep.. at what freq does the filter kick in and is known by the center of the filter...

    C. "Q" and we aint talkin quincy... q for our purposes is the shape of the filter

    to a large dgree the usefulness of a filter can be seen in terms of how many of those paramaters they give us to play with...

    the tone controll on you guitar amp has fixed the frq and the shape and only gives us access to the amount...

    a graphic eq gives us the same.... expcept that it has multiples of the filters and are much narrower than our giutar amp....

    make sense so far????

    on some consoles you'll see eq's that allow you to sweep the freq and the amount... these are called semi-parametric

    on the big consoles and in most software you'll have access to all three parameters and are called... well... parametric eqs...duh???

    all of those others you listed are presets of the basic three controlls....
    a low pass for instance uses a steep slope and cuts everything above the freq... make sense???

    aband pass would have a moderate "Q" and boost everythin in that band.... make sense????

    well that's it for me for now... mabey CUJO or REMY will want to add on... good luck
  3. rodkneekeeng

    rodkneekeeng Guest

    Hi demented thanks for the info!!!

    About the Q I'm getting confused. When you mean shape?

    I had a question, so let's say my parametric filter has 7 numbers right?
    Bass is where the number 1 is,

    Do I only use 1 to distinguish a good sound? Move it around the 50k to 150k area?

    Do I use the numbers that correlate to frequency level?

    I'm getting confused what Q is. Thanks.
  4. dementedchord

    dementedchord Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2006
    i dont know what software your using and an arbutrary assignment of 7 numbers doesnt make sense to me... as to the shape... consider 2 differe3nt graphics.... one a ten band the other a 31... on the 10 band each fader will effect basicly an octave of material.... the 31 effects @ 4 notes on a piano... so we can say that the filter is steeper/narrow on the 31.. there is no partcular area that one can think of as "a good sound" it's only whats appropriate for the tune... though most of us have been looking for the "suck knob" most of our careers...
  5. rodkneekeeng

    rodkneekeeng Guest

    Hey I saw this on a website I read about it and it says:

    Snare -2 db eq to taste in the frequencies above 4khz. Add reverb if the song calls for it. Do the best you can to keep it out of the way of the vocal, even if you have to pan it a few degrees. Near the end of the mix you need to come back here to perfect it.

    Which number do I use? 1 2 3 4 5 6 or 7?
    And which one do I use high shelf? low shelf? peaking?

  6. rodkneekeeng

    rodkneekeeng Guest

    I use fruityloops parametric 2 EQ

    I'm so confused lol i better keep reading.
  7. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest


  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    Many of the best recordings are made when people don't play with controls much. Especially equalization. Just because you have it, doesn't mean you should use it, especially if there's nothing wrong with the sound and you have no idea what you're doing with. Equalizing instruments to keep them out of the frequency spectrum of your other instruments/voices is both true and a misnomer. I make lovely recordings were nothing gets equalized at all. In that respect, it's the balance of the mix and NOT what kind of equalizer blah blah you're playing with. OK, maybe a little high pass filtering (a low cut filter) on the vocal microphone.

    The more controls on an equalizer, the better your chances of making a lousy recording. I know, I know, you paid a lot of money for those extra toys. I mean, your car has a spare tire but why use it if you don't need to? You need to read how to change the tire. You need to read about the different types of equalizer's are and what are they are and used for.

    Parametric parasitic parasites (don't tell George Massenburg I said that)
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  9. KroMag

    KroMag Active Member

    May 26, 2005
    Bangkok, Thailand
    I'm not going to go into technical details, you should really read up on eq to discover for yourself what the various parametric eq options allow, but the "7 numbers" are the "bands" which mean you have seven different chances to modify the sound. Low-pass is usually used on "7" (the highest band) and high-pass is used on the "1" (lowest), with peak/dip or bell reserved for the middle bands. However this is totally dependent on the material being equalized and the person in front of the monitors.

    Compared to the other posters in this thread I'm a novice myself. My best advice is to play around with a graphic eq to find out what it does to your sound before jumping into the deep end of parametric equalization. Read these forums and pay attention to what the old 'uns tell you. It's helped me immensely.

  10. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Disabled doesn't mean to get rid of the sound in that region, it simply means that this band of processing is bypassed. It's a good/quick way of A/Bing any changes that you make to a specific range. Say you cut 5 dB at 400 Hz but you want to see what affect this had, hit disable and it will instantly return all of your settings to normal. Hit it again and you're back to your cut again.
  11. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:

    Read these articles before asking any more questions






    Plus you can do a seach on the WWW for more info.

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