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Do you run a stereo eq on your mix?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by coldsnow, Oct 30, 2001.

  1. coldsnow

    coldsnow Active Member

    Do you use a stereo eq on you mix before it goes to 2 track? and if so what do you tend to boost?
  2. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    I tend to use a Multi-Band compressor...it really depends on the material and if anything is needed to be added or cut..generally I like to add the upper high end shimmer end..something like 10-12Khz just to make it really "shine"!! But only adding very very little of course!!
  3. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    There have been times that I've thought about adding an EQ on the 2-mix but I've stayed away from it. If the mix really needs to be brighter I'll try to get it by making the overheads brighter and/or louder. At the same time I might go to all of the channels and add a little bit of top around 6khz to 15khz depending on the instrument.
  4. bgroup

    bgroup Guest

    Originally posted by coldsnow:
    Do you use a stereo eq on you mix before it goes to 2 track? and if so what do you tend to boost?

    Yes. I usually end up boosting a couple of dB in the 4-6 kHz region, maybe one dB around 8 kHz, and sometimes (although rarely) one dB at 10 kHz or 16 kHz.

  5. mixfactory

    mixfactory Guest

    Not really, but I do run my mixes out of a Red 3 into the Crane Song Hedd 192 and adjust the controls to taste.
  6. Marc Edwards

    Marc Edwards Guest

    Yep. I think it's almost essential. It lets you add a little sheen to your mixes, and gets them just that bit closer to sounding like a record. I don't think I'd get the same results by going over the entire board and making everthing (for eg.) a bit brighter.
  7. Dave McNair

    Dave McNair Active Member

    Adding a little overall EQ to the stereo bus can be a cool way to go. But, there is a few things you might want to watch out for. Unless the studio has, or you can rent a high quality EQ, the cure is worse than the disease. Gear that I have had good luck with includes: Sontec, ITI, Avalon, Massenburg, Amek 9098. Putting your whole mix through a Tascam parametric or a BBE is gonna suck way too much good out of it, even though you think a little air or bottom is just what the doctor ordered. Another point is don't leave the damn thing in the whole time, and if you used it at the end of the first mix, bypass it before you start the next mix. If left in at the start of a mix, you are just EQ'ing your monitors! I know cause I made this mistake a while back. Also, use the smallest amount of boost or cut that gets you somewhere. Cause if you blow it, but the mix is otherwise good, mastering can right some of the wrong more easily if your EQ attempt wasn't heavy handed. You can also play it safe and print one without, but personally I like to go for it and make a decision.
  8. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    If you're a "little" guy like me in a "little" studio, I'm sure many mastering engineers would prefer you left the 2-bus alone, or at least tread lightly. After all, they can add or subtract exactly what you would - except their EQ's and compressors will probably be higher quality than yours, their room acoustics and monitors will definitely be better than yours, to say nothing of their ears. Whatever you do is going to be harder to undo and redo than if you did nothing at all, so you damn better be sure you know what you are doing!
    Of course if your project is not going to be professionally mastered, that's another story and another thread for another day... Except for the roughest of demos, I usually use all my powers of persuasion and whatever weapons are handy to convince my clients to use a dedicated mastering facility.
  9. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Wow! I just noticed - I'm now listed as a SENIOR member!!! I don't even remember taking the test!
    KEWL! (No graduation presents please, but cash gratefully accepted)
  10. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Does anyone know when the practice of EQ'ing the 2-mix started to really go into practice? Has it been in recent years or did it start in the 70's?
  11. Dave McNair

    Dave McNair Active Member

    The first time I heard of it was Roy Thomas Baker in an interview in Recording Engineer/Producer about 1980. He talked about using an ITI on everything.
  12. coldsnow

    coldsnow Active Member

    I use the SPeck eq's which I feel are pretty good.
  13. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    Hi coldsnow, I don't usually mix down with EQ on the 2-bus, but as I get close to the end I do like to patch in an analog EQ and a digital limiter to check how the mix will hold up after a typical mastering treatment. For me, this might typically include a GML 8200 or a Massivo for the EQ side.

    Like McSnare said, if the EQ is a dog it might not be a good idea. Depends on the context...in the old days, even a cheap Alesis MEQ graphic EQ really helped along my 4-track cassette Portastudio mixes.

    Also, I like to monitor both pre and post the A/D -> UV22HR 16bits -> D/A chain...most of the time post...again, to hear what the mix sounds like after conversion and dithering/noise shaping to 16 bits.

    If I feel the mix might be lacking some shine or clarity or thump, I like to try EQing subgroups or individual channels...whoever can best contribute to the picture...and avoid the 2-bus treatment, which can bring its fair share of so-so side effects.

    Then again, it's a question of context. If I'm working with a so-so mixing desk, or a DAW with less-than-heavenly EQ plugins, and a lovely stereo EQ box just happens to be sitting there next to it, then the 2-bus EQ might be the best thing since sliced bread for that mix.

    Hope this helps somewhat.

  14. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    Just to go into more detail, it can be very cool in my experience to temporarily patch in a good stereo EQ towards the end of the mix to help shine light on any frequency excesses and unbalances.

    I might typically might add a hi shelf boost, a high-mid bell boost, a low-mid bell cut, and a high-pass filter or au contraire a sub boost on the bottom.

    In so doing, it often comes to light that the lead vocal is too bright or sibilant relative to the music, or that the hihat is too sizzly, or that the drums need more point at 3kHz, or that the guitars are too honky, or whatever. I then bypass the EQ and work on the problem areas, then unpatch it when I'm done.

    This helps me avoid that often-heard situation where one element on a CD (often the vocal) becomes too sizzly-bright relative to the rest after the inevitable high-end boost at mastering.

    I wonder what McSnare and Ang and Mixerman think of this.

  15. soulconnect

    soulconnect Guest

    I used to do quite a bit of work on a Euphonix CS 2000. It was a great board in a lot of ways, but I thought it lacked a bit in the vibe department. I had a pair of Brent Averill Neves that I would put across the bus. They added a lot of vibe and a musical color that I really liked. I usually didn't even use the EQ. Just the sound of the music passing through those transformers was enough. If you are going to use something like that, you can't just add it in at the end. You have to listen to it from the beginning, and make your decisions with it in the loop.

    Then I got an Avalon 2055 and I used it for top and bottom. About +1 at 50 and +3 at 20k. I liked the sound of that EQ much better than what was in the console. It just made the music sound shiny and solid.

    Now, I mix in Pro Tools and I don't use much on the bus...Too bad in a way...


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