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EQ question....FOR ALL YOU EXPERT ENGINEERS! HAHA!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by lucidone, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. lucidone

    lucidone Guest

    I know this is a very subjective question, but what is a good starting point for Q on your EQ? I usually start around 2 but am not getting the results I am looking for.

    Say I boost the snare 6 dB at 3.5k, with a fairly wide Q. This sounds nice and natural, but the frequencies start running into the top end of the gtrs, if I am boosting them at 6 or 7k. Therefore I am not getting the seperation I want and things become muddy.

    With a narrow Q, things don't run into eachother so much, but the individual sounds don't sound as natural.

    Hopefully this makes sense. Thanks.
     
  2. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    The rule is: There are no rules. You're absolutely correct, it's a very subjective thing. When you say the snare sounds natural with a 6db boost at 3.5k, are you listening to just the snare? The trick (IMHO) to getting things to sit well in a mix is not to dial in a sound on any given track by itself, but to throw up a bunch of tracks flat, and start EQing from there. I used to mix by picking through the tracks and getting what I thought was a good sound on each one, but I typically had the same problems you're facing. Since I started using the "clean slate" technique, my mixes have improved a bunch.Think about how different snares can sound, ie: Bill Bruford's highly tuned ringing sound to the almost kick drum sounding snare on Tom Petty's "Refugee". I'm a bassplayer, and it's not unusual that the EQ I put on bass tracks makes them sound somewhat thin by themselves, but in a mix they're punchy, and combine with other stuff in the low end so they sound full in the mix. As to Q, in general I find myself using a wider Q in the upper mids, tighter in the mids (400-500Hz) on down, tightest at the bottom. Hope any or all of this helps somehow.
     
  3. lucidone

    lucidone Guest

    Thanks jonyoung.....anyone else?

    It's soooo helpful to get a bunch of different views on things. I think the fact that there are no rules is what keeps me going; seems like there's always a new tip or technique to try.
     
  4. iznogood

    iznogood Guest

    the topic title made me think of our friend jahme.... :shock:
     
  5. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    I agree with jonyoung. There are no rules.

    When I start EQing I start with a wide Q on the mids and shelving on the highs and lows. I always wanted 4 band PEQ. Now I have that on my 01v96, I seldom use narrow Qs.

    Narrow Qs can be helpful if there's a disturbing thingy somewhere, so they are usually to correct something. Overall I find that wider Qs sound more natural indeed.
     
  6. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    the closest thing I've heard of for a 'rule of thumb' is to use narrower Q when cutting, and broader Q when boosting. These are, of course generalities, but a good basic idea.
     
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I agree, bad tilte that gave me that impression too. hmm
     
  8. Mr-Nice

    Mr-Nice Guest

    I found this site on google, Click Here! and enjoy! I am about to read it myself and it may help you decide what do to when EQing things.

    Me personally I dont have a specific thing that I do with each sound and I attack each project differently. One song might sound better when the snare is EQ'd as another song's snare might not need EQ at all. I use the EQ as a carving tool to sort of "cut out" spaces for each sound to sit in.
     
  9. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The only rule I have in mixing is this...If it sounds good solo'd then it probably sucks with the rest of the mix....


    Capice? :wink:
     
  10. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    It seems like someone is trying to adjust things that they haven't learned to listen to yet...
     
  11. satyr607

    satyr607 Active Member

    One of many thing I have picked up is never EQ while solo'd, unless you are trying to kill a freq or noise, otherwise it makes no sense...not sure if this helps but it sure helped me when I learned it. :)
     
  12. Dos

    Dos Guest

    Typically the most natural sounding q setting is 1.
    This applies to most real instruments,
    However, this is again subjective.
    (1 is also known as the magical q) Hocus Pocus
     
  13. lucidone

    lucidone Guest

    Could you maybe elaborate and offer some advice?
     
  14. gnarr

    gnarr Guest

    One thing i've realized in the few years i've been mixing:

    Many thin make a fat.
    Many fat make a mud.
     
  15. dwoz

    dwoz Guest

    quick tip that can make you shake things up:


    do your "thing" with the mid boost EQ.


    Now, visualize that "curve" that you've created.


    Now, visualize how you'd achieve that SAME curve, if you were using subtractive (cut) EQ instead of boost.

    Then, when you've done that, come back in with a VERY slight boost and a VERY narrow Q, just to put the "cherry-on-top" of the snare's "snap".


    While you contemplate the fact that all instruments use all the frequencies, and there just is no way to duck them away from each other by frequency carving, let the notion of how different compressor attack/release times affect a track's "poise" in the mix.


    dwoz
     
  16. Statick

    Statick Guest

    i can second this technique, it works brilliantly. i usually do the cutting digitally, to save using all my analog bands up
     

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