EQ tips

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by OTRjkl, Feb 5, 2002.

  1. OTRjkl

    OTRjkl Guest

    This question is for the more experienced mastering engineers:

    With regard to boosting/cutting EQ while mastering a tune, do have a general rule you go by as to how much is accpetable versus labeling the tune as "in need of remix"? Obviously, if you need to boost or cut a freq. by 6db there is a problem. But do you try to stick within a certain range, say +/- 1 or 2db or what?

    Thanks for any help.
  2. Ronny Morris

    Ronny Morris Guest

    Not really, the less eq the better, but the main reason's that I give for a remix are, closed gap dropouts (data missing with no dead air where the dropout occurs)I can't fix closed gap errors without having repeat sections to paste from, because the data is simply not there. Hypercompression, clipped samples and reverb's way overdone. I don't run across too many where the eq is so overdone that I can't fix it, not in a while, anyway. The important thing is, if you are going to have to boost a frequency(s) by 6dB, you need the head room to keep from going over. This means working the material at a lower level, until it's ready for limiting.
  3. brad

    brad Guest

  4. errollem

    errollem Guest

    I have several eq tools.

    The audio goes first in a weiss eq-1.
    There I do some corrections, mostly in the low-mids. I made some presets from where I can start.
    It's always with a narrow q factor in the low.
    Mostly I'm dipping with this machine and normally it is 0,5 to 2 dB.
    By 4k I use a wider q factor but never go under
    1 dB.

    After that it goes through a z-ystems eq2.
    This tool is very good for wider qfactors.
    I mean that if you go down for example to 3dB
    only the mud will go away and still the freq's
    are stable. By 400 hertz a lot of instruments, voices etc are coming together and with the z-syst. I usually can fix that and make it more open.

    If it'necesarry I put it through a weiss dc 1
    where I only use the bass-boost or some deessing stuf or a dbx quantum to finish some other nasty
    things which I can not correct with eq.

    After all this correction stuff I put it through a millennia eq for the musical sounding touch and if it's necesarry also through a millennia compressor.

    As dessert it goes through the L2 maximizer.

    Most of the time I have to correct all the mistakes maken in the studio.
    Sometimes the mix is good but then again there is always something to do.
    A time ago I received from George Clinton a mix produced and recorded by Prince.

    It sounded very nice and there was enough headroom to make some really nice improvements.
    I mean with enough headroom you ca do much more
    in colouring and tiding up (is this english?)
    the bas and kick.

  5. OTRjkl

    OTRjkl Guest

    Thanks to all for the info.

    It sounds like the general concensus is that too much EQing can cause problems and therefore should preferrably be handled in the mix. Unfortunately, most of the mixes I receive are in dire need of immediate surgery (they CareFlight them in). I have loaded some mixes straight into my DAW and run an FFT on them - they look like roller coasters! Since I'm not dealing w/major label stuff, there really is no room for re-mixing. My biggest problem on these is usually tightening up the bottom end.

    I have returned mixes before for such cases as RoMo mentioned - a CD-R comes in and I play it and it is loaded w/overs!
  6. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Wow!, errol, with info like that, the whole community will benefit. A tasty reciep indeed!
    Thanks for sharing,
  7. NEVE8068

    NEVE8068 Guest

    When I get real bad mixes. For example Instead of trying to just cut at say 300hz I will cut 1/2 db at 275 and 1db at 310 or so. Because when these guys put way too much low end or low mids in the mix. When you start trying to take that out the top end and high mids then become a problem. To me its a very delicate balance. But then there are the mixes that you just give em a little more level and 1/2db of air on the top orr 1/2 db to bring out the guitars.MARK
  8. errollem

    errollem Guest

    I guess sometimes it all depends on the width of the Q-factor.
    If you have troubles with the midhighs you also
    can try a multiband compressor on the low parts.
    This is what I do with a dbx quantum.
    Mostly I use the compressors and not the eq of the dbx.

    Lets face it, if you have that kind of bad mixes
    you also have to make a concession.

    I mean that sometimes if I still have problems with the highs I use a highshelf from 3k and let it go down sometimes 2 or 3 dB.

    I know, it's a concession but extreme bad mixes deserve extreme way of mastering.

  9. NEVE8068

    NEVE8068 Guest

    Beleive me I know about extreme mastering to the point where the mix was so bad when it came in that the artist thought it was remixed. I use the dig in and out of the finalizer for the multiband limiting. I try not to do to much of that though but when it comes to bad SSSes I have a pair of Neumann Acceleration limiters I use a lot thet are great for that. But I going to order a WEISS this week for a new multiband limiter and keep the finalzer for that purpose in the BUDGET room. I hate that damn box-MARK
  10. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Distinguished Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    Nashville TN
    Home Page:
    The important thing to understand is that good sounding signal processing is always correcting what is wrong with the monitors in addition to whatever might be wrong with the audio. In fact what is wrong with many mixes is that they only sound right on the monitors they were mixed on.

    It requires very high quality monitors to determine the proper signal processing as opposed to just finding some better sounding signal processing for the particular monitors.
  11. errollem

    errollem Guest

    Hi Bob,

    You're absolutely right about monitors.
    I'm not sure but I have the feeling that not so many engineers are aware of that.

    I mean, they all talk about the newest thing but
    in another forum I asked them how they choose a monitor. Nobody react.

    This is how I check monitors.
    I take good commercial mixes and bad commercial mixes with me.
    Then when I listen to a monitor I check if there are any strange things happening in low, mid and high. I found out that most of the monitors are boosting and give not a real stereo spectrum.
    Some monitors never heard about stereo.

    A good mix shows the power (not volume ;) ) and subtleness of a monitor. If a bad mix sounds good on a monitor then I don't trust it anymore.
    Most of the studio-speakers are sounding good also with bad mixes.

    I started with genelecs (S30c) This was not a typical genelec monitor.
    Later I found out that westlake was the right monitor for me.

    I always good hear on the genelecs that something was wrong with a mix, but with the westlakes I can hear what and why there is something wrong.

    If the bas is panned for example a little to the right I can hear it with this monitor easily.
    I'm not saying westlake is the only monitor out there although I checked many monitor systems.

    What also counts is your ears. I don't believe in golden ears, I believe in trained ears.

    You are working 40 years now in the business.
    I guess that in the beginning of your carriere you only had talent but had to learn to listen.

    Every two months the SAE comes with students
    to our place and one of the topics in this class
    is that I tell them that there is more then equipment. On the end we do a listening test with good mixes and bad mixes. It's always nice to see that they are very surprised about what you can hear if you use your ear and not your taste about the music.

    sorry, this goes to far from the topic.

  12. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Distinguished Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    Nashville TN
    Home Page:
    I learned under the supervision of some great engineers and label execs who had learned from an earlier generation. One of the first things I was taught is to not trust ANY monitors too far!

    I've been using Duntech Soverigns for about five years. I'm still amazed by how much I can hear and by how little eq. it often requires to make a meaningful improvement. Sometimes just patching the processor in sounds worse than any improvement the processing can make.

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