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i love not using eq

Discussion in 'Recording' started by bobbo, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. bobbo

    bobbo Active Member

    i used to use a lot of eqing when i first started engineering, and now i barely use it. it just seems more natural

    anyone else like that
  2. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    I prefer to track without it, and use sparingly in the mix.
  3. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I use it sparingly, if at all. (Low end/rumble removal, etc.)

    For me, the trick is good mic placement and good sound in FRONT of the mic. And if you've got to do more than 4 or 5 db of change to something, perhaps the problem is more than just EQ.

    Digital EQ vs. analog EQ (Phase shift) is a whole different animal as well. The Algorithmix "Red" and "Orange" EQ plugins are astounding. Makes you rethink the whole idea of eq, esp when there's no phase shift involved.
  4. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    re: Algorythmix EQ's...........must be nice to be able to afford them!
  5. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Then again....

    Alan Parsons was never afraid of using 10db @ 10K, etc. to tape...

    What ever gets "that" sound.The end jsutifies the means.

    So while I concure that doing as much as you can before you add an EQ is a good starting place..sometimes you have to subtract or add drom there.
  6. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    I love everything he's ever touched.

    Alan Parsons is amazing in the studio and/or Live.

    I don't think he's afraid of anything at all and works without any rules whatsoever.

    I agree with RM - whatever gets "that" sound for You is justified.
  7. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    I think of EQ likes herbs in cooking......don't start with it, but add as you go along, and use what you need, especially because of the phase component. Same goes for compression, effects, etc...you can always go back and rework a clean set of tracks, but once a signal is modified, it's hard or impossible to undo.
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I have a pair of API 3124M mixers. From classical to rock, you can get some amazing results with just good mics and placement. You can add a little verb, which can also be quite nice. I love the KISS principle. The closer you can get to a straight wire, the more pure your sound will be without a whole lot of trash in between. But then you got into this business to play with all of those knobs and dials didn't you?

    Remy Ann David
  9. GregP

    GregP Guest

    I use not only standard EQ, but aggressive non-resonant filtering. I'm an amateur, so my methods don't count for much, but I've always found that it's far more useful to just get in there and get dirty if it's what's needed to get the job done.

    For example, if I record an acoustic guitar with a microphone, I'm usually aiming to capture a full frequency range so that I can work with the most options at a later point in time. That means capturing the bass presence along with the treble shimmer. Yes, there's something to be said for working with the end product already visualized. Eg. If I KNOW I'm going to want just a light shimmery guitar, I might be better served starting off with mic placement that captures that element of the sound spectrum.

    HOWEVER, then what happens if later on I change my mind, or decide to do a remix of an 'acoustic' version, which means stripping out the bass and kick drum and leaving a big gap in the frequencies that could theoretically be filled in with more of a bassy sound from the guitar? Better to have those frequencies already on 'tape'.

    So, as mentioned, I'll record looking to capture the broadest range of frequencies and then feel no pain or shame about slapping a high-pass filter or aggressive EQ to get rid of all that bass muck.


  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    You would do better by filtering out the "bass muck" before recording it, since it will cause you modulation distortion problems. All that low end crap will modulate the entire audio. Can you say "intermodulation distortion"? Get rid of that before you record it. Even if it's something you want to change your mind about, it's nothing you would want anyhow.

    Remember, even the wonderful venerable Neumann U87, is filtered out below 80 hertz! There were other technical reasons for doing that but certainly nobody ever complained and you still got lots of low end rumble free of charge. Its not pretty!

    "Non-resonant filtering"? You don't like old Neve inductor filtering?? You are a beginner aren't you? You probably would never want to use any of those terrible limited bandwidth ribbon microphones either? Besides, the chief engineer of the biggest studio in Maryland told me those ribbon microphones " were noisy". Right! The voice of knowledge?!?! After all he was in the business at least a year after Full Sail! HA!

    Keep working at it kid, you might get it right someday? Bandpass filtering is good and smart! Take it from a narrow bandpass engineer.

    Remy Ann Narrow David
  11. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Yeah, I love not using EQ too!

    I think it's one of the most overused tools of all. IMO, EQ should be used for two reasons:

    1. To fix something that can't be fixed anyother way.
    (Such as low-end rumble, light-fixture humming, trains/trucks passing by)
    2. To specifically alter/color a sound to your liking.
    (Such as pushing a frequency hard into a compressor or lightly enhancing a certain frequency on an individual instrument, etc.)

    I feel that, all too often, people stick a mic up, don't like what they hear, so they immediately reach for an EQ. The mic is the best EQ. If a violin is screetchy, move the mic towards the soundboard; if a voice is too boomy, move the mic up. And so on.)

    I do agree with Joe - the Algorithmix EQs are friggin sweet. I haven't dug up the money to buy them yet, but they are on my short list. It's a competition right now though between the Weiss EQ1-MKII, the Z-Systems ZQ6 (model??), and the algo stuff. Notice, all of these are mastering EQs. That's usually the only time I'll reach for an EQ.

    Every once in a while, I do like to use one just to add a little flavor though. I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new Summit EQ. I really like their "flavors" and I'd love to see what I can do with it!

  12. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Perhaps it is my acoustic background, but like Jeremy and Joe I don't reach for the EQ unless absolutely needed.

    Basically, I take an approach where if I don't like the way it sounds, I grab a different or move mic/pre/etc... to get it to sound right. Then using a touch of EQ to make things sparkle is just the icing on the cake that makes a good recording sound really great.

  13. GregP

    GregP Guest

    OK. ;) I know nothing about intermodulation distortion, to be honest. I didn't think that non-existent frequencies could interfere with any other frequencies. If I have absolutely nothing left at 60 Hz, how can it be interfering with anything? I'm not being snarky, I just don't understand the terminology being used.

    Groovy, I didn't know that about the 80 Hz filtering. [edit: typoed "90 Hz", and changed it]

    Heh. Well, when I say non-resonant, I mean that if I'm filtering everything below, say, 80Hz, I'm not also boosting (ie. resonance) the frequencies surrounding 80. I'm not exactly a beginner-- I am an amateur, which is different. I don't much care for any comparisons to a desk or microphones I'll never have a chance to use, since it's the realm of fantasy rather than reality. However, I AM aware of what a resonant filter will do, and I tend to avoid it when I'm trying to find a little frequency 'home' for my mixes. Resonant filtering is more of an effect, though I'm guessing from your tone and approach that the Neve EQ/filters are resonant and also sound good. I'll take your word for it. The resonant filters I have access to (ie. NOT Neve) colour the sound in a way I'm trying to avoid at mixdown.

    Well, I'm not exactly a kid. No reason to condescend, now! ;) Even adults can be amateurs and admit to not knowing a whole lot. However, I believe your above point was almost my point entirely. I'm not afraid of EQ or filtering (ie. band-pass) if it means my instruments will find a nice spot in the mix.

  14. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Editted for drunk content
  15. GregP

    GregP Guest

    As an educator, I definitely understand the value of admitting that I have something to learn. I like admitting that I dont' know stuff, because it gives me a wide-open world to explore, rather than a world 'closed off' by struggling against all hope to maintain the illusion that I know more than I do. :D Yet, sometimes other people say things that strike me as either unrelated (also known as a 'red herring') or that simply don't address the question at hand.

    I'd say that Remy mostly addressed the issue at hand by pointing out situations in which pre-emptive frequency control is a wise move.

    Regarding the rest... I haven't a clue how old Remy is. But as a 31-year old man who has travelled and lived in interesting parts of the world, and who is now settling into 2 careers and a serious relationship with a live-in girlfriend... I guess I should take it as a compliment that I'm being referred to as a 'kid'. <chuckle>

  16. Mr-Nice

    Mr-Nice Guest

    I dont track with any processing aside from some slight compression on vocals. I add all that stuff (if needed) after the fact.
  17. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sorry about my snide commentary. I personally would love to be called a "Kid" at my age (or be carded for a drink at a bar). Terribly flattering you know?

    Yes, well, I am a bit of a rigid hard nose. I've probably been doing this too long?

    FCC third phone and on the air at 15, at WBJC at the community college of Baltimore, engineering the Opera Theatre on the air on Thursday nights and

    jazz Extravaganza on Saturdays. The youngest engineers they ever had! I also created my high school radio station and designed and built a custom audio console for it. Many other kids went on to become professional broadcasters because of what I did for the school.

    Production engineer for the most established and largest studio in Maryland, Flight 3 as a production/music engineer at 17 (they offered me the position of chief engineer and I declined due to be elevated responsibility).

    On the air as a personality, at the number one rock station at 19 in Baltimore, WKTK.

    At 21, I designed and speced out, built a custom console from scratch for the second largest studio in Baltimore at the time, Hallmark Films & Recordings in 1978. It was there that I recorded a couple of demos for this sweet little 14-year-old girl, Alan Amos, later to be known as Tori Amos.

    Onward and upward to NBC radio in Washington as an on air engineer and maintenance technician, later to NBC television network for mostly talking head shows along with designing, building other custom consoles for WKYS radio, out of a box of API parts, imitated but never equaled.

    By 1990, along with my NBC position, I had designed and constructed one of the most comprehensive audio trucks, in the Washington DC, metro area, in a Mercedes-Benz 1117, with a Sphere Eclipse C console along with all of the vintage and sweet dynamics processing available. By 1996, I had acquired a custom vintage NEVE from NBC and replaced the Sphere. Along with all this malarkey, I've been nominated for a Grammy (for American Diva, recorded in New Zealand, for DELOS Records, with an additional pair of Sanken CU41s, loaned microphones from John Eargle), an EMMY (for a Verdi ,Requiem, the biggest production since 1958, in the big studio at NBC) and a Soul Train Music Award, for Yolanda Adams, Live.

    Yes, I guess I am a snob? It's just that reading these threads, everybody seems to be so pompous, with people only focusing upon technical blah blah. I am not so much into the blah blah. I love what I do and function based on emotion and spontaneity and not technical blah blah.

    And, this past October I turned 50! So, if everybody else here believes they are technically superior, they probably are but so am I. I have a different take on how I approach things compared to most. That's why this is art and not completely science.

    Remy Ann David
  18. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Congrats on what sounds like a very fulfilling and interesting career, Remy!

    I also just turned 50 (July in my case) and find I love the work as much as ever, but I have very little time or patience for the BS that is so pervasive in this industry. Been there, done that, don't wanna do it ever again. It's great to have one foot firmly in the digital age, with another rooted in the golden analog past. We older folks get to have the best of both worlds.

    I too would love to be carded at a club, but that was a long longgggg time ago. I still see a 20-something kid staring back at me in the mirror, but I'm not kidding myself, and it's great to know now what I WISHED I knew then.

    50; it's the new 30!
  19. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Hey Joe!

    Nice to make the hookup with you. I feel the same way you do. Yes the amount of B.S. is rather rampant. Especially when everybody considers recording to be rocket science. It's not. It's art! The equipment stuff is just our instruments. If you are a great musician your music will sound great on lousy instruments. Yes we would all love to have the "strata various". I just love this voice-recognition, that was a good funny! And just like music, it interpreted what I was trying to say differently. I think that would be a great name for a studio? Strata various

    My passion is still toward music recording but things have certainly changed, a lot, in recent years, more so than than over my entire career span. I've been doing more video than audio these past few years. I like it very much because we are such a visual society. But I see sound! I always have. It's great to know that you have such a passion for music recording. Don't stop recording!

    I'm actually considering a move to Nashville. I've never been there but I think it's probably one of those new places in the world where sample loops are not as important as people still playing real instruments? I have personally turned away a lot of hip-hop, House and other sample loop-based recording. It's not for me. Yes it still another type of instrument, just not my favorite. Not a very practical business plan. I like what I'm hearing in modern country music these days. Takes me back to seventies rock. There I am again, living in the past, with my old console and dynamics processing and microphones, from the same era. My only difference in life these days? I stopped smoking pot! Remydavid@cox.net if you'd like to communicate further. This goes for anybody reading this thread.

    Remy Ann David
  20. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    WELL! Not to blow everyone away...but I only use EQ as a means to replace the dynamics lost when compressing.......

    :wink: 8) :shock: :D

    Thanx JP.

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