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Sweeping Frequencies? Parametric EQ's

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Shacke, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. Shacke

    Shacke Guest

    Hi, I keep reading articles about narrowing the Q and sweeping the frequencies to find the problem frequency.

    Can anyone please tell me what the physical act of sweeping the frequencies is please, is it actually tweaking the Frequency knob up and down and if it is, what exactly should I be listening for?

    I have tried it narrowing the Q and turning the frequecy knob all over the place, but just find that the sound chages as I turn it, so I really don't know if i'm doing the right thing and what to be listening for.
  2. mapostel

    mapostel Guest

    Hi Shacke,

    Yes indeed - that's it. Of course together with a more or less strong boost with the gain knob.
    You are using the EQ as a "magnifying glass" in order to identify the frequency range that you want to affect. This can either be an annoying frequency band (that you would cut subsequently) or it might be a frequency range that you want to encourage by boosting (of course with broader bandwidth and moderate gain).

  3. Shacke

    Shacke Guest

    Thanks a lot, it's much clearer now.
  4. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

    Mar 19, 2001
    New Milford, CT USA
    Home Page:

    > Can anyone please tell me what the physical act of sweeping the frequencies is <

    The first step is to determine just by listening what needs improving. A lot of tracks do not need a single frequency reduced that way. For example, an acoustic guitar may be basically okay, and need only a little overall treble boost to make it clearer.

    The technique you describe is useful in two situations. One is when an instrument has a honky tone, or a nasal quality, or is too boomy in the upper bass range. The other time sweeping is useful is to find the sweet range of an instrument, so you'll know what to reduce on other tracks to make the first one stand out better.

    When I determine that a track has an obnoxious quality that needs to be reduced I do what you described: Set the Q fairly narrow (2-5) and add a substantial amount of boost, then sweep the frequency knob until it sounds the worst. That identifies the problem frequency. Then I bring the boost back down to zero so my ears get used to the original sound for a few moments, and finally I reduce that band a little - maybe 2 to 3 dB.

  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    As Ethan points out
    I find that almost all tracks or sources have what I term a "resonant frequency", that is a frequency that stands out more than any other. I try to find these with the aforementioned technique and attenuate them a few dB. This makes this element more "transparent" inthe mix. Sometimes I will try this on something and not be able to find anything objectionable. When this happens, I will turn off the EQs on that track and smile, big ... Kurt
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  6. Shacke

    Shacke Guest

    You guys have really been helpful, thanks a lot.

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