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Using "Match EQ" technique at mastering

Member for

16 years
Hi everyone,

I've been messing with a series of songs to attempt to come up with a coherent sound before burning a CD.

Each individual track sounds quite nice, but when you start to compare them with one another, it becomes clear that the eQ of each song is not really the same. Obviously, even with excellent individual mixes, you're going to get a degree of difference in the sound from track to track.

To what extent do you guys delve into the eQ of individual songs when mastering albums?

Is using a "match EQ" plugin like the one provided with Logic 8 a realistic way of getting coherent EQing over he course of an album?
Does it just do what experienced mastering engineers do with their ears?

Thanks a lot

Comments

Member for

21 years

Member Sat, 02/09/2008 - 15:07
Don't be so fast there dude.

Some really amazing sounding albums aren't completely consistent eq wise from start to finish.
Converge - Jane Doe is one example that comes to mind. Maybe not the nicest sounding listenif it isn't your type of music, but just as the songs take you on a journey, so does the sound of each song. The tone of the guitar varies greatly from track to track, levels of different instruments may be much lower or much higher if the song calls for it. The VOLUME is pretty consistent from track to track, and that's all it needs to be.
Texturally, it's constantly moving, shifting, and IMO, it's all the better for it.

Dream Theater - Falling Into Infinity had all the songs mixed seperately rather than in one session, each song has its own character, and it's a nice sounding album.

Don't be so quick to match the eq from song to song, it might just make for a more interesting final product!

Just my 2 cents! =]

Member for

19 years

Michael Fossenkemper Thu, 02/07/2008 - 07:11
well this gets a little trickier than just matching eq, it involves everything. Before you grab for the eq, you have to make sure you are in the ballpark level wise. Then you'll know what eq is needed to bring a track into the ballpark eq wise to the others. The key is matching the level first, not the eq. Where it gets tricky is when an out of balance mix is screwing with your ability to match the level. In this case, you need to balance the mix a little to get the level. Where it gets even more tricky is when the level you are going for is very hot.

Member for

17 years 2 months

Massive Mastering Thu, 02/07/2008 - 11:58
Is using a "match EQ" plugin like the one provided with Logic 8 a realistic way of getting coherent EQing over he course of an album?
Does it just do what experienced mastering engineers do with their ears?
Absolutely, positively not. But don't believe me - Try it for yourself and see how close it comes to "matching" the EQ curve. And if it indeed does match the curve, see if there is coherence. See if they actually sound similar.

Member for

16 years

Jaike Thu, 02/07/2008 - 16:25
OK,

Thanks for your replies...

I was never suggesting that it was gonna do a proper mastering job for you, but I've been playing around with it, and it seems like a fairly versatile, and with a certain amount of discretion, transparent tool.

If you just want to create a global, coherent sound for a series of demos or whatever, give it a try. You can adjust to what extent the plugin 'matches' the eq of the source track, and smooth out the eq to avoid strange, unnatural eqing as a result of applying one curve to another.

Not entirely convincing, but interesting nonetheless...

I've only tried the plugin included with Logic 8. Is there an equivalent in Cubase? A VST version or something?
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