Discussion in 'Vocals' started by SpiritualRobot, May 13, 2006.

  1. So, I am learning how to use EQ...and I can't seem to get it right. Here is what I think I am supposed to do:

    I first EQ each instrument in my mix.
    I then EQ the vocals.
    After I mix them...I EQ again to give each part it's "pocket" in the mix.

    But here is where I have problems. I have no idea what to boost and what doesn't need boosting and what needs to be pushed down.

    How should I EQ instruments?
    How should I EQ vocals?
    How should I EQ the entire mix????

    Thanks for the help!!!!!!!!
  2. saemskin

    saemskin Active Member

    Nov 6, 2005
    there is no answer to this question my friend.
    Perhaps you could be more vague?
  3. Basically, I need some sort of guideline on what Hz need boosting to get more warm sounds, less noice, etc. etc. etc.

    For vocals, instruments (I use a Fantom X SPDIF into my CPU), and final mix.

    Thanks for any inquiry!
  4. Niliov

    Niliov Guest

    Which instruments?
    Which mics?
    What kind of acoustis?
    What kind of vocals?
    What do you want:

    So, basically there is no one answer to your question. I need to hear a rough mix first to be able to help (or maybe I'm not capable to help, that's another possibility of course).

    There are some basic guidelines like:
    the body of a violin is between 200-400 Hz or the presence of a guitar is somewhere between 3-6 Khz or boosting 7Khz will give a double bass a more livelier tone or cutting 60 hz on a bass and boosting 60 hz on a bass drum at the same time will give them more presence in a mix but these are only basic guidelines and maybe totally wrong for the piece of music you are mixing!

  5. sibleypeck

    sibleypeck Guest

    Do accomplished audio engineers really learn and memorize all the sonic characteristics of all the instruments they might record, and apply that knowledge to their EQs? Or do they just turn the knobs until their ears are happy?

  6. saemskin

    saemskin Active Member

    Nov 6, 2005
    I have a calendar put out by Massenberg Labs that profiles a particular instrument and its frequency range every month. I use only that, what do my ears know? :-?
  7. sibleypeck

    sibleypeck Guest

    I'm guessing that presets must take about three to four years off the learning curve. If they ever come out with a DAW that includes virtual talent, I'll have it made.

  8. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:
    Yup, that's one way to start.

    Sure, that'll work.

    Correct, that's one more way to do it... maybe even a lather, rinse and repeat... and/or you might do nothing, or you might say screw it and retrack, or...???

    That's the million dollar question, isn't it?

    With the knobs?!?

    Hell I dunno, maybe so they sound right... like the instruments they are... but that's a generality. (kinda' like the question)

    So that they sound right, too.

    Hint... you don't... generally. But there are always exceptions to the rule... if there are any rules anymore.

    No problem.

    Do you think you could possibly be any more vague?

    I can only guess that you may be trying to figure out what frequency ranges do different instruments occupy. If that's the case, do a google. Most universities have that somewhere on their websites.

    Google Muscle Shoals, Motown, George Martin, Quincy Jones... see if any of these or any other famous producers and/or studio and/or labels can give you some insight as to what you're really asking for.

    Use the search function here with the key words you're looking for... or you could even read the FAQ's in this and in the other forums. I've seen a couple that might be what you're looking for... but that's just a guess.

    Sorry to be a tad harsh dude, but you're asking for the equivelant of the secret of life with the generalities.

    If you could maybe narrow your question down to at least this solar system instead of the whole universe, it could actually lead folks down a path to help a bit more.

    When you say warmth... in what? Bass? OH's, Lead Gut? Sitar? Tablas? Vox, Verb, Delay? or what?

    EQ'ing for less noise?? Just track clean!! Otherwise, isolate the noise... squeeze the "Q" down and sweep the EQ to find the offending component(s) and then cut it/them.

    Noise is a relative term... I've cut some noise by just muting the track... The band didn't appreciate the lead vox being missing... but the noise WAS gone! :twisted:

    Hopefully you'll be able to find some info that will give you a bit more insight about your specific problems... then come back here with those specific issues which we can help you nail down or iron out.

    And one more thing... PRAY that Shotgun don't find this thread! Good gawd... you have NO idea.

  9. sibleypeck

    sibleypeck Guest

    Wow! That was good for you. Was it good for me, too?
  10. good for me as well. Thanks guys, I am just going with the 'ol turn the knobs until they sound good. Kinda thing, but I appreciate your insights. Thanks
  11. i would say to take a different approach. if you start by making everything sound good on its own, you're missing the concept of a mix. in the end, they all need to gel together, so if you eq in high end on all the tracks, and then put them all together and they don't sound right, i wouldn't be surprised.

    i always try to listen to things in conext. put all your faders up and just listen. carve out space for each instrument if they are stepping on eachother, but don't go in and eq everything if it doesn't really need it. always refrence a track with what it sounds like in a mix.

    hope that makes sense.
  12. skawful

    skawful Guest

    my 2 cents:

    *know your monitors*
    before you start mixing sit back with a nice drink and listen to 30 minutes of some of your favorite stuff -- stuff you know really well and can easily reference....THEN

    set your volumes:
    -start on bass
    -then kick
    -then drums
    -then vox!
    -then guitars/others
    -then melody

    ------start again-----
    -eq your bass against your kick and maybe ** low toms/guitars if needed* (for kick: mud is around 400 and can give some life to your drum if you nock it out a little, dont roll off the highs they will never actually fight with anything..dont let it get drowned out in the mix,,,,,its gotta cut through stuff... and cut your sub freq's (around 60+hz) just a little and let the bass own those freqs...)

    -solo your drums and make em sound right, un solo and slightly correct. lose a lot of low/mid freqs on the hats and other symbols... be careful with crashes -- make em cut through the whole mix.

    -depends on the music**for guitars cut some mud and depending on the music roll off the lows and lower mids but not too much...

    -bass/mid cut on the vox but don't make em sound too thin

    YOUR GOAL IS TO MAKE EVERYTHING DEFINED (unless you want it to melt into the mix)

    use these guidelines:

    -Make it stick out? roll off the lows/mids (never too much)

    -Make it blend in? roll off the highs and upper mids (nevvver too much)

    REMEMBER: muuuuud exists at around 400hz and don't be afraid of highs you want this fucker to cut through like a ^#$%ing knife.

    final part of eq mixing:

    -mastering will ultimately give you that whoa sound

    -keep your volumes riding at -5/-6db so they have room to hammer that mix to the maxx.

    -also remember that you should always fool around with your Q when cutting and boosting...

    -and remember that major boost causes phase shift.... you can always cut the opposite freqs and raise volume instead of boosting a lot...

    one other random tip: EQ is only for fine tuning and making everything "mix" together well.... so when recording you should already **know** the sound you want **and have the sound you want** dont ever let yourself think *aww we'll get it when mixing*

    and finally a disclaimer:
    i'm a 19 year old kid that has no education or anything regaurding mixing so take my advice only knowing that it could be completely wrong.
  13. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    Dec 28, 2001
    I think that EQ'ing is more of an art than a science, although there is no denying that without an understanding of the science, it would be difficult to do good art. (or something like that) EQ'ing audio is something that one can only hope to ever improve upon throughout whatever audio related carreer path that you choose. I've been to an amazing engineering school, broadcasting school, worked in the industry now for about 7 years on a daily basis and I can only say that EQ'ing sound is something that I've just had to train my ears to listen for. Sure, there are sonic realities (science) like understanging inharent frequecies of different sound sources but none of that takes into account a mics freq. responce, room accoustics, your monitors, mic positioning, recording medium, a-d process, d-a process and the list goes on and on. EQ'ing for me at least just takes practice. You start to recognize the differences between sound sources just because you've heard them so many times before. There's not "a guitar should sound like this" sound, just like if you mix a guitar and someone else doesn't like how it sounds, but you truly do, is it wrong? That's where the art form comes into place. There's no denying that if you want to create mainstream products and what think is great, no one else likes, then you may want to consider exploring other ways to EQ things. BUT, you and only you must learn the art of EQ'ing audio and a really good place to start is by researching and learning the science of frequencies.

    There, I hope I didn't just frighten or confuse you away from ever wanting to EQ anything again, it's just that there may never be any simple answers to your question of "how to EQ" something.

    Good luck!
  14. DIGIT

    DIGIT Guest

    EQ is like sugar in coffee: some like it black, some like sweet, etc...

    Personally, I prefer to start with the BEST coffee beans possible :wink:
  15. dementedchord

    dementedchord Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2006
    i even grind each pot fresh...

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