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The do's and don'ts of EQ


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2 hours ago, Squee said:

Oh, and if you feel adventurous... check out M/S EQ to really clean up the low end.

In this vein, but in a perhaps more basic bitch fashion, I always have a plugin on the masterbus that makes everything below a certain frequency mono. Have it at 120 hz by default but adjust it as things progress.  

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11 hours ago, Squee said:

Keep an eye out for the muddy low mids. Nobody likes those guys.

This is my main issue currently, I get a lot of low frequency artifacts due to my technique, and being able to detect them for elimination isn’t always easy.

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2 hours ago, Wunderbar said:

There might be some context missing though

one thing to keep in mind is that bob katz is a mastering engineer so this is oriented towards the whole mix, which is what that last paragraph is mainly about

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Most of the important stuff has already been posted.

The best EQ is the volume fader 

Paint in broad strokes. You don't need hard Q and a gazillion band splits everywhere. My general rule is to do half the adjustment I think it needs and let the brain adjust 

Avoid graphic interfaces, they tend to make us overdo things (brain sees squiggly curve and thinks more=more) 

Avoid EQ charts like the plague

Adding bass or air during writing/mixing usually takes you down a slippery slope

An adjustment on the stock Ableton EQ will sound pretty different from the same adjustment in an elysia musEq, Pultec etc.

Edited by chim
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On 10/1/2021 at 2:00 PM, d-a-m-o said:

Any tips on high pass filter ? Do you systematically put a high pass on every track under a certain frequency ?

re this, i wouldn't ever suggest putting EQ on anything that doesn't specifically need it, unless there's a problem with the song (muddy lows, etc as others have mentioned). i've tried that and wasted lots of time, just trying to 'clean up' the sound by clinically looking at every component of a song...it can very easily destroy a track's vibe.

but i'm not a pro at all, and i don't keep up with what the pros suggest so maybe they're EQing all the things.

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It could be an eq issue, or it could be composition. 

Don't forget you can use eq on busses/sends.  Useful for effects sends in particular.

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Great thread. I'd like to ask about M/S eq.
Am I correct in saying that M/S eq is the only way you can eq a sound that innately has stereo content? I think I can be a bit overly clinical with sounds when I inspect what's actually going on with them frequency wise and other than just using my ears/looking at the faders, I use M/S eq to just see what's going on with a sound full stop. I often find that a stereo sound has unnecessary low end content when I engage the S part of the ableton eq8 so my practice is often to cut the bass in the stereo field. Is that good practice generally? What I do note for sure is that creating a clear difference between the M and S frequency content really widens a sound for sure but I have to be careful not to boost too much in the stereo field just because it sounds nice when wider right. Maybe I'm not fully getting this tho.

Also, totally agree you have to eq in context. Don't think there's any other option. However, my experience is that you can really only tweak one eq on one track for one sound at a time without then physically clicking to the next track and then repeating the process. I suppose on a real mixing desk you'd have instant access to all eq settings as they are there on the board in front of you so yeah you can do it physically easier but on Ableton how is this done.... Midi mapping and then automating to listen in context?

Sent from my EML-L09 using Tapatalk

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13 hours ago, Danny O Flannagin said:

Do you guys put the compressor before or after EQ? 

There's no right or wrong way to go about it. Usually pre-comp EQ is for cutting, and post is for boosting. I prefer to do most compression before EQ as the EQ changes won't affect the compressor behavior. 

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