EQ Guide/Cheat Sheet - Page 2

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Thread: EQ Guide/Cheat Sheet

  1. #9


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: IL
    ME: JS2000/Warmoth
    MA: Seagull S6
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    I wish I would have bet money this would get torn apart here.
    Disclaimer: I work ultra part-time for a local music gear dealer. And as a male plus-sized model for mankinis.

  2. #10


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Somerville, Ma
    ME: Suhr Modern 7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frost View Post
    I'm pretty shit at mixing myself but I'm getting better and learning to use my ears more, instead of going for a certain EQ curve look. I understand the intent of the guide; it gives you a ballpark association of certain sound characteristics, which is fine. Sadly, many people (ESPECIALLY youngsters) will simply refuse to use their ears and rely on visuals and arbitrary frequency bands. This way of thinking plagues "modern ""metal""" bands in particular, because they just want presets for basically everything. preset guitar tones, bass tones, drum sounds, EQ, Mastering, etc. I've heard so so many honky, muddy mixes because they heard their favorite engineer do something, and imitated to a T.
    I totally get the appeal, because in theory at least you'd think the ability to "visualize" the frequency concentrations of a sound would be both something new that didn't exist 25 years ago, and potentially a new source of information that could be incorporated into your workflow to provide new insights and an improved mix.

    In practice, however, I'm just not seeing it. Two real problems - one, while it's useful to know something's THERE in a sound, a simple frequency graph doesn't provide any qualitative information about whether something is "good." A sound with a pronounced hump around 200k could sound muddy and could be cleaned up by removing some of that energy with an EQ, or alternatively that could be a really critical and pronounced overtone that really adds a lot to the sound of the instrument, and would be desirable to leave. Over and above that, it also doesn't account for how that interacts with everything ELSE in the mix.

    Quote Originally Posted by jacksonplayer View Post
    The better you plan your arrangements ahead of time, the easier your mixes will be and the more you can just let the instruments' natural sound stay relatively unaltered. Bass guitar is probably the biggest exception to that, since it's always going to pile up with kick drums and the low end of a distorted rhythm guitar.
    Man, this, so much. I've been doing a recording project with my dad and uncle that typically has both piano and acoustic guitar on a track, and one of the things I learned in a hurry from the first session or two we did was that the best way to tackle a song was to play through it as a group, and then try to figure out collectively which instrument was the "core" one to the song. If it was a piano-driven song, then keep the acoustic guitar parts simple and mixed back, and if it had a busy acoustic guitar as the primary accompaniament, then keep the piano simple (at least, until any solo sections), and in addition in a couple cases we found "electric piano" sounds tended to work a lot better since they had a less pronounced attack. Songs that drove me crazy the first time we recorded them, in a couple cases where we scrapped them and started over, came together a LOT faster once we all agreed what the "main" accompanying instrument (because, let's be honest, all of this is secondary to the vocal) and what was the supporting one.

    I've also learned way more than I've ever wanted about slip editing, since one of 'em in particular plays to a much looser timing standard than I hold myself to, but that's a different story (and one that's been driving me to drink ).

    I should actually post up a few clips from that in here, since I don't usually do vocal music (or folk-rock stuff in general) and I wouldn't mind some second opinions that I'm going in the right direction.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a bit dicier." - David Foster Wallace

  3. #11


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Herndon, VA
    ME: Jackson Soloist
    Rig: Fractal Audio Axe-FX II

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    Piano and acoustic guitar are tough to match up together. I'd generally avoid having them play in the same register, and certainly not doubling parts.

    I probably broke that rule a little bit with my new country song (see my "Mother's Day" thread), but the piano part there was originally on a Wurlitzer A200 sample. I just couldn't get that sound to play well in this mix, and it all came together the moment I switched the part to a grand piano. My mix was basically done right there. Panning and differing rhythmic patterns help the acoustic stand out in that mix, at least enough to make it work.

  4. #12


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Somerville, Ma
    ME: Suhr Modern 7
    MA: Martin MC16-GTE
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacksonplayer View Post
    Piano and acoustic guitar are tough to match up together. I'd generally avoid having them play in the same register, and certainly not doubling parts.
    Doubling, actually, could be kind of effective. The problem I had is that my uncle likes writing busy-but-quiet-and-not-really-in-time fingerpicking parts, while my dad likes to kind of improv piano accompaniament in more of a melodic fashion than a "comping" one, so the upshot is left to their own devices there's a whole bunch of notes going on at once, and they're not always the same ones and usually slightly out of sync. I'm gonna turn this into a good sounding project, but the process just may kill me.

  5. #13


    Join Date: Jan 2013
    Location: Ohio
    ME: USA Strat/LP, TAM10
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    "Don't be a pussy with EQ!"
    - Steven Slate


    Words to live by.

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