What actually happens when you eq guitars too much?
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Thread: What actually happens when you eq guitars too much?

  1. #1


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    What actually happens when you eq guitars too much?

    A lot of mixing guides I see say to use as little eq as possible on guitars, but they never give any reasons as to why. I've done a ton of surgical eq as well as boosting a few frequencies on guitar tracks before, and the quality of the thing didn't seem to suffer all that much, although, granted, I still have fuck all idea of what I'm doing. What's going on?

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  3. #2


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    If it sounds better to your ears, that's really all that matters IMO.

    Having said that, the idea is to have a good sounding source tone that doesn't need to be surgically EQ'd to death in order to sound good. In a perfect world, HPF/LPF would be all you need, and maybe a mid notch in rhythms to help leads poke out. But usually what happens is that we all just end up making a mess that sounds like shit compared to the non-EQ'd track.

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    Quote Originally Posted by T Gobbs View Post
    A lot of mixing guides I see say to use as little eq as possible on guitars, but they never give any reasons as to why.
    That might be true for clean sounds, but totally unworkable on acoustics or high-gain electrics.

    I've seen distorted guitar described as equivalent to white noise. It sucks up all the available frequencies below 2k, and you have to EQ the fuck out of it to get anything else in that range to be audible.

    I'm hardly a mixologist, but I always HPF anything below about 150 Hz and put in a pretty deep scoop around 500 Hz. Do those things, and the bass guitar magically shows up in your mix. I don't scoop as much in the 800-1000 Hz range as some folks, as I think it's more important to arrange things so that the distorted rhythm guitars are mostly in a different octave than the vocals or lead guitars. However, I *will* cut out quite a bit around 250 Hz on lead guitars, so the rhythm *thunk* comes through. I also dial down the leads at around 5k and give the rhythms a slight boost there so that they "frame" the leads.

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    The technical reason is phase shift and phase distortion.

    When tracking with vintage style EQ the guys who trained me are VERY aggressive while tracking, but tend to be gentle while mixing if it was tracked right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lopez View Post
    The technical reason is phase shift and phase distortion.

    When tracking with vintage style EQ the guys who trained me are VERY aggressive while tracking, but tend to be gentle while mixing if it was tracked right.
    It took me a long time to hear phasing from EQing. You can hear it in amateur mixing often. Im sure I still do it as my hearing is getting worse and worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lopez View Post
    The technical reason is phase shift and phase distortion.

    When tracking with vintage style EQ the guys who trained me are VERY aggressive while tracking, but tend to be gentle while mixing if it was tracked right.
    Interesting...

    EQing while tracking means you actually have to know what you're doing beforehand. I guess that rules me out.

  10. #8


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    Quote Originally Posted by schreckmusic View Post
    It took me a long time to hear phasing from EQing. You can hear it in amateur mixing often. Im sure I still do it as my hearing is getting worse and worse.
    What does that sound like? Does it just sound more thin?

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