Sunday, June 19, 2016

HSS Episode 029-Debunking EQ Myths


One of the Mixing Engineers best friends is the trusty EQ. It is one of those mysterious elements that can't immediately be heard, whether it is right or wrong, that is unless it is horribly wrong, or incredibly right. It also is one of the areas of Mixing that requires the most patience and training. However, there are a lot of myths surrounding EQ that I would like to dispel.

Myth #1

EQ Can Fix Anything

This is an obvious lie. Yet, so many individuals have this mindset at first. The fact is a bad recording cannot be EQ'd into perfection, and there are times when we just have ti cut our losses and re-record that take. I will never forget the time I spent a week on one mix trying to get the Bass to set in it properly. After many late nights of me banging my head off the desk, and pretty much wanting to throw my computer out a window, the thought hit me.... "Maybe I should just re-record the Bass?"

One take later, I mean literally 5 minutes later, and I had a Bass track that set perfectly in the mix!

Myth #2

You Can Add Bass Later

I have been on a Bass kick here lately, and so here I go again. My recent post was spun to help tame that beast, and this portion of the article is to make sure that beast is still in the cage at all. Thinking that you can add Bass back into a track after you have recorded it is another fallacy. Once a track, especially a Bass track, has been recorded you cannot add anything back into it (using EQ) that you have cut out before the recorded finale. So many have tried, in futility, to add Bass back into a track that they have already removed. You cannot boost or even cut anything that isn't there.

Myth #3

All EQ's Are The Same

If this were the case, why would there be so many? The fact is there are no two alike! Every EQ regardless of its designer has some sonic difference from another. Through trial and error you can pinpoint which one really works for you. The differences in most EQ processors, whether they be outboard gear or plug-ins, are not incredibly noticeable to the untrained ear, but all of them do boost and cut differently for sure. One of the biggest differences is that each one has a different interface and some contain extra elements that others do not. (i.e. frequency spectrum analyzers, limiters, etc.)

Myth #4

You Have To EQ Every Track

When I first started recording, this was my thought. Then I had this revelation one day while recording an acoustic guitar. I went to place it in the mix, going through the usual measures, when I noticed that it fit perfectly. It fit perfectly! No EQ, no compression, no clever mixing tricks, just an amazing recording! Now, I can't say that I didn't still take the preventative approach, (HPF @ 80 hz) but I didn't have to do anything else to it!


Check out this episode!