EQ Reference (Very Useful Guide)

Tutorials to help you get the best out of your mixing progies. Please feel free to ask any mixing/editing/production problem questions here.
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EQ Reference (Very Useful Guide)

Post Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:55 am

Okay so an inspiring DJ/producer I follow on facebook, Mikael Willis, posted this guide which he found and it is simply superb!

It can be found here in full:

I have taken the parts which can be useful for Mashups and posted them below, if you look on the page however, there are more for stuff like hats and kicks, etc. To utilize this information: Grab a Spectrum Analyser VST if your DAW does not have one already or, ideally, an 8 part EQ with built in spectrum analyser.

General :
20 Hz and below - impossible to detect, remove as it only adds unnecessary energy to the total sound, thereby most probably holding down the overall volume of the track
60 Hz and below - sub bass (feel only)
80(-100) Hz - feel AND hear bass
100-120 Hz - the "club sound system punch" resides here
200 Hz and below - bottom
250 Hz - notch filter here can add thump to a kick drum
150-400 Hz - boxiness
200 Hz-1.5 KHz - punch, fatness, impact
800 Hz-4 KHz - edge, clarity, harshness, defines timbre
4500 Hz - extremely tiring to the ears, add a slight notch here
5-7 KHz - de-essing is done here
4-9 KHz - brightness, presence, definition, sibilance, high frequency distortion
6-15 KHz - air and presence
9-15 KHz - adding will give sparkle, shimmer, bring out details - cutting will smooth out harshness and darken the mix

General - Tips:
Boost: To thicken up bass drums and sub-bass parts.
Cut: Below this frequency on all vocal tracks. This should reduce the effect of any microphone 'pops'.
Boost: For bass lines and bass drums.
Cut: For vocals.
General: Be wary of boosting the bass of too many tracks. Low frequency sounds are particularly vulnerable to phase cancellation between sounds of similar frequency. This can result in a net 'cut of the bass frequencies.
Boost: To add warmth to vocals or to thicken a guitar sound.
Cut: To bring more clarity to vocals or to thin cymbals and higher frequency percussion.
Boost or Cut: to control the 'woody' sound of a snare.
Boost: To add warmth to toms.
Boost or Cut: To control bass clarity, or to thicken or thin guitar sounds.
General: In can be worthwhile applying cut to some of the instruments in the mix to bring more clarity to the bass within the overall mix.
Boost: To thicken vocal tracks. At 1 KHz apply boost to add a knock to a bass drum.
Boost: To make a piano more aggressive. Applying boost between 1KHz and 5KHz will also make guitars and basslines more cutting.
Cut: Apply cut between 2 KHz and 3KHz to smooth a harsh sounding vocal part.
General: This frequency range is often used to make instruments stand out in a mix.
Boost: For a more 'plucked' sounding bass part. Apply boost at around 6KHz to add some definition to vocal parts and distorted guitars.
Cut: Apply cut at about 3KHz to remove the hard edge of piercing vocals. Apply cut between 5KHZ and 6KHz to dull down some parts in a mix.
Boost: To sweeten vocals. The higher the frequency you boost the more 'airy/breathy' the result will be. Also boost to add definition to the sound of acoustic guitars or to add edge to synth sounds or strings or to enhance the sound of a variety of percussion sounds. For example boost this range to:
Bring out cymbals.
Add ring to a snare.
Add edge to a bass drum.
Boos: To make vocals more 'airy' or for crisp cymbals and percussion. Also boost this frequency to add sparkle to pads, but only if the frequency is present in the original sound, otherwise you will just be adding hiss to the recording.

Fullness at 120 Hz,
Boominess at 200 - 240 Hz,
Presence at 5 kHz,
Sibilance at 7.5 - 10 kHz

Roll off below 60Hz using a High Pass Filter. This range is unlikely to contain anything useful, so you may as well reduce the noise the track contributes to the mix.
Treat Harsh Vocals: To soften vocals apply cut in a narrow bandwidth somewhere in the 2.5KHz to 4KHz range.
Get An Open Sound: Apply a gentle boost above 6KHz using a shelving filter.
Get Brightness, Not Harshness: Apply a gentle boost using a wide-band Bandpass Filter above 6KHz. Use the Sweep control to sweep the frequencies to get it right.
Get Smoothness: Apply some cut in a narrow band in the 1KHz to 2KHz range.
Bring Out The Bass: Apply some boost in a reasonably narrow band somewhere in the 200Hz to 600Hz range.
Radio Vocal Effect: Apply some cut at the High Frequencies, lots of boost about 1.5KHz and lots of cut below 700Hz.
Telephone Effect: Apply lots of compression pre EQ, and a little analogue distortion by turning up the input gain. Apply some cut at the High Frequencies, lots of boost about 1.5KHz and lots of cut below 700Hz.

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Re: EQ Reference (Very Useful Guide)

Post Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:07 am

Yeah, this is very handy. Thanks.
self-proclaimed Mashstix judge of artistic expression / satis5d at sowndhaus.audio

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Re: EQ Reference (Very Useful Guide)

Post Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:52 am

What a find, Firth! This is a fantastic "Cheat Sheet!" Gonna have to bookmark that URL for future reference.

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Re: EQ Reference (Very Useful Guide)

Post Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:21 am

VERY NICE! :1cool:

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Re: EQ Reference (Very Useful Guide)

Post Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:30 am

Glad it can be of some help; after 2 years I was starting to think nobody would bother with this thread :1laugh:

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