The Simple Guide To EQ

1. EQ: The Smart Volume Knob

EQ is by far the most powerful mixing tool you have in your home studio. But to many mixers (new and old alike) it’s a confusing tool that, if abused, can make your music harsh and unnatural.

The truth is EQ is way simpler than we make it out to be.

Welcome to the 7 part series on how to get the most out of your EQ plugins when mixing – and it starts with seeing an EQ for what it really is: a smart volume knob.

2. Subtractive EQ

EQ can be used to either boost or cut. Simple. But did you know that subtractive EQ (cutting) has twice as many benefits as boosting?

Every cut reveals the best of what’s left while at the same time freeing up much needed headroom in your mix.

In this lesson of our Mixing With EQ series, I show you why subtractive EQ is my preferred method.

3. Additive EQ

Boosting with EQ is the most natural mixing move you make. But it can also be the most devastating one if you’re not too careful.

As I pointed out last time, subtractive EQ is twice as powerful as additive EQ, but that doesn’t mean you can’t boost with success.

In this lesson, I want to show you how to approach additive EQ the right way – as a tool to simply enhance the good in your tracks.

4. Level Matching

How can you know for sure that your EQ moves are helping a track? What if you’re simply making the track louder and that’s why you like it?

These are questions every mixer must face when attempting the proper EQ tweaks – and yet most of us don’t.

In this lesson, I want to show you how I approach level matching with EQ and how it can give you confidence in your EQ decisions.

5. Carving EQ Holes

Mixing with EQ is all about creating space for every track to sit nicely together. Today I have a powerful trick to help you do just that – carving out EQ holes.

This one strategy, when used on only the outside instruments in your mix can give you more clarity + width in just minutes!

6. Mix Buss EQ

If there was one EQ technique I could show you that would help you get better sounding mixes in the least amount of time it would be mix buss EQ.

By beginning your mix with some strategic EQ on your master fader (mix buss) you can give your mix a head start to awesome – and with only one plugin!

Full disclosure, the effect is subtle – but it really helps.

7. Top 3 EQ Mistakes

EQ seems so simple when you first start using it. A little boost here, a little cut there – and BAM you have a better (hopefully) sounding mix!

But that never seemed to happen when I first started using it. In fact, I made all kinds of mistakes – things that I thought were unique to me. Turns out I was not alone.

After 7+ years of teaching people how to make better sounding music I’ve seen 3 huge EQ mistakes creep up and today I want to share them with you in the hopes that you’ll be able to identify them in your workflow, adjust your method, and reap the rewards of a better sounding tracks!