If you ask most sound techs what makes a great audio engineer they’ll probably say something like:
“Train your ears and learn how to master EQ.”
It’s true. Learning how to EQ is one of the most important skills you can develop and practice if you want to be a good audio engineer.
That goes for recording engineers and live sound techs alike.
EQ has the power to shape and shift the character of your sound like no other tool in your audio toolbox.
So, how do you train your ears and learn how to EQ?
There are a few ways to get practice.
- You can listen to different tones and practice identifying sine waves by ear.
- You can work on instrument tuning and correlate notes with frequencies.
And it’s always helpful to critically listen to several different styles of music, especially the symphony, picking out different instruments and hearing how they fit in the mix.
All of that can seem like a big challenge when starting out, but there is a simple tool that thousands of sound engineers have used to get better at EQ.
You need to learn exactly where different instruments and vocals fit in the mix and what frequency ranges they occupy. And it can help to get a good visual of how this works.
If you’ve been looking for a great EQ resource to study, then I think you’ll like today’s free download.
This chart is provided by James Wasem from the Great Sound Institute.
You might not know this but James is an incredibly valuable member of the Audio Issues team. He’s been working with me since last summer as the editor to all of my eBooks and studio resources. So far we’ve worked on four eBooks together, three of which have already been published to a great reception by you guys!
He’s a great live sound engineer and this week I’m bringing him on board to share more of his live sound wisdom with you guys. You’ll hear more from him tomorrow, but in the meantime go grab your EQ chart.
This EQ chart shows all of the common instruments and where they fit in the frequency spectrum.
One of the great things about this chart is that it shows you the fundamental frequency ranges, notes, and octaves that correspond to those instruments.
Keep an eye on your inbox in the next few days for more live sound tips in our series:
- How to Get Great Live (and Studio) Sound
Are You Making These 3 Live Sound Mistakes?
- How to Accomplish a Great Sound Check
Cheers, and thanks again for being a subscriber!
Björgvin and James