Beware of Spoon Licker Filtering Out Your Low-End
Keep your low-end under surveillance today because Spoon Licker is the fourth Yulelad to come down from the mountain to play tricks on your tracks.
He’s an abnormally thin and malnourished lad. Because of that, he’s set his sights on the low-end of your mixes to make you feel just how awful it is to be so thin.
As you snore in the middle of the night, he sneaks into your studio and filters out all the low-end of your mixes. The next day you can’t understand why the mix from the day before now sounds so toppy and thin.
To your horror, you discover that your high-pass filters are all set to 500 Hz, from the kick drum to the mix bus!
But don’t worry, in your shoe sits this handy passage about filtering from Your Ultimate Guide to EQ:
“Filtering is the first step in EQ’ing. It’s like cleaning up the clutter before you can make your room nice. All instruments have frequency ranges that get in the way of other instruments in a mix.
Don’t fear the filter. It’s the best way to eliminate low-end buildup and clutter from instruments that don’t need it. However, even though filtering is the most basic part of EQ, it can also be the most destructive.
As we’ve talked about before, filtering is basically when you eliminate all the frequencies either above or below a certain cut-off frequency. Filtering too much can severely compromise the sound of an instrument. Too much high-pass filtering and you end up with a shrill sounding and thin signal.
Too much low-pass filtering and you end up with an instrument that sounds like it’s coming through the wall.
Try it. Cut all the high-end down to about 500 Hz or so and listen to how you’ve effectively created a wall between your ears and your sound source.
But how do you beat the fear of filtering too much?
When you are using EQ you need to be aware of how everything sounds together. Something might sound really tight and punchy with all those EQ boosts, but when you add it in with everything else it just smothers the mix. You have a limited canvas, and you need to paint a picture where you can see everything. One the other hand, one thing to keep in mind is to make sure you don’t filter out the lowest pitches of the instruments or vocals.
If a piano is playing a part in the upper registers in the verse and you set your filter according to that higher part, you might destroy the sound of the chorus if all of a sudden the piano starts playing really low notes. So make sure you filter in the context of what the instruments are playing.”
If you liked this gift today, please check out the full version of EQ Strategies – Your Ultimate Guide to EQ here.
Do I hear the clanging of pots and pans in the distance? That must be Potscrapers’s bounty echoing off the canyons as he sneaks away with his loot from the next town over.
He should be here tomorrow, and what kind of tricks will he play on your tracks then?
You’ll have to keep an eye on your inbox to find out.