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Hogging up all the frequencies like a friggin’ frat boy

Did I ever tell you the story of when got super annoyed at this fratboy at the gym and his entitled exercise routine?

It’s a short story but it made for a good analogy about EQ so I’ll tell you again:

I was at the gym and this guy was using two machines at the same time.

I was walking up to one of them while he was busy working out on the second one.

He stops his workout and gets all in my face like the frat boy he is.

“Hey. I’m using that!”

Super hostile for no reason. Gotta love it…

Let me make this a little clearer. He stops his workout because someone else is about to use a machine he isn’t even using!

Not only is it impossible to use two machines at the same time but it’s also extremely rude to hog both of them without letting people work in between your sets.

Bro’y fratboy douchebags. They’re the worst.

But it got me thinking about EQ.

Big instruments take up a lot of space in the frequency spectrum.

They tend to get in the way of every other instrument because they’re covering almost every frequency. When you’re mixing you need to take care of them. They can’t get in the way of everything else. They can’t take up the whole frequency spectrum just like the douchebag at the gym can’t use every machine at the same time.

There are two ways to fix this situation:

  • Use filters and big cuts to make room for all the other things in the mix. Just like ignoring the guy from the gym, cutting him off from his machine and using it myself.
  • Use automation after EQ’ing to make each instrument come in when it’s supposed to. With automation you can make instruments weave in and out out of the mix so that the focus is always on the lead instrument, not the frequency hog that can stay in the background. That’s similar to sharing the gym equipment so that one person works in while the other person rests.

Making all the instruments fit together is a crucial aspect of getting a good mix. And you can achieve that easily with EQ by simply trimming the fat, focusing on the major frequencies of each instrument and automating your mix to make it breathe.

Get started with better EQ in mixing right here:

Image by: RosieTulips

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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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  • Ha! I’ve been in that Frat boy greedy little spoiled whatnot position before. Good point though got me thinking about EQ, Next time just start singing the My Little Broney Song really loud, or start repeating everything he says and following him around , Mirroring his behavior, It’s good for giggles, but maybe not the most mature thing to do. Or, reply to his outburst with something absolutely not even remotely connected to what he’s freaking about, like like The Transition from Feudalism to a Merchant Artisan society as a result of the Black death. That usually stops them cold.