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Don’t be scared of this EQ move…

One common EQ problem on an overall mix is harshness.

Usually, you’re so scared of the low-mids and causing muddiness that you end up adding too much of the high-mids to compensate.

Sometimes, the solution to the harshness is something that is scary to think about, in theory.

This has happened to me and I fixed it in a way that I thought wouldn’t work.

You see, the overall mix I was working on was really aggressive and punchy, but it was still slightly piercing when I turned it up.

Our ears are most sensitive in the 3 kHz area so if your mix has a lot of high-mids it will sound painful if you turn it up too loud. Your ears just can’t handle it.

The thing was, I wanted to turn it up!

So I did something I didn’t think would sound good but absolutely saved the entire mix. It kept all the aggressiveness of the punk band in there while leaving your ears unharmed.

In fact, the band thought the song sounded so good they didn’t even ask for a single revision! That’s pretty rare.

You know what I did? It was simple really, and I’ll tell you all about if you purchase my brand new….

…Just kidding 🙂 Not even I can be that sales-y!

No, I just added a wide cut of 2.4 dB around the 3 kHz area. I thought this would make the mix sound muddy and lack clarity and presence.

Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 12.20.16 PM

Instead, it smoothed the high-mids out and made everything sound better.

So that’s your EQ lesson for today. Don’t be afraid of trying things out that common wisdom says should sound bad.

Just try it out and hear for yourself. Sometimes it’ll save your entire mix.

And hey, if you’re looking for a great guide to help you make better EQ decisions, my Ultimate Guide to EQ will do just that.

If not, no biggie.

No sales pitch, just thought I should mention it in case you needed help.


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About me

About Audio Issues and Björgvin Benediktsson

At Audio Issues you’ll learn simple and practical audio production tips you can use right away to improve your music from your home recording studio.  Björgvin is the best-selling author of Step By Step Mixing and the founder of Audio Issues. He helps musicians and producers turn amateur demos into professionally produced records they can be proud to release.

We help home studio musicians and project studio producers make a greater musical impact in their lives by teaching them the skills needed to grow their hobbies and careers. We do this by offering simple and practical music production and success skills they can use right away to level themselves up – while rejecting negativity and gear-shaming from the industry. A rising tide floats all boats and the ocean is big enough for all of us to surf the sound waves.

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