Transform Your Rough Recordings Into Released Records, Even If You Only Have a Home Studio

Mix Bus EQ Tips for a Smoother Stereo Track

EQ’ing your mix bus is a delicate process.

Too little and you won’t hear a difference. Too much and you might ruin your mix.

But with a sprinkle of just the right amount of Goldilocks EQ, you’ll tighten the low end and remove the mud while adding presence and brightness that makes your mix stand out.

We’ve discussed mix bus EQ and mix bus processing in general in one of our articles before, but in this post, we’ll be diving into the subtle art of mix bus EQ.

This crucial step can elevate your mixes to a professional level by applying subtle tweaks that make a significant difference.

In the last video in our EQ Starting Point Series, I’ll be going over some of the most important things to consider when you’re EQ’ing your mix bus.

Watch here:


Here’s the broad strokes overview of the tips you’ll learn in the video above:

  1. Subtle Adjustments for Maximum Impact
    • When working on your mix bus, it’s essential to remember that every change, no matter how small, affects the entire mix. A single decibel on your mix bus translates to one decibel on every track routed through it. So, subtlety is key.
  2. General Mix Bus Processing Guidelines
    • Filter with a Musical Slope: A 6 dB per octave filter gently filters out the lowest frequencies from the mix you won’t need.
    • Boxiness Control: A cut around 400-300 Hz addresses boxiness issues. You can experiment with this to find the sweet spot for your mix.
    • Addressing Harshness: If your mix sounds harsh, a subtle cut around 2.5 kHz will make your mix sound smoother. However, identifying problematic tracks allows you to fix them individually rather than making broad cuts across the mix because sometimes the harshness is caused by one instrument and not the entire mix.
  3. Low-End Enhancement
    • To add warmth and thickness, add a modest boost at 60 Hz. This subtle increase in low-end can improve the overall mix.
    • At 160 Hz, another boost adds warmth. It’s essential to A/B test these boosts to find the right balance for your mix.
  4. Clarity and Presence
    • High-mid frequencies around 5 kHz receive a touch of clarity, while the “air” frequencies above 10 kHz are gently emphasized.
    • These adjustments help eliminate muddiness and harshness, and enhance the overall professional sheen of the mix.
  5. Exercise Caution
    • Remember, subtlety is the name of the game when you’re doing mix bus processing. Overdoing any of these enhancements can lead to an aggressive and unpleasant mix.
    • Be particularly cautious when adding low-end and low-mid boosts. They can quickly muddy up a clean mix.
  6. Combining Mix Bus Enhancements
    • When used in conjunction with a mix bus compressor, these enhancements can yield fantastic results. The compressor handles dynamic control while the Audio Issues EQ adds shapes the frequency spectrum.

By applying subtle adjustments in key frequency areas, you can make big improvements in your mix with only minor processing. However, always remember that moderation is crucial. Avoid excessive changes, and remember that less is often more.

Thank you for following along with our mixing techniques series. We hope you’ve found this information useful in your journey toward creating better mixes.

If you have any questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re eager to hear about your experiences with the Audio Issues EQ plugin and any suggestions you have for future updates. Happy mixing!

If you want to use the presets and EQ plug-in that’s in the video, check out the Audio Issues EQ plug-in.

If you missed any of the other videos in the series, you can find the full playlist here.

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About me

About Audio Issues and Björgvin Benediktsson

We help musicians transform their recordings into radio-ready and release-worthy records they’re proud to release.

We do this by offering simple and practical music production and success skills they can use immediately 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.

Björgvin’s step-by-step mixing process has helped thousands of musicians confidently mix their music from their home studios. If you’d like to join them, check out the best-selling book Step By Step Mixing: How To Create Great Mixes Using Only 5 Plug-ins right here.