How to Make EQ’ing Easy By Using Your Analyzer
Clashing instruments is a common problem in your mixes.
I have the same problem all the time. Lately, I’ve been solving it with this simple EQ trick.
I use an analyzer to tell me where the instruments clash.
Here’s what you do:
When you’re EQ’ing a couple of instruments that you know will clash with each other, start with the dominant instrument.
The one that’s more present or drives the mix more.
I’ve done this with competing brass instruments but it also works wonders when you’re EQ’ing the kick and bass guitar or a couple different guitar tracks together.
Let’s take EQ’ing an acoustic guitar on top of a bass guitar as an example.
Get your bass sounding really nice with EQ and compression.
Then add your acoustic into the mix. You’ll notice that it’s cluttering up the bass guitar sound a little. But instead of filtering too much or using extreme cutting to make it fit you can simply slap an analyzer on each track. Most stock EQ’s have an analyzer on them.
Slap On The Analyzer
I think of the analyzer like that old Paperclip Wizard in Office Word. He’s mostly useless but when you’re stuck he’ll usually help you out.
With the analyzer you can see the waveform of each instrument.
It helps you see a few things:
- You see competing frequencies in both instruments.
- You can see unnatural buildup of frequencies in each track.
- You can cut and boost to complement both tracks to make them fit together better.
It’s really handy when I just can’t get a track to fit with another one.
Of course, you shouldn’t just EQ with your eyes. Seeing frequencies is useless if you don’t know what they sound like.
There’s no reason to spend time working on making tracks fit together in the low-end if your problem is boxiness or honkiness. That’s in a different part of the frequency spectrum.
Ultimate Guide to EQ
That’s where my Ultimate EQ Guide comes in. It teaches you how to recognize frequencies so you can pinpoint exactly where your problem areas are. Luckily, The Ultimate EQ Guide has a frequency breakdown section that details the characteristics of each frequency range.
Check it out here:
Here’s what Jeff, a happy customer had to say:
“The EQ tips that have helped the most have to do with the bass guitar and kick drum. I‘m able to get a clean and tight low end on this song I‘m working on. I cut some of the mud out of the kick and bass, then I let the kick have a little extra 50 Hz and added a little bit around 800 Hz on the bass guitar. That made the low end clear and punchy. This song has an acoustic guitar as one of the main instruments and I decided to put a HPF up to 200 Hz and added a little bit around 3 kHz and and it sounds good so far . This is a great guide to get things moving in the right direction!!!”
Here’s the link again: