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Do you speak fluent EQ?

When I exited the airplane it dawned on me.

I couldn’t understand a single sign.

Wherever I looked, my brain short-circuited and couldn’t put meaning to the messages I was seeing.

For someone who’s been to over 15 countries, this feeling of complete lack of understanding was…foreign to me…no pun intended.

I could usually get by with phrase books, or I could decipher a certain phrase because the words were close to the words of another language.

For instnace, an airport is aeropuerto. Even the most stubborn of the mono-language-speaking American could decipher that, and my Icelandic skills could decipher German words and my Spanish skills could decipher French and Italian words. Because of that, I’ve always felt comfortable enough to travel to unknown places.

However, my language skills left me totally stranded when it came to Japanese.

My brain simply did not possess even a fraction of the skillset needed to decipher their system of symbol writing so I was utterly lost. Luckily, we managed to find enough signs in English to get us to our next destination, and the friendly Japanese were always willing to help if we found ourselves desperately disoriented without an English sign in sight.

With a curious sense of adventure and leaving certain decisions up to pure chance we enjoyed our trip to Japan immensely. Even though we couldn’t understand a single thing written on the signs around of us or spoken to us on the street we completely embraced the culture Japan had to offer.

But I couldn’t help thinking that this must be how you must feel when you’re trying to understand the frequency spectrum.

You could say that EQ’ing is like speaking this weird language where you translate sounds from numbers to descriptions like muddiness, boxiness, or presence. You take the feeling you get when you’re listening to your mix and try to make the numbers match up to how you want your music to sound.

When you put it that way, it’s an incredibly strange system.

But it’s the one language everyone has to learn if they want to be make great sounding music. Once you understand the frequency spectrum and become fluent in EQ’ing, your music will reach new heights you didn’t realize you could achieve.

You’ll start hearing certain frequencies and you’ll know instinctively where you can find them. This will help you cut out unflattering frequencies cluttering up your mix or allow you to enhance your music with just the right EQ boost that makes your mix come alive.

Although I can’t say I’ll be fluent in Japanese any time soon, I can tell you that I’m quite fluent in EQ. If you’re looking to improve your EQ language understanding, then my Ultimate Guide to EQ is the phrasebook you need to take your EQ’ing to the next level.

It’s an in-depth exploration of the frequency spectrum and it will teach you how to become fluent in EQ.

Check it out here:


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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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