But you hear something completely different. You think:
""I love the snap of that snare and how the beater of the kick drum comes through the mix. That vocal sits so well with the rest of the instruments. It doesn't sound at all like it's stuck on top. Everything blends together and you can hear every track burst out of the speakers!"
But somehow you struggle to create those results in your own mixes...
You can't fit the instruments together because you don't know where they sit in the frequency range.
You struggle to get rid of the mud cluttering up your low-end. The bass guitar constantly clashes with your kick drum to create boominess.
You don't know how to separate the guitars from each other. Instead, each guitar blends with the others in a bad way, not in that nice, wall-of-sound kind of way.
You can't get that big present vocal sound you hear on the radio. You're fed up trying to mix both lead and backup vocals to make them cut through the mix without feeling glued on top.
You don't know how much you should boost or cut frequencies to get the sound you hear in your head. You've tried all sorts of different techniques you've read in blogs or watched on Youtube. Yet, you're never sure whether it "actually sounds good."
You also get contradictory advice on the internet. Some people tell you that you should only use subtractive EQ, even though you feel like boosting makes everything sound better.
The problem is, you're scared of boosting too much and damaging your mix. You wish somebody would just tell you where the EQ sweet spots were so you could move on. Instead, they say you should only use this plug-in, or that method, when all you want is real, actionable advice.
Even when you know for a fact that you're making your mix sound better, you can't stop EQ'ing your mix. This ends in wasted time you could use on other mix moves.
I understand your frustrations completely. I've been there.
I had no idea how to use an EQ to make clearer mixes. EQ was like this weird foreign programming language that only cool engineers understood.
But me? My kick drum kept clashing with my bass guitar. My guitars masked the vocals and my entire drum sound always sounded like a harsh, tinny mess. If I managed to tame the harshness in my mix, it usually ended up muddy instead. Anything but a cool sounding mix.
I had no idea how much or even where I should boost or cut to make my instruments sound better.
However, throughout the years I've learned a lot about EQ'ing my mixes to make them sound cleaner. Now, people tell me they love how clearly they can hear each instrument in the mix with definition.
My kick drum doesn't clash with the bass guitar anymore. Instead, they work like a well-oiled rhythm machine, keeping the mix clean but thick in the low-end. The guitars and the vocals have never been better. I know exactly how to EQ the instruments to keep them out of the way of the vocal, while keeping everything clean and present.
Now, bands happily pay me to mix their songs because they know they'll get a clear and punchy mix they're happy with.
In case you don't know me, let me introduce myself. I'm Björgvin Benediktsson and I've been working in the audio industry since 2006. I started out doing live sound back home in my native Iceland. Since then I've transitioned into recording and producing.
First in Madrid, Spain, where I studied audio engineering at the SAE Institute. Today, I produce bands, both local and international, from my home studio in Tucson, Arizona.
Throughout the years I've learned a lot about audio. But what I've also learned is that I love paying it forward. Teaching home studio musicians like yourself how to make a bigger impact with your music is my main goal. Since 2011, I've taught thousands of home studio musicians through Audio Issues.
And I have to tell you, when you learn how to EQ, the rest of the mix easily falls into place. Once you've learned how to fix the EQ problems in your mix, your mixing skills will skyrocket!
That's what happened to me, and that's what I want for you too.
All it takes is a little knowledge and a blueprint of where to go.
You want to carve EQ pockets for your instruments? With only a few EQ tweaks you can finally get your instruments to really punch through. You'll be able to add definition to your tracks and make everything fit together for a cleaner mix.
Knowing how to EQ correctly is your first step towards more professional mixes. Even if you're only a hobbyist, you still need to know how to create a balance between your drums and bass; vocals and guitars; the highs and lows.
Once you learn how to EQ, you can wipe out the boxiness and mud from your mixes. Forget about thin sounding vocals, boomy bass or harsh guitars!
With the correct EQ curves you can make every instrument sound exactly the way you want it to.
In short, EQ clears up your mix and creates a full frequency balance.
And you know what? I have the only thing you need to achieve that.
Learning to EQ is the first step towards great mixing skills.
EQ Strategies - The Ultimate Guide to EQ is your step by step guide to master that elusive EQ skill. It teaches you how to understand and recognize frequencies. Once you master EQ, you'll be able to create space and separation between all the instruments in your mix.
You'll know exactly where your instruments are clashing, making any EQ problem easy to fix.
EQ doesn't have to be a mystery. Knowing how to EQ is the single greatest skill any audio engineer has. Don't learn behind a mixing board in a badly lit live venue like I did, with trial and error and randomly twisting knobs until "something" sounded "just ok..."
I want your mixes to sound better than that in less time. So if you want to master the art of EQ'ing, look no further.
"So complete that, although have purchased other great resources from other respectable sites, this really is the only one that I need, if I had to choose one. Secondly, while videos are very helpful, I can reference your books quickly while mixing. This may sound tedious, but I printed your EQ/mixing ebooks and had them bound. I don't like clutter and can't have training stuff all over the place. The EQ and mixingbooks are on top of my Yamaha HS7's and thats it; nothing else. The books are jammed with USEFUL stuff; hands on real mixing pointers...This hobby became so frustrating that I almost quit until I discovered some of the home studio training and now, your e-books which are my reference books. I'll stay tuned for any more products from you. Buying a bunch of gear is ridiculous, ( as I've learned from experience), without first investing in becoming an engineer."
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!!! Thank You!!!!
"Bjorgvin knows what we need to know, and he shares it all, in easy to understand, easy to digest bites. Bjorgvin explains filtering, boosting, cutting, notch filters, bell curves, and “Q”, how to “sweep” or find frequencies that need cutting, and so much more, and all of it in very good detail, with audio examples. “EQ Strategies for EQ’ing a song”...This important video is an hour of deep EQ teaching, so please do not skip this part! Bjorgvin opens up a real multi track session and goes through the tracks, one at a time, and explains exactly what each EQ is doing. Bjorgvin begins with a quick “before and after” play, without EQ and then with EQ, just to demonstrate how powerful EQ really is. The difference is nothing short of incredible. Bjorgvin is a great teacher, too, and that really lends to the level of training that is unfolding here inside EQ Strategies. If you are trying to wrap your head around EQ, how to apply EQ in order to get way better tracks and much better sounding complete songs, EQ Strategies is what you are looking for."
The Ultimate EQ Guide is helping me immensely! I am new to mixing but have been in many studios as a recording musician. It's helping me clean up muddy mixes and get more punch out of my recordings. I highly recommend it!
I like the specific EQ tips for each instrument. They're all very helpful and I learned quite a few new things: bass harmonics, how to make the beaters pop on kick drums, adding more punch to snare drums, and tips to make guitars sit better in the mix (which also works for lead synths).
In the video packages I've included great training materials designed to make your EQ skill improve immediately.
Where I talk you through every part of the EQ spectrum and where you can find such things as muddiness, boxiness, weight, presence, shimmer, sheen, sibilance and air to name a few area. So now, instead of aimlessly wandering around your EQ plug-in you can actually learn where your problematic frequencies are when you need to fix them.
Knowing when to boost, cut and filter is invaluable to making all the instruments in your mix fit together. We go through the EQ plug-in to help you understand exactly how every parameter, setting and knob works.
One of the EQ Strategies packages includes an hour long video session where I take a completely unmixed song and show you how amazing you can make your rough mix sound using JUST EQ!
You'll hear a track goes from this:
To this, using just EQ:
Here are some of the things you'll learn in my 1 hour walkthrough:
A 6 part guide on avoiding some of the most common mistakes people make when they use EQ.
EQ and compression go hand in hand to create great mixes.
Those two processors will take your mixes from rough recordings to punchy mixes.
Therefore, the EQ Strategies package comes with a Compression Masterclass that'll teach you how to use all those buttons on your compressor.
...really helped me with my bass guitar, drums, vocals and rock guitars. Making room in the mix with EQ and giving everything a space has got a whole lot simpler thanks to you.
"I really liked how you explained using octaves on your bass instruments to get the low-end to register on smaller speakers. That has been an issue of mine. Always sounds great on my monitors but when I play back on portable speakers I wouldn't even be able to hear the low-end.
If you're extra adventurous and want even more techniques on recording, my Recording & Mixing Strategies bundle includes two Extra eBooks plus a video Tutorial Package (11 extra practical production videos).
Recording & Mixing Strategies is an in-depth tutorial package dedicated to every aspect of the production process.
Plus: Two interviews with industry professionals about recording piano and vocals.
THANK YOU for your E-books. The information on mixing drums ALONE was well worth the money. I would listen to other peoples "mixes" which were typically a lot of guesswork, reapply using your principles, and come out with a far better product each time. The most recent song that I did sounds SOOO good, you can hear all the instruments clearly, there's no mud, the drums are tight and punchy, the kick is dead on, and the Toms are deep and thunderous.
As with all of the Audio Issues products, if they don't live up to your standards I will happily refund your money, no questions asked.
You can try all the tricks and even keep the tutorial for a full year before deciding whether you like them or not.
Your Ultimate Guide to EQ + Compression Masterclass
Your Ultimate Guide to EQ + Recording & Mixing Strategies
Your Ultimate Guide to EQ + Mixing With 5 Plug-ins
See what some past users have to say:
The format helped me solidify the basics very quickly. I sampled a few sessions with the concepts and found an immediate and pronounced improvement. Full of tips that are immediately useful. Like anything you are learning, it takes 'doing' and more 'doing' before you can start to polish your work. But the initial results are immediate and impressive....thanks.
Kindly allow me to over estimate your importance in growth of my musical career from an amateur into a pro.. Your information has really molded my production skills into what my clients today call good music. Thanks a lot and keep up the good work.
I like your training materials. Well produced, focused, and a pleasure to watch and learn from.