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The Three Inglorious Gangsters of EQ

Say hello to my little friend!

Or rather, say hello to my three little gangsters that do your dirty EQ work for you.

1. The Thug

The thug is like Joe Pesci from Casino. He’s the hired hand that does all the dirty work for the family. He doesn’t hesitate to get rid of you any way he can.

Use the thug when you need to cut unwanted frequencies from your mix. He’ll cut anything that’s causing you annoyance: snare rings, muddy bass or hissy guitars.

The thug gets rid of pests without making a mess. He with a high Q. Just scoop in there and get rid of what’s annoying you.

2. The Godfather

The godfather is like Al Capone. Everybody knows he’s the boss, but the cops can’t prove it. He uses legal businesses as a front for his criminal enterprise. They all know he’s dirty, but they can’t pin it on him.

Think about the godfather when you mask frequencies. Masking is when you boost a higher frequency to hide the problematic frequency below. Say you have a really nasally vocal at 1 but you can’t cut it without making it sound unnatural. By boosting 3 kHz you mask that nasal sound by covering it up with a more flattering frequency.

Sometimes you need to hide the problematic frequencies. Mask them and none will be the wiser.

3. The Undercover Cop

Think about Tim Roth as Mr. Orange in Reservoir Dogs. When things start getting real ugly, everything’s gotta go. When you get a bunch of low-lives together in a room, there’s gonna be a stand-off and that’s never gonna end well.

Because sometimes you gotta get rid of everything. If you have problems with your low-end, you need to grab that EQ and filter everything out. Make sure that the only things left are the instruments that belong there in the first place.

The undercover cop gets rid of the criminals in the most dangerous way possible: by infiltrating their midst. The same goes for your EQ’ing. Use the filter carefully. Get rid of the scum, but don’t hurt the frequencies around them.

Criminal EQ

Maybe I’ve been watching too many gangster movies between mixing sessions, but these are the three characters that continually resurface.

Similarly, these are the three things to always keep in mind when you’re using EQ. Know when to cut, filter and boost and EQ’ing will be easy for you.

For a great guide on knowing when to use each of these thugs….I mean things, check out my free course on EQ.

Image by: julianrod

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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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