Mix: Equalization (EQ)
A common mistake that novices make is to try to EQ'ing before they don't even know exactly the sound they really want through mixing. You should never touch the equalizer until you decide what the sound you really want is and think about the part you want to adjust. Although the equalizer is simply the tool to change the frequency level, it actually plays the role of the following as the tool that has the most impact on tone change among studio units:
- The equalizer can correct the instrument's inappropriate frequency response and narrow or broaden the instrument's tonal range.
- While the instrument's bass components are diffracted around obstacles, there is little energy loss, but the treble components are absorbed by the obstacles, causing the energy to dissipate rapidly. This energy imbalance gives the listeners a sense of distance. Thus, if you want to send the instrument back in the mix, raise the bass and lower the treble. If you want to pull the instrument forward, lower the bass and raise the treble.
- If the frequency spectrum of the two instruments is concentrated on the same frequency band, the sound of the two instruments is not separated and the sound becomes opaque. This usually happens in the mixing of bass guitar and kick drums; in this case, you have to raise the frequency level of one instrument and reduce the same frequency level in the other instrument.
- In general, frequencies between 300 and 500Hz are likely to cause muddy sound. If you want a clearer sound, you need to remove this range of frequencies using equalizers. However, since the body sound of the instrument is concentrated in this frequency band, the sound of the instrument can be thinned by removing this part severely.
- You should remove unwanted sounds with a narrow bandwidth (narrow Q) as possible; otherwise you may lose even the necessary sounds. If you use a wide bandwidth (wide Q) to remove the murky sound when recording vocals and guitars, the body of the instrumental sounds may disappear and the presence may decrease.
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