Tutorial: EQ'ing - understanding the basic principles - cleaning up the frequency image

UPDATE: 24.05.2021

1. “Low-cut” and “hi-cut” EQ

A topic that is far too little taken into account. It should be noted that small animals also make crap. In short, a Low cut at 20 Hz and a Hi cut at 20.000 Hz should be set up on each track. Especially with instruments such as hi-hats, where a lot happens below 100 Hz, but this is usually not relevant for the sound of the hats.

What does that have to do with the low cut at 20 Hz?

Well, first of all, more than it seems. Personally, I always recommend the low cut Frequency dependent close. For example, if I have an instrument (hi-hat) where everything I want to hear happens in the range of 120hz - 20khz, I set the low cut so that it filters everything away below 120hz. in the Mixing process this should be one of the first steps towards the desired mixdown.

2. Application example with Cubase Eq's

In the following application example I would like to use the video to show you how to work with the EQ in Cubase 7.

In dem Example of use I showed you how you can easily remove your files from unnecessary ones without expensive or cracked plugins Noise or frequencies can clean and thus ensures a differentiated mix. So the first step in that direction mastering.


With our analog mixing service, we create a balanced frequency image and a powerful sound.

3. Pull out frequencies

The important thing here is that you have the right kind of EQ chooses. I personally always recommend one to you fully parametric EQ. If you do large, more than 2-3 db (fs), lowering or raising, I recommend that you make sure that the EQ phase-linear works, otherwise it too Phase shifts (Flanging) can come. Also make sure that you, if you have a Interference frequency want to pull out the Efficiency (Q-factor) as high as possible. That should mean that you have a very narrow filter efficiency. In professional circles this is also referred to as a Notch filter (Score). If you have several interference frequencies next to each other, it is better to use 1 band a little more generously, as this ensures a more natural character of your mixdown.

4. Create space through moderate work

Basic rule of EQing: “If something should sound better, lower it. If something should sound different, lift up ”. The Lowering one also speaks of moderate Work. This means that you have the frequencies which are undesirable lowers. Example: You notice that the voice in the song doesn't really come through, so you first look for the frequency that is disturbing and then take your instrumental and lower the respective frequencies there. This makes it easy to integrate a voice into a song. I think in the text and the video I was able to bring you a little closer to the basic working methods. You now have enough input to experiment a little yourself. In the long term, this will bring you more than just having everything served on the tray. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to let me know. I'll try to take that into account in the next blog. I hope you enjoyed our EQ tutorial!

5. Check technical EQ'ing

At the end of the technical EQ'ing, it is of the utmost importance to apply the changes made to your Check the correctness of the mix. Especially when it comes to surgical interventions in the audio material of instruments or vocals, an A / B comparison should always be made. It can happen, for example, that you take out too many resonance frequencies from a piano, making the piano sound lifeless and unnatural. At this point it should be mentioned that not every resonance frequency is disruptive or interferes purely objectively in the mix. So it is always a question of whether and how much you want to have in the mix and what the song still needs in order to live.

6. Musical equalizer editing

Musical EQ editing is the next step in music editing. Here we determine how the signal should be processed in the subsequent compression. Basically, it is important to raise or lower the frequencies until the desired listener is available.

Using the Equalizer Correctly - You Should Avoid These Mistakes!

The Use a equalizers or short "Eq" in mixing or when mastering your songs, some things can go wrong and your sound doesn't sound transparent enough anymore. The first thing to do here is to understand the basic principles.

Equalizer Gyraf G13 Mixing and Mastering EQ

Lowcut and Hicut while mixing

No lowcut

Audio signals can contain frequencies which we do not hear or which we do not want to have in the mix, as these either interfere or have no use for us. For example, with a Vocal recording, confidently apply a low cut at approx. 80-100 Hz with its EQ. This can make the recording much tidier, as below 100 Hz for the most part only footfall noise or other background noises can be heard.

As with the vocal recording described, you can use the equalizer and a frequency analyzer to set a lowcut on EVERY track and place it upwards as you wish from 20 Hz (below 20 Hz people can no longer hear anything). Pay attention to which signal components of your audio tracks you want to have in your mix.

Lowcut set incorrectly

A lowcut in the Eq can also be set incorrectly. Pay attention to what you hear! In a piano recording, for example, too much low-frequency response can be cut away and the piano appears quite “cool” and “lifeless”.

No hi-cut

The human ear can no longer hear anything even above 20 kHz. So from 20kHz a hi-cut should be set on every track. With the exception, provided you are aware of it oversampling and harmonics works. Here comes the hi-cut at the end of the insert chain in order to be able to take the full potential of the calculations in oversampling and overtones.

The Mastering your tracks you can, for example, gently drive the Hi-Cut down from 20Khz until you reach a comfortable top end. This should be in the frequency range between 17 kHz and 20 kHz. the Slope the hi-cut curve should be at 6db / oct. or 12db / oct. lie in order to enable the smoothest possible “roll-off”.

Center and side signals are not processed separately

A Stereo equalizer is all well and good, but it can happen that in a stereo signal we only have something in the middle or side signal that we don't want there, that is under or overemphasized. Here it is an advantage to have an Eq in the collection, in which the signal can be divided into middle and side signals and processing is possible separately. So it can happen that in a recording, due to a previously used compression, the middle part of the room reverberation in the side signal suddenly becomes too dominant and thus hides the middle signal. So if we use an equalizer correctly, we can easily clean up in the desired frequency range with the help of the mid / side technology.

Combat resonance frequencies with the EQ

Resonance frequencies are a natural occurrence in audio. However, some of these frequencies can have a negative effect on our traces of a track. These frequencies can mask the song and make tracks appear indifferent. In our EQ tutorial we explain how you can best recognize and eliminate resonance frequencies.

EQ on the effects channel

Clean the frequency image on send buses

The EQ'ing of effects channels or send buses is mostly forgotten. Channels such as reverb or delay can contain frequencies that have a negative effect on the sound.

EQ with analyzer

Decide with your eyes instead of your ears

Another mistake in EQ processing is over-reliance on the analyzer, if present. EQ's like the FabFilter Pro-Q3 have a built in analyzer. Relying too much on what we see here can lead to wrong decisions when mixing. The resolution and measurement parameters of the frequency curves do not always have to be exact and cannot represent values ​​exactly or correctly. We therefore recommend that you rely largely on what you have heard.


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