An Introduction to EQ

An Introduction to EQ

May 29th 2012

analogue2.jpg Using EQ is a
fundamental of music technology, and a good understanding of this
area can help you shape your sounds in the way you want.



An EQ or Equaliser is a filter than allows you to selectively cut or boost a certain frequency. Some EQ’s have fixed frequencies while others allow you to select these for yourself (these are known as Parametric Equalisers).

All Parametric EQ plugins will have three basic controls, a frequency selector, a Q or bandwidth selector and a Gain (this selects the amount the filter will cut or boost the desired frequency). Many also feature frequency graphs to help you visualise the sound. On our screen shot you can see some of the EQ plugins available in Apple Logic.

channeleq.jpgAt this point the best way to get a feel for how EQ can help you is to run a sound through an EQ plugin in your sequencer. One of the best techniques for identifying weak or problem frequencies is to set your gain control to a high boost and then sweep the frequency control through its spectrum. You’ll hear certain frequencies may sound pleasant when boosted or conversely some may jump out at you as being too harsh. Remember that cutting frequencies can be just as valuable as boosting!

One great technique you can use to help the low frequencies stand out in your mix is to use EQ to cut low frequencies from your lead sounds, try cutting frequencies from 60-200Hz to help create more space in your mix.

Exciters and Enhancers are special plugins designed to add missing frequencies to sounds by generating harmonic frequencies to the original sound. These are particularly useful on sampled percussive elements.


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