Tim Latham

An eq tip from a master

Eq. A favorite topic amongst audio engineers, veterans and aspiring alike. I’m often be asked what my favorite eq is. And the answer without fail is always the same: the one that gets the job done. It could be real Pultec EQP 1A or a free plugin. After some time, mix engineers build up a library of knowledge regarding the sound of dozens of eq’s and how/when to use them. Sometimes the gentle boost on the top end from a EQP1A is more appropriate than the more aggressive top end of an API 550. Knowing what to use when comes from years of experimenting. So here’s the tip of a lifetime. Always take out the trash before polishing the floors otherwise you’ll be polishing a mess. By this I mean always subtract before you add. To get a clear and present vocal sound don’t reach for the 10k knob and twist. Using a parametric, set the lo-mid frequency to somewhere around 300hz. Sharpen the “Q” to it’s narrowest setting and crank the gain all the way up. The slowly sweep the frequency up and down and I promise you you’ll find a really horrible messy frequency in there. When you find the problem child, widen out the “Q” a bit and start subtracting. The vocal sound will open up and breathe better. Then you can add some sparkle up top. You’ll be a star in any singers eyes!

Posted on October 20, 2009.
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