Guide: Frequencies and EQing...

Tips, hints, help, tech support, setups, systems and all things related to making phat beats. Post your latest production for all to hear & review. Or quiz the resident nerds about that tech problem you just can't figure out.
Post Reply
User avatar
Ag3nT[]0raNg3
old boy
Posts: 10001
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2004 1:29 am
Location: There was a hole here. It's gone now
Contact:

Guide: Frequencies and EQing...

Post by Ag3nT[]0raNg3 » Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:44 am

so to start off with a helpfull load of shite about EQing borrowed from (feck. cant remember PBK i think?) on the cov-ops forum. handy stuff.

check it...

To understand EQ and its intricacies you need hands-on experience, but to help you get started, here's a table of general uses and the different ranges that EQ can affect. As every sound is different, though, these are necessarily very general guidelines...

o Kick Drum o

Any apparent muddiness can be rolled off around 300Hz. Try a small boost around 5-7kHz to add some high end.

50-100Hz ~ Adds bottom to the sound
100-250Hz ~ Adds roundness
250-800Hz ~ Muddiness Area
5-8kHz ~ Adds high end prescence
8-12kHz ~ Adds Hiss

o Snare o

Try a small boost around 60-120Hz if the sound is a little too wimpy. Try boosting around 6kHz for that 'snappy' sound.

100-250Hz ~ Fills out the sound
6-8kHz ~ Adds prescence

o Hi hats or cymbals o

Any apparent muddiness can be rolled off around 300Hz. To add some brightness try a small boost around 3kHz.

250-800Hz ~ Muddiness area
1-6kHz ~ Adds presence
6-8kHz ~ Adds clarity
8-12kHz ~ Adds brightness

o Bass o

Try boosting around 60Hz to add more body. Any apparent muddiness can be rolled off around 300Hz.If more presence is needed, boost around 6kHz.

50-100Hz ~ Adds bottom end
100-250Hz ~ Adds roundness
250-800Hz ~ Muddiness Area
800-1kHz ~ Adds beef to small speakers
1-6kHz ~ Adds presence
6-8kHz ~ Adds high-end presence
8-12kHz ~ Adds hiss

o Vocals o

This is a difficult one, as it depends on the mic used to record the vocal. However...Apply either cut or boost around 300hz, depending on the mic and song.Apply a very small boost around 6kHz to add some clarity.

100-250Hz ~ Adds 'up-frontness'
250-800Hz ~ Muddiness area
1-6kHz ~ Adds presence
6-8kHz ~ Adds sibilance and clarity
8-12kHz ~ Adds brightness

o Piano o

Any apparent muddiness can be rolled off around 300Hz. Apply a very small boost around 6kHz to add some clarity.

50-100Hz ~ Adds bottom
100-250Hz ~ Adds roundness
250-1kHz ~ Muddiness area
1-6kHz ~ Adds presence
6-8Khz ~ Adds clarity
8-12kHz ~ Adds hiss

o Electric guitars o

Again this depends on the mix and the recording. Apply either cut or boost around 300hz, depending on the song and sound. Try boosting around 3kHz to add some edge to the sound, or cut to add some transparency. Try boosting around 6kHz to add presence. Try boosting around 10kHz to add brightness.

100-250Hz ~ Adds body
250-800Hz ~ Muddiness area
1-6Khz ~ Cuts through the mix
6-8kHz ~ Adds clarity
8=12kHz ~ Adds hiss

o Acoustic guitar o

Any apparent muddiness can be rolled off between 100-300Hz. Apply small amounts of cut around 1-3kHz to push the image higher. Apply small amounts of boost around 5kHz to add some presence.

100-250Hz ~ Adds body
6-8kHz ~ Adds clarity
8-12kHz ~ Adds brightness

o Strings o

These depend entirely on the mix and the sound used.

50-100Hz ~ Adds bottom end
100-250Hz ~ Adds body
250-800Hz ~ Muddiness area
1-6hHz ~ Sounds crunchy
6-8kHz ~ Adds clarity
8-12kHz ~ Adds brightness

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

o 50Hz o

1. Increase to add more fullness to lowest frequency instruments like foot, toms, and the bass.
2. Reduce to decrease the "boom" of the bass and will increase overtones and the recognition of bass line in the mix. This is most often used on bass lines in Rap and R&B.

o 100Hz o

Increase to add a harder bass sound to lowest frequency instruments.
Increase to add fullness to guitars, snare.
Increase to add warmth to piano and horns.
Reduce to remove boom on guitars & increase clarity.

o 200Hz o

1. Increase to add fullness to vocals.
2. Increase to add fullness to snare and guitar (harder sound).
3. Reduce to decrease muddiness of vocals or mid-range instruments.
4. Reduce to decrease gong sound of cymbals.

o 400Hz o

1. Increase to add clarity to bass lines especially when speakers are at low volume.
2. Reduce to decrease "cardboard" sound of lower drums (foot and toms).
3. Reduce to decrease ambiance on cymbals.

o 800Hz o

1. Increase for clarity and "punch" of bass.
2. Reduce to remove "cheap" sound of guitars

o 1.5KHz o

1. Increase for "clarity" and "pluck" of bass.
2. Reduce to remove dullness of guitars.

o 3KHz o

1. Increase for more "pluck" of bass.
2. Increase for more attack of electric / acoustic guitar.
3. Increase for more attack on low piano parts.
4. Increase for more clarity / hardness on voice.
5. Reduce to increase breathy, soft sound on background vocals.
6. Reduce to disguise out-of-tune vocals / guitars

o 5KHz o

1. Increase for vocal presence.
2. Increase low frequency drum attack (foot/toms).
3. Increase for more "finger sound" on bass.
4. Increase attack of piano, acoustic
5. Reduce to make background parts more distant.
6. Reduce to soften "thin" guitar.

o 7KHz o

1. Increase to add attack on low frequency drums (more metallic sound).
2. Increase to add attack to percussion instruments.
3. Increase on dull singer.
4. Increase for more "finger sound" on acoustic bass.
5. Reduce to decrease "s" sound on singers.
6. Increase to add sharpness to synthesizers, rock guitars, acoustic guitar and piano.

o 10KHz o

1. Increase to brighten vocals.
2. Increase for "light brightness" in acoustic guitar and piano.
3. Increase for hardness on cymbals.
4. Reduce to decrease "s" sound on singers.

o 15KHz o

1. Increase to brighten vocals (breath sound).
2. Increase to brighten cymbals, string instruments and flutes.
3. Increase to make sampled synthesizer sound more real.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

o Low Bass: anything less than 50Hz o

This range is often known as the sub bass and is most commonly taken up by the lowest part of the kick drum and bass guitar, although at these frequencies it's almost impossible to determine any pitch. Sub bass is one of the reasons why 12" vinyl became available: low frequencies require wider grooves than high frequencies - without rolling off everything below 50Hz you couldn't fit a full track onto a 7" vinyl record. However we do NOT recommend applying any form of boost around this area without the use of very high quality studio monitors (not home monitors - there is a vast difference between home nearfield and studio farfield monitors costing anywhere between £5,000 and £20,000). Boosting blindly in this area without a valid reference point can and will permanently damage most speakers, even PA systems. You have been warned!

o Bass: 50-250Hz o

This is the range you're adjusting when applying the bass boost on most home stereos, although most bass signals in modern music tracks lie around the 90-200Hz area with a small boost in the upper ranges to add some presence or clarity.

o Muddiness/irritational area: 200-800Hz o

The main culprit area for muddy sounding mixes, hence the term 'irritational area'. Most frequencies around here can cause psycho-acoustic problems: if too many sounds in a mix are dominating this area, a track can quickly become annoying, resulting in a rush to finish mixing it as you get bored or irritated by the sound of it.

o Mid-range: 800-6kHz o

Human hearing is extremely sensitive at these frequencies, and even a minute boost around here will result in a huge change in the sound - almost the same as if you boosted around 10db at any other range. This is because our voices are centred in this area, so it's the frequency range we hear more than any other. Most telephones work at 3kHz, because at this frequency speech is most intelligible. This frequency also covers TV stations, radio, and electric power tools. If you have to apply any boosting in this area, be very cautious, especially on vocals. We're particularly sensitive to how the human voice sounds and its frequency coverage.

o High Range: 6-8kHz o

This is the range you adjust when applying the treble boost on your home stereo. This area is slightly boosted to make sounds artificially brighter (although this artificial boost is what we now call 'lifelike') when mastering a track before burning it to CD.

o Hi-High Range: 8-20kHz o

This area is taken up by the higher frequencies of cymbals and hi-hats, but boosting around this range, particularly around 12kHz can make a recording sound more high quality than it actually is, and it's a technique commonly used by the recording industry to fool people into thinking that certain CDs are more hi-fidelity than they'd otherwise sound. However, boosting in this area also requires a lot of care - it can easily pronounce any background hiss, and using too much will result in a mix becoming irritating.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1.) Always use a parametric EQ. Graphic EQ's are for wusses.

2.) When boosting Q must be wider (less than) than 2.

3.) When cutting Q should be narrow--from 1.5 or greater.

4.) No cut or boost may be greater than 6db +/- in any case (occasionally broken for cutting).

5.) 75% of my boosts are less than 2 db. 90% are less than 4 db of boost.

6.) Never cut more than 8db of anything unless notching out specific small frequencies.
one more medicated peacefull moment
www.dubstep.com.au

User avatar
lynt
Posts: 16011
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 7:14 pm
Contact:

Post by lynt » Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:49 am

You were waiting for this forum to open weren't ya ;)


wicked shit. should sticky this thread.

User avatar
Ag3nT[]0raNg3
old boy
Posts: 10001
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2004 1:29 am
Location: There was a hole here. It's gone now
Contact:

Post by Ag3nT[]0raNg3 » Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:52 am

:smt040
one more medicated peacefull moment
www.dubstep.com.au

User avatar
Fents
Posts: 9551
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:32 am
Location: In the Brewery.
Contact:

Post by Fents » Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:54 am

Thats really good to know....never really could figure out why my drums didnt go SNAP! 8)

sneaky hands
Posts: 2048
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:39 pm

Post by sneaky hands » Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:28 am

nice guide.

cannot overemphasise having good monitors, heuristics like the above post are great but ultimately having a good ear for this stuff is required.
if drums need heaps of eq modification to sound good, maybe need to find a better sample to start with.

for heaps of production tips check out the "production and mastering" forum on www.ozhiphop.com too.
sneaky flow like cash flow
on the first of the month
for broke cats that's thirst for the blunt

User avatar
Spherix
Posts: 1507
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:34 am
Contact:

Post by Spherix » Thu Jan 13, 2005 11:44 pm

thats so general, it all depends on what freqs are within your pads etc
if you have one pad that you only want a certain band from, and youre layering it with one that you want another band from, this is all out the window.....ive seen these suggested freqs online way too much i reckon.....

good luck using em tho :P
lowercase//Immerse//Tube10//BareDubs//Sub Continental Dub//On The Edge//Camino Blue

User avatar
Ag3nT[]0raNg3
old boy
Posts: 10001
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2004 1:29 am
Location: There was a hole here. It's gone now
Contact:

Post by Ag3nT[]0raNg3 » Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:10 am

Image
one more medicated peacefull moment
www.dubstep.com.au

User avatar
quick
Posts: 12201
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 11:38 pm
Location: who knows

Post by quick » Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:13 am

Ag3nT[]0raNg3 wrote:Image


hahaha, now thats a funny smiley.
I kissed a squirrel and I liked it... taste of her acorn chapstick

User avatar
safire
Posts: 616
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 2:15 pm
Location: brokenbeatassault.com
Contact:

Post by safire » Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:03 pm

Spherix wrote:thats so general, it all depends on what freqs are within your pads etc
if you have one pad that you only want a certain band from, and youre layering it with one that you want another band from, this is all out the window.....ive seen these suggested freqs online way too much i reckon.....

good luck using em tho :P


true dat .
eq'ing is all about using and training your ears to achieve what sound you want to understand what freq's exist where and why.

wobbulator
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:34 am

asinine enthusiasts

Post by wobbulator » Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:44 am

time to retrieve the O.P's hand from his/her pants

User avatar
Spherix
Posts: 1507
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:34 am
Contact:

Post by Spherix » Thu Mar 17, 2005 8:44 pm

huhuhuhu huhuhuhuhuh huhuhuhuhuh huhuhuh ^ his name is wobbulator, huhuh huhuhuhuhuhu huhuhu
lowercase//Immerse//Tube10//BareDubs//Sub Continental Dub//On The Edge//Camino Blue

User avatar
mixtress
Posts: 13386
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 10:15 am

Post by mixtress » Sun Apr 10, 2005 9:16 pm

I think it's a damn good starting point for someone who has no experience with the technical side of eq'ing. I can mix tunes and make them sound good coming out of the speakers, but fuck me if I know what decibels a certain synth sounds better at or whatever. Same with producing tunes. They can sound good or (with the right background knowledge) they can sound fucking wikid. I like knowing this kind of stuff so I can work around it. It's a basic structure, then your experiences can help you dictate what's right for your music.

Nice one Ag3nT[]0raNg3 :D
Only the meek get pinched...the bold survive

User avatar
Spherix
Posts: 1507
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:34 am
Contact:

Post by Spherix » Wed Apr 13, 2005 8:36 pm

yeah ok, but are your ears not the ultimate judge?

theres no set rules of what freqs a synth should be set at, it depends on the synth sound you make, and how it fits with the rets of your mix

this was my point, good to see you found it helpful tho
lowercase//Immerse//Tube10//BareDubs//Sub Continental Dub//On The Edge//Camino Blue

User avatar
Amick
Posts: 5254
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2004 2:02 am
Location: 37° 46(45)'S, 144° 55(23)'E

Post by Amick » Thu Apr 21, 2005 3:26 pm

EQing and freq's are such a pain in the ass. Presets all the way.

User avatar
Ag3nT[]0raNg3
old boy
Posts: 10001
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2004 1:29 am
Location: There was a hole here. It's gone now
Contact:

Post by Ag3nT[]0raNg3 » Thu Apr 21, 2005 3:28 pm

Amick wrote:EQing and freq's are such a pain in the ass. Presets all the way.


lol
one more medicated peacefull moment
www.dubstep.com.au

User avatar
factory worker
Posts: 3366
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 9:46 am
Location: broadmeadows
Contact:

Post by factory worker » Tue May 10, 2005 9:59 am

boosting frequencies is a last resort. better to cut all the bad ones out first.

knok
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 9:48 pm

Post by knok » Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:47 pm

Amick wrote:EQing and freq's are such a pain in the ass. Presets all the way.


lol

knok
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 9:48 pm

Post by knok » Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:55 pm

reference all the way.. Find track/s with simliar beats in the same range. cut up a loop chuck it in ur track.. This gives u an idea of what the end product should sound like. Don't stop until its atleast sounding comparable

User avatar
Stamina MC
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2004 9:03 am
Location: London, England...
Contact:

Post by Stamina MC » Fri May 19, 2006 3:00 am

I think this has to be one of the best, if not the best tutorial on EQ I've ever read. SO damn simple there's no way not to understand it. The man is a legend.

http://www.dogsonacid.com/showthread.ph ... did=399049

User avatar
CoB
Posts: 2942
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 6:57 pm

Post by CoB » Fri Jul 14, 2006 2:23 pm

yep
i read hypnotics thingy some time ago..
I like the part where it has pictures :D
o/ . . . \o . . . -o . o- . \o/ \o/

User avatar
Luka
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:34 am

Post by Luka » Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:25 pm

great tips.

my ears are far from golden
problem child
messycreations

User avatar
Smile on Impact
Posts: 1001
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:14 pm
Location: Collingwood
Contact:

Re: Guide: Frequencies and EQing...

Post by Smile on Impact » Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:41 pm

Ag3nT[]0raNg3 wrote:
1.) Always use a parametric EQ. Graphic EQ's are for wusses.

2.) When boosting Q must be wider (less than) than 2.

3.) When cutting Q should be narrow--from 1.5 or greater.

4.) No cut or boost may be greater than 6db +/- in any case (occasionally broken for cutting).

5.) 75% of my boosts are less than 2 db. 90% are less than 4 db of boost.

6.) Never cut more than 8db of anything unless notching out specific small frequencies.



That is awesome.. :lol:
They can prescribe a cure without diagnosing the problem, beautiful.
Lots of hard and fast rules with no substance.
I don't really agree with those points because they can't consider the sound source,
Its like saying 'add more blue' to a photograph without seeing it.


And please. Explain to me why graphic Eqs are for wusses.

User avatar
Smile on Impact
Posts: 1001
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:14 pm
Location: Collingwood
Contact:

Post by Smile on Impact » Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:43 pm

factory worker wrote:boosting frequencies is a last resort. better to cut all the bad ones out first.


that's true when useing digital Eqs or cheap outboard gear.

User avatar
TheBrains
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 3:12 pm
Location: Phoenix Park

Post by TheBrains » Sat Feb 03, 2007 12:16 pm

^^^
I think the idea is more to discourage the amateurish "I'll boost the guts out of what I like to hear" type of approach to mixing. Its a lazy, bland, homogenous method that eats headroom and muddies up the mix with lumps and fluff.

Also, a subtractive approach to eq allows you to have a sharper focus on what you don't want leaving more of what you do want. Rather than battling with other sounds on the strength of amplitude alone, each sound has it own space to occupy, you have less phase cancellation and masking (with ovelapping bass sounds especially) and the sound stage is open and deeper. Panning can also help this and obviously arrangement and choice of source material would weigh in as well.

Folks to tend to sweep through the range of a sound, find the sweet spot and boost the life out of it (while its soloed as well so they have no reference of context). When they try to blend it back into the mix again there's this huge lump of frequencies and not much more clarity.

User avatar
platform_solace
Posts: 146
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 4:12 pm
Location: Miles & Miles from Marz
Contact:

Post by platform_solace » Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:11 pm

the wording of the "rules" is a bit over the top i think, but as suggestions they are reasonable (except for the graphic eq thing, not really sure what's going on there). it's great to have set-moves to get your sounds into the right ball-park quickly, but it must be remembered that they are just set moves, and are going to need to be tweaked by ear.

personally i agree that eq should (as a rule) be subtractive, bearing in mind that there are exceptions to this rule (ie. boosting the formant of a vocal or instrument by a couple of dB to increase the clarity of the tone, tuning drum-hits, etc).. kinda like the english language isn't it.. :)
"for serious the world is gone wrong when we dance to fire alarms."

User avatar
Direkt
Posts: 15205
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:38 am
Location: The Voir
Contact:

Re:

Post by Direkt » Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:58 pm

Stamina MC wrote:I think this has to be one of the best, if not the best tutorial on EQ I've ever read. SO damn simple there's no way not to understand it. The man is a legend.

http://www.dogsonacid.com/showthread.ph ... did=399049

good read, cheers mate.

User avatar
Lephrenic
Posts: 3494
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2004 10:57 pm
Location: monome
Contact:

Re: Guide: Frequencies and EQing...

Post by Lephrenic » Mon May 11, 2009 2:26 pm


User avatar
mixtress
Posts: 13386
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 10:15 am

Re: Guide: Frequencies and EQing...

Post by mixtress » Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:29 pm

Not really related to EQ'ing but I didn't wanna make a new thread...


...I have a headset with a mic on it (Cyber Snipa gaming headset) and I just need to record my voice onto Soundforge 7 as a wav or mp3 file. How do I do it? Is it in the menu Special>>Transport>>Record?
Only the meek get pinched...the bold survive

User avatar
Direkt
Posts: 15205
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:38 am
Location: The Voir
Contact:

Re: Guide: Frequencies and EQing...

Post by Direkt » Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:17 am

I'd make a new thread Mixie.

People rarely look at these ol' suckas any more.

Haven't used Sound Forge for years, canna remember - but I'm sure someone else can help.

User avatar
youthful_implants
Posts: 4379
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:10 pm
Location: bracken
Contact:

Re: Guide: Frequencies and EQing...

Post by youthful_implants » Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:55 pm

I have been using a lot more additive EQ lately.
Strontium Music

Image

SOUNDCLOUD | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | TUMBLR

User avatar
Rhythmik
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:47 pm

Re: Guide: Frequencies and EQing...

Post by Rhythmik » Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:28 pm

Never go by specific rules as gospal.... only as a guideline to get you close.

Remember as you get higher or lower notes/tones... those frequencies will shift accordingly :-)

Tigon
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:35 pm

Re: Guide: Frequencies and EQing...

Post by Tigon » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:16 pm

I guess you could spend hours reading literature on what 'industry professionals' do, or alternatively you can listen to your favourite tracks and eq using your ears. Its quite easy to tell whilst equing when the bottom drops out of a kick or when you are clashing heavily with other intruments, just use your ears.

Post Reply