Tips for Adding EQ to Your Mix

Hi, my name is Sam and in this article we’re going to talk about mixing and mixing EQ. Whether you’re a music producer or DJ, this information will help you understand the basics of how balancing your track can make all the difference in terms of what people hear when listening to it on headphones or speakers. I hope that by the end of this article, you’ll be able to learn some new techniques that will make your tracks stand out from all the rest and become more engaging.

What is EQ?

EQ is one of the most essential tools for balancing a track, and mastering engineers use it to make sure that background noise from instruments do not get through in the mix. But when mixing, you can use EQ to make every track sound equally balanced. EQ stands for equalizer and is an audio effect that amplifies or attenuates specific frequency ranges. The most common type of EQ today are graphic equalizers (GB), created by Waves. These equalizers are effective and easy to use, and can help you make your track sound better.

Every piece of music has certain frequency ranges where there is more activity. Your aim is to make sure that these frequency ranges sound balanced, which means that either the bass, or mid-range or treble should have a stronger presence than the others in each track. If you are mixing genres that range from hip-hop to techno, you most likely will not be using an equalizer. But if you want to use it, the most common thing that you’ll want to focus on is the bass.

Preparation

Before beginning mixing and EQing, make sure to properly prepare your tracks. This means that you need to make sure that all of your track’s elements are in place and ready for mixing. This will help you avoid having any unnecessary surprises in your final mix because you’re already familiar with the background tracks, or with anything else that pops up while mixing.

Here are some things you could do to ensure that your track is ready for mixing:

Resample your audio and make sure that it is clean. Making sure your track is completely clean and has no background noise will make it much easier to EQ, making sure there aren’t any unwanted frequencies from instruments or other elements in the background that won’t be able to come out in the final mix.

Make sure to use a good compressor after you’ve done the initial balance of your tracks. This will ensure that the dynamics are controlled.

Make sure that any additional instruments you have in your track can be easily heard. For example, if you’re mixing a hip-hop track, make sure that your rapper’s lyrics aren’t drowned out by the instrumental tracks and that they can be clearly heard.

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If you have any instrument tracks with too much reverb, use a good reverberation plugin to reduce the reverb on these tracks until it sounds balanced with the other elements in the rest of the track.

If you’re mixing anything with vocals, make sure that their background noise levels are at a minimum. Reducing the level of background noise will help you be able to work better with the vocal tracks once you begin EQing them.

Balancing your tracks

Before EQing, make sure that your track sounds balanced. Listen to each of your tracks individually, and try to find any additional tracks that will complement the others in your mix. This will help you in your mixing stage because you’ll already have a good idea of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each track.

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The first step to EQing is to get an idea of what frequency ranges you’re working with, which is a very easy task when using GBs. Simply select the right color knob on the equalizer and listen to the changes that are being made by changing each band (in this case, by selecting different colors). Once you’ve listened to the changes, try to find a section in your track where there is no activity and apply some EQ. This will help you get a good idea of what each frequency band can do and how it might affect your track. These are the steps that I usually follow when I’m trying to EQ my tracks.

Adjusting the Bass (low frequencies)

The bass frequencies are very important in every mix because they define how low or high your track is going to sound. If your bass is too loud, it will overbalance your track and cause it to sound dull and unbalanced. If your bass is too quiet, it will become an unwanted noise in the background. In our example above, the first thing that comes to mind when we see “low frequencies” is the lower part of the EQ knob where the bass frequencies are located.

You could be using a bass EQ and find that that isn’t enough, or you could try boosting the lower frequency range with an additional plugin like the FabFilter Low Cut. In this case, however, it might be better to start with a higher frequency range like 200Hz and work your way down.

If the frequency range is too high in your track, use an additional plugin such as FabFilter Pro-Q 2 or FabFilter Pro-C II to cut some of these frequencies from your track. However, if the frequencies are too low in your track, you could try boosting them with a plugin such as FabFilter Pro-Q 2 or FabFilter Pro-C II to make them more present.

Balancing the Mid-range (mid frequencies)

If the bass frequencies sound too high in your track, use an additional plugin such as FabFilter Pro-Q 2 or FabFilter Pro-C II to cut some of these frequencies from your track. If they sound too low, apply an additional boost to bring them up.

If the mid-range frequencies sound too high in your track, apply an additional boost to bring them up. If they sound too low, reduce the frequency range with a plugin such as FabFilter Pro-Q 2 or FabFilter Pro-C II.

Balancing the Treble (high frequencies)

If the bass frequencies are too high in your track, use an additional plugin such as FabFilter Pro-Q 2 or FabFilter Pro-C II to cut some of these frequencies from your track. If they’re too low, reduce the frequency range in the same way that you did with the mid-range frequencies.

If the treble frequencies are too high in your track, apply an additional boost to them to bring them up. If they’re too low, use an additional plugin such as FabFilter Pro-Q 2 or FabFilter Pro-C II to decrease their presence.

Equalizing

The next step after you’ve balanced your tracks is EQing. This means using a plugin to adjust the frequencies in an audio track. Here are some tools that I use for this kind of work:

FabFilter Pro-Q 2 This is my favorite EQ tool as it provides a great interface and also comes with a precise and precise analog modeled EQ, which makes it easier to find the frequency ranges that I want to adjust.

This is my favorite EQ tool as it provides a great interface and also comes with a precise and precise analog modeled EQ, which makes it easier to find the frequency ranges that I want to adjust. FabFilter Pro-C II This plugin has an extremely simple interface that makes it easy to use, but the sound quality could be better. However, if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on plugins like me, this one should suffice.

This plugin has an extremely simple interface that makes it easy to use, but the sound quality could be better. However, if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on plugins like me, this one should suffice. Waves Pultec EQ This plugin works extremely well for a very good price if you have a limited budget.

This plugin works extremely well for a very good price if you have a limited budget. FabFilter Pro-Q This plugin is a great EQ tool as it provides you with very precise control over your tracks. However, the interface isn’t that great.

This plugin is a great EQ tool as it provides you with very precise control over your tracks. However, the interface isn’t that great. Waves Q4 This is a well-rounded tool with an easy to use interface and an accurate sound quality. Definitely a good choice if you have money to spend on EQs for your studio.

EQing is a very important part of the mixing process that you should spend a good deal of time on. As you can see, there is no specific sound that you need to achieve for each track, but your goal should be to make your tracks sound as great as possible and to reinforce their character.

Using Auxiliary channels

Aux channels are similar in function to buses, but they have certain characteristics that give them a unique purpose and workflow in the studio.

Auxiliary channels are used to send any audio that you want to another channel in a project. This might sound very simple but there are actually a number of different uses and advantages that we can gain from using auxiliary channels. The better use of aux channels will help you get the most out of them in your production workflow.

One common use is to send audio from one track to another while balancing the overall volume and working with effects (such as compression or equalization). This is often used for mixing and mastering purposes.

It’s good to use this kind of setup when you need to adjust the overall volume of your tracks and you don’t have enough headroom to do so in your DAW (in digital audio workstations, there is a maximum amount of sound that can be recorded at one time). To avoid reducing the quality of your mix or master by lowering the gain on all your tracks, an auxiliary channel comes in handy as it allows you to control the overall volume between multiple tracks.

Another common use for aux channels is to send audio from one track to another while adding equalization and compression. This is often used when mixing or mastering, especially if you want to enhance certain aspects of your master while balancing the whole track (such as the kick, snare and high-mid frequencies).

This kind of setup makes it very easy to process multiple tracks at the same time and you can tweak the EQ so that only selected areas are affected by an effect. For example, you can process the snare drums in the song separately and make sure that the high frequencies of these tracks aren’t affected by the bass frequencies.

This is very useful in EDM as it isn’t uncommon for many tracks to share a similar range of frequencies (and this is perfectly fine). Processes like this allow you to give each instrument its own space so that they can be balanced and blended together without taking from each other.

Using Auxiliary channels will also allow you to create a more dynamic track as you can change the characteristics of them over time. This is a great way to keep your tracks lively and exciting, even if the overall volume isn’t changing very much.

Auxiliarity vs. Bus routing

One strong feature that separates aux channels from bus routing is that future processing stages (such as effects) are applied on the auxiliary channel and not the main audio channel (such as “main bus”).

This difference is important because it allows you to process audio files before they arrive at the main output, which means that you can alter the characteristics of something while it is still being recorded, thus allowing for more creative options.

To achieve a similar setup in Pro Tools, you would need to use a bus routing with an effects return track or send. But this will only allow you to process the audio once it has been recorded, so your options are limited (and they will be even more limited if your plugins are latency-heavy).

Therefore, in a simple setup like this one, bus routing will be beneficial only once the master is complete and ready to be mastered. With aux channels, you can change the characteristics of your audio files while they are being recorded. This might seem like a small detail, but it actually makes the process of recording better and more efficient.

There are also other ways to get around this problem:

Record the project (including effects) on auxiliary channels from the beginning instead of mixing them in after all processing has been completed.

Use the option to copy from another recorded track instead of using effects returns tracks or send (which will result in no processing).

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are a variety to apply EQ to your mix but you will first always want to make sure everything is ready to for mixing. This is referred to as the pre-mixing phase, which you can learn more about here.

You have a number of options to choose from when selecting the frequency that you want to adjust. But one thing is almost certain: it’s best to avoid boosting (or cutting) frequencies that are already boosted (or cut). It’s always best to focus on frequencies that aren’t present in your mix (such as low frequencies or mid-range, etc.) and avoid overloading your mix by pushing a particular sound too hard. By following these tips and with some hands on practice you can easily make your mix sound great.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to leave it in the comment section below.