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EQ and Compressor: How to start using them in the mix-Part A'

Monday, November 11, 2019

 

 

We have talked so many times for mixing and I think that we are going to talk for million of hours in the future on this topic ,so we can understand the meaning of mixing and we have to do so we can get the desired results for our songs

 

First of all you have to understand that mixing is all about balance. To create this balance we have to set the right levels on each instrument and of course to the whole project. So the first thing you have to do is to spend some time with your volume faders until you set the right level of volume in your mix. The most proper volume level is your master fader not to pass above -8 dB or even -10dB. This is a preferred level so you can have enough headroom to start your mix.

 

The next step after that,is to start editing and improving your tracks.Let’s say for an example we have an acoustic guitar that we have recorded in mono track. I want to point out this ,because I have heard so many times that we have more stereo width if we record in stereo.No,this wrong! We can record in stereo track for some specific occasions ,but I’m not going to dive in this today. Now ,as I told you,firstly you have to edit each track separately with EQ. I have written a blog post for the basics of EQ , so you can learn more on the basics.

 

On the first band of the EQ we select the high pass filter. This depends on the instrument on how much we want to cut,but in a general rule we want to isolate some frequencies that are not so important for this track and they don’t have to fall over other frequencies from other instruments like bass or kick drum. In the acoustiv guitar I suggest to cut from 80HZ and below.We don’t need these frequencies on guitar.With this first move you will understand the difference ,but if you don’t ,I am sure that you will ,as long as you keep going with your mix.

 

 

Now the next step is to find these annoying or unneeded frequencies on your tracks. If you are new at mixing ,this is going to be difficult for you ,but believe me ,you are going to improve yourself by practice. Now you press play and start sweeping all the frequencies on this track from left to right and back. And you can do it as many times you have to do.Don’t  trust your ears with only one time. You pick a band ,you increase the gain and you narrow the bandwidth with Q.From there you start sweeping until you hear something that it’s not so good. For example on acoustic guitar we want to cut this frequency that makes your guitar sound boomy. When you find this frequency ,you just cut -3 ,-4 dB not more. Put the play back  again and listen carefully. Try to insist , until you are absolutely sure that you have removed the right frequency.

 

Bonus tip: By increasing the gain , all the frequencies are going to sound different .That doesn’t mean that all of them are bad frequencies.You have to train your ears ,so you can tell which are the frequencies that you don’t need on this track. You have to practice on this and you will get better.also, when you boost some frequencies you have to keep it wide instead of cutting then you have to keep it narrow.You can do this with Q button.

 

Listen to the whole mix.Avoid the solo button.if you want to learn fast and to get better in mixing you have to practice lisdtening to the whole mix after EQ some frequencies. In the beginning you may want to solo ,so you can tell the difference but if you want to know for sure that t

 

With practicing on boosting the frequencies and sweeping around ,you will get better each day and you will know which frequencies are good and which not for your tracks. Besides that boosting the good frequencies ,you get the punch and the clarity that you want for your mix

 

In part 2 ,we are going to talk on compressing.

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