Audio equalization – EQ Music
When you listen to music, you may not notice the effects of audio equalization right away. However, the sound of music can be enhanced through equalization which is one of those music effects that can often be overlooked. Using EQ can help a sound blend in or stand out when mixing music. (Mixing Technique on how to EQ music explained further down the page).
A frequency spectrum analysis using a spectrum or spectral analyzer will help you figure out where to cut and boost. Wait… What?!
Humans hear in the frequency range from 20Hz to 20,000Hz (or 20k). Spectral analyzers show where in that range a sound lies. This can help determine where to to boost or cut.
EQ Music Mixing Techniques
Now we get into how to EQ music. After doing a frequency spectrum analysis of your audio… If you have 2 instruments overlapping in a frequency range, it’s a good idea to cut some at that frequency. Say sound “A” occupies the frequency range 100 – 500 Hz and sound “B” occupies 400 – 800 Hz, then you would want to remove some in the 400 -500 Hz range. You may want to remove entirely from “A” or “B” or a bit from both.To make a sound stand out, roll off the bottom end, but to make a sound blend in roll off the upper frequencies.
*tip – You may want to add a SLIGHT amount of compression. The idea of this mixing technique is that it will squish the sounds together, helping with the harmonic frequency overlap after a cut has been applied.
The instruments may sound fine when heard individually, but remember it’s about the mix as a whole. If you’re worried about harmonics, the 2 sounds will help fill in the harmonics of each other. EQ music for the mix as a whole, not just one sound/instrument.
Often people boost frequencies, when they should cut it they want it to SOUND BETTER. If it sounds muddy and unclear cut some 300Hz or even try shelving EQ less than that.
Equalize to give each instrument it’s own spot in a mix. *tip – Be sure to pan too, even if only slightly. You may be pleasantly surprised by how good it can sound.
Hopefully this mixing tutorial on how to EQ music helps!
Summary of how to EQ music and Info on music mixing technique
- Audio spectrum frequency range 20Hz to 20KHz.
- Stand out – cut the lower frequencies
- Blend in – cut the higher frequencies
- When cutting use a narrow Q (bandwidth)
- When boosting use a wide Q (bandwidth)
- It’s OK to cut frequencies
- EQ music for the final mix. Don’t get stuck on the track you are working on at the time.
- No hard and fast rules!