001 MixCoach Minute-When EQing Doesn’t Work

Why is it that EQing some sounds is just what the doctor ordered, and for some other sounds, it only seems to worsen the problem?

I will answer this question in this, the first episode of the MixCoach Minute.



Raw Transcript:

Hey guys, its Kevin with MixCoach, and this is the first episode of the
MixCoach Minute. Let me explain to you really quick what the MixCoach
Minute is going to be. I find that I’m in my best element when I am
answering questions for people, friends of mine, when maybe someone comes
and asks me a quick question. I love to elaborate on what I know about it.
Now, the answers that I’ll give are not the university accepted answers,
and it may not even be accepted by other engineers. This is strictly my
opinion and what has worked for me. Okay?

So, I wanted to put a series together of MixCoach Minutes, basically one
off questions from members and other guys on YouTube, Facebook, and things
like that. This is the first episode. I wanted to let you know, too, that
this is also being sponsored by MixCoach Member. If you want some real
training with mixing, MixCoach Member is the place to go. We have a
different song every month, and different styles. There are tutorials for
each specific song that we’re mixing.

So, they’re not generalized tutorials. It’s like, here’s the problem with
this bass guitar, and here’s how to fix it on this particular song. You get
to download the sessions and you get to mingle with the members who find
their own solutions for things, and we turn into mixes at the end of the
month which is another big thing that mixers need to learn to do. If you’re
going to be a mixer who makes a living or who even does this consistently,
you need to be able to turn things in. That’s also built into MixCoach
Member. So, if you really want some good training check out

Let’s go ahead and get to the first question. Andrew Lawrence says, “Why do
some sounds seem to take EQing while other sounds don’t get much better?”
Andrew, that’s a great question. I have to say, now you’re probably not
doing this, but a tendency for all of us when we’re first getting started
is to over EQ things, to EQ things that don’t need to be EQ’d.

So, sometimes when I’m mixing and I find that a sound is not taking well to
EQ no matter what I do, I just don’t EQ it. I know that’s a simple
question, and that’s probably not the answer you’re looking for. But I find
that most sounds, if they’re recorded with a decent mic, through a decent
pre, which I don’t know of any bad mic pre’s, and you’re probably not using
any bad mic’s, and a lot of the things that I record are not recorded
through bad signal chains. Most of that stuff does not need to be EQ’d if
it was mic’d properly. I find that I get the most mileage out of filtering
the low end out of it. If it sounds tinny sometimes, and too bright and too
hi-fi, I can carve off the top end, too and possibly even distort it a
little bit with a saturation plug-in or tape plug-in. A lot of times I get
a lot of mileage out of that.

The reason it doesn’t take EQing is it doesn’t need to be EQ’d sometimes.
I’ve gotten into this same trap before, where someone will send me good
sounding tracks. I’ll go in and say, I’m going to change the world with my
EQing skills. And I find that what I do is not helping at all. That’s why
it’s always important to AB what you’re EQing against the original source
and make sure that you’re making steps in the right direction.

Because sometimes as engineers we kind of find our worth in how much we do
to a song. As you mature when you’re mixing you find that sometimes it’s
what you don’t do that makes the biggest difference. That’s why a lot of
people prefer the rough mix over the mix, because we tend to get into that
downward spiral of over EQing everything. In my opinion that’s why some
things don’t sound better EQ’d because they don’t need to be EQ’d.

Okay, I hope that at least gets the conversation started, Andrew. Thanks
for the question. I will see you soon on the next MixCoach Minute. Check
out MixCoach Member, too. Bye.

Click HERE to watch the next episode of the MixCoach Minute!

MixCoach, Eq, Sounds

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