How to EQ like the Pros Do!

EQ SETTINGS FOR MIXING


Picture by simon wright

Here is a great guide to show you where the different frequency ranges are so you can make better choices when mixing your track. Feel Free to book mark this post as reference when mixing!


Kick Drum

Muddiness can be rolled off around 300Hz. Add a small boost around 5-8kHz to add some high end to punch through the mix.

Frequency Effect

50-100Hz Adds bottom to the sound

100-250Hz Adds roundness

250-800Hz Muddiness Area

5-8kHz Adds high end presence

8-12kHz Adds Hiss


Snares

A small boost around 60-120Hz will give the sound more body. Boosting around 6kHz will give a snappy sound.

Frequency Effect

100-250Hz Fills out the sound

6-8kHz Adds presence


Hi hats, Cymbals, Rides

Muddiness can be rolled off around 300Hz. Add some brightness with a small boost around 3kHz.

Frequency Effect

250-800Hz Muddiness area

1-6kHz Adds presence

6-8kHz Adds clarity

8-12kHz Adds brightness


Bass

A boost around 60Hz will add more body. Any muddiness can be rolled off around 300Hz. If more presence is needed, try a boost around 6kHz.

Frequency Effect

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


Vocals

This wildly varies depending on which mic you’ve used to record on. Try either a cut or boost around 300hz depending on the other elements in the mix . A tiny boost around 6kHz will add some clarity, but don’t go mad or the vocal will begin sounding harsh.

Frequency Effect

100-250Hz Adds up-front sound

250-800Hz Muddiness area

1-6kHz Adds presence

6-8kHz Adds sibilance and clarity

8-12kHz Adds brightness


Piano

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

Frequency Effect

50-100Hz Adds bottom

100-250Hz Adds roundness

250-1kHz Muddiness area

1-6kHz Adds presence

6-8Khz Adds clarity

8-12kHz Adds hiss


Electric guitars

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.

Frequency Effect

100-250Hz Adds body

250-800Hz Muddiness area

1-6Khz Cuts through the mix

6-8kHz Adds clarity

8=12kHz Adds hiss


Acoustic guitar

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.

Frequency Effect

100-250Hz Adds body

6-8kHz Adds clarity

8-12kHz Adds brightness


Strings

These depend entirely on the mix and the sound used.

Frequency Effect

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


Additional Notes:

Low End:

Anything less than 50Hz is the sub bass and is most commonly taken up by the lowest part of the kick drum or bass sounds. It’s wise to try and roll off frequencies here with a high pass filter as subsonics are usually inaudible and rob you of extra headroom.

Bass: 50-250Hz

This is the home stereo bass boost territory, adding a small boost in the upper ranges to add some presence or clarity.

Muddiness: 200-800Hz

This is the problem area for muddy sounding mixes. Most frequencies around here can cause psycho-acoustic problems & if too many sounds in a mix are present here, your  track will just sound bad, try to keep this area as sparsely populated as possible.

Mid-range: 800-6kHz

Human hearing is extremely sensitive at these frequencies, and even a minute boost around here will result in a huge change in the sound. Human speech is focus in this area, so it’s the frequency range we hear more than any other. Often when you hear one track that sounds louder than another with the same peak level it’s due to this area having a boost and increasing the “perceived loudness” factor.

High Range: 6-8kHz

If you boost this area is slightly it will make sounds artificially brighter and is common place in mastering for CD.

Hi-High Range: 8-20kHz

This is where you can make your track sound higher quality than it actually is, with carefully planned boosts. Be careful not to overdo it though as you’ll end up with a hissy mix that just annoys the listener.

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12 comments

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    Hi there - any chance can you give me the proper attribution as this was an image I created a few years ago. Cheers, Simon

    Hi there - any chance can you give me the proper attribution as this was an image I created a few years ago.

    Cheers, Simon

  • The Maniac Agenda
    The Maniac Agenda
    Sure - I found from a forum with no Attribution- What is your link information?

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    Hey Simon, is it possible to get a high rez copy of this chart? It's brilliant but hard to read the smaller print. Thx.

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    Any update on getting a HD copy of this chart?? Please :)

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