10 EQ Mistakes You Need to Avoid
EQ is a vital tool for mixing engineers use. It’s a crucial arsenal that you can avoid if you deal with mixing and mastering. Abusing it makes the track appear wimpy and muddy. So how can you abuse EQ and start using it like a pro? Here are common mistakes that you need to avoid.
Fully using a parametric EQ for too long
You can use the parametric EQ to boost and sweep around until you find a room resonances on your vocals. The parametric EQ can be off-putting, especially if you want to apply quite heavy tonal EQ. Before fully using the paramedic EQ make sure you leave room for using other tonal EQ.
Assuming you can identify frequencies by ear.
Sometimes you might assume you can identify EQ by your ear. You might think it is something you were not born with like perfect pitch, but this is not true. You need to learn how to identify the frequencies by ear. These are helpful since you can listen to your mix and identify the issues you need to solve. You can use services like Qiztones or Soundgym.com and start testing and developing your hearing abilities.
Using way too much EQ on vocals
When you apply too much EQ to your vocal, it will start to get worse. It sounds like a rabbit hole and sounds even worse after you try to add more EQ or even fixing it. You can also end up with four different EQs which becomes a big issue that you will overcome by trying to be more careful with EQ.
Trying mixing with only subtractive EQ
Some people believe that using the subtractive EQ only is the best way to mix. If this works for you, then it’s okay. However, At Mr. Mix and Master, we strive to find better results by combining the subtractive EQ and the additive EQ.
You use EQ because you think you have to
At Mr. Mix and Master, we know that EQ is important, but instead of using it everywhere, we focus on our intention with every single move. Think about what you are trying to achieve, why you need an EQ and once you have the answers it becomes easier to decide whether to use or not.
You ignore the mix buss
If you have an issue with the mix, maybe it sounds muddy, or it needs more top-end. You can use the mix buss. This is the first things the first thing we do after balancing at our Mr. Mix and Master studio.
Often avoiding being too aggressive
Sometime you might think that being aggressive is all about adding 2dB boost here and 1dB boost there. Being too aggressive comes back to intention. You have the intention, and the snare needs more crack or aggression in the upper-mid range to cut through the mix and sound the way you want, then you can be aggressive.
Using a lot of plugins
Using a lot of plugins can be overwhelming. You get confused on when to use Pultes vs. a fully parametric EQ and much more. One or two is enough.
Not volume matching an EQ
This isn’t as problematic as the others are, but the idea is bypassing the EQ once you’ve applied it. These ways you will see if you are making an improvement.
Thinking there is a secret to using EQ
Thinking there are more strategies and techniques for using EQ that you don’t understand will confuse you. It is easy to overthink EQ, but ultimately having an intention, trying to achieve it and moving on are the only techniques we use at Mr. Mix and Master.