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What Are The Pitfalls Of Using EQ (incorrectly)?

Now that you know the basics of EQ and how we can use it, we’re going to keep you from making the same mistakes as tons of other producers before you.

Look At The Bigger Picture We get that you’re trying to make a bassline or lead synth (or any other sound) smashing by itself. It’s tempting, we know. But the truth is that you’re missing the point of EQ. You could’ve made it the best sound in the world, but if it doesn’t fit your mix, all of the effort was for nothing. Make it your number one priority to EQ in context. After all, EQ is meant to balance your mix. Not to enhance individual sounds. You’ve got other tools for that.

There’s No Such Thing As Magic You can EQ all you want for hours on end, but it’s not going to help you fix a bad recording. It’s like trying to turn a sub bass sound into a high-frequency synth stab. You can’t boost high frequencies when they aren’t there to begin with. The same principle applies here. EQ doesn’t increase the quality of the recording. You’d be better off just re-recording.

Know When To Stop It’s easy to get lost in EQing, especially if you’re a born perfectionist. When nothing ever sounds good enough to you, remind yourself that making too many EQ adjustments can work sideways. Every time you boost or cut a frequency, you’re altering the fundamentals of a sound. Because of this, too many alterations can cause it to sound unnatural or even dull. If you do feel that it needs that much EQing, you should just chose a different sound that doesn’t need as many changes.

Automation Is Your Friend Sometimes, an EQ setting is great for quieter sections, but fails to work magic when all sounds come together. Or vice versa. This is where automation can help you out. Don’t be afraid to use it. Automation’s got your back.

Presets Are Bad. Mkay? Look. It’s very kind of the EQ builders to supply you with a bunch of presets to make use of. There’s just one tiny, whiny problem. Those presets are made to suit a general use. You don’t want general. You want something custom-made for your own, unique sound. And the only way to get that is to adjust the settings yourself.

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