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EQ:INSTRUMENTANDVOCALGUIDELINES

REMEMBER:CUTorDIPbeforeBOOSTING!

INSTRUMENT

FREQUENCY
Boost / Cut / Dip
C 50Hz & Below
B 80Hz

KICKDRUM

SUGGESTED
B / D / C VALUE

Punch & Oomph!


Enhances Bass
Guitar Presence
6db (up to)

B 5 7Khz
B 1 2Khz
D/B 40 50Hz

2db

B 100 150Hz
B 200250Hz

BASSGUITAR

B 400Hz
B 800Hz
B 1.5Khz
B 3Khz
B 5Khz

Enhances Bass
Guitar Presence
More Snap/Attack
Standout

Presence

+4db

Clarity (esp. at Low Volume)


Clarity/Punch Area
Pluck/Clarity
More Pluck
More "Finger Sound"

+2db

TOMDRUMS
(a.k.a.TOMS)

C 150Hz & Below


B 200Hz
D 400Hz, 800Hz & 1.3Khz
B 1Khz
D 5Khz
B 7Khz

Highpass filter mode

C 100Hz

Highpass filter mode

D 300 800Hz
D 400Hz
B 5Khz
B 7Khz

4db (up to)


+2db
+4db

4db (up to)

Yes:Moreonrealmic'dkick
recordingsbutlessonsomepre
compressed'samplesets'.
(ATransientEnhancementPlugin
maybeanotheroption.)

More for Fullness, Less for


Boominess
For Bass/Kick Cohesion
(classic area)

Feel free to dip any frequencies in between the boosts listed above to make all the other
instruments in your mix stick out. For example, if you dip the 300hz area suddenly the guitars
will stick out more. A roll off from 60hz will help a mix's overall high end come through. And
try not to to boost ALL of the frequencies listed above at once. Try one, then another and what
you don't need to boost, leave alone or DIP.

SNAREDRUM

COMPRESSION
Yes?/No?

OTHERFX
SUGGESTIONS

PLUGINS

NEVERS&
DON'TS!!

Use Highpass Filter

D 160Hz, 800Hz
& 1.3Khz
D 200 400 Hz

DESIRED
RESULTS

Mix Distiction
Fullness
Small Dips
Snap
More Distance
More Snap. Fullness.
Unveiling Harmonics & Killing
Low End
Decrease Cardboard sound
More Attack
Attack (more Metallic Sound)

BXBOOMbyBrainworxisagreat
choicetosupplyakickwithmore
Neveruseabigreverbonakick!
Ifasampledkick,addatinybitofa
Maybeforaspecialeffecthereand
'Oomph'butwatchthe
'room'usingareverbpluginifthe
overpoweringlowenditservesup. there,butitwillmushifyanymix
samplerdoesn'tallowforthat
Other'BassEnhancement'plugsare instantlyifaddedthroughouta
already
outtherejustdon'tgocrazywith
song.
them!

DistortionandTapeSaturationgoes
alongwaytomakingabassstick
out.TrythisbeforefloodingtheEQ
spectrumwithboosts.

YES:Lotsofpresetscomewith
mostcompressionplugins.Try
themall,andtweaktoyourheart's
(andear's)content.Longer'attack
times'meanmoretransientscome
through.

BassRiderbyWaves
PSPVintageWarmer
I.K.MultimediaAmpegSVX

Nevermuddy/chokeyourlowend
withbassbooststhatusethesame
EQfrequenciesusedforyourkick!

BASSGROOVESpecificInfo:
BEATLEBASS
100Hz(+23db)
3Khz(+36dbifnopick)
1218Khz(Dipforwarmth)

TWANGTHANG
200250Hz(6db)
1Khz(+6db)
100Hz(+1to+2db)

SILLYLOVETONE
100Hz(+23db)
500Hz(+6db)
300Hz(3db)
12Khz(6db)

MOTOWN/REGGAE
1Khz(5to6db)
200Hz(+3db)
HighEQ(6dborso)
AddmoreBottom

ENTWISTLEBASS
12Khz(+6to+9db)
200Hz(6db)
100Hz(2to3dboptional)

MOTOWN(Punchier)
5Khzinsteadofthe1Khz(6dbormore)
(restisasabove)

JACOJAZZ(andFretless)
1Khz(+6db)
200Hz(9dbormore)
100Hz(+1to+2db)
12Khz(1to2db)
(trycutting800Hzratherthan200for
variation)

Yes:Moreonrealmic'dsnare
Reverb,sometimestapesaturation
PSPAudiowareplugscangiveyou Toomuchtimemixingmusicwill
recordingsbutlessonsomepre
ordistortion.Mostdrumsample
whatyouneedforsnare'pop'. causeyourmindtothinkyoursnare
compressed'samplesets'.
setshavemultiplemicpositions:
Voxengoisaclose2nd.Wavesstuff isn'tbrightenoughdon'tboostEQ
(ATransientEnhancementPlugin takeadvantageofthemtogetmore
verypricey!
highstocompensate!
maybeanotheroption.)
'roomsound'orless,asdesired.
Useslightlylessreverbonthetoms
Yes:Moreonrealmic'dtom
Don'tletthe'presampled'drum
thanyouwouldonthesnare.Toms
recordingsbutlessonsomepre
kitsdeterminethestereoseparation
'ring'whilesnaresdon't(asmuch). Sameasforsuggestedpluginsfor
compressed'samplesets'.
ofthetoms.YOUdeterminehow
SnareDrum.
Learnto'Gate'thetomsusing
(ATransientEnhancementPlugin
wideyouwantthemspreadout.
pluginsthatlessenthe'ringingtime'
maybeanotheroption.)
Lessissometimesbetter.
oftheskin.

INSTRUMENT

FREQUENCY
Boost / Cut / Dip
C 200hz

SUGGESTED
B / D / C VALUE
Highpass filter mode

400Hz 1Khz &


600Hz 800Hz

HIHAT
(Cymbal)

CRASHES&RIDES
(Cymbals)

PERCUSSION
(ingeneral)

B 5Khz

High Shelving

B 12.5Khz

High Shelving

C 200hz
D 400Hz

Highpass filter mode

C 200hz 400hz

Highpass filter mode

B 7Khz

D 800Hz
B 500Hz

GUITARS
(allofthem)

4db(upto)

B 400Hz
B (300350Khz)
D 1.5Khz

B/D 3Khz
+3db(upto)
B/D 5Khz
B 6 to 7Khz
B 10Khz

PIANO

B 3Khz

Highpass filter mode

B 3Khz

Highpass filter mode

B 100Hz

B 5Khz
B 7Khz
B 10Khz

4db (up to)

B 5Khz
B 7Khz

4db (up to)

ORGAN/SYNTHS
B 15Khz

COMPRESSION
Yes?/No?

OTHERFX
SUGGESTIONS

PLUGINS

NEVERS&
DON'TS!!

Rids the muddiness


These are the midrange tones
of the HiHat play around up
NeverbelieveyourearswithHiHats
Again,ifyou'reworkingwitha
BBESonicMaximizerorother
and down until desired tones NO:HardlyanythatI'veeverfound sampledkit,theHiHatwillkindabe
afteranhourplusofmixingyour
'HarmonicEnhancement'plugins
are reached
useful.ButIworkwithsampledkits. justfineontheirown.Thatbeing
track.You'llstartboostingthehighs
usetheseasanalternativeto'high
Just a touch to start raise
ormakingtheHiHatlouderthanit
RealHiHatswouldrequiresome said,arollingoffofthemunwanted
shelving'justnotboth!Youwant
shelf as needed later, but not
frequenciesinthe200hzandunder
shouldbeandthat'saproblem.
compressionforsure.
sizzle,notbrittle!
too much
range?Goodideaanyhow.
TiredearsLIE!
To REALLY crispin or brighten
them up
Rids the muddiness
Decrease cymbal ambience
Rids the muddiness

More Presence/Attack

D 80150Hz

B/ D 100Hz

DESIRED
RESULTS

Remove excess bottom & add


clarity on Acoustic Guitars
Reduce Cheap Sound
Boost for SOLO warmth
More for fullness, less for
clarity
Adds warmth
Give THIS range to Electrics.
Remove Dullness
Boost for Edge (Reduce to
mask Out of Tune Guitar)
ALSO: Boost electrics while
reducing Acoustics in this
range creates separation
Increased for
Attack/Brightness (esp. Rock
Guitars)
Sharpness
For light brightness (on
Acoustic Guitar)
Edge/Attack for Lower Parts
Esp.
Edge/Attack for Lower Parts
Esp.
Warmth careful with this
frequency though, especially in
connection with Bass guitar
being used in the song being
mixed
Clarity/Brightness
Sharpness
Brightness
Clarity/Brightness
Sharpness
More Realism in Sample
Synths (Soundfonts)

YES:Unlessyourdrummerhasthe SimilaradvicetoHiHatrollofflows
AswiththeHiHat,don'tbe
BBESonicMaximizerorother
controlofJohnBonham,compress butexperimentwithhighshelving
temptedtomaketheselouder&
'HarmonicEnhancement'typeplugs.
brighteraftermixingforawhile.
thesebabies!
toonottoomuch.
Ilovegettingsomestereo
Shakersarehardtogettheright
NEVEREVEREVEREVERsaytothe
enhancementonthebrightertypes
tone.UseparametricEQfilter
guyatthemixingconsole,"Weneed
Depends:Ifit'sawildcongaplayer,
ofpercussionYoucanusedelays
sweepstofindsweetspotsorweed
morecowbell!"Hewillnotthinkit's
yeahanevenkeeledshaker,nah.
forthisordedicatedstereo
outyucktones.Orusesampled
funnyandhemayslapyoubefore
enhancementplugsfromVoxengo,
stuffeasierattimes.
walkingawayforseveralhours.
PSPAudiowareorothers

Endless
Yes:Workwithyourpresetsand
fiddlewithyourattacktimes.You'll
findyou'llcompressdifferentlyeach
Usewhatevertoolsatyourdisposal
timeandit'sdependentonwhether
tocreatestereoseparationonlarge
yourguitaristisapicker,strummer,
mixes.Alotofthiscomesfrom
popper,plucker,slapper,tapperor
smartEQingtechniquesandnot
thrummer.
fromplugins/FX.

Yes:Usepluginpresetsandtoy
aroundfromthere.

ALWAYSRolloffanylowendyou
don'tneed!
YourprimaryFXtoaddarereverb,
stereoimageadjusters(tounwiden
theimage,mosttimes),andeven
delaycancreateadifferentkindof
stereoimagethat'squitedecent.
Othersmightincludetape
saturation,chorusandharmonics
enhancement(tobeusedinplaceof
highshelvingEQ)

Endlesstothepowerof11

Sometoconsider:
N.I.GuitarRig,PeaveyRevalver,
OverloudTH2,I.K.Multimedia
Amplitube,WavesGuitar,Vox
Jamvox

NEVERrecordwithanoutoftune
guitar.Doesn'tmatterthat
MelodyneDNAisouttheretofix
that(somewhat).Justhaveyour
SlowhandorVanHalenwannabe
tunethedanginstrument!

Sampledpianoshaveatendencyto
betoowide:DONOT:letthe
stereowidthofthesampledpiano
BBEproducts,PSPAudioware&
Voxengoallgood.Tone2AkustiX determineit'spositioninthestereo
field!YOUdeterminethatas
Enhancergreatforbrighteningall
befittingthesong.WavesS1
sortsofinstrumentsandithaslots
Shufflerandsomeknobsonthe
ofgreatpresets.Affordabletoo.
samplersthemselvescancontrol
stereospread.Use!

ALWAYSRolloffanylowendyou
There'sagazillionsyths.Dont
don'tneed!
forgetyouroldsynthgatheringdust
NEVER:PlayV.H.'s'JUMP'ona
OCCASIONALLY:Mostsynthsbuild Giveharmonicenhancementand inthecorneroldstuffcansound
synth.Somethingverybadwill
theirpatcheswithallFXin,including distortion(tubewarming)awhirl new,dependingonthetrack.Best
happentoyoureaditonafortune
compression.
nowandthen.Addingextrastereo
organsoutthereincludeN.I.'s
cookie.
widthordelayscanbegreatfor
VintageOrgans(orB4II)andUSB's
enhnacingthestereofield.
'Charlie'

INSTRUMENT

FREQUENCY
Boost / Cut / Dip

SUGGESTED
B / D / C VALUE

B 5Khz

STRINGS

D 100 125Hz

Brightness
Highpass filter mode
6db or more, as necessary

D 200 300Hz
D 900Hz
D 500Hz 1Khz
D 150 500Hz
B 100 250Hz
B/D 200Hz

LEADVOCALS
(alltypes)

+ or
from 2 to 4db

B 1 3Khz

D 2 5 Khz

B 3.5Khz

+3db (up to)

B 4 10Khz

B 5Khz range

B/D 7Khz to 10Khz

+ 4 (at the 10khz mark)

B 15Khz
D 400Hz

Highpass filter mode

D 14Khz

BACKGROUND
VOCALS
(otherwiseknownas
B.G'sorbackingvox)

B 3Khz
D 5Khz
B 89Khz

COMPRESSION
Yes?/No?

OTHERFX
SUGGESTIONS

PLUGINS

NEVERS&
DON'TS!!

Yes:Usepluginpresetsandtoy
aroundfromthere.

ALWAYSRolloffanylowendand
dipoutanyotherfrequenciesyou
don'tneed!

Again,agazillionsamplesetsout
there.Usestereowidenersand
harmonicenhancementplugs
insteadofEQonceinawhile.

NEVERFORGET:Violasarepeople
too.

Presence

B 15Khz
D 60hz

DESIRED
RESULTS

6db or more, as necessary


Shelving

Roll off them lows to provide


clarity and demud the vocal
Avoid Muddy Sound (Male
Vox)
Avoid Muddy Sound
(Female Vox)
Reduce this frequency on
'piercing' Male Voices
This is the 'hardness'
Wavesrecentlyintroduceda
frequency range
productthatsavesyouhavingto
NEVER:
This is the 'boxy, hollow, or
draw'automation'linesthatassist
1)Recordyourvocaltooquiet
witheveningthevolumeofyour
2)Recordyourvocaltooloud
tubey' frequency range
vocaltrack'WavesVocalRider'.
3)Drinkmilk,alcoholorbeerwhile
Increases boominess
singingunlessyouwanttosuckbig
Reduce for clarity on low
AGAIN:RolloffunwantedLow
Therearesomeinexpensive
time
vocals but Increase for filling
End!
alternativesthataremadebyBlue
4)Recordwithreverbifyoucan
in higher vocals
CatAudiothatmaydothesame helpit(willassistyourmaintaining
Controls Metallic/Nasal
thingtoo.
betterpitch!)
Thehumanvoiceisthehardest
hardness (Reduce on 3Khz in Yes:Usepluginpresetsandfiddle
5)Say,"We'lljustautotunethat
instrumenttocontrol.FXPresets
particular for Female Singer aboutuntilitdoesn'tsoundlikethe workforsomevocaltypesbutsuck ALL/ANYFXcanbeaddedtoavoice. later,right?"Singitagain12tracks
voiceisgettingsquashed.
harshness)
Therearenorulesletyour
ifyouhaveto!BetterNOpitch
onothers.Don'tbesurprisedif
Controls Intelligibility, Wooly
imaginationrunrampant.
correctionwherepossible...far
yourFXchainhas48plugins
or lifeless tones
runningjusttogetthesoundyou
morenatural!
Creates 'Standout' (Don't
want.
THEMAINEFFECTyouwilluseisa 6)Forgettolearnyourlyricsinside
overdo: this will also reduce
DeESSer.Nothinghurtstheear
andout,sowhenyougotorecord,
naturalism, can harshen or
morethananastysibalanceona
youcanjustcloseyoureyesand
vocal!Useitsetitwalkaway. feel/expressyourlines.Readingoff
thinout the voice, making it
Comebackafteradayandadjust apageisfornarratorsandcartoon
irritating.
again.Younevergetitrightthefirst voiceartists.Singlikeyoumeanit!
Sibilance (Ess sounds) and
timethrough!
Grittiness occur with this
boost, however.
Some shelve upwards from
here, and it's a pleasant range
to enhance and brighten the
vocal
Increase on a dull singer but
decrease on an 'Essy' singer
Brightens breath sound
Enhances High Harmonies
AGAIN:RolloffunwantedLow
Increases
End!
distinction/separates the Lead
Lovetocreatewidthandstereo There'sagreatproductfromIzotope
Vox from the B.G's (but don't
separationwithmulitpletakesof (anythingtheymakeisgreat,really)
overdip or you will sacrifice
thesameharmonylines.Throw called'NECTAR'.Thisisanallinone
Yes:Usepluginpresetsandfiddle
clarity!)
themleft,centerandrightuntlyou Effectpluginthatwill(thanksto
SamerulesforB.G.'ssingersasfor
Increases breathy, soft sound about.Younearlywanttosquash
manypresetstostartyouoff)set
theLeadVocalists.
haveasuperbstereospread.
theB.G.'sonPop&Rockmusic.
for B.G.'s
youontherightpathforvocalsin
Again, helps separate the Lead
Useadifferentsetofmicsforthe general.Youcouldalmost usejust
Vox from the B.G.'s
B.G.singerstoprovideneeded
thisoneeffectinyourFXbin.
Will create angelic effect
distinction/separationfromthelead
sometimes. Shevling is good
vocalist(s).
anyhow.