Last week’s tip introduced the concept of subtractive EQ - cutting rather than boosting. This week we’re looking at a technique that will help you identify the problematic frequencies.
Load up your EQ. Set up a bell curve with a fairly narrow Q. Then apply a strong boost and use the band to sweep through the sound. When you start hitting the problem area, you’ll hear the problem getting very exaggerated. That’s the spot right there – now just adjust the Q to your liking and apply a cut.
For example I might have a vocal that I think sounds a bit boxy, but I am not sure of the exact area of where the boxiness comes from. To resolve this I would slowly sweep through the whole low-mid range of the vocal and stop where it gets REALLY boxy.
Cut there – problem solved.
Always remember to listen to the changes you made in the context of the entire mix. It’s very easy to go overboard with cutting “bad” frequencies.