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Fundamental Guides to Using EQ Part #1

In this series I will be showing you what an equalizer is, what it does and how to use iteffectively. The secret to getting that clarity and low end definition you've always wanted is about to be revealed. You are about to start mixing and producing like a pro, even you are pro there are always new tricks you can learn.

Lets Get Started - Let's start by establishing the basic components of an equalizer or what makes up an equalizer, and the first thing we will look at today is Frequency. You will learn about the frequency spectrum and how to impact your sound positively by knowing what needs to be done.

Frequency (20Hz – 20kHz):

Understanding frequency is very crucial to learning how an EQ works. Lets just say that an EQ’s purpose is simply to balance the frequency spectrum on an audio signal. Take for example a drum set, we know each component of a drum set produces its own unique and distinctive sound. The kick drum produces a low (bottom end) sound while the crash or ride is known to produce a high (top end) sound. So it is safe to say that each instrument produces different frequencies when it is played.

For example: When a bass guitar is played you can hear the dominant low frequencies and at the same time hear some mid to high frequencies coming from the bass guitar simultaneously.

The frequency spectrum on an EQ ranges from 20Hz to 20kHz(20,000hz) as seen in the image above. 20Hz being a low frequency and 20kHz and above being a very high frequency. It is good to know where different instruments lie on the frequency spectrum as this will help you make good EQ moves during mixing and also during the recording or production process.

For example: A male vocal singer can have a frequency range from 85Hz to 10kHz while a piano track can range between 40Hz and 7kHz, of course depending on what octaves they are.

See how these frequencies are characterized in the music world.

So knowing the dominant frequencies an instrument is meant to produce will help you know how to EQ the instrument. As you can see in the table above how each instruments are placed in the frequency range that they are most dominant in.

Now that we understand what frequency is, it is time to know why it is a staple component of an EQ and how to use it effectively. A frequency can be altered by simply increasing or decreasing its level and you can do that by using a gain function/knob. Which brings us to the second component of an EQ.

Hope you've learn something valuable so far? We will definitely go deeper into how to use an equalizer effectively as we progress in this series. See you in part 2.

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