Simple EQ Guidelines: Bobby Owsinski

Posted: September 1, 2009 in Audio Gear, Music
Tags: , ,


Equalization is one of the most difficult parts of recording to get the hang of since there’s literally almost an infinite number of possibilities. Most of us learn by experience and usually massive amounts of trial and error, but there are some brief general guidelines that can be an enormous help for those new to the process. They are:

  • If it sounds muddy, cut (decrease the level) at around 250Hz. Although you can get that muddy sound from other lower frequencies (especially anything added below 100Hz), start here first.
  • If it sounds honky or veiled, cut at around 500Hz. This is where a huge build-up of energy occurs when close-miking instruments because of the proximity effect that naturally occurs with directional mics. Just cutting a bit in this area can provide instant clarity sometimes.
  • Cut if you’re trying to make things sound clearer. If the sound is cloudy, there’s usually a frequency band that’s too loud. It’s easier to decrease it than to raise everything else.
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