I hate eqing!!!

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bace135 in the house tonight!
Member Since: Jan 28, 2003

I swear to god, when I'm trying to eq a piece and it has several parts that kind of fit in the same eq spot, I cannot make it work. All I end up doing is making each instrument sound like crap. Sure they sit in their own spot and don't get muddy, but they sound like crap! I must be doing something wrong...
instruments sounds so nice when they are allowed to use the whole spectrum. But if I have an accoustic guitar and a piano and try to eq them to different spots, I end up with two instruments that individually, originally sounded sweet. After eq, I have two instruments that individually sound thin, and mixed together sound like two thin instruments.

Honestly, I'm just frustrated cuz it's Saturday night, I chose to stay home and work on some music rather than hang out with my friends, and nothing I'm doing is working at all.

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Chief Cook and Bottle Washer
Since: May 10, 2002

Mar 07, 2004 12:29 am


You have a rough combination there. Especially if it is a rythum guitar mixed with a piano that is playing chords. You have two very similar stringed istruments (piano of course using hammers) building their sounds in very similar manners. Especially if there is a lot of mid range build in the chord structures. A lot of composers will get around this by having the piano play fills in the upper range while the rythum guitar plays chords. You can't really make space for one or the other when they are covering the same range. If I have a bass involved I will scoop a little out of the gutiar around 85, drop the piano around 500 down (gentle roll off) and push the bass up a little. Use panning to add "physical" space and the bass will take it's own spot while filling what is missing on the piano and guitar while sounding natural. That works well if the piano is playing some kind of couter lead, fill, or lead on the right hand while chording with the left. It gives a sound of the gutiar and piano blending in the lower ranges but still leaves space for the top end of each.

Anywho....good luck! Good challange no doubt. Hope you don't go crazy!

...bringing sexy back
Since: Jul 01, 2002

Mar 07, 2004 06:01 am

i love eq-ing...though im a little concerned that i seem to be doing far too much of it. getting abd habits when recording...

Emerson's Transparent Eyeball
Since: Jan 19, 2004

Mar 07, 2004 10:39 am

I second what Walt said. I've had guitar parts that sounded great by themselves, but when I add another guitar and drums and bass, it clogs up the works. What I try to do then is pare down the parts individually or move them higher or lower, or use different chord voicings. Sometimes eliminating one note note from a chord can make a big difference ( especially a root note, because the bass will usually be playing it). It's easy, especially as a guitarist or pianist, to write stuff that individually sounds great but doesn't necessarily work in a "band" context (even if you are the band). Try doing more with less, if you know what I mean. That's something that is most easily learned, I think, by playing with other people, but if your style isn't conducive to that or you don't have a "band" per se, experimentation will be necessary. But good luck- you'll get it figured out.

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Mar 07, 2004 11:31 am

coolo, the other thing you might try is to find another piano or key sample that might fit a bit better without steppin on the guitar. I know it might not be an otption but when I have the option I will try that before doing drastic things. And like Walt mentioned you can move things around a bit to make room for a good fit. Not always easy either, but a good option if there are no other instrument choices available.

bace135 in the house tonight!
Since: Jan 28, 2003

Mar 07, 2004 01:54 pm

Well I was just using piano and accoustic guitar as an example. I'm actually having issues trying to resolve 3 parts in the mix. One is an accoustic guitar, the second is a string section, and 3rd is my vocals. I'm doing ok with the vocals (I think), but the other two are never ok, no matter what I seem to do about it.

Chief Cook and Bottle Washer
Since: May 10, 2002

Mar 07, 2004 02:16 pm


Very good point! Nothing worse to listen to than a four piece band with four soloists soloing all of the time! The keyboardist in the band that I play with mostly is a wonderfull keyboardist. Very skillfull in reading, rythum, and theory. She has an excellent ear as well. Probably 80% of the time she is playing as the only rythum instrument backing other groups. She can't let go of that concept when she plays with the swing band. Stomps all over the guitar and bass. God love her she stirs up enough mud to start a pig fight! I have heard tale of bassists in the past that have walked out per discust.

Good call!

The Quiet Minded
Since: Jan 01, 2003

Mar 07, 2004 09:51 pm

here is a process that has saved me some time:

-play one instrument at a time, as you watch its performance in a frequency analyzer

-take note of at least three peaks and valleys found in its spectrum.

-compare what you found in both.

the easy solution comes when you find a peak in one and a valley in the other in the same frequency range. if you push this difference a little further with equing you will be able to listen both instruments very clearly.

the hard solution is to simply cut the way through. for example, if you found that instrument A has its peak frequency at 400 and 1200, try to cut at least 4dB with a Q of 7 in instrument B. This will open room to instrument A to come up. When you have finished doing this, try to do the same with instrument B. Of course, you may need to be a little radical now if both instruments share the exact same frequency sweet spot, but you may be surprised with the results of some radical cutting.

It's important to notice that similar instruments choke each other before mix, but fullfill each other after. Think this way, they are not competing, they are trying to team up.

hope this can help!

bace135 in the house tonight!
Since: Jan 28, 2003

Mar 07, 2004 11:09 pm

Well, I tried again this morning, starting fresh anew (reset everything to zero and start over), and, with a couple of tweaks here and there got everything sounding cool in the mix. I just need to tweak the vocals a bit, boost them in the mix a bit and I'll be satisfied. Then on to mastering. Thanks for the tips, and thanks for letting me vent.

Since: Jan 26, 2004

Mar 08, 2004 11:36 pm

Coolo - I feel your pain lol. I dont know much about guitars but the piano's I personally make it thin myself and add alot of reverb to it with some delays...

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