EQ During the Mastering Stage
Small amounts make big changes.
The right EQ settings can make applied compression and limiting perform better.
The Low end can hit dynamic effects heavy and make it hard to reach standard volume levels.
Any problem frequency ranges in the mix become much more of a problem once compressed and limited.
A clearer, less muddy mix becomes much easier by, often times, a few subtle EQ moves.
Below are some common problematic frequency ranges I have come across. Please note, this is just a starting point. Every recording is different, and therefore no definitive information can be provided until our ears tell us. Trust what you hear.
A good practice is to avoid the EQ sweeps. Try to learn the frequency spectrum of human hearing and identify, diagnose and fix upon hearing an issue within a range. This will both improve your workflow and inevitably your overall mixes.
EQ the lows:
- Low cut – 25-30hz
- 200-300hz for muddiness
EQ the Mids:
- Harshness – address the 3-5k range
- A boxy, telephony sound – look around 800hz – 1k
- Nasally sound – look around 2k
EQ the Highs:
- For airy-ness – shelf eq 16k up
- Sibilance – check around 8-10k
- Harsh cymbals – somewhere around 12k