Just InTutorials

An Introduction To EQing

Whether you’re listening to music, mixing a track or making a live recording, if you want to shape the frequency balance you need an equalizer.

An equalizer (EQ for short) allows you to shape the tonal character of a sound by boosting or attenuating the level of one or more frequencies. Most people will be familiar with equalizers as we use them every day in our home stereos, car stereos and smartphones. In many consumer devices you will find EQ in the form of treble and bass controls, allowing the user to make intuitive changes to the overall tonal character of a song. Learning to apply equalization effectively during a mix requires a bit more practice as one must focus on specific elements within the song and will have to familiarize themselves with the timbre of different instruments to use the tool most effectively.

At the heart of any equalizer is a filter. The filter design defines which frequency range is affected and how. Most professional EQs you will come across offer different filter types giving you more flexibility to deal with different scenarios. Let’s meet the filters.

High and low pass filters

High and low pass filters are always subtractive, allowing us to reduce the energy above or below a given frequency (the cutoff frequency). The amount of reduction is expressed in dB per octave (dB/oct).

The names of these filters can sometimes cause confusion for new users, so let’s take a moment to clarify some vocabulary. High pass filters, as the name suggests, allow high frequencies to pass, unaffected, while eliminating (or ‘cutting’) low frequencies below the cutoff frequency. This is why they are sometimes referred to as low cut filters. Conversely, low pass filters allow low frequencies to pass, unaffected, while cutting high frequencies above the cutoff frequency. This is why they are sometimes referred to as high cut filters. You will also see these filters abbreviated as HPF or LPF, respectively. If you use a high pass filter and a low pass filter in conjunction, they result in what is called a band pass filter (BPF). In this case, only frequencies between the two cutoff frequencies will be allowed to pass.

The high pass filter is a useful tool for getting rid of bleed or other non-musical sounds below the frequency range of an instrument. A high pass filter. ………….

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