Eq Guide

Eq Guide

       These are not definite, just suggestions. Each range interacts with each other.         Always consider upper and lower harmonics. Notch more often than boosting. Let each instrument have it's own space in the mix. Start tuning your ears for later use


Information used and re-edited from various sources including field sources

FredV, “https://www.cheatography.com/fredv/cheat-sheets/eq-tips/

IRN, “http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm

Stearns, Loudan; Berklee online course through Coursera.com

Sleepless Sound Studio, Philadelphia

Headroom Studio

Audio Gods  


Sub Bass: 60hz & Below

        <30hz = undetectable by ear "Rumble". safe to cut

        40-60hz = felt frequencies

        50-60hz = AC/Ground


Low End: 60hz-200hz

        80hz = notch most instruments here, ie. guitar

        80-200hz = boost/dip for warmth for bass instruments

                ≈120 (mud), ≈200hz (fullness)

        120-125hz = Top range for subs. Low end for most instruments, ie. kick, bass.                                Bottom end for acoustic, piano.


        Kick: High filter to 30hz, boost 70-80hz for presence

        Toms: High filter to 30hz, 60-200hz = boom

        Bass: High filter to 30hz, 60-200hz = boom/punch (notch to decrease if needed), 80-250hz for                       presence

        Guitar: roll off at 80hz (fullness), 100-240hz = warmth/muddiness

        Vox: High filter to 80- 90hz, 100-200hz = warmth/muddiness

        Piano: High filter to 30hz, 80hz for fullness, 120-130hz for warmth

        Horns: 80-200hz = fullness


Low Mids: 125hz-500hz

        Too much = "Muddy", Too little = lacking power/ "Brittle"

        125-250hz = "Warmth" for most instruments  

        250-500hz = Boost for "Depth", attenuate if "Muddy"

        400-850hz = "Cardboard" sound of drums

        440hz = A4



Kick: 240hz = Notch filter can help with thump, 400hz = Hollowness/cardboard

        Toms: 120-240hz = fullness

        Snare: 240hz = FATNESS

        Cymbals: 200hz = gong

        Bass: 350-400hz = notch to reduce presence

        Guitar: 100-200hz = sound hole on acoustic resonates here, 240-500hz = fullness

        Vox:  240hz = boominess, 120-600hz = resonance, fatiguing,


 Mid Range: 500hz-4khz

        Most instruments

1khz, 2khz, 4.5khz = most ears are very sensitive to these frequencies and can get fatigued from them fairly quick. Notching here wouldn't be a bad idea


        Kick: 2-4khz=smack of the beater

        Snare: 1-2khz = "Tinny", ≈2k-5khz= attack, crispness, "crack"

        Cymbals: ≈3khz= presence

        Bass: ≈800hz= punch, 2.5-4khz = pluck/pop/slap

        Guitar: ≈800hz= can sound cheap, 2.5-5khz = bite/sizzle/harshness/ for dirty guitar,                   clarity

Vox/Horns:"Honking" ≈700-1.5hz 2-5khz for presence. 

Male presence ≈2k. Female presence ≈4k 

        Piano: 2.5-5hz for clarity


High Mids: 4-8khz

        3-7khz= boost slightly for sense of volume and/clarity if needed

                       if attenuated, can add warmth without loss of clarity

        4-9khz= "Brightness", definition, high frequency distortion

        5khz= cut on background parts to help them sink into the mix


        Kick: ≈5khz= attack

        Toms: ≈5-7khz= attack

        Cymbals: >7k= "brightness" can be added for sense of quality, attenuate if too bright

        Guitar:  ≈8khz= "air"

        Vox: 5-7khz= "Sibiliance" or S sound


High End: 8khz & Above

        9-15khz= Boost for shimmer, sparkle, extra detail, "brittle". Attenuating can smooth out                          harshness and darken mix

        Cymbals: 8-12khz= brightness/shimmer

        Acoustic inst: ≈10khz= "air"/clarity, 8-12khz= brightness

        Violin/Viola: 7-10khz= scratchiness

        Vox: 10-16khz= "air"/clarity

        Horns: 10-12khz= air/over blow




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