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Using EQ to Fit the Band in the Mix

Refine the elements of your band, beyond just drums. Trey walks through his EQ for an upright bass, electric guitars, keys and a grand piano. This process involves direct pickups, virtual instruments, and EQ tweaks leading to major results. The goal is to create clarity, balance, and a cohesive sound which sets the stage for integrating vocals into the mix.

Key Points:
  • When EQ’ing an upright bass, focus on cleaning up the low end with a high-pass filter. Sometimes, you may need to make some aggressive EQ adjustments. These adjustments ensure the upright bass fits well in the mix without overpowering the other elements.
  • When mixing keys, the goal should be to prevent the mid-range from clashing with the vocals.
  • For a grand piano, apply high-pass filtering to manage the piano’s broad frequency range. This ensures that it complements, rather than competes with, the bass and drums.
  • When you’ve dialed in each specific instrument, it’s important to listen to them all together. Make finer EQ adjustments to ensure a balanced mix where each part is clear without muddying the sound.
  • Anticipate the addition of vocals early on in your mix. Adjust the mid-range frequencies of instruments, especially keys, to leave space for the vocals to shine through.
  • Review your mix before moving to compression. Make slight EQ adjustments based on the sound of the instruments. This sets the foundation for vocal integration and more dynamic processing.


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