Music Production: EQ for Mixing your Music | Mikael Baggström | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Introduction to the EQ Effect

    • 2. EQ in Practice

    • 3. Live Demo

    • 4. Mike's Bonus Tips

    • 5. Your Project

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About This Class

Learn the EQ Effect for Music Production
Are you interested in Music Production, Songwriting and Making Music on your computer? Well the EQ Effect is one of the most essential for Music Production, in order to shape and control the frequencies of each instrument and sound in your song.

Examples of things you will Learn

  • EQ Effect Essentials
  • Band EQ vs Parametric EQ
  • Frequency Ranges and Q-Value
  • Mixing Music with EQs
  • + Bonus Tips and Tricks

Start Today
Invest in yourself today, and thank yourself tomorrow. Enroll now, and I’m waiting for you inside the class! =)

Friendly regards,
Mikael "Mike" Baggström
Music Composer | Sound Designer | YouTuber

Meet Your Teacher

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Mikael Baggström

Music Composer | Sound Designer | Video Producer


Hey Friends and Creative People!

My name is Mike, and I am a Music Composer, Sound Designer and Artist. I Share my Story, Journey, Experience and Knowledge, to Inspire and Empower Creative People like you. =)


I believe that learning should be fun. I love to bring my personality into my teaching style. I also try to make my courses dynamic, to be more interesting to you. =)

Friendly regards,
Mike from Sweden
Compose | Artist | Educator

See full profile

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1. Introduction to the EQ Effect: In this video, you're going to learn the basics of how the E que effect works in music production. The CQ, which is short for equalizer, is a staple effect in music production. It is often used on every single fact in a project to various degrees, so you really need to learn how it works and how to use it practically to shape your sounds and pull is your productions. All right, well, let's begin. What is the E que? Effect on equalizer or e que? For short is a device or plug in that shapes the frequency spectrum of a sound by either boosting or reducing a certain range of frequencies. There are two main kinds of each year. If x band and Parametric the band each year effect is basically a number off frequency bands that are static. You can adjust the levels of these bands with a no Boeri fader. In some cases, you can also switch the band frequencies between a couple of different frequencies, but not fine. Tune the center point or how wide the frequency range. You want to just should be parametric beaches. They give you four greater control. But this also means you will need more knowledge compared to using banned each years. Here's an example of a band eq you and here's an example off a parametric EQ you band EQ use or generally more easy to make sound natural when you e que compared to parametric each years, because the frequency bands in a good band each you have bean carefully chosen by engineers . And more importantly, the range they adjust is usually quite wide. A general guideline is that wider frequents adjustments sound more natural than cutting or boosting a narrow range. Most each use also have a low post and a high pass filter on top of the frequency bands they can adjust. As you can see here, a low post filter means that you kept the frequencies above a certain threshold, and a high pass filter works on the opposite spectrum. Then, for the actual e que frequency adjustments, you first find the frequency range you want to. Just then, if you use a parametric EQ, you you can dial in how wide that range should be. This is called the Q Value. A que value of one means that the range of frequencies you will e Q is one octave wide. Finally, you either boost the level of that frequency range or reduce it, depending on what you want in your mix. For example, let's say you have a come piano and a rhythm guitar playing at the same time, and you want to create more separation between them so that each instrument is heard better in the mix. Then you need to make a creative decision on which frequency range should be more audible for each of these tracks, for example, making the piano warmer and the guitar more plucky. So in this case, you can use an E que on the guitar trick to reduce some of the low end and low mid frequencies and then add and eat you on the piano track to reduce some of the mid range frequencies. Where the pluckiness is more prominent on the guitar strumming trick. This is usually the best way to think about Aneke you if you want an instrument to be heard better in a specific range, for example, the warm, low mid frequencies off a piano, then listen to your production to find which instruments or competing with that piano in that range, then use E cues to make reductions on those tracks instead of simply boosting the piano. I always advised to make cuts and reductions on competing tracks rather than boosting a specific trick. Let's recap what he learned. One on e que is used to shape the frequency range off the track to you can use a band EQ you or a parametric EQ you a good band each year is usually easier to sound very natural while a parametric EQ you give you for greater control over the sound three CQ workflow. Find the frequency Centrepoint You want a just first Then if he used a parametric EQ, you choose how wide the rain should be and finally make the boost or reduction in level for that frequency range. All right, now let's continue to learn how to sit up and use e que in practice. My name is Mike and I'll see you in the next video 2. EQ in Practice: In this video, you will learn how to sit up and apply the e que effect in practice on any track in your music production project. You will also get practical demos off using both a band EQ you as well as a parametric EQ you Let's begin. You all right? So there are two ways to add an e que to a track in your project. The first way is to use the built in e que in the mixer off your drw. And the second way is to add a specific e que plugging as an insert effect on any track. Every e que has its own characteristic sound. And by using e cues as in certificates, you can use different E cues on different tracks. These can actually work in your favor by adding those subtle differences in EQ you character to help create more separation between tracks and separation is one off these staples off mixing music to create a space for every instrument and sound. Now, to use the built in e que in your mixer should be very easy for you, and adding e que plug ins on every track as insert effects can take a lot of CPU power, so you should really become familiar with using the mixer EQ you first. It might look different for every day W but the principle is the same. Every mix. The track will have its own dedicated e que effect, which usually is a parametric eq u plus a low pulse and high pass filter. Another advantage of using this, built in CQ, is that you will get a better overview of your E que settings for each track when you mix your project, the other way to add an e que is, to lord an insert effect on a specific track. First, choose what e que Pugin you won't use and added to the insert effect Shane off your track in your mixer. Then you load up the EQ. You plug in interface, then start making the EQ adjustments you want to make. Now, let me demonstrate how to use a band. EQ U s an insert defict. So I have loaded a band eq you as an insert effect here on this piano track, and it is initialized, so it doesn't do anything right now, so the piano sounds like this bandi cues are divided into different ranges off frequencies , so this one has four ranges, which is quite common here. We have low frequencies, low mid frequencies, high mid frequencies and high frequencies. They also often have a low pass filter and a high pass filter. So now you're creative sound shaping starts, and you start by choosing a frequent arranged to just let's say you won't reduce some off the low muddiness in the deeper register off the piano. So does it. Set that 1 to 150 hertz? And let's listen. If I drag this down, you're reducing the frequencies in the range off 150 hertz as the center point and on a band EQ You. You can't just the with off that range, but listen to what happens to sound. So let's reset this and let's say you want to simply reduce some of the lower mid frequencies, Let's say, on 500 hertz and perhaps ah, boost frequencies on around three kilohertz to get some more clarity, which he might want to do to get that hunky bright rock sound piano. So a band EQ is very easy to use. Simply select the frequency band you want to adjust and then choose if you want to reduce it or increase it. And next, let's look at the features of a parametric eq you. So now I have exchanged the band eq you to a parametric EQ. You and this particular one only has to parametric bands. But what parametric equalizers do is that you can change the center point by fine tuning this noble here, and then you can also, if I turn the zone, change the with off the frequency range. This is basically what constitutes a parametric equaliser. A common way to use a parametric equaliser is to set the Q value quite high and the higher the Q V a value. The nature where the range is that you are adjusting a que value of one means entire octave in the frequency range. So if you said this on high and then boost to gain a lot, you can swipe the frequencies like this which will make it here a perhaps a problem frequency that you want to just on the specific track, saying we want to just the recipient's there and then you can set it to re use and perhaps a bit wider. Let's see like that. Now, here's an important guideline to remember when you use an e que on any track. In most cases, you are making very subtle changes. So if you listen to a before and after example, the difference might be minimal but in context, off the whole music production. When you add up all those small changes in E que on all tracks, that will make a huge difference when mixing your track for the overall south. All right, now you have learned how to sit up and use the EQ you effect. In practice, I really recommend you to become familiar with the frequency rangers and how the boosting and reduction on certain frequencies affect the overall sound. I have found that learning this is easier on sounds that you are very familiar with in the first place, so you can instantly here the changes. So I advise you to practice e curing on common instruments and sounds like vocals, piano and acoustic guitar. I Mike and I'll see you in the next video 3. Live Demo: In this video, I will do a live demonstration of using the e que effect in practice in a music production . Let's begin. All right, so I have written this short little piece with drums, bass, acoustic it or and a calm piano. And I will play you this now first without any e queuing applied and listen especially to how the acoustic guitar is really dominating the sound off the overall production right now . All right, so whenever he makes your music by, for example, using equalization, you need to always have the full perspective off the overall sound in mind. Every instrument and track should be thought of as a piece off the complete puzzle. You will use the solo feature a lot because you need to analyze the tracks on an individual basis to find out their fundamental core frequency range and how they compete with other instruments. For example, in this piece, the guitar is clashing a lot with the comm piano, so I need to make creative decisions in order to choose the placement off these two tracks in the frequency range, basically where I want them to have their dominating frequency and where I want to reduce their presence to leave room for the other instrument. It is important to always think of each track in your project on how it should contribute to the bigger picture, the complete painting of your music, so to speak. I call this instrument contribution, and here are some examples of questions you can ask yourself in this case, Should the guitar have informed low and sound or the piano? Perhaps you can feel throughout the low and quite much on both of these instruments to leave room for other tracks in your project. Which instruments should carry the crispness in the oral production? Or perhaps neither of them should have any sparkle in the sound to leave room for symbols high since etcetera. Right now, I am back here in the project, and I have opened up the mixer. I'm going to listen to the acoustic guitar track in Solo and then the calm piano track. You can hear the diskette or has a very close, warm and intimate sound. Lots of presence in the low mid frequencies. Now, should that be the point of focus for this instrument? That's your choice. When I listen to this piano. I feel that it has a warm sound, but not quite as intimate as detour. It lacks a bit off deep, low end, but has a good amount of low maids to make up that warm sound. So we need to decide which of these instruments should take focus in the low mids around 250 to 500 hertz. And why this frequency domain in particular? Well, learning to understand and get an instinct for the sound off frequency rangers for all kinds of instruments. That is something you need to learn from experience when you makes music, and especially when carving sounds with an equalizer, you must listen and analyse carefully your ears or your primary instrument to help you get started. I have this frequency short you can use as a guide. But remember, there are no hard rules here, and the character and impression off sounds depend on what kind of instrument you listen to , how it is played and so on. And this is my own personal guideline for the characteristics off the complete frequency range. All right, so after some testing, I have decided to focus on the warmth in the low mids around 250 to $500 on the piano track and reduce it on the guitar track. I've set the Parametric EQ. You banned in the low mids here on the mixer on 300 hertz for both the piano and the guitar track. Since I will do an E que boost on the piano, I opted for a lo que value to affect a big arrange the frequencies. So I went for a Q value of one, which means a full octave in the frequency range on on the guitar will reduce the frequencies in this range. So here I opted for a slightly higher Q value of 1.5. So now, but I will play these two tracks first without any each applied. As you see, they are both disabled and then will. I will turn them on us on playing, and you will be able to hear the difference and listen carefully as I turn on the EQ use and you will hear how the piano takes control and focus off the low mid frequency range and the guitar backing off in that area to lead room for those warm piano tones. The next step is to choose a focus area for the guitar trick and back off the piano in that range. And for this I have chosen one kilohertz as the center point, as you can see here, because I want to bring out the plucky tone off the guitar. So I said it to around one kilohertz, and since I'm going to increase that frequency range, I'm usually wanting to go with a lower Q value, which, as I've said before, means a wider range affected. I'm going to increase this just a couple of decibels 2.5 and then for the same on the piano , going to back off around 2.5 visible. And here I'm going for a narrow where range of frequencies, which means a high your cue value. So around 1.5, and to somewhere, all right. So let's listen again as I turn these off and I will turn them on, which means both of these Ikeda adjustments on both tracks and you will now hear a much greater separation between the calm piano and acoustic guitar. Of course, there are many more ways to create separation between tracks that are competing with each other. But this video is about equalization. I would, for example, panties differently. Now they are panned in the middle, so it's basically a really hard fight between them. I would also choose one of these two tracks to be more prominent in regards to the level off the track. I purposely made them. Both have around the same level in order to maximize competition between them for this video to truly show the power off equalization. But please remember that the e que is only one off the tools you have in your arsenal when mixing your music to a professional level. All right now you have seen a live demo of using e que to shape sounds to improve clarity and separation between tracks, which will create an overall better makes. E queuing is something that you will do every time he produced music, so make sure to practice it a lot. One tip I have for you is when mixing your music with accuse. Focus on Lee on two competing tracks at a time A versus B I. Mike, and I'll see you in the next video 4. Mike's Bonus Tips: in this video, I'm going to share some of my best tips on using the ICO effect to improve your mixes and track separation for your music productions. Tip one. Boost Wide Cut Narrow This is a general guideline I heard many times during the years. Basically, it usually sells more natural to use a wide range if you want to boost frequencies, but if you want to reduce the frequency range, you can go for a good parametric EQ. You and a much narrower range tip to filters first, usually with e que. It's generally best to do mild adjustments and do the heavy lifting with the low post and high pass filters. So my guideline is to focus on the filters first, then e queuing with boosts and cuts. And basically, all e queues have a low post and high pass filter you can activate. In most cases, you can even control the steepness off this filter slope in decibels per octave. In most Parametric EQ use, you can even see the slope on the interface tip. Three Opposite direction. Technique. Like I just said, e queuing sounds best if you do it in small doses, so let's say you have a kick drum fighting with a base, which is very common. And let's suppose your kick drum has a good fundamental stomp at around 120 hertz, which you want to boost instead of simply boosting the kick drum at that frequency would, let's say, six decibel. It's better to add one each year on the kick drum and boost with three decibel and another on the base and cut with three decibels using the same frequency Centrepoint, which in this case was 120 hertz, as well as the same range on both cues. Tip for Know your instruments and sounds. This is not really a technical tip, but simply that you should learn which frequencies are more prominent in all kinds of instruments and sounds, so that you don't take away the essence off the instrument or vocal by baddie queuing. This is something you need to learn by practice. There are guidelines and shorts online, but I have found that it changes depending on the track. You're working on the instruments you use the vocal character etcetera, but you can practice yourself by listening to tracks in your project in solo on, then apply and e que and try reducing by several decibels in one range at a time and listen carefully to how it effects the overall sound. Tip. Five. You can always add a little air for some reason. If you want to open up the sound of an instrument or vocal so that it gets more air clarity and ashamed result, it usually works by boosting the very high end on an eight year. Even going beyond what our ears can actually pick up, you need to get above the horse high frequencies into what I call the air frequencies. Try this for yourself. It works especially great on vocals and acoustic instruments like acoustic guitars. All right now you have some of my best tips on E queuing for music production. My name is Mike, and I'll see you in the next video. 5. Your Project: all right now it's time for you to take action. Which is always the best way to learn your project is to record a vocal track in your D W and then apply equalization to the track. Why a vocal track specifically? Because our ears are trained through history to hear all details off the human voice. This means you will be able to hear how the e que effects the overall sound here is your guy to complete this project. One recalled a vocal track to add an E que effect either on the mixer or as an insert effect and three experiment and practice with all the features you have learned. Finally, when you haven't eq you setting, you are satisfied with turning to buy, pose mode and switch between E Q and No e que fest. Now he can analyze what you have accomplished. It is very easy to fool your ears with small, gradual changes over time. Sometimes, if not often, the sound before he started IK Ewing was indeed better. That's why you need lots of practice. So go ahead and learn by doing practice e curing on all kinds of instruments and tracks as often as you can. I might wishing you good luck on your e que adventures because you rock my friends.