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The Basics Of Mixing

EQ Breakdown

<= 30Hz Virtually undetectable, you can safely cut these frequencies


Sub bass Frequencies. “Feel” only


Add for tom “boom”. Cut to decrease bass “boom”


Boost for the kick drum lower end to cut through the mix. Notch most other instruments here. Rolling off the electric guitar here is advisable


Boost bass instruments for presence. Boost will add warmth and fullness to guitars, vocals and horns


Scooping/notching instruments here will provide room in the mix


Add for warmth. Too much will sound muddy


Top of the range for most subwoofers. Also the low end of music such as kick drums and bass guitar. Bottom end of acoustic guitar and piano. Add for warmth


Boost for strong vocal presence. Causes problems with vocal resonance and fatiguing


Slight boost for depth. Cut to reduce muddiness. This is a good area to get the “gong” out of cymbals.


Boost to fatten the snare. Boost acoustic guitars slightly to add fullness. Scoop vocal here if muddy. Notch filter here can add thump to a kick drum


Cut to remove the “cardboard” sound of drums. Notch the bass guitar a little bit to reduce presence


Provides presence, but are hard in nature. Good for rock.


Boost the bass guitar for punch. Cut the electric guitar to remove the “cheap” sound


In this area you can emphasize the “smack” of the kick’s beater


Good for adding to a dirty guitar for some real sizzle. Boost this area for bass guitar if using the pop/slap style


Boost for clarity with an acoustic guitar and piano


This is the area where vocal sibilance resides. Boost slightly to add sense of “volume” It also adds a harshness that is particularly fatiguing. Add warmth without loss of clarity by attenuating this region a bit


Boost vocal here for presence


Brightness, presence, definition, sibilance, high frequency distortion


Extremely tiring to the ears, add a slight notch here


Add a crisp, sharp “crack” to the snare. Also a good place to add some attack to the toms. Cut on background parts to make them sink in to the back a bit


Add for the sense of quality and accuracy for cymbals. Too much output will come off as lacking definition. Cut vocals to decrease sibilance


Cut or Boost to adjust brightness for cymbals and acoustic guitar


Adding will give sparkle, shimmer, bring out details. Cutting will smooth out harshness and darken the mix


Boost to add “air” and clarity to acoustic instruments

EQ Instrument breakdown


presence (5 kHz), sibilance (7.5 ‐ 10 kHz), boom (200 ‐ 240 kHz), fullness (120 Hz)

Electric Guitar

fullness (240 Hz), bite (2.5 kHz), air / sizzle (8 kHz)

Bass Guitar

bottom (60 ‐ 80 Hz), attack (700 ‐ 1000 Hz), string noise (2.5 kHz)

Snare Drum

fatness (240 Hz), crispness (5 kHz)

Kick Drum

bottom (60 ‐ 80 Hz), slap (4 kHz)

Hi Hat & Cymbals

sizzle (7.5 ‐ 10 kHz), clank (200 Hz)


attack (5 kHz), fullness (120 ‐ 240 Hz)

Acoustic Guitar

harshness / bite (2 kHz), boom (120 ‐ 200 Hz), cut (7 ‐ 10 kHz)


EQ Helpful suggestions

Embrace the idea of “notching”, when in doubt, cut instead of boosting.

Allow instruments to have their own “space” in the frequency spectrum; don’t make them fight for it.

Understand that instruments of the same type can and will sound different, EQ accordingly.

EQing WILL NOT save your mix; you can’t EQ out bad sound.

Cut frequencies below 90Hz for vocals, they add little to the mix except mud

Listen to 15 minutes of well mixed audio before any mixing session

Limit Stereo Width to 30% except special effects

Don’t forget the noise gate

The old RIAA AES mechanical rule for vinyl was to cut at 47Hz and 12k, and some great recordings were made this way. Human perception at extreme highs and lows is not all that accurate or sensitive, and a little goes a long way

EQ Glossary


the reduction of a signal level


range of frequencies


selected frequency levels are amplified


selected frequency are attenuated


increasing causes the sounds of voices and such instruments seem more “present”


describes the shape of the EQ curve (higher Q = narrower range, lower Q = wider range)


refers to the hissing “s”,”sh”,”z”, or “zh”, sound of the human voice


sound where the bass and low mid frequencies have depth and where the high frequencies are smooth sounding opposed to aggressive or fatiguing

The Zimmerman Distraction

Why is it that mainstream media always seems to have a convenient distraction (“big news story”) right when it would be an embarrassment for the US government to report on other stories:

Edward Snowden is a whisleblower who left the country short after leaking information about NSA surveillance.

He is being chased down by US authorities. However, countries have been giving him temporary sanctuary. Russia was the last one to do so. Iceland politicians are thinking about giving him a permanent home. Reporting on this would be especially embarrassing for our country, considering it would show us that superpowers around the world are blatantly ignoring our “right” to punish a “criminal”, which he is not.

Countries around the world are either choosing to help or refuse Snowden based MAINLY on that country’s stance on surveillance instead of the merit behind the whisleblowing. What is REALLY REALLY important to notice about that is that this issue is not black and white. Leaking NSA information cannot fairly be labeled “wrong” as it so hastily is by our media. This country isn’t talking about the merit of surveillance. If it was, our rights to privacy wouldn’t be under attack.

Reporting on this would also lead to other stories, like the petrodollar issue. Other countries are beginning to trade oil in different currencies, which will ultimately lead to a huge drop in the value of the dollar, YOUR time, and YOUR reasons for staying in this once-great nation.

The Zimmerman murder trial was not important at all and DEFINITELY NOT a race issue. Use critical thinking when watching/reading mainstream news, and see it for what it is.
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