For this edition of Sessions, due to popular request, we discuss and examine EQ in the detail you’ve come to expect from DMP. With a focus on its use in the production of electronic dance music we lift the lid on one of the most useful yet most mix destroying processors ever conceived…
EQ is one of the fundamental tools in music production and the main ingredient for producing a great final mix. However, it also happens to be one of the most misunderstood, misused, over used, under used, abused processors available. On the surface EQ is little more than a tone control and at its simplest level it offers you the ability to either boost or cut a specific range of frequencies. However, whilst it doesn’t take an awful lot of research to learn what each parameter does and the effects it will impart on audio, this is very different from being able to use it with any real skill.
Running over 3 hours in length, we examine all the aspects of EQ. Starting with with an examination of the science of sound, fundamentals and harmonic generation we examine how our perception changes with volume and frequency and how this applies to EQ. We look at the bandwidth Q factor and why an understanding of octaves are so important when it comes to the application of EQ. We also examine both IIR and FIR (minimal phase and linear phase) and how they are created. We also take a look at the response curves of musical and surgical EQ, shelving filters, overshoot, the Nyquist theorem and the problems of frequency cramping. But most important of all, we discuss how all of the theory is employed in practice to create a mix with clarity and depth.
Runtime: 3 hours 30 minutes
An introduction to the tutorial
Session 01: EQ History: 18 minutes
In this first session, we discuss the history of EQ, how it was developed and the father of EQ – Dr. Charles Boner.
Session 02: Acoustic Science: 23 minutes
Before introducing EQ we must first examine the theory of acoustics, introducing the viewer to the fundamental and harmonic series, exponential octaves, frequencies and the loudness control curve.
Session 03: EQ Parameters: 27 minutes
For this session we take a look at the parameters on a typical EQ, including Q and why we refer to Q in values rather than frequencies.
Session 04: IIR, FIR and Phase: 19 minutes
Here we discuss FIR and IIR filters, which is best for a given situation and also discuss the phase and pre-echo (ringing) ‘problems’ introduced by EQ.
Session 05: Musical Vs Surgical: 31 minutes
Any discussion about EQ leads to the subject of musical and surgical EQ’s along with cutting and boosting. Here we examine the differences between EQ considered to have a musical EQ to a surgical EQ – how we determine musicality of EQ and the problems with frequency cramping.
Session 06: The Octave Range: 17 minutes
We take a look at the octave range of frequencies and the most commonly used frequencies in those octaves when working with EQ.
Session 07: Practical Use: 49 minutes
We now apply the theory to more practical uses. Here we discuss some techniques and tactics you can apply when using EQ to create a coherent spacious mix. This includes topics such as focus, complimentary EQ, bracketing and the age old question of EQ or compression first.
Session 08: Creative EQ: 17 minutes
In the final session, we take a quick look at a couple of the more creative applications of EQ.