Music Production Tutorial

EQ in Music Production – What is it and How Does it Work?

By October 13, 2016 No Comments

When I first started producing music, understanding EQ in music production was difficult. And even when I worked out what it was, I wasn’t very sure how to use it.

Essentially it is frequency specific volume control. I go into a bit more detail in the video and explain what it is and also give you an example of how to use it.

Now EQ is an important part of the mix and production process. There is a lot more to it than what I cover in this tutorial. But hopefully this will give you a broad understanding. But as a composer or music producer, understanding the frequency spectrum can help you when you write or produce. If you can avoid stacking several instruments with the same frequency range on top of each other, you will make it a lot easier to mix. It should also create a fuller arrangement.

EQ – Reductive and Additive

EQ in music production is both reductive and additive. i.e. you can boost or attenuate frequencies. A lot of internet voices talk about reductive EQ being “better” than additive. Whilst this does generally hold true when trying to achieve separation between instruments, there is a place for boosting frequencies. For years I was scared of boosting frequencies because of ill informed scare-mongering. If I’m looking to separate two instruments which share a similar frequency range I will use reductive EQ. However, if I want to bring out the sweet spot of an instrument I will boost. Both are acceptable and ideally with moderation. As a rule of thumb I try not to boost or attenuate more than 3-4 dB unless I’m treating some really badly recorded source material.