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How to Simplify EQ with James Wasem

Kade Young
Kade Young
Chief Audio Guru
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Inner Circle Community + Support by Collaborate Worship

Why do we make EQ complicated?

For the beginner, EQ just seems so obtuse. But it's actually really helpful.

Sound is invisible, but EQ is interesting because it actually makes it visible to you. On digital consoles, see that frequency spectrum read out. On an analog console, you can see what you're dialing in with the knob placement.

What frequency should I be adjusting?

The one that you need to you. You find it and you fix it. It's not a defined thing. It's not like, "Oh, to fix the vocal just go to 848 Hz and pull that down 6 dB." No, it changes.

It'll even change for one person on one microphone in a different room or one person on a different microphone in the same room. Or, if it's 90 degrees, one day and 60 degrees the next day that temperature will have an impact on how you hear that tone.

We get so caught up in the specifics it just becomes a distraction.

EQ does not have to be complicated. It actually is one of your best friends. So, try to get out of your own way and allow that technical process to come when it's time. It doesn't have to be this precise thing every single time.

Related: The Most Important EQ Techniques

What is the most important EQ filter?

The low cut (aka high pass) filter. This one thing will clean up a mix like crazy.

Even on things that you think don't need it like a bass guitar or a kick drum, there's a lot of low energy that it just ends up making things really rumbly or muddy or tubby. Dealing with those extra low frequencies is your first weapon against bad sound.

Download: Low Cut Filter Cheat Sheet

Gain + Low Cut Filter

Surprisingly, it only takes two things to create a really good mix: gain and low cut filter.

Clean up your quality coming in with gain and then clean it up with your low cut filter. Done deal. The rest of your job is so much easier.

Related: How to Set Gain on Your Mixer

Watch the Full Interview

This is an excerpt from the Collaborate Worship podcast. Watch or listen to the full episode here:

Ep 18: The Enemy of Great Church Sound ft. James Wasem

James Wasem

Connect with James Wasem at greatchurchsound.com

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