Originally Posted by David Martin
Response to Simon: You are answering the right question. I find your response very interesting. If you restart the mix with the EQ in place you're basically setting the EQ to overcome some of your mixing inadequacies aren't you? This is not a dig, I actually mean this as a smart move potentially (despite my original question).
Well, in an ideal world, the sum of all of your individual elements will make a beautifully balanced mix, and it does sometimes work out that.
However, I often find that- even when the track is mixed as well as possible- you might have a bump here & a dip there... when you look visually at the spectrum analyser.
Almost invariably, I find that taking corrective measures to counter those peaks & troughs will make the mix sound more solid/full... generally better- when doing an A/B switching the EQ on & off.
I have no issues with then leaving this in place as I zero the mix & do my final mixdown into it.
As I said, if anything, I feel it actually acts as a cohesive.
I am only talking about very small, fairly broad strokes here though.
Although things have moved on greatly with the likes of Acoustica Audio/Soninimus/Airwindows et al, IIRC, the early software 'console emulations' largely worked by applying an EQ curve over your master.
The thinking was you'd work with this active from the outset of composition, so you'd EQ each track to get it to sound how you want it- exactly as you would do in a pure clean scenario, and getting approximately the same sound which you always would have had in mind- yet everything is uniformly coloured by the EQ.