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Old 20th May 2004
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Originally posted by Curve Dominant
If you boost the eq of an audio track in your DAW which is already close to 0dbFS, you are likely clipping that audio. Yes, that WILL sound harsh, but it's not the box's fault. That is a symptom of improper gain staging.

A lot of (if not most of) the analog tape aficianados who complained about the "digital" sound, or "that PT sound" or "that ITB sound" were simply clipping their audio, because they were treating gain-staging in digital just as they were used to doing in analog.

Hence the "harshness" of ITB EQing which you've been "reading" about.

It's not about the box. It's about proper gain staging.

First off, don't record to digital with the levels riding right up against the 0db line - if you do you may be clipping even if the red clip indicator doesn't light up (Nika wrote a white paper about this). Leave some headroom.

Second, if you do need to boost eq, and it sounds harsh (clipping), reduce the input gain to the eq plugin.

And third, as has been stated, subtractive eq is almost always better than additive eq.

Happy hunting.
Thank you Eric. I now have a good understanding of EQing in DAW. I don;t think I personally have experienced the 'harshness' but after reading here and there, thought maybe I was missing something. Now that I understand it. I will know what to do and not to do.