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eq and compression..
Old 11th March 2009
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projektk's Avatar

eq and compression..

i was curious if someone had a good eq and compression chart with standard eq sweet spots. and common compression ratios for certain instruments. ive been doing a lot of hip hop mixing and raw beat production. lookin for a little cheat sheet to help me get the general idea. ive always done my eq'ing by ear but its nice to have the general idea of what's supposed to sound better. as for compression, i know how to use a compressor and limiter but sometimes worry that im using the wrong ratios for my tracks.
Old 11th March 2009
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projektk's Avatar

i found this, give me a thumbs up about it please....

Vocal Limiting
Vocalists tend to be one of the most dynamic recording challenges in any studio or stage. Even though a singer may go from a whisper to a scream during the course of a song, it’s the engineer’s job to keep the vocal’s level in line with the rest of the ensemble. You can do this by setting the compressor with a high ratio and a high threshold. This way, softer sections will go by uncompressed, and louder peaks will be kept under control. Threshold set so that the loudest sections get around -6 of reduction (usually around 3 o’clock)
Ratio set for 6:1
OverEasy® switch engaged
The Threshold should be set so that loud sections get compressed around 6dB and quiet passages get no compression at all.

Vocal Compression and Spoken Word
In other cases, you may want to compress the entire dynamic range of a vocal. This is typical of pop vocals and voice-overs for radio commercials. Whenever there is signal, there is some compression taking place; just barely on the soft passages, and up to 12 dB of reduction during loud passages.
Threshold set so that one GAIN REDUCTION LED (-1 dB) lights during the softest passages with signal (usually around 11 o’clock)
Ratio set for 2:1
Attack set fairly fast (8-9 o’clock)
Release set between 10 and 12 o’clock
Raise output to compensate for gain reduction

Engineers often compress drum tracks just to get a nice punchy sound in the mix. The settings below sound good on a rock snare drum:
Threshold set so that all drum hits are compressed (around -3dB)
Ratio set for 4:1
OverEasy® engaged
Attack set around 8 o’clock
Release set around 9 o’clock
By turning the threshold down even more, you can “squash” the snare drum as much as you want.Turn the attack up (longer) to get more stick out of the snare drum, and turn it down for a synth pop slap.

Since bass guitar forms the foundation of most Rock and Jazz music, it’s important that the level of the Bass doesn’t jump around in the mix. Also, adding compression to bass tracks (or almost anything else) can make it “punchier,” generally a good thing in rock tunes. Try the settings below on a rock bass track:
Threshold set so only the peaks are compressed (around 0dB)
Ratio set for 4:1
Hardknee engaged
Attack set around 9 o’clock
Release set around 10 o’clock

Electric Guitar
Funky rhythm guitar parts love compression. Not only does it make the part punch out the mix better, it evens out the volume of the muted strums. The following setting, with its low threshold and high ratio, gives you lots of compression for punching up a funky rhythm guitar part:
Threshold set for constant compression (around -3dB)
Ratio set for 6:1
OverEasy® engaged

Experiment with turning the Threshold up or down for a thinner or chunkier

Occasionally when recording vocals, the letter “s” seems to jump out louder than the rest of the part. This is because sibilant letters, especially the letter "S" have more high frequency energy than other letters. This can cause tape recorders or other components to distort, even though the level may not seem very loud. Moving the microphone can sometimes eliminate this “sibilance,” but often a de-esser is required. Many compressors allow you to perform de-essing on a track by using a sidechain. By placing an equalizer in the sidechain, you can set the compressor so that only certain frequency ranges trigger the unit to start compressing. The trick is to set the EQ to cut all frequencies except for the sibilant range, between 3-6kHz. Then set the compressor like this:
Threshold set around 0dB
Ratio set for 6:1
Hardknee active
Attack set at minimum
Release set around 8 o’clock
The Threshold should be set so that an “s” triggers about -3 to -6 dB of compression.If other sounds are triggering the compressor, you might need to adjust the EQ cutoff frequencies.

Ducking is often used when doing voiceovers. It allows background music to automatically be turned down whenever an external source, such as an announcer’s voice, begins to speak. You can also use ducking to have one instrument push the other out of the way, such as the bass guitar ducking every time the kick drum hits. To make the compressor into a ducker, plug the source into the inputs and plug the trigger into the sidechain. The Sidechain return isn’t used in this example. In the example below, the sound of a radio announcer’s voice will automatically turn the music down when he speaks and it will slowly fade back in after he stops. Set the compressor controls like this:
Threshold set for +3dB (around 3 o’clock)
Ratio set for 6:1
OverEasy® in
Attack set around 9 o’clock
Release set around 2 o’clock
Plug the announcer’s Mic into the mixer, and feed that Mic to the compressor’s Sidechain in. When the announcer speaks, the music will duck down (turns the ratio up to duck it even lower). When he finishes speaking, the music will fade back up at a rate set by the Release knob.

Pumping and Breathing
When a compressor is making large changes to the input signal (10 to 12 dB or more); the noise floor will also rise and fall with the signal level. When this noise signal rises and falls drastically between signals, such as a heavily compressed, noisy drum track, you might hear the noise level “breathing” between drum hits. One solution to this breathing problem is to turn up the release time. This way, the noise floor won’t have time to rise between drum hits. However, if the Release time is too long, lower level signals after the peak will be lost as the compressor slowly stops reducing gain. this is called “pumping” as the lower level signals (noise included) slowly fade back up to their normal signal level. the secret to avoiding these problems is to achieve a balanced release time on the input signal.
Old 11th March 2009
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projektk's Avatar

and i gathered this for eq'ing...

For those of you who have an easier time visualizing the audio spectrum in one-octave increments (like those found on a graphic equalizer), here's an octave look at the same chart.
Easy-To-Remember Golden Rules Of EQ

1. If it sounds muddy, cut some at 250Hz.

2. If it sounds honky, cut some at 500Hz.

3. Cut if you're trying to make things sound*

4. Boost if you're trying to make things sound

5. You can't boost something that's not there
in the first place.

Rumble, "chest"

63 Hz
Boom, thump, warmth

Fullness or mud





Sibilance, definition, "ouch!"

16 KHz

ricks and Tips*
General Tips*
Use a narrow Q (bandwidth) when cutting; use wide Q's when boosting*
If you want something to stick out, roll off the bottom; if you want it to blend in, roll off the top*

For Snare*�*

To find the point on the snare, boost the upper midrange starting at about +5 or 6dB at 2kHz or so. Open up the bandwidth (if that parameter is available) until you get the snare to jump out, then tighten the bandwidth until you get only the part of the snare sound that you want most. Then fine-tune the frequency until you need the least amount of boost in order to make it jump out of the mix.*

For Drums�*

Dave Pensado:*A lot of the music I do has samples in it and that gives the producer the luxury of pretty much getting the sound he wanted from the start. In the old days you always pulled out a little 400 on the kick drum. You always added a little 3 and 6 to the toms. That just doesn't happen as much any more because when I get the tape, even with live bands, the producer's already triggered the sound he wanted off the live performance and the drums are closer.*

For Bass*�*

The ratio between the low bass (80-120Hz) and the mid-bass (130Hz-200Hz) is important. Try using two fairly narrow peaking bands, one at 100Hz and another at 140Hz and boost one and cut the other. If the bass is too warm, sometimes reducing the upper band can make it more distinct without removing the deeper fundamentals that live in the 100Hz band. Also, try boosting some of the 1kHz area since this is where a lot of the sound of the Fender bass lives.*

For Fatter Guitars*

Boost midrange a lot (9dB or so) and sweep the frequencies until you hear the range where the guitar sounds thick but yet still bright enough to cut through. Now, back the boost down to about +4 or so until the guitar cuts through the mix without being too bright.*

Don Smith:*I use EQ different from some people. I don't just use it to brighten or fatten something up; I use it to make an instrument feel better. Like on a guitar, making sure that all the strings on a guitar can be heard. Instead of just brightening up the high strings and adding mud to the low strings, I may look for a certain chord to hear more of the A string. If the D string is missing in a chord, I like to EQ and boost it way up to +8 or +10 and then just dial through the different frequencies until I hear what they're doing to the guitar. So I'm trying to make things more balanced in the way they lay with other instruments.*

For Vocals*

Boost a little at 125Hz to 250Hz to accentuate the voice fundamental and make it more chesty-sounding. The 2kHz to 4kHz range accentuates the consonants and makes the vocal seem closer to the listener.*
Old 11th March 2009
Gear Addict

Old 11th March 2009
As someone who tried learning this stuff in the same way you're going about trying to learn it, believe me when I tell you: those charts are utterly meaningless. Useless, even.

One man's "mud" is another man's "warmth"; tips like "if it's muddy cut 250" will leave you with wimpy, thin mixes that don't translate. There's just so more to mixing than that.

Not to mention, those charts encourage you to listen to individual elements when making decisions; that's not how mixing works. If the vocal seems muffled, it might not need a 250 Hz cut or a 3-4 k boost. Maybe the rhythm guitar needs a notch at 400. Or the bass needs to be turned down and given a bump at 80 Hz. Or maybe you've got too much reverb on the snare.

Etc etc.

Don't look for easy answers; there aren't any, unless you count "keep practicing, keep listening, and keep failing until you start getting it right more often than you get it wrong."
Old 11th March 2009
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BradM's Avatar
Bgrotto is right. The best way to learn this stuff is to sit in front of your speakers and solo different instruments and then sweep a parametric equalizer and write down how the different frequency regions make you feel in response to that sound source with a given boost or cut. Then you will have a much more meaningful association of frequency range to musical content.

Old 12th February 2013
Here for the gear

Well I found the first recommendations and their specificity to be quite interesting even though a fool would think there's one answer for this or that. I like to find these types of recommendations just for different ideas to investigate. I tend to learn a lot from it. And that process is exactly the same as any other process where you just keep trying whatever until it sounds the way you want. Experts aren't going to help you just like politicians will do anything to keep their jobs or win a job. And the other thing...I have people coming up to me all the time telling me about how my producer's work isn't as good as their's and how I should work with this person instead. I hate mix peddlers. Take your mix back to the alley. I'm good with mine. I've listened to a lot of different music...some of it sounds like total junk but I appreciate the art of it. It is true that you just have to "do it" but specific ideas are points of departure. Even if you're Tom Hanks with a studio on a deserted island in cast away you'll create you're own departure point. So what's the point of dismissing anything really? Unless maybe you don't have the discrimination to know if it works or not for you. See some people in this process are scared of other peoples ideas because it might change their routine that has been so successful. I try to observe without judgement but with intelligent discrimination so that no stone is left unturned. Besides there are so many infinite studios pumping out local music and popular music and it's all different. What's good? What's you goal? Underground art? Hyped Pop? Super-compressed hip-hop tracks? Death medal? Wow! Lot's of different ratio's and eq settings to deal with. In conclusion: anything can be a point of departure for learning even if it's wrong so when you see people disagreeing about these details and how to go about learning, just quietly observe knowing that you can learn more from both sides at once while they waste their time getting entangled in arguments.
Old 12th February 2013
Here for the gear

The eq really depends if your working on a console or not. If your on a ssl g and an ssl j things will sound different . Same for any console really. I usually test subtractive eq with a narrow bandwidth then broaden it out and clean up the mids. When it come with compression the most important thing to me is that attack and release . Obviously this changes with ratio and freq.
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