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Topic: To EQ or not to EQ?

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  1. #1

    To EQ or not to EQ?

    Having started to get into Sonar now (currently Sonar 4 Studio, but upgrading to Producer soon for just $100 !), I've started playing with EQ effects on some of the demos I have recorded.

    Probably a strange question - and probably just me thinking out loud - but is it "right" to use EQ on GPO instruments? Surely the samples have been produced to be a realistic as possible, and by me adding EQ I am throwing away all of Gary's and Tom's efforts?

    Or should I view it as a producer in a recording studio with real instruments and apply whatever effects I think are necessary to achieve the sound that I feel is correct for that particular recording?

    A specific example is that of trying to achieve a very "warm" close miked studio sound for a trombone quintet - I have achieved the sound I want by cutting out a lot of the higher frequencies and boosting the mid to low end.

    Is this unethical? Or is it just par for the course?
    Richard N.

    Finale 2003 to 2007 ~ Garritan GPO, JABB & Strad ~ Sonar 6PE ~ Kontakt 2 ~ WinXP Home SP2

    Athlon XP 2200 ~ 1.5 Gb RAM ~ M-Audio Sound Card ~ M-Audio 88ES MIDI keyboard ~ Evolution MK-461C

    Bach Strad LT16MG, LT36G, 42B + B&H Sovereign Studio Tenor Trombones ~ Holton 181 Bass Trombone ~ Getzen Bass Trumpet ~ Yamaha TR4335G Trumpet ~ B&H Euphonium

  2. #2

    Re: To EQ or not to EQ?

    Hi Richard, if I may offer my opinion, your question was in two parts and both are very legit questions.

    EQ / equalize, (to keep equal in tonal balance) is something that I use when something is wrong.

    The sounds in both GOS and GPO are very good, especially when they are used in an orchestral setting. So my recommendation is to leave them alone.

    Now, if these same instruments are used in a close up "studio" type of setting, then by all means do what you have to do, but keep in mind, anytime you EQ an individual instrument you are usually dealing with a very limitied frequency band. Take a bassoon for instance, it has a very limited range, but the frequency response of the instrument is rather large. Just be very careful to not over use EQ. Excessive use of EQ or any effect will take you farther and farther away from the natural sound of the instrument.

    Another thing to consider is... how are you making these judgements about the fidelity of the instrument or track in question. How accurately do your monitors reflect the real world. Never EQ something to sound good on a car stereo or a boom box, or even a home stereo. Try instead to use limited EQ, great microphones and great sounding libraries.

    Always compare your final mix to some other music that you highly regard as awesome.

    .02


    dpDan

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Beautiful land of Limbo
    Posts
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    Re: To EQ or not to EQ?

    Iam actually wondering if , to produce the kind of jazz that i like, i completely drop out all bass frequencies, muddy things up etc.

    I love the sounds of duke ellington etc. But the recordings all are low quality which for me adds to the sense of nostalgia and the 1920s flavour they have.
    And its a different feel if it's all properly mastered, recorded etc...
    To eq or not to eq is indeed the question.
    Grim Fandango explained jazz to me.

  4. #4

    Re: To EQ or not to EQ?

    I beleive that if EQ is nessesary for the sound your trying to produce, than do it.
    I think that the GPO sounds are very realistic and don't need EQing in an orchestral setting.

    Just a thought,
    Chris

  5. #5

    Re: To EQ or not to EQ?

    To me it's a tiime and talent vs. quality and learning thing.

    If you have the time and talent, you can often improve the quality of a mix. If you have time but not the talent, you can make mistakes and learn from them. If you don't have the time, then enjoy the unprocessed sounds.

    The main thing is to tread lightly for try orchestral mixes. If you hear the bassoon and viola mushing into one another, use small midrange dips to give each other space. If your violins don't have the air that you want, boost the HF a bit. If the tam tam is too loose, cut the extreme lows a bit.

    On the other hand, if you're mixing orchestra with electronica, or making new art forms, process to your heart's content. If you're going to break the rules, don't be timid!

    -JF

  6. #6

    Re: To EQ or not to EQ?

    Thanks guys,

    Your answers pretty much tie up with my own thoughts - it depends on what you are trying to achieve.

    I am finding this an interesting topic, though, and any further comments are welcome.
    Richard N.

    Finale 2003 to 2007 ~ Garritan GPO, JABB & Strad ~ Sonar 6PE ~ Kontakt 2 ~ WinXP Home SP2

    Athlon XP 2200 ~ 1.5 Gb RAM ~ M-Audio Sound Card ~ M-Audio 88ES MIDI keyboard ~ Evolution MK-461C

    Bach Strad LT16MG, LT36G, 42B + B&H Sovereign Studio Tenor Trombones ~ Holton 181 Bass Trombone ~ Getzen Bass Trumpet ~ Yamaha TR4335G Trumpet ~ B&H Euphonium

  7. #7

    Re: To EQ or not to EQ?

    Of course I should add to the debate that if one is working on an original composition or orchestration and something doesn't balance well, they should look at their arrangment before tweaking EQ.

    Good orchestration ... then tweaking.
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  8. #8

    Re: To EQ or not to EQ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jesshmusic
    Of course I should add to the debate that if one is working on an original composition or orchestration and something doesn't balance well, they should look at their arrangment before tweaking EQ.

    Good orchestration ... then tweaking.
    Now there's some great advice!

    dp

  9. #9

    Re: To EQ or not to EQ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernstinen
    Most people with average ears will ALWAYS choose a brighter mix, and it's so tempting to add highs on everything.

    Strange.... I am a complete newbie to EQ'ing and engineering - and I am continually drawn to a darker mix....

    Richard N.

    Finale 2003 to 2007 ~ Garritan GPO, JABB & Strad ~ Sonar 6PE ~ Kontakt 2 ~ WinXP Home SP2

    Athlon XP 2200 ~ 1.5 Gb RAM ~ M-Audio Sound Card ~ M-Audio 88ES MIDI keyboard ~ Evolution MK-461C

    Bach Strad LT16MG, LT36G, 42B + B&H Sovereign Studio Tenor Trombones ~ Holton 181 Bass Trombone ~ Getzen Bass Trumpet ~ Yamaha TR4335G Trumpet ~ B&H Euphonium

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Canaan, NH
    Posts
    178

    Re: To EQ or not to EQ?

    For what it's worth, I use virtually no EQ, but mainly write for Orchestra Ensemble, sometimes with piano. All of my writing and final mixing are done in Overture, I don't even feel it necessary to send to Cubase or what have you.

    On the other hand, it's YOUR music and YOUR sound you're trying to create. Make it personal and do whatever it takes. For what it's worth....

    Regards,

    Tim

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