Sorry, what I meant was.. Why and where in your music do you automate eq? What is the purpose, and how do you achieve it?
I do it for dynamics. Just raising and lowering volume doesn't make very impressive dynamic changes. But you have to be careful not to over do it.
Maybe i better expand on this. Try it on a clarinet. grab the parametric eq around the 2500 hz area, and while recording automation for a crescendo decrescendo, raise it up and or up and right until it sounds like an ff dynamic, then bring it back down. You can rerecord it until you get it right, or you can go to the track's window and drag the continuous data there.
The whole point of using automation on eq is that when instruments are played harder(louder), their higher frequencies tend to be more pronounced. The clarinet for example becomes a sharper sound rather than a round soft sound
I'll automate EQ on FX returns, especially verb to create some movement if the song calls for it. I also use for giving low mids back to an instrument if it becomes a solo instrument or a "carrier" instrument rather than just another player in the background.
This question is meant for Hannes, but anyone is welcome to share their thoughts.
I think this is a very good question and there are probably more than just one good answers to it.
I use dynamic EQing for emulating something that real string players do and that I am missing with sampled strings sections so far. If you watch a string player you will notice that the distance between the bridge and the contact point of the bow to the string will vary quite a lot. It seems to be erratic or uncontrolled but it is not (at least not in all cases ).
Going to the bridge with the bow gives more overtones and therefore a brighter sound, getting from 'silvery' to 'brilliant', from there to 'sharp' and then to the croaky sound of 'ponticello'. Going to the other side (to the fingerboard) goes to mellow, warm and then to dull.
More parameters are the angle of the bow to the strings, taking the right hand a little bit back, or the tilt of the bow, using more or less hair of the bow. These give even more tonal colours - so actually it is not only a linear scale from dull to bright but a more-dimensional array of variations.
A good string player will use different shades even within one tone. Especially when he is experienced in chamber music. A soloist will often have to play as loud and as bright as possible just to cut through the orchestra sound, but an excellent string quartet player tries to have as much variations as the human voice. If you ever can grab some recordings of the Alban Berg Quartet from Vienna playing classical quartets you will notice what I mean. Listen to their outstanding primarius (Guenter Pichler, preferably on a record between 1980 and 1990) and you will notice sounds hardly ever heard of soloists.
When Bruno Walter (I think it was him) had his first rehearsal with the Vienna Philharmonics he asked: 'How many string quartets exist in this orchestra?' It turned out that nearly all of them were playing in one. This is because chamber music is the big school for orchestra string players in regards of listening to each other, intonation and variability in tone. With time they will shape phrases and tones not only in regards to volume but also with changing timbre. It will even become more or less unconcious or automatic, and more and more natural.
Sorry for the long winded answer - the short version is: I use dynamic EQing for making the strings sound brighter or duller.