Whether you’re an avid audio specialist, a professional, or even a dabbler, there is one thing you can never avoid when conducting any form of mix, augmentation, or creation and that’s to EQ. It can be parametric, parabolic, or even the lovely paragraphic, engineers tend to go to the EQ first for all of their desires and needs.
If its to make a unique sound for an alien, create the vantage point of perspective, or allow a group of instruments to happily blend into a cohesive unit, EQ is the first tool out of the case for the job and usually the last tool to be put back into the box before the job is done.
But how do you know what your looking for? Experience? Word of mouth? Your ears! We constantly have to start from scratch and build a cerebral data base of what group of frequencies build or take away as we amplify or filter. But, what if we didn’t have to guess all the time?
EQ charts have been around for quite sometime. usually they are small notes left in our one subject note book, or lists stored in secret places so as to not let any competition get the upper-hand on our mixes.
Yes, EQ charts have existed for a long time, but none not so world renown like this!
IRN’s (Independent Recording Network) EQ chart is a marvel. Not only does it cover every instrument you would find in a classical orchestra, it even covers most commonly used electrical equipment you would find in rock bands! It’s completely interactive. As you hover over each instrument, a note panel appears on the right hand side, offering tips of what to boost or cut in order to receive a specific sound. If you want the bass to be more fatter, boost 250 – 500hz. If you desire the trumpet to be less tinny, reduce around 1Khz. It’s simply amazing and it’s been on the internet now for quite some time. I highly suggest you swing over and play with this.
Words for the wise, this is simply reference material, not a bible. the instruments with notations of ranges for different harmonic sections within an instrument may be correct to the letter but not ultimately what your looking for. If you want your base to sound fatter in the mix you may follow this chart to the letter and get what your looking for, but you might also cause disturbance else where if your not paying attention to your balance and other factors playing in your mix or even your project. This chart gives a good start, but you shouldn’t finish with it. start with what’s suggested but dont leave your parameters fixed to the prescribed position. Continue to listen with your ears and make final adjustments, because only you, the audio engineer will know what you are looking for.
The EQ chart is available here