So, which one would you start with? Would you choose #1, #2, or #3? Why do I have a funny feeling that most of you will choose #1? Well, isn’t that the way you ALWAYS set an EQ? With more bass, more treble, and less midrange - after all, we want our audio to be clearer and really “pound”, right?Here is a breakdown of these 3 curves: #1: The "Smiley Face" You've SEEN this curve a hundred times, if not more. You perhaps even VISUALIZE doing it whenever you approach an equalizer. If you could SEE sound, it might look very nice; however, sound needs to be set with the ears, not the eyes! #2: "Flat Line" With this one comes an obvious question: Why would I set my EQ to "neutral" or "flat line"? Of course, the issue here is that the equalizer is doing absolutely nothing. With this curve, try bypassing the EQ....it sounds exactly the same! #3: "Comb Filter" This term comes from the fact that every other slider is up, and every other adjacent one is down, much like a comb’s alternating teeth and spaces. Although I’ve used this technique on really mushy, cluttered audio to “thin it out”, and it’s great for doing that, most audio in general is not that “crowded” across the sound spectrum. Where do I Start? OK, so what’s the correct answer? When it comes to a starting point, the only answer is #2 - The Flat Line! I always use the flat line as a starting point for equalizing anything for several reasons. The main reason for this is that I WANT to hear the sound the way it actually is before altering it. I use my ears to pick out where there is too much bass, midrange, not enough treble, harsh frequencies not pleasing to the ear, etc... so I already get a general idea of which frequencies need adjusting. Next, I start at the bottom by lowering 20-30 Hz, anything below 40. Most speaker systems can’t reproduce frequencies below 40 Hz anyway, and that’s why most EQ’s have a high pass filter so you can set the frequency at which below this setting, the EQ is going to automatically lower the volume of those frequencies, and more so the farther below the filter’s setting they are. These frequencies are usually unhearable, but their upper harmonics can wreak havoc in the hearable spectrum by distorting and cancelling some of the good frequencies we CAN hear.
Pixel Pro Audio Product Pages:
- NEW Graphic EQs
- USED Graphic EQs
- Alto AEQ215 Graphic Equalizer
- ART HQ231 Graphic Equalizer
- ART EQ351 Graphic Equalizer
Product Manufacturer Information
About the Author
Patrick Smolinksi is a recording industry veteran with over 15 years of pro audio retail sales experience, over 11 years of running his own recording studio in central Wisconsin, and is a multi-instrumentalist playing all of the instruments on songwriter demos. Pat is a musician at heart and has also found himself playing gigs with several bands over the past 30 years. He loves his twins, the Packers, music, and pro audio gear.