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EQ – Equalizer

In music production, sound frequencies are a key element, and this is where equalizers come into play. Each sound has its own characteristic and composition of different frequencies, which is something that producers and musicians must be aware of. An equalizer, often abbreviated to EQ, is a tool used in professional audio contexts to adjust the volume or change the response of one or more frequencies in an audio signal. In music production, the equalizer plays a crucial role, and it is important to understand how the different types of equalizers work in order to choose the most effective equalizer for each situation.

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Eventide SplitEQ

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FabFilter Pro-Q 3

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FabFilter Micro

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FabFilter Saturn 2

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FabFilter Simplon

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FabFilter Volcano 3

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McDSP FilterBank HD v.7

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Sound Radix Surfer Eq


Using EQ

Equalizers have undergone a very interesting evolution from their earliest use in telecommunications - to their current role in music production. The earliest equalizers were originally used to adjust audio signals in the transmission of sound in telephones and to achieve clearer speech. It was simply about being able to amplify or dampen certain frequencies to improve the sound quality in the phone.

Over time, equalizers began to find their way into the world of music production. Music producers discovered that they could shape the sound of instruments and vocals by using equalizers to manipulate the frequency response. This made it possible to adjust the sound quality and remove unwanted noise or resonances in the recordings.

As technology evolved, analog hardware equalizers were gradually replaced by digital EQ plugins. These digital plugins give music producers and sound engineers even more control and flexibility over the sound. They can be easily set to adapt to different equalization needs and create the desired sound character in a music production.

There is a wide selection of EQ plugins for digital audio stations (DAWs) and VST effects specially developed to meet the needs of modern music production. These plugins allow you to fine-tune each track and create a clear and balanced sound in your music projects.

Different types of equalizers

There are three main types of equalizers that have different functions:

  1. Shelving equalizer: This type of equalizer is the simplest and consists of high- and low-tone filters. The high-pass filter (HPF) removes the low frequencies below a certain center point, and the low-pass filter (LPF) removes the high frequencies above a certain center point.
  2. Graphic Equalizer: A graphic equalizer provides a visual representation of the audio frequencies and allows you to adjust individual frequency bands. Most graphic equalizers have 31 bands, each representing a specific frequency.
  3. Parametric Equalizer: This type of equalizer provides the most detailed control over the frequencies. A parametric equalizer can adjust three parameters: level (gain or attenuation), center frequency, and bandwidth.

Equalizer selection for different situations

The choice of equalizer depends on the specific situation. For example, if you need to remove noise from a percussion track, you can use a high-pass filter. If you want to adjust details in a vocal, you can use a parametric equalizer.

Analog vs. digital equalizer

You can choose between analog hardware equalizers and digital EQ plugins. Analogue equalizers have analogue signal processing, while digital equalizers work digitally. Analogue equalizers are often considered to be more "warm" and "lively" in sound, while digital equalizers are more precise and flexible.

Use of equalizer in music production

Equalizers can be used for many different purposes in music production, including:

To remove unnecessary frequencies: For example, you can use a high-pass filter to remove noise from a bass track or a low-pass filter to remove the high frequencies from a drum.

To emphasize certain frequencies: For example, you can use a boost function to emphasize the midrange frequencies in a vocal.

To create a specific sound character: For example, you can use an EQ to make a guitar brighter or a bass more punchy.

It is important to use equalizers carefully, as too much EQ can destroy the balance of a sound image. Start by making small adjustments and listen to the results to see if more adjustments are needed.

If you are looking for a professional digital EQ - then you can take a closer look at some of these from our catalogue:

Sound Radix Surfer Eq

SurferEQ adjusts the EQ frequency in real time to the pitch of the instrument or vocal, giving you natural control over fundamental frequencies and harmonies. No complex settings required – it just works. Retains the size and energy of the original recording, even with extreme changes. Try SurferEQ and create completely new sounds.

McDSP AE600 Active EQ Native v7

McDSP AE600 Active EQ HD v7 is a powerful HD-ready six-band active EQ plugin. It works seamlessly with HD formats and can be run on host processing or DSP processors like McDSP APB or Avid HDX, reducing the load on your CPU.

McDSP AE400 Active EQ Native v.7

McDSP AE400 Active EQ HD v7 is a powerful HD-ready four-band active EQ plugin. The AE400 Active EQ has four fixed bands that overlap each other, making it ideal for a variety of production techniques in music production, dialogue post-production and even live sound. Each band has an active gain control and a key filter function that allows you to adjust the response wide or narrow, depending on your needs.

UAD Manley Massive Passive EQ

The UAD Manley Massive Passive EQ gives you the unique passive EQ experience with precise sound adjustment. You get both the standard and mastering versions, each with stepped values ​​and different filter designs. Customize the four bands with adjustable frequency, bandwidth and gain. Includes low and high pass filters for total sound adjustment.

FabFilter Simplon

FabFilter Simplon is the ultimate filter plugin, providing two high-quality multi-mode filters to transform your sound. With an interactive filter display, you get full control over the character and direction of your sound. The Simplon is created for live use, making it the ideal tool for musicians on stage.

If you have questions about sound, sound production or equalizers - contact us at Cyberfarm.