Did you know that no two EQ plugins are created equal?
WHAT!? Say it ain’t so!
Lemme explain. In Episode 18 of the Simply Recording Podcast, Graham and I talked about how mixing with your eyes can be detrimental to your mixes.
I get questions all the time from subscribers. One common question thread throughout a lot of them is this phrase “EQ curve.” They’ll ask things like:
What should my EQ curve look like on my kick drum?
My EQ curve for my mix doesn’t look right, what do you think?
As you can imagine, there’s no possible way to answer these questions, because they’re trying to use visual cues to control audio elements. It just doesn’t work, partner.
Here’s one example of why this doesn’t work.
As you might know, I’ve been doing a lot of work in Presonus Studio One recording software. I haven’t opened Pro Tools in several months.
Both S1 and PT have a standard EQ plugin, the one that shows your EQ curve on the screen. The problem? They’re not calibrated the same.
If I grab an EQ band on the graph and yank it down a half-inch on the screen, it will sound DRAMATICALLY different in Studio One versus Pro Tools. Why? Because that “half-inch” cut is something like 3 dB on one system and 8 dB on the other. Sure, the “EQ curve” might look exactly the same, but the actual EQ settings are very different.
THAT’S why you can’t trust your eyes. That’s why you can’t base your mixing decisions on what an EQ curve looks like. It’ll just leave you frustrated.
To learn how I use EQ every time I mix a song (in a way that keeps you from becoming a slave to your eyeballs), check out: