1band-eqLearning EQ can be tricky, especially if your starting out. Or perhaps you’ve been recording for quite a while, but you could use a little more ear training when it comes to EQ.

If you’re like me, you may not be as familiar with the frequency spectrum as you’d like to be. Do you know what 100 Hz sounds like? How about 300 Hz? Or 14 kHz?

In this video I’ll show you a little trick I came across a while back when I was trying to gain a better understanding of EQ in general. It turns out what I thought was 100 Hz was more like 60 Hz. What I thought was 1 kHz was more like 500 Hz.

Using this technique, you can hone in on specific frequency ranges and take a listen. What does 400 Hz sounds like in the context of an entire mix? Find out for yourself. It’ll help you make more educated decisions as you mix.

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  • Hillel

    Do you have any articles/videos on what exactly it means when something is out of phase and how something like that would happen? I’m not sure I understand the whole concept of something being in or out of phase

  • Nanthaa

    tnx tnx very nice tips, i want to learn some technics about REVERB can u help me plz

  • Joe, great tip. Should have thought of this one myself, it’s so obvious. Gah! Thanks for the video.

    • Actually, trying that out, I think it might be better to sweep a cut rather than a boost. Instead of boosting what isn’t in the song at you, if you cut you “reveal” what is in the song, for a more natural way to explore the frequencies.

  • Amazing, i used to use a certain eq plugin that had a feature like this, but was damn cpu heavy and i just used it to hear the freq ranges, but eq’d with a diff eq after that so it was pretty frustrating yeah… Thanks a lot for the amazing tip!

  • Francois Du Plessis

    What i have learnt by listening toa album through headphones is i could hear the panining of certain instruments very clearly,effects,comprecion and the eq of the album aswell.

  • Thanks for the trick. Makes alot of sense. Sometimes proper EQ settings become so elusive,especially late at night after working on a tune all day.

    all the best

  • joe, i cannot tell you how helpful this video is for me. i am struggling with exactly this right now with some recordings — and knowing that you need a better-trained ear doesn’t help you to GET one. this will. thank you!

    • Thanks Jackie! I’m so glad it helps!!

  • I just hold Shift+Windows key (PC) and that allows me to just hear the frequency bell curve I have selected. I don’t know what it is for Macs, but mess around with it cause I’m pretty sure it works for you guys too.

    Note: I’ve found it only works in the EQ 3 plug-ins.