Pop quiz — Which is more important?

Mic placement or EQ?

Recording or mixing?

Boxers or briefs? (Wait a second…)

Got an interesting email from one of my new customers:

Joe, I just recently came across an article from SOS magazine that said, “If the right microphones have been positioned carefully, equalisation is rarely needed…”

He went on to express his concern with this extreme focus on microphone placement. He was worried that perhaps he was doing something wrong during recording if he still needed EQ during mixing.

Here was my reply:

The first EQ you should ever use in a project is the microphone.

Where you place the microphone can drastically affect how the recording sounds. A great-sounding instrument can still sound bad if the mic placement isn’t right.

I try my best to capture the recording by making it sound as close to how I want it to sound in the mix as I can. My goal when recording is to not need to use much (if any) EQ when I mix.

That’s the goal.

But obviously EQ will most likely be needed, but if you put THAT much effort into getting the dry recording to sound as good as possible, your mixes will be SO much better.


So…which is more important, mic placement or EQ?

Answer: BOTH.

EQ won’t save a lame recording.

And using EQ the wrong way will make a great recording sound worse.

I can help you learn how to use EQ like a champ, if you’re interested.

It’s all right here:


Joe Gilder