I was mixing a song this morning (man, it’s sounding really good), and it got me thinking.

I talk a lot about the importance and power of subtractive EQ. “Cut before you boost,” I say.

And the reason is this — most people have problems with their mixes being too muddy. Subtractive EQ is a mindset. It helps you get rid of things you don’t need, so the tracks can blend well together, giving you a nice, full, non-muddy mix.

But there’s an evil side to subtractive EQ, a “soft underbelly,” if you will.

If you take subtractive EQ to the extreme, you can end up with a harsh-sounding mix. Why? Because in your efforts to nullify any chance of getting a muddy mix, you over-compensate, leaving yourself with a mix that has little low-midrange and a TON of high-mid harshness.

It started happening to me this morning, but I quickly realized what was going on, and I adjusted the mix.

Like mom always said, you CAN have too much of a good thing.

Too much subtractive EQ (or ANY process for that matter) will kill your mix.

All things in moderation, my friend.

Now, does this mean I’m abandoning my love of subtractive EQ? Not at all. I still think it is the absolute BEST way to mix.

Just be aware of the soft underbelly…and you’ll be fine.

To find out how to use subtractive EQ to transform your mixes, go here: