I was mastering an EP for a client recently, and I decided to try out my Waves SSL EQ plugin.

If you’re familiar with the SSL EQ, it consists of a bunch of knobs, but no visual “EQ curve” to look at.

As much as I love some sort of graphic EQ readout from time to time, it’s nice to just twist a knob and be forced to listen to what it’s doing to the audio.

I’ve never really used the SSL EQ before for mastering, simply because it’s not quite as “surgical” as something like Waves Q10, which allows you to see graphically EXACTLY what you’re doing with the EQ.

I’m not saying one is better than the other, but for this particular project, I really like the sound I was able to get with the less precise EQ.

But methinks I took it a bit too far.

I got a little TOO excited about twisting a bunch of knobs that I over-EQ’d the songs. It was actually some pretty drastic EQ action going on.

I let ’em sit over the weekend and came back to listen this morning.

Lo and behold I wasn’t as happy with them as I had been last week.

I quickly adjusted the EQ settings to something much more subtle and conservative, and the result was mucho better.

What’s the lesson here?

If it seems a little too over-the-top, it might be.

Sometimes a track calls for some dramatic processing, but more often than not it needs something simple.

It doesn’t need a LOT of EQ.

Just the RIGHT EQ.

To learn how to use EQ like a boss, go here:


Happy knob-twisting. 🙂

Joe Gilder
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