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How to Mix Electric Guitar: EQ, Ideas and Philosophy

What’s up, guys? Welcome to a new video here.

In this one, I wanted to talk about EQing electric guitars. Got a question just wanting to know about my ideas and sort of philosophy behind EQing electric guitars.

So anyways, I’ve got an indie rock track here. I’m going to play it. It sounds like this.


Right. Really interesting tones.


Some of these tracks were printed with verb, some of them weren’t, some of them were super fuzzed out, some of them weren’t, some of them were compressed, some of them weren’t.

I kind of just blended them, panned them, and treated them as one sound, and shot them to this buss where I have this Schoeps 73 EQ from Waves. I’m kind of digging into using this for the first time, but I like broad curves — broad, gentle curves on electrics.

When you get really surgical with electric guitars, things get weird really fast. You want to think like a guitar amp — and at least in my head — so you want to think really broad, really gentle curves, much like bass/mid/treble would be on a Fender tube amp or whatever.

Think of a guitar amp with a high pass filter, essentially.

Pretty much always high pass to 80, which is one of my favorite things about these Neve EQs. APIs work really well to if you’re into that.

Let me just bypass this and you can sort of hear where we started, and where we went with at least this EQ section here.



It’s really just tightening up. Sucking out a little bit of the low stuff so my kick drum and snare drum and bass guitar can do their thing, and then brightened them a little, which kind of pulls them forward-ish, and then let me play it in the mix.


Again, a lot of this is subjective. You want to think broad, gentle curves. So I’ve got a boost at this 12kHz shelf here, and then tucking out a dB and a half of 110.

You probably don’t want to play around with 200, 300, 250 much. That’s where a lot of cool warmth and bottom end of the guitar sits. I mean, for the most part, guitars are a mid-range instrument, but there is sort of a bottom, low endy thing to them to. You don’t want them to be thin, so if you start taking 250, 300 out, things are going to thin out real fast and they’re going to sound weak, and you’re not going to like it at all.

But yeah, just think really broad, really gentle curves. Just like a guitar amp. And honestly, tone starts at the player. Guitar is a total right hand thing. That’s where all of the tone, that’s where all of the control comes from. It’s all technique. When you’re recording guitars, I always recommend renting amps if you can from people, paying players that can play really clean, because that’s where a lot of this magic happens.

So just keep that in mind. Let’s take a look at the compressor as well. Some guys compress guitars pretty hard, some guys don’t. I mean, the distortion is already sort of compressing them to begin with, so it’s really up to your tastes and what you like to hear, but I have these going through this UAD Rev A 1176. You can see the settings, they look like that.


So, slow attack, fast release, kind of helps bring out the transients of the little eighth note parts. I thought it kind of helped them sound a little meaner.

But yeah. That’s my electric guitars, and as far as effects go, a little slap delay, a little eighth note delay. Again, these were printed with a lot of effects on them, which is cool, I kind of like that if it’s done well.

But yeah, man. That’s electric guitars. Don’t overthink them.

Reference stuff, that’s going to help you a lot and really inform your taste.

So that’s all I have for you in this video. Subscribe to the channel. New stuff all the time coming out every week. Find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. E-mail me your questions, tweet me your questions, whatever, and maybe I’ll make a video about one.

Anyways, take care and I will see you guys in the next video. Later.




Mixnotes is a YouTube channel with tutorials on mixing, recording, business, plugins and more. We've partnered with them to feature some of their videos on The Pro Audio Files.

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