What’s Your Favorite EQ?
I get the question, what kind of EQs — what are my favorite EQs? Like, a lot? So I thought I’d just go through and make a short video. Go through a session and show you like, three, four, five of — I pretty much use the same tools on every tune. I talk about why I like them, why I use them, and stuff like that.
And yeah, so I’ve got a track. I’m just going to start with the go-to sort of — let me find one here. Here’s one on an acoustic. This FabFilter Pro-Q2. If I’m cutting anything ever, I’m using this plug-in. Filtering. Any kind of surgical anything — I don’t really boost a lot with it. Most of the time — now, it’s free game, I’ll pretty much use it on bass, acoustics, I’ve got it on synth stuff definitely, vocals, it’s always the main EQ I have, just because it is so surgical, it can kind of do anything. It’ll do mid/side, it’s got all the metering you’d ever want on it. It’s like a Swiss Army Knife basically.
There’s no real sound to it or vibe, it’s just really clean, super transparent. It’s really fast to use. You can get in here, highlight all of the bands, move them up and down if you want, and it’s awesome. It gives you all of the options you’d ever want.
Next EQ would probably be the Slate SSL. I do a lot of cutting with this and I also do a lot of boosting. These SSL EQs are great. They’re really aggressive. I mainly use them on drums. Like kick drums and overheads are kind of my favorite place to use these, especially when you’re cutting out 9dB at like, 350 with a wide Q. It just gives you that big, fat, huge kick drum knock thing.
I can play some of that.
Super dramatic differences, right? And they’re really aggressive, really great, people have used these EQs on tracks for decades and decades, and there’s a reason why.
Next EQ I like to use, we’ll go to electric guitars. I really like the Helios EQ. It’s one of my favorites.
Mainly because you can pull 10kHz all the way out. It also does a trick with the 60Hz knob. By clicking it on, the track literally just gets fatter without really raising anything or boosting anything rather.
This is a UAD plug-in.
Then basically, on a guitar, since it’s such a mid-range instrument, you basically just pick the frequency of choice here. I usually start around 2, 2.8kHz.
If you want it to bite through more, you can do that.
And this will — tone to tone, this will change. Then 10kHz just takes out all of the top presence stuff that you don’t really need in a guitar, I think.
Automatically gets more smooth to me.
So that’s the Helios EQ. That’s on pretty much everything, and while we’re talking about mid-range stuff for pianos, I really like APIs. Same thing, boosting and cutting. These things do have a sound. They have a weight to them I feel like, and as you can see on this piano…
Cool thing about these EQs is the more you push them, boosting or cutting, the narrower the Q gets, so it’s a pretty kind of unique thing, and for whatever reason, I just love these on keyboards, Rhodes, piano. That’s pretty much where they sit.
They’ll also go on guitars. Like on guitars for whatever reason, 800Hz on an API EQ, if you just boost that, it sounds really great, like a distorted kind of a thing. So that’s always an option.
Back to drums for a second. I wonder if I have one on here. Yeah, this Neve EQ. Neves are great for snares. I’m usually just boosting with them. Here you can see I cut a little 220 out, probably because the drum was too fat, but that crack on snares, that 5kHz to 7kHz kind of range in the mid-band is awesome, and then this sort of magic — I think this is like, 12kHz or something like that. This magic shelf just kind of opens them up if you need it.
You don’t need a lot. What’s this drum sound like?
So yeah, you can see, especially like this, I’ll exaggerate this 5kHz thing.
You can see how that’ll really open up a drum, so a lot of times, if your drum isn’t really ringing through or cutting through, it may not be a volume thing, it may just be opening up 5kHz or 7kHz, or even some 2.5kHz will work for that as well.
So that’s the Neve stuff. You can use a 1073 as well. Any kind of Neve style EQ will pretty much do that.
What’s the next one. Also on drums, buss EQ. I really like this Millennia, mainly because it’s pretty clean — Well, I say that, I probably shouldn’t say that.
Usually, I’ll just flip on and off this twin topology section right here, and it’s a really fast decision. If it sounds better, I leave it on, if it sounds worse, I leave it off, but it adds this sort of vibe. I really like the shelf on the top. It’s usually a click here, click there, the bottom on drums, and then if I want to pull a little bit of mid-range out, like 800 or something, which I may do from time to time, it’s a click down.
Super subtle moves though. Nothing crazy.
And that’s pretty much — those are basically the main EQ plug-ins I use on everything. You know, there’s this BAX EQ that sits on the mix buss, you can check out the video I did before this one if you want to learn about that.
I will use multi-bands as EQs to a point to naturally sort of contain low end information by compressing things down. Especially on guitars if things are harsh or a little muddy. You can see I’m pulling out.
Just kind of cleans out that low fluff that kind of gets in the way and stacks up over time.
But yeah, that’s it. Let me know what your favorite EQs are. Keep in mind, you can do all of this stuff with stock EQs as well if you’re in Logic or Studio One or Reaper or whatever you happen to use. This is just what I’ve sort of collected. These are my go-to four or five.
That’s it. I’ll see you guys in the next video. Later.