What you need. Recording 101
What stuff is. Recording 102
EQ Guide. Recording 103
Mic Positions. Recording 104
Mixing. Recording 105
Finishing. Recording 106

NOTE: These are guides and tips, they don't have to be done in any order (Except what you need and mic positioning of course) but don't take them as hard and fast rules because there are none.

Check those out if your not sure about something I've said here.

How do i make it sound good with EQ? Recording 103

Now before i continue i must say, this is just a general outline of what frequencies do what, it is not an EQ bible and I'm not saying its all 100% correct but its a damn good way to start off.
I'll say a couple of things before i start though. Try not to sweep your EQ (raise the gain and then change the frequency, because it doesn't help it just sounds weird and actually desensitizes your ears to what your trying to do, raise the gain, if thats the wrong thing, put it down, move it, check it again, only sweep if its small amounts not from 100hz to 10khz.
Second This is for a graphic EQ or at least an EQ with a adjustable Q (width of eq "lump" though its not necessary) and gain.

Now there is one thing i must stress. DO NOT CROWD FREQUENCIES, THEY ADD UP!
For example, say you boost your kick drum at 100hz by 5dB and your Bass guitar by 5dB and also your Floor Tom by 5dB, now by themselves they sound great, bassy and full, you put them together and that becomes 15dB of 100hz ON TOP of whatever was already there in a mix, some people wonder why their master faders are clipping when all their instruments are not. This is why, a better solution would be to boost the floor tom at 150hz, the kick at 100 and the bass at 50, or whatever you prefer. That way you wont have too much 100hz.

Ok lets start with some general EQ

50Hz (For Power)

1. Increase to add more fullness to lowest frequency instruments like foot, floor tom, and the bass.
2. Reduce to decrease the "boom" of the bass and will increase overtones and the recognition of bass line in the mix. This is most often used on loud bass lines like rock.
3. Cut for vocals to reduce pops.

100Hz (For Fatness & Fullness)

1. Increase to add a harder bass sound to lowest frequency instruments.
2. Increase to add fullness to guitars, snare.
3. Increase to add warmth to piano and horns.
4. Reduce to remove boom on guitars & increase clarity.
5. Cut for vocals.
6. Boost to help add "thump" to kick drum.

200Hz (For Fatness & Fullness)

1. Increase to add fullness and warmth to vocals or guitar.
2. Increase to add fullness to snare and guitar (harder sound).
3. Reduce to decrease muddiness of vocals or mid-range instruments.
4. Reduce to decrease gong sound of cymbals.
5. Boost/cut to control 'woody' sound of snare.

400Hz (For Ambience & Clarity)

1. Increase to add clarity to bass lines especially when speakers are at low volume.
2. Reduce to decrease "cardboard" sound of lower drums (foot and toms) and add warmth.
3. Reduce to decrease ambiance on cymbals.

800Hz (Clarity & Quality)

1. Increase for clarity and "punch" of bass (adds a knock at 1KHz).
2. Reduce to remove "cheap" sound of guitars.
3. Thicken Vocal tracks

1.5KHz (Clarity & Quality)

1. Increase for "clarity" and "pluck" of bass.
2. Reduce to remove dullness of guitars.

3KHz (For Projection)

1. Increase for more "pluck" of bass.
2. Increase for more attack of electric / acoustic guitar.
3. Increase for more attack on low piano parts.
4. Increase for more clarity / hardness on voice, reduce for smoothness.
5. Reduce to increase breathy, soft sound on background vocals.
6. Reduce to disguise out-of-tune vocals / guitars.

5KHz (For Presence)

1. Increase for vocal presence.
2. Increase low frequency drum attack ( foot / toms).
3. Increase for more "finger sound" on bass.
4. Increase attack of piano, acoustic guitar and brightness on guitars (especially rock guitars).
5. Reduce to make background parts more distant.
6. Reduce to soften "thin" guitar.

7KHz (For Brilliance & Clarity)

1. Increase to add attack on low frequency drums (more metallic sound).
2. Increase to add attack to percussion instruments.
3. Increase on dull singer.
4. Increase for more "finger sound" on acoustic bass.
5. Reduce to decrease "s" sound on singers.
6. Increase to add sharpness to synthesizers, rock guitars, acoustic guitar and piano.

10KHz (For Brilliance & Clarity)

1. Increase to brighten vocals.
2. Increase for "light brightness" in acoustic guitar and piano.
3. Increase for hardness on cymbals.
4. Reduce to decrease "s" sound on singers.

15KHz (For Brilliance & Clarity)

1. Increase to brighten vocals (breath sound).
2. Increase to brighten cymbals (adds sizzle), string instruments and flutes.
3. Increase to make sampled synthesizer sound more real.

And now for some more specific EQ.


General: Roll off below 60-150Hz using a High Pass Filter. This range is unlikely to contain anything useful, so you may as well reduce the noise the track contributes to the mix.

Treat Harsh Vocals:
To soften vocals apply cut in a narrow bandwidth somewhere in the 2.5KHz to 4KHz range.

Get An Open Sound:
Apply a gentle boost above 6KHz using a shelving filter.

Get Brightness, Not Harshness:
Apply a gentle boost using a wide-band Bandpass Filter above 6KHz. Use the Sweep control to sweep the frequencies to get it right.

Get Smoothness: Apply some cut in a narrow band in the 1KHz to 2KHz range.

Bring Out The Bass: Apply some boost in a reasonably narrow band somewhere in the 200Hz to 600Hz range.

Radio Vocal Effect:
Apply some cut at the High Frequencies, lots of boost about 1.5KHz and lots of cut below 700Hz.

Telephone Effect:
Apply lots of compression pre EQ, and a little analogue distortion by turning up the input gain. Apply some cut at the High Frequencies, lots of boost about 1.5KHz and lots of cut below 700Hz.


Get Definition:
Roll off everything below 600Hz using a High Pass Filter.

Get Sizzle: Apply boost at 10KHz using a Band Pass Filter. Adjust the bandwidth to get the sound right.

Treat Clangy Hats:
Apply some cut between 1KHz and 4KHz.

Bass Drum

General: Apply a little cut at 300Hz and some boost between 40Hz and 80Hz.

Control The Attack:
Apply boost or cut around 4KHz to 6KHz.

Treat Muddiness:
Apply cut somewhere in the 100Hz to 500Hz range.

Thump: Boost around 130hz to get a low end thump (the sort you feel in your chest if loud)


Treat Unclear Vocals: Apply some cut to the guitar between 1KHz and 5KHz to bring the vocals to the front of the mix.

Apply a little boost between 100Hz and 250Hz and again between 10KHz and 12KHz.

Acoustic Guitar

Add Sparkle:
Gently boost at 10KHz using a Band Pass Filter with a medium bandwidth.


Apply some mid-range cut to the rhythm section to make vocals and other instruments more clearly heard.
Last edited by doommaker at Feb 1, 2009,
very nice , exactly what i wanted to know
Inspired by Ibanez RGA321F Prestige, Gibson Les Paul Standard
Powered by CAA OD100 standard+ , Mesa 2x12
Affected by Maxon OD808, Mad Professor Deep blue delay

THIS IS JUST A GUIDELINE. Don't use it as your "EQ instructions".

EDIT: You got it.
Last edited by llanafreak44 at Jan 20, 2009,
i might actually bold that line, its just to help you experiment, for eg with kick drums i usually boost around 130hz, cut nearly everything between 200-600hz and then boost around 3-10k to get it all clicky. It is also very dependent on the mics you use.

Play a Cort ?

Play with V-Picks ?

Every minute is to be Grasped........................................................................Time waits for nobody.

Just like to add, that anybody new to recording. You would usually EQ, Compress, Level and all the rest of it simultaneously.

I just realized that people could see all these (great by the way) chapters as a linear process.
Epiphone Elitist SG (Serious)
Tokai Silver Star
Epiphone Dot
Epiphone Les Paul
Washburn J28SCEDL
Washburn J12S

G.A.S List

JCM600 (Yes a 600..)
Quote by doommaker
Very good point, i may add that to the top of each page.

you sir are a ripp off...copying and pasting someone elses efforts and calling them your own...not even giving credit to whom they belong too.


His EQ section was written over 10 years ago by someone else.
Last edited by PsychomanZ at Feb 6, 2009,
You'll find i've added a tonne, yeah well i couldnt remember, i never actually said i worked it all out... i just said it was a guide.

Fine, thats where credit is due *shrugs* its for other people not to make me look good.