If you are a seasoned producer or just starting out recording for your first time, I'm going to help you get the best sound possible out of your mix. We've all been here... you just get finished mixing and recording your song. The final song, however, isn't sounding like you would like it to, and you don't have the masters anymore. Personally, I don't want to record the song again, and my band mates don't either, but I want a better sound. Well, we are in luck, with a bit of EQ's and compressors, we can get that 'sound' rather quickly.
Normally, the one thing that really stands out when things aren't mixed right is that the bass drum doesn't have the 'pop' to it. Fortunatly, this is really easy to fix. Pull up an EQ on your recording software and increase 50Hz a bit. That should really get the drum to 'pop' for you. But still, something isn't right.
Upon further listening, I find that there is too much ringing from the bass drum. As well, the bass guitar is mudding up my other guitars. By decreasing 100Hz some, that solves that problem. It made the bass pop, but not ring, and made the guitars stand out. I don't have the boom from the bass any more, instead I have clear notes.
I now want to give the guitars more punch. I'm going to lower 800Hz a bit to do this. It will decrease the high end distortion to give a more low end sound. Very simple trick to add a bit more depth to the mix.
Now, around 3Khz you can find the attack sounds on the guitars. This one has many tricks... when you increase it, it will add more buzz to the guitars and make the attacks more defined. If you lower it, it can actually help disguise any out of tune instrument. With a bit of tweaking, you can find just what you need here.
The last thing we can do to help clean an already mixed track is to increase 5Khz some. This will Add a bit of treble to counteract the mods we did with the bass drum.
It will also help make the vocals a bit clearer.
There isn't a whole lot that can be done with a track after it has already been mixed down, but there is at least something that can be done to make it better. Who knows, maybe with enough practice, you can make any track sound like an industry standard. I wish you luck on your projects. Below is a small map of the different eq's and what they do. Remember, it is always best to apply your EQ's before you mix down. If you do that, you will have total control, and be able to get any sound you could possible imagine. The following map will work wonders if you work with each track seperatly before mixing it.
01. Increase to add more fullness to lowest frequency instruments like foot, toms, and the bass.
02. 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.
01. Increase to add a harder bass sound to lowest frequency instruments.
02. Increase to add fullness to guitars, snare.
03. Increase to add warmth to piano and horns.
04. Reduce to remove boom on guitars & increase clarity.
01. Increase to add fullness to vocals.
02. Increase to add fullness to snare and guitar ( harder sound ).
03. Reduce to decrease muddiness of vocals or mid-range instruments.
04. Reduce to decrease gong sound of cymbals.
01. Increase to add clarity to bass lines especially when speakers are at low volume.
02. Reduce to decrease "cardboard" sound of lower drums (foot and toms).
03. Reduce to decrease ambiance on cymbals.
01. Increase for clarity and "punch" of bass.
02. Reduce to remove "cheap" sound of guitars.
01. Increase for "clarity" and "pluck" of bass.
02. Reduce to remove dullness of guitars.
01. Increase for more "pluck" of bass.
02. Increase for more attack of electric / acoustic guitar.
03. Increase for more attack on low piano parts.
04. Increase for more clarity / hardness on voice.
05. Reduce to increase breathy, soft sound on background vocals.
06. Reduce to disguise out-of-tune vocals / guitars.
01. Increase for vocal presence.
02. Increase low frequency drum attack ( foot / toms).
03. Increase for more "finger sound" on bass.
04. Increase attack of piano, acoustic guitar and brightness on guitars (especially rock guitars).
05. Reduce to make background parts more distant.
06. Reduce to soften "thin" guitar.
01. Increase to add attack on low frequency drums ( more metallic sound ).
02. Increase to add attack to percussion instruments.
03. Increase on dull singer.
04. Increase for more "finger sound" on acoustic bass.
05. Reduce to decrease "s" sound on singers.
06. Increase to add sharpness to synthesizers, rock guitars, acoustic guitar and piano.
01. Increase to brighten vocals.
02. Increase for "light brightness" in acoustic guitar and piano.
03. Increase for hardness on cymbals.
04. Reduce to decrease "s" sound on singers.
01. Increase to brighten vocals (breath sound).
02. Increase to brighten cymbals, string instruments and flutes.
03. Increase to make sampled synthesizer sound more real.