Recording eq vs live eq

Guitar Tricks Forum > Recording > Recording eq vs live eq

Non-Existent

Joined: 05/26/03

Posts: 1597

A pretty straight forward question.
As you probly know,non-existant mids sound great(personal preference)when playing alone or practicing,but lack of mids will result in getting drowned out at high volumes with a band.
I havent had much experience with recording so would scooping your mids for recording have bad results like it would in a live setting?
Try once,fail twice...

#1

A pretty straight forward question.
As you probly know,non-existant mids sound great(personal preference)when playing alone or practicing,but lack of mids will result in getting drowned out at high volumes with a band.
I havent had much experience with recording so would scooping your mids for recording have bad results like it would in a live setting?
Try once,fail twice...

Crime Fighter

Joined: 08/04/02

Posts: 1518

No actually. Scooping the mids would be good because it will leave more room for your snare, toms, and bass guitar.
You don't wanna do it too much because it can make your guitar sound too thin and it will be hard to distinqish rhythm. How much you scoop would be a preference of style but I know Metal bands like Death do scoop their mids on recording, usually around 3-5. If you want a bold heavy sound you need to leave alittle in there. ;) Go for the sound you use when practicing, and see how it works out when you put the other instruments in. Recording is a learn as you go process.
"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.

#2

No actually. Scooping the mids would be good because it will leave more room for your snare, toms, and bass guitar.
You don't wanna do it too much because it can make your guitar sound too thin and it will be hard to distinqish rhythm. How much you scoop would be a preference of style but I know Metal bands like Death do scoop their mids on recording, usually around 3-5. If you want a bold heavy sound you need to leave alittle in there. ;) Go for the sound you use when practicing, and see how it works out when you put the other instruments in. Recording is a learn as you go process.
"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 07/06/02

Posts: 5021

OK so this is how I see it !

Like Noticingthemistake said, EQ (at the mixing desk) in the live or recording environment is all about cutting through the mix and not cluttering up your frequencies fighting with other instruments / vocals.

When you mix stuff down there will be several areas where the frequency's generated by one instruments overlap with another. This can lead to the masking of those frequencies / muddying up the mix making individual instruments difficult to hear. One way to combat this is to turn down the overlapping frequencies.

Usually your mids will be in the bit that doesn't over lap !

These tweaks in EQ at the desk are quite subtle relative the the big mid scoops associated with say a death metal sound relative to a midsey blues sound made on your amp (which are fundamental to "your" guitar sound).
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS

#3

OK so this is how I see it !

Like Noticingthemistake said, EQ (at the mixing desk) in the live or recording environment is all about cutting through the mix and not cluttering up your frequencies fighting with other instruments / vocals.

When you mix stuff down there will be several areas where the frequency's generated by one instruments overlap with another. This can lead to the masking of those frequencies / muddying up the mix making individual instruments difficult to hear. One way to combat this is to turn down the overlapping frequencies.

Usually your mids will be in the bit that doesn't over lap !

These tweaks in EQ at the desk are quite subtle relative the the big mid scoops associated with say a death metal sound relative to a midsey blues sound made on your amp (which are fundamental to "your" guitar sound).
My instructors page and http://www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS

Registered User

Joined: 08/08/03

Posts: 492

Please have a look at my post in this thread: http://www.guitartricks.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=7581

But, in general, every instrument has it's place in the frequency spectrum. For guitar that place is the middle of the spectrum, so logically it just doesn't make much sense to scoop those frequencies.

#4

Please have a look at my post in this thread: http://www.guitartricks.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=7581

But, in general, every instrument has it's place in the frequency spectrum. For guitar that place is the middle of the spectrum, so logically it just doesn't make much sense to scoop those frequencies.

Crime Fighter

Joined: 08/04/02

Posts: 1518

An Important point.

There are 2 phases of recording, or at least you should go through 2 phases. The first is pre-recording and this is the sound you want from your guitar. So EQ your guitar to your liking and go for the sound you want, whether it scooping mids or not. The second phase is post-recording, this is only done after everything else is recorded (drums bass vocal) and your going to mix everything together. Here is where you balance the frequencies of all the instruments to make the big picture. If you scooped the mids earlier your going to have to boost them back up in the mix, as you'll have to with the other instruments to make them blend together better.

The point of recording into your computer or console is getting the best sound possible. Don't even worry about how it's going to blend just yet. That would only be putting yourself through hell, and even if you get it to your liking. You'll have to change it in the post mix.

The post mix is where you have the best sound of each instrument and then you work on blending them together.

You shouldn't skip either step as it can result is less than favorable results. Start without the first step and you'll probably start off with a sound you don't really want, and what more can be said other than you've started off on the wrong foot. Skip the second step and nothing blends together because your frequencies fight for space or they clip.

Also Doc made a point in that it does matter what type of sound (music genre) your going for, and only you know what sound you want. So no one can give you the answers to a perfect mix, there are only pointers. Note that there are infinite ways to make a great mix, go for what you want to hear.

And yeah scooping mids without fixing that in the post mix, if you do it that way, will result in the guitar having no rhythmic qualities and just a weak sound, like SPL said.

[Edited by noticingthemistake on 10-12-2003 at 09:01 PM]
"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.

#5

An Important point.

There are 2 phases of recording, or at least you should go through 2 phases. The first is pre-recording and this is the sound you want from your guitar. So EQ your guitar to your liking and go for the sound you want, whether it scooping mids or not. The second phase is post-recording, this is only done after everything else is recorded (drums bass vocal) and your going to mix everything together. Here is where you balance the frequencies of all the instruments to make the big picture. If you scooped the mids earlier your going to have to boost them back up in the mix, as you'll have to with the other instruments to make them blend together better.

The point of recording into your computer or console is getting the best sound possible. Don't even worry about how it's going to blend just yet. That would only be putting yourself through hell, and even if you get it to your liking. You'll have to change it in the post mix.

The post mix is where you have the best sound of each instrument and then you work on blending them together.

You shouldn't skip either step as it can result is less than favorable results. Start without the first step and you'll probably start off with a sound you don't really want, and what more can be said other than you've started off on the wrong foot. Skip the second step and nothing blends together because your frequencies fight for space or they clip.

Also Doc made a point in that it does matter what type of sound (music genre) your going for, and only you know what sound you want. So no one can give you the answers to a perfect mix, there are only pointers. Note that there are infinite ways to make a great mix, go for what you want to hear.

And yeah scooping mids without fixing that in the post mix, if you do it that way, will result in the guitar having no rhythmic qualities and just a weak sound, like SPL said.

[Edited by noticingthemistake on 10-12-2003 at 09:01 PM]
"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.

Registered User

Joined: 08/08/03

Posts: 492

[QUOTE]Originally posted by noticingthemistake
The point of recording into your computer or console is getting the best sound possible. Don't even worry about how it's going to blend just yet. That would only be putting yourself through hell, and even if you get it to your liking. You'll have to change it in the post mix.[/QUOTE]

I have to disagree here, this is where the art of audio engineering comes in effect. You should always aspire to get the sound you're recording as close as possible to what you think/know will work in the final product. From instrument to tape/HD there are literally hundreds of different possible parameters(such as mic type, mic placement, console settings, acoustic panels,... etc) that'll determine what your recorded sound will sound like. Adjusting those parameters and thinking ahead like that is what makes a good engineer.
The general philosophy behind audio engineering is to keep your signal chain as short as possible, with as little processing as possible. Any kind of processing, wether it's digital or analog, will add some kind of distortion to the sound and generally will deteriorate its overall quality. This is exactly why the sound you record should be as close as possible to perfect.

Anyway, there really are no rules when it comes to recording, whatever ends up sounding the best is the best way to do it. But the above is a general guideline that is used in most cases.

#6

[QUOTE]Originally posted by noticingthemistake
The point of recording into your computer or console is getting the best sound possible. Don't even worry about how it's going to blend just yet. That would only be putting yourself through hell, and even if you get it to your liking. You'll have to change it in the post mix.[/QUOTE]

I have to disagree here, this is where the art of audio engineering comes in effect. You should always aspire to get the sound you're recording as close as possible to what you think/know will work in the final product. From instrument to tape/HD there are literally hundreds of different possible parameters(such as mic type, mic placement, console settings, acoustic panels,... etc) that'll determine what your recorded sound will sound like. Adjusting those parameters and thinking ahead like that is what makes a good engineer.
The general philosophy behind audio engineering is to keep your signal chain as short as possible, with as little processing as possible. Any kind of processing, wether it's digital or analog, will add some kind of distortion to the sound and generally will deteriorate its overall quality. This is exactly why the sound you record should be as close as possible to perfect.

Anyway, there really are no rules when it comes to recording, whatever ends up sounding the best is the best way to do it. But the above is a general guideline that is used in most cases.

Crime Fighter

Joined: 08/04/02

Posts: 1518

Your taking what I said wrong. I agree with what your saying but you should start with a good sound and particularly the sound you want. You can't record a bluesy sounding guitar and expect to be able to Eq it in the post mix and make it sound more metal. If he's recording metal he knows how to get a metal sound (scoop the mids), then later it easy to boost the mids (usually only slightly) to make them fit in the mix.

Your right you have to have a mental picture of what you want to hear in the end beforehand. Naturally you will replicate that in the pre-mix as close as possible, then the alteration later will be small. If you have a final mix in your head and you don't go with it (say you boost the mids) then the alterations in the post-mix will be greater. Big no no. Don't fight what you want because of rules. See we are saying the samething but your just taking what I'm saying the wrong way. If a good enginner can exactly balance out all the frequencies before recording a single track, he/she is god. No engineer can do that because you never know what the right balance is, it's a process that changes everytime you sit down to mix a song. Many factors play a role here, most aren't in our control.

[Edited by noticingthemistake on 10-12-2003 at 09:55 PM]
"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.

#7

Your taking what I said wrong. I agree with what your saying but you should start with a good sound and particularly the sound you want. You can't record a bluesy sounding guitar and expect to be able to Eq it in the post mix and make it sound more metal. If he's recording metal he knows how to get a metal sound (scoop the mids), then later it easy to boost the mids (usually only slightly) to make them fit in the mix.

Your right you have to have a mental picture of what you want to hear in the end beforehand. Naturally you will replicate that in the pre-mix as close as possible, then the alteration later will be small. If you have a final mix in your head and you don't go with it (say you boost the mids) then the alterations in the post-mix will be greater. Big no no. Don't fight what you want because of rules. See we are saying the samething but your just taking what I'm saying the wrong way. If a good enginner can exactly balance out all the frequencies before recording a single track, he/she is god. No engineer can do that because you never know what the right balance is, it's a process that changes everytime you sit down to mix a song. Many factors play a role here, most aren't in our control.

[Edited by noticingthemistake on 10-12-2003 at 09:55 PM]
"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.

Registered User

Joined: 08/08/03

Posts: 492

Well, we probably are on the same page here, but getting something across in writing can be tough sometimes. When you said "don't even worry about how it's going to blend just yet," I just wanted to point out to the other readers not to take that too literally. I was merely trying the emphasize the importance of "thinking ahead."

If anything, this discussion will have given the readers something new to think about. :)

#8

Well, we probably are on the same page here, but getting something across in writing can be tough sometimes. When you said "don't even worry about how it's going to blend just yet," I just wanted to point out to the other readers not to take that too literally. I was merely trying the emphasize the importance of "thinking ahead."

If anything, this discussion will have given the readers something new to think about. :)

Non-Existent

Joined: 05/26/03

Posts: 1597

I have a metal method recording video where it shows a process that somewhat dated(not to much),but still 95'ish.
Not only is he funny looking,but he is no help.

Greatest word of wisdom from that funny looking douglas dude "book enough time in the studio to mix it all down well"... And thats it for me.

Later! \m/
Try once,fail twice...

#9

I have a metal method recording video where it shows a process that somewhat dated(not to much),but still 95'ish.
Not only is he funny looking,but he is no help.

Greatest word of wisdom from that funny looking douglas dude "book enough time in the studio to mix it all down well"... And thats it for me.

Later! \m/
Try once,fail twice...

Crime Fighter

Joined: 08/04/02

Posts: 1518

SPL, yeah I probably could have said that better. Oh well, thanx for noticing. I don't want to confuse anyone. Chuck, one thing you can do since your just starting out on recording. Listen to a CD with a really good recording or one you'd like to have. Then try to match the sound of each instrument with the sound on the recording. It's a great place to start and you'll learn quite a bit. You should be able to produce a decent quality recording if you do. You may need to post-mix a bit but it should be small, and should be pretty easy depending how close you get to the original mix.
"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.

#10

SPL, yeah I probably could have said that better. Oh well, thanx for noticing. I don't want to confuse anyone. Chuck, one thing you can do since your just starting out on recording. Listen to a CD with a really good recording or one you'd like to have. Then try to match the sound of each instrument with the sound on the recording. It's a great place to start and you'll learn quite a bit. You should be able to produce a decent quality recording if you do. You may need to post-mix a bit but it should be small, and should be pretty easy depending how close you get to the original mix.
"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.