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Electric guitars whether they're clean or distorted are very dependent upon how they sit in the track with other instruments in order to be heard in the mix. In some cases like with the big distorted guitar playing power chords, it may be better for the guitar to actually blend in with the rest of the instruments rather than be heard distinctly. But at other times, you want to make sure you hear every note of every guitar. In this video, I'm going to show you a few tips for equalizing electric guitar. The first thing we're going to do is have a listen to this song and there's actually two electric guitars in it and see if you can hear them both.
(Music playing) They sound pretty much the same and that's the problem. It's really hard to tell the difference between the two, and that's where some EQ comes in. So let's Solo Electric Guitar number 1, have a listen to it. (Music playing) Actually it doesn't sound too bad, but let's EQ it. We can make it sound better.
Go to our trusty 4-Band EQ. And the first thing we'll do is we'll add the high-pass filter and the reason why is an electric guitar doesn't have a whole lot going on way down under 100 cycles or so. So the first thing we'll do is we'll disconnect these frequency bands and that opens up our high-pass filter, go to 12dB per octave and then we'll go to maybe 150 hertz. And let's have a listen. (Music playing) As we switch the EQ in and out, you really can't hear the difference between having the high-pass filter in the signal path or not having it in the signal path.
Sometimes it really makes EQing simple when you just use the high-pass filter and you bring them up to 1 or 2K. And sometimes a guitar will just jump out because all of those low frequencies are now attenuated and they get out of the way of some instruments that have a lot more low frequencies that are part of their sound. But that's not all we're going to do. We're actually going to add some other EQ to make it more defined and stick out in the mix a little bit. So somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5K gives a guitar presence, so we're going to start there.
We'll go right at 2K and I'm going to play it and add some EQ as we listen. (Music playing) I can hear it's a lot more defined.
Let's have a listen in the track. Let's see if we can hear the difference between both guitars. (Music playing) That's a little better but both of them still sound pretty much the same. This is probably because they sound like there were two Gibsons of some type and maybe both are into the same type of amplifier, Marshals perhaps.
So this is usually the case where both guitars sound pretty much the same and this is why a lot of studio guys have different guitars and different amplifiers that they can mix and match just so they can sound a little bit different and stick out in the track. So let's listen to Guitar number 2 by itself. (Music playing) Once again it doesn't sound so bad by itself, but we can help it out with some EQ and let's go to our native 4-Band EQ plug-in.
And again, the first thing we'll do is we'll roll off the low end with the high-pass filter. We're going to do that by disabling the Low Frequency and Low Mid Frequency bands, and that opens up the ability for us to insert a high-pass filter. And let's go to 150 cycles or so. Have a listen. (Music playing) Once again you don't hear too much of a difference and the reason why is there is just not a lot of low-frequency information happening down there.
If we wanted, we can move the frequency of the high-pass filter up even higher and get rid of even more low frequencies in order to shape the sound a bit more. Let's try that and just here what it sounds like. Let's go up to about 800 and have a listen. (Music playing) You can hear it's a lot smaller sounding. Let's listen in the track and see if there's difference between both guitars now. (Music playing) There is a little bit of a difference but not a whole lot.
And that's because we have to shape that sound a little bit more, so we'll bring this back down to 150 or so. And we're going to look at the first electric guitar and look at where it was EQed. And now we can see that there's a peak that's at 2K and it's a 4.7 dB peak. And what we're going to do is come over to our second guitar and we're going to go to 4.7. But now where the other one peaked, what we're going to do is we're going to put a dip in there, 4.7.
And now what happens is it carves out a frequency range where one is actually emphasized in that area and the other one is deemphasized. Let's have a listen. (Music playing) Little bit of a difference. Let's Solo them up, have a listen. (Music playing) So it's a little bit better. Now we're getting more defined. Now of course what we'd normally do is we'd pan these left and right and there would be a lot more definition that way.
But if we can do it in mono, it's going to sound even better when we pan them out in stereo. So the next thing we're going to do is we're going to add a little bit of 2.5 to 3K, somewhere in there, because that's going to give this a little bit of presence. So we have to disable our High Frequency band and enable our Mid Frequency band. We'll come to about 2K. Let's give it a little boost here and have a listen between them. (Music playing) Now you can hear a big difference between them.
And we're actually going to move this down a little towards 1K and have a listen. (Music playing) Now we can hear the difference. Now let's put them back in the track, we'll unsolo, have a listen. (Music playing) And watch what happens when we pan them. We pan them about three quarters left and right. Have a listen now.
(Music playing) Now we can tweak these even more and probably if we're doing a full-on mix we'll spend a little bit more time tweaking everything so there would be a lot more definition between the guitars. But this is where we'd start and this is how we do it. So remember there are frequencies to look at when you're EQing electric guitar. Somewhere around 2 to 5K gives a presence; somewhere around 4K you can hear the pick noise and it makes it brighter.
Now if you want to make it full, between 240 and 500 actually gives you some fullness. But there is usually never much below 150 cycles. So you can use a high- pass filter and cut that off.
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