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Using EQ plug-ins

From: Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools

Video: Using EQ plug-ins

So, I showed you the EQ III from Digidesign and this comes stock in every system. However, I find that I benefit by adding a few additional third party EQs to my workflow. They are going to give me some different colors to try and some are better for processing certain tracks than others. And so some of my favorites, I just want to go through, I really like this new plug-in from McDSP called 4020 Retro EQ.

Using EQ plug-ins

So, I showed you the EQ III from Digidesign and this comes stock in every system. However, I find that I benefit by adding a few additional third party EQs to my workflow. They are going to give me some different colors to try and some are better for processing certain tracks than others. And so some of my favorites, I just want to go through, I really like this new plug-in from McDSP called 4020 Retro EQ.

And what McDSP try to do is not create an emulation of a vintage EQ necessarily, but sort of create something that does have a little bit of saturation or harmonic distortion to it like a vintage EQ. but not necessarily an emulation of one specific older EQ. It's really, really nice. The high-end or the top-end sounds great on it. And it's really basic. You just get this four frequency bands plus your high-pass and low-pass filters that you can kick in there.

And it sounds really great. It's going to give you just that little extra color on something. So, when you are using like virtual instruments or samples or things like that you want to have a little extra color on. This is actually a really great sounding EQ. Now, another one that I like to use, especially when I need something that's really, really precise and clean and super transparent, is the Sony Oxford by Sonnox. And what this is, is an emulation of the Oxford Consoles EQ.

The Oxford Console by Sony was really one of the first digital consoles that engineers thought sounded really good. And this is basically a sort of algorithmic copy of the EQ in that console as a plug-in. The cool thing about this is you are going to get a really, really precise EQ and you have these different types. And if I go through here, the types are actually going to affect how the EQ responds. So, when I boost and cut, if I switch to the types, we are actually going to see differences in the bandwidth.

See how when you cut with TYPE-2 it's actually doing a more focused bandwidth then when you boost. And there is even a really cool mastering style type four, which is just going to allow you to paint in really broad strokes. So, this one is really great, just add a little top ends. If I wanted to add a little top into this mix, maybe I'll push this over here to 13K, I'm just going to play this back and listen. (Music playing) (Male singing: We hit the town.) (Male singing: And I'll never forget that sound.) So, just add a little bit of additional air to the mix bus, not quite mastering.

Kind of in between mixing and mastering. Sometimes I like to add a little bit of top end and a little bit of low end. That kind of helps me get my mix jiving without using too much EQ on individual tracks. That can be nice sometimes. Now the last one I want to show you, probably one of my favorites, is the Massenburg Design Works. It comes in a 3-band and a 5-band and what this is, it's an emulation of the Massenburg 8200 Stereo Equalizer. Now that's $5000 Equalizer and this plug-in does a pretty much dead on job of emulating that.

It sounds really, really great. It's super transparent and smooth but in a way that has a little bit of character. So, it's a very accurate EQ, but I find that I can do really aggressive boosts and cuts without getting a lot of weird fuzziness from the equalizer and the high end, you'll notice, goes all the way up to 41K. Now obviously, the human ear can't hear that high, but there are some cool tricks you can try setting it to let's say like 25 and then boosting a little bit.

So, what you are getting is you are actually getting some boost down here in the lower frequencies and that's kind of another cool trick to add in a little bit of air to the top end of your mix. (Music playing) (Male singing: We hit the town.) (Male singing: And I'll never forget that sound.) (Male singing: Tonight...) So again, this is the one that you can kind of really drive and it's going to stay smooth even when you are pushing 6dB, 10dB boosts.

So, what you are going to find is there is tons of different EQs. Some have a lot of feature overlap. So as far as EQs go, I'm not going to buy 5 or 10 or 15 different EQs out there. I find that by just learning the sounds of a few, I can get 99% of my mix decisions done. Now, the prices will vary widely on these and so what you want to do is before you go drop the $500 or $1000 on really a nice equalizer plug-in.

Download the demo, listen to it on your tracks, kind of see where it fits into your workflow and see if you really need this plug-in. And is it doing something unique for you that you can't do already. And you would be surprised when you kind of stack the EQs up next to each other and you listen to them sometimes the really expensive ones don't sound too much different than the ones that come with Pro Tools.

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This video is part of

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Mixing and Mastering with Pro Tools

77 video lessons · 9485 viewers

Brian Lee White
Author

 
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  1. 14m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. The past, present, and future of mixing
      6m 20s
    3. Strategies for mixing and mastering
      5m 38s
    4. Using the exercise files
      1m 40s
  2. 40m 24s
    1. Mixing "in the box"
      5m 9s
    2. Setting up the studio: Speakers and acoustics
      13m 12s
    3. Staying organized: Effectively prepping the mix
      10m 50s
    4. Managing system resources during mixdown
      11m 13s
  3. 41m 39s
    1. Introducing the Pro Tools Mixer
      2m 24s
    2. Understanding mixer signal flow
      3m 42s
    3. Using inserts and plug-ins
      7m 4s
    4. Working with plug-in settings
      5m 1s
    5. Using sends and creating FX returns
      6m 55s
    6. Submixing with aux tracks
      4m 30s
    7. Using groups while mixing
      3m 46s
    8. Using master faders effectively
      8m 17s
  4. 21m 11s
    1. Conceptualizing the mix and making a plan
      7m 45s
    2. Using volume and pan to balance the mix
      11m 18s
    3. Knowing when to process: Mix problems vs. mix solutions
      2m 8s
  5. 1h 3m
    1. Understanding the mechanics of sound
      3m 53s
    2. Learning the basics of EQ: Frequency-specific level control
      4m 29s
    3. Using DigiRack EQ III
      16m 3s
    4. EQ strategies in mixing: Corrective vs. creative
      7m 18s
    5. EQ workflow example 1: Kick drum
      5m 39s
    6. EQ workflow example 2: Filtering loops
      5m 10s
    7. EQ workflow example 3: The "telephone" effect
      3m 7s
    8. Mixing tips and tricks for EQ
      17m 36s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Understanding dynamics and dynamic range
      2m 1s
    2. Working with dynamics processors
      2m 57s
    3. Using the DigiRack Dyn III compressor/limiter
      10m 6s
    4. Balancing and shaping track dynamics
      3m 19s
    5. Using gates and expanders
      9m 22s
    6. Using de-essers to eliminate sibilance
      5m 47s
    7. Dynamics workflow example 1: Vocals
      10m 0s
    8. Dynamics workflow example 2: Drums
      9m 29s
    9. Mixing tips and tricks: Dynamics
      11m 37s
    10. Building parallel or "upward" compression
      7m 53s
    11. Reviewing dynamics concerns: How much is too much?
      3m 28s
  7. 47m 48s
    1. Using time-based effects to add depth and width
      3m 22s
    2. Using DigiRack D-Verb
      14m 27s
    3. Using the DigiRack delays
      9m 18s
    4. Mixing with reverb
      7m 59s
    5. Mixing with delays
      6m 19s
    6. Mixing tips and tricks: Creating mix depth
      6m 23s
  8. 18m 8s
    1. Working with the Creative Collection
      9m 8s
    2. Building distortion and saturation
      9m 0s
  9. 37m 33s
    1. Understanding automation
      4m 10s
    2. Recording real-time automation moves
      7m 6s
    3. Viewing and editing automation
      10m 17s
    4. Automating plug-ins
      7m 36s
    5. Automation strategies for mixing
      8m 24s
  10. 29m 31s
    1. Understanding the characteristics of a great mix
      7m 2s
    2. Working to reference tracks
      4m 35s
    3. Avoiding some common pitfalls
      7m 50s
    4. Building healthy mixing habits
      3m 36s
    5. Crafting your mix from start to finish
      6m 28s
  11. 1h 5m
    1. Understanding mastering
      4m 15s
    2. Bouncing the mix
      7m 9s
    3. Working with general mastering strategies
      8m 50s
    4. Using limiting and compression to maximize track level
      10m 57s
    5. Working with multi-band compression
      7m 9s
    6. Understanding sample rate, bit depth, file formats, and dither
      7m 30s
    7. Using Pro Tools for CD track sequencing
      10m 11s
    8. Compressing audio for the web
      9m 41s
  12. 44m 51s
    1. Tips for evaluating plug-in processors
      6m 51s
    2. Using EQ plug-ins
      5m 35s
    3. Using dynamic compression plug-ins
      11m 3s
    4. Using reverb and delay plug-ins
      10m 46s
    5. Reviewing additional plug-ins
      10m 36s
  13. 57m 18s
    1. Effectively using saturation/analog style effects
      13m 40s
    2. Setting up side chains
      7m 5s
    3. Master buss processing
      5m 34s
    4. Creating and using mix templates
      6m 54s
    5. Surround mixing
      6m 22s
    6. Dealing with plug-in delay and latency
      6m 26s
    7. Drum sample replacing
      11m 17s
  14. 32s
    1. Goodbye
      32s

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