- Begin by clicking on the Class 1 link and watch the video lessons.
- Continue with Class 2 video lessons.
- Proceed this way through the entire course.
Each of the 12 Classes itemized below includes up to 3 hours of detailed information and audio demonstration. The lessons are divided up into individual videos as listed below.
Class 1: Equalization Processing Primer
This class sets the foundational principles of equalization and teaches you how to listen ,and what to listen for. This is the most technical of the classes and will provide you with the information you need to make the best decisions every step of the way. You will also learn terminology that will be referenced to throughout the remainder of the course. Understanding the inner workings of the frequency spectrum and what role each band plays in a mix will be critical to your success.
- Defining Equalization
- History of Equalization
- Understanding the Frequency Spectrum
- Frequencies and the 3D Sound Field
- Frequency Perception and Monitoring
Class 2: Basic Equalization Techniques
Every equalization technique stems from the available filter types with their strengths and limitations. Each filter type has the ability to effectively add balance to or solve a problem with any given individual instrument. This class focusses on the strengths and weaknesses of each filter type and the basic techniques used for each. Beyond the basic principles, most EQ techniques stem from the principle of give and take. Whenever you add frequencies, you are covering them elsewhere. Whenever you subtract frequencies, you are opening them up elsewhere.
- The Give/Take EQ Principle
- Mixing With High Pass and Low Pass Filters
- Mixing With Notch and Band Pass Filters
- Mixing With Shelving EQs
- Mixing With Parametric EQs
The earliest Equalizers were Passive filter designs (no amplification) with active input and/or output gain stages to make up for lost signal strength. The Pultec EQ series is perhaps the most revolutionary and legendary EQ in the history of recording. While very transparent sounding the limitations of this technology led to the development of Active Equalization circuits. The Era of the 1950’s and 1960’s carried this shift in approach and sonic character.
- Classic Equalizers of the 1950’s and 1960’s
- Pultec EQs – The Holy Grail of Equalization
- Abbey Road Studios EQs (RS56, RS127 & RS135)
- REDD 17 & REDD 37-51 Console EQs
- TG 12345 Console EQ
- The Mowtown EQ
Although Parametric Equalizers date back to the 50’s most equalization prior to the 1970’s was designed and built in house for the specific requirements of the staff engineers, not for commercial sale. The EQs of the 1970’s by contrast started to extend into the commercial marketplace and thus required more flexibility and modular design. What you will find is more frequency selections, more frequency bands and a wider variety of tonal characteristics. This period includes some of the most legendary equalizers in the history of recording.
- Classic Equalizers of the 1970’s
- Sontec MES-432C Parametric EQ
- Helios Console EQ
- Neve 1073, 1081, and 31102
- API 550a, 550b and 560
- Trident A-Range Console EQ
- Harrison 32C Console EQ
The Equalizers of the 1980’s are predominantly defined by increased flexibility and convenience. Some would say, also at the expense of quality in the realm of large format consoles. What you will find in the EQs of this era is the addition of Variable Q (bandwidth) for parametric and Infinitely Variable Frequency selections. This period also boasts some incredible Outboard EQs including the Tube Tech EQs and Maag NTI EQ3. The decade wraps up with a transition to Digital Console Equalization and the legendary Sony Oxford Digital EQ
- Classic Equalizers of the 1980’s
- SSL E Series Console EQ
- SSL G Series Console EQ
- NTI EQ3 Maag EQ
- Tube Tech PE 1C & ME 1B
- Klark Teknik DN Series Graphic EQs
- Sony Oxford Digital EQ
The 1990’s was the peak of the music industry on every level including the development of large format high end mixing consoles and outboard gear. During this time SSL went “Super Analogue”, Neve would soon follow with the 88RS in the early 2000’s. Audio manufacturers went super high end with quality including the Avalon AD2055 and Massive Passive by Manley. They also got creative with the use of resonant and tilted filters.
- SSL J & K Series Console EQ
- Avalon AD2055
- Summit EQF 100
- Manley Massive Passive
- Neve 88RS Console EQ
- SSL C200 Digital EQ
- Little Labs VOG (Bass Resonance EQ)
- Tonelux Tilt EQ
The modern DAW era unchained EQ designers from the limitations of physical components to pursue the limitless world of algorithmic equalization. Although this seems like an easy shift, designers soon realized that audio engineers, and consumers, were so tuned into the sound of analog gear that many of the early designs were decried as cold and lifeless. Through the world of analog emulation, and a lot of experimentation, designers soon came to realize how to design the building blocks from which digital EQs could realize their full potential. The following EQs are some of the exceptional designs that are revolutionizing the way we use equalization.
- History of Digital EQ and Emulation Technology
- Waves H-EQ (Hybrid Vintage EQ)
- FabFilter Pro Q2 (Unparalleled Flexibility)
- brainworx bx V2, Sonoris Mastering EQ, MDW-EQ5 (Mastering)
- Flux:: Epure V3 (Morphing EQ)
- Sound Radix Surfer EQ (Harmonic Detection EQ)
- Voxengo Gliss EQ (Program Dependent EQ)
- iZotope Dynamic EQ
- Waves MetaFilter (Modulated Equalization)
Class 8: Equalization Techniques for Drums
This class focusses on equalization processing techniques used for drums covering a broad range of musical styles. Because of the nature of acoustic drums and the bleed between mics, certain equalization techniques are necessary to prevent the individual mics from creating frequency imbalances with the other elements of the kit. The result of improper equalization is a sense that the elements of the kit are not ‘connected’ or are grossly exaggerated.
- Equalization Basics for Drums
- Natural Equalization Techniques
- Vintage Equalization Techniques
- Agressive Equalization Techniques
- Super-Hyped Equalization Techniques
Every Instrument offers distinct challenges based on its fundamental frequency range and how the harmonic series shapes its tonal character. The best approach to equalization involves good analysis of the individual sound and the role it plays in a mix. Basses require a solid low end that images well. Guitars need to maintain a focussed mid range area. Acoustic Piano and keyboards cover a broad range of frequencies that require careful consideration. This class will help to guide you in the right direction with a list of Do’s and Don’ts for each instrument.
- Equalization for Basses
- Equalization for Acoustic Guitars
- Equalization for Electric Guitars
- Equalization for Acoustic Piano
- Equalization for Vintage Keyboards
- Equalization Programmed Synths
Class 10: Equalization Techniques for Vocals
Lead vocals may be the most challenging of all to equalize because of the human ear’s heightened sensitivity to the intricate details that make each voice unique. When improperly recorded, Vocals can also present many technical issues such as sibilance and plosives that limit our ability to equalize them effectively. This class focusses on equalization techniques for the human voice to heighten it’s sense of detail and importance in a mix.
- Equalization Techniques for Lead Vocals
- Equalization Techniques for Doubles and Harmonies
- Equalization Techniques for Background Vocals
- Equalization Techniques for Group Vocals
- Equalization Effects for Vocals
This class focusses on a broader overall approach to equalization based on musical genre. Each style caries with it certain tonal configurations and balances for each instrument that are signature aspects of the style. Because each song is unique, these techniques will serve as a template for your frequency balancing. Once the template is in place, more creative frequency shaping decisions can be made to enhance the message and meaning of the song.
- Equalization Techniques for Jazz and Classical
- Equalization Techniques for R&B
- Equalization Techniques for Rock
- Equalization Techniques for Metal
- Equalization Techniques for Electronic Music
Class 12: Tonal Shaping Equalization
Where equalization defines the Amount of gain at a given frequency area, Tonal shaping defines the Density at a given frequency area. Understanding the difference is absolutely critical to achieving satisfactory results. One of the most powerful aspects of analog processing is not the gain itself but rather the components used to achieve that gain. When matched well, you will feel a sense of solidity in the imaging rather than a feeling of emptiness. This class will focus on the elements that bring tonal density to different frequency areas to our Equalization work.
- Tonal Shaping Versus Equalization
- Tonal Shaping With Tubes
- Tonal Shaping With Transformers
- Tonal Shaping With Amps and Speaker Emulations
- Tonal Shaping With Distortion Plugins
- Tonal Shaping With Analog Tape