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EQ Explained

Equalization or "EQ" as it's commonly referred to, is the most basic, but important effect you'll apply to your tracks and recordings. But do you really know how to effectively use it, or better yet, how to not use it? Eli Krantzberg is back yet again with another truly awesome product, "EQ Explained". So dig in and learn to sculpt your sound like a true sonic artist.

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EQs and Filters


The Frequency Spectrum 7m:10s

Equalizers are used to alter specific areas within the audio frequency spectrum. To fully master how to work with EQ's, it is important to understand the relationship between frequencies. musical pitches, and harmonics.


Filters & EQ Relationship 9m:00s

Filters are used to cut or boost specific frequencies. On their own, they are generally used to color sound. EQ's are collections of filters, and are generally used for tonal equalization by allowing certain frequencies to pass through unchanged while boosting or attenuating the level of others. See and hear how the phase of a signal is affected when processed with EQ.


Low & High Pass Filters 11m:24s

Discover how these two filters work to shape and sculpt either the low or high end of a sound's frequency range.


Band Pass & Reject Filters 9m:47s

Learn how to create pass bands that allow a narrow range of frequencies to pass through while higher and lower values are attenuated. Also see how to set up the opposite, a stop band to attenuate a narrow range while allowing higher and lower frequencies to pass through.


Shelving EQ 8m:23s

Shelving EQ's provide constant gain change (either boost or cut) beyond a user definable shelf frequency and are useful for gentle overall tonal adjustments rather than the steep progressive cuts of low and high pass filters. See and hear how Low Shelf and Hi Shelf EQ's work on various instruments.


Graphic Equalizers 7m:11s

Designed primarily for live use, graphic EQ's are based around a large number of fixed frequency filters (usually 31 bands) each with fixed bandwidth. A vertical boost/cut slider is the only control over each band.


Parametric EQ 10m:47s

Also sometimes referred to as Peak Notch filters, they are the most flexible of all. Parametric EQs' allow for adjustable center frequency, gain, and bandwidth (referred to as "Q"). They are great for targeting specific areas of the frequency spectrum.


Tips & Strategies 8m:42s

Explore some ideas and strategies to think about as you approach EQ'ing elements in your mix.


Spectral & EQ Matching 11m:04s

Many EQ plug-ins offer a spectral matching capability where the EQ curve of one source is applied to another. Learn some interesting and creative ways of using and abusing these functions.

EQ In Action


Recording Guitars 15m:34s

Watch and listen as the results of various mic placements are demonstrated, compared, and contrasted, on both acoustic guitar and an electric guitar amp.


Recording Vocals 9m:13s

Watch and listen as the results of various mic positioning and distances are demonstrated, compared, and contrasted during the process of recording a female vocalist.


Drum EQ 21m:05s

Watch and listen as a variety of high and low shelf, parametric, and hi-pass filters are used to tighten up and focus the sound on the various elements of a multi-tracked drum kit.


Electric Guitar EQ 9m:15s

Discover how to use parametric EQ's to notch out various frequencies on multiple guitar parts to separate them from each other.


Alternate Guitar EQ 5m:46s

Watch as steep high pass and low pass filters are used to create a bandpass effect, while a parametric band is used to carve out some sonic contour within the limited range passing through the EQ.


Acoustic Guitar EQ 12m:07s

Consider the range and timbre of the acoustic guitar parts being played as we carve away different areas of the frequency spectrum to help them blend better with the rest of the mix.


Vocal EQ 11m:20s

Explore how EQ is used for gentle sweetening on female vocals in both the upper and low ends of the frequency spectrum.


A-B 3m:17s

Listen and compare each section of the mix back to back with and without EQ applied.


Linear Phase Mastering EQ 17m:30s

See how linear phase EQ is used for subtle broad tweaks on a finished stereo mix.

Eli Krantzberg

1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I started playing drums in high school at age fourteen. Like most kids my age around then, I was into progressive rock. Genesis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Yes. They rocked my world. A few short years later though, my musical life changed. While studying music in college I discovered Charlie Parker, Milt Jackson, Sonny Stitt, and John Coltrane. Milt Jackson spoke to me in such a profound way that it left me no choice but to take up vibraphone.

These great players, along with  drummers like Philly Joe Jones, Max Roach, Art Blakey, and Elvin Jones changed not only the way I thought about drumming, but also music - and by extension, life - as a whole. I realized life was meant to be a creative endeavor. The idea of improvising based on a loose set of guidelines and rules permeated into my psyche even when I wasn't holding a pair of drumsticks or mallets. But if I am going to be perfectly truthful, I have to hold Henry Miller and Woody Allen equally responsible for shaping the way I view and experience the world around me. 

2. What training have you had?

I am currently an Apple certified Logic Pro. Young and cocky, and armed with only a partial University degree, I dropped out of school and  began playing steady commercial hotel engagements and jazz gigs when I could. This went on for many years until I decided it was time to complete my degree - which I ultimately did with a major in Political Science and a minor in music. 

It was at this point that I formed my current band Nightshift. We are going in to our twenty third year now - playing commercial one nighters like weddings, corporate events, etc. Don't turn your nose up at it though - it has allowed me a wonderful quality of life. It gave me the freedom to go back to school and complete a post graduate degree in Communications Studies - all the while supporting myself by playing weddings.

3. When did you get into recording?

It was in this graduate program - in the early nineties - that I found myself drawn to the fledgling emerging universe of hard disc recording and midi sequencing. Based on nothing more than the recommendation of one of my band mates who had an old Atari, I jumped in head first and bought a Mac LC ll, along with a version 1.1 of what was then Notator Logic. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But, in hindsight, it was a decision of epic importance in my life - shaping my future as much as the music of Milt Jackson and Charlie Parker did fifteen years prior. 

I opened up my own commercial home studio in 1998 and began doing a variety of projects, working on radio jingles, artist CD projects, and whatever came my way. A couple of years later a colleague called me up - desperate. He was working at a post production house and one of the editors had just quit. They were doing audio post for a weekly TV series and needed a Pro Tools editor - and fast! And so, once again, I jumped in head first into what would ultimately open up my world even more - the world of Pro Tools. 

4. People you have worked with/for?

Focusing on Logic, I built up a small but loyal client base and my phone kept ringing for Logic tech support and instruction. Film composers and studio owners all over the city were calling me. Even the music stores were giving out my phone number at this point! This kind of stuff becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. The more of it you do, the more calls you get to keep doing it. At least that's the way it should be!

As my Logic chops kept growing, I was hired by an old buddy of mine, Len Sasso, who was then an associate editor at Electronic Musician magazine, and began writing some columns for them. I had a blast doing them - and really learned to focus and express my thoughts in a concise and clear manner. This lead to a collaboration with LA based composer Terry Michael Huud on the 2006 film called Civic Duty - which was certainly one of the highlights of my professional life as a composer. 

5. Why are you so good at training people?

I wake up every day excited to boot up, and create. Whether it's instructional videos, creating music, working with a studio client, performing with my band, or teaching at the schools - my days are filled with what I love doing. Enriched by the stimulation and creative freedom this modern music making software brings to my life. I bring that excitement and passion to each and every training product I create. My years of experience both using and teaching these programs has taught me the best way to make the user comfortable with these complex programs.

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