EQ Settings

Even though EQ is down to personal taste it is also down to the room characteristics, microphone placement and quality of mixing desk, microphones and loudspeakers. Below is a rough guide to point you in the right direction. Please use these as a guide and adjust accordingly to suit your room. As a rule of thumb, it is always good practice to apply the 100Hz filter on your desk (if you have them) to all channels except the Kick drum and Bass Guitar.


Cut 2-8dB at 80-500Hz to eliminate low frequency
Boost at 7-10k to add more top end sizzle
Boost 3dB at 12k for a more silky sound

Boost 2dB at 100Hz for more bottom
Cut 2-4dB at 300 to 500Hz to avoid other instrument clashing
Boost 2dB at 2.5k for attack

Boost 2-4dB at 1-3k for a good snap
Cut 2-6dB at 300-500Hz to stop muddy sound
Boost 5k for clarity
Boost 100 to 250Hz for a fatter sound

Boost 2db at 100Hz for a good deep sound
Cut 2-4dB at 300 to 500Hz to stop a muddy sound
Boost 2dB at 5k to 8k for more crispness
Cut area around 800Hz to eliminate the boxy sound.
(If you’re losing toms in a mix with guitars boost around 3.5k.)

Cut lows drastically at 80-800Hz
Boost 2-6dB at 7-10k for a good sizzle-sound
Cut at 9K if the sound is too bright

Electric Guitars
If you are using a DI box, then significantly boost 2-4dB between 3-6kHz. It can be good to over-boost hi-mids and cut a little hi-eq to compensate.
Two similar sounding guitars can be separated by adding bite at different frequencies – at 3kHz on one and at 4kHz or at 2kHz on one and at 3kHz on the other.

To get rid of a boomy or boxey sound then cut between 100Hz & 250Hz.
To fatten a thin sound then boost between 100Hz and 250Hz.
To accentuate the cabinet then boost at around 75 to 90Hz.
To add bite then boost between 2-6kHz
*Rolling off E.Q. above 3 to 4kHz using filters or a parametric equalizer can remove high frequency hiss.
*Rolling off E.Q. below 100Hz using filters or a parametric equalizer can remove low frequency rumble.

* (This is also good on miked basses and warm pads from cheap or vintage instruments.)

Acoustic Guitars
A steel string acoustic may need to be brightened and have some bass rolled off to make it sit better in the mix.
To lose the boomy sound then cut between 80-220Hz
To keep mix sounding clear especially if you are playing in a band situation then take out bottom end with a filter at 100-200Hz
To add sparkle then boost between 5-10kHz.
To reduce harshness then cut between 1kHz & 3kHz.

Bass Guitar
Start by rolling all the bottom off (from 100Hz and lower) then use the low-mid E.Q. to find the bass sound you want. Then slowly dial back the low frequencies to taste. Most of the “punch” comes from the “low-mid” range.
Boost 1 to 2kHz for “fret noise” (may sound ugly on its own but adds articulation in the mix!) Try to cut and bring level up rather than boost. Make sure “kick” & “bass” aren’t in the same area of the spectrum.
For a Beatles style of sound then boost 100Hz by 2 or 3dB, (if you don’t use a pick then boost 3kHz by 3 to 6dB.) To make smoother and warmer sound then cut 12 to 18kHz by 6dB.
For a good deep rock ballad sound then Boost 100Hz by a few dB then boost 500Hz by 6dB or so. Cut 300Hz by about 3dB and cut 12kHz by 6dB.

For more air or breath then boost at 6 to 12kHz, but watch out for sibilance!
For more presence then a little boost at 3 to 4kHz.
To take out harshness and leave room for other instruments then cut 1kHz by about 6 to 12dB.
Backing vocals sit better in the mix if you roll off a touch of bass say at 80-250Hz. This may sound thin on it’s own, but will be normal in the mix.
Please Note : The longer the reverb decay time is, the lower it should be in the mix. To eliminate sibilant sounds, use a de-esser or an equalizer with filtering in the side-chain path of the compressor.