What are compression & EQ and how do they work?
1. Review the concepts of compression:
2. Learn about EQ:
Download the EQ map:
3. If you have EQ Eight (included in Live Standard & Suite), watch Liina’s video on it. The video goes into more depth as it progresses, so don’t worry if the second half is confusing!
3. The only way to really learn how to mix is to actually mix! Open the Project you prepared last week. Solo each Track, one by one, and apply EQ and compression. You may wish to use the following ‘recipes’ as guidelines. When you’re beginning, it’s good to apply EQ first, removing all unnecessary frequencies, then add a compressor. This way, your EQing process will be easier because you’ll get rid of unnecessary frequencies first rather than compressing them and possibly making them more audible!
4. Now use Gain Staging to ensure that there is no clipping in your project. Remember – red is bad! The notes below give an overview of Gain Staging, and this article goes into more depth.
Here is video about gain staging. Int he video he reduces the gain from all the channels using a Limiter. This is an alternative technique to the one we used on this course, where we lowered all the levels to -12db before we started mixing. Both techniques are fine to use and the result will be the same.
5. Now you’ve processed each individual track, add EQ and compression to each Group Track, so you can find the appropriate location for each instrument and group in the mix. Gain Stage your Group Tracks as you add Effects, or do this as a separate stage after applying them. As you become more experienced at mixing, you’ll find which workflows work best for you.
Want to learn more?
Learn everything there is to know about Multiband Dynamics, Downward Compression, Upward Compression, Downward Expansion, and Upward Expansion in a very easy way! It will help you to understand the 4 different ways you can sculpture the signals dynamical range.
You can also learn about Drum Buss, which used compression and distortion to sculpt the dynamic range of a group track. (other way to say Group track is to call it a “bus”) This device is especially good with drums.