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Quickie Guide to Mixing, Part 13

Previously, we discussed the elements of boosting EQ in the upper and lower treble range. As we move down the frequency spectrum, we encounter the midrange, which we divide into three sections: lower, mid, and upper mid (“mid” is jargon for midrange). This encompasses a range from approximately 250Hz (low mid) to 5kHz (high mids). Keep in mind there is an overlap in all areas of the frequency spectrum. E.g. upper mids do not end abruptly at 250Hz or 5k. Since most of pop music lives in this range, with the exception of bass, which we will discuss in later tips, we’ll proceed from here on a case-by-case basis, but first, some basic rules of thumb: Subtle boosts from 5kHz to 8kHz can add clarity and life to an otherwise flat-sounding instrument. To emphasize a specific range of frequencies, medium to wide octave settings with small amounts of boost yield the most musical results. To emphasize specific instruments such as bass drums or hi-hats, you can use narrower octave settings, but remember; too much boost creates an unnatural sound.

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