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The Recording Guitarist: The ABCs of EQ


A high-shelving filter (Photo 5) is often used to broadly brighten a guitar track.

The middle four bands are the most powerful. These fully parametric EQ bands can cut or boost any audible frequency at any bandwidth. Set to a narrow bandwidth (Photo 6), they can add a honking, wah-like resonance.

Set to a wider bandwidth (Photo 7), it brightens a much larger swath of sound.

Finally, I’ve combined multiple EQ bands for a fairly typical crunch-guitar EQ adjustment (Photo 8).

Which sounds best? Heard in isolation, probably the first example, with no EQ. But guitar tracks seldom exist in isolation. The “right” setting always depends on the context. And that’s where we’ll pick up the thread next month, when we look at real-life EQ adjustments in real-life studio contexts.

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