When to EQ in solo mode?
Updated: Apr 8
Don't make this mistake 🤯
🎛There are two distinct "stages" in which we use EQ
First, is to color sounds and shape sounds. Think of it as picking the colors which you will eventually "paint a picture" with.
Maybe you have a piano preset that isn't bright enough. It lacks high end, and it doesn't sound as energetic as you may want it. You can use EQ to shape that sound so you now have a piano that fits the vibe you were going for. If you think about it, this stage has nothing to do with that sound fitting in the mix. We will reach that stage later on, but for now its first just getting sounds that you want to work with.
In this case, using solo mode is perfectly fine! The reason is, your focus is on ONE sound.
Things change when we take all of those individual sounds, and now try and fit them together. This is where you need to ditch solo mode, and EQ your sounds in context of the mix.
Remember, at this point you've already shaped the sound. Your goal is to take that "shaped" sound and fit it with everything else. You need to listen to it, WITH everything else in order to accurately EQ any competing frequencies.
When EQ'ing in solo mode, trying to figure out "how much to cut", we often lose sight of the bigger picture. We make the decision based on how it affects that one sound, rather than how it affects all the other sounds in the mix!
Lets take low end for example...you may need to remove some lows / low mids from a sound to make room for the other elements underneath. You CANNOT DO THIS IN SOLO MODE! How would you know how much to remove?! No chart can accurately tell you this because no chart knows the frequency content of the other sounds in your mix!