How to EQ Acoustic Guitar:
EQ is a fundamental part of mixing. Through the use of parametric EQ, pass filters and shelving filters, you can manipulate the frequency response of the instruments in your session. Doing so allows you to alter the character of an instrument, increase separation, create effects, and more.
In this lesson, we’ll focus on the key frequencies that you need to know when equalizing acoustic guitar. Acoustic guitar recordings can exhibit a number of different characteristics at different frequencies. These characteristics include things like body, presence, attack, brightness, and many more. By learning the sound characteristics that occur at various frequencies in your acoustic guitar tracks, you can use acoustic guitar EQ to achieve your desired sound. If you want to increase a particular characteristic, then you boost its related frequencies. If you want to lessen a particular characteristic, then you cut the relevant frequencies.
Each of the following acoustic guitar frequencies comes from the free Mixinglessons.com EQ Settings Cheat Sheet. The EQ Settings Cheat Sheet gives you a breakdown of the key frequencies that you need to know to EQ drums, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, and vocals.
Click here to download your free copy of the EQ Settings Cheat Sheet.
80-100Hz: Bottom / muddiness
5kHz and up: Brightness
8kHz and up: Brittleness
10kHz and up: Pick noise
Cutting or boosting these key areas can help you to tailor the frequency response of the acoustic guitar tracks in your mix. Of course, no two recordings are the same. The guitar, the mics, the room, and the player all play a role in making your acoustic guitar recording unique. So use these frequencies as a starting point, but don’t be afraid to experiment to achieve the sound you’re looking for.
What are the key frequencies that you like to focus on when you EQ acoustic guitar tracks? What character are you looking to get out of the guitar, and what EQ moves do you feel have the biggest impact on your mixes? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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