Mixing Question: Do you do this when EQ'ing?

Looking for your input…

Graham Cochrane at the Recording Revolution talks about level matching the input and output of the EQ in this video:

But, is he doing it wrong?

My friend (a professional engineer), matches from the input level, not the output level. He says this is so you don’t clip the EQ. And that it is only necessary if the frequencies you’re boosting take you to 0db. Boosting the input of an EQ is what clip gain is for. This way you’re only turning up the good frequencies in the mix.

Does this make sense? What do you think?

Edit: Realizing now my friend is talking about a slightly different instance but still interested in hearing what people think about input and output level matching in the EQ as presented in the video. Do you do this?

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I am no professional, but I have been taught to “cut” unwanted frequencies NOT “boost” wanted frequencies, therefore, it would only make sense that your output signal will absolutely be less than your input signal, bc more frequencies were lowered during the EQ stage. If this is how you EQ then you should be bringing the output level back to the input signal level, so that you bring the level back to where you began, but now you are turning up the frequencies you selected for your mix, and not the unwanted frequencies.

This video is speaking primarily to the misconception of “loudness” as an indicator that your track was transformed versus matching levels so you hear the track with/without EQ and the volume does not change for better comparison, so you are not fooled by the volume being any means of an effect in the overall mix. He is making frequencies louder, not the volume of the overall track, I think he is EQing after he gets volume levels, so maybe the order in which you mix matters…ok im rambling, not sure if I helped.

I get what you are saying Phil. I suppose your technique is a better practice in general to avoid distorting at the EQ. However, I would think the approach Graham showed is fine as long as you’re careful with levels prior to EQing; that is, providing sufficient headroom before fine-tuning specific frequency levels on a track.In either case this is a good mental exercise to go through :slight_smile:

He is doing everything right.
Just look at mixing little wider.
Once you’ve done volume balance of all the instruments you want to keep that balance,but also unite all tracks in one friendly family :slight_smile:
And if you won’t control output gain you’ll find that balance has changed and then you’ll find yourself boosting another track and another…
The philophy of level matching applies to all sorts of plugins: compression,saturation,eq and etc
P.S. I agree with @SkinnyAtlasMusic about cutting instead of boosting in EQ,but sometimes it’s ok to boost certain frequencies to bring out the tembre of instrument.

I do this. And my mixes still suck. Mixing is an art, nothing is wrong, or absolutely necessary. That’s what i think.

Graham always kills it with his videos. I feel like he is talking more about not fooling your ears with extra gain and tricking yourself into thinking the EQ makes the track sound better. By reducing the output gain he is essentially cutting everything around the important frequencies of the organ.

Would using the output gain be any different than using the channel volume to reduce the levels? What advantage does reducing gain in plugin have?

The main advantage is that it’s much easier to compare bypass and unbypassed signals.
So you would hear only changing in timbre,but not in the volume

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