Piano EQ Suggestions

tips-and-tricks

#1

Hey guys, I was wondering if I could tap into the ‘Wisdom of the Jungle’ for some advice.

I’m always having issues trying to EQ the pianos in my tracks. I love the warm feeling that low chords can add, and the subtleness of playing a melody in the mid section. But I’m always finding the sound to be really muddy and it takes a ton of time before I EQ it to where it’s not killing the mix, or my ears.

Just FYI, I’m using NI’s pianos right now (Grandeur, Gentelman, Maverick)

Any tips you guys have would be most appreciated!


#2

I have the same problem with pianos - a lot of time spent EQing to get it to fit in the mix correctly. I don’t have any tips unfortunately. However, I can share that Izotope’s Neutron plugin has helped me fix a few of these problems more quickly with their “Masking” function. Used on two tracks that you suspect are masking each other, it gives you visualization tools to view audio conflicts between the tracks and EQ functions to reduce the problem on the same display. It takes a bit of time to learn and utilize, but it can be effective to quickly pinpoint the problem areas, such as masking between piano/bass, piano/guitar, or piano/drums.


#3

I’ll join to your question as well. I guess NI pianos is one of the top sampled pianos that i heard, definitely fine choice for AJ. SSLG from Waves seems to be doing fine job for me, but i think it could much much better tool for eq (or i just doing it wrong). For Maverik for example i’m boosting around 1,5k and 4k, and cutting around 800 and 350, makes it better, but when it comes to mix it’s as well still have some mud. Even if i’m trying to cut some other instruments that are fighting with my piano, problem still appears, but atleast not that awful as it was. Maybe you already discovered something? Would glad to hear other people thoughts about it.


#4

Echoing what people have said here, whenever I reach this point in a mix, i stop and ask myself, ok whereabouts by ear does it sound like the problem is, then i go to the EQ, switch on the analyzer for both conflicting tracks and try to cut some of the conflicting frequencies form the less important track in regards to the overall mix.

Many times if this does not have the right effect then i know the problem lies in my instrument choice or in what range i am playing those two instruments. They could simply be both in the same range and one of them is not needed in that frequency range. For example, if i have those low piano chords that create warmth, from the get go, depending on the range you have to acknowledge if you want to keep that, it can interfere with the bass track and the kick.

I think everyone runs into this issue but beating away at a EQ sometimes you are just left with wasted time with a semi-satisfied result. Most times that means its not the EQ that is the problem :slight_smile:


#5

Hi! Have you ever tried Izotope Neutron?


#6

While we’re on this subject, I always seem to get distortion on my pianos when played out of mobile phone or laptop speakers. It doesn’t matter which piano samples I use- Logic’s own pianos/Nord’s pianos. Does anyone else get this? Any good solutions?


#7

Thanks for the replies, definitely some good stuff to consider.

I’m still using Logic’s stock EQ’s, which I find sufficient for my work. If there’s an issue with my mix, it’s probably not the EQ plugin I’m using. Although the Masking function from Neutron does seem intriguing.

Most of my mix problems are from sloppy EQing, and when a piano is thrown in the mix (literally), it really brings out the flaws in the whole thing.

This probably happens to me more than I realize. Thanks for that!


#8

Don’t forget the basics, for example: to remove offending frequencies it’s often a good idea to zero in on what your ears don’t like by dialing in a rather narrow Q, boost whatever frequency you happen to be on, and then sweeping slowly back and forth in that general frequency area to find where it sounds the worst (by increasing the volume on the worst offending frequency(ies) and then pull some of that out.


#9

What always works for me (I think so anyway :sweat_smile: ) is a really low velocity, compress and boost then add plenty of sparkle at the top end. Sometimes good to use a band compressor and compress some of the unwanted or pokey frequencies rather than just ducking them.


#10

I can recomend an equalizer, that has the possibility of matching. Gives good results without guessing too much and you learn a lot by seeing, how other do EQing.