March 31, 2003

PEQ-2 and MIXER EQ (preliminary version)

Parametric Equalizer (PEQ-2) is an very effective device containg 2-band EQ in Reason.
There are two basic way to use this EQ for:

1) Positive sound making: bass boost or high boost to make delight tone
2) Passive tone control: Tone balance in mixing and eliminating unwanted noise or low frequency vibration.

Here I try to explain very briefly:

Explanation for positive sound making should be omitted because there are no rules:
you can do whatever you want. 
If the final sound is good, that's okay. 
However, I show here one tip to make variation in your sound using EQ control

Make a tone variation

Connect PEQ-2 to a synth, and control both gain, Q and freq by using Matrix or external CV outs. You will find you can change tones more drastically than simply using Cut Filters by controlling cutoff frequency.  I do not say which is better, however using Parametric EQ sometimes resulted in good sound.

The latter, make a tone balance in the mix, is more difficult.

You may check if there are some tones conflicting with other tones. If there are, it's easier to fix this using Pan set one to the left and the other to the right. However, you can also fix this problem without using Pan by EQing the tones.
As is often the case, Reason enforces you to believe your own ears.
You'd better to know first which frequency is dominant for a used tone.

Listen to a tone by slowly changing fequency with Q-value at default setting and several dB boosting GAIN. You will find a characteristic frequency of the tones.

And then...

Is your mix consisted of only Low and Hi frequencies? or concentrated in Mid frequencies?
You may fix some parts (tracks) using MIXER EQ and PEQ-2 to change the frequencies of the tones for making a balanced mix sound.
Does some tone conflict with other tone? or are some tones difficult to hear? This conflict may come when two or more tones have similar inherent frequencies.
Separate the frequency between tones using MIXER EQ or PEQ-2, or additionally using Pan to divide sounds stereophonically. If you can mix successfully, you do not have to move fader volume increased to hear the conflict tones clearly in the mix track.
Does the whole sound blur? or peaky? This can be solved by total EQing set after the main mix out.
Set PEQ-2 after the MIX OUT of Mixer. Setting with wider Q at 16kHz (highest frequency), and adjust Gain.  Or adjusting a Gain at 31Hz (lowest frequency).  Boosting at high frequency gives you a result similar to that by lowering a gain at low frequency. It is convenient to remember that you get similar result whether by decreasing gain at 250Hz or by increasing at 5kHz.

What is important is,

Always verify a sound by comparing previous mix setting with new one,
to check if the sound mixing goes to your target or not.

Tips: You can make 4-band parametric EQ by connecting two PEQ-2s in series.

Additional tips for correcting sound by EQing:

Reduce noisy hihat heard from Right monitor ( in case using a Dr.REX as drum part)

Set a PEQ-2 after RIGHT OUTPUT of Dr. REX, and lower the gain at high frequency.

Adding a fine ambience into the mix

Connect Master EQ after main out, and boost 10-16 kHz with a slight amount. Gaining less than 0.5 dB often changes a mix audible.

Deleting unwanted low frequency resonance produced by Bass sounds or decreasing high frequency noise.

At first, you must find out the frequency at which the sound is damaged by using PEQ-2. Boost gain with Q as default, and change the frequency knob slowly to find unwanted tones. When you find the frequency, set Q to narrow to determine the exact frequency.  Last, change gain from max to minimum.

Any comments or pointing out of mistakes is very appreciated (urakan)