I briefly mention EQ in my book because it’s an all-encompassing term that many people don’t know very well. If you don’t know much about it, that’s okay! People go to school for years to study it, and it’s relatively easy to hire someone to do this. EQing a song involves a mix of technical/left brained techniques combined with artistry/right brained techniques.
Basically, EQ stands for “equalizer.” You are evening out the tones in your song to make it sound the best it can. However, you’re not just setting everything to be even and calling it a day. Some songs sound better with the bass louder, or the high end more prominent, or any number of subtle changes that give the song a different feel.
Like all things music, there are standards and general knowledge factors, but it is at the end of the day an art form. You are free to do whatever you feel sounds best! Play around with it, get to know your software. If you feel your skills are good enough and you like the sound of it, that’s all you need!
You may want to hire an EQ Pro, however, if any of these apply to you:
You are not comfortable, confident, or experienced in EQ techniques
If you’re getting ready to release a song, now is not a good time to try learning this skill! By all means play around with it in your spare time, but save it for a song you won’t release right away. If you try it and still aren’t sure, don’t take a chance and assume it’s fine! Find someone who can go over it with a fine-toothed comb and ensure a quality product.
You want a label-ready or radio-friendly mix
Professionals know what these people are looking for. They know the standards and settings, and they know what industry insiders are currently seeking in your genre. If you don’t, it’s worth it to hire someone who does!
You don’t have access to quality headphones, studio monitors, and speakers
These impact the listening experience and pick up things that your computer speakers won’t. Professionals spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on high-end equipment in order to provide the best mix. If you are using only your computer speakers, it’s likely you’re missing important components! And yes, your average fan might only be listening on their computer speakers, but you don’t want to run the chance that your biggest fans have great speakers and can hear all of the subtle mistakes. If it sounds great on expensive speakers, it will sound great on computer speakers too.
You have the money to spare and want to see how it will turn out with a professional
Why not give it a try? If you don’t like it or think your version sounds better, at least you know you can EQ with the pros. You may even find you can start doing it for fellow musicians yourself!
We definitely recommend learning about EQ in your spare time. It’s a skill set that you’ll learn to love and it will help your music career! There are plenty of great videos online or even cheap courses to take. Even just knowing the basics will be of some use to you. If you want to contact us for a consultation on your mix, or to have us EQ it for you, contact us on our website. Happy mixing!