Last month we started the EQ series with general guidelines about equalization and how many engineers like to approach the subject. This month we’ll explore how to EQ individual drums and mics. Naturally, each different drum and mic type will require different techniques but these guidelines are a good place to begin.
With the kick drum try boosting around 80Hz. You can add at 2-5k for more beater contact sound. Many engineers will cut somewhere around 400 or 500Hz to eliminate muddiness or boxiness.
Snare drums commonly live in the 250Hz range so a little boost will add body to the drum. You can add crispness by increasing 5-8k. Roll off 80Hz and lower. Experiment by reducing somewhere between 400-500Hz if your snare sounds “honky”.
Tom toms will benefit by adding at 100Hz (smaller toms might require a slightly higher frequency). You can also add some brightness and contact sound by boosting 2-5k. To control boxiness decrease at 400Hz.
Overhead and room mics can roll off anything under 80Hz. For extra shimmer or silkiness add a little 10k.
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