Ableton Mixing Tips and Tricks: EQing Guitars by Rafael

After I show you how to EQ Pianos, now is time to learn some tips about how to make the same job for guitars.

In the case of a bass guitar, that’s one of the most difficult instruments to EQ, you can add some extra bottom end boosting between 50 Hz and 80 Hz, but, always remember to boost slightly different frequencies than the ones you are boosting in the kick drum. Of course, in order avoid a fight with the sub low from the kick, use a high pass filter at 41 Hz (lowest E on a 4 strings bass).

Boosting around 800 Hz will give the bass some clarity, and you can have some snap at around 3 kHz. You may get rid of everything above 5 kHz.

EQing and Mixing Guitars in Ableton
Bass guitar EQ filters and boosting/cutting points.

Acoustic guitars can sometimes fight with the bass at around 80 Hz, so if your mix has a bass, it’s probably a good idea to use a high pass filter, which you can use up until 200 Hz without problems. At 240 Hz, is the body of the guitars. This, might be a problem when you have an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar playing together. If this is the case, It’s up to you which of them to emphasise and which to attenuate. In most pop/rock cases, I prefer to attenuate the body of the acoustic. The presence of the acoustic is somewhere between 2 kHz and 5 kHz, so if it’s playing a rhythmical arrangement, it’s a good idea to emphasise that.

How to EQ Acoustic Guitars
Rhythmical acoustic guitar EQ Curve

As I’ve mentioned before, between 240 Hz and 500 Hz is where electric guitars have their fullness, so, despite being 82 Hz the lowest E in the guitar, you’ll be ok using a high pass to filter below 200 Hz. The presence of the electric is between 1,5 kHz and 2,5 kHz, but, if you are using a 4×12 cabinet, some extra attenuation at 1 kHz may be needed. If your guitars are fighting with the voice, attenuate a little around 240 Hz just to make some room.

Remember, EQing is the best way to make room for everybody to fit in the mix!

Also check How To EQ Drums and How To EQ Vocals

[author image=”” ]Rafael Hofstadter is a recording and mixing engineer and sound designer with 10+ years experience in playing and programming synths, recording, mixing and producing pop/rock/folk albums. He also runs[/author]

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