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Old 02-16-2017, 04:31 PM
Hea7h Hea7h is offline
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Default EQ practices

Hey all,

I've been browsing the usual forums of late, and I keep coming upon advice that says that you shouldn't need to EQ a mock up done with a library such as the EW Hollywood ones (which I am currently using) if your orchestration is sound.

Personally, I think is a bonkers, dogmatic position to take. To my ear, these libraries are terrific, but certainly tend toward sounding dark. They also benefit from a little assistance in the presence department.

So, I have 2 questions;

1. What kind of EQ practices do people find themselves repeating with the Hollywood libs? (For me, air on strings, around 7k boost on brass, and some broad mix buss stuff depending on the cue - usually a broad presence boost. All broad stuff with analogue style EQs)

2. Those who subscribe to the "don't need EQ" school of thought, do you reference against commercially released tracks?

Interested to get the lay of the land!

Cheers,

Heath
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:28 PM
jspencer jspencer is offline
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I'm typically fall into your #2 category....it is very rare that I eq any EW orchestral patches.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:54 AM
Dominik Raab Dominik Raab is offline
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I'm an absolute noob when it comes to mixing and eqing. Take anything I say with a barrel of salt.

I personally don't apply eq to purely orchestral pieces, that is: strings, brass, woodwinds, classical orchestral percussion. Once synths, rock instruments, ethnic instruments and non-orchestral percussion get in the mix, I feel that some of the frequencies are too crowded. That's when I low-cut the mid- to high-range orchestral instruments to make room for all the booms and bangs. I'm very careful with eqing the low-end orchestral stuff.

Then again, my orchestration probably sucks just as much as my equipment (non-treated room or headphones), so my way of doing it might just be compensating that.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:19 AM
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Marcusmax Marcusmax is offline
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I too rarely EQ any orchestral instruments except perhaps to roll off some of the unnecessary lows, mainly in the reverb but that's another story which I've been discussing in a separate thread.

Contrary to what you say I really am finding that the better I get at orchestration, the better my mockups sound. I do believe that's the most important thing. On the other hand I'm sure a skilled pro engineer can do wonders with the judicious use of effects including EQ to bring these libraries to a whole new level. You only have to listen to the demos for the products to realise that. For the rest of us though it's all to easy to mis-use them, especially EQ, compression and reverb, or to use them in place of good orchestration. So I think less is usually more in this regard. Then again, as I keep being reminded there are no hard and fast rules so do whatever sounds right to you, with a nod to the 'experts' as they usually do know what they are talking about!
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hea7h View Post
....I keep coming upon advice that says that you shouldn't need to EQ a mock up done with a library such as the EW Hollywood ones (which I am currently using) if your orchestration is sound.
Bollocks.

The orchestration being sound is the first piece of the puzzle. But while EQ is certainly not an absolute requirement 100% of the time - and may at times be unnecessary - anyone who says you shouldn't need to EQ is clearly a complete noob.

First off, it's ok to say that the EW libs need EQ at times.... some peeps be like, if you say you EQ EW libs, you are putting down the lib and saying it wasn't recorded properly! Nothing could be further from the truth.

Secondly, different scenarios call for different mixing approaches, and what works in one cue, may not work so well in another.

So, do not be afraid to EQ if you feel it necessary.

Cheers.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:15 AM
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+1 to Jeff

Especially to the last line, "if you feel it necessary"

Don't think you have to and don't think you can't

I would disagree with the notion that it's an insult to the library; if anything you're just making it more versatile
I'd say it would be more of insult to say, "this library doesn't have enough ____ so I need to go out and get a new library that does," vs. "this library doesn't have enough ____ but if I use an EQ and just boost it a little here, it's perfect"

That said, I would be in the group of orchestration first. You can't EQ a viola enough to sound like a french horn
I focused much heavier on orchestration for one of my last pieces and only had to use a little bit of EQ on mastering bus for the sound I was wanted
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post

what works in one cue, may not work so well in another.

Word.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:13 PM
Hea7h Hea7h is offline
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Thanks for the responses, guys.

To be clear, I *absolutely* think orchestration first. Just not last. I can't imagine ever *not* EQing EWHO. The libraries sound amazing, and they blend in a way I've never heard before, but if you A/B the best of orchestrations with a Hollywood score album, or even an orchestral recording, I'd be surprised if you weren't reaching for something to bring out the presence, maybe some air.

And personally, cause I'm currently working on a throwback score (80s - 90s style family movie) I'm also running console and tape emulation. Which sounds great in terms of adding depth and glue.

Anyway, if anyone has any techniques they wanna share, I'd be curious!

Cheers,

Heath
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:18 PM
mrdsee mrdsee is offline
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I like to use High and Low Pass EQ Filters on the individual instruments to clean up the mud and Frequency build ups.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hea7h View Post
Thanks for the responses, guys.

To be clear, I *absolutely* think orchestration first. Just not last. I can't imagine ever *not* EQing EWHO. The libraries sound amazing, and they blend in a way I've never heard before, but if you A/B the best of orchestrations with a Hollywood score album, or even an orchestral recording, I'd be surprised if you weren't reaching for something to bring out the presence, maybe some air.

And personally, cause I'm currently working on a throwback score (80s - 90s style family movie) I'm also running console and tape emulation. Which sounds great in terms of adding depth and glue.

Anyway, if anyone has any techniques they wanna share, I'd be curious!

Cheers,

Heath
I am far more likely to e.g. send all the high strings to a buss and EQ that than the actual instruments. IMHO, more often than not you will do more harm than good with the other approach. And again, just IMHO, A > B them with a score that has real orchestral instruments or is a hybrid of real and samples not a productive practice.
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