Hi & welcome to another AAA Sound Design Top Tip

Strings can make your track sound lush and thier haunting tones can bring real emotion but get the EQing wrong and strings can be depremental to your mix. Careful EQing here can sit your Strings in the mix and give your track real character

Top Tip 1 : Cut the really low end – Get rid of all the unwanted rumble below 100HZ there is nothing here of any use

Top Tip 2 : Between 200HZ and 300HZ you will find the body of the string section. This is usually where the sounds around the sound hole emulate. Use a Bell curve with a 6dB gain and a fairly narrow bandwidth to sweep these frequencies until you find where the instrument/s live, you’ll know when you find it. Depending on the mix apply a 3dB increase here to boost the frequencies. The strings may already be quite present in the mix so some cutting here may also benefit the mix. EQ in the mix and see which works best

Top Tip 3 : The Bow and the String sounds live around the 7-10KHZ range so using a Bell curve and a gain increase / narrow bandwidth sweep these frequencies. Again depending on the mix you may want to add ome of the bow sounds to the mix or alternatively this may not be what you are after at all. You may just want the rich body sound without the Bowing in which case apply a cut here

Although this may seem like a fairly basic instrument to EQ from these tips it is far from it. Every stringed instrument has its own characteristic and getting them to sit in the mix whilst maintaining the character takes care and attention. EQ yourself a great sounding string section and your mix will really benefit. Strings and Brass? You’ll need to sit these in the mix with each other as well as in the mix as a whole

This is the last in the series of EQ tutorials, next week I will be starting similar rule of thumb tutorials on compression so until then 😉

Regards

Neil

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