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Playing with Matches

Updated: Feb 15

Using Match EQ to Align Your Mixes with Your Faves

Forgive us for being presumptuous, but as a music maker, we’re guessing that you, dear reader, also enjoy listening to music. In fact – and bear with us here – there’s a significant chance that there are specific artists and recordings that you look to as examples you might want to emulate with your own music.

Y’know. Influences.

We’ve previously gone over why Newfangled Audio plugins like EQuivocate make it so easy to boost/cut certain bands without experiencing the artifacts you might hear with other EQs. That said, you might still be restricted at times by your own routine. Most of us have a way of EQing, or think that boosting/cutting above certain amounts just isn’t done.

So we’ve got sounds that we want – whether it’s the general feel of a full mix, the brightness of a particular guitar, the thump of some drums – and we can probably think of a few songs by other artists that exemplify what we want. But how do we get it? And how do we step out of our preconceptions?

Match Maker

Match EQ, a feature in EQuivocate, streamlines the process of getting to great sounding parts and tracks. Here’s how it works: the sidechain input of EQuivocate is fed with a reference track/part that you want to use as a standard for your own sound. EQuivocate will then adjust its filters to match the sound. Learn and hear more in this video:

Fine Tuning

You probably noticed that, in the video, we still adjusted things a little bit. The truth is that, since you aren’t using the same studios or musicians (or tape models, etc.) as your reference, you will need to do a little bit of manual adjusting to get things just right. So why use Match EQ, and why specifically EQuivocate? Two reasons:

  1. Match EQ shows you new possibilities and helps you break from your own mold. In the video above, Match EQ resulted in boosts in the mids and high-mids that I would never have considered if EQing a track on my own from scratch. Those boosts really made the difference in gluing together the sound I wanted.

  2. EQuivocate’s design is ideal for both subtle and extreme tweaking. Because it’s laid out (by default) along critical bands in the MEL scale, EQuivocate is an ideal EQ making quick adjustments – there’s not “wrong” step you can take that will result in a muddier sound with EQuivocate set to its default frequency bands.

To paraphrase (and flip) Einstein, Match EQ in EQuivocate is a feature that’s 90% inspiration and 10% perspiration. Break your molds, discover new characters to tracks and mixes, and add your own personal touches to get across the finish line!

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