Subtractive EQ Part 2: Heavy Rhythm and Lead Guitars

Did you miss Part 1? Read Subtractive EQ for Snare Drum.

Your guitar tone can change significantly by carving out the correct frequencies and reducing those that introduce unwanted noise. Distorted electric guitars tend to occupy most of the mid-range based on their nature of their sound. This mix was tricky because the band is instrumental and their music relies heavily on the layering of multiple guitar tones.

Rhythm Guitar 1

Here I have chosen to attenuate the unwanted rumbling of the of the low end of the rhythm guitars using the supplied HPF. The bass guitar is rather guitar-like in this song therefore it is important to make room for that. The HPF for Guitar 1 was applied at 50Hz and similarly to Guitar 2 at 47Hz. Why not the exact same frequency you ask? Having the slightest bit of inconsistencies between two identical hard panned performances tends to create the illusion of more separation than there actually is. In this example the outcome is subtle.

Rhythm Guitar 2

Once that was done I scooped the mid range around 800Hz on Guitar 1 and around 515Hz on Guitar 2 to attenuate the nasal midrange frequencies.  This also reveals the frequencies in the low midrange that guitars never cease to benefit from.  Afterwards I felt the need for the slightest bit of high end on these rhythm tracks so I gently cut around 2.2kHz on Guitar 1 and a bit more at 7.9kHz on Guitar 2. This pushes our ears to listen for the frequencies that occupy the space around these areas.

Lead Guitar 1

The lead guitars needed more clarity than they did anything else. Since this is an instrumental style of music I thought it only fitting to treat these main melody instruments as the “Vocal” track.  The clarity I wanted occupied the sibilant realm so I filtered down to the top of this spectrum leaving the slightest inconsistencies to make room for the cymbals.  Also, both tracks required a dip in the low to midrange at 167Hz and 234Hz to reduce any muddy tones that snuck in from time to time throughout the song.

Lead Guitar 2

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Read Subtractive EQ: Part 3 – Kick Drum

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