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Mixing and Matching in Logic Pro 7

New Match EQ plugin copies EQ curves By Frank Moldstad

One of the ingredients of a great mix is how the EQ is applied. Knowing how to tweak the frequencies requires experience, outstanding ears and a keen understanding of every instrument's range. It's one of the skills that sets top mixing and mastering engineers apart.

But for inexperienced engineers or home recordists, finding the surgical frequency cuts or boosts that make a mix come alive can be a major challenge. Since everything in a mix is interrelated, a boost to one frequency potentially can bury another.

Thats why I was intrigued by Match EQ, a new plugin that comes with Apples Logic Pro 7. What it does is allow you to copy EQ curves from any audio source and apply them to any other. It's illuminating to hear how one of your songs sounds with the EQ curve copied from a song that was mastered by Bernie Grundman or Bob Ludwig! Since no two songs are alike, this probably wouldnt produce the ideal EQ for your song. But taking the basic curve and tailoring the approach for your song might do it.

Learning a template
Match EQ offers a variety of adjustable settings, faders and analysis tools for this and many other applications. For instance, you could use it to create a more consistent sound for a CD, starting with a broad curve and adjusting it for the individual tunes. An Analyzer button provides Pre and Post views of an audio file, before and after another EQ curve is placed upon it. This allows you to graphically view the difference between two sources. Then you can manually adjust the source frequency curve by dragging with the mouse.

Another useful application is to copy the EQ settings of individual instruments. If you like the way Jeff Becks guitar is EQd in a certain song, find a solo passage where no other instruments are playing, copy the EQ curve, and apply it to your own guitar sound. Then tweak it as needed to fit your mix.


Its important to note that this process is independent of dynamics and levels that might give other audio sources some of their character. So, if a guitar used as a source EQ is compressed or screamingly loud, those attributes wouldnt be copied. What would be are the distinctive tonal qualities from the amp and guitar settings, plus any added EQ.

Comparing two curves
Or you could apply Match EQ even more adventurously, copying the EQ setting of a sitar or violin and imparting that tonal quality to a guitar track. Or vice versa. Even real-time tracks can be run through a Match EQ setting patched into a channel insert. These could be anything from a GarageBand loop to a GuitarTracks patch -- or the Sculpture instrument plugin played via an external controller. Match EQ can also be used as a side chain device to alter the tone of a another processor in an effects chain, such as a reverb.

Using Match EQ is very simple. First, open a Logic template, go to the Mixer view and select Match EQ as an insert. Then locate the source file (AIFF, Broadcast wave or anything Logic will open), and drag it into the Template Learn box at the bottom left of the Match EQ interface. A progress bar will let you know when the Learn function is finished. Next, drag the file to be manipulated into the Current Material Learn box in the middle. After that has been learned, press the Match button at the right. Audio can also be played and analyzed in real time with the Learn button enabled, but it's quicker to load files by dragging them into the interface.   

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Related Keywords:Match EQ, Pro Logic 7, EQ , plugin, frequency curve

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