Magazine article Guitar Player

Dynamic EQ for Guitar

Magazine article Guitar Player

Dynamic EQ for Guitar

Article excerpt

EQUALIZERS AND COMPRESSORS are common guitar processors. You insert them in a track to shape the guitar's tone and dynamics, respectively, but they can't react intelligently to your playing. For example, if you use EQ to accent loud strumming by boosting the treble, the boost will still be present when you play softly. Multiband dynamics offer some help, because they can be used to restrict dynamics control to particular frequency bands. However, you can't dial in the same kind of precise filtering as you can with conventional parametric equalizers.

Dynamic EQ, on the other hand, combines elements of equalization and compression. It boosts (expands) or cuts (compresses) certain frequencies only if they exceed a specified threshold. Unlike a multiband compressor, dynamic EQ uses parametric equalization. You can even narrow down the affected frequency to a dead spot on a bass guitar's neck. What's more, dynamic EQ often has sidechain capabilities, allowing you to control your guitar's EQ using audio from a different track.

To get a sense of what's possible, let's check out three practical dynamic EQ applications with guitar. (Note: The screenshots of Waves' F6 Dynamic EQ have been modified to take up less page space.)

Fig. 1: The Acoustifier, Reloaded. Dynamic EQ can do a more sophisticated implementation of the Acoustifier effect I wrote about in the November 2018 issue. The F6 plug-in adds a major boost around 2.7 kHz, but only when playing hard. …

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