One thing to understand about EQ is that each band always affects a mix or individual instrument dramatically if improperly used.
There are some fundamental rules to follow with EQ. You can’t just boost a band and hope that your mix or instrument will simply sound better without making sure to balance each track with another. You need to make sure all the instruments sit together and complement each other. One thing you want to avoid is two or more tracks competing in the same frequency ranges. My rule is to always cut frequencies before boosting to avoid them fighting with each other. For example on an electric guitar you could cut everything from 100Hz down as it’s almost always pretty much not required.
The human ear is very sensitive to midrange frequencies, particularly in the 2K region. Midrange frequencies occupy approx the 200 Hz to 2 kHz (low mids to high mids), aiming to balance everything within this range makes for a pleasing and more natural sound for the listener.
Critical EQ Frequencies (Lowest to Highest).
Music styles where this is most used is Rap, hip-hop, dance style club tracks and dubstep etc.
If you are not cautious and add too much low end in this range you can cause a mix to become seriously muddy sounding.
Being too cautious and adding too little and your mix will lack real weight to the sound and could sound weak on some speaker systems.
100hz usually gives you a good meat and punch to a kick drum. Higher in the range towards 200hz and you can add punch to a snare.
These frequencies can add a good deal of rich sounding low end to a mix.
Don’t over do them though or you risk making the sound wooley. Again too cautious and things can sound thin.
Vocals, guitars and Piano’s all benefit from this range. You can add body and weight to them if tweaked properly.
You don’t want to go overboard and make things too thick in the area. Again thin sounds occur if there isn’t enough.
Syrup! that’s how I think of this range, things can get real thick quick here and that’s not always a good thing in a mix.
On the other hand there is a certain amount of body for most instrument here, use it but use it smart!
You can get some midrange honk if you over do these frequencies. Harshness can occur and thinness with too little.
Your ears most sensitive range! Great for vocal and guitar attack and bite. Clarity of instruments can be improved to get a muffled recording up to scratch here.
Quite and aggressive band overall.
If you use too much you will kill people ears and fatigue the listener quickly. You don’t want to sound like a blanket is over the speakers so don’t use too like. However you can soften a harsh sounding track with reducing the 2k range.
Breath life into sounds with this range. Add a bit of sparkle to a track of mix. Clarity here too, always a good thing.
Too much and grit not the good kind.
Too little and you can suck the life and energy from a track. Add some to get some presence.
People refer to this as the air or space in a mix, always good to use to when mixing and layering track to seperate them a little.
Fizz around here if too much is added.
Not enough and things sound lifeless and dull.
Just remember with EQ if you turn a band up and get too much of something don’t try to compensate with another boost at the opposite end. You’ll end up throwing high and low end about and scooping out important midrange frequencies which are needed. Everything will become unbalanced and much harder to mix. Always start with small boosts (if boosting at all) of 3db at the most, I recommend if something sounds to muffled try cutting low end frequencies before ever trying to boost high end and vice versa.
Don’t overdo your EQ! Less is always more when mixing ALWAYS! Lots of subtle EQ changes make a big impact in the final mix.
Hope this helps.