Equalizers are mysterious beasts for beginners. And the advice most commonly offered, “try different things” and “use your ears,” is meaningless when you don’t know what you should be trying, and what your ears should be hearing.

John Vestman’s EQ Settings That Will Make Your Mixes Come Alive has just those types of getting-started tips. Advice like “Add 2 to 6dB at 2.5k to 5K, cut 2 to 8dB at 300 to 500hz, add 50 to 100hz.” for kick drum, and “the bass should have more mid-bottom from 150 to 200hz, and from 1K to 3K for clarity.

John also outlines some of his general miking and mixing philosophies.

A great sounding kit starts with the player who knows how to dynamically balance his or her drums with the cymbals. BIG LOUD cymbals make your kic, snare, and toms sound softer… if you want the drums to sound BIG, hit the cymbals significantly softer.

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