In anticipation of multiband compression, an EQ will allow you to tailor a signals overall frequency balance to suit a variety of compression techniques. The parameters contained within a multiband compressor are often more accurate when further EQ is applied at the input of the compressor. Using the EQ in conjunction with the multiband compressor will help you get the most out of these devices, especially considering the extreme effects of over-compression in next the stage to come.
When attenuating frequencies in a pre-EQ
- Use narrower Q values at lower frequencies
- Use wider Q values at higher frequencies
This allows you to maintain the integrity of the bottom end and the dynamics of the top end while controlling the overall balance.
Sometimes, no action is required during this stage. Your balance may be perfect coming out of the previous mastering stages, in which case, simply bypass the EQ and leave it in place. You may find yourself revisiting particular stages throughout the entire mastering process prompting the use of a pre-EQ. Visualize this step as a safety feature that you may call into action at any point!