ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to EQ Instruments

Updated on March 1, 2018
Florida Guy profile image

Jay Helmus is the author of this article, with exclusive rights and privileges belonging to Florida Guy. Jay Helmus is a Canadian audio p

EQ Instruments
EQ Instruments

Every instrument is different, and every scenario is different. You should never limit yourself to the same approach with every scenario. That being said, here are some tried and true methods of EQing instruments that might be useful to use as a starting point, especially when you’re new to music production. Here’s a look at commonly used instruments, their frequency breakdowns and some general EQ strategies that might help you achieve a generically pleasant sound.


The following is a breakdown of sounds and frequencies for many drum kits. Again, every drum kit is different, and this information may be obsolete depending on many factors such as size and thickness of the drums and cymbals you’re using. Remember to always use your ear!

Drums EQ
Drums EQ | Source

Kick: Bottom at 80 to 100Hz, hollowness at 400Hz, crispness at 3 to 5kHz

Snare: Fatness near 200Hz, point at 900Hz, crispness at 5kHz, snap at 10kHz

Hat: Clang at 200Hz, sparkle at 9kHz

High Toms: Fullness at 80Hz, attack at 5kHz

Low Toms: Fullness at 80Hz, attack at 5kHz

Cymbals: Clang at 200Hz, sparkle at 9kHz


The bass is very important to the overall sound of your mix. A good balance between the drums and the bass will give a track a full sound and prevent it from sounding too weak. It’s important to give this delicate balance the attention it deserves. As a starting point, try EQing the bass at a higher frequency, and the kick at a lower frequency. This might give you a nice separation to start with, and then tweak as needed.

You can find the meat of the bass in the 50-100Hz range, the attack at 700Hz, and the finger snap top end around 2.5kHz.

Vocals & Backup Vocals

Always keep in mind that the vocals are without a doubt the most important aspect to your song! They are the most listened to, most focal aspect of any track. They should never be buried in the mix, and similarly, they should never overpower too heavily either. Always remember that what sometimes works on a female vocal might sound dreadful on its male counterpart.

Regardless of gender, try giving a generous dose of ‘sparkle’ to the vocals near the 2 to 5kHz range to make sure they cut through the mix. Also, try experimenting with the mids and the mid-highs to give it varying amounts of closeness or distance.

If you are using harmonies or background vocals, sometimes EQing them differently will help them separate from the lead vocal a bit better. For example, if you added a boost in the lead at 3kHz, try either cutting those same frequencies in the backup vocal or give a small spike to the 1kHz range.

Electric Guitars

EQing your electric guitars will depend solely on how they are played and what kind of sound they have. A heavy sounding distorted power chord part might sound better if it blends in more with the track, therefore cutting many of the higher frequencies might help it melt into the mix a bit better. By contrast, other guitar parts might need to stand out completely so you hear every single note clearly, in which case your highs will be much more important.

Regardless, you can often find the fullness of many electric guitars at 240 to 500Hz, and the presence around the 2.5kHz range. Also, try cutting all frequencies below 150Hz as those frequencies will likely clash with your drums and bass, and chances are they don’t add much to the overall sound of your guitar anyways.

Acoustic Guitars

Acoustic guitars have a completely different sound from electric guitars and therefore should be approached as such. Depending on what guitar you’re using, how big it is, what kind of wood it’s made of, your sound can be quite varying in nature.

In general, you can often find the fullness at 80Hz, the meat of the sound at 240Hz, the presence between 2kHz and 5kHz, the sparkle at 5-8kHz, and airiness or finger noises will likely exist in many of your highs.


A piano is unique in many ways. For example, it has such a wide frequency range, that depending on how it’s used in your arrangement, it could serve almost any purpose, and therefore the way to apply EQ will be so immensely situational. Generally speaking though, the fullness of the piano will exist around 80Hz, with some presence and brightness around 3kHz to 5kHz.


Strings are often used (and with good reason) to thicken up mixes like a pad element. Strings generally exist almost exclusively in your mid to high frequencies, and also the extreme highs. They are easily heard in the mix without much difficulty. Try rolling off the bottom ends to clean up their sound significantly. If you really want to have the strings blend in with the mix, try rolling off the highs. They will cut less this way, but will give them a truly blended sound that is great for having them be completely absorbed by your music. Depending on what you wish to accomplish artistically, this may be a great thing, or it may not be.

If You Liked This Article Please Share It :-)

How to EQ Instruments
How to EQ Instruments | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)