EQ vs. Volume


Live sound engineers and even studio engineers are often approached by someone complaining that the volume is too high when clearly you are well under a certain parameter.  What non-audio people don’t realize with that it may not be the volume, but the EQ that is irritating their ears. This is important to you because rather than battling with volume you can adjust the EQ and keep everyone happy.

Frequencies do all sorts of funny things to people, they can make them uncomfortable, paranoid and even effect them physically.  So what’s likely to be creating this discomfort?  Typically it is older individuals that complain, about volume, but it might not be volume at all.  Typically sound with an abundance of frequencies between 2-3 kHz.  With practice, you will find a friendly preset that is pleasant for everyone.

The trick is since highs are too edgy, a lot of engineers will just turn them down, but by doing this you may add too much low end.  There’s not perfect setting, but just remember for every change you make to the highs, you should balance it out with the lows.  By doing thing you will not even have to touch the volume knob!  None will be the wiser and the young’uns happy with the loudness.

Do you have experience with this?  Let us know how you worked around this!


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