Equalization (EQ) is an essential tool for shaping and sculpting the sound of an 808. The 808 is a powerful and versatile instrument that can be used in a variety of genres, but it is important to know how to properly EQ it to achieve your desired sound.
The first step in EQing an 808 is to understand the different frequency ranges that make up the sound. The 808 has a wide frequency range, from 20Hz to 20kHz, but the most important frequencies for shaping the sound are in the low-end. These low-end frequencies, also known as the bass frequencies, are what give the 808 its powerful and punchy sound and are typically in the range of 20Hz to 200Hz.
Next, it's essential to use EQ to emphasize the desired frequencies and reduce the undesired ones. For example, if the 808 is too boomy or muddy in the low-end, a high-pass filter can be used to reduce the frequencies below a certain point. This will help to clean up the sound and make it more defined. On the other hand, if the 808 is too weak or thin in the low-end, a low-shelving EQ can be used to boost the frequencies in that range.
Another important aspect of EQing an 808 is to pay attention to the mid-range frequencies. These frequencies are in the range of 200Hz to 2kHz and can affect the clarity and definition of the sound. If the 808 is too harsh or edgy in the mid-range, a low-mid cut can be used to reduce the frequencies in that range. This will help to smooth out the sound and make it more pleasant to listen to.
It's also wise to consider the high-end frequencies when EQing an 808. These frequencies are in the range of 2kHz to 20kHz and can affect the overall brightness and clarity of the sound. If the 808 is too dull or dark in the high-end, a high-shelving EQ can be used to boost the frequencies in that range. This will help to add some sparkle and shine to the sound.
Finally, it's important to use EQ in conjunction with other processing techniques, such as compression and reverb, to achieve the desired sound. Compression can be used to control the dynamic range of the 808 and make it more consistent in level. Reverb can be used to add some space and depth to the sound. By using EQ, compression, and reverb together, you can achieve a polished and professional-sounding 808.
In conclusion, EQing an 808 for electronic music is a crucial step in achieving a unique and desirable sound. It's essential to understand the different frequency ranges that make up the sound and use EQ to emphasize the desired frequencies and reduce the undesired ones. By paying attention to the low-end, mid-range, and high-end frequencies, and using EQ in conjunction with other processing techniques, you can achieve a polished and professional-sounding 808.