There are many classic EQs out there which are praised a lot, like the EQP-1A, the SSL Channel Strip, and Neve 1073. Of course, they are known for their great crisp analog sound. This is why I really recommend using them to add “niceness”, like a touch of high frequencies.

But they have another great benefit: You can train your ears by using them. A common mistake less-experienced producers make is listening with their eyes instead of their ears. They look at an EQ with a curve and see the curve boost somewhere, and think “that sounds about right”. But your ears can be tricked easily by the placebo effect when you see the EQ curve.

When you are using classic EQs, there is not much visual aid. There are usually just a few buttons to select the frequency, the bandwidth, and the boost/cut size. So you are forced to use your ears when boosting or cutting. This can be a great exercise of actively listening which frequencies are actually affected by the EQ. Of course, you can keep using other EQs, but adding classic EQs to your tool set can not only bring a great sound, you will also train your ears. There are even some nice replica plugins of the classic EQs which you can get for free, like EQ1A, Blindfold EQ, SL84 Console EQ.

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Author: /u/DreadPitt

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