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Working that EQ -

A very good friend of mine (Charles) taught me a lot about DJing and how to mix properly.

Many of the lessons he took me through were typical.

Such as; beat matching, phrasing, harmonious mixing, how to cue and throw in tracks perfectly, etc, etc, etc.

Until one day I asked him why he fiddles with the EQ so much.

He looked at me with a look like .. “are you kidding me?!”

I felt a little awkward at first but then I realized from his body language that I don’t know as much as I should about the EQ.

So, of course I asked him about how he uses the EQ and what can be done with it.

I saw the excitement in his eyes when he grabbed the EQ knobs as if they were made out of gold.

Charles looked over to me and said, “You see these here, these are old school effects”

I did not have the slightest idea what he was talking about.

Show me, I said.

And show me he did. WOW.

I still remember that lesson. I could not believe what he was doing with the EQ because usually I just leave it dead center at 12 o clock, thinking it is supposed to be that way.

Well it is, but when you want to use the EQ as an effects unit, or create your own buildups, then ….it isn’t.

Creating your own buildups with an EQ is quite a crowd pleaser, and very satisfying to you as the DJ when done right.

To do it right it takes great timing, and dexterity.

If you have ever played a track that was boring and thought this could use a little OOMPH right about now, there is a way to do it.

Let me tell you how I was taught to do it.

You need:

A boring track

A Mixer with working EQs (highs, mids and lows)

Good timing

If you have the above then listen up!

Once you learn how to phrase like a champion (Section 4 of my e-book).

Wait for the first beat of the phrase, and take out the lows and highs, this will instantly get a reaction from the crowd. And it works every single time!!

As you are waiting for the next phrase, slowly bring up the high end EQ knob from zero all the way to 3 oclock (about ¾ full).

This should be done slowly and timed perfectly because you do not want it to sound like you are doing it, but you want it to sound like it was produced in a studio.

So practice bringing up the highs slowly from zero to ¾ full at home until you can do it right. Don’t do it wrong in front of people.

The reason you should not bring it up to full is it could be damaging to the ears of the crowd/listeners.

So, just before the start of the new phrase and you have brought up the highs slowly to about ¾ full …

Throw that Bass in like you own it!

The crowd will always appreciate a nicely timed effect, and raise their hands in appreciation from taking a dull boring song, and adding your creative juices to pump up the party.

As an added effect, which takes some dexterity.

You can also throw the kick in one beats one, four and five, and take it out on beats six, seven and eight. And the last eight beats of the phrase pop the kick in on beats, 1, 3, 5, 7, and finally on the first beat of the new phrase.

This of course takes a little practice to get the dexterity and timing down, as you still have to be turning the high end EQ up at the same time.

Simple enough but can make a huge difference.

A huge difference is what comes out of practicing every day and believe me when other DJs see you doing things like that the look of jealousy is priceless.

Other DJs always watch me, and some try to copy me as well, but in all honesty all I do is just take what I have learned, turn it on its head and think of a different approach.

The same way I approached writing my e-book. I asked myself how can I take technical information, and make easy to understand for all levels of DJs.

The answer is easy, speak your language.

Cut out all the fluff, get right to the point, and spell it out, step by step.