View Full Version : Musical EQ?

07-04-2012, 11:41 PM
I've always heard the term thrown around and yet never understood exactly what it meant or how it affects one's performance/mixing.
For example: I've heard EQ's on Allen & Heath and Ecler (especially) mixers being described as musical, or of a high quality. Just not sure what it means.

I understand that EQ's have different cut-offs, ranges, etc...But what makes one 'musical' so to speak, or better that another? Or is it just a preference?

07-05-2012, 01:13 AM

An EQ takes a frequency band and allows you to boost or cut it... it is not "musical" at all.

The frequency band can vary quite a bit especially on a 3 band "DJ" EQ... (Especially on the Mid range)... perhaps its the mid-range sweep that makes it unique?

07-05-2012, 10:33 AM
I doubt it means it's literally musical, more along the lines of variations of frequency bands from brand to brand with some being 'better' or 'smoother' than others. That's what I'm trying to clarify.

I agree with you on that point about the mid-range however, Ecler's have wide mid-ranges. But how can that improve one's mixes? Or like I said above is it just a preference?

07-05-2012, 10:38 AM
A musical EQ doesn't tear the music apart when messed with. If you turn down the bass on an Ecler mixer, the music still sounds allright, just without bass. But I have a cheap mixer here (under 100 euros new) with a 3 band eq, and if you turn the bass down, the sound is terrible. the mids get all broken up.

07-05-2012, 11:10 AM
Thanks, makes sense. Are there any other brands known for this?

07-05-2012, 12:05 PM
Musical EQ means EQ that subjectively complements the music well, no need to get hung up on the term. It could be its choice of frequency bands (in the case of a non-parametric EQ), its Q, real or virtual circuitry, distortion, phase shifts, whatever. The opposite would be a "surgical" EQ that does what it's told precisely but doesn't do much in terms of warmth or character.

One of the biggest differences I noticed sound-wise when upgrading from a Gemini to an Ecler mixer was that the EQs actually made the ranges sound louder and possibly better when boosting and more sympathetic when cutting, as opposed to the Gemini which was quite technical/surgical when cutting, and boosting was pretty much a no-go as it sounded horrible. I think it was a combo of better quality components and engineering, and a "musical" design approach.

07-05-2012, 12:38 PM
Thanks. I have an older Stanton mixer at the moment and I believe it resembles the 'surgical' EQ you described.
I was thinking about pulling the trigger on a Nuo 2.0 but I'm not sure if it's smart seeing as Ecler seem to be taking their focus away from the DJ market (parts, prices may fall, etc.) Alternatives would be the Numark X5 or Pioneer DJM-250 atm, but neither is known for its EQ as the Ecler is, to my knowledge anyway.

07-06-2012, 04:42 AM
I'm pretty happy with my Nuo and would recommend it, although I've not heard about Ecler shifting away from the market so that could be something to consider...

07-06-2012, 06:48 AM
Ecler is not designing any new mixers anymore, but they're still building the current models. which are still great, mostly analogue, mixers for a good price.

The Ecler Nuo series are all of high quality, great sound, great EQ and all the in and outputs you could wish for.