EQing is obviously a fundamental part of mixing or mastering. Most of the time I end up using just one EQ on most audio stems within a project. That’s because it does so much by changing the balance between the sounds. By just cutting or boosting some frequencies you can completely change the sound of an instrument. I’ve used so many EQ plug-ins in the past few years but then there’s one that got me addicted to using and I have it on almost every mix. That’s the Sonimus Burnley 73.
I do a lot of hip-hop mixing and I like having the vocal sounding thick and upfront. What this EQ does is adding its own color and harmonic saturation to the frequencies you cut or boost and it’s incredible. Because it gives you certain effects that are not usually that easy to get achieved by just switching knobs, and so it keeps you focused on the creativity part of the mix.
The Drive Signal
The drive signal is where things get magical. I like bright vocal sounds a lot but then when you cut the low frequencies and boost the high, you’ll notice that the vocal will sound thinner and most likely harsh on certain syllables.
So I normally cut the low using its smooth high-pass filter and maybe even boost some low at the same time not to lose the balance, then after boosting the highs if needed I make sure to play around with the drive signal. It colors up and does the magic. Not saying it completely clears up the harshness in the high frequencies but it gets them in the right spot for you to clear fully using a de-esser or a surgical EQ.
Using a de-esser is essential to me while mixing but I’ve learned to do certain things before putting that into my channel to get the best results. To have that super clean and smooth vocal, or even having that pleasant-sounding vocal even when it’s got an aggressive sound effect.
So the Drive knob from the Burnley 73 does this job very well. In conjunction with that, I might use a tape saturation plug-in and then the de-esser. *sometimes I use multiple de-essers to go more accurately if it’s needed.
The Burnley 73 is also a very suitable EQ for parallel processing, especially when it comes to mixing reverb or delay effects. Not only to clear the sound up and make it fit into the mix but also to create a sense of special depth for that effect you’re aiming for.
I like trying crazy things in parallel processing especially when it comes to using distortions, chorus effects, or flanger, etc. But then you’ll notice besides compression which plays a huge role for parallel effects, you mostly need an EQ in conjunction.
There are times when I want some chorus effects only in the high-frequency range of a vocal sound for instance, and I make sure to use the Burnley to achieve that super high sound I want on that parallel channel and then mix it up with the original track the way it gives me the best result.
That is another place I have the Burnley 73 on along with the Satson channel strip, the drum buss. You mainly want to get that punch from the drums and overheads but also get them to glue with the mix.
Buss compression does a great job here but what I like about Burnley 73 here is that besides the fact that it helps me get more balance between the drum elements by boosting and cutting some frequencies very suddenly, I use the drive-knob here to control the transients’ attack and also the overall depth.
Especially on the kick drum, I want them to sound punchy but yet I try not to have them hurting the listener’s ear with too much attack. So the drive signal helps me smooth out the transients and still keep the punch I want and most importantly help me create a thicker sound from it.
If you are a professional producer or engineer, (or willing to be), I bet you should have this EQ in your plug-in collection. Not just because of the fact that it feels amazing when you create those nice sounds using it; but also because you want your better music-making to enhance your music business or career. So make sure to check the free demo and feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below!