In the early days of telephony, the guys at Bell Labs faced a problem: high frequencies suffered loss over long cable runs, a fact that would have made the voice during long-distance calls dull and hard to understand. They set to designing an electronic circuit that would make the sound on both ends of the line equal. The name later given to this circuit was equalizer.

The equalizers used in mixing today are not employed to make one sound equal to another, but to manipulate the frequency content of various mix elements. The frequency virtue of each individual instrument, and how the latter appears in the overall frequency spectrum of the mix, is a paramount aspect of mixing. Operating an equalizer is easy; but distinguishing ...

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