Eq Or Compression.? Which Comes First?

This is a very popular topic, and really divided. People have different opinions when we come along this subject. And both sides argument it well. I suppose it’s just the question of what you personally love more, and sometimes it depends on the situation.

So the question is: While mixing, what plug-in do you process first?

Do you first make an eq decisions, and then you compress? Or do you first compress, and then you work on eq?

Well, I can tell you how I do it, and why I do it in that particular order.

After setting the mixing foundations, when it gets the time to bringing in some processing in the mix, I always go with the eq. Of course if the channel really needs any help.

The reason why I do eq first, is probably because I think of eq as the tool which has the most influence, and helps me to make the most of the balance with it. It helps me to connect the whole mix. And that’s really the idea of mixing. To balance things out. That’s your task as a mixer.

So I really like to clean up all the channels first, so that I can get stabile, fixed, nice, clear and full tone. When I get this tonal equalization, then I move on to the compression part.

I got the tracks to sound as I want them to sound, and now I’m ready to pump it all up a bit, to give it some energy and consistency. I want to do this with good sounding tracks, and not with bad.

I first make the eq, make the tracks sound right to me, and then I do the compression. And that’s the most important question. After that, in which order are you going to put your effects like reverb, delay, saturation, it’s up to you. If you will even decide to put them..

I note again, that there really is no right order of doing this. I know some guys who do the opposite of this, and their mixes also sound good. I don’t know why they do it in that order. I only know why I do it in eq-compression order.

So in which order do you work? Do you have your workflow? Did you experiment with this? Maybe doing some eq first, and then compression..? And after listening to it, just switch the place of those two plug-ins, to change the order. See what suits you the best, and let me know.


Thanks for being part of sound investigation!

Mihael Vrbanic

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