To keep things simple, we opted for a maximum of 6 instances to add to your sonic hierarchy when working with the Group View in smart:EQ 3. For large projects this seem not near enough at first glance. But, by using audio busses you can use the intelligent processing of smart:EQ 3 for even complex projects without difficulty.
In this video tutorial and the step-by-step instructions below, we will show you how to use audio busses to keep a well-organized structure and balance an entire song in smart:EQ 3‘s Group View.
For this tutorial we are using Pro Tools recording track folders but the following steps can be easily applied to your DAW of choice.
Step 1: Balancing folders
Group the major instruments of the track into folders. In this case it’s four: drums, vocals, guitars and bass.
In this example, the five most important tracks in the drum arrangement are the clap, kick, hi-hat, reverberated hi-hat and snare. Add an instance of smart:EQ 3 to each track.
Then, combine them into a group and choose suitable profiles.
Start the playback and hit the Master learn button. Play around with the layers and the Group Impact to accentuate the instances in Layer 1 even more.
Repeat these steps with all your folders.
Step 2: Create a smooth mix
All these groups will sound well-balanced on their own, but in a mix they need to be balanced in relation to one another. This is where folders come into play.
Load an instance of smart:EQ 3 onto every folder and additional track (if they are not part of a folder).
Then, combine all of them in a group inside smart:EQ 3 and chose a suitable profile.
After learning, smart:EQ 3 will make sure that all the instrument groups will harmonize well with each other.
Pull instances to the front and increase the Group Impact to more effectively cut out any masking effects.