Lesson 11: Equalization

Equalization is what engineers use to alter the frequency response of an audio signal. If boosting, frequencies become or appear more pronounced. If cutting, they become less pronounced. But knowing is not the same thing as truly understanding. It all comes down to what one is striving to accomplish. Equalization or EQ is a crucial tool used in all phases of music production. Whether to enhance or minimize some aspect of the frequency spectrum, EQ is an essential part of the audio professional’s workflow.  The concept of equalization goes back to the 1860s when scientists realized the need to be able to alter electrical signals in the field of submarine telegraph cables. The operators of the first transatlantic telegraph cable had to transmit the morse code that they were sending very slowly in order for the people on the other side of the line to understand what it was that they were sending. Fun fact: in 1858 the telegraph messages sent from Queen Victoria to President James Buchanan took over 16 hours to transmit!