Question about the "cut don't boost EQ" idea

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Kalm
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Post 23 Oct 2020

DaveyG wrote:
23 Oct 2020
I can tell there are no proper studio engineers in this thread.
Cutting is always preferable to boosting, because boosting also increases the unwanted background noise, even in a "clean" digital system. That's not to say that you should absolutely never boost. It's just that boosting should be the exception rather than the norm.
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guitfnky
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Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 23 Oct 2020

Kalm wrote:
23 Oct 2020
DaveyG wrote:
23 Oct 2020
I can tell there are no proper studio engineers in this thread.
Cutting is always preferable to boosting, because boosting also increases the unwanted background noise, even in a "clean" digital system. That's not to say that you should absolutely never boost. It's just that boosting should be the exception rather than the norm.
:lol: 👍🏼👍🏼
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selig
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Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 23 Oct 2020

DaveyG wrote:
23 Oct 2020
I can tell there are no proper studio engineers in this thread.
Cutting is always preferable to boosting, because boosting also increases the unwanted background noise, even in a "clean" digital system. That's not to say that you should absolutely never boost. It's just that boosting should be the exception rather than the norm.
Let's think about this for a second, the idea that boosting EQ adds noise and cutting does not. If that is the case, that means boosting is doing something inherently different than cutting (besides the gain change). So how can we test if a cut at one frequency does something different than the opposite boost at another?
I created a simple test to see if I could get a high shelf boost and a low shelf cut to "null", which would/should prove there is no difference between a boost vs a cut (after compensating for the overall level change), and that in the end you can get the same result with either approach.

With the SSL EQ I was able to come quite close, nulling to -80 dBFS. But when you use an EQ where both high and low bands can be set to the same frequency (in my case, ColoringEQ), you can get a 100% perfect null. And that was with a full 24 dB of boost on the top end (with -24 dB makeup gain) vs 24 dB cut on the low end.

Conclusion: because the results null, that means both EQs are doing EXACTLY the same thing to the spectrum, even with one boosting while the other is cutting. Which proves boosts can't be "adding noise" any more/less than cuts - in this example they would both boost any existing noise by exactly the same amount. If they didn't do that, they couldn't null. :)
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