Technique of the Week – The Low End Trick

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Want to add some extra punch to your low end? John Pickford highlights an age old trick to get some oomph…

The Low End Trick

The Low End Trick is a technique performed using a Pultec EQP-1A equaliser or something based upon it. As the EQP-1A is probably the most copied equaliser on the planet, both in hardware and software forms, it’s relatively easy to get hold of one.

The Pultec has separate sections for low frequency and mid/high frequency adjustment. For the low end, there is a switch to select the desired frequency – 20, 30, 60 or 100Hz – as well as controls to boost or cut the selected frequency. 

The trick comes into play when the selected frequency is boosted and cut simultaneously. As the boost and cut frequencies overlap, the process does not cancel itself out, instead it creates some interesting EQ curves, which can be used for individual sound sources, sub-groups and even final mixes.

For a great kick drum sound select 30Hz and dial in the boost and cut; you can be quite liberal with this. The resultant curve will give a smooth peak centered on 80Hz while scooping out frequencies around 200Hz, adding punch and reducing muddiness.

Dialing in some high mids at 3 or 4kHz adds definition to the click of the beater and can further enhance the sound. Round this off by attenuating some extreme top end. Your top end should be extra-punchy!

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John Pickford

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