Laurence Guy on EQing: “I try not to take much out of the lows… I leave as much of the source in as possible ”
“The “clashing” of the frequencies and harmonics is what creates the subtle (or not so subtle) imperfections that hit you in the feelz”
Image: Laurence Guy
House music producer Laurence Guy has shared his personal approach to EQing, saying that he likes to keep as much of the low-end frequencies in his samples as possible to create a warm, imperfect feel.
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The technique is revealed in his episode of the My Forever Studio podcast – made in partnership with Audient – in which the Saw You For The First Time producer discusses his dream studio setup and shares insights into his music production processes.
“The low end is always quite muddy in my music…” he tells hosts Chris Barker and Will Betts. “I try not to take anything out of the lows, if possible.
“People always ask about how to get stuff sounding warm or how you get stuff sounding full. It’s basically just ‘do less’. Do less EQ[ing], just stick stuff together and let that do the work, essentially.”
Since the podcast, Laurence Guy has taken to Instagram to expand on this point. He highlights that, while clashing of low frequencies – especially with samples – can create warmth, it’s still important to separate low-end frequencies if they clutter the mix. He tends to clean up the mix, he writes, through sidechaining as opposed to EQing.
“To go a bit deeper on this particular clip: I’m not saying that I never low cut anything at all,” he says, “but more that as a rule I try to leave a lot of the low end in, especially with samples.
“If you’ve sampled from multiple sources, the ‘clashing’ of the frequencies and harmonics is what creates the subtle (or not so subtle) imperfections that hit you in the feelz [sic], Saw You For The First Time being a prime example, so I like to leave as much of the source in as possible.
“Generally, I use sidechaining to move things out of the way of each other instead of EQ so all the elements are kinda constantly ducking each other and moving on.”
This isn’t the only trick Laurence Guy uses to create a sense of imperfect, lo-fi warmth. In the podcast, he goes on to talk about his rather simplistic approach to recording piano – on an iPhone.
“I did some of it with a microphone as well but mainly on the phone just propped on the side. It sounds great. It doesn’t sound great, like, technically…”
“But it works with the music. It’s servicing the song, that’s the main point,” chimes in Barker.
“Yeah exactly, but you wouldn’t take that to a pop engineer and be like ‘here’s your piano part’. They’d be absolutely livid. If I was producing with someone else I might not do that.” Laurence Guy laughs.
The My Forever Studio podcast sees producers, engineers and musicians dream up a studio setup they have to live with forever. They set the location and pick a limited number of studio items, including synths, speakers and one luxury studio item.
Check out all My Forever Studio episodes via musictech.com.
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