And one piece of gear that EVERY home studio has is an EQ plugin. This is by far the most powerful mixing tool you have at your disposal.
Here they are real quick. See if you haven't made them before:
Mistake #1 - Trusting EQ plugin presets
This one blows me away. As much as presets can be helpful starting points with SOME plugins, the same cannot be said about EQ.
There is NO way a plugin manufacturer can have any clue what YOUR bass guitar (or fill in the blank) sounds like in the mix.
So how can they suggest an EQ curve to start with? They can't!
So don't trust EQ plugin presets. Trust your ears and start from scratch.
Mistake #2 - Boosting More Than Cutting
This is very common. It's all too easy to think that EQ is meant for boosting.
Sure it CAN boost. And sure I use boosts in mixing.
But that's the exception, not the rule.
Boosting only adds noise, reduces your headroom, and is a sloppy way to EQ.
Think of EQ more as a tool to remove the bad, rather than boost the good, and you'll come out ahead.
Mistake #3 - Focusing On What The EQ "Looks" Like
One thing we can fall prey to in the digital world is focusing too much on the graphical representation of an EQ, rather than what the EQ actually sounds like.
Have you ever found yourself looking at the EQ curve and saying: "That looks about right."
Bad idea. Close your eyes and actually LISTEN to what the EQ is doing. Ignore what the plugin is showing you. Use your ears.
Mistake #4 - Assuming Every Track Needs EQ
This is huge.
Resist the urge to throw an EQ plugin on every track. I struggle with this one myself.
As you go through your mix you should ask yourself: "Does this track sit well in the mix? Or does it need some help?"
If it actually sounds great and isn't getting lost in the mix or overpowering another track, it probably doesn't need any EQ at all.
What a concept! Sometimes less IS more.
There you have it my friend. The top 4 EQ mistakes I see people making in the home studio. Did any one of them stand out to you? Keep that in mind on your next mix and see if you don't just get some mileage out of your stock EQ plugin by wielding it the best way possible!