Cubase Pro's Spectral Comparison EQ makes it easy to figure out why things sound too different or too similar!
In Cubase Pro 10.5, Steinberg added a very useful Spectral Comparison EQ option to the Channel Settings window. This makes it easy to compare the frequency distribution of two audio signals, in real time, providing a very useful visual guide to complement what your ears might already be telling you. There are plenty of scenarios in which such comparison can be useful, and I'll explore two here:
- managing the relationship between a kick drum and a bass guitar.
- comparing the overall balance of your mix to that of a reference track in the same musical style.
Let's start with the kick and bass example. In the first screenshot (above) I've selected my bass guitar track and, in the Equaliser tab of its Channel Setting window, engaged the Activate Channel Comparison button. In the second (orange) drop-down slot, I've selected my kick drum track. As the project plays, I now see the EQ spectrum for my kick drum (orange) through that of the bass guitar (blue). This makes it easy to spot the two parts' peaks and troughs and identify frequencies where one part might be masking the other. You can then devise EQ settings to give each part enough space to play its intended role in the mix.
But this tool isn't just a visual aid; the Spectral Comparison feature also makes it easier to do the second part of this job. By default, the displayed EQ controls will be active for the currently selected channel (in my case, the bass guitar...