The Matching EQ allows you to attenuate the frequencies of your target sample by using a reference. Essentially, the matching equalizer listens to the reference and then adjusts the parameter accordingly to affect the target sample. If you like to gain further understanding of the basics of EQ, visit our Equalization Examined article.


Copying the target sample


Have you ever listened to a song you like over and over again, observing every little bit of its tonal characteristics on a spectrum analyzer, in order to apply them in a most faithful way possible into your mix? How many of you have encountered a similar scenario sometime in the past?

I have to say that this process is somewhat difficult. It requires countless hours of listening and working on fine details. However, it can be of great assistance in terms of training one’s hearing.

Fortunately, nowadays, there are ways to shorten this process, at least to a certain extent. This can be done with a special kind of tool called EQ match or Matching EQ. This tool basically allows you to take the EQ curve from a source audio signal, extract it and in the end to apply it to another audio signal. In the following tutorial, I will guide you thru the Matching EQ process in SoundBridge while using Izotope Ozone EQ to achieve the desired effect. So let’s get started.


Start with a reference.


I will begin with choosing two different recordings (in this case, acoustic drums that are similar in terms of rhythm). One will be my reference and the other one a target.


Drums - Reference & Target

~  Acoustic Drums Reference 

~ Acoustic Drums Target – Unprocessed


Capturing the frequency response

Next step would be placing an Ozone 5 Equalizer plugin on the drums channel and clicking on the ‘Snapshots’ tab within it. Consequently, a new window will appear. So, I will press the ‘Start Capture’ button to capture, or record if you will, the frequency response of the target drums first. After doing that, it might be handy to double click on the snapshot in the right part of the panel, to name the recording and choose a color (in this case, yellow). After that, I’ll repeat the process but this time for the reference drums recording. Furthermore, I will rename the newly recorded snapshot and choose another color (light blue) for the frequency response curve in order to distinguish it from the previous one.


Drums target and reference capture
~ Ozone 5 Matching EQ


If you look at the frequency response in the above section, you can now clearly see the difference between the two snapshots.


Match the frequencies


Now let’s move on to the next tab within Ozone 5 EQ called Match. Here we will actually apply the matching frequency response from one snapshot to another. Bear in mind that the important controls are the ones shown in the snapshots menu, in the left section. It is also vital to select what will be your reference, and on what track are you applying the effect to. In order to do so, I will tick the Drums Reference as ’Reference’ and ‘Apply to’ for the Drums target.

Next, I will click the ‘Match’ button, which will apply the desired effect. On the image below, you can see the parameter faders named ‘Amount’ and ‘Smooth.’ The first one is determining the actual amount of the effect, while the second one is allowing you to smooth the frequency response of the curve applied. The curve drawn in red is the resulting EQ curve, which is applied to equate these two frequency responses.

Drums target and reference match

To conclude, let us listen to the Drums target in comparison to the Drums reference with the applied effect. Try Matching EQ for yourself, and have fun!

~  Acoustic Drums Reference 

~  Acoustic Drums Target – Processed