There is an ongoing never ending debate on if you should put your EQ pre or post the compression. Some say that they get better results by doing the EQ pre and others argues that EQ post compression helps them to have better control when tweaking. So what is right and what is wrong? This is my personal view.
Pre Or Post Compressor?
Lets say that we have an acoustic guitar and we want to compress it and remove some of the “boomyness” and highlight some presences. If I do my cuts before compression the compressor won´t bring up the boomyness because I already lowered some of those frequencies before. But if I do my EQ after the compression and need to filter away the same frequencies, the EQ is not going to be that efficient on the frequencies I like to remove because the signal is now more balanced.
So if I work with my EQ to shape sound and have my compressor after the EQ, one of the biggest problems is: as I add gain in the EQ stage, it will affect the compressor and the threshold. It is like having a frequency dependent threshold, which could be a bit annoying. If I am raising the gain on some frequency´s the compressor is going to kick in harder and I will hear less of the tweaking that I am doing. Therefore I have to adjust the threshold on the compressor every time I am doing a boost in the EQ stage.
But if you place the EQ after the compression you should be able to tweak with less gain to attain a more audible result with less artifacts. And you don´t have to adjust the compression threshold every time you tweak your EQ.
What I like to do is to have two EQs. One pre compression and one post compression to get the best out of both worlds. I will remove stuff that I don´t like with the first EQ and then I do my boosting (if necessary) with the second one.
With that said, there is no right or wrong. You just have to find the way that works best for you. Which side are you on? Pre, post or both?