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Bass EQ

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by keepmusicevil, Aug 14, 2002.

  1. keepmusicevil


    Jul 1, 2002
    San Diego
    Ok, what do you all recommend as far as eq goes? Is it a waste of money (and time) to purchase a 31 band for the bass? Do I need this kind of coverage? I perfer a rackmount unit, but sound quality is number 1! I play METAL by the way. Thanks!
  2. Sprinkler

    Sprinkler [account disabled]

    Jul 31, 2002
    31 bands eh... hmm depends on the hertz frequenties each band has. if it goes over 8000 hz dont bother... if it's under, you almost have a band for each 3 notes or something :oops:
  3. I know what your talking about, equalizing is very important in metal, to get a specific "cold" (as I like to call it) tone.

    So you definitly need somthing between 7-bands and 12-bands. To set up a 31-bands eq, that would give my an headache.

    I have a Trace Elliot AH 500- 12 with 12-bands eq, although I rather would have one with 7-bands cause that will also do properly.
    I really need this eq on my amp. I think Trace is the best metal bass amp.

    I have a great 12-bands setting for metal if your interested:

    +6 +6 +6 0 -5 0 +5 +12 +10 +9 +15 (db)

    I don't have the quite right frequency for each band cause my gear is at our rehearsel-room.
    But I assume that they are pretty similar on all 12 bands eq. The first bands are around 30 and 40 Hz and then it rises exponential.

    This gives an extreme figure, the sounds is kinda like Justin Chancellors. There's a bit more high-end 'cause I like to solo.

    A V-settings alawys you to wander all over the place: from the highest register to the lower.

    Some might say not to use a V-shape cause you need the midrange to be more present in the mix. For guitarists maybe so (our rythm guitarist hadded to add midrange cause he didn't cut through) but for bassist it's no problem, slap bassers use something like this too: lot's of bottom and high-end, and few mids.

    And ofcourse use some distortion, and by clean: lot's of natural gain boost from your amp, where it's on the edge of overdriving.
  4. I've actually found it to be the other way round, if I boost my mids and my guitarist cuts his, he has to turn up louder. He has a nice aggressive thrash sound anyway, and only having a bass and treble boost on my PD7 means that the midrange is my friend. My PD7 has bass @12 o'clock and treble at 3 o'clock.

    I use my Punch button(8db boost at 340, 660 and 1300 Hz) and Bright button(8db boost at 2.6, 5 and 10 Khz) on my amp, and major graphic EQ boosts at 240Hz and 1.3Khz, with moderate boosts at 160Hz, 660Hz and 2.3Khz. Rest is flat. Couple this with DiMarzio Model P+J pickups('Marshall Killers'), and you get very punchy sound, even through a 15" Black Widow. God help them when I get my 2x10" + Horn.

    If you want sound files, ask. Not having a dry signal to mix with my OD signal means I need to EQ a lot of mids into the signal, to compensate for the V scooping of the PD7. Live, this works fine, and if I go direct to a board (P.A. or Recording) I boost another 5db at 500Hz, 250Hz and 750Hz.
  5. I'm somewhat confused. You're basicly saying the same thing I am. I, as a bassplayer can afford a sound with heavy lows and highs, and no mids. But my guitarists need to raise mids, they have an ^ setting. Our sounds blend in well. But the guitarists don't care much for metal, they're more for rock. I on the otherhand prefer to call myself to play metal. I used to be in an all metal band, but now it's a mix of different styles, I bring in the metal.

    So the conclusion is that we both agree that you can play with removed midrange s a bassist, but the guitarist must have more midrange to cut through. Right ? Or am I wrong ?

    Bass guitar tone controls - full up if "passive", centered if "active".


    Start by rolling all the bottom off (from 100Hz and lower) then use the "low-mid" E.Q. to find the bass sound you want. Then slowly dial back the low frequencies to taste. Most of the "punch" comes from the "low-mid" range.

    Cut "highs" during mixing. A bass track that sounds good "soloed" is NOT appropriate for many mixes. Cut the deep lows (150Hz and below.) They can swamp the playback equipment. Boost 1 to 2kHz for "fret noise" (may sound ugly "soloed" but adds articulation in the mix !) Try to cut and bring level up rather than boost. Make sure "kick" & "bass" aren't in the same area of the spectrum.

    The lower the volume the quieter the low frequencies. Check mix at different volumes. E.Q. settings should be finalized in the context of the complete mix.

    BEATLE BASS - Boost 100Hz by 2 or 3dB, (if you don't use a pick then boost 3kHz by 3 to 6dB.) To make "smoother & warmer" cut 12 to 18kHz ("hi eq") by 6dB.

    SILLY LOVE TONE (McCartney) (Similar to Beatle Bass with more warmth.) - Boost 100Hz by a few dB then boost 500Hz by 6dB or so. Cut 300Hz by about 3dB and cut 12kHz by 6dB. [Good for ballads, rockin' blues or shuffle.]

    BASS IN YOUR FACE (Aggressive John Entwistle sound.) - Boost 1 to 2 kHz by 6 to 9dB. Cut 200Hz by 6dB. For more "brittle" sound cut 100Hz by 2 or 3dB. This will help a busy bass line to slice through the mix.

    TWANG THANG (C&W"ish") - To accentuate "twang" : Cut 200 to 250Hz by 6dB or so. (Good for reducing "mud".) Boost equivalent amount of 1kHz for "twang". Boost 100Hz by 1 or 2dB.

    MO-BETTER MOTOWN (OR REGGAE) - (Smooth muted tone.) - Cut 1kHz by 5 or 6dB. Boost 200Hz by 3dB. Boost 100Hz slightly. Cut high end ("hi eq") by 6dB or so. For "reggae" sound - boost a few more "dB's" of "low end".

    MOTOWN (More punchy and aggressive.) - As above but instead of cutting 1kHz, cut 5kHz by 6dB or more. (Both the "mo-better motown" & "motown" sounds work nicely in a mix cluttered with mid-range elements such as guitar, piano & horns.)

    JACO JAZZ (Jazz sound) (also good for fretless bass) - Boost 1kHz by 6dB or so. Cut 200Hz by as much as 9dB or more. Boost 100Hz by 1 or 2dB. Cut 12kHz ("hi eq") by 1 or 2dB. For "Marcus Miller" sound - cut at 800Hz rather than 200Hz.

    Bass Guitar Weight add 80 - 100 hz
    Bass Guitar Edge add 2 - 4 Khz
    Bass Guitar Rumble cut 50 hz (HPF)
    Bass Guitar Boxiness cut 180 - 250 hz
  7. That came out wrong. If I cut mids, I have to turn up considerably louder.
  8. Ow, You have to turn up louder.

    I have no problem with that, I'm pretty loud in the band, too loud for being a bassist I think myself.

    But my band members like it. I have the dream guitarists to work with, their actually consirned with the bass, and the want it to really to cut throug. :)

    It's a bassists dream the power that I have, so I have to set my own limits for my presence. You can not overdo it ofcourse.
  9. Sprinkler

    Sprinkler [account disabled]

    Jul 31, 2002
    my band likes me to play loud, too.

    and i live in belgium too :)
  10. Where are you located ?

    Me: Neeroeteren near Maaseik.
  11. keepmusicevil


    Jul 1, 2002
    San Diego
    Belgium is RAD! I hope to go next year! Great Beer! I am San Diego, I play through a ampeg410 and a GK 800rb. Thanks for the info and keep it coming!
  12. virtual.ray


    Oct 25, 2000
    IMO a true parametric EQ will serve you better because you not only get to choose which frequencies you alter,but also how much the neighboring frequencies get affected.This is called "Q" or bandwidth and is a very useful feature;most non graphic EQ's are "semiparametric" (like the ones on older SWR amps.) They allow you to select the frequency and boost or cut,but they omit the bandwidth "Q" knob.
    Behringer makes a decent reasonably priced true parametric.
  13. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Second on the Behringer Ultra-Q Pro. 5 bands (!) of true parametric -- frequency, level, AND bandwith. Doggone things are selling for $99.99 at the big mail order houses! Love mine. Haven't scratched the surface of its capabilities these two months (though not trying too hard yet). Using it to boost 1000 Hz for fretless, turning it off for frets.
  14. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    How about a Boss EQ-20? This is their top of the line EQ'er, it's a twin pedal, and it has i think 10 memory settings. 10 bands of EQ, for around $200. Rackmount 31-band EQ's would be a little much, wouldn't they? It would take a long time to set up.

    Just my opinion.
  15. hayngman


    Aug 20, 2002
    Wise County, TX
    I play metal and had a Boss EQ(I forgot the model #,it's not currently in my possession) It was a small stompbox and I think it was 7-band. For my sound I did the V-scoop thing, but I've learned over the years that mids are important. I still scoop, just not as steep. Like these ppl have been saying, 7 to 12 bands of EQ is sufficient. I think the Boss EQ-20 Masterbasser 43 mentioned would be perfect.
  16. Kudos to Mr.Donne Demarest for his extensive EQ explanations...good stuff.
    Low mids will "bogart the entire band" (Mike Watt quote) so scoop out if you have to; 200hz or so? I scoop 100 hz if my stage sound is too boomy. Mids are crucial if you want to cut through. A scooped sound will get you no where IMO? What sounds good solo will *not* sound good in a full band context. All in all..try to leave well enough alone? Boosting just adds distortion, cutting is always preferable. The less you mess with your sound, the clearer it will be upfront.
  17. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    I agree with mad sub and donne. Thanks for all that info that was great donne.

    Here's my opinion on the matter. Donne has it right in a recording situation, especially for nailing those tradmark tones. As for your own tone and live situations: start flat! passive tone full open, any eq flat. From there leave all eq flat, and cut some bass/treble to liking (though never much) so you're either flat or have a slightly prominant midrange. From there use the appropriate bass and pup selection and *fingers* to get the right sound. EQ is definately not your friend live, and even in the studio, it's only needed in *small* amounts by the engineers to get rid of freqs that are obtrusive.

    Experience will dictate: flat is better!

    And for all you who will say, but this "insert massive amounts of eq here" works for me, or whatever, my answer is that flat works better! I know some of you like your tone that takes shape due to EQ, but you are wrong, and must learn how things work... you wouldn't believe how much difference a good bass makes, amongst good technique, to get good tone. It's really all it takes.
  18. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sorry guys, but I think Donne is being a little too simplistic. His settings may work for a particular bass with a particular amp, etc, but I wouldn't just blindly use them and expect it to nail a cretain sound. (The setting do in general look right to me, I won't argue that, but I think they should be taken with a large grain of salt.)

    I just think that too many people think that eq is some sort of recipe you follow. My experience is that is not true. You really need to experiment with eq to see how it works for your particular situation. For example, my rehearsal room has a node at 80Hz, so I cut that. Just that action alone clears up the bottom and low-mids a lot. I am now able to dial in big round bass without sounding like mud. I add in a little 250Hz for grunt, and I take out a little 500Hz because there is a little too much of this in my bass. I add a little 2.5kHz for clarity and a little 6kHz for air. None of my boosts cuts are more than 4dB. Most are 2-3dB. I think that if you are setting your boost/cut past 5dB you really need to start rethinking your whole gain structure. If you really work at getting just the right frequency centers, and the right Q, you will be surprised how far a little boost/cut will go.
  19. My experience dictates that my upside-down smiley face helps my 1x15" cut through a Marshall half stack on eleven.

    I also find your arrogance quite overpowering.
  20. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I'll grant you "flat is a good starting point", but as sound depends on so many things - the bass, the amp, the room, the interaction with the rest of the instruments in the band - "flat is better" can never be a universal truth. But if it works for you be happy.

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