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Bass-Heavy Canned Tracks for EQing Subs?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Zooberwerx, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Yes, another seemingly inane question from your's truly! Just trying to get the most from the least, in this case, a pair of Yorkville 18" subwoofers.

    I have a handful of spare para EQ bands available and would like to tweak our low-end response (<110 hz)...tame the "boom" and accentuate the "wow". I'm looking for canned track suggestions which have a near-constant low-end presence for the duration of the tune. Should give me enough material and time to do a couple of sweeps.

    As always, thanks!

  2. kalle74


    Aug 27, 2004
    I think pink noise would be easiest...
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Excellent, and that's what I use to auto EQ the system as a whole. Unfortunately, pink noise lacks any dynamic qualities (attack, punch, sustain, decay) which IMO are necessary to establish a realistic balance.

  4. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Hey, hadn't thought about that! Kick drum can be a bear to EQ.

  6. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    I use songs I know very much.
    I don't know what you listen to or like , music wise.

    I use the usual Steely Dan album Two Against Nature
    Also the track "Bill Me" by John Scofield on "Grace Under Pressure"
    The low end on the kick on that track is amazing.

    My classic Album ; Thomas Dolby "Aliens Ate My Buick"
    I always start with this one. Used it for the last 20 years....
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    One of the contributors on the dbx website suggests anything by Steely Dan....the ol' "Chuck Rainey standard".

  8. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Bill Laswell is another good choice. Lots of subharmonic booming.
  9. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    one of my fav's for rock bands is the release "goat" by the jesus lizard.
    sounds just like a rock band.
    the 1st track on bjork's homogenic is excellent too, i use that often for electronic bands...
    the music i choose (usually) is in the vein of the group that is playing.
    but i also usually don't base too much eq on canned tracks, i feel that out with the actual band information and prefer, if anything, to get a good listen to how the system reacts to the lead vocal mic, minimum cuts on the strip and then minimum cuts in the house eq.
    pink noise should really show you where the system itself reacts to frequencies best, as opposed to basing tuning on how it reacts to different canned information. there are reference cd's which run tones as well... either way, in the end you have to really deal how it reacts to what you are loading it with, which will have much more dynamic content than a mastered cd will usually ever give you.
    acoustic properties of many a venue also change sometimes drastically with bodies in the room...
    those initially offending frequencies from canned material suddenly become a necessary element to maintain a nice mix (as bodies absorb the sound, "holes" start to show up in the frequency response as you hear more of the rig and less of the room).
    ideally,i'll have enough time to use all 3... pink noise, cd, vocal mic..
  10. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Whatever you choose, I strongly suggest you run it off a CD and not an MP3. MP3s are as a rule compressed to hell and IME you don't get the dynamic range you need to get an accurate EQ setting. You can EQ up a room to sound great playing MP3s and when the live playing starts it sounds like dog-squeeze.
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Thought it was just me...

    Tim will frequently run his iPhone (?) thru the system and, truthfully, it leaves a lot to be desired.

    To the rest of youse guys, thanks for the track recommendation and for pointing out the limitations.

  12. Might a LF sweep (20 to 200 Hz) on CD be helpful? Should point out annoying peaks.
  13. JackANSI


    Sep 12, 2006
    What kind of music will you primarily be pumping through? Your config is going to look mighty different depending if its easy listening or techno...

    That aside, I tend to play with John Mayer - Waiting on the world to change. It has a lot going on in the low end and good seperation between the highs and lows. Then I move on to Foo Fighters - Monkey Wrench, which still has some lows, but lots of mids, hi-mids, and crap loads of cymbals.

    But I always start with pink noise.
  14. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    I use Saint-Saens's #3 Symphony with organ to EQ lows.
    Because I love the theme, it's full of insane lows and it sounds classy.
  15. Back in the late '80s when I used to do FOH one of my favorites was Money for Nothing by Dire Straits. Love the sound of the drum kit in the intro.

  16. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    The more recent albums have a "tighter" and "fuller" low end than Aja.
    (wich sounds amazingly good BTW)
  17. kalle74


    Aug 27, 2004
    And thus, is exactly what you need to EQ the subs... You don´t set levels with EQ nor do you correct dynamics. You just adjust frequency content.
  18. WayneP

    WayneP Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2004
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    Sounds like you&#8217;re intending to equalize the subs by ear. That&#8217;s an exercise in futility, as what sounds best by ear will (logically) vary depending on whatever CD you&#8217;ve popped in. IOW, if you EQ the sub to get a certain CD to sound best, those settings may well be totally whacked for the next CD. Or for that matter, live bass...

    EQing the sub is about balancing its frequency response in the room. That has absolutely nothing to do with attach, punch, sustain or decay. Attack and punch would be contributed to the sub&#8217;s build and driver. Sustain and decay would be the contributed by the room&#8217;s acoustics.

    To do this right what you need is in-room measuring and/or real-time analysis capabilities. I suggest visiting Home Theater Shack.com and download their free software, Room Equalizer Wizard. Aside from the computer, a common Radio Shack SPL meter and an appropriate sound card are all you need to take measurements from 20 Hz &#8211; 3 kHz.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Pedulla Club #45

  19. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA

    Given this explanation, I guess I'm doing pretty much all I can with the resources on hand....dbx DriveRack, Auto EQ function via reference mic placed @ ~25 feet. I can't say I'm dissatisfied with the results, just wondering if there's more I can be doing.

    What exactly is real-time analysis?

  20. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007

    IME , using a CD that you know very very well is a good thing in the end of your process. If you know very well your reference CD , It should be OK.
    I mainly use SpectraFooX and pink noise but I always finish with a very well known recording and always put little finishing correction with the tracks.
    In some circumstances , going by ears is enough too. (small kits, little gigs)

    That is IMHO mostly IME.

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