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Brutal Sound: EQ more important than Lower Tuning?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by pushingbass, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. pushingbass


    Mar 26, 2012

    I play a e standard tuned 4 string washburn. i have a cheap crate amp. i get a great sound although the gear is cheap.

    i play primary metal, especially thrash and death metal but i also love other styles and classical symphonies, jazz and blues.

    the thing is: i want the most brutal sound possible of course. i really like the sound of alex webster. i have a theory or opinion based on my little experience. i play about 1 year bass and i use 3 fingers. i was in 2 bands.
    ok i experimented with amazing slow downer with the eq settings and the pitch. i took the song orion from metallica but it was the bass track only.
    the result was interesting:
    -the lower the pitch the more quiet the notes got/ the muddier it got. so the lower the tuning the less you can hear the notes actually.
    -for this try i boosted the two lowest settings on the eq scale the others where shut down.
    -the higher the tuning (highest e standard to low 10 semitones lower f#) the more punch and the louder the notes.
    -although the lower tunings sounded darker and heavier they did NOT have more bass/vibrancy/punch the effect got weaker the lower the tuning got.

    so my conclusion about this is not always valid, its not a rule but thats the feeling.

    so why bother with lower tuning, more or extra strings, nuts problems, good sound engineers, good amps/pa systems and so on? the lower the heavier it sounds but the weaker the bass gets, the less punch it has.
    so my conclusion is with a great finger technique and good eq settings e standard tuning IS heavy. i focussed the comparisons of tunings on low f#, b and e standard tuning. and f# is so low you can not really say where the sound comes from its just a muddy weak thing going on. the b tuning is heaver because it sounds dark and the notes are clearer because 5 semitones higher. but the e standard is heavier because it has the greatest punch and u can clearly hear the brutal action.

    like i said this is the result of the "experiment". e standard tuning is in all ways easier to handle than lower tunings like b and f#.
    what is your opinion about that? does someone use f# tuning? isnt i hard to get that string amplified well on stage?
    btw i always thought that the a string played with fingers of course near the neck is the heaviest just because of the punch. i mean its like a thick wall whilst the lower strings have more bass but go down when guitars are played.

    so in general finger technique>eq settings>amp>bass guitar.

    what do you think about that? iam really interested in that because i often cant really hear the bassline in death metal concerts due to lower tunings while in maiden concerts steve harris blazes through great.
    and iam also curious about your opinions because i dont have much experience unlike the most of here.
    thanx in regard
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You're not wrong. Lower notes require the amp to send more watts to be heard. There are ways to make the lower notes come out stronger, though...adding compression, distortion, cabs with lower frequency response, etc. All of them come with tradeoffs, though, as you're starting to discover. Everything about good tone is finding the right compromise that works for the band you're in.
    Jinglesmeowmeow likes this.

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