Distorted mids (only)

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Zbysek, Oct 3, 2022.

  1. Zbysek

    Zbysek

    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    Short story: I plan to distort mid frequencies only (leaving lows and highs unaffected) with the pedalboard on the picture...and blend them with clean full-range signal at FOH. Is anybody doing something similar? What is your experience?

    Long story: my pedalboard is on the picture below. My original plan was to provide FOH with primary signal from the end of the pedalboard (using Radial JDI) affected by all the pedals. This primary signal would contain lows, mids and highs and would be overdriven just a little. As a back-up, I planned to send a secondary clean signal from the Broughton HPF-DI. I meant it as a back-up (only to be used if neccessary-in case the primary signal does not work).

    After some time, I have realised that our band's sound tech always blends the two signals as a default.

    Taking into consideration his approach, I decided to adjust my settings in the following manner: (i) I will cut low and highs from the distorted signal (at 190Hz and approx. 2kHz) using the Broughton RFE as a band-pass filter and (ii) overdrive the signal more significantly. That way, the distorted signal will contain only mids, and the clean signal will supply clean lows and highs.

    I see some advantages doing it this way... But I would like to hear your experience. Does it work for you? At which frequency do you cut lows and highs? Does your sound tech like it?

    Btw: I am aware of bi-amping. That's not what I mean. I would like to limit this thread to overdriven mids only (not highs). Let's see how it goes...:)

    51D60009-57E3-4784-9FB0-648C50A1007F.jpeg
     
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  2. GMC

    GMC Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2006
    Wiltshire, UK
    The Source Audio Ultrawave can do this in a single unit. It can split the signal into multiple bands (up to 10) and process them differently. Trem and distortion options on each or any band.
     
  3. Zbysek

    Zbysek

    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    Do you use this function? What is your experience? Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2022
  4. whoismarykelly

    whoismarykelly

    Feb 12, 2004
    Adding a bunch of gain to just your midrange is going to be dumping a lot of harmonic content in a very crowded area of the mix and your FOH engineer is likely to just cut all of it out to keep the bass from becoming overly boomy in the room.

    Have you talked to the engineer about what you want to be done differently? They can likely make tweaks at the board that will accomplish the sound you want.
     
  5. Zbysek

    Zbysek

    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    Yes, I am cooperating with our band's sound tech closely. He said he was interested in the solution which is being discussed in this thread. We have a rehearsal next week where we want to try it...

    I know what you speak about. In some of my bands, I am cutting low mids because of the issue you are pointing out.

    This particular band is specific though. There are only four od us: drums, bass, guitar and violin. When the guitar player takes solo, there is a lot of empty sonic space in the mids. That's the exact reason why I plan to fill it with dirt...
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2022
  6. I agree with @GMC that you should explore the tools available in the Source Audio Bass Ultrawave as it will open the door to many distortion textures you will find useful as well as the multiband processing you are attempting. The Ultrawave has options to split the audio spectrum from 1 into as many as 10 bands of varying frequencies and to apply distortion to each band plus an excellent compressor and EQ and a mixer so you can combine your clean and distorted signal in the pedal instead of doing it at the FOH, and save the result for recall x 6 or 128.
     
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  7. Zbysek

    Zbysek

    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    Thank for taking the time to post in my thread. I would very much appreciate if you could share your experience with using Ultrawave here. What frequencies do you distort? Which frequencies do you leave clean? How does your sound tech like it?

    TBH, getting Ultrawave is not an option for me.

    I want the two signals be blended at the mixer. If I ever considered taking the blend-it-myself approach, I would get the Genzler 4 on the floor pedal as I prefer analog devices.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2022
  8. Lammchop93

    Lammchop93 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    Abe-of-Bass and Zbysek like this.
  9. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    There are a bunch of pedals that do what you want (distort the mids, but no the low end and/or high end), but most of them have the "recipe" for what gets distorted baked in to some extent. The Genzler 4 on the floor gives you some control over what's going on, some of the Darkglass stuff (the "X" series) give you some control, and the Source audio unit gives you so much control, it's like being left in the wilderness to survive without much in the way of a plan - the learning curve on that thing was so steep I returned mine, but if you want ultimate control, I'm sure it's in there...somewhere.
     
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  10. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    I have (when working FOH), and a couple of the FOH people I work with as a bass player have also done this on the board - you send the bass to 2 channels, sculpt the one you want to distort (which usually means dropping the low end and high treble and bumping up some upper mids), then put it through a virtual amp model (Yamaha board have this on tap), and finally...mix it back in. Far from making it boomy, it has the opposite effect - it gives it some presence in the mix, and allows you to not push the bass so much that it becomes boomy.

    Like many things, the right amount is great, too much is.....too much.
     
  11. Were I to want a mid focus on distortion I'd tend my distortion in the guitar range 500-800Hz up to 1k, 2k or 4k depending on the rest of the soundscape.

    I prefer to control my own bass signal, sending exactly what I want to the FOH, in my case that is usually a mono signal to keep thing simple for the sound engineer as I never have the option of a dedicated one. The Ultrawave is such a powerful toolbox that there is no analog device that could ever come close to offering the broad range of utility or range of sounds that would not be 6 or 8 different devices. That is it's beauty to me. The Ultrawave lets me create sounds and textures that are impossible with any other pedal from monstrous fuzzes, octave fuzzes to keyboard sounding textures like a Fender Rhodes, Funky Clavinet or Harpsichord to otherworldly Sci Fi sounds as well as sonic improvement tones that make fretless bass or picked bass lines really pop. There is a long running topic if you are interested. Source Audio UltraWave ~ Catch the Wave

    While I understand the preference for analog devices, I used to feel the same way, once I embraced digital I have never looked back. After all you do use a wireless in your set up, hmmm.
    main board 9-2022.jpg
    If I insisted on getting all my sounds analog this board would be almost as big as @kranahan instead of something I can carry. The 4 SA pedals = 24 [6 presets each, even more with a MIDI switcher or computer] and the Zoom has 12 sounds that I cycle thru.
     
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  12. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Distortion itself really only affects the mid range anyway. It gits a little fizzy on the top end, but the character of your drive comes from the mids in your signal. That's why you scoop the crap out if it when you use distortion. Otherwise you end up just sounding like a honky guitar.

    Try clicking on your drive, upping the bass a notch, dropping 500hz by 10db, and upping 5khz by 2db. Adjust frequencies from there.

    If you don't like it, go right ahead with your elaborate scheme. It just seems like a huge waste of time and energy to me.
     
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  13. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Bergantino-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    Always interesting how much seemingly well intended advice is objectively wrong in these kinds of threads.

    I’d suggest moving your starting crossover points roughly an octave higher.

    Distortion down below 200Hz is very muddy, and rolling the distortion off at 2k will give it a very dark voicing as well.

    When mixing, I tend to set my LPF for distorted bass at 5k initially and adjust from there: similarly, if I’m running a parallel bass distortion track specifically on the midrange, I’d usually start with the HPF around 400Hz and adjust accordingly.
     
  14. klattman

    klattman

    Jan 8, 2008
    I like the Genzler 4 on the floor for this but it doesn’t split anything for outputs.

    I really like my triumvirate from vfe (no longer made)

    I really wanted to like the ashdown triple shot but I couldn’t get the subtlety I wanted. It just too aggressive.
     
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  15. Zbysek

    Zbysek

    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    This is exactly my thinking.

    Would you be able to recollect the frequencies which you were cutting or bumping?

    Thank you.
     
  16. Zbysek

    Zbysek

    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    Where do you set the HPF and LPF on your Genzler pedal? Thank you.
     
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  17. Zbysek

    Zbysek

    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    Thank you for your redponse-this is exactly the kind of information I am seeking.

    5kHz is where I would cut in case the whole signal would be distorted…but for paralel distortion it seems to me that it might be little too high…?
     
    MDBass likes this.
  18. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Bergantino-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    Hard to say without knowing what your tone goals are and actually listening to both signals in context.

    Generally the reason for an LPF around 5k on distorted bass is that most everything above there is just fizz.

    If your FOH engineer is going to be doing the final blend of your clean and dirt signals on his desk, setting the dirt LPF around 5k should give him everything he needs and nothing he doesn’t.
     
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  19. Zbysek

    Zbysek

    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    That makes sense. Thank you.
     
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  20. Iristone

    Iristone

    Jul 8, 2017
    Beijing
    A Tubescreamer with a blend might work