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EQ bassics thread

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pierce, Sep 20, 2004.


  1. pierce

    pierce freethinker

    May 25, 2000
    San Francisco, Ca
    i thought someone mentioned that there was a thread, document, or a sticky concerning EQ'ing, sort of a how to. Kind of hard to search for "eq" with the tb engine. can anyone show me the thread links.

    thanks
     
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    Here ya go -

    just remember, there are no set in stone rules. Your bass, amp, speakers, and style will have an impact on the tone. Also, not all eq's are created equal, some do a much better job than others.

    Lows - 60 Hz - 120 Hz. This is where the fundamentals (lowest harmonics) of your bass notes are. Most of the power and depth of your tone is here too. Boosting at the low end of this range can give you a lot of depth, but may be too much for your cabinets. Boosting at the upper end of this range can give you a “full” tone, but often becomes “muddy“. Cutting the lows can tighten up your sound, and give you more room to turn your amp up.

    Low Mids - 120 Hz - 600 Hz. Boosting somewhere in the 120 Hz - 360 Hz range can give you a rounder, more present and defined tone. These are the fundamentals of the high-register notes on the bass. Too much can get “cloudy” sounding. Scooping 120 to 360 Hz can tighten tone down low, but might make upper-register fills disappear in the mix. From 350 Hz - 600 Hz there can be a lot of “quack” and “honk” and a lot of people cut here a bit. However, boosting 500 Hz with the bridge pickup soloed can give you a great “jaco” tone.

    High Mids - 600 Hz - 3 kHz. Boosting somewhere from 600 Hz - 1 kHz can bring out higher harmonics add some growl and edge, and help you cut through. Sometimes this gets too harsh though. Cutting there can open up the tone a bit. Boosting around 1 kHz - 3 kHz can add string noise and get harsh as well, but can add a lot of definition and snap. Cutting here “mellows out” the tone.

    Highs - 3 kHz - 20 kHz. Boosting around 4 kHz can add a lot of brilliance and presence, but finger noise can be a bit much. Likewise, cutting here can remove a lot of “clatter”. Boosting above 4 kHz usually adds “sparkle” and “air”, but can get noisy and add a lot of hiss. Unless you use a tweeter, you wont hear much from this range anyway.
     
  3. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    And it sounds better to cut what you have too much of than to boost what you lack. Too busy to explain at length, but Google awaits...
     
  4. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    absolutely
     
  5. pierce

    pierce freethinker

    May 25, 2000
    San Francisco, Ca

    when you have time, that would be great.
     
  6. pierce

    pierce freethinker

    May 25, 2000
    San Francisco, Ca
  7. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i think what lyle was getting at is that the less eq, the better. More often than not, the "problem" in your tone is that a certain frequency area or 2 is muddying up your tone or masking what you want to hear. By cutting out the problematic frequencies, your tone improves w/o any boosting needed. Boosting also tends to inject more noise into the signal. For example, a lot of times you can get a "rounder" more "bassey" tone by cutting the mids in the right place, or get hyped up clarity simply by cutting the lows.

    one of the things to watch out for is the "curse of the smiley faced eq". On a graphic eq this looks like a big smile - boosted highs and lows, and cut mids. This can sound awesome, but in a full band setting the bass can virtually dissapear. Many a bass player has dialed in "the sound" at home only to find themseves inaudible at rehearsal or a gig. They're left wondering why their 2 thousand dollar 800 watt amp just won't cut it - meanwhile they're amplifying no mids (which is most of what people can hear).
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    The cut v. boost debate has more to do with purity of tone.

    Cutting frequencies at the amp merely subtracts from the bass' intrinsic timbre. By contrast, boosting frequencies above flat at the amp injects the characteristic coloration from the amp.

    Of course, many of us buy amps precisely for their coloration. There's nothing "wrong" with boosting; it just depends on what you like.
     
  9. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    I wasn't thinking of purity of tone or of adding character from an amp. I was discussing a pure EQ circuit. Boosting adds noise, distortion, and can affect phase in unpleasing ways. A parametric is better in these areas than a graphic, but boosting is still not the best option regardless of the EQ.

    In an amp, it can get complicated, as tone stacks don't behave like a dedicated EQ, and the controls are usually very interactive.
     
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    IvanMike, I love your explanation above. To be nitpicky, I'd add one more subsection: 120 to 360 Hz. These are the fundamentals of the high-register notes on the bass. Scooping these can tighten tone down low, but might make upper-register fills disappear in the mix.
     
  11. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    hey fuzzy - i liked your addition so much i added it to the original post - thanks!
     
  12. pierce

    pierce freethinker

    May 25, 2000
    San Francisco, Ca
    i didnt see it come thru
     
  13. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i did - i seamlessley added his information thru the magic of cut and paste and a little rewording here and there - like a great surgeon :p
     
    The_Lucek likes this.
  14. MichaelScott

    MichaelScott

    Jul 27, 2004
    Moorpark CA
    :hyper:

    Great words of wisdom.
    Between this thread and the one on the Ohms I just have one thing to say:

    IvanMike for President!
     
  15. This is very true, my sound when im playing with the band is probly the opposite of what I like when im practicing.
     
  16. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    lol

    now here's one post i'll have to show my ex-wife
     
  17. Let me show you a funny EQ pic.


    Take a close look at the SVT4's eq.
     
  18. josh_m

    josh_m

    May 5, 2004
    Davie, Fl
    Ouch, thats one (very poor) way to get more volume out of your rig I guess?
     
  19. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    I usually have a flat Eq..let my fingers make the tone as much as possible..then if im having trouble hearing ill boost a little bit around 200 to 500 or maybe 800..but flat is the best way to go i think to start off.