EQ question... is this a crazy idea??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by adouglas, Jul 28, 2003.

  1. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    I had a thought the other night (a rare event, and one that occasionally results in shrapnel wounds).

    In our modest PA we've got this Behringer graphic EQ that has a built-in real-time-analyzer and pink noise generator. It's very handy... we just place the reference mic out in the room, punch one button and the EQ automatically compensates for room acoustics. Neat.

    You can set it to match a sound you know you like, or you can set it to try to get as close to flat as possible.

    So, just out of morbid curiosity, I was thinking of plugging the sucker into my bass cab to see what it comes up with if I ask it for "flat" response. Naturally I'd ignore all the higher frequencies... but presumably this exercise would give me a realistic baseline EQ to play with, rather than assuming that setting all the knobs at 12 o'clock will give me flat response.

    See, I KNOW that cabinets color the tone (plug a different cabinet into your amp with everything set to "flat" and the sound changes, right?). The same goes for room acoustics. So therefore I KNOW I've never actually heard what "flat" is. I'm reasonably sure that I won't like it, but it would be nice to find out.

    Am I nuts? I'm going to try it anyway since I can't hurt anything, but I was just wondering what you all thought of the idea.
  2. GrooveSlave


    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    It sounds interesting to me. I'd like to hear what your results are.
  3. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    Could be interesting. A couple of things I'd think about: (1) Your amp is unlikely to be putting out a flat signal. This means that even if your cab is ruler-flat, the measured response won't be flat. (2) Even more to the point, your bass is unlikely to be putting out a flat signal. So again, even if your amp and cab are perfectly flat, your measured response won't be.
  4. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    Have fun! you're probably right that you've never actually heard "flat" and if you did you probably didn't like it. I've been told that most consumer stereo speakers, I know we're talking bass cabs, are made with an intentional "smiley face" eq curve. When they are "flat" on the stereo unit, the actual output of the speakers has a little more bass and treble than "flat".

    My recording engineer teacher told me that. The first time I played my favorite CD through the speakers in studio control room I thought It would sound great, but it didn't. Light on bass and dull on treble, because if it sounded good in the studio (bad choice of words) and you make a CD and play it on a regular stereo it would be too boomy and too hot on treble. Many of the student made the mistake of making it sound like they WANTED to hear it rather than FLAT.

    EDIT: Interesting side note. Listening to my favorite album in the studio tonally didn't sound all that great, but I heard more of the little details of the music, between instruments, intricasies or performance than I have ever heard! I don't know if that was just the speakers Yamaha NS-10s or the amp(purple and silver something)? or the mixer yamaha O2R. I know the CD player was an ancient JVC something or other. still sounded good for the details.
  5. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    No you're not nuts. I think I remember Bavin saying he did something similar, much to the disgust of the club owner who hated the pink noise.

    Let us know how it goes.
  6. been thinking about trying it myself. Let me know how it works out.
  7. When you do it, be sure to start with the lowest notes showing even on the EQ, then adjust *down* the hotter mids. You are doing a CUT of the mids, and not a boost of the lows. Your speakers will live longer.
  8. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Good advice. The question is wether or not the EQ unit is programmed that way. Something tells me it won't be. You may have to replicate the EQ curve manually but with the lows set even.
  9. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    you learn something new on TB everday. :)