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EQ Settings for a live soul sound

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by supakneegrow, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. supakneegrow


    Dec 15, 2012
    Yonkers, NY
    I'm curious about the lowest common denominator for EQ settings for achieving a good bassy live soul sound emphasizing warmth and roundness but remaining clear. I mention "Lowest common denominator" because im looking for a good base-line to work out from (I often am using lots of different amps depending on the backline available).

    I tend to go heavy on the mid range and lows but fighting mud can often be an issue.
  2. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    As you may well know, there is no perfect eq setting that does it all, so it's case or tailoring what you have to get 'your' sound.

    If mud is the only issue I would recommend getting an in expensive parametric eq, something like the Artec SE-PEQ. You can then dial in the heavy low end you want on the amp you are playing through, and notch out the muddy frequency.

    Or, get your own preamp unit, whether it's a pedal or multi fx unit, amp modeller etc. Use that to get 'your tone' and set the supplied backline amp as close to neutral as you can and use it literally as a basic amplifier - to make your sound louder. You can also then use the eq on the amp to compensate for room acoustics.
  3. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Eq is to flatten/neutralize a rooms acoustics

    Deep bassy =sound subharminic synthesizer+ subs
  4. abemo


    Feb 27, 2012
    Arvada, co
    Try boosting around 200 and dropping the lower eqs, bass is not actually a bass freq instrument, its closer to low mid, so when you overdo the low eq it gets muddy. Also, if you want smooth tone, drop the highs way down, let it ride with the low mids and then tweak from there.

    Using flats insteads of rounds helps too.
  5. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Are you talking amp or pa?
  6. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    Asking about EQing in general is about the same thing as asking about odors over the internet.
    -Smell good to you does not necessary smell good to me.
    -What do you mean by "smell good" ?
    -I use to take This & that product and it smells exactly what your describing.
    -Just remove a little citrus

    There are sooooooo many variables , you have to be there to hear it.

    There is no magic recipe.

    Use your ear.
  7. 40Hz is absolutely a bass frequency. The bass guitar is a bass instrument, even electric guitar is.

    But I get what you're trying to say anyway. Anything under about 60Hz is pretty worthless musically.
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    There is none. Here's what I do when I'm not using my own amplification*:

    Starting with my bass, turn the volume up and center the EQs. Then...

    Set the EQ on the amp flat, turn any voicing switches off. Turn the gain(s) on the amp up to gig volume and see what I've got.

    Tweaking EQ at less than gig volume on a gig is pointless IME. Forget what sounded good at home unless you were practising at gig volumes in the mix. And the biggest tonal variant I've come across is the individual player. Your touch matters... I know guys that I can hand my bass to and while I had it sounding like Jamerson, they can make it sound bright like stanley Clarke. That's cool if that's the vibe you're after, if not, figure out why you sound one way and the next guy doesn't and then you should have at least those two tones in your arsenal and you can build from there.

    Because the same EQ tweak will give you different results with different heads, cabs, basses and players, focusing on a particular tweak again is pretty pointless. Do what I described then LISTEN. What do you think is not desired? That's the key. And don't fall into the trap of adding EQ because you think you need more of something. Quite often the best way to get more of what you want is by removing what you don't want to let the other frequencies shine. Let's say you want to fatten up the sound, do you add what you think will fatten it up or do you pull back the highs to let the rest come forward in the mix?

    That's the trick.

    *it's also what I use with my own amplification.
  9. supakneegrow


    Dec 15, 2012
    Yonkers, NY
    thanks guys so much great food for thought!
  10. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    Keep in mind, what works for one room will not work for another. Acoustics are going to mess with you every night. Learn what each frequency sounds like and keep experimenting. Then you will know what to boost and cut in a live situation.

    I highly suggest cutting frequencies that are too strong FIRST, then BOOST only a LITTLE at a time to see what works for you. In many cases, cutting the strong sounding frequencies makes it easier to hear your bass tone. You may not even need to boost.
  11. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    Cut to fix, boost to shape.

    Meaning, only cut to fix a bad sound, but boost to enhance the tone you have. Avoid boosting frequencies to fix a weak frequency - you can add in what isn't there.

    However, you can boost the 'sweet spots' of your tone that are already to bring out the qualities you require. More attack? boost around 800hz, more punch? boost 150hz etc.

    So, always cut first to fix maybe a boom, mud or resonance, then shape the sound as needed to gel with the rest of the band.

    it would be worth learning how the frequency spectrum affects the bass guitar, so when you do play through an unfamiliar amp you'll be able to quickly adjust it to get a pleasant tone.

    Munjibunga put together a helpful list of frequencies and how they affect the bass guitar in another thread: