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EQing issues

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by HugheJapackage, May 1, 2010.

  1. Ok so I've been playing with this band where both guitarists are constantly boosting their lows and cutting their mids. And to me it sounds like garbage. There's no definition and it sounds like mess. The guys are really cool but they're not used to being in bands where as the rest of us are and we know how bad it would sound at gig volume. I've tried explaining it to them but they're convinced that they need to boost their lows for a more "punchy"(I hate that word now) tone. How can I gently explain to them that they have no idea what they're talking about? They're both good friends of mine and I don't wanna be a jerk but we would sound so much better if their lows weren't up so much.
  2. Try to explain that the mids are a good thing. The highs and lows are the extremes. The real tone of every instrument is in the mids. Also try to explain the concept of slotting frequencies. Where "you cover the bass" and "they cover the mids and highs."
  3. Try recording it, hearing how bad it sounds might help.

    My biggest problem with it is gui****s are consistently a little out of tune, so they'd clash BIG time with me if they hit an open E same time I did. You get the beat freqs, the wa-wa-wa thing you use to tune with.

    If that doesn't work, bet a fuzz pedal and start playing way up the neck, doing chords. Tell them no need to play the bass parts, they have that covered. Tell them you're going to enjoy taking fuzz solos from now on.

  4. Beginner Bass

    Beginner Bass

    Jul 8, 2009
    Round Rock, TX
    A&R, Soulless Corporation Records
    Do a little test. Get some black construction paper or something to cover the EQs, set it to a handful of settings, play through a song, and ask them which they liked most. And then you can prove that you were right all along, and they will bow down while chanting "All hail the bassist". Well, something like that.
  5. +1

    I'll never understand why some guitar players are so concerned about their low end when there's an entire other person in the band with an instrument dedicated to handling exactly that aspect of the sound.
  6. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
  7. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    I use a Zoom H4 at every gig.
    Sure guitars need some bottom but not to the point of walking all over the bassist's turf.
    Besides the fuzz, get a cheap octave box/harmonizer and set it to push you an octave or two higher into their turf. Again repeat the bass is covered by them.

    I'm really glad I don't have that problem.
    If the above fails, kick their a$$es?

    Kidding. The recording should do it.

    As far as tuning issues, make everyone have a REAL tuner and use it. We have two keyboards, two guitars, and bass and only have slight issues when outdoors in heat(wooden necks). Even then, we know to check & fix tuning quick between songs if it sounds funny.
  8. ive played guitar for a number of years and come to a very simple conclusion about EQ settings and guitars. a 3 band EQ just doesnt cut it. EVER. bass gets at least 7 these days.. why are guitar amps (short of a couple carvins and mesas) still using a 3 band? theres no way that your tonal nirvana is hanging out at those particular frequencies.

    i understand what they want. they want a low mid punch in there. but with 12 inch speakers and likely closed back cabs.. most likely a shelving EQ on the lows, they are bringing up thumpy garbage with it. this makes everyone sound bad.

    the solution is an EQ pedal. a cheap one even. they need to cut anything below 100 and watch their 150. they want aggression, push the 700-3k. dump a little 500hz honk and add a little 300hz bark to compensate.

    you cant do that with 3 knobs.

    but they wont ever agree to this until they hear it for themselves. and even when/if they do, they might not care. this is when you know you have gui****s.

    being an audio guy, my band kinda listens close when i talk about frequencies and whatnot. my bassist has never sounded better, and i make DAMN sure that we dont trample him with our guitars. he cuts sub lows so the room doesnt get boomy and makes up with low mid. now he can hear himself and my head doesnt hurt.

    the drummer on the other hand.. jeez. another thread entirely.
  9. If they're playing by themselves, the extra bottom makes it sound fuller because there's no bass player. Bad enough they can't figure out it's not needed in a band situation because there IS a bass player, but once its pointed out there's really no excuse for it. Stupid can be fixed with knowlege. Stupid and stubborn? Not so much...

    I've run into this more with country players than rock though.

    Tempted to punch them every time they say they like a "punchy" tone. "Ok, happy to oblige...." BAM. Like the old Hawaiian Punch commercials.

  10. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA

    Musicians should eq their rigs at practice, not their bedrooms. Have a discussion about the relative roles that the instruments should play and how they do that. Bedroom musicians will not have the understanding of the other instruments' roles as well as gigging musicans. You're going to have to lead them by the hand.
  11. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    The guitarist I work with is very good about leaving me sonic space. His tone by itself is very crunchy, with some mid scoop, and enough low end so that it doesn't sound too thin.

    I myself crank up my mids, and cut out the extreme lows because I need a pretty tight sound for a lot of my parts to work. Together, we have a nice tight sound. Extreme lows are left to the bass drum.

    We've had lead guitarists that scoop ALL their mids, but their sound tends to get lost as background fuzz if they're not playing high notes.

    Just explain that what sounds great by itself doesn't always work in the context of a band, as adding more instruments adds more sonic complexity.
  12. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    This is quite true. It's a problem that affects keyboard/piano players as well, as often they play solo and therefore don't have to keep track of time as much as one does in a band situation. It seems they also often tend to want to cover bass notes as well, provoking the wrath of many a bassist.
  13. billhilly66


    Aug 25, 2007
    Plano, TX
    The tuning deal with a lot of gui****s is that they don't have their intonation set on their guitars. I've seen lots of em use a tuner and then look all perplexed when they play a chord up on the neck and it sounds like crap.
  14. I like that idea. Next time he says he needs his punchy tone, I'll punch him.
  15. makaky


    Mar 26, 2004
    Montreal Canada
    This is a quote from a sound engineer with a couple of grammys behing his belt...
    " Everything is happening in the mids"
  16. skidrawk


    Jan 21, 2007
    Space City, TX
    I played with some very old dear friends of mine last week and this happened. Old band talking about a reunion of sorts and they haven't had a bassist in over a decade. I told them to !@#$ turn their bass frequencies down and throw in some mids. I just figured being nice about it wasn't the way to handle it. They obliged and the jam went awesome. :hyper: :bassist:

    At least I am getting the respect I never got back when I was in the band the first go round.
  17. Beginner Bass

    Beginner Bass

    Jul 8, 2009
    Round Rock, TX
    A&R, Soulless Corporation Records
    Explain to them that them boosting their lows is stepping on your toes.
  18. They said my toes were big enough and they had room :rollno:
  19. then you've got gui****s.
  20. DeluxeRed


    Jun 2, 2009
    YOU have the big gun. Use it.

    When they get tired of you stepping on THEIR toes, then tell them to get the hell out of your space and find and fill their own.

    YOU are the bass player. BASS. Own it.

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