Eqing Modulation - Need advice

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jd_watt, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    Hello, I've been putting some flanging and phase shifting on my bass - sounds I really like when I practice. I have a problem though: when I play with my band, They don't come through at all.

    Now I'm going to answer part of my own question: it's because I cut some mids in my normal tone. I now thats frowned upon by most here, but for 90% of my playing, it sounds great in my electronic-based band. The mids needed to deliver the modulation, don't sound good on the clean tone.

    So, Im just wondering how everyone else is using eq/mixing/amping their phased and flanged sounds. They sound good, but I don't want to change my overall sound for a few swooshes here and there. Thanks!
  2. Hey there.

    I've been in very much the same boat as you in regards to difficulties with modulation, so maybe my (limited) expertise can help.

    Without going into your current amp and cabinet setup (although it might help a little bit more if everyone here knew what gear you are running, because they are just as important in your overall eq'ing as the knobs on the front of your amp), my suggestions are two-fold.

    You might first want to consider how extreme the settings on your flanger or phaser are set. The first things I have done in your shoes is experiment with the resonance and dry/wet mix knobs (if there are any). You are absolutely correct in understanding that the mids are where modulation is most heard/felt, so one way to compensate for cutting your mids is to make the effect more aggressive. Although depending on how subtle you need those effects to be, this may be out of the question.

    Second, I used to enjoy a pretty scooped tone myself but was (am :p) very big on effects and also had this exact issue. One complex (and slightly asinine, I freely confess) way I got around that was to run all of my modulation in a parallel A/B looper with an eq pedal appropriately boosting my mids back to the desired level after them so that I could freely go from my "clean" to "effected" signals in one stomp. Some people might call that overkill, but I was young and had a decent disposable income from a part time job and no bills, so it wasn't out of the question for me. I will say that by going that route, you run the risk of introducing a decent and potentially intolerable amount of noise into your signal, especially if you have single coil pickups that hum a lot.

    Then there is also the third option which would be just finding a way to live with more mids in your tone (this was the least frustrating and time consuming course of action for me, and therefore the one I chose to pursue) but from your post I gather this isn't an option, which won't hurt my feelings in the slightest :D

    Anyway, I hope this helps and if it doesn't, someone who knows way more than I do should be along shortly to help you get it squared away.

  3. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    Hey, thank you very much for the thoughtful response - much appreciated!

    That's kind of funny, I was considering tapping an eq at the same time as my phase/flange. A bit overkill? Yes, totally, but maybe worth trying.

    I think your decision to just keep more mids was probably the most "headache" free method to go with. It's probably what I'll adjust to in the long run.

    One thing I'm trying to keep in mind: I'd like to bring some modulation in for those quieter, spaced-out jams, but I don't want to do anything drastic that's going to upset the entire mix that the band has going. I'd rather let the guitarist be the source of the soundman's woes :)
  4. omie


    Apr 5, 2011
    I use an xotic blender as a modulation loop. The blend section has bass-high EQ and volume controls when activated, I've found that boosting the highs really helps a phaser stand out while maintaining your fundamental bass tone... Blend to taste. If you still need more mids, add an EQ pedal. Although it takes up a lot of space, it can be extremely flexible and eliminates trying to tap dance multiple pedals on at the same time.
  5. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    Good advise, thanks!

    Can anyone point to a few players/songs that utilize phasers, flangers, etc? I'm trying to hear how they sound within a recorded band context. First couple that come to mind are Strangle Hold By Ted Nugent, much of Tool's output, and a few tracks by the Cure.

    Any other suggestions?