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Fretboard EQ map?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by LSMFT6, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. LSMFT6

    LSMFT6 Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    Wasn't sure which forum to post this in, just a question I've always had.

    Is there a reference list of specific frequencies to boost/cut to affect specific areas of your fretboard? For example, if your G string is quieter above the 15th fret than the surrounding frets/strings, or if your A string is louder below the 5th fret than the surrounding frets/strings, which frequencies would you boot/cut to correct the problem?

    I'm familiar with graphic and parametric EQs, as well as compressors, so hopefully someone (soundguys?) already knows what I'm looking for, rather than alternate recommendations on how to correct string-to-string balance. Thanks!
  2. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    A compressor will help, but a set-up is the first step.

    EQ is the wrong tool here, as the cuts you make to adjust one fundamental frequency will also cut into the overtones of other notes. Pretty soon, your tone will be Swiss cheese.
  3. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    That said, here's an answer to the question you asked. (You'll notice that going up an octave amounts to doubling the frequency of the lower octave note.)
  4. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    +1 on all counts. A decent compressor can balance out (to some degree) response t/o the fingerboard.

    Problem is that some folks insist upon setting EQ's by thumping the A string whilst standing two feet in front of the amp. They invariably end up with an EQ curve that sucks the livin' daylights from the balance of the fingerboard.

  5. Where note frequency is useful is hearing the frequencies which boom out and cutting the offending root frequency of the ring, not the played note.

    Often the bass cops blame for all the other instruments getting the room excited.
  6. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
  7. LSMFT6

    LSMFT6 Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    Thanks everyone
  8. sweep the leg, johnny.

  9. What you’re talking about in the first paragraph – highlighting a particular note - can be accomplished with a parametric EQ. Just dial in a tight filter – say, 1/12-octave or maybe a bit finer. Boost it a few dB, then sweep the frequency knob while you’re playing the note you’re concerned with. When you hit its fundamental frequency, you’ll hear the note “jump” out. Now that you’ve found the right frequency, you can then re-adjust the gain control to make that note the same level as the others. You can double-check by playing the two notes on either side of the one in question: If they have also increased in volume, then your filter is too broad. Basically you know you have it right if when you play an adjacent note, slightly move the frequency and then hear that note jump out. If that happens, you have filters tight enough to adjust individual notes. The same thing can be accomplished for notes that are weaker than the rest.

    That said, what you’re hearing might well be simply a function of where you are standing – no kidding. Move to a different location, and you might hear the problem disappear (although it might then “move” to another note).

    However, what you mentioned in the second paragraph – correcting “string-to-string balance” – can’t be readily accomplished with an equalizer. That’s typically going to be an issue with the pick-ups. For instance, the Steinberger I used to have always had a weak “G” string (alright, no jokes here!). Volume was weak all up and down the neck for that string. I raised the pickup on that side to compensate, to minimal effect. I even turned the pick-up around, and then had the “E” string weak. I eventually noticed that it had less magnetic strength on the “G” string side: Using a small screw driver, it definitely had a weaker “grab” on that side. So basically, the pick-up was defective.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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