List of EQ frequencies to accomplish diff things on bass?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mikeddd, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. mikeddd


    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Awhile back someone posted in a thread here (yeah, descriptive, I know) a list of EQ frequencies to cut/boost in order to accomplish different things. The list was very descriptive. Something along the lines of (freqs not correct, obviously)

    100Hz cuts "woof"
    80Hz adds depth
    Cutting 1K reduces gank
    Boosting 800Hz "does this"
    Boosting 2KHz adds "tingle" to slap

    Real descriptive like that.

    I go into EQ meltdown when trying to adjust the tone controls and parametric on my HBP-1. I get a good sound, but then I want another type of sound and spend the next week trying to figure things out. A list like I described would be helpful...I've seen it here before but can't find it now.
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  3. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    EQing back in the [gap frequency from some poor response in your signal chain] makes things sound more natural.
    bostrowskij likes this.
  4. I have found this guide to be quite useful.

    30Hz - 80Hz: The sub-bass region. Be careful when boosting in this range; your speakers might not be happy if you boost too much.

    80Hz - 150Hz: The bass region. Boost and cut in this region to change the amount of bass in your sound.

    150Hz - 500Hz: If your bass sounds too muddy, try cutting in this region. If it needs a little warmth, try boosting in this region.

    500Hz - 900Hz: Boosting in this region can add mid-range growl to your tone. Cutting in this region can make things clean and pristine.

    900Hz - 3kHz: Boosting in this region can bring out attack. Cutting in this region can help create a rounder tone.

    Above 3kHz: Cutting can bring down the noise without much effect on the signal. Boosting can add a sense of air and space.

  5. mikeddd


    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Great start guys! Thanks! This thread could turn out to be a great resource for a lot of players. :cool:
    Dust2Dust and NateC75 like this.
  6. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    30hz to 60hz: MOST bass rigs CAN NOT do this range of sound too well. Some bass rigs can. Boosting here will add more depth to your tone, but can easily push your rig to the max if you are not careful. Best to not boost this zone too often, if at all.

    200hz to 400hz - The magic zone for bass players. Thickens up finger style bass lines. Too much here will cause your tone to sound really muddy. Just enough here will allow you to sit in the mix quite nicely.

    500hz to 800hz - Between nasal and string growl. Hard to explain, but do not cut too much here if you are trying to CUT THROUGH a mix. However, reduce this range if your guitarists are midrange heavy players and instead focus playing with the low mids and low end of your bass.

    900hz to 3khz is the edgy and bright attack range that will allow your finger style notes to have definition and will allow your pick playing tones to stand out.

    4khz to 10khz: Adds fingerboard noise along with more clarity on high notes. Comes through your tweeter. Sounds terrible with a distortion effect pedal - for some, this is a desirable effect.

    Start with EQ knobs at the flat position for that particular amp. Small adjustments will get you what you want tone wise.
  7. Ric_thumb60659

    Ric_thumb60659 Guest

    Oct 6, 2011
    Great thread! I've learned a lot about EQing over the years but never thought to break it down like this. This really helps a lot.
    Dust2Dust and JimEOT like this.
  8. Ben Noblit

    Ben Noblit Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
  9. blowinblue

    blowinblue Kind of not blue. Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2006
    SoCal USA
    Your Demeter HBP-1 has tone controls that are not 'flat' set at straight up noon. But you probably knew that. During the time that I owned (and enjoyed) mine, I called James himself and got his recommendation for as close to a 'flat' setting as possible.

    Parametric: off
    Presence: off
    Treble: 11:00 o'clock
    Mids: 3:00 o'clock
    Bass: 1:00 o'clock

    For me this was a great starting point in getting to know that preamp. :)

    M. M.
    Count Bassie likes this.
  10. I cut'n'pasted this ages ago from somewhere. It's for recording, but it could give you a few ideas to try....
    Start by rolling all the bottom off (from 100Hz and lower) then use the "low-mid" E.Q. to find the bass sound you want. Then slowly dial back the low frequencies to taste. Most of the "punch" comes from the "low-mid" range.

    Cut "highs" during mixing. A bass track that sounds good "soloed" is NOT appropriate for many mixes. Cut the deep lows (150Hz and below.) They can swamp the playback equipment. Boost 1 to 2kHz for "fret noise" (may sound ugly "soloed" but adds articulation in the mix !) Try to cut and bring level up rather than boost. Make sure "kick" & "bass" aren't in the same area of the spectrum.

    The lower the volume the quieter the low frequencies. Check mix at different volumes.
    E.Q. settings should be finalized in the context of the complete mix.

    BEATLE BASS - Boost 100Hz by 2 or 3dB, (if you don't use a pick then boost 3kHz by 3 to 6dB.) To make "smoother & warmer" cut 12 to 18kHz ("hi eq") by 6dB.

    SILLY LOVE TONE (McCartney) - (Similar to Beatle Bass with more warmth.) Boost 100Hz by a few dB then boost 500Hz by 6dB or so. Cut 300Hz by about 3dB and cut 12kHz by 6dB. [Good for ballads, rockin' blues or shuffle.]
    BASS IN YOUR FACE (Aggressive John Entwistle sound.) - Boost 1 to 2 kHz by 6 to 9dB. Cut 200Hz by 6dB. For more "brittle" sound cut 100Hz by 2 or 3dB. This will help a busy bass line to slice through the mix.

    TWANG THANG (C&W"ish") - To accentuate "twang" : Cut 200 to 250Hz by 6dB or so. (Good for reducing "mud".) Boost equivalent amount of 1kHz for "twang". Boost 100Hz by 1 or 2dB.

    MO-BETTER MOTOWN (OR REGGAE) - (Smooth muted tone.) Cut 1kHz by 5 or 6dB. Boost 200Hz by 3dB. Boost 100Hz slightly. Cut high end ("hi eq") by 6dB or so. For "reggae" sound - boost a few more "dB's" of "low end".

    MOTOWN (More punchy and aggressive.) - As above but instead of cutting 1kHz, cut 5kHz by 6dB or more. (Both the "mo-better motown" & "motown" sounds work nicely in a mix cluttered with mid-range elements such as guitar, piano & horns.)

    JACO JAZZ (Jazz sound) (also good for fretless bass) - Boost 1kHz by 6dB or so. Cut 200Hz by as much as 9dB or more. Boost 100Hz by 1 or 2dB. Cut 12kHz ("hi eq") by 1 or 2dB. For "Marcus Miller" sound - cut at 800Hz rather than 200Hz.
    charlie ford, hintz, jmlee and 3 others like this.
  11. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Many bass amps have a built-in notch around 400-500 Hz, e.g. the classic "Fender tone stack", where the best approximation to "flat" is 1 bass - 10 mid - 1 treble. This is a range where other instruments (and voice) dominate, so you don't need or want a whole lot of it to fit in the mix.

    I personally don't care for amps with that built-in cut. I want to be able to adjust the depth of the cut, occasionally (but not often) dialing it out altogether.
  12. N.F.A.


    Jun 25, 2009
    In a blue funk
    Potentially one of the most practical threads I've read. Wish I had something to contribute that hasn't already been said.
    ASQTec likes this.
  13. They all have names, according to 80's Peavey engineers. :D

  14. mikeddd


    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Actually, I did NOT know that, so thanks very much, blowinblue!

    Great posts so far. Thank you everyone.

  15. mikeddd


    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    MO-BETTER MOTOWN. That's just awesome. :D
  16. cchorney


    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    I always liked the way some manufacturers do it, where they give you the settings for that device to his a certain sound, like page 19 here or pages 4 and 5 here Of course, these "presets" don't give you the knowledge to do troubleshooting (like how to cut rumble or cut hiss, for a couple of obvious ones), but they do give most people what they want.
    maestrovert likes this.
  17. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    This thread deserves a bump!
  18. hoey23 likes this.
  19. Balog


    Mar 19, 2009
    Everett, WA
    It can help to practice with recorded music you know well through headphones or speakers you know well too. 31 bands are cheap, and even though not as precise as a good para can really give you a feel for each freq.