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Live EQ

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Steven Melensen, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. Steven Melensen

    Steven Melensen

    Aug 2, 2005
    Hi guys!

    I'll do a show with my rock band in a couple of days and since it's a little gig, we will be our own soundman. So I would like to know what are the best eq setting for live performances (not only the bass but the other instruments).

    We are four musicians : 1 bass/back vocal, 1 rythm guitar/lead vocal, 1 lead guitar/back vocal and 1 drummer. We all have a 3 band eq (vocals included, but not the drum). For one song, I will play piano (on a keyboard). So the song does not have bass guitar in it (I play the bass notes with my left hand).

    So that's it. Thanks in advance for your answers.
  2. jacove


    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    Well, thats just nearly impossible to say! Depends on your instruments, the room and who is playing....The best advice is to start from scratch and then take one instrument at a time...use your ears and try make room for every instrument, plus try to make every instrument sound good in itself...make sure the drums are tuned etc..
  3. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    Yeah live eq changes from venue to venue hence the need for sound guys who do it every night as opposed to setting the PA up once and then never show up again. If your just using the desk start with everything centered then work through each instrument. Use the sweeping mid(s) to find certain frequencies that are causing trouble and try and cut them a bit...or completley. If your using a graphic eq do the same thing, set the whole thing flat do a bit of one twoing clicking and what not into the mike and start pulling out the dodgy frequencies.Make sure to speak with low tones as well to try and cover as much bandwidth with your voice. Even knowing what frequency is causing the problem can take a while to learn Id compare it to learning intervals by ear. you know if someone plays two notes on their bass or whatever and you can tell what interval it is just by listening. You have to train your ear so you can go "hmm that sounds like 250hz is causing problems"....not something you can do straight off.

    A rule of thumb is that its always better to cut than boost. Use lows and highs on the desk as needed to compensate for the room boosting or cutting them and to shape the sound slightly to get things to cut through.Although even doing that is tricky enough. Apparently high mids tend to make things cut through but too much can make the sound very piercing, literally almost painful to hear especially if your guitarist is going for one of those classic rock real high on the fret board with the string bent almost to the point of breaking sustained notes.
    After working with a pro sound engineer/drummer and a big rig with all the bells and whistles I've seen first hand what goes into getting sound right and that its not really something that you can do without some idea of what your doing. Some sound engineers have studied this for years and have years of experience on top of that. Its quite difficult just to come along and pick it up.

    That said thats exactly what my band is going to be doing for the next while so if anyone has some articles or links on live sound engineering I'd appreciate it alot.

    Oh and anything I've said here I've picked up over the last couple of months of being out gigging so maybe some of the more experienced TB'ers can add or detract from what I've said.
  4. ebladeboi123


    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    As a bass player, every sound man has told me repeatly, it's better to turn down and let him take care of you. So, if you're going to mic/di (Di is HIGHLY reconmended by me, my opinion of course), don't make yourself insanely loud. Next, remember, that in soundcheck, you want you're bass to be a LITTLE bit to much (NOT ALOT, just a bit). As humans act as like a sponge to bass, and basically soak it up. So if you're expecting alot of people in a small enclosed atmosphere, boosting the bass just a little can't hurt. As for the rest of the band, just start with cutting the stuff. Honestly, if you have NO idea what you're doing at all, i would just do a very close to flat eq (except vocals), and just try to eq everything from an amp/bass. Have a band member stand where other people will be, (hopefully he has an idea of the wanted tone), and just talk to the other player and tell what has to get done. It may take awhile, but it can be worth it.

    I may be completly wrong, this is just what i've expirenced with my recent gigging.