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Mid Frequency...what does it do?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by PanteraFan, Jun 2, 2001.

  1. I was recently looking at an Ibanez BTB, and I noticed that the preamp has a bass boost/cut, treble boost/cut, a mid boost/cut, and a mid frequency(mid boost/cut and freq. stacked). But, I have no idea what type of effect the mid frequency has on sound qualities. I now that cutting the mids produces a wah effect, is the frequency comparable to this?
  2. Tyler Dupont

    Tyler Dupont Wesly Headpush

    Play with the knobs and find out :p
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Mids add warmth and thicker texture, if the preamp is any good. They also allow you to cut through in a band that has a dense sound, (e.g., the overdriven guitar through a Marshall stack).

    "Scooped" is a sound where it is all bass and treble. Rock bassists, historically, have favored this sound and you can see it on their amps' graphic EQ's where the lower and higher frequencies, (left and right hand controls), are all pushed up and the mids, in the middle of the graphic, are all pushed down, otherwise known as the "smile" or "U." Electric bassists, in general, these days are paying more attention to the quality and level of their mids, IMO.

    Cutting the mids doesn't produce a "wah" effect. All it does is make the sound more "glassy" or aggressive.
  4. Then how come I read on a effect page that a wah pedal affects the mids when you press it?

    And it's hard to play with the knobs when you are looking at the specs over the internet:D
  5. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    TECHNICALLY that's how a wah works, but only in effect pedal form. It has a much greater frequency range and a much more dramatic dip, or bump, I can't remember which, and it moves back and forth through the frequency range faster. Anywho, if you sat there and swept the knob back and forth on a bass preamp you wouldn't really hear a wah effect; it's much more subtle than that.

    Basically, it gives you flexibility. If you need low-mids to cut through the band, as said before, you set the frequency to a lower setting, and then boost as needed. Or, say your bass sounds a little too high-middy (?), then you would set the mid freq. on a higher setting, affecting the higher mids, and then cut them out. I'm not a fan of high mids myself. I have a sweepable mids on my amp, but usually just use it to give the signal a bump at around 200hz.

    Generally, low-mids are in the 150-400hz range, with high mids going to ABOUT 400hz to 1.5khz. So, your mid-shift would let you cut/boost at any given point between 150hz to 1.5khz. These numbers vary from preamp to preamp, so check out what the specific numbers are with Ibanez if you want to know.
  6. So essentially, with my stacked mid-freq and mid boost/cut, I can boost/cut my low-mids, high-mids, and mid-mids?
  7. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
  8. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Yes, just not all at the same time. You move the freq knob to one position, and that's where you cut/boost.
  9. If the mid frequency knob had #s on it, 1 would be for the lowest mids and 10 would be the highest mids. Wherever the knob is at, the cut/boost would only affect the mids that the other knob is at.
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I tried a couple of Wal basses in the Bass Centre in London which had mid controls like this and they confused me for about an hour - eventually I gave in and asked Grant, but didn't understand the explanation anyway!

    I have heard some players get really great sounds out of Wal basses; but as I say I fiddled with them for nearly an hour and couldn't find one decent tone that I would use at a gig - lots of strange, extreme sounds, but nothing "usable". I think this was probably because I like a lot of mids in the sound and what these controls were doing was cutting out large areas of the midrange.

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