Mids...boosted, flat or cut?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sundogue, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. I always boost them...I like mids

    77 vote(s)
  2. I leave my mids flat

    56 vote(s)
  3. I cut the mids...I do not like mids

    22 vote(s)
  1. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    In another post, the subject was brought up about cut mids leaving higher notes lost in the mix.

    Personally I do not like the harshness of mids…whether they are left flat or boosted.

    I like to attenuate my mids somewhat as I like a more “hi-fi” type sound. Of course a lot depends on the bass, the amp and the cab all working together. Some amps and/or cabs give great tone without having to cut mids at all. But I’ve found that through most amps/cabs I’ve played through, I will greatly cut the low-mids at around 224 Hz. I cut the hi-mids less at around 500-700 Hz. But I definitely like to cut the mids.

    I also use a compressor and turn the volume up more to accentuate the higher notes, while the lower notes get more compressed. With a compressor, I can achieve that “hi-fi” sound without compromising the higher notes. They still cut through the mix just fine…but without the harsh, hollow sound of the mids.

    So what do the rest of you do with mids? Boost them, cut them, or leave them flat? If you don’t cut them, but you don’t care for mids…What amp/cab combination do you use to get that sound?
  2. I love low-mids and high-mids. They help the bass cut through. :smug:
  3. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Any particular reason why you need to have the mids boosted for your bass to cut through?

    I'm curious as to why, as I cut my mids and my bass still cuts through the mix. It seems that the equipment used has a big effect on this (I hear a lot of Eden owners who leave everything flat for example).

    Also, what equipment do you use?
  4. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    and they love you....

  5. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Thanks...this is real informative. :rolleyes:
  6. MascisMan


    Nov 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    I think the main reason why mids cut through is because most guitar players play with cut mids so you are in essence using frequency ranges that are not being used therefore standing out more.
  7. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Aw, Sundogue, NJL didn't mean any harm - we all could do well to get in touch with our 'inner midrange!' :p


    FWIW, I try to leave things flat on my bass and lightly scoop the mids on the (pre)amp. I learned the hard way that too much scoopage can do very bad things when playing with a rock band.

  8. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    donkster, ya beat me to a reply! the dam phone keeps ringing. the last call was the Dept. of Mid Range Frequencies. man, they are loud on the phone, but they really got the message across and cut through. :smug: :p

    Sundogue - i'm a silly goose - humor is a good thing, especially when poking fun at the budman.

    in re mids - i like mine shaken, not stirred:

    SVP - EQ flat
    Warwick (2 Band) - more growl - raise the highs
    Jazz (Aggie 3 Band) - barely raise the mids; more growl - more bridge pickup and boost my highs

    BTW - I did a search and came up with this:


    searchs are fun ;)
  9. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    I recently just figured out that cutting the mids completely on my amp is the closest I can get to the tone in my head. My amp (a 15" w/tweeter combo) just sounds honky with mids. I also cut the lows just a little bit to eliminate boominess and boost the highs all the way. But keep in mind I play metal with flats. :bag:
  10. ok not really, but i do love that midrangey punchy sound. i have one of those little ampeg combos with style selector and i always boost the midrange plus i have a dod eq pedal which has the lower mids boosted-so in short i love da mids! :hyper:
  11. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Thanks for the replies...

    I don't go to extremes with cuts...typical happy face (on a graphic EQ)...well, not typical...more like mildly amused face.

    I agree that too much cut and, while it may sound great playing alone, out live it might be too weak.

    For obvious reasons mids on bass will give it more clarity...but sometimes it seems to give clarity at the expense of great tone (IMHO anyway).

    I just cannot deal with the hollow sound of the mids being boosted. It is way too annoying for me. Now, I play in a band with only a single guitarist that plays alot of leads and fingerpicking so he is not overwhelming my sound (like he really could anyway!). But I've played in bands with 2 guitar players and a keyboard and I still did not have to boost mids to cut through the mix. Part of it, I believe, is my use of compression that fattens up the entire range of frequencies of my bass. This allows me to have "my tone" and yet not have to boost mids in order to hear all the notes.

    I can see where in some bands, under certain circumstances, that boosting the mids will cut through hard driving guitar amps.

    Again thanks for the replies...keep 'em coming.
  12. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    I often scoop the mids when playing alone.

    However, in a band format I need that mid boost to cut through the mix. The difference it makes is HUGE....at least in a rock format with guitars and crushing drums.
  13. it depends upon the situation and the sound i'm trying to achieve. there is use for all three sounds in how i play.

    sometime i like to roll back to the bridge pickup and boost the mids for a nasally, funky tone. sometimes i like to cut them for a big, round tone. most of the time i leave everything flat. they all have their uses, though, and my favorite basses get great sounds out of all three.

  14. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Well, yes...for tonal variety I agree there is a use for different mid settings.

    There is one tune we do that I purposely boost the mids (which I do on my bass, not the amp) and play near the bridge. Occassionally I will boost the mids a bit (to a flat setting), depending on whether or not the guitarist is playing loud crunching chords (which still, for the most part, does not require a settings change...more of a "playing style" change...i.e.- nearer the bridge).

    However for the most part, I keep my mids cut. I don't play in a band that plays music that requires a lot of different sounds...so "my tone" is basically what I use throughout the night.
  15. I leave everything flat on my amp, and that includes the mids. I guess if I had to choose whether to boost or cut, I'd probobly boost the mids. I really hate that scooped sound.
  16. Saetia


    Mar 27, 2003
    Usually I have my lows set around 2-2:30 , low mids at about 3 o'clock, high mids around 1, and highs about 2. On the bass I set the bass knob to the middle where it clicks on my Warwick, and the mid/high knob rolled back or off. I like to get that mid range punch, but with a fat low end and smooth rolly highs, if I need more cut I dig in a bit more and play near the bridge. I find that my settings stay around the same, but it really depends on the room more then anything and how well the overall mix sits in the room together as well. I also find that I like my tone to be the same when playing alone as well when I'm with the band, except sometimes when playing alone I roll the highs off a tad and boost the lows a little. All in all I like mids.
  17. Aram


    Feb 2, 2003
    New York, NY

    This goes for me too -- though my rig is inherently mid-scooped so I don't usually need to cut too much. I generally keep it mostly flat, and then boost the mids when the gig or song calls for it.
  18. I remember a post some time ago by bgavin where he gave EQ plot curves to make an Eden have a "flat" response. Essentially it would look somewhat like a smiley face. I think the heart of your matter is that you want your equipment to have a "flat" response and you're EQing out the mid-range hump present (by design) in the cabinets you've worked with. I fought with this for years and eventually settled on bi-amping. That is until I found Acme! I am one happy camper with my Acme Low B-4. Hi-Fi and flat as a pancake.

    When many guys boost in the midrange to acheive "cut" in a mix it's because they're fighting to be louder in the frequency spectrum "overlap" of the drums. I have found through many live mixes that a slight cut in the fundamentals (40-50hz) and a slight boost in the harmonic range (200-400hz) makes bass "sit" really well against a loud drums. This depends widely on the room and the gear so take it as a general "rule of thumb".

    I start with my EQ flat (and almost always leave it that way). Our drummer tunes his shells to specific notes. I don't recall off the top of my head what they are but I do know the kick is low E. If I'm having any trouble being heard in the room I will start by cutting the fundamentals (40hz) as everything else is pretty much already above that. If I'm still having trouble being heard a slight boost around 250hz puts me right above his snare drum. This keeps my bass in very close relation to his drum sounds without over-powering them.

    Hope this was informative!
  19. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Yes, that makes sense.

    To me frequency control is all about making the most of each frequency where there are known factors such as the instruments played, in what room and with what equipment.

    Some rooms are inherently "boomy" with loads of low end all over the place. Some are given to produce pronounced mids (where mid to upper bass parts, a lot of the guitar sound and the human voice fits in).

    Equipment surely makes a big difference in this whole equation. As you pointed out, if your rig already scoops the mids, perhaps that is why you boost them. Mine already has alot of mids (and apparantly through my reading, my Peavey 410TXF is already strong in the mids)...and perhaps that's why I cut mine.

    It would be interesting to know if those who leave their mids flat or cut them, would do the same with my setup.

    Interesting point(s) guyplaysbass. Something to consider.
  20. I really don't like the mids on my bass rig, maybe it's just the guitarists I've worked with, but my sound is fine with and without them. The quickest, easiest way to get a usable tone is to use the neck pickup set the bass and highs flat and drop out those mids. Works like a charm. :D