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Pre or Post EQ

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by xian3000, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. xian3000


    Jan 1, 2011
    Here's my situation and just want some input: I'm starting to play more shows that have full PA systems so I'm not just playing out of my cab, but I am also playing through the PA.

    With my amp (Ampeg Portaflex 500) I have an XLR output and can send either a signal with my EQ settings or one without. I have set my EQ to make it sound good to my ears from my cab: bass (40 Hz) at 1 o'clock, low mid (220 Hz) @ 2 o'clock, and treble (4 kHz) @ 2 o'clock. This EQ setting I think sounds good when coming out of my 210 cab and I think it cuts through the mix well.

    So what I'm wondering is should I go XLR out from my amp with my EQ settings or without my EQ settings, or should I send my signal through a DI?

    Hope this makes sense and thanks for any input!
  2. Hactar


    Sep 25, 2011
    Boulder, CO
    Send Pre EQ.

    Your sound engineer will generally be much happier with a pre EQ signal, and he will not have to deal with you changing the EQ in the middle of the show and screwing up the main mix.
  3. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    If I'm the sound guy, we're going to use the best DI available, before your amp. Generally it would be one of mine. There are exceptions but not many...

    If someone 'proven' came in with a stellar amp and really wanted to mic, for certain we'd talk. I'm not crazy... But that would be a very short list of folks... At a certain point, as musicians it is important to be able to understand that what we hear on stage may vary considerably from what is heard out front... The ears out front are in the right place to help, ours might not be...

    When I'm the bass guy, I generally use the signal off my Radial or an Avalon U5 if the gig warrants carrying it - then I take a line back to my amp. It's the sound guy's job to get it right, partly I consider it mine to help him get there as quickly as possible so he can work on the other instruments, monitor mixes, etc...
  4. dannylectro


    Aug 2, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    Your sound guy will (should) say "I don't want to use your DI because if your amp sh*ts the bed I want my DI to still be working". Hit me with your best shot. Fire away.
  5. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Pre-EQ makes it much easier for the soundman.... he doesn't have to undo your EQ ;)

    I prefer pre-EQ to the FOH so I have complete freedom to mess with the EQ to get the best sound on stage. Since I don't affect FOH I don't have to worry about my changes.

    Caveat: I get 97% of my tone out of the bass and strings. If the FOH can reproduce that accurately, then I am very happy. If you rely on the amp to get your tone, then your requirements will be different and you will probably be much happier with a mic since even post-EQ won't really get you the sound of the amp.
  6. xian3000


    Jan 1, 2011
    here's another question: I also use a SansAmp Bass Driver DI to get a slight overdrive in my tone sometimes. And consequently that changes the EQ some. Would it upset a sound guy if I were to use that pedal?
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Don't worry about it if it does. You are the bass player. If you need Sansamp, use it. Just try to keep your Sansamp levels and tones somewhat compatible with your clean tone.

    As for pre or post, if you have to ask, use pre. It's safer. The PF500 has a very good DI in it, BTW, and I would take that any day over some of the really crappy $40 DI's some soundmen will try to force on you. But if they come up with a Countryman or Radial or anything better than that, then I'd consider plugging into it instead.
  8. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Just try to keep your Sansamp levels and tones somewhat compatible with your clean tone

    + 10 or so...
  9. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    On gigs where I need to be in the PA I usually give them a pre-feed from my RBI. Never had a sound guy complain about it yet. I prefer to mic a cab, but there's rarely enough time for a thorough sound check so it is what it is.
  10. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    I prefer to go post EQ, but I know what I'm doing with regards to EQ. I've been running sound and doing studio engineering about 15 years, and I have an audio degree. For pretty much anyone else I prefer a DI before the amp. I EQ my rig for FOH.
  11. Hi.

    As said before, work it out with the sound person. He/she is the one being paid to make it sound as good (or better ;)) than what the player sends 'em.

    The on-stage tone (effects+heavy EQ) seldom works in FOH as-is and also the opposite can be true if tone monitoring is required.

    If You use any effect to "thicken the tone" or to give it more character, the level should remain the same, but if you use any effect to stand out, the level should raise a pre-rehearsed amount. The sound-person has to be aware of those two different kinds of nuances as well, otherwise the end result won't be what you guys are after.

    I prefer to go ampless and rely on DI and monitors for clarity reasons, but I either mix myself or trust the sound person, so I won't recommend that approach to just anyone.

  12. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Your EQ is there so you can try to get a usable tone from a cabinet that puts out a sound that is nothing like that of the instrument you are playing. Don't handicap the sound in the house by sending that EQ to the PA.
  13. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    I always send Post EQ. The EQ on the amp is there for a reason - to set your tone the way you like. And it's the soundman's job to work with what you send him. Is it possible he might not like it? Probably. But you are paying him - so it's his job to make "you" sound like "you" out front, and not for him to dictate your bass tone. Otherwise what's the point in bringing an amp? If you send a soundman a pre-EQ signal straight from your bass (or straight through the amp from the input to the DI out), you might as well save yourself from lugging an amp to the show and just listen to yourself in the monitors.
  14. FuManChu


    Mar 3, 2005
    Sansamp VT Bass Deluxe to FOH at every gig. I have never had a sound guy complain.....yet:smug:

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