what exactly is midrange?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Oliver, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. Oliver


    Jun 21, 2003
    Perth, Australia
    i feel pretty stupid asking this, but when people say midrange or "mids" what do they mean exactly? does it mean you play around the middle of the fretboard, to get the mids?

  2. Midrange, or mids, is the frequency area between the bass and the treble, therefor midrange. I don't know the exact definition of the frequencies, but the midrange is what makes your bass cut through in the mix, basically.
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I'd say the mids would be in the 200 to 800 Hz range.
  4. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    "80 Hz : The Balls of your sound.
    Whow ! 80 Hz, this is what you can call basses ! In fact, the Bass Guitar goes lower than
    that. A low E is at 42.5 Hz, and a low B around 30.5 Hz. Still, no guitarist will get you
    around this frequency. Yeah, it's all yours, do what you want. Really ? No, not really.
    Because nowadays, at the same frequency, you can find : a synthesizer, the Kick Drum, an
    octaver or low harmonics coming from the guitarist's HyperMetalAttack pedal, or even a
    loop from a DJ or a baryton sax. Settings for this range is very easy. If you need more balls in
    your sound ( I'm sure even female bassists will understand me ;-)) ), add some. That will be
    the case if you play outdoor, if you got a cheap bass with cheap pickups and a cheap amp,
    or if you plug directly from your Korg into a tape or a mix console. Oppositely, if you got 10
    year old strings, if you only cabinets are a 1x15" and a 1x18", if you got a 70s' bass given by
    Derek SMALLS from Spinal Tap with 10 magnetic poles for each string, even if you practice
    in a 10 m² room, if you can't even hear yourself playing or if you notice a lack of clarity in the
    overall sound of the band, you should not boost this frequency, and lowering it by a few dB
    will always help.

    250 Hz : The Buzz Zone.
    I'm not talking about the buzz you get with bad earth plugs, but the type of buzz that makes
    Jaco's bass roar like a tiger, the one you get when you play really near from the bridge,
    plucking hard with your fingers. If you like that feeling, here is the range of frequencies it
    comes from : 150 to 400 Hz or about. If you play 60s' pop songs with a suede pick like
    Carol Kayes, or 70s' rock like Jack Bruce in Cream, Roger Glover with Deep Purple or
    Sting with Police, if you're looking for Big ol' round and bright bass sound, that's also the
    frequency to boost. Be careful, this is also this frequency that can make you sound like you
    got loudspeakers made of cigarette paper and a bass made of hard bread with spaghetti
    If you plan to slap, if you want to get a guitarlike sound, or like "modern" sounding bass
    EQuing, If you need to "dry" your sound, if you play Death Metal with a pick or if your final
    mix sounds "enclosed", lower this frequency.
    Tip : If you don't hear yourself good in a Rock band, or in a Reggae Band with leads,lower
    you general volume a little and boost this frequency a lot, like +10 dB. It will help you a lot to
    cut thru.

    550 Hz : The Singin' Place
    This range - High mediums, from 500 to 1100 - is a part of the sound that all instruments
    share. It can be considered as the "Solo" range, so don't boost it if you're supposed to gently
    play behind your guitarist and singer. Also, if you want a harder sound, yours being too
    mellow, cut here.
    If you play fretless, if you're playing a solo, if you think you sound flat instead of having a
    singing sound of if your bass line is very important for the song - like in Reggae or Funk
    Music -, set this at least at +5 dB.
    Also, this is the range that controls harmonics. They'll be way easier to make sound if you
    boost by +7 dB.

    1.6 kHz : High, so High
    This is the treble range setting.
    Boost it to enhance your unity with the guitar, or to SOUND like a guitar, to get a decent
    slap sound, to make your old strings newer, to cut better thru a crowded place or a small
    amp, to give clarity to modulation effects like phaser and Chorus.
    Cut it to clearly split your sound from this M~#{{[&{"`|`|r guitarist, or to SOUND like a real
    bass, to get a crappy slap sound, to make your new strings older, to stop making deaf the 3
    people still listening to the music coming out of you 1500 W amp, to get muddy, dark and
    evil sounding modulation effects.

    3.55 kHz : Presence, is there still anybody reading ?
    Yeah ! Finally, the highest setting. You must know that the regular range of a bass doesn't go
    that high, so this setting only has an effect on harmonic notes produced when you play.
    Presence should be boosted when you need warmness in your sound. Warmness and hum,
    cause this is also the reference frequency for parasites. Cut on it to solve resonance
    problems. Also, you can boost if you want feedback and Larsen, it will come easier.

    I'm finished for now, or almost. Thank you for reading to the end, hope it was interesting. I
    always try to keep it short, but the TONE section can't be splitted in different parts. I had to
    do it in one single time, and there's still so much to say !

    If you don't care about all the stuff I'm writing, just remember those basic shapes you can
    draw on a graphic EQ :

    V setting : Boost Bass and Treble, cut MidRange. For slappy, bright and modern sound.

    Diver setting : Start flat ( Bass neutral ), jump high ( MidRange very high ) and dive deep (
    Treble completely cut ). The famous Jaco Setting for his ACOUSTIC 360. Gives a quick
    and thick sound for fast playing, jazz rock and all. Lack of sustain and balls, but he liked it.

    \ setting : Boost bass and cut treble. Fill between with the same slope. For a solid, warm
    and thick Rock sound."
  5. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    One way to think of midrnage is consider the sound over a telephone line.

    The frequency range of a telephone signal is roughly 300 Hz to 3KHz. This is sufficient for our ears to distinguish speech and other sounds but is obviously lacking in real lows and real highs.

    This is the midrange and is where human ears are most sensitive.
  7. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
    And that's why nobody can hear you when you scoop your mids.
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Off to Miscellaneous with this one.
  9. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Yet when I'm speaking on the phone with someone who has a deep voice, it still sounds deep. How can this be if there's nothing below 300Hz?

    I can talk about this for hours. The human ears are incredible devices. They have an amazing ability to substitute frequencies when they're not inherently present. Sorry I've taken this a little bit O/T.

    I define mids to be anything from 200Hz to 2K.

    Play a song on your computer using Windows Media Player or something similar. Pull up the Graphic Equaliser. While the song is playing, move the sliders in the middle up and down. This will give you an idea of how mids can change sound.
  10. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Don't modern telephone systems have something to compensate for this, to some extent? Or is it all just an illusion?
  11. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Nope. It's all to do with the way your ears recieve and interpret signals.