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Where to EQ for Punch?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bgavin, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. My producer is telling me I'm not delivering enough thump to peoples' feet through the dance floor. He seems to think setting my EQ in a sine wave pattern is a Good Thing, but he admits not knowing squat about electronics. He says I'll have it right when I do heartbeats from the bass, and can move a glass of water on one of the tables in the audience.


    His idea of perfect bass is a Carvin bass and Carvin amp with the associated mid-bass hump. Well... he pays the bill...

    My question: I was thinking about EQ'ing the 80 ~ 120 range by +6db to create a nasty hump. Is this the range to do it?
  2. Grahams Groove

    Grahams Groove Can we please just groove for a while? Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    Technically, I'm not the most knowledgeable with EQ's, but I boost my graphic eq at a gradual hump in that range obviously it goes up and down gradually...but thats about where I boost mine for that extra punch and to give it a good low/mid boost for the chest factor...

    Good luck...I'm interested to see what the techs think...
  3. Hugh Jazz

    Hugh Jazz

    Sep 13, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    I'd say boost twice that frequency, i.e. 120-250 Hz.

    <100 Hz will tend to add sub lows, whereas low mids will tend to add punch.

    But remember, YMMV. :)
  4. I find a boost around 160Hz does the trick (kick in the chest frequency). Anything lower indeed really is more sub (esp. anything < 100Hz). A boost around 800Hz is also good to define the midrange a little more.
  5. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Typically 50 Hz and 80 Hz are good for this. Stay away from the 125 area, this typically adds a lot of mud. Also, make sure you are wrapping around the bass drum, sound wise, and not masking it. Most bass drums are eq'd at the board with the deepest part at around 63 Hz. You want to be just below or above that.

    Finally, make sure you are locking in with the kick, both attack and duration. This does more to drive the beat than anything else. (Assuming you are playing pop/rock style.)
  6. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Exactly my findings.
    I boost 150Hz and 800Hz with my semiparametric EQ.
    Interesting enough boosting the 125Hz slider on my old Hartke's 10 band EQ sounded nasty in some way and did not work so well (maybe because the bandwidth was smaller than with the semiparametric?)

    Where exactly to center the low mids may also depend on the design of the low shelving filter.

    'Mud' will come from frequencies below ~80Hz if your amp or cabs lose focus in the low register IME.
    So while I disagree with lo-z here, he has two very good points regarding bass drum.

  7. Yeah, he's a horn player... :D

    I don't have a problem with cabs that lose definition as they go lower. I've never heard an Acme, but I suspect mine are very similar. I've got true flat response down to low B without the classic Eden/Carvin hump in the 80 ~ 120 Hz range.

    As for 800 Hz, that strikes me as far too high into the harmonics for adding thump. The producer is already bitching about me having too much for highs now. I've been running the rig flat 31 ~ 8,000 Hz.

    The Eden are renowned for their commanding presence, so I was guessing at punching up the EQ in this range. Too bad I don't know anybody here in Sacramento that plays Eden, as it would be nice to get one on the analyzer and actually see what they put out.
  8. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    With the 15's, I would boost the 80-120 range, any higher than than would make the 15's muddy in the set up you are running. What freq is your crossover?

  9. gbenner


    May 20, 2001
    ocean, new jersey
    Bruce, I don't think your EQ will give you the thump your looking for. Your an old fart like me, remember flatwounds, its the only thing that gave me the in your chest thump. Most flats are good for thump but not anything else, but a good compromise are the TI jazz flats, they have a good thump, veeeery deep bass, and are still pretty musical. I've had them on for about two months and the sound is still improving. Their worth a try.
    And if that don't work tell that guy a few new producers were in and they LOVE your sound:D

  10. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I agree. I had a Carvin amp a few years ago, and I boosted the 200 hz band (the nearest to 160 hz it had), and it made my Fender Jazz very punchy.
  11. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    It will probably depend on your cab a bit, but here's the basics:
    cut anything lower than 100hz (this is the mud range)
    boost in the 250hz range
    cut a little around 500hz
    boost around 1250hz for string clarity
    cut above 3500hz
  12. I'd look to the range between about 125-250Hz for "punch." That's where a lot of the energy of rock music is located. So much that some pro speaker manufacturers (Meyer Sound for example) make low midbass boxes to provide more energy in that band specifically for modern music applications. Below about 100Hz you're into true bottom end above 250 you're getting into true midrange.
  13. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Bruce, I am not sure what the sine wave pattern looks like. But I find to punch through the mix I boost my mids and cut the low's and high's a bit. The good old frown face seems to work well, as oppossed to the happy face slap/pop setting. But from what your producer said, I read that he wants ground shaking lows. He wants the tables to move,walls to shake. Well as you have taught me that takes great cabinets with lots of power, and even if it is clean, (not muddy),with the band going it will be felt more than heard. The other really powerfull tone shaper on that Carvin is the mid range knob that lets you select the frequency you want to cut or boost. Turn the boost knob most of the way up and try different frequencies till "your producer" likes what he hears. Then back down the boost and bring it slowly up till it seems to be working. These two knowbs used together have more affect on your overall tone than anyting else on the amp IMO. I hope I have been of some help. Sorry this is so dry technically. What can I say, I,m a simple guy.;)
  14. I've got an interesting situation. Typical 23 year old guitar player who is fast going deaf. He is now in the shouting stage in normal conversations at the music store where he works. He is packing a Mesa Boogie head and two cabs, I think 4x12 altogether. I watch him carefully during the first couple of tunes, and after them, he immediately turns up. I think his hearing is failing more and more rapidly, and by the 2nd tune he is partially numb. Up goes the volume.

    I've been playing 1x15 subwoofer plus the 2x10 JBL E110 top in this venue. Crossover is 125 hz, cabs are EQ'd to dead flat at the venue with my analyzer. Last week it got so loud I had my SWR IOD volume at 3:00 o'clock (almost maxed) and my MX-3000a was clipping constantly in the sub channel. I was out of gas. Literally at the end of the amp. Soooo.. tonight I'm bringing both subs in an attempt to keep up.

    George, I'm already running TI Jazz Flats on the RB5. Love those strings! This is most "thump" I'm going to get from the RB5 itself. I scored a brand new MIM P4 that is going to the gig tonight just to get introduced. It will be interesting to see how it works, stock with (7250ML) Fender factory strings.

    The producer wants me to set the bass with a glass of water on the table. If I can ripple the water I'm going the right way. When I can do heart beats with the kick drum + bass and move the glass on the table, I have it right. If two subs and two JBL 10s won't do it, perhaps I should take up the harmonica instead.

  15. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
  16. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    BG, I hope yer wearing hearing protection. You are in a losing battle of volume with that guitarist, my friend.
  17. How's the producer's hearing?

    BTW, with regard to the producer, in my book producers make recordings--they don't do live sound. I'd be tempted to tell him his input is welcome in the studio but to zip it otherwise. Well, more politely than that, but really, I've never heard of record producers trying to run live gigs. It just usually isn't what they do in my experience (which admittedly is not exhaustive). They might come to gigs and offer suggestions, but not try to control live sound.
  18. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    Judging from these responses, we apparently have differing definitions of "punch". For me it's a 600HZ boost.
  19. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I hope you guys are playing at arenas with volumes like that. Damn... My Carvin RC210/18 gets about as loud as I can stand.

    Both my guitarists play with 100w Mesa 212 rigs. We are picking up a PA in order to balance everything out, and provide a good, clear volume to our audience ... hopefully that does not make their ears bleed. (Or ours for that matter!)

    Bruce, maybe you should suggest to your guitarist to turn up his monitor instead of his amp?
  20. I use high quality ear protection from the time I power up until I either step outside or we are unplugged. At age 51, I still have ALL my hearing, and want to keep it that way. I'm the only one of all the regulars, guests, (and audience) that wears ear plugs. My wife wears a set whenever she isn't working and can make it to the gig.

    Yeah, I'm fighting the living reincarnation of Stevie Ray Vaughan inside my 23 year old guitar player. He's very good, has the world by the tail, and an ego the size of the Golden Gate Bridge. And he will be Beethoven-deaf by the time he is my age cuz he won't listen to reason.

    My dB meter indicates 105 ~ 110 dB(A) at the audience position. And this is in a freakin' pool and darts bar with a dance floor and stage. The PA is entirely for vocals: two 2x15+horns mains, and two 1x15+horn monitors turned inward toward the stage.

    Producer isn't really the right term, since we're not recording. He is a sax and flute player with his own band, and is the gig master for my Thursday night adventure. We are the core band and we have an open mic all night. Most of the time I get to play all night when no other bassists show up.

    I have 1/3 octave control over my EQ with +/- 15dB, so I can selectively push it up or cut it back anywhere in the spectrum. I can't hear on stange what it sounds like at the audience position, so I'm at a loss. I'm pretty sure bringing the other 1x15 sub tonight will be a big help. I'm also bringing along the new MIM P4 and will let him play a little with the other kids if he's well behaved.