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How do you use your EQ? A semi-poll...


alexclaber

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A semi-poll:

 

Do you EQ your rig to get the 'best' sound from it and then make any adjustments by changing bass or using onboard EQ or FX pedals?

 

Do you change the EQ on you rig depending on the bass you're playing?

 

Do you change the EQ on your rig to compensate for room acoustics? (i.e. you set it differently from gig to gig)

 

Do you change your rig's EQ between songs to get different tones?

 

FWIW, I leave the rig flat apart from a dash of Aural Enhance, have not needed (at least not noticed I've needed) to adjust EQ for the room, and change my sound with technique, onboard EQ or FX pedals.

 

Alex

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i typically set the amp flat, though i have a tendency to get about 2dB of boost around 1kHz when i use my j. the dimarzio ultrajazz pickups are a bit scooped, so it helps to bring out the nasal tone.

 

if i had an active bass, would likely set the amp flat and adjust at the bass. i have also used a MM sterling through a warwick amp and got great tones adjusting both, as well as one or the other.

 

of course, when recording, i would abandon these rules and use whatever i need to get the sound i want.

 

generally, though, i set the amp flat.

 

robb.

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Well...

 

With my G&L, I can almost always set my whole rig flat, then EQ at the bass itself. One of the things I love about that bass.

 

With my other basses, the EQ requires a little more attention. I usually start flat, then boost sections for each string 'til I hear a significant "peak" in the sound, then adjust to taste. Only tweaking I do during tunes is usually boosting/cutting the mids or adding more bottom if needed.

 

-Mike

...simply stating.
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Well my Carvin has 2 EQ sections. One is a semi-parametric and the other is a 9 band Graphic.

 

I pretty much have the Mids all the way up on both on the parametric I have the frequency at a bout 300Hz. The Low knob is about +9dB at whatever frequency it is, I dunno. The Highs are usually all the way up, sometimes at +10dB instead of +12dB. with the graphic I have all the sliders all the way up with the low end cut a little as to not distort. And it is only cut on the 30Hz to about +7Db the 50(?)Hz is about +8, and sometimes I have the next one which I forgot which it is but that may be about +9 or 10 dB. Then I have the EQ set flat on my active basses and adjust the low mid and treble accordingly depending on what type of song I'm playing.

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I generally set my amp flat, but My stingray is mid-heavy (duh!) so I boost the lows and highs a wee bit. I like to feel the low end thump, so I boost the lows on-board, as well and roll off a little on the mids and leave the highs flat. That being said, I also adjust to the room, when needed, but I still keep the same concept. Recording is the same onboard settings and the amp is flat and do the adjustment at the board.
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I use a bit of EQ to dial into a room. Mostly the bass knob to add bottom end punch or cut back on boominess. And then I dial in the treble according to the style I'll be playing. (Bit of boost for slap funk, rolled off for old-school R&B and reggae.) I'll do this with the onboard preamp (if I have it), then at the amp head, if necessary.

 

I usually make these adjustments when I first plug in, then leave it alone unless I need to tweak it a bit mid-set.

 

I almost never make EQ adjustments for a particular song. (If I do, it's probably just a dash more treble.) I occasionally solo a pickup. And, of course, I vary my right hand attack. That's the main EQ for me.

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I keep my amp pretty flat. I play a few different basses, so I like a level playing field. I do the tweaking on the individual bass.

 

Generally, my bass preamp is set pretty flat. Usually both pickups even, with an occasional pan if a song calls for it. I bump the mids on my Lakland and Carvin for some "growl" and the bass gets a little boost on my jazz. It's a Sadowsky preamp there, Bartolini in the Lakland, and Carvin in the Carvin.

 

I generally am happy with a straight up even mix.

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This changed recently. I used to have an amp with a 10-band EQ. Twiddle, twiddle, twiddle. Tweak, tweak, tweak.

 

Now I've got an amp with a 3-band EQ, and a 3-button pre-EQ shape section. Now I pretty much put the EQ in a nice place & leave it, doing the rest on-board (even with passive basses), & pushing/releasing some of the pre-EQ buttons as necessary. Couldn't be simpler, & I can find enough sounds that I haven't taken my multi-effects out in a few weeks! This was the opposite of what I expected: giving up extra features actually made for a more useful amp.

 

I guess it depends on the amp & the user. I'm twiddle-free, & I'm proud.

 

I take the same approach to on-board EQ: on a passive bass, the tone knob never moves, & I EQ by blending pickups; on my active MM, I use parallel for a smoother sound, series for a more growly sound, & blend the 3-band to taste, but never moving very far from flat. Like Jeff said, it's the plucking hand that makes the big difference, anyway.

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I have the bottom boosted on my amp.

 

My playing seems to be pretty bright....I'm always brighter than anyone else when I play their bass or when they play my bass.

 

I use the low mids and the high mids and occasionally the treble to adjust to different rooms.

 

The eq doesn't change when I switch basses.

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I have designed my rig to be fairly "transparent; it reflects the true sound of my basses rather than the sound of my amp. As such, I use a Raven Labs PMB1 as my main preamp, with a Raven Labs MDB1 as the "input module" allowing me to have all three basses hooked up and ready to roll.

I also use a Raven Labs PHA1 as the preamp/tone control for my loops(having a tone control there can compensate for any "loss" in the digital recording of a loop in regards to bandwidth, sample rate etc.) That is inserted in the PMB's aux send/return.

 

Depending on the room I may add or subtract a very little bit of lows or mids to accomodate for acoustics. I tend to run my basses, which are primarily piezo powered Godin's, flat in regards to their active eq. I have found that, regardless of bass (active/passive, piezo or magnetic) rolling off certain frequencies works a whole lot better than adding them. To get a brighter tone I might roll back some bottom or low mids; for a bassier tone I might ease off the highs. All of this is applied very judiciously, and carefully. One major error I noticed in many players is cranking the tone and vol knobs on both basses and amps. In most cases this actually impairs the tone rather that aids it.

 

Yet, generally, most of my tone control is "digital"; as in my fingers. Diferent placement of my right hand, and differing pressure of my left hand, produces myriad of tonal variety. This sort of technique gives me constant variety of tones "at my fingertips", and I can easily go from tight and focused stuttering Jaco-isms to a snappy Stanley/Marcus "hard plucking sound, to a deep and tubby palm muted reggae tone, fat 'n' flat Motown-ish sound, to a full range, modern slap tone without ever reaching for a dial or slider.

 

Max

...it's not the arrow, it's the Indian.
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I should add that some basses really like to have the onboard EQ cranked. I used to have a Yamaha 6-string that sounded WAY better with the bass knob all the way up. Took me years to get over that "leave everything flat" hangup and go ahead and dial in the booty!

 

My Music Man bass is similar.

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As tasty as the on-board EQs are on my two basses (a Bart 3-band in my Carvin and the EB MM preamp in my StingRay), I try to do most of my EQing at the amp and then use on-board controls if I want to vary tone for a particular tune or feel (e.g., I play mostly fingerstyle, but if I slap or grab a pick I'll adjust the tone from the bass). Once I set the amp EQ, I usually stay away from it for the rest of the evening.

 

I like to boost the bass a little, the low mids a bit more (around 300 Hz), and keep the treble flat. I also like to cut the high mids a bit around 800-1000 Hz.

 

If I had a two-channel amp or two preamps, I could conceivably see myself having the two EQs set slightly differently -- one for fretless and one for fretted.

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Do you EQ your rig to get the 'best' sound from it and then make any adjustments by changing bass or using onboard EQ or FX pedals?

Sometimes, though not FX pedals, and only if the bass is active with the appropriate controls.

Do you change the EQ on you rig depending on the bass you're playing?

Absolutely.

Do you change the EQ on your rig to compensate for room acoustics? (i.e. you set it differently from gig to gig)

It's a must.

Do you change your rig's EQ between songs to get different tones?

Only if the bass doesn't have the capability needed.

1000 Upright Bass Links, Luthier Directory, Teacher Directory - http://www.gollihurmusic.com/links.cfm

 

[highlight] - Life is too short for bad tone - [/highlight]

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I feel a 'rant' coming on....

 

Carvin (maker of my amp), in their infinite(?) wisdom, created a *mid-cutter* EQ bias....They went waaaaaaay overboard. It's been solid and dependable and reliable and cheap, and, and, and ..It's time for it to go.

 

I EQ my amp to rid my sound of that EQ bias (which is why I'm looking to upgrade -Ashdown/Aquilar/Eden/Ampeg - depending on my ears and my checkbook).

 

From there, it's a multi-task effort to balance bass/room/volume from my bass(es)...except for my secret weapon - An old (I DO mean OLD) MXR 10 band EQ.

 

Too much damn work - I can't wait 'til I hit the Lotto and buy one of everything!!!....

 

....or not...

 

JBFLA

Jim

Confirmed RoscoeHead

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Amp eq used for adjusting to the room. Sometimes it's totally flat, sometimes I have to drop some bass to get rid of boominess. As mentioned earlier, I try to subtract settings to get a good tone.

 

On occasion, the changes affect my 'percieved' string to string volume, so I'll do quick pickup adjustments to get an even balance. Used to piss me off that the lower strings were louder than the higher ones.

Bassplayers aren't paid to play fast, they're paid to listen fast.
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Originally posted by phil6006:

I pretty much have the Mids all the way up on both on the parametric I have the frequency at a bout 300Hz. The Low knob is about +9dB at whatever frequency it is, I dunno. The Highs are usually all the way up, sometimes at +10dB instead of +12dB. with the graphic I have all the sliders all the way up with the low end cut a little as to not distort. And it is only cut on the 30Hz to about +7Db the 50(?)Hz is about +8, and sometimes I have the next one which I forgot which it is but that may be about +9 or 10 dB. Then I have the EQ set flat on my active basses and adjust the low mid and treble accordingly depending on what type of song I'm playing.

whoa, cowboy!

 

you need to cool off on the EQ. pushing all your sliders all the way up is not the same as keeping them flat. what you should do with "the last rig you'll ever buy" is set everything flat, use the gain knob at the input for flavor, and the master volume for loudness. realize how much further you can turn these knobs and still get a clean tone with everything set flat.

 

you remember that headroom thread from last week? the way you have your amp EQ'd gives you absolutely no headroom. you're using it all up on the EQ -- where you used to have 9dB of dynamic space, you now have 9dB of EQ boost.

 

force yourself to do it. after a few days, you'll understand. ah, clarity in tone. how did you live without it? trust me.

 

robb.

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I don't like to mess with my EQ much...

So I usually just find a setting that sounds good and then either pump my volume or cut it depending on the place I'm playing. I don't need "the bass tone of the gods" to play... basically, as long as I can hear myself, I'm happy. I mean, it's only the bass, ya know? It's only one part of the whole band. I'm no Vic Wooten, so I don't really need to have that "perfect" bass tone all the time. I just need to be audible.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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I use the graphic eq in a W shape.

 

Before the EQ, there are some tone shelving knobs on my amp (TNT 115). The low is at +3, and the high is at 0.

 

At the graphic EQ:

The low end is boosted up to about +10 db, low mids around -3 db, center mid at 0 db, high mids about -2 db, and the highs at about +3 or +4 db.

 

Occasionally, I will scoop the mids but I don't remove them completely. That's when I use the heavy distortion.

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Yeah, what robb said. Set all the EQ above flat, & you're actually reducing your returns.

 

This is especially important to remember with active basses. I'd always played passive basses until last year, so when I got my first active bass, I set all 3 tone knobs all the way up as the default. On a passive bass, tone knobs are cut, not boost, so you can keep them all the way up if that's what you like (I like that trebly sound in my Ric, so everything was all the way up). But if you do that on an active bass, you're basically not really EQing at all. Keep it flat, & boost/cut here & there; if all the bands are above flat, you've made a mistake. BTW, it was a post from Bumpcity that set me straight on this--thanks, flapjack bunny!

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Originally posted by dcr:

BTW, it was a post from Bumpcity that set me straight on this--thanks, flapjack bunny!

:D

 

It will please you to know that I found yet another rabbit. May I introduce you to:

 

Breadears Bunny:

 

http://www.briantimpe.com/downloads/rabbit_bread.jpg

 

I'm wondering what drives a person to put items on the head of a bunny, then take pictures of it.

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As DCR said and expanded upon, Robb has made an excellent point. Maybe I'll rant even more... maybe one of our more technically inclined members will chime in to correct me, too (READ "robb").

 

If you're boosting your entire 9-band graphic EQ, you're really just wasting your time. Many graphic EQ's actually have a somewhat wide bandwidth, especially the cheaper units they throw into amplifier heads. It's not a notch-filter. You might think you're just adjusting 50 Hz +3db, but you're actually also adjusting the frequencies above and below 50Hz.

 

Now, I'm not using technically accurate figures to illustrate this point, but...

 

Boosting every band say, +3db will effectively just boost your volume, since your boosting ALL the frequencies. However, there is a downside; you'll end up with a peaks & valley resposne. The bandwidth of each band is such that the 50 Hz will be boosted +3db, while say 45 Hz and 55 Hz get a +1.5db boost. The same would be true of your next frequency point, and so on and so forth. It will cause some notes to really jump out, where as other will just disappear. That's no good.

 

Also, you're introducing inherent noise by using this active EQ. Although the same can be said for using the gain and volume control, they tend to be less noisy.

 

Basic approach that works:

 

Set everything flat; no shelving, no preset buttons, no graphic eq.

 

1. Set the gain and the volume (tweak the volume as necessary in the following steps).

2. See if you like any of the presets, if not, ditch them.

3. Use the shelving to boost or cut (DO NOT BE AFRAID TO CUT THE BASS SHELVING!)

4. If necessary, tweak the graphic eq at SPEcIFIC frequencies.

 

Hope this helps. You can always just tell us to piss off if you're happy with your sound. :D

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Originally posted by getz76:

Basic approach that works:

 

Set everything flat; no shelving, no preset buttons, no graphic eq.

 

1. Set the gain and the volume (tweak the volume as necessary in the following steps).

2. See if you like any of the presets, if not, ditch them.

3. Use the shelving to boost or cut (DO NOT BE AFRAID TO CUT THE BASS SHELVING!)

4. If necessary, tweak the graphic eq at SPEcIFIC frequencies.

 

Can I get an amen?! Well said!

 

I tend not to like graphic EQs for bass, although I had one very positive experience with the graphic EQ on a Phil Jones amp head -- really a cut above other graphics I'd tried.

 

One other point: I've found it more effective to cut particular frequencies than to boost others. Any extreme EQing I might do is more often cutting, while I am much more reserved/moderate in boosting.

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Do you EQ your rig to get the 'best' sound from it and then make any adjustments by changing bass or using onboard EQ or FX pedals?

 

My answer may not be what you're looking for as I generally run in I.E.M. (Sennheiser EW-100 w/ Shure E-5 ear buds) with only my Alembic F2-b preamp in the line. It is set pretty flat with a bit of lows rolled off. Other than the volume, which varies in relation to the output of the bass I am playing, I could probably super glue the pots into the positions they are in. If I'm playing a passive axe I run the volume and tone pots wide open. If the bass is active I set it flat and run the volume wide open. If tonal variations are required I change my attack or finger placement.

 

Do you change the EQ on you rig depending on the bass you're playing?

 

Never.

 

Do you change the EQ on your rig to compensate for room acoustics? (i.e. you set it differently from gig to gig)

 

N/A

 

Do you change your rig's EQ between songs to get different tones?

 

Never.

Later..................
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I basically keep bass and treble flat, and the 7-band equalizer of my Peavey DataBass in a smooth U shape, regardless of room and bass used.

I rather work on the istrument's knobs.

On my custom-made J bass with DiMarzio Ultra-J pickups, I switch the neck pickup all the way up, the bridge at 3/4 and tone at 1/4 or half.

Sometimes I don't even use the bridge pickup and take the tone to the top.

On the Yamaha BBN5II, both pickups are at the top and tone is in the upper half of its way.

When I use them in acoustic situation where I don't use the acoustic bass, I just turn bridge and neck up, without tone.

I think, however, that much depends, at least in my case, on the different kinds of music I play with my basses in different situations.

 

Peace

:wave:

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I love reading these posts. While I see the potential technical benefits of keeping everything flat, I am also amused when someonee tells someone else they're doing it 'wrong' when they have an unusual setting.

 

It ain't about specs or knob positions, folks. It's about SOUND - the sound that pleases you, the sound that pleases your band. It doesn't matter if you're using all the available headroom in EQ to achieve it. If this is how yourr rig sounds good, continue doing it! By all means experiment with other settings, but don't be afraid to set your amp the way you want to set it. Flat, U, inverted U, W.... any knob shape works if it sounds good TO YOU.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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Originally posted by coyote:

It's about SOUND - the sound that pleases you, the sound that pleases your band. ...any knob shape works if it sounds good TO YOU.

Whilst this is true, it doesn't take into consideration that louder=better to pretty much everyone. If you turn up all your EQ knobs/sliders and think, "woah, that cuts through the mix so much better and sounds fatter" all you may be hearing is the benefit of turning up the overall volume. Furthermore, if you tweaked the EQ more subtlely and turned up the master volume you might find an even better sound than with all your EQ maxed out.

 

Alex

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OK, simple distinction:

 

(1) The only "right" bass sound is the one that the player judges to be the one he/she wants or needs.

 

(2) It is not possible to use an EQ incorrectly, inefficiently, self-defeatingly, or amateurishly.

 

Notice that even if (1) is true, (2) is still false. The reasons why (2) is false have been put forth above, and put forth pretty well. In that case, (2) cannot follow from (1). (2) talks about the tool used to achieve the end specified in (1); even if you can't make a mistake in how you determine your end, it is still possible for you to misuse the means to achieving it.

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