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bublnsqueak

Multiple EQs any strategy to this?

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I think this is the right place - please move if not.

My bass has an EQ function. As do each of my pedals. There is even a pedal that does nothing but manage EQ. Finally my amp has a set of EQ controls.

I see vids on various ideas for EQ but they never seem to go very far until they hit the point where they say 'twiddle it until you like it.' Or something similar.

I would be grateful to hear how people think about EQ in the light of all these options. 

Any EQ setting strategies? Opinions?

Thanks

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Posted (edited)

Easy piece:

First set all EQ's flat, then dial in your basic clean tone as close as you can on the EQ of your amp first, then fine tune with the EQ of your  bass, and eventual make small adjustments on the amp's EQ as well to make those 2 EQ's play well together (you might want to do it the other way around, bass first, then amp, but that's a question of personal preferences and not something that can be put into a standard instruction formula), then fine tune further with your EQ pedal.

First then begin to adjust the EQ of your other pedals to make them sound good when engaged, according to that basic clean tone.

If boosting a frequency band sounds good, find the amount of boost that sounds best, if it sounds bad boosting it then don't, but eventual try to cut it a bit instead until it sounds good, proceed from there to the other frequency bands, one at a time, and finally make fine adjustment to make them all sound good together. 

 

That's about as close to a recipe you'll get, the EQ settings that might sound good to me on my gear might not sound good to you on your gear, both because we got different gear, but also because we will have different preferences, ears and perception of what those ears pick up. 

 

Edited by Baloney Balderdash

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I generally start by keeping the EQ on my amp totally flat, and only use it to notch out certain frequencies depending on the room. 

With the EQ in my basses, again I start flat and only ever adjust them a little if I have to cut or boost certain range of the bass. With passive instruments I generally run the tone wide open.

If I need any big changes in tone, I normally do it with a seperate EQ pedal, so that I can turn it on/off as necessary without fiddling with anything. 

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Posted (edited)

Also no one says you absilutely have to use all your EQ options just because you got them, so if all the EQ's set flat sounds better than anything else, then of course do that, and if it sounds totally perfect after just adjusting the amp's EQ a bit, then stop there.

No harm in experimenting though and see if it is possible to get it even better, you can always easily go back to a flat setting if adjusting an EQ band sounds worse than leaving it flat. 

Edited by Baloney Balderdash

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Yes, Many things are difficult because you are presented with too many options.

I think that might be my issue.

I suspect having a target tone might help. That would be a fixed point around which to develop an EQ strategy.

 

I guess the pedal manufacturers have to sell a product that is complete - so you don't also have to buy a separate EQ pedal. So each device has an independent set of EQ controls and people's rigs end up with masses of EQ controls, all doing the same thing - or are they?

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, bublnsqueak said:

Yes, Many things are difficult because you are presented with too many options.

I think that might be my issue.

I suspect having a target tone might help. That would be a fixed point around which to develop an EQ strategy.

 

I guess the pedal manufacturers have to sell a product that is complete - so you don't also have to buy a separate EQ pedal. So each device has an independent set of EQ controls and people's rigs end up with masses of EQ controls, all doing the same thing - or are they?

Every EQ is different, even EQ controls with the same center frequency might sound different and have a different curve around that center frequency point, so what you can achieve with one equalizer you might not be able to achieve with another, but as said set all flat and then start from an end, either your bass or your amp, and then move on from there, the individual effect pedal's EQ you only set after you got your basic clean tone in, to make them sound good when engaged, according to that basic clean tone, and if it turns out that you can achieve the tone you desire with just the amp and bass EQ, then there will be no reason to keep your EQ pedal in the chain, but start the way I described in my initial post. 

Edited by Baloney Balderdash

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Utterly annoying and useless answer alert! 

It depends. 

 

(sorry) 

 

On my old Eden amp the tone controls were so amazing that I never touched anything else. On my Trace Elliots and Ashdown RM, pre shape, boost mids, done. On my CTM100 turn everything up full, slowly increase the gain until the singers glare becomes too much to bear. 

Generally I don't mess much with pedals at the gig, they're too darned fiddly. Set 'em up at home and unless it sounds dreadful in the room leave well alone. If I'm lucky I have a band member I trust. They go out and signal (in broad brush strokes) more or less; top middle or bottom) Usually it's just less bottom or more mids. 

Anything more nuanced and subtle would be pointless naval gazing on my part, especially in a pub gig where the guitarist will inevitably turn up throughout the set and no one in the room cares about the bass sound. 

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I tend to use the different EQs for different purposes.

I usually start with my amp EQ flat and use that to make corrections to fit the room like notch out problem frequencies or control the low end. Whereas I'll use an active bass EQ to shape the tone more and will make bigger, more sweeping changes if I feel it needs it.

I'd never max out any of the controls on my amp but I'd make big sweeping changes on my Sterling. It may be more of a mindset kind of thing but I see the MM EQ as more musical.

Another consideration for me is most gigs where I do use an amp it's for stage monitoring only and might have a DI in front of it. So EQ changes there won't necessarily make it out to FOH.

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On 02/10/2020 at 21:41, Doddy said:

I generally start by keeping the EQ on my amp totally flat, and only use it to notch out certain frequencies depending on the room. 

With the EQ in my basses, again I start flat and only ever adjust them a little if I have to cut or boost certain range of the bass. With passive instruments I generally run the tone wide open.

If I need any big changes in tone, I normally do it with a seperate EQ pedal, so that I can turn it on/off as necessary without fiddling with anything. 

This.

Amp EQ for "room" EQ

Instrument EQ to get your tone

EQ pedal for those times when you want to change your EQ for given songs/ sections of a song.

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