EQ Question

Discussion in 'Discussion' started by Slartibartfarst42, Mar 14, 2020.

  1. Slartibartfarst42

    Slartibartfarst42 Senior Member

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    I tend to like my core tones to be relatively bright, crisp and distinct but it means that I also find my lead tone to be a bit thin and overly bright. I use the loop for a volume boost and most presets use a lot of the EQ blocks already but PEQ3 is usually free so I wondered if I could do something with that to add a bit more meat to my lead tone. Unfortunately my understanding of the frequencies involved is very limited so I wondered if anyone here could give me a little help.
     
  2. Corey S

    Corey S Member

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    There are a couple of things you can try to help this. We spend a lot of time making our tone stand out in the mix by being bright and crisp. We sometimes forget that we need to round out some of the other areas of the tone.

    You described your tone as "thin and overly bright". The frequency range we perceive as "thickness" lives in the area between 150 to 200 Hz. Try a subtle (3 dB, no more than 6 dB) boost in this area and see if that helps. It is easy to add too much in this lower midrange area and make things muddy.

    The place in the guitar audio spectrum normally perceived as brightness is between 7 and 8 kHz (although it can be as low a 4 kHz), depending on the guitar, clean or dirty tones, etc. A little boost in this area goes a long way. If you have this range boosted for brightness you might want to try experimenting with pulling it back slightly. Enough to give the sparkle you are looking for but taking the overly bright edge off.

    This might be a topic for another thread, but as we age our ability to hear high frequencies goes away. We tend to compensate by boosting those high and high-midrange areas as we listen to music, our own guitar tone, etc. I know I'm guilty of this. Sometimes getting a second opinion from a pair of younger ears can be really helpful in our quest for tone.
     
  3. Slartibartfarst42

    Slartibartfarst42 Senior Member

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    I'll give it a try as you certainly sound like you know more about this than me. As I'm now entering my later fifties you may be right and for the rhythm tone I'm piling in too many highs and upper mids. Something to consider and certainly something I hadn't previously considered.

    Quick question: I have the PEQ3 set to a 3db boost at 0.20Khz with a Q of 3.94 but what EQ option should I choose? My understanding is that 'Gain Only' will just affect the level and therefore have no impact on the frequency I've selected so presumably I need to select one of the other options.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2020
  4. Corey S

    Corey S Member

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    Yes, the Gain Only setting boosts across all frequencies. You want to look at the "Peaking" setting for the adjustments you are making. The various options are explained on pages 48-50 of the manual. As you adjust this try widening and narrowing the Q. This adjusts the amount that adjacent frequencies are pulled into the boost of your selected frequency. 3.94 is a good starting point

    There is also a 160 hz band on the Graphic EQ you could try if you are running low on pre and para EQ slots.

    I'm closing in on 50, and have spent a good portion of my career behind a FOH mixing console. The changes in my hearing the last few years are really noticable for me and I have learned to compensate when I set EQs. Seeing " these darn kids nowadays" walking around with earbuds and nonstop music flooding their ears makes me cringe.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
  5. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Well-Known Member

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    Which model of AA are you using? How are you using the switches? Those two things are key in making suggestions.

    What amps are you using the most for you presets? What guitar and pickups?

    All those things are critical in anyone making suggestions to help. What is “bright” when clean is overbearingly so when you add gain and sometimes just level. If you are trying to set up a “solo” boost, tied to a pedal switch, there is more you can do than just turn on a boost. One switch can do multiple functions. I’ve began making good rhythm presets on my AA12, and then have switch 6 set to do multiple functions, depending on the type of rhythm tone I’m using and the solo tone I’m going for. For example, I have an HBE preset that is pure 80s rock type tone. It has almost nothing on except light verb. But when I step on switch 6, it turns off the verb, but turns on the delay.. And a boost or overdrive. And maybe a PEQ set to boost some mids for cut.

    Think of it in real guitar amp and pedal board terms, and you can hit one switch that does 5 things at ones. Not just a loop that has 3-4 pedals in it that you turn on for solos, but you can also turn some off.

    All that said, I’d suggest using the overdrive instead of clean boost, and turn the tone down some. Then you can boost level and mids but not top end. If you use the switch as I said, you can also turn on a PEQ with a mids boost. Dial the frequency by ear at gig volumes! Not bedroom volumes or they’re useless, unless that’s the volume you always play at.

    Remember that when you ask for help, the more you tell us about what tones you like what guitars you use, what kind of music, etc... the more we can zero in on suggestions. If I go to The Gear Page now and start a thread with “My amp is too bright. What should I do?” The first 100 posts are going to be “what amp, what settings, what speakers, what guitar, how loud, etc. etc. LOL. And what is bright to one guy is perfect to another.

    I always say “perspective is 90% of reality.” Plenty of guys here will be glad to help, but we have to know where you’re at now before we can suggest where to go next.
     
  6. Slartibartfarst42

    Slartibartfarst42 Senior Member

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    I use an AA6 with a Midi Mouse to change presets. This allows me to use all 6 buttons for effects

    1 = Delay
    2 = Chorus
    3 = Volume boost (Loop, Chorus, PEQ3 and Delay, plus OD if not already in use)
    4 = Tap Tempo
    5 = Pitchshifter
    6 = Flanger & Phaser

    I need to use the loop for a volume boost as on many presets the compressor is situated after the amp, meaning the EQ blocks end up before the compressor, thus limiting their effectiveness for a volume boost.

    All this goes into a Laney IRT-X that I use as a monitor and from there, into the FOH.

    One thing I have found odd is that button 3 has a dramatic effect on the volume of my Mark IV preset but far less effect on my Brit800 and Plexi presets.
     
  7. Jace Nuzback

    Jace Nuzback Senior Member

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    You should be able to simply lower the loop return level for that preset to compensate.
    Jace
     
  8. Slartibartfarst42

    Slartibartfarst42 Senior Member

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    Then I must be missing something because I was under the impression that the volume boost you get from the loop was a global setting. If I go into that particular Mark IV preset and reduce the return volume by 0.5db, it changes every preset using the loop as a volume boost by -0.5db.
     
  9. Jace Nuzback

    Jace Nuzback Senior Member

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    You are correct. I forgot the loop was a global setting.
    That's embarrassing!
    So if you're getting more of a volume boost on the Mesa that must
    mean that amp model has more clean headroom than the Marshall amp models.
    So if you're using these all of these when you select foot switch# 3 = Volume boost (Loop, Chorus, PEQ3 and Delay, plus OD if not already in use)
    You could turn down the DRY LEVEL parameter value by 2 or 3dB in the ECHO effect block for the Mark IV preset to compensate.
    Give that a try and let me know if it works for you.
    Jace
     
  10. Slartibartfarst42

    Slartibartfarst42 Senior Member

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    I'll forgive you Jace ;)

    This is proving to be yet another learning experience for me so it's all good but now I need even more information.

    I've been messing around with the AmpliFire this afternoon and the Echo effect does appear to be key but I don't understand how or why. I've generally set the dry level on the Echo effect to 0.0 because I assumed that if I had it lower than that, I would just be exaggerating the echo if i set it to more than that, I wouldn't be able to distinguish the echo effect as effectively because the original dry signal would be dominating. However, I've discovered that if I have the Echo dry level on 0.0, button 3 has pretty much no effect on the volume unless I push the Loop return to something like 6.5 and even then, it's nothing like as loud as I would have expected. I don't understand why that is the case and I would appreciate it if you could explain it to my dull brain.

    Logically, if I have the Dry Level in the Echo block set to 0.0, surely it is simply leaving the original signal exactly the same as it was before the Echo was engaged and isn't that exactly what I want because sometimes I will want to engage the Echo on button 1 without a volume boost. The trouble is that from what I can gather, it appears to be impossible to get a volume boost from the Loop unless I increase the dry level in the Echo. I want to be able to engage the Echo effect on button 1 without a volume boost but I also want to be able to engage the Echo, Chorus and PEQ3 on button 3 with an overall volume boost by including the Loop on button 3. If all the loop is doing is taking a signal at one level and sending it back louder, why is an effect before the loop affecting it at all?

    Is this possible and if not, why not?

    Thanks
     

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