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Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by hansvaneven on 2012-10-20 13:47:28

Hi guys,

I've been using modelers and real amps for live gigs since the 90's, and have gone through a lot of things to get the best out of them and finally come to the conclusion that for best performance the sound you're using onstage should be different vs what you hear in the PA.

The reason of this, is that after tweaking my sounds with Ozone 5's EQ, using snapshots of great guitar sound like the ones from Van Halen's on the first album, and then adjusting my own sound coming pretty close to those in terms of EQ using sdpdif out to monitor through Ozone 5, the sound was actually perfect to my ears, but wasn't very confortable to play with. What happens, is that most real amps have much more bottom then what you hear once it's is mixed on CD.

So you have the choice, you tweak your sound for live use, so the feel becomes close to the one from a real amp, and this is completely possible and then the PA man does the rest (risqy ), or you use two different paths with different EQ's, one you send to PA and one you send to your own monitor onstage. I believe that this will give the best of both worlds, you have a confortable sound onstage and the sounds you send to the PA out is EQ's like a very good sound on CD. The problem is that HD500 can't manage this unless you go mono and then send different left and right outputs.

I'm curious to hear how you guys handle this ? External EQ or even two different EQ's one for normal out one for XLR ?

thanks,

Hans



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by PDKTDK on 2012-10-22 07:05:24

You are definitely correct on all accounts.  I personally use a DT50 with my HD500.  So, I get the flexibility of amp/effects modeling, the (what I believe) benefits of real tubes, control of my stage sound, and a line &/OR mic option to go to the P.A.

This seems optimal to me.  Any other reccomendation for improvement are welcome.

As far as your sound:

I need a good sound to play well.  I remember going into a music store and trying a solid state Line6 amp with all kinds of built in goodies a year ago.  I played through it and liked it's flexibility.  Nothiong that came through my fingers was very inspired.  I said to the guy, "I'll take it.  Before we pack it up, plug me into that Line6 tube amp." I immediately started having fun.  The moral is the quality of what you hear will effect your playing. At least I have proved that to myself on more than one occasion.  I am sure I am not a special case. The same goes for quality instruments I recently discovered.  Miles Davis said (paraphrase) that good instruments make you play better. 

So, if you are not liking what you are hearing, fix that.  I would be frustrated in your shoes.



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by Karl_Houseknecht on 2012-10-22 07:25:29

hansvaneven wrote:

I've been using modelers and real amps for live gigs since the 90's, and have gone through a lot of things to get the best out of them and finally come to the conclusion that for best performance the sound you're using onstage should be different vs what you hear in the PA.

The reason of this, is that after tweaking my sounds with Ozone 5's EQ, using snapshots of great guitar sound like the ones from Van Halen's on the first album

I think what you're really trying to say here is that there's a huge difference between recorded and live guitar tone.  Personally, I want my guitar in the FOH to sound very much like what I'm hearing on stage, and it almost always does. 

As far as providing the FOH guy with an EQ'd sound, I just let him take my main send from whatever is sending it (mic'd amp, modeler, etc) and let him provide EQ on the channel strip to make it fit in the mix or compensate for the room as needed.  Sometimes nothing is needed.  I wouldn't presume to send him some separate, specially EQ'd signal that might or might not work for him.



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by PDKTDK on 2012-10-22 08:11:02

It really depends though on the music and sound you are using...

In most mixing situations you are rolling off low end on guitars.  Ted Templeman and Don Landee being exceptions that come to mind.  LOL



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by hansvaneven on 2012-10-22 12:16:32

Thanks for your input guys, I didn't checked out the DT amps yet, maybe I should do so.

From experience I think I prefer not to trust PA men anymore, 90% of the time they really destroy your sound Or I may check with 'm during soundcheck to be sure they don't cut the bass freqs too much, which is what happens most of the time.

I'm going to try to analyse the sound of a real amp to see how well it and then try to tweak my onstage monitor in such a way that the feeling is close to a real amp onstage,  then from there it shouldn't be too hard to EQ for PA ... it's indeed most important to have a sound that sounds inspiring onstage.

What's fun, is that quite a lot of people don't like HD500 or other modeler during rehearsals, because they don't get the feel of a real amp, actually they don't know how to use, that's all, so there's something to work on.

peace,

Hans



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by tdollaway on 2012-10-22 15:07:17

One item that I've found useful in dialing in my POD for live applications (direct to the mixing board), is that the POD also includes mic models. My 5150 sounded one way on stage, but slightly different through the P.A. due to the mic, and position of said mic, that I happened to be using that night.

I found it helpful to mic my amp, run it through the P.A., and A/B it with the POD to match the overall tone as close as I could. After I got it dialed in as best as I could, I used a powered FRFR monitor for my personal stage monitoring.

Hope this makes sense.



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by dbagchee on 2012-10-22 22:45:12

Trying to compensate for a bad sound guy is a losing proposition in my opinion. Give them a clean signal and let them do their job. It's never going to be perfect unless you are a big headliner with your own mix engineer and most sound guys I've worked with genuinely try to do their best.



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by hansvaneven on 2012-10-23 00:40:35

Good idea tdollaway and I think this is probably what I'm going to do, but I'll also use an analyser and EQ to come as close as possible to a real amp onstage.

thanks,

Hans



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by hansvaneven on 2012-10-23 00:41:49

Well, I didn't have much good results so far with sound guys here, they rarely do their job, most of the times they mix with the eyes (on mixing console that is) not the ears

Hans



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by alfmetal70 on 2012-10-23 04:48:49

Hello, I think that you can get a really good sound but the part more important in live context is the speaker. The pod HD will response very different with every speaker, for my ears at this moment, the Celestion V30 is the best option (I had Eminence GB128, 1258 and others irrelevant speakers more).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZLFFxlacvk&feature=player_embedded

And">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZLFFxlacvk&feature=player_embedded">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZLFFxlacvk&feature=player_embedded

AndI think that the SLO sim model have the best eq, is very easy to work, note have invasive´s bass or treble. I will try to record something with the SLO model soon, is very good and the result in context band is just great.

For me the trick for the live contexto, is in the "POD chain" put some eq between the amp and the stompboxes, in the nigth I will update my patch for show you that, change the sound to the extremely brigth to a warm and natural sound.

In "studio" context I think that is more easy control the eq, you have other options from the POD HD: Mics, topology, cab sim, etc... is not a big problem, in live have some difficult.

Greetings



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by hansvaneven on 2012-10-24 00:59:51

Interesting setup alfmetal70 ! Seems to response like a real amp, seems you use a MESA power amp is that right ?

Thanks,

Hans



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by hansvaneven on 2012-10-24 01:04:53

I just decided to order a 2 x 15 band EQ + capture microphone. Here's what I'm going to do :

- use the pre amps of the HD500 and run it into a real Tube amp + 4 x 12 cabinet

- then capture the sound of it using the capture mike through Ozone 5 's EQ's and capture tool

- switch to my real setup using my PA box (a behringer ... I know, I know, ... B315D which has a very warm sound actually, even compared it to other like RCF's, I think I prefer my cheap Behringer)

- EQ the HD500 setup so the freq curve is as close as possible to the one from a real tube amp and keep that EQ between the HD and my PA box

Will post my thoughts when that's finished.

cheers,

Hans

www.hansvaneven.net



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by Karl_Houseknecht on 2012-10-24 04:13:47

dbagchee wrote:

Trying to compensate for a bad sound guy is a losing proposition in my opinion. Give them a clean signal and let them do their job.

This.

If you really don't trust your sound guys to get a good mix then maybe you should consider hiring someone else.  I only remember one show where we had just an awful experience with the sound company and we solved that problem by never hiring them again.  Our tone on stage was great, couldn't really have given them anything better.

But back to your proposal.  Matching your guitar tone to a real amp dialed in for a good live tone instead of a recording is probably a good idea.  At least you'll be giving the FOH a good signal to start with.



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by alfmetal70 on 2012-10-24 04:29:59

hello, thank. Yes it sound like a real amp, and now with the SLO model is just impossible know if it is an emulation or a real amp because is more natural the response from the POD HD, I will try to record something and update my patch soon, is a little difficult with 2 childrens

The poweramp is from the TBS, 2 brothers from Chile are working with amps and effects:

http://tubesilva.webng.com/Web/

They">http://tubesilva.webng.com/Web/">http://tubesilva.webng.com/Web/

Theyare very professional.

Grettings



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by hansvaneven on 2012-10-24 13:16:00

Hi Karl,

well, seems that it's quite hard to find good soundguys and most of the time you don't have the choice, well, next time i'll be next to the soundguy when he does my EQ'ing

Cheers,

Hans



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by MontyM on 2012-10-25 17:59:32

Another thought in regaurds to your audio guy.  Guitar is one of the few instruments that if done correctly on the musician's end, shouldn't be over mixed by the FOH.

If your tones don't suck and the PA is EQ'd to the room, he shouldn't really have to tweak your tone too much.  Normally a high pass filter set around 80-100hz, a compressor with anywhere between a 4/1 or 2/1 ratio, a minimal EQing (like 3-5dB max), and you should be set. 

Cheers,

Monty M.



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by lukegeis on 2012-10-25 18:57:10

I would say that you should learn to trust what the sound guy does. Most have more experience doing sound than a typical band member. As a sound engineer by profession, I see day in and day out the problems associated with sound in many environments. It has been my experience that the bands create 90% of their own problems. This ranges from too loud, all the way to too anything else you can think of. As a guitarist of 17 years I have learned a lot about what I have been doing wrong. Not that I feel you are doing anything wrong, but you mention that they all destroy " your sound ". There are a lot of things that come into play when mixing a band and some engineers and or weekend warriors have different abilities of being able to deal with them. If 90% of them are doing the same thing to your sound, it could be very likely that it is a problem for 90% of them?

Things to consider....... Each instrument uses sonic space. If all instruments consume a lot of the same sonic space, it becomes very difficult to get clarity and distinction between said instruments. If there is too much bass in the guitar, the bass guitar will be less apparent and or have to consume even more of that sonic content to come on top. Then you start to step on other instruments toes. What's left for the kick drum? Too much of a good thing is still too much. At some point trying to get all the sound in the PA. to mix it, eats up all available headroom and there is no choice but to eliminate the frequencies that are eating up that headroom. Bass is the first thing that usually eats headroom up. If all instruments have too much of it, you can see how it can quickly add up to way more than you think. If the guitarist has a bassy sound, you can see why it is an easy choice to eliminate those offending frequencies.

It's not always possible to have your sound, when your sound doesn't work in a mix. It might sound great to you, but it may make it very difficult to get everything else to fit around it. You can see the circle that is created. The issue arises because most band members have their idea of what sound they want. This sound is usually not realistic and practical for mixing as a whole. Most members want a sound that is " BIGGER THAN LIFE ", or basically unrealistic and impractical. Listen to many high quality recording and you will see what I mean. When you listen to a good recording the instruments use very little sonic space and sound less dynamic, therefore creating a mix with apparentness and distinction. In a live situation, getting CD like sound is difficult and hard to acquire if the band is giving you too much, or too little to work with. It really puts a strangle on things when you are giving instructions to a sound guy that may not help. Yes you will be happy, but as a whole things may suffer?

I can assure you that almost all engineers are trying to do the best that they can to make things as good as they can. There are a few bad eggs out there that are poorly trained, or have very little or no sense of what sound is and how it works. But for the most part anyone can create a good mix if they have at least some idea of what is going on and a desire to do a good job. What separate's the men from the boys is a true understanding of how sound works and a very strong background in theory, system design and setup. A good engineer can get a very good mix doing very little to no work at all. He will set the PA up in a way that it does the work for him and allows him to only have to remove offending frequencies from particular instruments. These days even a poor mans PA. can achieve rather good results. The technology has come to a point where any person with a few grand can acquire a pretty good PA. That being said, if 90% of engineers are destroying your sound, it may be possible that your sound doesn't work. Most engineers are not responsible for destroying a bands night ( although some can and will ). I even have bad days from time to time where even I can't get what I want.........



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by alfmetal70 on 2012-10-26 02:25:06

Hello, here is my pack of "live set", the SLO are my favorites:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/8p87069wpb0sxay/Seteos_POD_HD.rar

My">http://www.mediafire.com/file/8p87069wpb0sxay/Seteos_POD_HD.rar">http://www.mediafire.com/file/8p87069wpb0sxay/Seteos_POD_HD.rar

Mytrock for sound more real is the eq in the middle of the pod chain. The patch are for use with a poweramp or for the loop effect (don´t have cab sim activates).

Greetings



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by hansvaneven on 2012-10-26 05:03:39

Hey thanks for the mail and lesson, but please don't get me wrong, I pretty very good understand how EQ, compressors and mix work and the need of ballance between instruments to avoid overlapping freqs etc, I've been teaching some of these points in a sound ingeneer school here several times, so no problem on that, but from what I see it that quite some soundguys here mix with their eyes and not with their ears, while I understand they do their best, I'm also aware they are often not schooled enough for the task. Understand EQ, compressors and mixing takes some time, just like learning an instrument, and most sound guys I've worked with here don't have ears ... that's sad to say, but the truth, and a lot of musicians here will agree with me. When I take the time to set near the sound guy while he's mixing it's just terrible to see they mix with the eyes not the ears ...

Anyway, I'm going to explore the eq'ing of my monitors first and then in future spend some time with the soundguys while they are doing the EQ'ing, it's ok to roll of some low freqs, but in most cases you don't need to roll off all those lower freqs, because you get some empty thiny sound, and most sound guys just put in a high pass filter without even listening to the real sound, that's sad ...

Cheers,

Hans



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by lukegeis on 2012-10-26 15:06:11

Another thing that came to mind is complimentary mixing. In some cases the instrument is not quite loud enough to be apparent in the mix, but is still eveident. Instead of increasing the overall volume of the instrument some will compliment it by increasing frequencies that are weak and cutting frequencies that are already prominent. Then as they increase the level of that instrument in the PA, it doesn't really get louder as much as it just becomes more apparent. However this may lead to a sound that is weak, or not as nice sounding as the original instruments tone. This is especially true when solo'd or alone in the mix.

Mixing with eyes isn't a bad habit as much as it is a learned reponse. Most instruments including guitar don't have much of anything below 80hz. This is where most low cut switches are placed. As a general rule I will do a low cut on anything that doesn't have a fundamental frequency below 80hz. This includes the guitar most of the time. However upon listening to the guitar, if it sounds thin I will switch the low cut off and see what can be done to fix it. This is also a trick done by many engineers who mix monitors from front of house. Since the signal is shared from the head amp and keeping the stage mix as clean as possible is desired, many will do whatever means possible to keep it that way. This usually means low cuts on stuff that may or may not need it.

Another important thing is micing technique. The close micing technique used by most for guitar can provide some downsides if not played around with enough. Most will stuff the mic off axis and right up on the grill. This emphasizes low frequensies and reduces fizziness and bite. This is good if the guitar is tuned well for that style. But some times the proximity effect will make for a boomy sounding guitar that requires some neutering. I like to have distance between my mic and the cab if I can. I prefer the reduced proximity effect and the air space makes for a more open sounding guitar. I try for about 6" off the gril and just off axis. The downside is more background noise in that channel. Perhaps playing around with the mic position may get the desired result your after? This may also get the sound guy to keep from neutering your sound as much?



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by DeanDinosaur on 2012-10-26 17:30:35

lukegeis wrote:

. As a general rule I will do a low cut on anything that doesn't have a fundamental frequency below 80hz. This includes the guitar most of the time. However upon listening to the guitar, if it sounds thin I will switch the low cut off and see what can be done to fix it. ....

I think you can get away with more low frequency in live performance due to the unlimited dynamic range even though cutting the low for guitar is mandatory practice in mixing in general wheter it's live or recorded, The cuts certainely need to be steeper if mixing for record. For guitar you can easily start cutting at below 200hz if you want to clear up the bass. Most of the muddiness is in that range and I think the most difficult part is perfecting the balance of instruments in that range. sometimes the complete final mix can suffer in the 200hz range because many instruments' parts start accumulating there. If you cut more than you should you're killing the oomph and if you don't cut enough, you end up with mud.

The trick for Rock music I beilieve is that both Bass and Guitar have to EQ that Area. Try to have a notch  for the bass that cutts between 125 and 200hz while the guitar cut is  below 160 with 6db curve with a slight bell boost centered at 200 or thereabout..This will give the guitar and bass clarity..



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by wetredbox on 2012-10-28 10:09:55

I have always been wronged by the sounds guy.  no offense to you intended, but it's true.  EQ and volume never right.  The last sound guy to do my sound said, why do you want to play so loud?, so I can hear myself up here, I said.  then I took his word for it that he knew what he was doing and nobody could hear my guitar.  I should have trusted myself. 

fellow HD guys seem to really know their sound.   i wuld make it so you have ultimate control over the tone and volume, have a freind out there to let you know how it sounds and if it doesn;t cut it, take control fromt he stage, sound guy be damned



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by jimsreynolds on 2012-10-29 02:05:24

Likin' this thread.  Some good info and views being shared. 



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by Karl_Houseknecht on 2012-10-29 07:27:50

wetredbox wrote:

The last sound guy to do my sound said, why do you want to play so loud?, so I can hear myself up here, I said.  then I took his word for it that he knew what he was doing and nobody could hear my guitar. 

Probably because he refused to put you through the FOH after you wouldn't calm your stage volume down.   A self-fulfilling prophecy.  I've watched that happen time after time.  Trying to control the guitar mix from the stage is always a losing battle.

I keep the amp volume low (when I'm using an amp) and rely on a wedge to get more of me on stage.  Always a pleasing experience.  I have this nice wall of guitar surrounding me all night.  Sound guys love it when you have your stage volume under control and they'll put more of you in the FOH mix if you're good to them.  Eventually you get the rep of the guitarist who "plays nice with others" and they'll do even more for you because they like working with you.



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by dbagchee on 2012-10-29 09:14:34

Yep I usually start with my amp volume pretty low. I think they get a kick out of saying "hey turn that amp up!".



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by jimsreynolds on 2012-10-29 09:23:17

Most of the problems I get with my combo amp and volume are caused by the thing being on the floor and pointing at my shoes rather than at my head.  My old amp had a stand that would rake it back and that was just great.  I could use reasonably low volumes and hear everything I was doing. Other band members could just ask for me in the mix if they needed it.

My current combo is waaay too heavy for that stand so sometimes I kick it back against a wall or similar but that ain't ideal both in terms of sound and stability.  I will grab a new, stronger, stand sometime.

I will suffer a wedge if I must but the quality of house monitors is variable and I have sometime found that I lose the 'feel' of what I am doing so I prefer hearing the direct sound where I can. 



Re: Open discussion on EQ'ing HD500 for live use
by lukegeis on 2012-12-16 12:58:23

The game is changing these days though. The sound systems that are designed and installed at larger venues are getting very close to more than enough volume to hurt people and flat enough to accommodate just about anything. That being said there are other factors that will change the game. I find the biggest one is whether the subs are on an aux send or not. If the subs are in line with the mains on a send it is very easy to get more than too much low end content to pile up. This eats up headroom prematurely and can make for a muddy mix. What many engineers will do is neuter instruments to clean it up, trying to leave room for the vocals to be in front and on top in the mix.

The other big thing is that mixing technique is changing among new engineers these days too. Many are shooting for a more studio oriented sound. This usually means lots of low end cut on just about everything. The goal being to clean the mix up and provide room for space between instruments. This may mean that people who are used to the bigger than life sound that most rock shows have, may be disappointed? I like a full sounding guitar as much as the next guy, but I also run subs on auxes whenever possible and will also place the mic further from the speaker than most do also.

I once had a show where the drummer was mad at me because his kick drum wasn't boomy enough. He wanted it soo loud I was out of headroom, so I went for a cleaner punchier kick that was apparent in the mix but didn't rattle the walls three blocks away. he wanted more low end than was practical and possible given the systems setup. Needless to say not even the best engineers can make everyone happy. A better way to get a grip on how an engineer works is to stick around and watch the other bands that play. If he mixes the three bands pretty much the same, that is likely the way he mixes. No keep in mind that you need to be subjective. You may not like it, but that is your opinion. You need really only factor clarity, overall sonic quality and space. That is to say that the instruments should be clear and all be able to be heard, the sonic quality is ok and not abrasive, thin, or muddy and that there is a feeling of space and dimension in the mix. If you close your eyes can you still see the instruments, or do they have no real place in the mix? The quality of sound be it thin or boomy is subjective too. I like it thinner than boomy, but fuller than thin : )

More than that these days the better engineers are the ones that can get more with less. Subs on an aux will free up lots of headroom and allow for much punchier bass and kick drum sounds that will have lots of power, but maintain clarity. The tops ( or mains ) should carry enough low end to fill out the rest of the instruments pretty well. They will be even better if you can reduce the boom created by bass and guitars. I hate too much low end, all it does is muddy up the mix and eat up space and headroom. It helps to keep an open mind when listening to a live mix and although things may sound neutered, it may sound better that way than as it did originally?




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