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High/low cuts


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With so many places you can have cuts in helix do you use them on every thing you can in one patch? For example a patch with a mic pre amp - cab and global? Would you make cuts on all three and would they all be the same or as the global eq should be the last through would you just cut that? I'm confused!

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Back in my HD500X days I was a big advocate of using Global EQ to trim off the highs and lows as that was the easiest and quickest solution.  Over time I've learned a bit more about natural speaker response and have come to the conclusion that hi-cut and low-cuts are not the most natural way to deal with boominess and shrill highs.


Traditional guitar cabinets have full frequency range response capabilities, but the response across that frequency range is not flat.  It drops off significantly at the low end and the high end.  It doesn't drop off abruptly as it does with a low-cut or high-cut filter.  Instead it gradually diminishes.  The best way to achieve this same response it to use a graphic equalizer at the end of the signal chain.  Bear in mind that most PA systems that use sub-woofers already incorporate a low-cut crossover typically at around 125 hz, so the guitar effectively already has a low-cut applied to it as it doesn't produce much of anything at that range unless you are using an octave effect.  But that's more of a natural cut than the abrupt cut from a low-cut filter.  So again, the final graphic EQ in the signal chain still seems to be the best approach.


Another reason to be cautious about globally applying cuts is that the frequency profile of your patch is highly dependent upon the cabinet you are using, the microphone you apply to that cabinet, the distance of the mic from the cabinet, and (in the case of some IR's) the placement of that mic.  So often you can achieve a tighter low end and less brittle top end by simply changing the cab, mic, mic distance or mic placement.  Once you've done all of that, if you're still having issues with the frequency response, use the final graphic EQ to adjust out what still needs to be addressed on the highs and lows.


It may be a bit more work than just using a global hi-cut and low-cut filter, but I'm MUCH happier with the results approaching it this way as it sounds and feels much more natural.

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