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erabjohns

High Cut vs. Parametic EQ

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I'm a relatively new Helix owner and was playing around with an amp the other day.  I decided to add a low & high cut based on threads I've read and opinions on Youtube.  The end result was a muffled tone.  It got me thinking - why wouldn't I just use a parametric EQ to remove certain harsh frequencies instead of a high cut which takes out everything above a certain level?

 

Is there another use for high cuts that I"m missing, or a practical use for it vs. an EQ?  I know there's no one size fits all answer, but just curious what other people's thoughts are on this since I see a lot of talk about using HC and not so much on parametric EQ. 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, erabjohns said:

I'm a relatively new Helix owner and was playing around with an amp the other day.  I decided to add a low & high cut based on threads I've read and opinions on Youtube.  The end result was a muffled tone.  It got me thinking - why wouldn't I just use a parametric EQ to remove certain harsh frequencies instead of a high cut which takes out everything above a certain level?

 

Is there another use for high cuts that I"m missing, or a practical use for it vs. an EQ?  I know there's no one size fits all answer, but just curious what other people's thoughts are on this since I see a lot of talk about using HC and not so much on parametric EQ. 

 

 

 

You can do that... the end result is what matters. If you like what you hear, then you're done... how you got there doesn't much matter, and depends entirely on the tone you're looking for, and the speakers you're pumping through. There's no "one size fits all" approach.

 

FWIW, the parametric EQ block also has hi/low cut filters, so you can use a shelf in addition to more targeted attenuation (or boost, as the case may be). Check out Jason Sadites Helix videos on YouTube... he has some pretty in-depth discussions on EQ.

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So a high cut & parametric EQ are attempting to do the same thing, only one is an axe, the other a scalpel.  Is that what it essentially boils down to?

 

Edit:  I know you can do other things w/ a parametric EQ, but for this purpose, it's to remove frequencies.

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1 hour ago, erabjohns said:

So a high cut & parametric EQ are attempting to do the same thing, only one is an axe, the other a scalpel.  Is that what it essentially boils down to?

 

Edit:  I know you can do other things w/ a parametric EQ, but for this purpose, it's to remove frequencies.

 

In a nutshell, yes... though the high end fizz that many complain about is often tough to get rid of just by targeting one fundamental frequency. Even with a wide Q it usually isn't enough, especially with high gain tones. But if you're not looking for heavy, saturated tones, you might have as much fizz in the first place. It's all personal preference in the end. 

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If using the high and low cuts following the typical thread of 100Hz and 5KHz gives you a muffled tone........

1. Are you running FRFR? the concept is to put full range flat response speaker systems in the general ballpark of a guitar amp and speakers, but it is not for use on a conventional amp and speakers - because they already do that.

2. Are you doing that to a patch that is already sounding mostly OK without it?

The high and low cuts (when using FRFR or straight into a DAW) do work.  But you do this pretty much as a first step when building a patch from scratch. So you select an Amp, add a speaker and set the high and low cut - then tune the sound - it is EQ at the end of the day, so you might modify the cuts too to fine tune your sound, but if you start there, you get really good sounds quickly and overdrives and distortions sound sweet instead of harsh.

3. All EQ approaches are valid - the high and low cut is a starting point - I like a Cali Q Graphic on a lot of tones to tweak the mid cut. - but they are all a curve and you can make that curve with different tools.

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29 minutes ago, rvroberts said:

If using the high and low cuts following the typical thread of 100Hz and 5KHz gives you a muffled tone........

1. Are you running FRFR? the concept is to put full range flat response speaker systems in the general ballpark of a guitar amp and speakers, but it is not for use on a conventional amp and speakers - because they already do that.

2. Are you doing that to a patch that is already sounding mostly OK without it?

The high and low cuts (when using FRFR or straight into a DAW) do work.  But you do this pretty much as a first step when building a patch from scratch. So you select an Amp, add a speaker and set the high and low cut - then tune the sound - it is EQ at the end of the day, so you might modify the cuts too to fine tune your sound, but if you start there, you get really good sounds quickly and overdrives and distortions sound sweet instead of harsh.

3. All EQ approaches are valid - the high and low cut is a starting point - I like a Cali Q Graphic on a lot of tones to tweak the mid cut. - but they are all a curve and you can make that curve with different tools.

At this point, everything is going through headphones(Beyerdynamic 880's).  To me, everything sounds incredible even without adding an EQ or adjusting the low/high cut.  I'm sure there's room for improvement and getting a guitar to sit right in the mix is another story, but I was just surprised how well the stock Helix amps sound right off the bat.  Based on some people's opinions, you'd think they were completely unusable without a lot of cuts & eq's.  Granted, I'm not playing a lot of high gain amps yet and I would expect those to need a little more work.

 

I appreciate everyone's help.  This place is a great resource.

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43 minutes ago, erabjohns said:

Based on some people's opinions, you'd think they were completely unusable without a lot of cuts & eq's. 

 

Sometimes that's exactly what happens... the amp model matters of course, as does what you're playing and how you play it. But a lot of it has to do with one's choice of cab and mic models, with emphasis on the mics and their distance parameter. Any of the ribbon mics, especially when they're pulled back a bit, can sound quite dark. They tend to mitigate the need for really savage high cuts. But on the other hand...take a Strat bridge single coil, a liberal dose of gain, and a 57 positioned 1" from the cone, and it'll go through your head like a nail. The variables are numerous.

 

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