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Does anyone have a dumbed down version of understanding the built in parametric EQ on the firehawk?


i have a general idea of how it worksa. However, when I’m alone at my bands rehearsal space and I’m busy dialing in my volumes and tone etc, if I hear something I don’t like. I immediately go into the EQ and turn it on


the issue I have is trying to narrow down what frequencies I’m trying to lower. 


I guess for  an example, a high gain amp with a tube screamer for a bit of drive. I notice a very “high” somewhat ear piercing fizzyness. 



Teying to narrow down exactly what Frequency it is gets aggravating. 


So I guess, what frequencies define low shelf, low mids, hi mids, and high shelf?



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Whoa that's kind of a beefy question to unpack. In fact, after writing this it ended up being a bigger beast then I imagined.  You may just want to do yourself a favor and skip to the two videos below and see if that solves it first. Then if needed use the below for kind of a summary.


Also, there are TWO EQs in the Firehawk, a guitar one and a global. The explanation below is for the simpler guitar only, but there is only one additional concept with the global, so once you have the basics it won't be nearly as hard to get the global down.


EQ is one of those things that is nearly impossible to explain in a reply, and yet once it's figured out it's honestly not near as complex (conceptually) as it sounds, though you can freaking find yourself tweaking for hours. . I've spent countless hours trying to get a grip on visualizing it - so I feel your pain. Honestly though, the problem is it's much more simplistic than people tend to think it is. 


There's a few steps to understanding the Firehawk's EQ, in this order:


1. All sound is really just a specified number of vibrations per second. High frequencies have more vibrations per second than mid range frequencies, and mid range and highs have more than low. What are frequencies?  They're basically cycles, or vibrations, per second. 

2. You should envision sound as a conceptual wave , and your EQ attempts to mathematically shape that wave. So a sound wave travels - and there are low, mid, and high frequencies. 

3. The human ear is a pretty limited beast - of the vibrations occurring in that aforementioned sound wave, it can only hear between 20 Hz and (or 20 cycles/vibrations per second) and 20 kHz (or 20,000 cycles/vibrations per second. Highs are towards the upper level of that. Mids are . . . well, kind of in the middle, and lows are towards the lower end. The older we get the more our ears suck, and most of us can barely manage 16 kHz.

4. A lo shelf and a hi shelf gain is a conceptual straight line - or shelf - at a particular frequency (so, for example, a low shelf set at 133 HZ represents a cut off point - or a shelf - like a metaphorical book shelf if you will, at 133 cycles per second). 

5. The second control is a gain. On the Firehawk, you can either boost the gain (for example, by 1 DB - which means decibel) or reduce the gain (such as by -1 DB). What does that mean? Well, if you set the low shelf frequency at 133 Hz, and set the low shelf gain to -4 DB then you are saying I want all low frequencies from 133 (the shelf) or below to be reduced by 4 decibels. If you say +4 DB then you're saying you want them louder by that amount. The same is true of the mid range too. Hi shelfs work in the opposite direction. If you set a hi shelf at 3 khz (or 3,000 cycles per second) at +3 db then you are amplifying everything at that shelf and ABOVE. Reduction does just the opposite.

6. It's over my head as to why, but we don't refer to mid frequency stuff as a shelf. Nevertheless, on the Firehawk, you can set a frequency level for the mid range (for example, 864 Hz) and a gain or reduction just as with the low and high shelfs, and what this means is you are increasing or decreasing the mids at that frequency. 

7. Equalizing is not an exact science. Every time you mess with a sound wave something is lost even when something is gained - think of it as the way magic is described in the Harry Potter series (I think it was Harry Potter).  Even with shelves, you don't PERFECTLY reduce or amplify any of those frequencies - it's just a rough aproximation of what's happening. There's always a cost. You should keep this in the back of your head to keep yourself from being one of those people who falls down the rabbit hole of EQ'ing a perfectly imperfect gorgeous sound into a smoldering hell hole of slag. 


Once you've gone over the steps above, here are some tips:


1. A common beginners step with EQ is to "scoop" your guitar's wave. This basically means you raise the lows and highs and either ignore or actually reduce the mids. It's a simplistic way of thinking about it but in the beginning it can be a good starting point.

2. A great approach is to learn off of the Firehawk's presets, both the ones built in and the ones from the tone cloud. EQ is one of the things the presets worked on, so find ones you like and take a look at what the EQ did to HELP with the tone. This did wonders for me as I would pay attention to what generally made an acoustic preset sound good versus an electric.


Finally, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of this still sounds like gobbly lollipop. If you'd like to read up more on it, wiki is a great place, but also this site:




AND even better, the two videos below. They're based off the Spider V amp but honestly the Firehawk and the Spider are near cousins in the EQ world. If you watch both videos it should do wonders for you.  Honestly you'll probably wonder why you waisted your time on my gobbly lollipop above: 





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