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ClausHIllerup

low cut settings..

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Hi all,
 
I use Jason Sadites Helix patch set-up, with EQ and compression blocks in the end.
 
I recently joined a band again, and we are having our first gig next saturday, at a 50 years birthday. We will not have a sound guy at this job, and this is why I turn to you for some advice.
 
We are a 5 piece rockband, 2 guitars, bass & drums. I play all the lead parts, the other guitarist is my Malcolm Young :-) 
I play through a Tech21 Power Engine, with a full range Beyma speaker,- the other guitarist tend to have a somewhat dark distorted sound in his Rhythm parts. I primarily use PRS HB (Dragon II - somewhat dark) and the other guy uses P90s. 
 
At our rehearsals I have experimented with setting the low cut on my solo patches as high as 180 Hz, as well as other things to cut through the mix. I really think this works well in the rehearsal room.  From readings, I guess that a low-cut at 180 is quit extreme (I got the idea from a guy mixing guitars in a studio)… 
 
So my question is: Is there something in this approach I should be aware of, when playing live in bigger locations?
 
I hope you could find the time to give me a hint or advice.

 

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Usually 180Hz at HPF indicates 3dB roll off at that frequency since it is first order filter (3dB per octave). Nothing drastical.
Speaking of the best setting of HPF regardless of what is filtered is pointless. IRs are also filters and can have HPF/LPF included.

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Regarding playing live - are you going to play about the same volume you rehearse?

If so, you will have nothing to worry about.  If you will be turning up, then you might need to increase your low (and maybe high) rolloff.

Google Fletcher Munson curve.  Basically it says as you get louder the bottoms and tops become more audible compared to you mids - so it you already have a dark tone, it's likely to be mud at a high volume.  I think rehearsing at the volume you play is the best solution - but that assumes you don't want to blast your audience and you don't try to deafen yourself at rehearsal!  A sensible approach is to play at a good mix level with your drummer's acoustic sound.

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The question for larger live performance is really more about how does it come through on the PA, since the larger the audience the more likely that will be their only reference rather than your stage sound.  As rvroberts points out you can really only guage the mix once you get it to performance volumes and stand in front of the PA.

I've played in the same band for around 9 years with myself on lead and another guitar player on rhythm.  In my experience it's far less about EQ differences than it is differences in what and how each guitarist is playing.  It only really becomes an issue when both guitars are playing the same chords in the same way.  That's when things begin to sound like mush, and then different EQ's don't really help.  Typically in our group the other guitar player tends to play standard bar chord rhythms while I'll offset that with maybe open cords or different variations higher or lower on the neck, simplified accent rhythms, or different chord inversions or palm muting or hybrid picking and so forth.

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Depending on the amp, it can vary. 

 

Also are you Pre-EQing or is this a post EQ. in relation to the Amp Block?

 

I typically will 'low cut' before the amp and my post EQ will be more for high cut.  I have low cuts as low as 100hz, but some get close to 200hz.  Just depends on the flubbyness of the bass in the amp for me.  usually I settle around 150hz and that is now my starting point.  if I can't get enough of the right bass reaction in the amp block I'll knock it down or raise it up and then compensate with the Amp block or Post EQ blocks to get me there.  Where you are doing the cuts can make a difference.

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TL;DR - there are no hard/fast rules for this stuff when it comes to live. Volume, proximity , speaker system all play  a role. Your best bet is going to be to dial everything in at as close to live volume as possible with the band. 

 

The louder you're running the guitar, the safer it is to have a low-cut that high. I usually err on the side of leaving a little extra I can cut at the board if need be. If you're doing your own sound I highly recommend at least one member of the band be wireless so they can walk out in front of the system while you're line checking an a few times throughout the night to check and see if anything needs to be adjusted. 

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1 hour ago, themetallikid said:

Depending on the amp, it can vary. 

 

Also are you Pre-EQing or is this a post EQ. in relation to the Amp Block?

 

I typically will 'low cut' before the amp and my post EQ will be more for high cut.  I have low cuts as low as 100hz, but some get close to 200hz.  Just depends on the flubbyness of the bass in the amp for me.  usually I settle around 150hz and that is now my starting point.  if I can't get enough of the right bass reaction in the amp block I'll knock it down or raise it up and then compensate with the Amp block or Post EQ blocks to get me there.  Where you are doing the cuts can make a difference.

So far I have only done this Post - But I will try to set up a block Pre to hear the effect. I use the Divided By 13 amp a lot, and the bass is very floppy without a distortion pedal. Thanks for the tip...

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Yeah I always struggled with flubby bass on some amps until I gave this a try.

 

I read someone on a post explain:

To tame flubby bass - Pre EQ

To tame ice pick highs- Post EQ

 

I typically will overcut the lows a touch....pre EQ, and then raise the bass parameter to where it gets out of control again, and then back it down to just below freaking out level.....then in my post EQ I use a Parametric EQ and will dial in the specific frequency/Q that I want for the low end.  I myself love a very sharp spike at 125hz, however the Helix does 120 or 130, so I add the 120hz in between 0.5 - 2.0db with a really high Q of above 7.0.  Adjust it to the amp I'm using and how much chunk I want.

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1 hour ago, themetallikid said:

Yeah I always struggled with flubby bass on some amps until I gave this a try.

 

I read someone on a post explain:

To tame flubby bass - Pre EQ

To tame ice pick highs- Post EQ

 

I typically will overcut the lows a touch....pre EQ, and then raise the bass parameter to where it gets out of control again, and then back it down to just below freaking out level.....then in my post EQ I use a Parametric EQ and will dial in the specific frequency/Q that I want for the low end.  I myself love a very sharp spike at 125hz, however the Helix does 120 or 130, so I add the 120hz in between 0.5 - 2.0db with a really high Q of above 7.0.  Adjust it to the amp I'm using and how much chunk I want.

Thanks,- I seem to be a novice in EQ... Do you just use the high/low cut block in the Pre? and when its pre - is it the very first block you use? Pre Wah, comp or OD/Distortion?

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Yes, I have the Pre EQ as the first block in my chain as it will help 'clean up' the signal's low end for further processing by the blocks down the line. 

 

I think I read that the Parametric EQ has the steepest slopes on the low/hi cuts.....which means if you set it to 120hz, it rolls off pretty quickly <120hz.  WHere as some of the other style EQ's have a more gradual rolloff, so there is more of the frequencies you are trying to cut out. 

 

For the Pre Eq portion I leave the parametric frequencies alone, other than the Low Cut one.  in the preset I will again add in the bass to just short of being too much, then in the Post EQ Parametric block, I will add my 120hz spike that I like for some good chunky/percussive palm mutes, and then adjust the low cut there as well....that can range anywhere from 80-200 hz as well. Depends on the amp, but usually I end up around 100-120.  It just helps retain the low cut you set earlier in the preset, but allows the amp's bass parameter to do what it should be doing, and then retaming the muddy bass stuff before being pushed out......if that makes sense. 

 

I know it sounds counter intuitive, but don't be afraid to (in my case, yours may differ) raise that low cut....as long as it counds good.  I have some presets where I do my 120hz spike thing, but have the low cut up closer to 200hz. 

 

Bonus trick:  this is where the 'looper trick' really helps.  Put the looper in the front of your chain, and record something you intend to play through that preset/snapshot.....then as its playing back what you recorded you can edit the preset without having to play, edit, play edit, play edit, etc.....easier to really fine tune the cuts in the EQ's so you can hear them real time with the recorded playing.  Once I'm there with that, I'll stop the looper and play and listen to make sure I didn't dial out any sort of 'feel' from the preset. 

 

I'm not at home right now, but if you want, I can shoot you a preset I have that's just sort of a template so you can see what I'm explaining.....if not, that's ok too.  :)

 

 

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50 minutes ago, themetallikid said:

Yes, I have the Pre EQ as the first block in my chain as it will help 'clean up' the signal's low end for further processing by the blocks down the line. 

 

I think I read that the Parametric EQ has the steepest slopes on the low/hi cuts.....which means if you set it to 120hz, it rolls off pretty quickly <120hz.  WHere as some of the other style EQ's have a more gradual rolloff, so there is more of the frequencies you are trying to cut out. 

 

For the Pre Eq portion I leave the parametric frequencies alone, other than the Low Cut one.  in the preset I will again add in the bass to just short of being too much, then in the Post EQ Parametric block, I will add my 120hz spike that I like for some good chunky/percussive palm mutes, and then adjust the low cut there as well....that can range anywhere from 80-200 hz as well. Depends on the amp, but usually I end up around 100-120.  It just helps retain the low cut you set earlier in the preset, but allows the amp's bass parameter to do what it should be doing, and then retaming the muddy bass stuff before being pushed out......if that makes sense. 

 

I know it sounds counter intuitive, but don't be afraid to (in my case, yours may differ) raise that low cut....as long as it counds good.  I have some presets where I do my 120hz spike thing, but have the low cut up closer to 200hz. 

 

Bonus trick:  this is where the 'looper trick' really helps.  Put the looper in the front of your chain, and record something you intend to play through that preset/snapshot.....then as its playing back what you recorded you can edit the preset without having to play, edit, play edit, play edit, etc.....easier to really fine tune the cuts in the EQ's so you can hear them real time with the recorded playing.  Once I'm there with that, I'll stop the looper and play and listen to make sure I didn't dial out any sort of 'feel' from the preset. 

 

I'm not at home right now, but if you want, I can shoot you a preset I have that's just sort of a template so you can see what I'm explaining.....if not, that's ok too.  :)

 

 

That would be so great, thanks a lot:-), and one more thing: Do you differ in your cutting settings when you set up rhythm vs. solo/lead ?

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For the Pre/Post Eq's, I will generally keep them the same.  My reasoning for that is to set a solid foundation at the beginning, and send a solid spectrum of frequencies to the board on the output. 

 

For my 'lead' boosts, I use a combination of EQ/Drive blocks before most my amps.  Which drive block changes based on the amp I'm using and how it interacts with the amp feel wise.  I have another Parametric EQ setup (leaving the low/high cuts alone this time) and I usually boost somewhere between 800hz-1.5khz to help push the mids before the amp, which are then carried forward throughout the sound.   I may boost the mids on the amp a bit more as well, but usually just slamming the front end of the amp with a mid boost into a drive is good enough for rock patches.  

 

So typically my chain is:  

 

Path A: PEQ - (Drive - Wah) - [PEQ - Drive] - AMP     in this line the (Drive - Wah) combo  are auto engaged with the EXP Pedal and the [PEQ - Drive] are my lead boost  

 

Path B: Speaker IR's  - Reverb/Delay - PEQ - Compressor (Sadites LA Comp Style) - Volume - Output   Theres some splitting of the IR's into parallel paths and only one of them gets the Reverb which then joins back before the PEQ in the chain.  If I remember correctly.

 

I could do that same boost in the 'pre-eq' block, but I haven't experimented to know if I get the same response.  I'm sure I would as there usually isn't a lot between the 2 EQ blocks really, except my drive/wah combination. 

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20 minutes ago, themetallikid said:

For the Pre/Post Eq's, I will generally keep them the same.  My reasoning for that is to set a solid foundation at the beginning, and send a solid spectrum of frequencies to the board on the output. 

 

For my 'lead' boosts, I use a combination of EQ/Drive blocks before most my amps.  Which drive block changes based on the amp I'm using and how it interacts with the amp feel wise.  I have another Parametric EQ setup (leaving the low/high cuts alone this time) and I usually boost somewhere between 800hz-1.5khz to help push the mids before the amp, which are then carried forward throughout the sound.   I may boost the mids on the amp a bit more as well, but usually just slamming the front end of the amp with a mid boost into a drive is good enough for rock patches.  

 

So typically my chain is:  

 

Path A: PEQ - (Drive - Wah) - [PEQ - Drive] - AMP     in this line the (Drive - Wah) combo  are auto engaged with the EXP Pedal and the [PEQ - Drive] are my lead boost  

 

Path B: Speaker IR's  - Reverb/Delay - PEQ - Compressor (Sadites LA Comp Style) - Volume - Output   Theres some splitting of the IR's into parallel paths and only one of them gets the Reverb which then joins back before the PEQ in the chain.  If I remember correctly.

 

I could do that same boost in the 'pre-eq' block, but I haven't experimented to know if I get the same response.  I'm sure I would as there usually isn't a lot between the 2 EQ blocks really, except my drive/wah combination. 

I would be very grateful to receive a template from you... but I will give your recommendations a go right now :-)

 

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