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Old 08-19-2013, 06:53 PM   #1
sykryk
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How to EQ distorted guitars

Hi All,

Does anyone have any useful tips/ guides to eq'ing guitars? I'm running a POD HD500 straight into reaper, and while the tones aren't bad - I feel they need more... definition?

Any help is greatly appreciated
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:19 PM   #2
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High pass filter at 100-200Hz to get rid of the mud, low pass filter at 4-8kHz to dampen fizz.
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:21 PM   #3
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I find the mids around 800Hz muddy the sound up a bit, for me. I usually cut them a bit, but never completely - the mids is where the "meat" of the sound is.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavalcade
High pass filter at 100-200Hz to get rid of the mud, low pass filter at 4-8kHz to dampen fizz.


That really helped - thank you
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sykryk
That really helped - thank you

Make sure to have a cut around 200 Hz for the snare to cut through. 1-2 kHz is where the "meat" of the vocals lie, so don't let that be too dominant and cover the vocals. I also find that a small cut around 300 Hz can clear a bit of mud. Also try re-positioning the mic and fiddling with the settings on the amp if you're not getting the tones you want.

The best way to make a great mix with less effort is to have the best source tracks possible.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavalcade
low pass filter at 4-8kHz to dampen fizz.

Holy crap, that's low. I'd say 9k-12k for most purposes.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:37 AM   #7
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My highs all but disappear by 7k. It depends.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:22 PM   #8
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^^ different Q settings perhaps? The curve does make a difference.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:31 PM   #9
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Take a look at this guide; based on my experience, just by reading this, you can learn everything you need to know about processing guitars.

http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/...in-guitars.html
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxdarrenxx
^^ different Q settings perhaps? The curve does make a difference.

No, I mean the highs in the pre-EQ signal.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:50 PM   #11
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Ideally, you want to record the sound as you want it so that, later, you don't have to EQ it to make it sound that way. The best sounding tracks are the ones that require the least amount of intervention to sound right.

So how do you get them sounding great from the get-go? Put the amp up on a chair or something, away from the floor and away from the walls. It's surprising how much these things interfere with the sound you think you are recording. Then get your ear up as close to the speaker cabinet as you dare. It might sound great in the room, with the speakers blasting at your knees, but you might be surprised at how fizzy they get once you put your ear right up close... the same place the mic will be hearing it. Fiddling with the tone and gain controls will make a world of difference in how little you will need to EQ later.

Next up... mic choice and placement. Move the mic closer, farther, to the left, angle it, etc. Again, you'll be amazed at how much difference this can make. Also consider different mics. Sure, try an SM57, but also try other mics too. I just picked up a Sennheiser MD421. I did a dry run on my guitar amp, and with practically no fiddling at all, got a really decent sound out of it.

Try combining two mics, and play around with different combinations, different placements relative to each other, etc. Invert phase. Or not. Try layering a miked guitar sound with a direct sound run through an amp modeler like Head Case.

Finally, when you've got the sound almost exactly the way you want it, THEN you're ready to EQ it. But just a little, because that's all you'll need.

At that point, one of the biggest things is to cut a lot out of the bottom - a high-pass somewhere around 100-200hz. You'll be amazed at how much of a "big guitar sound" is actually achieved by blending the guitars in with the bass.

CT
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axemanchris
You'll be amazed at how much of a "big guitar sound" is actually achieved by blending the guitars in with the bass.

CT


Fantastic post in general, but...THIS. DON'T hide your bass. People do that WAY too much in most styles that include distorted guitars.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by KevinGoetz
Fantastic post in general, but...THIS. DON'T hide your bass. People do that WAY too much in most styles that include distorted guitars.

I heard when mixing bass that as a rule of thumb, you should put it just above or just below the kick drum, but when I listened to White Wizzard's album Flying Tigers, I suddenly realised how awesome things can sound when you put the bass at the forefront of the mix! Check it out:



Now I start off matching it with the kick drum, then push it up from there
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:27 PM   #14
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That's interesting. Personally I still prefer the kick to punch through the bass, but I do that by side-chaining a compressor to the bass that triggers when the kick hits, so it ducks a little. That seems to help the kick and the bass really lock in together and play nice.
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Old 08-23-2013, 04:41 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by KevinGoetz
That's interesting. Personally I still prefer the kick to punch through the bass, but I do that by side-chaining a compressor to the bass that triggers when the kick hits, so it ducks a little. That seems to help the kick and the bass really lock in together and play nice.

Hmm, that sounds very useful, I shall have a crack at this myself at some point. My focal project at the minute, which I'm conveniently about to start mixing, is a death metal EP - I'd love to try it, but given how much kick there is, you'd never hear the bass
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:02 AM   #16
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look through an EQ and boost areas that are a little weak, and take down any frequencies that are way too high or dominating a little. I often put the mids up a little and, depending on how many instruments are there, take down the bass a little to compensate and allow others to break through. However, if it's your standard 4/5 piece, don't drop them too low; keep it so that others can be heard but not so much that you lose the thickness. Your best bet is to experiment, or seek advice IRL from a friend.

Last edited by Banjocal : 08-23-2013 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:49 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeretiK538
Hmm, that sounds very useful, I shall have a crack at this myself at some point. My focal project at the minute, which I'm conveniently about to start mixing, is a death metal EP - I'd love to try it, but given how much kick there is, you'd never hear the bass


I'd still do it, personally. It doesn't have to be drastic; even just chopping off a few db is enough to let the kick come through no problem. If you get your levels set right, it sounds like both are at an even volume when you hear them together, both perfectly audible without any masking going on. Another nice trick is to only compress the bass where the kick's low-end peak sits.

For instance, with my current mix, I've got a bass centered around 100 hz, with a ton of well-controlled sub-lows beefing it up, but not a whole lot of content at 80, which is where a lot of that awful "standing outside of a noisy club" sound is, in my experience. I also find that the kick sample I'm working with likes a peak at 80 hz. Therefore, in this situation, one could compress only 80 hz on the bass, allowing the kick's low peak to shove its way through without compromising the bass as a whole.
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