#1
Alright, so my band has been together since last winter and we've practice a lot and played shows and etc. But during our last practice our lead guitar players dad pointed out that our EQ isn't all that great. Admittedly this is probably one of the only major problems we have. The way we usually EQ is over the drums and then we just kind of match our guitars and then the bass EQ's under that. Also, my lead guitar player almost always refuses to put his amp on the same side of the room that mine and the bass players is on...even though I remember reading on UG that this is something you are supposed to do. Also, we started wearing ear plugs and practice because the basement is rather small and when EQ'd over the drums you really can't pick any of the sound apart. So I was wondering if anyone has good tips for EQ'ing? maybe a certain process to take to get the levels good? Thank you.
Quote by herby190
When I saw that, I thought of musical notes.... my elementary school teachers taught them as "tee-tees" "ta-tas" and a bunch of other nonsense....
#3
Quote by GS LEAD 5
Get rid of the ear plugs, get the amps together, add more mids, stop scooping them.


Why no ear plugs? "scooping"?

The earplugs didn't really change the sound for me, they just allowed me to sing better than without them, I actually quite enjoyed using the earplugs.
Quote by herby190
When I saw that, I thought of musical notes.... my elementary school teachers taught them as "tee-tees" "ta-tas" and a bunch of other nonsense....
#5
Quote by GS LEAD 5
Get rid of the ear plugs, get the amps together, add more mids, stop scooping them.
EDIT: Deliberately make the guitars sound different. The results sound better. Case in point, bi amping.

Quote by GS LEAD 5
^The higher frequencies get drowned out, in my experience. Scooping = cutting.

100% agreed.

The EQ mids are your best friends when you want to cut through the mix.
Some people "scoop" (turn down) the mids on their EQ because "it sounds brutal", but that only works when you're playing by yourself.

The placement of the amps is also important.
For example, if you're using small combos you should place them on high chairs or tilt them so the speakers are pointing to your ears.
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#6
Turn the volume of everything down and start from there. I've found that this is the most important starting point when trying to improve levels, clarity, tone...everything. You'd be amazed how much clearer everything can be when you're not deafening yourselves (particularly if you're in a small room).


The earplugs didn't really change the sound for me, they just allowed me to sing better than without them, I actually quite enjoyed using the earplugs.


In general, if one person has earplugs, everyone should, because they do alter the sound. They take out a lot more high frequencies than low ones, because the low frequencies will be vibrating your entire skull anyway and thus will keep coming through (and also their wavelengths are so long that a few mm of foam won't do an awful lot).

Also, my lead guitar player almost always refuses to put his amp on the same side of the room that mine and the bass players is on...even though I remember reading on UG that this is something you are supposed to do.


There are other factors than how close the amps are to one another. Guitar amps are quite directional (the sound is far louder directly in line with the speaker than to the sides), and they emit mostly higher frequencies (which are more audible if you're right on top of the amp than lower frequencies are). There's no hard-and-fast rule for where amps should be, so move them around the room until it sounds a bit clearer.


The EQ mids are your best friends when you want to cut through the mix.
Some people "scoop" (turn down) the mids on their EQ because "it sounds brutal", but that only works when you're playing by yourself.


Agreed, but you can't all boost in the same area of the mids and hope to cut through like that, you'll just sound muddier. Look into the actual frequencies your mid controls cover, because they differ from amp to amp, and make sure that the instruments which struggle to cut through (bass, normally, particularly in a small room) get the lion's share of mids.

Other tips - don't dramatically EQ at first (don't completely cut the bass out of your guitar signal, for example) until you're sure that a more subtle change won't achieve the same results.
Build up a bit at a time (play the two guitars together alone, work out which one should be more trebly and which one should have a richer tone, then each guitar and the bass, then the bass and drums, then start layering it together).

It takes some time to get a whole band sounding good in a practice room, but it's worth doing it. Just to repeat it - work at lower volumes. If you're too loud, your ear will start shutting down in order to protect itself, and you won't be hearing as well as you could be, which will be a bit of a problem when trying to perfect your tones.
#7
Samzawadi has it right. you probably have a volume war. The problem is that everyone wants to hear themselves just a little louder than the rest of the band so they can pick out what they are playing or singing. So, for example if the drums and bass are set at a level where they are working well together a guitarist will naturally set their amp to a volume where they can hear themselves over the other two. Now the bass can't hear over the Guitar and they turn up or dig in harder and so does the drummer. Naturally the guitarist turns up and so on, each is genuinely convinced the others are causing the problem.

The problem is worsened by the directional nature of amps. (well the speakers really) Bass frequencies spread out 360 degrees but the higher the frequency the narrower the beam of sound becomes. Most of us put our amps on the floor and this means that the sound is beamed at the backs of our legs, unless you play laying down or standing on your head this is all wrong. It's pretty common for a guitar amp to be louder at the far side of the room than at the guitarists ears.

the only way you can hear what you want is for each of you to point your own amp at your ears. Arrange the amps in a circle around the room and set the balance so it is correct in the centre of the room. Stand in front of your own amp, then if you want a little more of the band step forwards and if you want more of your own amp step back. If someone is too loud they turn down, don't turn the rest up.

Live you have to get decent monitors and PA and someone who knows how to operate it. I've as whole load of articles on this.
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/junkyard/sound_good_in_the_rehearsal_room.html
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/the_guide_to/the_guide_to_pa__part_two_-_setting_up_and_soundchecking.html
etc.

Don't worry everyone gets this wrong at first but sort out your sound and you'll all play better.
#8
I'd just like to point out that you should definitely not stop using the earplugs. ALWAYS wear earplugs while practising. ALWAYS.

At gigs if it's stopping you hearing the rest of your band/yourself clearly then by all means lose them while you're playing - at a gig you'll be playing in a bigger room than you practise in most likely, and 25 minutes or so (I assume this is the sort of set length you're playing) every week or two won't deafen you. Wear them if you can though.
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#9
Quote by asator
I'd just like to point out that you should definitely not stop using the earplugs. ALWAYS wear earplugs while practising. ALWAYS.

At gigs if it's stopping you hearing the rest of your band/yourself clearly then by all means lose them while you're playing - at a gig you'll be playing in a bigger room than you practise in most likely, and 25 minutes or so (I assume this is the sort of set length you're playing) every week or two won't deafen you. Wear them if you can though.

Seriously, this. Earplugs do cut out frequencies, but I'd rather lose the frequencies than my hearing.

If your drummer can get a hold of an electronic drum set (borrow, buy, rent, lease, "acquire", whatever), that will help you, since you'll be able to practice at lower volumes and be able to safely ditch the ear plugs. That alone will make a huge difference, I think, in the way that you practice, since you won't be saturating the room with so much sound that hearing loss is the rule rather than the exception.
#10
Quote by Geldin
Seriously, this. Earplugs do cut out frequencies, but I'd rather lose the frequencies than my hearing.

If your drummer can get a hold of an electronic drum set (borrow, buy, rent, lease, "acquire", whatever), that will help you, since you'll be able to practice at lower volumes and be able to safely ditch the ear plugs. That alone will make a huge difference, I think, in the way that you practice, since you won't be saturating the room with so much sound that hearing loss is the rule rather than the exception.

Unless you can afford a ridiculously good kit, electric drums are both limiting and unrealistic in my opinion. I can't practise on them then play well on an acoustic kit. It maybe depends on the drummer, but that's what I've found. Acoustic kit + earplugs is the best option, I'd say.
My name is Danny. Call me that.