So for the past couple years I've been attending many concerts and outdoor festivals. All of the mains and subs were different brands and all of the mixes had their own flavor. However....

One of the things that stayed consistent across every single show/festival was the sub EQ. It always seems that around 65hz always has a narrow peak up +12 or even +18db! It packs an awesome punch from the kick and makes a floor tom blur your vision, but whenever bassists play that C on the A string or a keyboardist plays that note it's always skull-splitting. I like to raise 65hz on the kick and floor tom that much but, why do they put that EQ on the subs and not just on the kick and floor tom?

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Comment by Ryan Hammond on March 13, 2014 at 1:40pm

I don't EQ like crazy... I will boost the kick 3dB around 60-80 Hz and cut between 200-400 Hz and do the inverse for the bass guitar just so they fit nice—and then a 3dB boost at 3 kHz for the sound of the mallet. As far as the low end punch, compression is your friend ;) I've found that the less EQ you use, the cleaner your signal path is going to be.

Comment by Greg Cameron on February 5, 2014 at 8:06pm

Chazz, can you elaborate on your reply? It's pretty hard to understand what  you're getting at.

Comment by Chazz N Fredrick on February 5, 2014 at 6:13pm

It's often easier to use a graphic eq on an output than to use a channel of EFX for 2-4 xlr or other inputs. Meyer has some quality reinforcement solutions that are rather satisfying in that frequency range. That being said, using narrow peaks and really sharp cut offs in sub feeds is a cop out.

Note, instruments like bass and keys are usually at line level, and are driven. So, the actual signal it's self is much "bolder". Even when using microphones with Phantom Power, the shape and force between the waves isn't the same. This isn't the best technical explaination, but it's not about what you say, it's about how you mix, isn't it?

Chazz

Comment by Luke Alexander on February 2, 2014 at 6:59pm

AFAIK, most of the systems I've worked on don't have any such bump placed on the sub EQ. It's relatively common though that the subs are running 6-10dB hotter than the tops. That can lead to a bump in the system response at the crossover point if steps aren't taken to smooth it out. So if the subs are running that hot, their upper response output can be easily augmented but the low response of the tops and cause the issue you're complaining about. I tend to leave a small "hole" in the crossover point between my subs and tops so that there isn't an excessive bump at the 60Hz point where my tops are crossed. I find having my subs low passed at ~50-55Hz does the trick. And I strive to balance the response of the bass guitar when running hot subs. If that means dialing down the aux send to the subs so it's not all rumble and boom, that's what I'll do. It depends a lot on the bassist & their instrument. Some bass guitars have a ton of LF output, some not so much. I'll start with the sub send at detent and back it down if needed. Then I'll EQ the channel from there. I do love the warmth and ball rattle of the low B on a 5 string bass. But I don't want it to stick out too much and overwhelm the rest of the mix Another great reason to use subs on a aux is that added control.

Does the crossover really effect it that much? I've heard the bump from 2 different Martin systems, an EAW system, a smaller JBL system, and a Meyer LEO and 1100-LFC system. Yep, they did that to 1100-LFCs...They all were running waves plug-ins. Maybe they but some bass synthesis on the master? Normally that boosts they really low stuff that I wouldn't expect to hear at concerts. I guess I'll just have to go to more shows and ask around, they're normally really open at festivals.

Comment by Greg Cameron on February 1, 2014 at 4:51pm

AFAIK, most of the systems I've worked on don't have any such bump placed on the sub EQ. It's relatively common though that the subs are running 6-10dB hotter than the tops. That can lead to a bump in the system response at the crossover point if steps aren't taken to smooth it out. So if the subs are running that hot, their upper response output can be easily augmented but the low response of the tops and cause the issue you're complaining about. I tend to leave a small "hole" in the crossover point between my subs and tops so that there isn't an excessive bump at the 60Hz point where my tops are crossed. I find having my subs low passed at ~50-55Hz does the trick. And I strive to balance the response of the bass guitar when running hot subs. If that means dialing down the aux send to the subs so it's not all rumble and boom, that's what I'll do. It depends a lot on the bassist & their instrument. Some bass guitars have a ton of LF output, some not so much. I'll start with the sub send at detent and back it down if needed. Then I'll EQ the channel from there. I do love the warmth and ball rattle of the low B on a 5 string bass. But I don't want it to stick out too much and overwhelm the rest of the mix Another great reason to use subs on a aux is that added control.

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