Live EQ Guidelines for Acoustic Acts

Discussion in 'Live Sound' started by dbcltnc, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. dbcltnc

    dbcltnc Guest

    Hello All.

    I am new to this board and somewhat new to running sound. I play in an acoustic trio and want to learn more about EQ.

    Any suggestions on where I can read more how to use EQ "in the real world" would be helpful.

    Also, I have looked all over the 'net for a "cheatsheet" list that shows how a given frequency can affect a given instrument/voice, but can't find a really good one.

    For example:

    Increase to add a harder bass sound to lowest frequency instruments
    Increase to add fullness to guitar, snare
    Increase to add warmth to piano and horns
    Reduce to remove boom on guitar & increase clarity

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Moderator

    Feb 23, 2005
    Are you using Brass, Snare, Piano (acoustic), etc.? NO? 100Hz just muddies things up when it comes to a live "acoustic trio" type act. KILL IT!
    Especially information below 60Hz. What kind of EQ are you using? Are you using a drum machine or MIDI modules? A bass? I would avoid any recommendations that tell you to "boost" the EQ in a live scenario.
    If you have a "Low-cut" (aka "high pass") filter on the input channels, use it! Low end will only add boom and rumble from the vocal mics, guitar transducers, etc. Listen to the frequency bands on your graphic by cutting each one independently while running music (or pink noise) through the system. Notice what each band "sounds" like. That will assist you in setting up the system and "ringing out" feedback issues, which is what you should be using the graphic for in the first place. Not as a "tone enhancer" for live gigs.
  3. Spookym15

    Spookym15 Guest

    Are you going to use mics, like condensors if so I suggest to Buzz out the frequencies that cause feed back. and drop the 120-140 area with a semi tight Q because that is where the mud builds up...stratch that it is 100-140 crank up you volume and really find that mud and drop it. Also you may want to figure out how to scoop out your guitars if there are vocals. I do more live sound then studio work, because it is easier to get jobs and I also have a steedy job doing live sound at a venue. But if you have guitars that resonate badly then try to drop in about 170-185hz and have a light Q scoop a little out like 3 db so it is not to drastic. Then like I said if there are vocals then scoop out the vocal range on the guitar just a bit so the vocals sit on top if you really want to hear the vocals
  4. dbcltnc

    dbcltnc Guest

    Thanks again for the replies.

    We have two acoustic guitars, acoustic bass, congas and three vocal mics. We use Shure SM58 and EV SD967 mics. Feedback is rarely a problem so I'm looking more for tone shaping from EQ than feedback control.

    THE MAIN THING I should have told you up front is that I have no outboard EQ - I am using only the board for EQ (I know, I know - run out and get a 31-band 1/3 octave right now! Tell my wife it's okay and I'll go get one!).

    Anyway, each channel on my board (Mackie Onyz 1620) has -15 to +15 cut/boost at:

    HIGH (12kHz)
    HIGH MID (Sweepable 400 to 8k)
    LOW MID (Sweepable 100 to 2k)
    LOW (80Hz)

    It also has low-cut switches on each channel that cuts out 18db/oct below 75Hz. I already engage this switch on every channel except the bass (DI in from his amp).

    For now, what I'm looking for is a simple "range" guide to direct me where to start with the Mackie's knobs.

    Thanks again for any help.

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