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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:33 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2006 3:21 pm
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I'm thinkng about getting a graphic EQ to put in my FX loop of my Road King II. I know Source Audio makes a programmable 7-band graphic eq with 4 presents. Anyone have any experience with anything else? I really don't want to be limited to 1 EQ setting.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:40 pm 
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Mark II
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The BOSS EQ-20 has 10 bands and you can save 9 patches. It doesn't have MIDI though. The Payne Labs mEQ does have MIDI and a whopping 20 patches for five bands.
Also, you'll find plenty of rackmount programmable equalizers with proper loads of bands and patches, mostly intended for use in the studio: Alesis, Rocktron, Peavey, Mackie, etc.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:23 am 
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Mark II
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I just thought of another thing that might be of interest to you, the RJM Music Technology, Inc. Mini Amp Gizmo and a MIDI floorboard. No more tap dancing on that huge footswitch, but just one stomp to go from one preset to the other. There's room for 256 presets in there, my hat's off to you if you ever fill them all up.
Then the twenty presets and the MIDI function make the Payne Labs MIDI Controlled Equalizer the most versatile one in the bunch. Five bands and twenty presets should be enough for anybody. the sound.

Imagine that: any of the four channels, reverb, two effects loops, the solo volume and the patches of the equalizer, neatly tucked away in presets you programmed yourself to fit the songs on the setlist. Just one easy stomp on the MIDI board will get you from one preset to the other.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:48 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2006 3:21 pm
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Cool.

Yeah now I have a bigger dilemma... Where to put the graphic EQ. I looked at the RKII schematic and the EQ for channels 3 and 4 is post gain and for channels 1 and 2 it is pregain. :?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:16 am 
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Mark IV

Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:56 am
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Don't drop the money and do all the tweaking with a programmable EQ just to put it pre-gain, i.e., between the guitar and the amplifier's preamp, on any amp. Remember, most of the actual tone shaping happens after your amp's preamp has had a chance to do its thing. Now don't get me wrong, I use pre-gain EQ's regularly. You just have to understand their function in that particular location. A pre-gain EQ is there to do any of three things: 1) alter the EQ profile of your guitar's pickups before anything else happens to the signal (such as beef up the mids and tame the screeching highs on an active pickup when trying to play classic rock), 2) act as a boost to the overall strength of the signal to hit your preamp tubes a little hotter, and/or 3) shave off some of the muddier bass frequencies before the preamp saturates them. The bass frequencies can then be restored after the preamp in the loop, giving you all your bass frequencies, just keeping them a little cleaner, a little less muddy and more articulate.

That's it. That's pretty much all an EQ does when placed pre-gain. Regardless of what you do pre-gain, the amp's tone stack is still going to have the most dramatic effect on the overall tone. If you want all the tonal variety that especially a programmable EQ can offer, you're going to want to place it post-preamp in the loop. At this location, the amp's preamp has already stamped its signature on your tone, so you'll be taking the essential tone of your amp and tweaking it as necessary. Because the adjustments happen after the preamp and tone stack, your adjustments here can have wildly dramatic effects on the final tone that you hear. Being able to jump right to such distinctively different tones with the step of a foot instead of memorizing and perfectly tweaking several sliders for each of those tones every time you want to use them is the whole point of a programmable EQ.

Keep in mind that programmable digital EQ's, like the Boss EQ-20 that I have, tend to be much noisier overall than their analog non-programmable counterparts. Personally, I have found it useful and even essential to use my ISP Decimator in the loop after the EQ to quell the hiss. There are also definitely issues with digital lag/phase noise when using them in loops that are parallel rather than series. I had to perform the series mod on my Triple Rec before I could make use of the EQ with that particular amp.

Also remember that adding in a programmable EQ means one more step in your tapdancing choreography. Switchers can help cut down on the overall number of foot switching steps if that's needed. If you have a couple of effects that you leave on most of the time, you can simply use the programmable EQ to switch between pre-programmed tones for various songs or parts of songs.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:11 am 
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Mark III

Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:42 am
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Great post Chris.

I use the GMajor and it's parametric eq in the FXLoop.

Everyone talks about the "upper mids" that the rectos don't have, but the Mark V does.

What range exactly am I looking for to play with, if I was to tweak those "upper mids" to see if adding a little of those would benefit me?

The GMajor is patch specific so I can set and forget it for each and every patch, for example I can tweak eq for a patch that is used only for clean and then select another patch dedicated strictly for hi-gain and tweak that one differently.

Please let me know what range of values I should start at and stop at, that occupy that "upper mid" range. Is it 500 to 800 or 700 to 1k etc.

Thanks Chris.

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Ibanez Jem 7VWH > Bad Horsie II Wah > Radial JX-2 ABY Switch > Two Tremoverb Combos
Mesa Channel Switch DTDP & Mesa FXLoop Switch DTDP
TC Electronic G-Major & Ernie Ball Volume Pedal & Behringer FCB 1010
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:50 pm 
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Mark IV

Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:56 am
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The mids of guitar tone run from about 400Hz to about 1.5 to 2kHz. Boosting @ 400Hz can give a lighter basswood guitar a bit more of the tone of a mahogany body guitar such as a Les Paul. IOW, it's a little more bass-heavy and just a little muffled sounding in comparison. Used sparingly, it can give a thin trebly guitar sound a little bit of warmth. It's easy to use too much though, and make it sound like you're playing your guitar in a shoebox.

800Hz is right at that point where octave harmonics jump out. The classic mid-scoop of the late 80's was centered on this frequency being the nadir of the scoop. Boosted just a little...say, 2 to 4db...it can give the sound a bit of the classic Les Paul/Marshall tone of the classic rock era. Push it up a little further and you start to get noticeable octave harmonic content, giving the tone an overall vocal 'fixed wah' kind of sound...a bit like the sound you get when you sing a note while saying, "Awww". 6db or so and you get some of the mid boost sound of 80's solos. A bit more and the tone starts to sound noticeably like Tom Scholtz's Boston guitar tone.

1.2kHz is the slider that governs the upper mids on most graphic EQ's. It's very easy to overdo it, but a little bit of boost here is responsible for the classic mid boost tone of the Tubescreamer overdrive. It's also an area of frequencies that the classic Marshall JCM-800 sound has noticeably more of than the Mesa Rectifier series. That's also a large part of why Marshalls tend to have a more singing lead tone than the Rectos....the harmonic content in this range is very flattering as overtones on a searing lead.

The frequencies I specified are usually the most important in adjusting the electric guitar's mid range. The frequencies between them exhibit traits of whichever frequency they are closest to on a sliding scale. For instance, 650Hz has a touch of the darker, woodier tone of 400Hz and a touch of the overtone content of 800Hz.

With a parametric EQ, it's common to have not only a center frequency control, but also a 'Q' control which determines how narrow or wide that control governs the tone. Set the frequency at a given Hz with a very narrow Q and adjust the slider to boost or cut that frequency dramatically. Then sweep through the various frequencies to hear what each of them do to the tone. Once you find a frequency you want to focus on, experiment with adjusting the Q at that frequency to see how much of the surrounding frequencies you want to boost or cut as well. Happy hunting!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:17 pm 
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Mark III

Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 421
Thank you Chris.

At the risk of sounding foolish, I wish I had a day to spend with you or people like you. I would buy you a great lunch and absorb as much information as my brain could take.

I am not sure what you do for a living or as a hobby, but I NEVER pass up a chance to read your responses. They are always informative and accurate.

Thank you so much.

If you want to elaborate further I would not pass up the opportunity to do so.

Later Brother.

Tomorrow I will e-mail you my setup just for fun and tell you what I am after.

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Ibanez Jem 7VWH > Bad Horsie II Wah > Radial JX-2 ABY Switch > Two Tremoverb Combos
Mesa Channel Switch DTDP & Mesa FXLoop Switch DTDP
TC Electronic G-Major & Ernie Ball Volume Pedal & Behringer FCB 1010
Assorted Tubes
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:50 am 
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Mark III

Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 421
O.K. Chris, I decided to list the items I use that I could not list below because of character restrictions.

Xotic BB-AT
Xotic RC Booster
My Ibanez Jem is made of Alder

So here is where I am as of last night.

I do use a smidgin of gain and 5db mid boost before the preamp. I use the Radial listed below for that and am not sure what frequencies they are boosting, but they have a bell curve icon that demonstrates what they believe is useful in representing that information. Great company and I know if I contact them they will tell me what the boost frequency or frequencies are.

Last night I used the GMajor (in the FXLoop) to cut 199.5 Hz, minus 2 db, and a Q of .2. I also increased 817.5 Hz by 4 db, at Q of .2, and lastly I increased 1.5 kHz by 2 db, with a Q of 1.0.

One of the sacrifices I had to make was to eliminate the 100 Hz increase of 2 db with a Q of .2. The GMajor only allows for three frequencies to be tweaked and I know it is important to cut the 200 Hz because of possible flub. So I opted to keep that tweak, eliminate the 100 db boost and focus on the upper mids.

I lost a little of the thump but not much.

This made a huge difference.

Sounds great but I need to let this sink in and here it with my drummer etc.

My goal is tone that will get me close to Nuno Bettencourt, Greg Howe and Steve Vai.

I know this is not possible, just a close reference and let me tell you from where I am sitting, this got me closer.

I will say that recently I plugged in a Marshall 300 watt G75-Celestion and this made a HUGE difference in my tone.

I was always lacking the percussive sound, or tight and focused controlled sound with moderate to high low end that is not out of control.

This is probably because my combos are vintage 30s with an open back design. Once I plugged into the Marshall I was blown away.

I think there are MANY pieces to the puzzle of tone, least of which is listening to a CD and trying to cop it, but I am on the right track and still moving forward.

Thanks again.

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Ibanez Jem 7VWH > Bad Horsie II Wah > Radial JX-2 ABY Switch > Two Tremoverb Combos
Mesa Channel Switch DTDP & Mesa FXLoop Switch DTDP
TC Electronic G-Major & Ernie Ball Volume Pedal & Behringer FCB 1010
Assorted Tubes
Series FXLoop


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:49 am 
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Mark IV

Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:56 am
Posts: 568
Here to help, man. Glad you find some of it useful. I'd also be glad to grab lunch and a coffee with you if I ever find myself with the opportunity. Strangely enough, right now, I'm a professional close-quarter combat instructor to specialized military and law enforcement personnel. You can read some of my blatherings on the subject over at www.rumsoakedfist.org, the web's main forum for internal martial arts. Also a recovering neurophysiologist and landman in the oil business. :P Occasionally, I do custom production and recording consulting for certain client artists in the music biz.

Good tone targets with Nuno, Howe and Vai. I'm also glad you noticed the difference the cab can make. I've maintained for years that for modern electric guitarists, we play the entire rig, not just the guitar......from the choice of pick, strings, action, pickups, guitar pots, cords, OD's, amp preamps, loop effects, amp power amps, speakers and cabs. The whole thing is the instrument, not just the guitar. Any one of those elements can have a noticeable effect on tone. The right choices for each of those elements can mean the difference between so-so "kiddy" tone and superlative professional tone.

As to your parametric EQ settings, I might suggest you try widening the Q of your 199.5Hz and 817.5Hz settings and narrow the 1.5kHz setting. Here's why: the mud frequencies can occur anywhere from about 180Hz to 300Hz. It's not limited strictly to 200Hz. The 817.5Hz represents the middle of the mids. Widen it a bit and it will bring all of the mids up, along with their varying harmonic content, including some of the 1.5kHz. The 1.5kHz represents the upper range of the mids. Bringing it up a bit can give a noticeable, Marshally, harmonic bite, but raising the frequencies above 1.5kHz starts quickly getting into more shrill, trebly territory that's usually best governed by your amp's basic treble knob.

As an alternative, you might also try boosting 100Hz with a very narrow Q, cutting 200-250Hz with a slightly wider Q than you've got now, and boosting 800Hz to 1.5kHz (experiment with where it sounds best) with a fairly wide Q, with the Q narrowing the closer you get to 1.5kHz. I'm also assuming your Xotic BB-AT is still in the pre-gain signal path? If so, it's very easy to use the settings I just gave and use the BB to boost a little bit more of the uppermost mids if you still need to, giving you the 100Hz bump, the reduction in 200-ishHz mud, the singing 800Hz mid-boost, and the sizzling higher harmonic definition of 1.5-ishkHz uppermost mids that helps cut through the mix.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:07 pm 
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Mark III

Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 421
Thanks Chris.

Yes, the BB is pre-gain.

The Radial is +5dB at 1KHz, pre-gain.

As a starting point I will try the following:

I will bump the 100Hz at a narrow Q.

I will cut 250Hz at a wider Q, being sure not to affect the 100Hz.

I will bump the 900Hz at a wider Q, being sure not to affect the 1.5KHz.

Here is where I am confused.

The GMajor defines the Q range as starting at .2 octave and going as high as 4 octave.

As a general rule if I start at 800Hz what can I expect if I use a Q of .5 compared with a Q of 1?

Would a Q setting of .5 octave represent 750Hz to 850Hz and a Q setting of 1 octave represent 700Hz to 900Hz?

Thanks Chris and as always, an informative and insightful answer to my questions are always helpful and you always deliver the goods.

Lunch and coffee sound great.

You have an amazing career...geez dude I am a little scared right now. LOL

I will keep you posted with my results.

I checked on Q settings with Google.

These links must be dealing with "Recording" only or otherwise I am really lost.

http://recordingwebsite.com/articles/eqprimer.php

http://www.audiorecording.me/guitar-eq- ... d-pop.html

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Ibanez Jem 7VWH > Bad Horsie II Wah > Radial JX-2 ABY Switch > Two Tremoverb Combos
Mesa Channel Switch DTDP & Mesa FXLoop Switch DTDP
TC Electronic G-Major & Ernie Ball Volume Pedal & Behringer FCB 1010
Assorted Tubes
Series FXLoop


Last edited by TremoJem on Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:43 pm 
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Mark IV

Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:56 am
Posts: 568
Octaves work in such a way that each octave above a given note is exactly twice the value in terms of frequency. For example: the note A4, which has a frequency of 440Hz, is often used as a tuning reference in tuning forks, electronic tuners, etc. The note A5, which is exactly one octave higher in pitch, has a frequency of 880Hz. However, if you plot out all the audible frequencies, they do not represent a linear pattern, but rather a logarithmic one. Twice 80Hz (one octave higher) is only 160Hz, whereas twice 5kHz is 10kHz, a full five thousand hertz more. Therefore, the so-called "octave" reference that parametric EQ's use in their Q control is, technically speaking, somewhat erroneous. What they usually do is use the designated frequency as the halfway point, and simply divide the difference between that frequency and the octave both below and above. For example, let's take 880Hz (A5) as an example of a frequency we set on a parametric EQ. Let's say that, arbitrarily, we set the Q to be 0.5 octaves. What that will typically mean is that the width of affected frequencies will extend down to 660Hz on the left because the difference between 880Hz and 440Hz an octave below is 220, and 880 - 220 = 660. The affected frequencies to the right of 880Hz (our designated center frequency) will extend up to 1.32kHz because half the difference between 880 and its next higher octave, 1.76kHz, is 440, and 880 + 440 = 1320.

Confusing, huh? It sure is to me. Thankfully, you don't need to be particularly worried about it most of the time. Use your ears to judge what you like. Just be aware that there's a big difference between a Q setting of 0.2 and a setting of 4 octaves. A really big difference.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:46 am 
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Mark III

Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 421
Thanks Chris.

I will let you know how this works out for me.

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Ibanez Jem 7VWH > Bad Horsie II Wah > Radial JX-2 ABY Switch > Two Tremoverb Combos
Mesa Channel Switch DTDP & Mesa FXLoop Switch DTDP
TC Electronic G-Major & Ernie Ball Volume Pedal & Behringer FCB 1010
Assorted Tubes
Series FXLoop


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:38 am 
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Mark III

Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 421
So to be clear...

A low Q setting of .5 has a very narrow span, and a high Q setting of 4 has a very wide span.

Span, meaning the width of the frequencies it affects.

Thanks

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Ibanez Jem 7VWH > Bad Horsie II Wah > Radial JX-2 ABY Switch > Two Tremoverb Combos
Mesa Channel Switch DTDP & Mesa FXLoop Switch DTDP
TC Electronic G-Major & Ernie Ball Volume Pedal & Behringer FCB 1010
Assorted Tubes
Series FXLoop


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:45 pm 
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Mark IV

Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:56 am
Posts: 568
Yeah, that's basically it, although 0.5 isn't really that narrow....it's one of the more useful widths in production. Remember, as with any EQ of any type, the idea is to use it as judiciously and as least-invasively as possible. Therefore, narrower EQ widths in terms of Q are generally a smarter idea. IOW, if your essential unaffected sound is so bad that it requires 4 octaves of EQ boost to get to where you want, your basic sound needs some work first.

EQ's function a lot like color correction filters in Photoshop, meaning that you always get a better final product when you start with a quality photograph that is as close as possible to the final image you desire. A great photo tweaked just a little bit to perfection will always be better than a so-so picture that's been heavily tweaked, filtered and corrected. That's another reason why using an EQ to cut undesired frequencies is generally preferred to boosting desired ones. The idea is to start with the best tone possible first, before you start EQing.


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