Just wondering has anyone any opinions on how best to EQ the BB on a mixing desk for Bass & Drum sounds?
I hooked up the BB (mono out) to a yamaha desk (MG124C) connected to a Bose L1 PA system and found i had to boost low, high & mid frequencies to get a good bass & drums mix. I had the BB at 100% volume.
I sometimes use the BB with my Bose L1 mk2, when I use it with my Allen & Heath analogue mixer the way I set up is:
A) Plug into the mixer get a beat running and turn the BB volume to about 3/4
B) Get the mixer channel settings all to flat “ie 12 o’clock” and effects off
C) Gradually turn the gain up on your channel until you see the peak light just flickering
D) Turn your BB down a little and the bring volume up via mixer fader and Eq to taste
BB or any other device should never be at 100% volume, this is usually and indication of a problem at the input stage on the mixer.
Btw, BB sounds amazing on the L1 and I hardly need to add any additional Eq, if you use your Bose with a T1 Tonematch I would be happy to share my settings here.
From the past couple of years using BB live through our PA: Yamaha 16 ch mixer feeding 31 band EQ to EV ZXA1 800 W 8" powered speakers I’ve found a few points overall we use you might find useful. Tends to work well in most rooms since we don’t have the opportunity to sound out rooms before we play. We put the mic’d lead guitar through the PA (mostly for recording purposes since I tap the PA output into a Tascam DR5). BB goes through a stereo volume pedal into the mixer. We also put 3 vocals, an acoustic guitar, electric (rhythm) guitar associated FX boxes and flute through the mixer. Mixer ‘outs’ go into the EQ then a subwoofer that crosses over before hitting the PA speakers.
BB output into the mixer, even at 100%, requires a bit more gain to reach optimum than other inputs (mics and DIs). Granted drums are dynamic excursions but digital mixers are quick to show clipping so gain is set by what I see on the pre-fader. I use the BB channel fader to set the other channels as a ‘max’ in the mix to make sure drums cut through (especially if for mixed kit with piano and bass). We have no sound engineer so its somewhat a one size fits all solution since I’m busy playing otherwise.
I was interested in how low the BB output reached (turns out alone through the subwoofer there is very little below 100 Hz). Bass has some frequencies below 100 Hz (mostly fundamentals - the majority of sound quality comes from higher harmonics) but otherwise the subwoofer is there to relieve the small 8" speakers and add the needed bottom to the bass.
Roll off <100 Hz (for clarity boost & to remove burden on tops). Removes the mud you get from many live bands that makes listeners queasy and BTW contains no musically useful sound if you’re not doing EDM.
o Boost 80 Hz for bass - otherwise a gradual roll off from 100 Hz down.
400-500 Hz – clarity - reduce -3dB (just large enough change to hear)
o Remove male vocal ‘honk’ at 400 – 500 if needed
We don’t attenuate/reduce these:
o 200-400 acoustic guitar sound
o 200-800 bass harmonics/overtones
o 300 – 2K electric guitar sound
1000 Hz – reduce 3 dB ‘vocal nasal quality’ (affects electric guitar too so be careful)
4000 – 5000 Hz boost 3 dB - vocal presence range
10,000 – 12,500 air boost 3 dB
Of course there is much more that goes into this thinking (speaker placement etc) but this is the core of how we operate and produces what you hear posted on the FB music link (Soundclick).
Good point. I run BB through a stereo volume pedal so I use Line jacks that have no PAD gain adjustment saving the more flexible channel inputs for other needs. The gain setting is similar to the mono combination Mic/Line jacks for guitars using XLR coming from DI boxes where PAD ‘ON’ (Line signal is attenuated by 26 dB) sets the range from -6 to +38dB. PAD “OFF” for Mic inputs allows +20 to +64 dB. The input level in the mix for BB in this arrangement depends on (and is limited by) the device output and the fader. I could move BB to two channels where I have more latitude but would sacrifice elsewhere. Rather than buy (and carry) a larger board I am bringing the faders for vocals etc down as needed to create the mix with BB at Max and compensating by bringing up the Master out.
Therefore someone could easily use a Mic input (or inputs) for BB (mono or stereo) with higher range. By experience I’ve pushed the ‘Pre Fader’ signal as high as I can with the guitar inputs coming from various DI boxes to find the best input Gain setting. Mics passing through typical harmony boxes (TC Helicon for instance) send Mic signals so no PAD needed.
I have the TC Harmony pedal too for my vocal.I also use a Radial PZ Pre DI for my acoustic with XLR going to mixer. My guitar is a Tommy Emmanuel Maton BLuegrass style with Piezo and Mic pickup blend.Ive tried both PAD on and PAD off with acoustic there seems to be no difference to sound apart from obviously having to bump the Level on mixer up with PAD on.I still havent got my head around undersatnding the db thing…(Im a bit slow )lol.
May I ask what DI Box do you use for your Acoustic?and I may have missed it in your explaination but do you use the PAD for your acoustic channel?
Anthony - if I’ve learned anything its how difficult it is to wrap all these pieces into a useful tool. I’m still trying and I think writing things out like this really helps point out to me what I still don’t grasp. Maybe some of the smart engineers here will chime in but I can’t really associate mfgs specs with useful direction. Its all fairly empirical trial and error. Again keep in mind the type of music we play (not quiet solo restaurant stuff but not EDM either) and like most people I’m trying to find a one-size-fits-all sweet spot since we don’t have a sound engineer.
Here’s what we use:
Taylor with K&K mini going through (no added gain) TC Helicon Harmony GxT for vocals. I’ve found the signal can be hot enough that it needs relatively low gain but then have to be careful not to push gain too high causing clipping/distortion when hammered on some songs. Problem here is we want it to be heard in the mix but its competing with electric guitar, BB, etc. I’m trying it with PAD (lowering incoming signal) but higher gain hoping to get more room to adjust before it hits the faders. My other Taylor (712 cedar top with K&K) is noticeably quieter output than the 414 spruce top with the same pickups.
Ibanez hollowbody through TC Helicon Play Electric. Here the guitar out is being treated (amp modeling etc) but the levels - like the acoustic - seem to need the PAD for the same reasons. Without PAD - low gain setting but seemingly less control; With PAD - higher gain needed to see a good signal on the meter in PFL (pre-fader listening) mode.
Ibanez bass through a DI box no PAD and Unity Gain level.
Vocal mics and the electric lead guitar amp are all mic’d with no PAD and are set around the Unity level (signal in = signal out). The lead guitar of course can heard very well in the room via the amp - the mic is mostly to record which I do at every gig. My perception of how the night is going is burdened by worrying about all sorts of stuff while we play so its nice to hear what the audience actually heard the next day on the recordings.
Thanx for that ,in the end it is a matter of trial and error ,having the PAD in for my acoustic just allows me more control with fader as its around middle as when its on when not on it has to be right down.Its taken me 2 yrs to find an acoustic sound Im happy with the PZ Pre is awesome I also use a Zoom A3 which affords me preset options Ive spent alot of money trying various things and found that relatively inexpensive Zoom A3 rivals the most expensive stuff like the Spectrum Aura modelling thang.I use alot of fx 2 delays reverb and even a Boss eq as well as the PZPre .I use the Boss eq for boost but have found its actually really good for a final user friendly tweek for the mid scoop.The BB I will continue to use through the PAD and compression a 9 oclock on my Yamaha mixer