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Thread: EQ dilemma

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    EQ dilemma

    New member here with a challenge for the audio techs out there.
    First and foremost I am not very good at sound equalization. I am a keyboard player and a so-so vocalist. To understand my dilemma here is my set-up.
    Allen-Heath Mix Wizard M16:2 (Mixer)
    ART HQ 231 Dual 31 Band Equalizer
    Aphex Aural Exciter
    DBX 166XL Compressor
    Yamaha REV 100 Digital Effects Unit
    TASCAM 222 CD PLayer/Recorder
    2 Active JBL EON 15G2 Speakers
    EV 857B Condenser Microphone
    Digitech Vocalist Workstation

    The room I practice in is limited in space so the speakers are in front of me acting as monitors about 8 feet from the microphone. I'm having a hell of a time getting the soft, silky, airy, lush sound I'm seeking with the vocals.
    I have the music being eq'd on one channel of the 231 EQ and the other channel handling the vocals. The music sounds great. The vocals are harsh.
    Here is my eq settings:
    125K + 5 for vocal sound
    250K + 5 for vocal sound
    16K + 5 for vocal sound
    4K + 5 for presence
    8K + 5 for presence
    2K - 5 for warmth

    The mixer 5-band eq on the vocal channel are all flat as are all of the other bands on the eq except I get a lot of feedback from 5K and 6.3K so I've cut them down to as far as I can

    Clearly I do not understand eqing but I do have a pretty good ear and know a harsh sound when I hear it.

    Anyone care to help me figure this out?

  2. #2
    digitech will make ur vocals sound harsh
    ART has cheap equiptment, dont use
    you are way over doing the eq

    eqs should be gradual curves, not sharp drops

    dont go past +3 or -3 onless its major, besides, do any major eq like that in the mastering

    id say get a better microphone too

    you need a large diaphram condenser for studio vocals, so the cheapest good one would be $150, the at2020, the studio pack comes with the at2021, so id reccommend that as a great cheap buy

    unless ur willing to spend more

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    EQ Dilemma

    Thanks for your response. I forgot to include--I'm using my system for live shows not recording or studio work. Where it is set up now is my practice room,
    I'll give your suggestions a try tonight when I go home. Plus, I'm willing to pay a little more for a better mic. I've had this old EV forever but need something that will work with Phantom power also because I use the vocalist for harmonies and mic passes thru it first.

  4. #4
    Does the problem go away if the monitors are turned off when you record?
    Eric Adler (tonsofpcs) Chat at:
    Follow me on twitter: @videosupport @eric_adler

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    EQ Dilemma

    No it does not go away with the monitors off.

  6. #6
    Do you have a sample that we can analyze?
    Eric Adler (tonsofpcs) Chat at:
    Follow me on twitter: @videosupport @eric_adler

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    You may try looking into tuning your system first since you use your equipment for live applications.

  8. #8
    Try this:

    Start with all your EQ's flat. Run your mixer outputs into the EQ's inputs, skip the aural exciter and go into your speakers.

    With the channel EQ's flat and the EQ bypasses (if that's not an option, all sliders on -0-) check out your tone. the pre amps on the mixwiz are quite nice and can attain very natural sound with no tweaking, the next thing to check would be your overall volume... in a practise situation it is best to not push yourself too hard, and it is easier not to tick off neighbors...

    If needed, cut out problem frequencies on the EQ, not the mixer, and only cut as much as needed to fix your feedback.

    What do you have the compressor doing? leave it out to start with, if you don't know the settings on it it may be a bigger cause of problems than a fix.

    How is the FX unit patched? again, bypass it. once you get your signal and tones set with no extra stuff, then you can try adding things.

    Also, how are you running your gain stages? When you sing, the channel's input meter should read -0- or +3 on peaks... if you are running your gain too high, it will be too sensaive and may be part of the feedback issues, if you are running your input gain too low, you will be running your output gain stages too high, again causing problems..

    Hope this helps.

  9. #9
    also, make sure no channel is clipping, once something clips *hits the red*, its harsh. If you need a louder sound, get a louder amp, dont push ur preamp more.

    its like a guitar amp, i like my sounds usually at a 7 gain through a marshall

    how do u get your sound louder?


    instead, split and double the signal and get it through an amp with it, id usually choose a nice warm cheap crate to add background and warmth to it


    ull only need a new mic if ur singer is really sibulant, cheap mics cant deal with that well

    and if ur using a condenser, make sure u have a good pop filter for recording

    try this, if it doesnt work, post the results

  10. #10
    Nothing personal rackdude, but I think using guitar amps to compare to live audio is a bad example. the gain knob on a guitar amp is designed to feed an adjustable amount of signal through a preamp tube or solid state distortion circuit, the gain on a mixer is designed to set the amount of signal that is let into the channel strip, so the function of the gain on a guitar amp is to add drive to the preamp tube causing overdrive and distortion that is meant to be there. in a live sound situation you don't want any distortion.

    splitting and doubling are neat studio tricks, but are not applicable in a live situation. the OP has more than enough gear to get a great sound, his mixer is not a cheapo, and is known to have good pre's, his speakers are balls to the wall clear n the top end and more than full on the low end (depending how you have the rig set, of course).

    he needs help to figure out why he's getting feedback issues in a practice space.......

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