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EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

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EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby LdashD » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:13 am

I’m mixing loadsa bass and guitar parts together at the mo, sometimes I’m not getting the desired result using one EQ, sometimes it takes two or more diff EQ (Waves plug-ins,) is this common or am I going about it arse-faced as in, would one suffice, any more than that and you’re doing it wrong cos one EQ plug alone is all you need?

Get the right signal at source of course, but decisions were made immediately cos of time restraints, so I’m having to do a lot of corrective EQ’ing before I can work on the tone itself, is this also the case when you’ve got a bang on the button spiffing guitar signal, I would assume less correcting, even so, would there also be an awful lot of detritus floating about as there is in mine?
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby Matt Houghton » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:09 am

Like you say, getting it right at source is most of the battle. By which I mean instrument setup and tuning, as well as amp/mic. And if having to do it quick and dirty as you say, then capturing a DI so you can reamp/mic, which is better than all the EQs in the world, or use a software amp sim... whether on its own or alongside the Real Thing. And if playing loud, then listening to the tone more quietly over monitors and making sure you pay attention to the mids (are there enough to allow you some EQing freedom when mixing? Probably not so add a bit now...) and distortion (you probably want a little less... you can't take it away but it's easy to add more).

When it comes to the mix, it might take a lot of EQ, it might not. Depends entirely on the sound you're going for, what you recorded, and the context of the track. But if the sounds are layered and you start to do loads of EQing, then you start to change phase relationships too, which can work for or against you. A lot of newbs (which I know you're not more generally, but you did say you've not done a lot of miking...) tend to make guitars really bright or scooped, with not enough mids, and if the low end is fighting with the bass part (either in terms of masking, or in terms of slight pitch variances) then that can sound truly horrible. And a lot of people focus too much on the low end of the bass, when the real battle with guitars is in the low mids. One problem is that conventional EQ can leave some notes quieter or less harmonically rich than others, particularly on bass. So if you're EQing radically this can screw things up (another reason to get it right...)... in which case it can be worth trying a dynamic EQ there, or I've found Sound Radix's pitch-tracking Surfer EQ really good for that.

Hope that helps. If you can be more specific about the material you're working with, we might be able to offer more pointers.
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby The Elf » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:58 am

Nothing wrong with using multiple EQs if it helps to get the job done.

For guitar I typically find myself using a combination of EQs. I use static EQ to cut out the constant junk, and any consistent mid-range resonances. Most of the time the stock Cubase EQ is fine for this.

I use dynamic EQ to tame transient problems, where a static EQ would suck the life out of the part. By allowing some of the troublesome frequencies to breath when they aren't hitting hard you get a subjectively more natural correction, and it avoids having to get bogged down in automation.

If any plug-in producers out there interested in building a 4/6-band dynamic EQ with truly *independent* (i.e. not fixated on overlapping to cover the full spectral range), floating frequency bands, I'd be keen to try it.

For mid/high lift I like SSL eq - nothing scientific, but it just sounds 'right'.
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby Matt Houghton » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:09 am

The Elf wrote:If any plug-in producers out there interested in building a 4/6-band dynamic EQ with truly *independent* (i.e. not fixated on overlapping to cover the full spectral range), floating frequency bands, I'd be keen to try it.

Have you tried TDR Nova GE? That gives you six bands of fully configurable parallel dynamic EQ, and various useful facilities.
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby The Elf » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:20 am

Matt Houghton wrote:
The Elf wrote:If any plug-in producers out there interested in building a 4/6-band dynamic EQ with truly *independent* (i.e. not fixated on overlapping to cover the full spectral range), floating frequency bands, I'd be keen to try it.
Have you tried TDR Nova GE? That gives you six bands of fully configurable parallel dynamic EQ, and various useful facilities.
Fair price and no annoying iLok requirement. I'll give it a try.

Thanks!
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby Forum Admin » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:41 am

Matt Houghton wrote:Have you tried TDR Nova GE? That gives you six bands of fully configurable parallel dynamic EQ, and various useful facilities.

Worth a full SOS review, IMHO.
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby The Elf » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:47 am

Forum Admin wrote:
Matt Houghton wrote:Have you tried TDR Nova GE? That gives you six bands of fully configurable parallel dynamic EQ, and various useful facilities.
Worth a full SOS review, IMHO.
You know where I am!... ;) :lol:
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:00 am

The Elf wrote:If any plug-in producers out there interested in building a 4/6-band dynamic EQ with truly *independent* (i.e. not fixated on overlapping to cover the full spectral range), floating frequency bands, I'd be keen to try it.
If i understand your requirement correctly I think the standard ReaXComp in Reaper does that?
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby Matt Houghton » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:07 am

Forum Admin wrote:
Matt Houghton wrote:Have you tried TDR Nova GE? That gives you six bands of fully configurable parallel dynamic EQ, and various useful facilities.

Worth a full SOS review, IMHO.

I wrote one about a year and a half ago -- perhaps we couldn't find space.

But I've featured it in some Mix Rescues and Q&As. It's been updated considerably since then anyway, with features such as a learn mode and a semi-automatic de-resonate function, similar to what some other manufacturers have since implemented. They're really interesting. And even the free version is good. Great company, great products.

The only downside is that they tend to be relatively CPU intensive, though not so bad on modern machines. Oh, also no VST3 version as yet, so if you want to use the external side-chain in Cubase/Nuendo you have to use the old Quad buss workaround (it works fine as is in Reaper and, presumably, other DAWs which support side-chaining in VST2.4).
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby Matt Houghton » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:08 am

The Elf wrote:Fair price and no annoying iLok requirement. I'll give it a try.

Thanks!

No worries. Try the free version first. It's not particularly hobbled and you'll easily tell from that if the paid GE version is worth purchasing.
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby Matt Houghton » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:10 am

I think you use Cubase, right? If you don't get on with that, then TBPro and Melda offer some similarly inexpensive VST3 alternatives. But I prefer Nova...
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby LdashD » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:59 pm

Just spent 5 mins wiv Cubase GEQ-30, never used it, this could be the answer I’ll refrain from calling Elfies word gospel for now though. Gonna try it on its own as well without the other plugs over the weekend. Got an SSl on some of them, i like them too.

I should’ve mentioned it’s the chords more than the single string stuff, I’ve just uploaded the working mix verse part to see if you spot anything fundamental that I’m doing wrong,

https://soundcloud.com/ldashd/017-tell-me-how-you-feel-sos/s-WqrCm

I think there’s already a little improvement wiv Cube’s EQ only a quick 5 mins.

8 bars, in 2 bar breakdowns

Wot I had, then + Cubase EQ, then + Cubase EQ+ DRUM, then Cubase EQ & wot I had + DRUM.

I don’t know wot I want, but I don’t mind some rough edges, I’m not looking for a high-gloss finish or pristine perfection, I want everything to mingle/merge and compete for space on their own terms, let the freq’s do their own thing naturally, kinda thing, if that makes sense.

Within the context of the track, (guide Drum loop though, gonna have a real drummer on it,) I think it’s not far off, no processing at all, only EQ, I also want to get away from compressing, limiting etc, if possible.

Prob Moony type drums, toms cymbals the lot, chorus is begging for it, so i doubt anything is gonna sound like it would in isolation, so bear that in mind.

Yes Matty, your first post about sums it up, it’s also possible that I’ve messed-up the original signals by boosting etc, caused the problem even, so I’m also gonna try the originals with just Cube EQ, phasing yes, tell me about it, I think I’ve eradicated most of that.
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby CS70 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:14 pm

is this common or am I going about it arse-faced as in, would one suffice, any more than that and you’re doing it wrong cos one EQ plug alone is all you need?

It is pretty common. Whatever gets the job done.
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby The Elf » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:30 pm

LdashD wrote:Just spent 5 mins wiv Cubase GEQ-30, never used it
Me neither. Never been a believer in graphics in a DAW context - but if it works...
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby LdashD » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:44 pm

Ahh so you meant the Studio EQ never used that neither just found it, give that a go then.

Had alreaday abandoned Waves API graphic, didn't do a sausage, weird, haven't really needed to use much eq for ages.
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby LdashD » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:20 pm

Hmm, i just slung a preset on it 'simple metal guitar,' that simple eh, this is getting interesting.

Arise Sir Elf your word is gospel mate.
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby LdashD » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:54 am

Hmmm, I dub thee Sir Matt, can’t believe the difference, and how simple (right up my street) it is to use.

My dilemma is I won’t be mastering it, well, I’ll piddle about, do a mix of course that might be useable, but the bass and guitar are comps made of up to 4 re-amps, (3 diff vintage amps and a DI) like when you build a massive synth tone from a few patches, I can’t expect the engineer to do that, so I’m not just giving him the raw studio stems.

I’d love to give the engineer the raw material and let just him comp them but I’m assuming everyone is gonna blend them differently, he will get the raw files as well though, as it’s also possible I may add effects, individually and/or when they’re combined.

I used to go in a studio wiv a flippin’ midi file and a couple of bits of kit and use their superior gear, come out in16/24 hours with a Dat master, ‘ow ‘ard’s dat, now I’ve recorded all the parts in a studio, am doing a rough mix for a hired singer and a drummer, then it all goes to an engineer… and not a MIDI file in sight & more expenses too.

Great fun though, just wish I ‘ad better ‘earing.

Thanks man, that Surfer EQ is wicked, can’t believe, only 5 mins again, the quality of the results with very little effort, just a quick tweak and it sounds right(ish) already.
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby LdashD » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:25 am

Really Matt I can’t thank you enough man, I was casually using it throughout Saturday on a song from the same session that I haven’t really looked at yet, the results were immediate. With the other, I screwed up at the start and continued in that manner basically, the material is fine, engineer did a very god job actually, the detritus was of my own making, phew.

Just checked your review the only thing missing was ‘very musical,’ the amount of times I’ve read that phrase in SOS, now I finally know.

To have that level of control in realtime, the surgical precision, the ease with which you can pin-point areas, and how it maintains the character even through broad areas, (I was losing the amp’s character) the effortlessness and immediacy of shaping the signal in such an aesthetic way, I feel I’m really at the heart of the matter and in full control.

Haven’t tried bass much yet, so looking forward to that, as you rate that too, plus there’s also the vox, great stuff.

I’ve also heard some very nice useable stuff in perhaps what are considered the more undesirable areas, I also reckon it’s easier to now blend/comp the re-amps, it makes it more like getting synths to combine as a single tone, which is very easy compared to this.

The name says it all, one really is riding the waves, very apt.

I already knew/felt there was a big diff between mixing/honing real strings as opposed to synths, this is gonna be invaluable, first port of call for me, def reckon I can do a ‘alf-decent mix meself now too.

Too long in the bleedin’ teeth to get excited, even so, maybe soon I’ll be able to muster some, cos it’s almost like starting all over again in a way.

Could you or The Elf, anyone, recommend an brill all-purpose EQ that’s quick and simple and immediately effective, on a par with the Surfer EQ and does it matter where you place diff EQ’s in the chain?

Many thanks to the pair of you.
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby Matt Houghton » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:48 am

LdashD wrote:Really Matt I can’t thank you enough man...

Just checked your review the only thing missing was ‘very musical,’ the amount of times I’ve read that phrase in SOS, now I finally know.

De rien. Yep, it's certainly very 'musical'. I try to avoid that phrase in reviews, not because it's wrong but because it's one of those that risks getting overused and losing its meaning! Also worth pointing out that I was reviewing v1 and v2 is out now (and rather easier to use IMO).

LdashD wrote:I also reckon it’s easier to now blend/comp the re-amps, it makes it more like getting synths to combine as a single tone, which is very easy compared to this.

Yep, it's certainly easier to build a complex sound now that we have so many amp emulations. I still don't like playing through the things — give me a real amp every time — but they're really useful when mixing to tweak and layer sounds, give a sense of width etc.


LdashD wrote:I already knew/felt there was a big diff between mixing/honing real strings as opposed to synths, this is gonna be invaluable, first port of call for me, def reckon I can do a ‘alf-decent mix meself now too.

Yeah, with synths you're pretty much generating the sounds you want. With acoustic sources in acoustic spaces there's all sorts of crap that might or might not be desirable. Hence that focus on getting it right at source — cutting out the crap in the first place, and giving yourself enough options to shape the sound in the context of the mix without screwing everything up.

LdashD wrote:Too long in the bleedin’ teeth to get excited, even so, maybe soon I’ll be able to muster some, cos it’s almost like starting all over again in a way.

Never too old to get excited by this stuff! It's the whole point, isn't it?!

LdashD wrote:Could you or The Elf, anyone, recommend an brill all-purpose EQ that’s quick and simple and immediately effective, on a par with the Surfer EQ

I tend to use the ones with a nice big clear GUI and where any band can be placed at any frequency, with any Q, with any amount of gain. But others prefer console-channel style EQs. For the former, your DAW's inbuilt EQ should be fine. Eg Cubase Studio EQ. But I find the Avid 7-band one a bit limiting (sounds good enough though). TDR Nova can be used like this too and is excellent, and gives you the dynamic EQ if you want it. In fact, you can try the free version, which is a perfectly good EQ. For console-channel style ones, with fixed frequencies, there are loads. Plugin Alliance Maag EQ is good. Luftikus is free and pretty cool. TDR Slick EQ is nice and offers a few 'colours'. All depends what you want.

LdashD wrote: and does it matter where you place diff EQ’s in the chain?

Put it where things need EQing ;) Seriously... I'll often use more than one EQ. I'll start with one to remove all the unwanted crap, pre any compression — notching out resonances I don't want, high-pass/low-pass filtering if I want to do that. Then I'll have another either pre-
or post compression (or occasionally both) to shape the overall tone. Just be aware that if it's pre compression (or any other threshold-dependent processing) that as you make changes you're changing the level, and thus potentially changing how the compressor reacts. The golden rule is of course to use your ears and do what sounds right...
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby Dave B » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:19 pm

Recommended EQ: Fabfilter Q2. It's a bit good and lovely and clear to use - just click and drag points around.

Also, TDR Nova is brilliant for dynamic eq. In the right hands (I've seen Zukan use it), what it can do is just stunning.
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby Forum Admin » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:23 pm

+1 for FabFilter Pro Q2 :thumb up:

Good Pro Q2 overview video (excuse the cheesy music): https://youtu.be/GYTCQeggyzo
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby LdashD » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:59 pm

Thanks for the extra input Matt.

Excited? It’s me job innit, you can, 'have too much of a good thing' occasionally, eager maybe, great fun that’s for sure, really enjoying it, but it’s time-consuming, maybe I’d rather just like to sit wiv me missus (can't think why) that’s all… sit there and pick me nose even.


Yeah yeah yeah, already got the Fab filter, also nabbed the Nova and Slick as they were mentioned earlier, just wanted to make sure I’m not missing something, seems I may have all I need and there’s me wanting to blame me tools at some point, fat chance now.

I’ve used Fab filter a lot.

Excellent results aside, it’s just the simplicity and the immediacy of that Surfer EQ, it would be nigh-on impossible to screw-up with that little beauty.

Although I always use Fab’s EQ I felt it was bit dull sounding, but it could be me expecting character when it’s transparent, or looking for something to do the job for me, not always clear-cut is it.

Cheers chaps
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby Matt Houghton » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:49 am

it could be me expecting character when it’s transparent

Yes, this ^. You can use different plug-ins for character. There are loads of useful subtle saturation/distortion plugins — check out Kush Audio, Softube, Klanghelm, UA.

But for outboard-character EQs, I'd recommend you also look at Acustica Audio's Acqua series, which are 'sampled' from real hardware rather than coded algorithmically. They sound great, but can be a little thirsty on computer resources and the interfaces can feel a little sluggish as you change parameters (they have to load different files every time you change something). They offer some freebies which are well worth trying. I really like the sound of the Ochre one, though their paid plugs are *really* nice. (Note that you can, if you wish, also use the 'preamp' stage of some of these plug-ins for character, alongside a more transparent-sounding algorithmic EQ like ProQ2 or Nova for the actual EQing).
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Re: EQ'ing the detritus out of a guitar signal.

Postby Dave B » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:19 am

Ah - lightbulb moment here. I managed to finally get a guitar sound I was happy with recently (on an old recording) by combining some tweaks with FF ProQ2 with an instance of SoundToys Sie-Q. I'm guessing that Q2 gave me some of the more transparent, 'surgical' tweaks and Sie-Q gave me the more coloured 'tone' that I wanted. A couple of people had been raving about Sie-Q and it was in a sale a while back, so I just bunged it on and it all came to life.

Another lesson learned and tucked away :D
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