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Marcello

Guitar EQ tips

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Hi! Im pretty new to Cakewalk. I recorded some electric guitar tracks but I’m not very handy with EQ. I tried to make the best sound from TH3 plugin amps so I’m quite satisfied with the sound. I know that I should use EQ to cut some frequencies but I dont know which I should cut, also I know I should use the compressor a little bit but I’m not sure how much should I compress them, in any case I tried using the default compressor where you have Attack, release etc but changing those it seems that wouldn’t affect the sound at all, at least to my ears. Any good practise to EQ electric Guitars? Suggestions? How do I cut frequencies that should be cut?

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For distorted guitar sounds, you'll almost never need additional compression.

If you're happy with the sound you have with TH3 then for the most part, I'd leave EQ as it is.  The only EQ I'd personally recommend is a high pass filter (low cut) to remove any low level rumble. Most of this you won't be able to hear, but it'll be there with a fair amount of energy.  Raise the high pass frequency until you can just hear it making a difference, then back it off slightly. 

Then I'd leave it as is until you can hear everything together in the mix. Only then should you worry about EQ, and ONLY in the context of the whole mix.

 

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Don't EQ unless it needs it. 😀  As dir compression, if you have any sort of overdrive or distortion it is already compressed.

Search YouTube for guitar editing guides. There is just no straight answer. Everything depends ... on the type of recording, type of music, other instruments, effect you are trying to achieve..

The Tutorials section of this forum and YouTube are your friends.

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Got it thanks! You know how many decibel at least I should cut for the lower frequencies? Like around 20? 40 decibels?

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26 minutes ago, Marcello said:

Got it thanks! You know how many decibel at least I should cut for the lower frequencies? Like around 20? 40 decibels?

With the high pass, you're basically totally removing the lower frequencies - the real question is how steep should the slope be. 

I normally use a fairly steep slope for everything other than Kick & bass.  Typically I'll engage the high pass around 100Hz - 150Hz and move the frequency down until I can't hear a difference between the high passed and original signal:

adjusting_high_pass.gif

 

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Thanks! Sorry one last question, do you suggest to put the eq post or not? I suppose is intended to affect only the guitar without effects unless you put post It will also affect the effects like delay etc?

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2 minutes ago, Marcello said:

Thanks! Sorry one last question, do you suggest to put the eq post or not? I suppose is intended to affect only the guitar without effects unless you put post It will also affect the effects like delay etc?

Unless TH3 is adding lower frequencies, it probably doesn't matter too much...

If you do it pre effects, TH3 won't be trying to effect the inaudible lower frequencies which is good.

Doing it post means you cut out any added lower frequencies that TH3 might have introduced.

There's nothing to stop you adding another EQ (e.g. sonitus EQ) before TH3 and doing both pre & post.

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I managed but the weird thing is I dont like it. Lol it’s just cutting all the bass of the guitar! All that punch bass that makes it powerfull it’s lost and sound just flat. Bah, maybe I would just really slightly cut it, even if I dont like it. Not sure whats the purpose of this, just to take off the fat of the guitar? To do what? Mah

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2 hours ago, Marcello said:

I managed but the weird thing is I dont like it. Lol it’s just cutting all the bass of the guitar! All that punch bass that makes it powerfull it’s lost and sound just flat. Bah, maybe I would just really slightly cut it, even if I dont like it. Not sure whats the purpose of this, just to take off the fat of the guitar? To do what? Mah

If you can hear a difference then your frequency is too high. The whole point it to cut at the point where you CAN'T hear a difference.

The low E on a standard 6 string is 82.41 Hz.  So you want to pick a frequency somewhere below that. The frequency is likely to be different for each track, depending on the guitar sound and what notes you're playing.

The purpose is to stop a build up of inaudible low frequencies which will  (a) Make your mix muddy, and (b) Essentially end up making your total mix quieter - the reason being, that a build up of low frequencies show up as being loud (although you may not hear them),  and the audible frequencies are quieter in comparison.

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It depends a bit on what other instruments are in the mix or whether the guitar is on it's own. If you've only got drums, bass and guitar in the mix then you can leave some bass on the guitar. If you've got a piano as well or lot's of instruments or lots of guitars then what you will do to fit in the guitar will be different. It would help to know what type of guitar sound you are using (metal/rock/blues/jazz etc) and also what other instruments or vocals are in the mix.

The THU amps are great for rock and metal and blues, they have a bass heavy sound with lots of depth. The THU effects are great, nice sounding off the bat and also allow for subtle tone shaping. I use S-Gear amps combined with THU effects but that is because I like a Jazzy, cleaner sound.

Best way, if your new to EQ is just get the guitar sound you like on it's own, using the amps and pedals and Treb/Mid/Bass dials ie just use the amp for EQ and nothing else. The THU pedal compressor (RT?) is nice, don't be afraid to up the sustain, guitar starts to sound live. Guitarists often use the pedal compressors for tone, don't worry about it. You can change it later if you really need to.

Once you've got that sound, you can save it as a preset. Next step is to fit it into the mix with the other instruments using the Cakewalk or third party EQ's that you have. That is what Mark is explaining to you. As he say's, it really is the low cut you've got to get right first, if you've got a bass guitar in the mix then you need to raise the cut so it doesn't make the Bass muddy but compliments it, especially with the THU amps. They add a lot of low frequencies which sound great playing the guitar on it's own but will add mud to the mix with other instruments if not cut out. Your guitar sound will be greatly influenced by the Bass guitar or whatever you have for bass, so make sure you've got good sounding bass and drums first. After the cut you can decide if you want to further tweak the amp settings or the DAW EQ to fit it in the mix, whatever sounds best. If you get lost on the amp, you can return to the preset.

In a buzy mix, the guitar soloed by itself can sound awfully tinny but then when put back in the mix can sound great.

 

Edited by Tezza

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8 hours ago, Marcello said:

also I know I should use the compressor a little bit but I’m not sure how much should I compress them, in any case I tried using the default compressor where you have Attack, release etc but changing those it seems that wouldn’t affect the sound at all, at least to my ears.

Compressors are a dynamics processor, they affect amplitude, so it can be fairly subtle. Like many things it can take some ear training. I think it's helpful to start off using compression as a tool. Compressors are used to keep a signal level, you can flatten peaks. Finger pickers picked them up pretty quickly - it helps tame volume differences between fingers, the occasional too loud or too soft pick. They can be helpful with rhythm guitar. In flattening peaks you can then increase the volume and that will give you more sustain and can also fatten the sound a little. Like many tools if you start to use them you'll find that different compressors behave and sound different from each other. It's a good idea to read articles about guitar pedal compressors and check out youtube.

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