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Great Newb post for understanding frequencies.....

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  • Great Newb post for understanding frequencies.....

    Great little post for those just into audio and are a little bewildered about all those little sliders on the EQ. I often just adjusted until I struck on a combo that sounded good, but it was more pure luck than anything. For those in my "boat" and not yet to the level of Red or Durwood, this should help. Finally I have a reference to start from.

    Here's some very helpfull tuning info for the less experienced (like me) in EQ tuning:


    1. Increase to add more fullness to lowest frequency instruments like foot, floor tom, and the bass.
    2. Reduce to decrease the "boom" of the bass and will increase overtones and the recognition of bass line in the mix. This is most often used on loud bass lines like rock.

    1. Increase to add a harder bass sound to lowest frequency instruments.
    2. Increase to add fullness to guitars, snare.
    3. Increase to add warmth to piano and horns.
    4. Reduce to remove boom on guitars & increase clarity.

    1. Increase to add fullness to vocals.
    2. Increase to add fullness to snare and guitar ( harder sound ).
    3. Reduce to decrease muddiness of vocals or mid-range instruments.
    4. Reduce to decrease gong sound of cymbals.

    1. Increase to add clarity to bass lines especially when speakers are at low volume.
    2. Reduce to decrease "cardboard" sound of lower drums (foot and toms).
    3. Reduce to decrease ambiance on cymbals.

    1. Increase for clarity and "punch" of bass.
    2. Reduce to remove "cheap" sound of guitars.

    1. Increase for "clarity" and "pluck" of bass.
    2. Reduce to remove dullness of guitars.

    1. Increase for more "pluck" of bass.
    2. Increase for more attack of electric / acoustic guitar.
    3. Increase for more attack on low piano parts.
    4. Increase for more clarity / hardness on voice.
    5. Reduce to increase breathy, soft sound on background vocals.
    6. Reduce to disguise out-of-tune vocals / guitars.

    1. Increase for vocal presence.
    2. Increase low frequency drum attack ( foot / toms).
    3. Increase for more "finger sound" on bass.
    4. Increase attack of piano, acoustic guitar and brightness on guitars (especially rock guitars).
    5. Reduce to make background parts more distant.
    6. Reduce to soften "thin" guitar.

    1. Increase to add attack on low frequency drums ( more metallic sound ).
    2. Increase to add attack to percussion instruments.
    3. Increase on dull singer.
    4. Increase for more "finger sound" on acoustic bass.
    5. Reduce to decrease "s" sound on singers.
    6. Increase to add sharpness to synthesizers, rock guitars, acoustic guitar and piano.

    1. Increase to brighten vocals.
    2. Increase for "light brightness" in acoustic guitar and piano.
    3. Increase for hardness on cymbals.
    4. Reduce to decrease "s" sound on singers.

    1. Increase to brighten vocals (breath sound).
    2. Increase to brighten cymbals, string instruments and flutes.
    3. Increase to make sampled synthesizer sound more real.

    I wish I could take credit, but I found it on


    Oooooo......and pictures! everybody loves pictures!

    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  • #2
    btw the fundamental frequency may not always be the most desirable freq. its more the freq that has the most energy.

    for example looking at my sound desk right this second, for a tv show on voices. I would EQ someones voice as follows. shelf cut at 160Hz, -4dB notch at about 380Hz, then a +3Db at about 4.5Khz, then a high shelf cut starting at 12Khz.

    the reason i cut below 160HZ and above about 12Khz is for voice there is nothing in there that is desirable for a normal "talking heads" type tv/radio show, often this is the same for music.

    for a kick drum or a bass guitar for example i would depending on the day, boost the 60 to 160Hz range, and might cut everything above say 4Khz.

    its all about shaping the sound so it fits into its own gap in the frequency range, two things trying to fight for the same frequencies will just get mushed up and be hard to hear.

    in a car its along the same lines, for best results you want one thing doing one range of frequencies. personally this is what i prefer....
    a sub does the lows 10" or 12"(40Hz to 120Hz)
    rear speakers 6x9's or 8" mid bass subs (110Hz to 4Khz ish) ive been known to cut the tweeters out of rear speakers before if they are harsh.
    front main drivers 6" (150Hz to 4Khz ish)
    front tweeters (3Khz up)

    different speakers will sound different so you need to tune your car to find out what works, and what gives you a balance thats isnt heavy in one area.
    something like this xover (same sort of thing as what i have) where you can tweak the high and low freq range of each feed before it gets to the amp makes a huge difference. also there is a gain on each channel so yu can get it all sitting just right in relation to each other.


    • #3
      i'm a propponent of no rear speakers and if possible try to get the front mains below 150 hz that way you have all the music in front of you and it's a lot harder to localize the sub.

      It's easier to achieve this when you have a larger door speaker (7" or 8") and you properly deaden the door against vibrations.
      New System in progress:
      Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
      Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
      Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
      Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
      Transflective Xenarc

      My Car Pc Install
      My Boat Pc worklog


      • #4
        personally i still like a bit of sound from behind me
        and as for the fronts i would have 8" in my doors if there was space. in which case i would be dropping the freq i send them, perhaps anywhere from 60 to 120hz cut off depending of what they sound like. some smaller speakers just get ****ty when you try to put a heap of lows thru them, eg 4 and 5" ones are never going to crank out those low tones, unless you are good at making enclosures.

        and the important thing about all this..

        i'm assuming that the speakers and amps are all matched, and no one is under powering the speakers (its called under powering for a reason)


        • #5
          heh... noticed i didnt say it was wrong to have rear speaker... with everything audio it's just what ya like.
          New System in progress:
          Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
          Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
          Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
          Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
          Transflective Xenarc

          My Car Pc Install
          My Boat Pc worklog