EQ tips for live work

  • Struggling a little bit to find a good EQ curve for live work. In my situation, I get profiles to sound good in the headphones but through the PA and in ears, the EQ seems funky. I don't tend to get time to tweak profiles at the gig so it's quick trial and error. Profiling a Carol Ann Triptik w/AWS KTS-70 and do mostly mid to higher gain (no metal). Hoping for some EQ tips from those that are using it live so I can send a relatively flat signal and keep my sound guy happy. I know the EQ can be completely different from profile to profile, looking mostly for basic rules of thumb stuff.

  • Would love some tips myself, never seem happy with stage sound but maybe that's because it changes so much from room to room. I have a couple of EQ's saved for a couple of venues we frequent most but even then that is only a starting point as it will change a lot as the crowd starts coming in. Bodies absorb sound but I'm an amateur at this stuff so that's about all I know. One of my saved EQs is flat so I can start from scratch in new venues, one decreases the highs a bit in small rooms with a lot of hard surfaces. In the output section you can save and name your current settings, either monitor out or main out or both, just hit the store button from that menu. Hope that helps!

  • I can give alittle insight atleast what I do. We have our own sound guy with our own system as well that we use some of the time, so this really helps. Obviously, not an option for everyone. I dial in my sounds on my adam monitors, and then test them out on my Yamaha DXR 12's. Again, I know this isnt an option for everyone, but this works the best for what I do personally. When dialing in on my monitors, i put them in "main monitor" mode, to get a general idea of how they sound if they were running as mains. Most of the time however, we use an EAW line array system, or a yorkville system with 15s as mains, and 21's for subs. I always leave my main output EQ on the kemper flat, and EQ to taste at a decent volume using the controls on the front of the kemper, and maybe (if needed, usually isnt) a graphic EQ post amp. I actually find its easier to get what I want with an EQ in the preamp, because a good profile shouldn't need a ton of EQ post amp, atleast that is my philosophy. Does your band have their own sound guy? How about FOH gear, do you guys use any of that or play at places that "generally" have the same style of gear? The reality is, today's speakers/mains are all pretty great, so your tone/mix shouldn't change "drastically" from venue to venue. I would avoid trying to dial in your tones on your headphones, that is just not realistic compared to a live FOH type of sound. We generally "save our mixes/presets" on our board, and then EQ to taste slightly depending on the venue. The reality is, you are going to have dial in your tones on some type of mains, or flat ground monitors. My sound guy generally starts a low pass on my guitars around 7 or 8k, and a high pass around 80hz. This works generally well for most of our stuff. I am playing country/rock type stuff, lots of ac30s, bassmans, and marshally style tones for the most part. I do come from the metal world though, but these general practices should work for any style of music. If you cant afford monitors, maybe go to guitar center if possible or something like that, and spend some time on some ground monitors and dial in your tones, thats probably the best advice I can give you if owning some isn't possible.

  • If you tone doesn't translate well to other systems, one or more of the systems is in need of EQ. If your headphones you dial in your tones in with are not flat, your tone will always need correction. If they are accurate, your PA needs EQ.

    Let's be clear here. EVERY venue will have very different room response and require your PA to be normalized to the room. If you start with good direct recordable tones, the venue PA with poor EQ will kill your tone. If its your PA, EQ it. If its a house PA, go stand out front and listen to your guitar. Use the main EQ on the KPA to compensate for the crappy PA.

    My band uses a real time analyzer with dual 32 band graphic plus 10 band parametric EQ. We analyze every room we play and store it for recall. If we can't analyze before the show, we set by ear then do it at closing time so we have it for the next time. We still have to EQ to taste but that's generally minor changes. The RTA gets us 95% there.

    Bottom line....start with known good profiles that are verified with trusted flat headphones then make sure your PA reproduces all frequencies evenly AT the venue and your all set.

  • I think these two aspects should be regarded separately.

    1. The FOH main mix that uses the KPA main out signal.
    2. your own monitor mix that you use with your active stage monitor, guitar cab or in ear.

    1. The FOH main mix sound balance will change from venue to venue, that´s right. On the other hand those differences get compensated the more that venue is filled with people. As a guitar player there´s not much to do here. Leave the FOH overall EQ adjustments to the sound guy. All you can do is to use a pair of neutral sounding near field studio monitors at home to dial in your sounds. This should give the sound guy the best possible signal that has has still room for minor corrections. However i recommend dialing in your sounds when playing to a full mix to simulate the producer´s or sound guy point of view. This means reducing the guitar level to not stand out of the mix but to integrate into it. Very often your guitar signal will need to extra cut from the higher frequencies. When played alone these sounds might seem a bit harsh.

    2. For your own monitor mix that uses the monitor our signal, use the monitor EQ inside the KPA or an external EQ to dial in the sound that you need. With either of the two methods i would create multiple presets at home that you can access and change quickly on stage. Starting from a "scooped" preset with reduced mids i would create presets with more and more mid boost or cut in the bass and treble. This should help you to get some quick adjustments on stage.

  • Excellent feedback. Most of the time we have a nice EV FOH setup but our sound guy is extremely experienced and can manage any "production provided" scenario as long as we deliver him something consistent. With the in ears, venue size and crowd noise is less a factor and not much different than a live amp (my cab normally faces a wall to minimize stage volume). That being said, I'm mostly trying to send a friendly signal that needs minimal EQ help out front, to taste vs. correction.

    I suspect the answer is the headphones coloring the tone and not having a source to see how it fits in a mix. I most likely need to borrow a FR monitor to simulate FOH and get it in the ball park. I have also noticed the HP and LP filter pieces (I tend to be heavy on the 400HZ myself to get that beef in the headphones).

    Appreciate the responses and perspectives.