Different frequencies for different instruments

  • Yesterday there was a little discussion between the keyboard player and the guitar player. Maybe you know this? ;-)
    It was about sharing the same frequencies and as a consequence you cannot hear either the guitar or the keyboard.
    He complained that my guitar (and of course the Kemper) sound very well in ALL frequencies of my sound and so there is no space left for the keyboard.
    I assume he's right, concerning the real good sound of guitar and Kemper! ;-))
    And that's the reason I don't want to change my sound.
    Are there any bands (player) with similar problems and how do you solve them?

  • Hi,
    If his name is Kenneth, ask him to specify which particular frequencies he thinks belong exclusively to keyboards.
    This is especially important if he wears a shirt of violent green or an armoured suit.
    I should listen carefully to his expectations and then say you 'couldn't understand'.
    Whatever you do, avoid any references to the sound being shackled by the apparent youthful clash of 'freqiuencies' and deliver with a due sense of irony as from an audience point of view, this may well be an improvement.
    Uh huh!
    Elvis Pre-Amp

  • Heh...


    It's a two way street - the both have to make room for each other. And also for the bass and for the vocals of course :-)


    You need to figure out the sonic role of each instrument first and foremost - otherwise you can't make solid, informed decisions.


    Part of those decisions pertain to frequencies (as in EQ), but part of them also pertain to arrangement and playing. Maybe the guitar plays in the higher registers - or use inversions of the chords - or maybe it's the other way around. Figure this out first - then do the whole EQ thing.

  • It's nice to know that everybody should leave room for the others.
    But how do you do this, guys?

    Arrangement and EQ. Arrangement is dependent on the role of each instrument. What do you want on top, what do you want below that etc. How busy is each instrument? Which instrument plays fast notes, which one plays longer sustained notes?


    EQ is dependent on arrangement.
    You can't do this by formula. None of us know exactly what you play and how you play. Or what you aim for. Or which sounds you use for your guitar, or which sounds your keys player uses. Or how your vocalist sounds.


    In a more practical way, make a recording in your rehearsal space. multitrack if possible. Then listen back as objectively as you can, both of you. Find the best compromise. Find out where you clash the most and where it is the most unwanted.

  • You need to figure out the sonic role of each instrument first and foremost - otherwise you can't make solid, informed decisions.


    Part of those decisions pertain to frequencies (as in EQ), but part of them also pertain to arrangement and playing. Maybe the guitar plays in the higher registers - or use inversions of the chords - or maybe it's the other way around. Figure this out first - then do the whole EQ thing.

    This, and what Michael said in his previous post.


    The well-known chart @MentaL posted is great, but it doesn't cover the sounds a "modern" keyboardist would likely use in commercial-music contexts:


    "Slow" pads can be made duller and have their bottom ends carved away; this allows the edgier guitar parts to shine.


    Plucky sounds can have everything but the high mids and highs removed, leaving plenty of "meaty" space for guitar parts - remember, you can have one or the other, but you're not going to get away with picky / attacking / staccato guitar parts' overlapping said keyboard sounds unless you're playing Zappa-style / fusionesque runs in unison, and even then, it pays to allow one part to define the attack and the other to provide more of the body.

  • Arrangement and EQ. Arrangement is dependent on the role of each instrument. What do you want on top, what do you want below that etc. How busy is each instrument? Which instrument plays fast notes, which one plays longer sustained notes?
    EQ is dependent on arrangement.
    You can't do this by formula. None of us know exactly what you play and how you play. Or what you aim for. Or which sounds you use for your guitar, or which sounds your keys player uses. Or how your vocalist sounds.


    In a more practical way, make a recording in your rehearsal space. multitrack if possible. Then listen back as objectively as you can, both of you. Find the best compromise. Find out where you clash the most and where it is the most unwanted.

    Thanks.
    Will discuss this with the guys.

  • as a very general rule, since one of you is playing rythm (you cant both play lead at the same time, dub), the guy with the rythm task can dull out his sound a bit, even add more reverb than the lead sound. And dont forget to make room for vocals. In the studio you can balance lead instrument and vocals with compression and some heavy automation (fader riding), but this isnt set and forget, so for live, a soundtech can become handy ;)

  • Arrangement is the way to go. He can simply press a button to change the octave on his keyboard and suddenly you’ll both be working with room to spare. On the guitars you can additionally use a high pass filter and remove your bass, that’s the job of the bass guitar, on guitar it’s just flub in the mix most of the time.


    Remember it’s not four soloists in stage, it’s a band. People didn’t come to see or hear you! They came to hear songs.