This is the 16th and final installment in guest blogger Steve Lagudi’s series on Guitars & Bass in a Live Setting – if you missed his previous blog post, you can read it here.
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Steve hanging out with us at our NAMM 2014 booth.
Let’s talk for a minute about multiband compression. If you have the ability to use it, by all means, this is a great place to use it. When I use a multiband compressor, I like to use it across the group. If I have two or three signals to create the bass sound, I will route them all to a group and use one multiband compressor. Does not matter if it’s a 3-, 4- or 6-band compressor, I generally like to compress my lows tighter than the mids and highs. Just by doing this, I can sometimes get the sound I want, not just with compression, but I might not even have to touch my EQ. If you are new and have never used one before, I understand it might seem a little overwhelming, but start off with it in the default flat position so you can’t even hear that it’s in the signal path. As the show goes on, start making slight adjustments and have fun with it. I bet by the end of the set, you will love it and will start to use it all the time.
Now let’s discuss EQ. Sometimes I run certain things flat, but I always use filters to roll off some of the low-end. I tend to roll off around 70 Hz, typically. This still gives you some sub-lows while getting away from the low fundamentals of the kick drums. Just by doing this, it will make your life easier in getting the bass and kick drums to work together. Next, I like to take out some low-mids around 160 Hz, sometimes a li’l around 300 Hz as well. I usually leave the mids in, or even add some. 700–900 Hz is the real nice midrange, so adding a decent bump in here, especially on the DIs, sounds nice. Upper-mids: maybe a 1 or 2 kHz bump to give it some snap and clarity.
I might use the same EQ on all the channels, or just on certain channels, each band it varies. Sometimes I might have excellent signals from everything, then I will just route them to a group and make my EQ changes globally from the group. Do whatever will work best for you given what you have available to work with. Again, try and experiment, don’t be afraid. If you do something and you don’t like it, you can always reel it back in. Experimentation is where you discover new things and what you like, and you will then develop your own style.
This concludes Steve’s blog series. Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out posts from our other guest bloggers.