Today, after 7 months of searching, I finally found the tone I’ve been hearing in my head. It took a good bit of work, with 3 ‘breakthroughs’.
First it was realising that sometimes more is more, and using two amp sims. The second was substituting the cab sim for an Impulse Response block, finally my needlessly vast library of IRs gets a look in … The final breakthrough? An EQ block after the IR.
I’m not in the habit of using EQ for tone shaping, I figured that EQ is for analog players using it as a clean boost, or music producers who are using it for surgical tweaking or mixing. I’ve only just realised, after all these years, that an EQ can have as big an impact on overall tone as an IR
What types of EQ do you use, what do you use it for, and where does it sit in your signal chain?
EQ is pretty ubiquitous imo. Even if you don’t use it explicitly as a dedicated element in the signal chain, almost every block has at least a “tone” knob, which is basically a crude eq control.
I’d say, EQ is very helpful in gain staging, for shaping reverb (bright = close and intimate, dark = large and more distant), and also for clashing frequencies, not only for mixing but also when playing with other players, but also within a preset, e.g. to control a delay from overpowering the main signal.
I think this is an interesting video on how eq is implemented in tube amp gain staging in different ways:
Regardless of how good a job you think he did in the end in accurately replicating different amps, I found it very interesting to hear how the way eq is interweaved with gain staging makes a pretty big impact on the overall tone.
My setup is primarily for bass, playing a spector forte 5 (which rocks 2 aguilar super singles through an aguilar ob2 preamp). Its a no. 1. This goes to a cali76-tx (always on) then to the cortex then to the house (no amp / + iem). My presets represent songs. Answering the eq question, I mostly use 3 band, but its purpose exclusively replaces the job of onboard tone/eq controls. The eq refines the tone getting me from a 10 to an 11 in relation to the song/sound im shooting for. I put it usually in between the amp and cab. Im about a year in with the QC… its a keeper.
Those EQ blocks are something else right? Also a bass QC user here. I run my para-EQ blocks mostly for low shelf and high shelf with a little bit of frequency cutting on certain basses. Glad you found something that works for you!