harsh high end when using a PA speaker for direct tones

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by sir riff a lot, May 4, 2016.

  1. sir riff a lot

    sir riff a lot Member

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    I find when using a PA speaker for direct tones (DXR10 is my main choice)
    there is always a harsh high end coming out of the horn.

    My friend who uses an Axe Fx commented the same thing.

    do you guys experience the same ?
    is there a way to tame this with EQ's etc ? and make the sound a bit more "guitar cab" like?
     
  2. Flying_V1968

    Flying_V1968 Member

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    You might want to provide some details - like what modeller you're using to start with.

    I use an AX8 mainly direct to a PA and sometimes I'll use a high cut in the cab block around 8k or so if I have an issue with the highs. Sometimes I don't - depending on what tones I'm going for. As far as "guitar cab" sounds I usually don't bother with that. Understand that FRFR isn't about a guitar cab in the room experience - it's about emulating a miked up rig. I use my ears to tweak to find a sweet spot in the overall mix. Also different IR's make a huge difference for overall tone.

    If I want a "guitar cab" experience I can run the AX8 with no cab sim into the fx return of my tube amps with a traditional cab. Sounds great but going FRFR into a powered monitor sounds killer to me and much more convenient so I don't even bother any more.

    I personally think too many people get hung up on "amp in the room" and miss the whole boat on FRFR.
     
  3. Slicklickz

    Slicklickz Member

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    I almost always use a low pass filter between 6800-8400hz depending on the situation.I don't think there is ever a reason for a guitar to go over 9k.
     
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  4. randombastage

    randombastage Member

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    Definitely use a low pass filter if you are hearing high frequency stuff that doesn't belong. A real guitar speaker will roll off around 5500Hz where a PA speaker lets it all pass through up to its upper limit well above guitar amp frequencies.
     
  5. DunedinDragon

    DunedinDragon Member

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    This is the same regardless of the modeler apparently on some of the better FRFR monitors. It makes sense if you come from the traditional amp cabinet world given those seldom if ever incorporate compression drivers (horns). The same will tend to apply at the very low end where people often complain about "boominess". I use my global parameters to make some inital low and high end cuts, and then tweak as necessary with final EQ's in the patch to tame these things. Works very well for me.

    The important thing here is, if you were using a standard guitar cabinet and sending a separate direct PA line from your modeler, you probably wouldn't hear the harshness or the boominess, but the audience would since it's likely those speakers are FRFR. This is the main reason I opted for FRFR speakers as monitors, so I could better tune my patches to ensure that what I'm hearing is exactly what the audience hears.
     
  6. hippietim

    hippietim Member

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    How close are you to the horn? What happens if you are further away? What modeler are you using?

    Was your friend with the AxeFX commenting that your tone had a harsh high end or that his did as well? If the latter, what speaker are they using?
     
  7. chrisjnyc

    chrisjnyc Supporting Member

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    Are you building the presets with studio monitor speakers or headphones? A PA speaker can get ice picky if you dont EQ them for your live presets.

    There was a quick fix for the QSC speakers to put some duct tape on the screen in middle of the horn to cut down some of the hi end...
     
  8. trazan

    trazan Member

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    I've had this problem with most modelers that I've tried. Keeping clarity and definition without sounding harsh. I don't like low-passing and losing top end so I often end up pulling out some (narrow Q) around 3-4 kHz.
     
  9. bluenova

    bluenova Member

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    Are you simulating a guitar cab in your signal chain? If you are, build your sounds with the DXR10 at volume within a recording of the band so your new non harsh high end isn't completely lost in the mix. Even then you'll probably make a few tweaks at sound check or practice. Sometimes a little ice picky when isolated absolutely slays within the full band. Personally, I never touch low or high pass filters and find an impulse response that I like without major eq.
     
  10. metallica86

    metallica86 Member

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    I got same issue with my AX8 with DXR 10, I switch from Alto, even DXR sound much better, I still hearing lots of low end and "boomy" sound, still learning the unit though

    Any one have same setup can share their EQ setting ? Not looking for perfect sound but hope I can learn from more experience player.

    I tweak my presets at home in my basement with the DXR, I can't crank the speaker up too much, otherwise it's too loud for my wife and baby upstairs..
     
  11. RLD

    RLD Member

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    I honestly don't seem to have this problem and I have 3 modelers...AmpliFIRE, AX8 and a Kemper.
    Also have a CLR and an Alto TS112A as FRFR's.
    Now it may be that the amps I end up gravitating to don't have a "harsh" aspect to them but I find that most of the patches I end up with require no added eq.
    I did this vid the other day...AX8 being played thru an AltoTS112A which you can see.
    The webcam mic is picking up the room sound...this is a Dirty Shirley amp with no eq changes from stock.
     
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  12. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

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    I typically have a High pass filter setup at 75-85hz just to kill the super low (for guitar) stuff... Even up to 100hz-120hz if I want to completely stay out of the subwoofers in the house system. I prefer to do this at the mixer... though you can certainly do this on device if your unit has a global EQ.
     
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  13. hippietim

    hippietim Member

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    I wonder how many folks have listened to their amp through a PA with a variety of mics in different positions. It ain't always smooth sailing.

    This is why IR selection is so important - choosing the right cab that was mic'd well is every bit as important in the modeling world.
     
  14. metallica86

    metallica86 Member

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    thanks bro, I have Ax8 too, Do you tweak your EQ from Global EQ on Ax8 ?
     
  15. gbtommasi

    gbtommasi Member

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    It's not a problem when going direct only, assuming you are using a cab IR of course. Even when you have a real amp and mic it, usually what you hear in the monitors and in the PA is quite harsh compared to amp cab sound, for various reasons (as others said, mic choice and position is as important here as having the best amp in the world, and so is IRs choice). After all, IRs are just representing a mic'ed cab...

    Then the sound man EQs you (or you do it yourself if you have an eq section, easy on modelers), cutting highs and lows with a shelving EQ. Cut frequency and amplitude depends on your setup and on the PA system, but usually it starts around 5-6KHz for low pass and around 80-100Hz for high pass. Everything over or below is not really necessary in most live applications.

    After shelving, you can use a parametric EQ: if tone it's too heavy on bass, it can be useful to cut 2-3db at 200-250Hz, and if it's still harsh cut 2-3db at 3-4Khz (careful though, this are the most audible mid-high frequencies on guitar). If it's a bit light, boost 2-3db at 600-800Hz... in a parametric, always make small cuts/boosts and use a gentle slope eq.

    All of this makes sense at gig/rehearsal volumes of course. Hope it helps
     
  16. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Member

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    Most "pro"sumer PA type speakers are designed to make "vocals" sound good. They will tell you they are flat response but for the most part they have a tendency to be scooped in the midrange. Even higher end monitors will have EQ switches that have a bright boost to make vocals cut through more easily. I usually ask to have my monitors set flat. The other problem is that as the volume changes so does the frequency response of the speakers. Oddly one of our soundmen is a Fractal user and always comments that he never has to do anything to my mic'd tube amp and leaves my channel set flat but has to use a low pass filter on his Fractal. Go figure. I always use a Sennheiser 906 and use the "dark" setting on the mic and place it at the edge of the cone. His band goes all direct including drums and he uses the Presonus mixer to run a "Virtual" pre-recorded mix of the band so he can hear it from the audience's perspective. In the end if you've dialed in presets at home through studio monitors they may not translate the same through a big PA system.

    For myself when I do play "direct" I usually cut high end at the mixer channel before going crazy with my own rig. The other thing to consider is if you have the speakers facing you they will tend to be a bit "tweaky". Generally outside of a vocal wedge most people don't like to stand directly in front of a PA speaker. Usually the FOH station is set up in the middle and nowadays with iPad applications they can monitor and adjust the sound from many different perspectives. I really prefer to use two wedges spaced apart so neither one is facing me and I'm in the middle. The same type of pyramid configuration that is used in the studio.

    A cool thing to try is the Scott Henderson approach which is like the aforementioned "Virtual" mix. Scott brings a looper pedal and plays his setup with the loop recording then he lets the loop play and he gets to hear his guitar sound from different perspectives. Sometimes it's easier to evaluate your tone when only listening, just as the soundman gets to do.
     
  17. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

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    I have my AX8 EQ set flat... All the mixers I use have a high and low pass filter available or at least a high pass. I've not found the IRs I use with the AX8 have harsh highs at all (couldn't tell you specifically off the top of my head but I use a 4x12 v30 and A 4x12 Green Back...)

    My speakers that I'm regularly in contact with are
    JBL LSR305 studio monitors
    Alto TS110a
    Alto TS212
    Yamaha DSR12
    And our EV based rehearsal PA

    I don't find Any of those to have offensive frequencies.
     
  18. eriwebnerr

    eriwebnerr Member

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    I don't know if the DXR has a DSP setting for the position you are using it in but if not you will get a lot of relief by positioning it correctly. If you can't put it at head level so that the horn is directed over your head, then at least angle it standing upright so that the woofer is aimed at your face.
     
  19. hippietim

    hippietim Member

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    That 906 mic is what I use as well. It is way less effort to get an amp sounding good with that mic than a 57.
     
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  20. burningyen

    burningyen Vendor

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    OP, harsh highs is a very common problem with all sorts of direct devices. There are various solutions: low-pass filter, compression, far-field IRs (google that for hours of reading enjoyment), Kemper's Pure Cab, Fractal's De-Phase. Just be glad you heard it before your audience does.
     

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