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#1917270 - 06/22/12 01:50 PM Mixer or Graphic EQ
indieleap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/12
Posts: 27
Loc: Maine, USA
After reading and posting on this forum, I bought myself a pair of powered speakers to use for DP amp (got a good deal on a pair of Mackie SRM 350's on Craigslist). I am playing a Casio PX-330 for now until I can upgrade to something a little more desirable.

So... I'm not crazy about the PX-330 sound (it's just a band-aid DP). Long and the short - I want to send the DP through some type of EQ before the speakers. I was looking into mixers and found that I have to spend more than $200 to get something with a real EQ on it. I got to thinking about just buying a stereo graphic EQ to put before the speakers.

My question is.. Does anyone have any experience doing it this way? or What are others doing to accomplish the same thing? I just want the best sound I can get with what I have. My budget for gear is shrinking (I have about $200 left that I wanted to spend) and I wouldn't mind saving some out for the DP upgrade.

Thanks everyone.
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I Love music and I love musicians too. My thoughts on the music industry http://www.indieleap.com

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#1917283 - 06/22/12 02:10 PM Re: Mixer or Graphic EQ [Re: indieleap]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: indieleap
...
So... I'm not crazy about the PX-330 sound (it's just a band-aid DP). Long and the short - I want to send the DP through some type of EQ before the speakers. I was looking into mixers and found that I have to spend more than $200 to get something with a real EQ on it. I got to thinking about just buying a stereo graphic EQ to put before the speakers. ....


If all you need is EQ, buy the EQ box. A $200 mixer is pretty much the low-end for good quality mixers and they have many features you don't need. The stereo unit will have much better (less) self noise.

But if budget is an issue you can use a computer. Run the audio through a good audio interface box. You can buy a PreSonus "AudioBox" for $150. There are other good brands too for about that price. Then you run a DAW on the computer. (Apple's Garage Band would be ideal for this.) Inside the DAW are many different effects like EQ and impulse response reverbs and compressors. These are mostly very good quality. Loop the sound through whatever chain of effects you like. Many of the DAWs, like garage Band have presets to bring up a signal chain with setting that "work" for common use cases like female vocals or acoustic instruments or whatever.

I've also noticed the reverb on most DPs is primitive at best. The software reverbs are 100 times better. Pianos really do need some reverb to make them sound like they are in some kind of room.

I've found this is about the best thing you can do to a digital piano. The output of most DPs is just like a close-mic feed from a recorded acoustic piano and what engineer would simply dump the mic straight onto a recording?

Of course you can buy hardware effects boxes like EQ, limiters and compressors but few pepole outside a big studio do that and even there people now prefer software many times, mainly because you can change the settings later after a recording.


Edited by ChrisA (06/22/12 02:13 PM)

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#1917289 - 06/22/12 02:19 PM Re: Mixer or Graphic EQ [Re: ChrisA]
indieleap Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/12
Posts: 27
Loc: Maine, USA
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
If all you need is EQ, buy the EQ box. A $200 mixer is pretty much the low-end for good quality mixers and they have many features you don't need. The stereo unit will have much better (less) self noise.

But if budget is an issue you can use a computer. Run the audio through a good audio interface box. You can buy a PreSonus "AudioBox" for $150. There are other good brands too for about that price. Then you run a DAW on the computer. (Apple's Garage Band would be ideal for this.) Inside the DAW are many different effects like EQ and impulse response reverbs and compressors. These are mostly very good quality. Loop the sound through whatever chain of effects you like. Many of the DAWs, like garage Band have presets to bring up a signal chain with setting that "work" for common use cases like female vocals or acoustic instruments or whatever.

I've also noticed the reverb on most DPs is primitive at best. The software reverbs are 100 times better. Pianos really do need some reverb to make them sound like they are in some kind of room.

I've found this is about the best thing you can do to a digital piano. The output of most DPs is just like a close-mic feed from a recorded acoustic piano and what engineer would simply dump the mic straight onto a recording?

Of course you can buy hardware effects boxes like EQ, limiters and compressors but few pepole outside a big studio do that and even there people now prefer software many times, mainly because you can change the settings later after a recording.


This is an interesting option. I guess the other piece that I didn't mention is that I am trying not to get ridiculous about how much gear I take to a gig. I play Jazz, after all and already very jealous of the sax player who shows up with a sax and asks me for an "A" and is ready to go. So, I was trying to avoid bringing a laptop to gigs as well.

However, if I did consider this, I have a PC. Do you have any suggestions about a PC software equivalent to Garage Band? I am familiar with Audacity already.

Thanks!
_________________________
I Love music and I love musicians too. My thoughts on the music industry http://www.indieleap.com

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