Mids

Guitar Tricks Forum > Tone and Effects > Mids

Senior Member

Joined: 04/14/02

Posts: 357

Right I'm a lil confoosed here. What I do with them is scoop them for riffs a bit (say about at 4) and for solos I boost them (to about 7). Is this "common" practise or is why it sounds sh*t. (other than I got a crap amp) I've notice a few people mention it before and tend to keep them scooped.
Remember, the chickens that fly will always beat the rubber plants that bounce!

#1

Right I'm a lil confoosed here. What I do with them is scoop them for riffs a bit (say about at 4) and for solos I boost them (to about 7). Is this "common" practise or is why it sounds sh*t. (other than I got a crap amp) I've notice a few people mention it before and tend to keep them scooped.
Remember, the chickens that fly will always beat the rubber plants that bounce!

Registered User

Joined: 08/09/03

Posts: 492

I'm not a fan of the infamous "scooped sound" at all, in fact, I hate it! Every time I go see a bunch of amateurs perform, 9 out 10 times they have the scooped sound going on, and it just sounds awful.

Why do people think a scooped sound sounds good?
When they play on their own, in their bedroom, at low to medium volume levels, cutting the mids will create a larger than life sound. It sounds articulate, clear, yet very heavy because of all the low end going on.
Plus, a lot of guitarists shape their sounds after recordings of their favorite artists. But to the untrained listener it will seem like a lot of those recordings use a scooped guitar sound because of all the other stuff going.

Why do I think scooped mids is not a viable option beyond the bedroom(a.k.a. live/band situations)?
1- As you increase the volume of an amp, the human ear will perceive an increase in low and high end. If you combine this increased low and high end with the already scooped mids, a very painfully shrill sound with overpowering/muddy low end is created. You lose all definition, which tend to make people dial in even more high end because they think that'll fix it, resulting in even an even more horrific sound.
2- For some reason a lot of guitarists think they need this afformentioned "larger then life" sound when playing with their band too. Why doesn't that scooped mid sound work with a band? Because the guitar is mainly a mid-range instrument. If you "synthesize" your sound into having a lot more low and high end content, you'll be fighting against the low end of the drums and bass guitar, and the high end of the cymbals. Result: the guitar drowns in the mix, which makes the guitarist boost his volume, drowning out everybody else with his earpiercingly awful, muddy, too loud sound... it's a never ending battle of volume within the band. Anyone who has played in a rock band at some point I'm sure has encountered this problem.
How do you solve it? Use your mids! In a band situation, mids give you power, clarity, make you stand out through the mix,... Give your sound some body with the low end, but let the drums and bass take care of that area. Create some clarity with the high end, but be moderate, too much of it is pure torture.

A sound that works well in a band will usually sound pretty weak by itself, and a "larger then life" sound by itself will probably sound weak in a band. It's kind of weird, but that's how it basically works.

Anyway, that's just my view/experience on the matter, I'm sure in some situations a moderately scooped sound does work.


SPL - On his crusade against scooped mids...

#2

I'm not a fan of the infamous "scooped sound" at all, in fact, I hate it! Every time I go see a bunch of amateurs perform, 9 out 10 times they have the scooped sound going on, and it just sounds awful.

Why do people think a scooped sound sounds good?
When they play on their own, in their bedroom, at low to medium volume levels, cutting the mids will create a larger than life sound. It sounds articulate, clear, yet very heavy because of all the low end going on.
Plus, a lot of guitarists shape their sounds after recordings of their favorite artists. But to the untrained listener it will seem like a lot of those recordings use a scooped guitar sound because of all the other stuff going.

Why do I think scooped mids is not a viable option beyond the bedroom(a.k.a. live/band situations)?
1- As you increase the volume of an amp, the human ear will perceive an increase in low and high end. If you combine this increased low and high end with the already scooped mids, a very painfully shrill sound with overpowering/muddy low end is created. You lose all definition, which tend to make people dial in even more high end because they think that'll fix it, resulting in even an even more horrific sound.
2- For some reason a lot of guitarists think they need this afformentioned "larger then life" sound when playing with their band too. Why doesn't that scooped mid sound work with a band? Because the guitar is mainly a mid-range instrument. If you "synthesize" your sound into having a lot more low and high end content, you'll be fighting against the low end of the drums and bass guitar, and the high end of the cymbals. Result: the guitar drowns in the mix, which makes the guitarist boost his volume, drowning out everybody else with his earpiercingly awful, muddy, too loud sound... it's a never ending battle of volume within the band. Anyone who has played in a rock band at some point I'm sure has encountered this problem.
How do you solve it? Use your mids! In a band situation, mids give you power, clarity, make you stand out through the mix,... Give your sound some body with the low end, but let the drums and bass take care of that area. Create some clarity with the high end, but be moderate, too much of it is pure torture.

A sound that works well in a band will usually sound pretty weak by itself, and a "larger then life" sound by itself will probably sound weak in a band. It's kind of weird, but that's how it basically works.

Anyway, that's just my view/experience on the matter, I'm sure in some situations a moderately scooped sound does work.


SPL - On his crusade against scooped mids...

Senior Member

Joined: 04/14/02

Posts: 357

I used to play with the mids higher than the low and high end, but then everyone got into the scooped mids. N they arent something I know lots about but I did think it was a bit odd. Just something I'll have to have a play around with. Thanks for your input, it has given me a little light on the situation.
Remember, the chickens that fly will always beat the rubber plants that bounce!

#3

I used to play with the mids higher than the low and high end, but then everyone got into the scooped mids. N they arent something I know lots about but I did think it was a bit odd. Just something I'll have to have a play around with. Thanks for your input, it has given me a little light on the situation.
Remember, the chickens that fly will always beat the rubber plants that bounce!