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The Who Acoustic Guitar EQ Settings?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Head
 
Ed Driscoll's Avatar
The Who Acoustic Guitar EQ Settings?

Hi all,

Lots of late-‘60s through the mid-‘70s stuff by The Who, such as “Pinball Wizard” and wide swatches of Quadrophenia have Pete Townshend’s acoustic guitar eq’ed, with (at least to my ears) extra treble, maybe a midrange cut and very little bass. It adds sparkle to the acoustic and gives the other instruments and the vocal plenty of space to breathe. I sort of guestimate to get in the ballpark of this when mixing, but I’d love to know your thoughts on what settings on a (plugin) parametric EQ would work to achieve something along these lines?

Thanks,

Ed
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Driscoll View Post
... but I’d love to know your thoughts on what settings on a (plugin) parametric EQ ...
Brilliant acoustic guitarist, amazing strummer. "Going Mobile" is my favorite. The EQ probably wasn't anything fancier than a rudimentary bass & treble (cut the one, boost the other as you've already noted). I'm sure it had a lot to do with the guitar and the strings. His guitar doesn't ever sound like a Martin to me, maybe a Guild or something, and the strings don't usually sound particularly new (except for "Magic Bus.") And it sounds to like he plays pretty far back, near the bridge. Compressed more than a little, too.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Brilliant acoustic guitarist, amazing strummer. "Going Mobile" is my favorite. The EQ probably wasn't anything fancier than a rudimentary bass & treble (cut the one, boost the other as you've already noted). I'm sure it had a lot to do with the guitar and the strings. His guitar doesn't ever sound like a Martin to me, maybe a Guild or something, and the strings don't usually sound particularly new (except for "Magic Bus.") And it sounds to like he plays pretty far back, near the bridge. Compressed more than a little, too.
The entire “Who’s Next” album is loaded with great acoustic guitar.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Quote:
but I’d love to know your thoughts on what settings on a (plugin) parametric EQ would work to achieve something along these lines?
The EQ edits have to do with the tone of the original guitar sound, so unless you have the same exact guitar, guitar strings, playing style, mics used to record it and same exact room, the same EQ settings will do you no good to achieve the same acoustic guitar sound.

Because the same settings for your guitar sound will not get you close to the settings of his guitar sound, unless your in the same room, have the same strings, have the same guitar, have the same pick or finger style, have the same mics, have the same pre's, as there are many factors that go into this sound, not just EQ.

CJ
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
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Nashville tuning?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Brilliant acoustic guitarist, amazing strummer. "Going Mobile" is my favorite. The EQ probably wasn't anything fancier than a rudimentary bass & treble (cut the one, boost the other as you've already noted). I'm sure it had a lot to do with the guitar and the strings. His guitar doesn't ever sound like a Martin to me, maybe a Guild or something, and the strings don't usually sound particularly new (except for "Magic Bus.") And it sounds to like he plays pretty far back, near the bridge. Compressed more than a little, too.
I know these days he's usually seen with a Gibson acoustic. I wonder if that goes back to those days. I agree, it sounds like he plays nearer to the bridge. He also plays really hard, and that effects the tone.

I always think (hopefully correctly) that the Helios Pre/EQ is a big part of the acoustic sound on a lot of those Who records.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nd33 View Post
Nashville tuning?
Maybe, but I doubt it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
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bash's Avatar
 

Guessing much of that tone was the Gibson J-200. I've had one acoustic in my life with a maple back and sides and it had that treble-side focus and presence. Despite it's jumbo size it wasn't a "big" sounding acoustic.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bash View Post
Guessing much of that tone was the Gibson J-200. I've had one acoustic in my life with a maple back and sides and it had that treble-side focus and presence. Despite it's jumbo size it wasn't a "big" sounding acoustic.
The jumbo name is a bit misleading. The one's I've heard are actually a little more balanced than a dreadnaught. The physical body is JUMBO, but not the sound.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Good article:

https://www.emusician.com/gear/tracking-townshend

Much to my surprise he even mentions some eq points he typically likes tweaked on guitar. Plenty of related stuff.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Head
 
Ed Driscoll's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
The EQ edits have to do with the tone of the original guitar sound, so unless you have the same exact guitar, guitar strings, playing style, mics used to record it and same exact room, the same EQ settings will do you no good to achieve the same acoustic guitar sound.

Because the same settings for your guitar sound will not get you close to the settings of his guitar sound, unless your in the same room, have the same strings, have the same guitar, have the same pick or finger style, have the same mics, have the same pre's, as there are many factors that go into this sound, not just EQ.

CJ
Believe me, I understand all that. I was simply curious if anybody had some thoughts on what was going on EQ-wise on the guitar during The Who's classic period, and how to get close to it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Head
 
Ed Driscoll's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
Good article:

https://www.emusician.com/gear/tracking-townshend

Much to my surprise he even mentions some eq points he typically likes tweaked on guitar. Plenty of related stuff.
Thanks! In the interview, Townshend says:
Quote:
What I like about my home setup is that I can plug in a mic, add a little EQ from my own memory bank (acoustic guitar gets a little 10kHz and a little 2.4kHz, vocal gets a little 3kHz — both would get some light compression), put a roll of tape on the machine, walk into my studio, and push record.
I had sort of assumed that during the classic days of The Who, that maybe there was a bit of midrange cut in the acoustic guitar to create some more mix space. But that may just be the sound of the J-200.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Driscoll View Post
Thanks! In the interview, Townshend says:


I had sort of assumed that during the classic days of The Who, that maybe there was a bit of midrange cut in the acoustic guitar to create some more mix space. But that may just be the sound of the J-200.
I’d assume that his current home setup has nothing to do with what was done in the studio 40 years ago...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Head
 
Ed Driscoll's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd33 View Post
I’d assume that his current home setup has nothing to do with what was done in the studio 40 years ago...
Of course. But it is interesting to hear his (then?) current settings.
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