Dub Recording/EQing (pre FX)

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stranded horse
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Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:30 pm

Dub Recording/EQing (pre FX)

Post by stranded horse » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:35 pm

I've read all sorts of stuff on how the dub greats are doing there effects wizardry but I need some info on how to get the sound right in the first place before applying the effects.
I play guitar in a dub band, we are bass, guitar and drums.
Lee Perry and King Tubby were also recording engineers, a thing that many dub producers nowadays are probably not, because they work either with synths and drum machines or with samples, but Lee Perry and King Tubby made their samples themselves, and we are kind of in the same situation, so this is one step before the usual dub production.

Our current setup is that we have a mic on the snare, bassdrum and hi hat, bass goes through a preamp into the pa, but guitar is through a separate amp (because I do my effects myself, and also the drum fx).

I know some basic EQing principles for drums and bass, but I don't know if these also apply to dub/reggea, and I would love to find some sources of on the EQing and production techniques used by these 2.

If its not possible to understand what I mean, listen to this video


how do we get from the sound prior to 2:35 to the sound after that? (I think they just changed the audio track from the live recording in the studio to the produced final track.

What I do now is, I boost the Kickdrum around 120 Hz and cut off around 500 Hz, I boost the bass around 60 Hz and cut off at 150 Hz, boost the snare at 300 Hz and the for the hi hat I cut off everything below 14 kHz.
I still cant get the sound right. Specially on the hi hat...

maybe I also need a compressor for the bass and kickdrum? Do you put a compressor after or before the preamp? (silly question, but I never used one)

Hope someone can help us to improve our sound,
cheers, Franz

sam pling
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:30 pm
Location: leeds, uk

improve our sound

Post by sam pling » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:00 am

You seem to be on the right track here - certainly Perry seemed to eq the band on the way into the recorder, before adding additional fx/eq etc on the way out again - this allowed him to use his gear more than once on the mix.

Bear in mind that different engineers have different philosophies regarding eq - some only cut (often in a live situation) - others only boost (this seems prevalent in the dub/reggae community - certainly those on a more retro tip) - I would certainly suggest that you try boosting either the hats, or the overhead(s) at 11k to get that hi-hat sound from back in the day - then add phaser to taste!

As for compression - generally this is done after the pre-amp using an insert point on the desk - again, try compressing on the way in to your recording system, and then again on the way out.

Without knowing what your room/setup is it is difficult to give you suggestions on mic placement - however do a bit of googling/youtubing and consider that drums back in the seventies were recorded very differently from now - for example with three mics - one as an overhead, one in figure 8 mode between snare and toms, and one on kick - this will give you more of an "ambient sound than close miking everything, however this works less well in a bad room or a live situation - always use your ears!

Hope this helps

Sam M

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