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Old 12-09-2008, 08:37 PM   #62
Human being with feelings
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,012

Here's the key (literally and figuratively):

In the I-IV-V progression in D, the three most important notes are D,G,A.

On the bass guitar, the first position has prominent G and A notes on the D string. The frequency of the low G note on a bass (E string, 3rd fret) is around 48Hz. The frequency of the Low A note on a bass (E string, 5th fret, or open A) is 55Hz. So the frequencies of the first octave of these two notes (D string, 5th and 7th frets) are 96Hz and 110Hz, respectively. Those are the notes that are not sounding loud enough. If we boost at one frequency or the other, we not only boost that note, but the first harmonic of the lower-octave note of the same name, making the problem worse for the one we're not boosting. Boosting right in the middle of the two (technically, I guess a little higher, like 103Hz) gives a boost to G#/Ab (a note not played in D), and a little overlap boost to both notes, evening out the sound.

Reading this, I realize I made a little oversight that might confuse astute readers. Technically, I guess we might have trouble if the player also used the open D, especially if she alternated between the open D and closed D on the A string (time to dig out the multiband compressor).

Last edited by yep; 12-09-2008 at 09:51 PM.
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