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What exactly does the term "scooped mids" mean?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by bobalu, Aug 17, 2003.

  1. bobalu

    bobalu TDPRI Member

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    Pardon the amp 101 question, but I haven't been able to get a satisfactory answer on this one. I get a lot of blank stares a la' "don't you know?.............", and then I realize that they don't really know either!

    Anyone?
     
  2. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    Pretty simple really.

    It's the sound of heavier forms of modern rock.

    The guitar is used as a percussive rhythm instrument, playing chunky chords (often just the root and 5), usually 8 to the bar, doubling the bass. You use very, very, very high gain settings, and remove the midrange frequencies almost completely. This leaves the deep bass and high treble, giving definition, depth and percussiveness.

    I wish I could name some examples, but I can't think of any just now, but maybe my description helps.

    P.
     
  3. KokoTele

    KokoTele <img src="http://www.tdpri.com/gifs/vendor.png" /> Vendor Member

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    "Scooped" as in scooped-out.

    I always thought it was pretty generally the lack of midrange in the tone, regardless of gain settings, and I think it's easier to pick out without the gain. Kinda the stereotypical Strat-blues slow blues tone, SRV's notorious for it.
     
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  5. Admin

    Admin Tele-Holic

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    A scoop of mids (with sprinkles, please).

    Eryque's got it. You can hear the effect with anything that has a graphic equalizer, whether it's a stereo, instrument amp, software program, whatever.

    Start with everything flat, boost both the low end and high end slightly, and drop all the mid-frequencies in a bell curve with the bottom right in the middle. It should look like the middle of the curve has been "scooped" out -- and sound like it. -- CS
     
  6. Adam Waldron

    Adam Waldron Tele-Holic

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    Blackface tone? :)

    Cheers,

    Adam
     
  7. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied

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    Scouped out mids is like an eq set so it looks like a smile.

    Bass and treble set high mids low.
     
  8. Roger Alburn

    Roger Alburn Tele-Meister

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    "scooped mids"might be called the reason a Strat doesn't sound like a Les Paul.

    I remember being inspired to learn guitar as a child after hearing a live surf band. The guitars were spikey and piercing, yet had a distinct, slightly menacing bass thump at the same time. The guys were all playing blackface amps, o' course, and now that I think about it, must have had their 'bright' switches on. That's the sound!
     
  9. buglecorps

    buglecorps Tele-Holic

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    All of these answeres are valid..

    as is so often the case the answer you are looking for depends on your context.Usualy when you are talking to a younger player, or the "dude" at the local chain retailer, who is trying to sell you a current production Marshall Paul G has your answer..this is pretty much what is genericaly known as the "metal "aka "wasp in a jam jar" sound. Most makers of mass production amps are quite pleased that they can give you this sound for oh say $99.95. Setting your amp this way and riffing away is actually alot of fun and a great way to wind down after a hard day working with hot tar...Also usefull to blow away all the Saturday posers so you can go over and try that AC-15 RI in the used section in some relative quiet...

    More recently it has become hip for the back balders to talk about the "scooped" midrange of BF amps as compared to their Tweed forefathers...best done with a pained expression on your face as you diss Paul Rivera for "putting too much mid" in the II series amps....This is very subtle, nothing like the sound above, and is typical amp snob stuff.....
     
  10. Roger Alburn

    Roger Alburn Tele-Meister

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    Re: All of these answeres are valid..

    In the words of a famous orator, "That was really uncalled for, Senator!"

    LOL
     
  11. Darrell

    Darrell Friend of Leo's

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    Yes

    Yes, black face tone. (Leo designed the blackface amp with the intent of having no midrange)

    Scooped - picture and EQ where the level meters are in the shape of a smile.
     
  12. Tremo

    Tremo Banned

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    Hold on a minute. Blackface amps do have some midrange. Yeah, it's scooped somewhat, but not removed entirely like in some of the crappy nu-metal garbage that passes for music these days. Oh, and there's a bit of mid scoop in the bigger Tweeds as well.

    And I agree that the thick nasally mids of the Rivera-era amps is kinda dorky sounding. But, OTOH, a lot of LA players made it big with that tone, so wtf do I know.
     
  13. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    Of course blackface amps have midrange.

    Otherwise you wouldn't hear all that much out of them, as a guitar's fundamentals are pretty much all midrange.

    The tone stack does have a bit of a dip in the mids. Jensen speakers also have a bit of a dip in the mids. Together they conspire to make BF amps sound slightly thinner than browns or tweeds. You know, if you turn the treble down to say 4 or 5, it is no longer exaggerated, so now you are back to a nice fullness.

    Some Fenders have a midrange control, if you turn it up you get plenty of mids, there's still a dip, but not so much.

    I would not call this dip "scooped mids", although I guess some people do.

    P.
     
  14. bobalu

    bobalu TDPRI Member

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    WOW!!!! Did I ask the right people or what!

    Thanks so much for your replies. Those are excellent explanations and I really appreciate it. Now I'm definitely in the know!

    Thanks again guys.
     
  15. Ben Harmless

    Ben Harmless Friend of Leo's

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    I also would hesitate to label BF Fenders "scooped" amps. I'd call it a different voicing, but the term "scooped" to me indicates that someone has gone and removed as much of the midrange as humanly possible in order to create a big booming sound with no real body.

    Fender amps are voiced to accentuate the treble and bass response. Scooping mids is for someone who is looking for a tone on the edge of that which is distinguishable as a guitar.
     
  16. Adam Waldron

    Adam Waldron Tele-Holic

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    Got it!

    Junt, junt, junt, junt, junt, junt......*harmonic squeal*.....junt, junt.....ad nauseum!

    Thats what that tone is for! ;-)

    Cheers,

    Adam
     
  17. GilmourD

    GilmourD Tele-Afflicted

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    If you want scooped mids without the angry bees in a can tone, just listen to Metallica. They remove the mids and don't turn the treble all the way up, so that way it still has some huevos. Listen to Unforgiven II and you can even hear James Hetfield play a B-bender Tele. :)
     
  18. sunkidd

    sunkidd Tele-Holic

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    I have a few BF Fenders, couple of Bassmans and a Bandmaster, also a Bassman 6G6-B head (Blonde).... I wonder where the 'mids' tone knob would be set if they had one? Where on the scale of 1-10 did Leo try to get the mids?
     
  19. maxvintage

    maxvintage Tele-Afflicted

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    You can hear this with any blackface fender--take, say, a deluxe. Boost the bass and the treble--that's effectively "scooping" the mids. Then turn the bass and treble all the way down--you're basically cutting the bass and treble, and emphasizing the mids. Slap bass players use a scooped mid tone ALL the time--listen to Marcus Miller, Mr. scooped midrange. It's all thump and clank. Leo designed fender amps--like everyone says--to emphasize highhs and lows somewhat at the expense of mids, But it's not a really extreme mid-scoop.

    Sitting at home, midrange sounds lousy--dirty and muddy, sort of undistiguished. But in my experience playing live ina a band, good tone is all in getting the midrange right. Sounds that are lousy solo often sound great in the mix
     
  20. Stan Martin

    Stan Martin Tele-Afflicted

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    tone settings et al

    [Sitting at home, midrange sounds lousy--dirty and muddy, sort of undistiguished. But in my experience playing live in a a band, good tone is all in getting the midrange right. Sounds that are lousy solo often sound great in the mix[/quote]

    you my friend have discovered the secret. :D

    If I had a dime for every Tele dude with bad tone due to the accentuated high and low end on their amps. too high and you bleed with the hi-hat, too low and you and Mr.Bassplayer are butting heads.

    Mids help you sit in the mix.
    Leo knew where the voicing should be, 6.8k to 10 k for mids is just about the right amount. add low and high to taste.

    JMHO
     
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