Imagine the frequency range of the sound you hear as a highway, a very wide one with nine lanes. Each of these “lanes” represents a single octave of the sonic spectrum. The first four lanes, labeled 63 - 500 (Hz) contain the really low frequency sound content, mainly bass, bass vocals, and the kick and tom drums. The three lanes labeled 1 k, 2 k and 4 k (Hz), make up the fundamental zone of most musical instruments and the male and female vocals. 8 k and 16 k cover the frequency range of cymbals, snare drums and higher pitched percussion instruments. The FBQ800 allows you to control the flow of audio traffic in each of these nine lanes. When properly applied, EQ makes it possible to hear all of these frequency ranges equally, thus the term equalization.
When a specific frequency, or range of frequencies, reaches too high a level, feedback occurs—that all-too-familiar squeal or howl you get when the mic is too close to the speaker. Basically, feedback happens when there is so much of a particular frequency that it is picked up by the mic and run through the system again. That’s why feedback typically gets louder and louder the longer it’s allowed to occur. Needless to say, this kind of feedback is very undesirable. This is where the FBQ800’s Feedback Detection System really works its magic. In this ingenious circuitry, LEDs on the individual faders light up when that frequency band is approaching the danger zone. All you need do is lower the illuminated slider until the LED blinks out—voilà, feedback problem solved! What once required a highly trained ear is now an activity that even a child can master.
That really is the best way to describe the FBQ800. With its nine frequency bands, you easily fine-tune your sound and instantly eliminate feedback. And each fader can be used to boost or cut the frequency range it controls by as much as 12 dB (and that’s a lot!). Special attention is paid to the low frequency zone. In addition to low frequency faders, the FBQ800 features a Low Cut filter for removing unwanted low frequencies such as floor rumble, room resonance, electrical hum, etc. This is especially handy if your system is being used for speech rather than music.
To Boost or to Cut, That is the Question
Raising and lowering specific frequency bands can improve the frequency response of any room’s acoustics. For instance, if the room you’re in is “bass-heavy,” lowering the 63 and 125 Hz faders can help eliminate an overall “boomy” or “muddy” sound. Likewise, gently boosting the 8 and 16 k sliders can add sparkle to a somewhat “dark” mix. Are the vocals getting lost in the mix? Raising the level of the 1 k slider can help bring them out. It’s important to note that raising a single fader level is not always the best solution; it’s often better to lower the bands surrounding the frequency you want to bring out, and then boost the overall volume level to achieve better headroom.