Study Hall
Sponsored by
Audio Technica

Tech Tip Of The Day: EQing Stage Monitors

Is there a "right" (or best) way to EQ stage monitors?

By PSW Staff June 24, 2010

Provided by Sweetwater.

Q: I’ve been working for a local band a little while now, and I’ve really been building my mixing chops.

Recently, though, I’ve been having some trouble with feedback in the monitors.

Is there a “right” (or best) way to EQ stage monitors?

A: One commonly accepted method for EQing monitors is to “ring them out.”

Here’s the procedure: Set the gains on all of the mics to be open in the monitors to the same relative level, and then turn the monitor system up until feedback occurs. At that point, pull down the offending frequency on your graphic equalizer.

When the feedback at that frequency stops, turn the monitor system volume up again, repeating the procedure. If you do this five to seven times, or until multiple frequencies (more than three) are feeding back at the same time (whichever comes first) then you have EQed your system for maximum gain before feedback. It may not sound great, but it will get loud!

Once you’ve accomplished this, you can turn the monitor volume down to a more reasonable level, and begin to tweak the EQ for better sound and to address other specific concerns — ringing the monitors out just establishes a good starting point.

You’ll be surprised at how expert you can get at this procedure. Many experienced sound engineers immediately recognize the frequency of feedback, and can very quickly locate the correct slider on their EQ. As with most skills, practice makes perfect!

Disclaimer: Be careful when working with a monitor system in this way! feedback can fry components (including ears) if you’re not careful — keep your hand on the volume control! Ringing out monitors is not for the faint of heart, but it works.

For more tech tips go to


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

dave says

That’s the King of Clubs method and not a very good one at that.  Using that method you are guaranteed to suck the life out of your system.  By excessively eqing more than you need at levels greater than which you will be running will take far more out than is required.

Andy P says

Dave’s right—this method is purely bush league and it results in absolutely awful monitor sound. You wouldn’t “ring out” the mains in this manner, would you? (You would? Oy.)

How about getting the wedges frequency response nearly flat from say 100 Hz up to maybe 10 kHz (using yer favorite measurement system and some nice playback material), and then using the channel strip tone controls to make the voice sound natural in the wedge at a moderate level. And THEN start bringing up the level and carefully notching out feedback that might occur? Betcha you won’t have to do much cutting on the ol’ 31-bander IF you start with the wedges properly EQed and aligned.

Tagged with:

Subscribe to Live Sound International

Subscribe to Live Sound International magazine. Stay up-to-date, get the latest pro audio news, products and resources each month with Live Sound.

Latest in Uncategorized