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Thread: Describe scooped mids

  1. #1
    Tone Mechanic
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    Describe scooped mids

    I kinda got a basic idea, but can anyone describe what scooped mids are and what the middle frequencies do when they are scooped. What does it sound like? ...if it is possible to describe.

    I'm a little unclear of what it actually is and what it sounds like...eventhough I'm sure that i've heard them or scooped some myself at some point in time.

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    Senior Member NightWinder's Avatar
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    to me, scooped mid are ultra tight lows, huge lowmids, and a articulate as hell top end. everything else is jumped up but the mids. I refer to them as smooth mids, not scooped. I sell a pickup that peels paint of walls, has a supper sergical lowend, fat lowmids ( I love em') and the highend just is jawdroping, but not shrill. If I wind a hot version, it usually hits around 18,5k

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    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Kevin, just turn the mid control off on your amp and listen to the guitar. You get top and bottom and a notchy tone in the middle. Real popular on bass with slappers.
    It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein

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    Senior Member NightWinder's Avatar
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    I love your simple way of things Schwab

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    the IMmoderator DrStrangelove's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    Kevin, just turn the mid control off on your amp and listen to the guitar. You get top and bottom and a notchy tone in the middle. Real popular on bass with slappers.
    If you believe Duncan's Tone Stack Simulator, many amps start out with mildly scooped midrange. It's all a question of degree.

    http://www.duncanamps.com/tsc/index.html

    -drh

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    What gets called scooped mids is an EQ/filtering thing. If you're posting in this sub-forum, you may be barking up the wrong tree. My sense is that aiming for it in a wind is just plain nuts.

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    Senior Member madialex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hammer View Post
    What gets called scooped mids is an EQ/filtering thing. If you're posting in this sub-forum, you may be barking up the wrong tree. My sense is that aiming for it in a wind is just plain nuts.
    I agree

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    i just see it a lot in descriptions of pickups from many pickup makers.

    I'm just trying get an idea what it sounds like....or what to look for when i'm listing to a pickup.

  9. #9
    Senior Member NightWinder's Avatar
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    You can get that in a wind.....seriously. My Amp is prodominately set at Bass-10,mids-6,treb-7,presence 3. Stock Marshall 800 '83 strait in.

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    Senior Member NightWinder's Avatar
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    and an sd-1 overdrive

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    i found a definition

    stupid me...did a quick search and found a definition for "scooped mids" at Sweetwater.com....Very clear to me now.

    Scooped Mids
    This is a general description of the guitar tone most typically associated with heavy metal rock. Generally there is plenty of low and high end, but the midrange is cut or "scooped," often rather sharply, either using onboard amplifier tone controls or by using an external equalizer. Several manufacturers offer pedals that include both distortion effects and scooped mids.

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    Senior Member madialex's Avatar
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    Wouldn't a good PAF tone be scooped mids?

    I'm just as mids tone deaf as helen keller its a wonder I can even wind a decent pickup

  13. #13
    Senior Member NightWinder's Avatar
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    I'd think not, rather the opposite. 42 @ 8.4k is getting there on the bobbin space...rather full mids to me, but defined and tight.

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    Senior Member madialex's Avatar
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    See I told you i'm deef when it comes to mids

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    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrStrangelove View Post
    If you believe Duncan's Tone Stack Simulator, many amps start out with mildly scooped midrange. It's all a question of degree.
    Yeah, for a Fender style passive stack, the mid only cuts. You also loose a lot of gain. Newer style active tone controls don't do that. So it depends on what you are playing through.
    It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein

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    Let me note in passing that while I doubt you can actually nail scooped mids in a single pickup (whether SC or HB), variations of scooped mids is actually part of the position 2 and 4 "cluck" sounds on a Strat, and probably some pickup combinations on other instruments as well.

    In those instances, the de-emphasized midrange is actually a product of cancellations rather than an inherent property of the wind itself. I know we like to think of multi-pickup combinations as additive, but with the same string wiggling over multiple pickups, sometimes counteracting string motion occurs, and with it cancellations. Every plucked string produces multiple vibrations and wavelengths at the same time. The between-pickup distance and note being played results in some waves on the vibrating string that have part of the string moving away from the polepieces over one pickup while simultaneously moving towards the polepieces on another. You get sort of the same thing happening with PAF-style and dual-rail humbuckers as well, but in those instances the cancellations occur at such short wavelengths that they arer well out of the midrange.

    That's not to say that the famous Strat "cluck" sound is equal to scooped mids, but midrange cancellations are part of what delivers up the seemingly pronounced bass and treble. Technically and theoretically, then, a person might be able to provide a designated or targetted midrange scoop by a) winding pickups with a given set of resonances, and b) positioning them a given distance from each other so as to electronically produce cancellations at those selected frequencies at the pickup stage without any additional EQ-ing.

  17. #17
    Senior Member NightWinder's Avatar
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    Well, you know the old saying with hand wounds....You have to find that sweet spot...Enough power, but also letting the string breath (move i suppose). Lets not forget material, and magnet choice- and most inportantly Coil shape. I find coil shape an important factor in this topic.
    MArk- on B your talking literally the distance between coils right, not offsets?

  18. #18
    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hammer View Post
    Let me note in passing that while I doubt you can actually nail scooped mids in a single pickup (whether SC or HB), variations of scooped mids is actually part of the position 2 and 4 "cluck" sounds on a Strat, and probably some pickup combinations on other instruments as well.
    I agree. Can't really see how you can do it with one pickup.
    It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein

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    scooped mids...?

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinT View Post
    I kinda got a basic idea, but can anyone describe what scooped mids are and what the middle frequencies do when they are scooped. What does it sound like? ...if it is possible to describe.

    I'm a little unclear of what it actually is and what it sounds like...eventhough I'm sure that i've heard them or scooped some myself at some point in time.
    That ring-a-ding, chimey sound of a Twin Reverb, Super Reverb, or Bandmaster Reverb, is what "scooped mids" are all about. It's pretty much
    the "country" sound with a little "chorus" effects added to it.... Or a Strat,
    in the "tween" position, of the bridge and middle pick-up. IMHO

  20. #20
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    scooped mids

    Another way to desribed it would be to describe the "opposite" of "scooped"
    mids... Mids, are the "fat" tone usually used for "lead" guitar. I'm thinking,
    Billy Gibbons, and ZZ Top..... Anybody else.....??????? want to chime in...?
    (pun intended...)

  21. #21
    Senior Member NightWinder's Avatar
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    Wire size, Magnet "thickness", not to mention gauss, length of the magnet, material (slugs, screws, and keepers- we can throw these around all day)...Once told YMMV? More importantly, Mark and others said "In the wind".....It can be done, and to a T. Do it everyday.... But back to the topic...I believe it come DIRECTLY from the choice of wire gauge, wind, and nmagnet choice. Everything else is manipulating.....(metal composits)

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    Senior Member NightWinder's Avatar
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    The inbetween is Volume drop.....Fenders....I'd hardly call mid heavy to begin with( compared to marshalls...and boggies shit gottat turn the bass down to 5, and mids)....Not that they lack any...but pertrude more top end simply..which is a desired sound for country. Not to mention...Instrument type: PAul, Junior, Es, Strat, V etc.....

  23. #23
    Senior Member NightWinder's Avatar
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    classic Paf in every sense

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    Quote Originally Posted by NightWinder View Post
    The inbetween is Volume drop.....Fenders....I'd hardly call mid heavy to begin with( compared to marshalls...and boggies shit gottat turn the bass down to 5, and mids)....Not that they lack any...but pertrude more top end simply..which is a desired sound for country. Not to mention...Instrument type: PAul, Junior, Es, Strat, V etc.....
    Nightwinder, KevinT ask about the SOUND of "scooped" mids. Not why or how they were "scooped". Wind all the pick-ups you want, and crank your Marshalls any way you want, I was not describing Marshall's or Boogies or anything else. I was describing certain Fender amps and the way they sound
    TO ME..... And yes the volume will drop if you use the 'tween" position on a Strat, but that is because the pickups are out of "phase", not electronically, but physically, with each other, in relation to the scale of the neck. Go wind
    THAT.....

  25. #25
    Senior Member NightWinder's Avatar
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    Really? Nuts??? Don't quite no where to begin with this one....I value the opinion, but i really have to disagree. To me , pickups are the cheapest thing to get "your" tone. Surpises me, considering all the variables..............

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    Senior Member NightWinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowhand401 View Post
    Nightwinder, KevinT ask about the SOUND of "scooped" mids. Not why or how they were "scooped". Wind all the pick-ups you want, and crank your Marshalls any way you want, I was not describing Marshall's or Boogies or anything else. I was describing certain Fender amps and the way they sound
    TO ME..... And yes the volume will drop if you use the 'tween" position on a Strat, but that is because the pickups are out of "phase", not electronically, but physically, with each other, in relation to the scale of the neck. Go wind
    THAT.....
    KevinT Quoted:i just see it a lot in descriptions of pickups from many pickup makers.
    Thought it would be nice to confirm that it can be done in the pickup. I clearly understood his question....and added a little too, as you can now see, nor did he directly make a question of it, THOUGHT I MIGHT ADD MY 19 CENTS TO IT. Did you mind? Should I have asked your permission? Kev's been here awile and is quite knowledgeable, and is very cool I might add. I wind the way I want, And believe me...I crank the Marshalls. Fenders too for that matter. I'm glad the amps sound the way they do to YOU....I don't need a lesson on what ""tween positions"" are about. I wind 'THAT" every day.....

  27. #27
    Senior Member NightWinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowhand401 View Post
    Nightwinder, KevinT ask about the SOUND of "scooped" mids. Not why or how they were "scooped". Wind all the pick-ups you want, and crank your Marshalls any way you want, I was not describing Marshall's or Boogies or anything else. I was describing certain Fender amps and the way they sound
    TO ME..... And yes the volume will drop if you use the 'tween" position on a Strat, but that is because the pickups are out of "phase", not electronically, but physically, with each other, in relation to the scale of the neck. Go wind
    THAT.....
    Slowhand401
    I was not describing Marshall's or Boogies or anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NightWinder View Post
    MArk- on B your talking literally the distance between coils right, not offsets?
    Yes.

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    Trust me, I'm a LOT more conservative (and cheap) in my conception of "EQ/filtering" than you'd think. I agree that a pickup change CAN be an extremely cost-effective way to change tone, but I'm talking something as simple as 2 resistors and 2 caps in a passive notch configuration, or a choke/cap/pot conversion of a Strat's 2nd tone control to be a mid-cut. Doesn't really get much cheaper than that.

  30. #30
    Senior Member NightWinder's Avatar
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    Oh, ok . I got ya now. After all....you steered me in the right direction for my chorus pedal too...Guy knows his electronics!!

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    Well I may have to retreat from my initial position. On the bus-ride into work this morning, I was reading a review of a new Washburn guitar in GP. The guitar uses a pair of stacked humbuckers that look like P90s. The reviewer described them as having a midscooped tone. Hmmm, maybe more possible than I thought. On the other hand, if the pickups are two flat-n-wide coils stacked, maybe the tone is a product of two coils, although obviously the sensing area is that of a single-coil.

    but thanks for your confidence anyways....appreciated.

  32. #32
    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hammer View Post
    Well I may have to retreat from my initial position. On the bus-ride into work this morning, I was reading a review of a new Washburn guitar in GP. The guitar uses a pair of stacked humbuckers that look like P90s. The reviewer described them as having a midscooped tone. Hmmm, maybe more possible than I thought. On the other hand, if the pickups are two flat-n-wide coils stacked, maybe the tone is a product of two coils, although obviously the sensing area is that of a single-coil.
    There are two coils... there's a lot of phase cancelation going on with stacked pickups. Usually you lose low end, so if they came up with a recipe to keep the low end, they probably pushed the notch up to the mids.

    I'm just guessing of course...
    It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein

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  33. #33
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    Was this thread related to 'scooped mids' in the distorted metal sense? If it is I might be able to help.

    IMHO (as a metal player, guitar maker/tech) trying to get that sound directly from the pickup doesn't work. There are a few production humbuckers around that claim to have a ton of bass and highs with scooped mids but to me it seems they're missing the point, and they sound craptacular. Lots of fizz, lots of woof, and no clarity.

    The classic scooped sound cuts the mids post-distortion. If anything you want to hit the amp hard with a lot of upper mids and tight bass (think EMG 81). This seems to get things distorting quicker, there's more apparent volume, and the rolled off bass stops it getting muddy. Then you can scoop, if that's what you want to do. Personally, I likes me some good mids, and a touch less gain.

    I was under the impression that the 'scooped' HB's used two radically different sounding coils - one very bright sounding, the other bassy. Is that correct?

    Hopefully this was relevant to the original post??

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