second channel tone for slap?
I have a Genz Ben Shuttlemax with two channels, the second one a "tube" tone channel. I have been branching out a bit into slap bass, but it's pretty new to me and I'm far from proficient. When I slap, the volume I produce is a lot lower than when I fingerpick. So I'm thinking I should set the settings on the tube channel for slapping and at least make it louder or more gain heavy. My question is, what do you slap pop guys emphasize in your settings? And why do I produce less volume slapping?
The change in volume you are getting with your slap versus fingerstyle is most likely a technique issue that is common among beginning slappers.
Yes, as a temporary fix, you can just crank the gain in your second channel and use the footswitch on that very nice amp to compensate. However, I would recommend against that.
There is absolutely NO reason that you would have to touch a knob are have a special setting going from fingerstyle to slap. The best thing you can do is play through it at this point, and spend a lot of time in the woodshed.
This is KEY... DO not practice only complex 'thump and pulls' (i.e., working on the Victor Wooten or Marcus stuff). The BEST way (IMO and IME) to get your slap tone to be identical to your fingerstyle tone (and volume) is to use thumb hits interchangeably with fingerstyle when you practice. In other words, do a scale fingerstyle, and then do the same scale with thumb hits. When they sound the same, except for the initial note attack, you are there! As you progress, do those scales with alternating 'thumb slaps and finger pulls' (i.e., slap and pops).
One thing, though, that is not completely technique driven is the fact that the big initial attack of a thumb hit or a strong pop can bring a small rig to its knees (either due to running out of headroom on the amp, are driving the speakers beyond their mechanical limits). This will result in a drop in low end at the initial note attack. Technique will help with this (i.e., not slamming the note too hard), but even a compressor won't help much if you don't have enough rig for the job.
So, don't depend too much on a 'slap channel' setting on your amp when you are just starting out. It can fool you into thinking 'everything is good':)
Should be the other way around- slapping/popping should be louder. Reason, technique. Practice, practice, practice. As to amp settings, that's personal preference, but high mids are good to bump up a bit.
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