Bass volume control
How do YOU use your volume control on your bass ?
I was a guitarist for many years before switching to bass a few years ago and always used the volume control (on the instrument not the amp) fully dialled in the belief that it sends the optimum signal to the amp, (apart from when using the control as a violin type effect) I still use it this way on bass .
I just wondered what others do with the volume knob ?
Occasionally I'll do swells with a delay. I don't use that effect often enough to justify having a volume pedal. I'll sometimes turn down on the bass a hair if it's a softer song.
I always max out the volume. I superglue my volume knobs at the maximum position so that they won't move at all afterwards.
...kidding but I am really tempted to do so. You know, Anthony Jackson's basses have no knob at all (and he feeds his instrument into a volume pedal...though)
and the opposite version is John Myung's bass, on which all but the volume knob are "hammered" in and locked in the middle position.
It depends on the song.
If it is a song that builds in volume at the
end, I'll start with the volume rolled back
a little and then turn it up as the song builds
in intensity. That helps keep me from getting
completely burried when the guitars max out.
On most slow songs, or songs that don't get
so intense at the end, I'll keep the volume full
on and increase and decrease intensity by
how hard I play.
There are other times I'll use volume and
on board controls for some other desired
effect. I've never used a volume peddle.
The bass I'm use to playing has a versatile
18 volt pre and I don't need a peddle.
Just like you
Especially talkin' about passive electric guitars
On bass I can, or better, I have to keep volume knob fully up,
'cause, much like on guitars, I retain a crowded pedalboard, so
I just need no more than "2" on head volume/gain to literally bury drums and dual active seven strings dowtunin' guitars...
I keep the volume cranked and roll it back when needed.
I have two volumes. Usually i crank the bridge up to 10 and the neck around 7-ish.
If I am playing a ballad, I back the volume off a bit. If I am playing something upbeat or heavy I play with my bass at close to full.
I don't play at less than maximum but I do roll off down to zero if I want to fade a sustained note out with less of a dramatic stop than simply muting the string.
On my VVT P/J the volume controls are effectively used for pickup selection.
I usually keep it cranked, and turn down on the amp or on an MXR80 preamp. Actually, I keep it around 9 or so just in case I want to bump it up during a song. The main reason is that some of my pedals (like an envelope filter and an octaver) seem to have more trouble tracking if they're not getting a full signal from the bass.
I play guitar and bass, and use the volume knob extensively on both. If you dial in a good amp to distortion, you can go from clean to overdrive just using the volume knob on the guitar.
One problem with guitars/basses: often dialing back the vol control eats away treble; this can be solved by a treble bleed circuit.
I don't use my volume control much. Of course my two main basses are both active and the volume control has no effect on tone. At home I just dial the bass and the amp volume controls to a comfortable level and play. The setting on each varies from night to night at random. My only gig is playing at church and there I plug into a DI box and my signal makes the long journey to the spaceship control panel at the back of the auditorium where a team of Star Fleet cadets does whatever they wish no matter what I do on the bass. I control my volume by how hard I play -- if they let me!! So basically I use the volume control as an on/off switch. It is full up when I play and full down when I am not playing so that I don't inadvertently band a string during a quiet moment and put the fear of God into people with a kW level CLUNK as one of our other bassists did last night at our Thanksgiving service! Putting the fear of God into the congregation is the preacher's job!
On bass, the volume is almost always wide open, and I control dynamics with my hands. Set the amp so it's got the volume needed for the loudest part, and use hands to control.
On guitar however I use the volume controls a lot! Partly because if you have it wide open all the time, the way it hits the preamp and in turn the way any overdrive sounds is just too much. Also, like EVH, I LIKE how the volume control on most guitars affects the tone.
i need to back off on the volume considerably, or my sb-2 is just too much output, but for the fenders and gibsons and voxes i always turned them all of the way up
I always set up my volume knob (or knobs, on a Jazz Bass), to around 3/4 of max, so that I have some leeway to tweak the volume up if I need it during a gig. I set the eq and volume before the gig planning on that. The volume knob on my amp is usually not handy, so it gives me some control.
All open, all the time, except:
-shut between songs, sometimes
-rolled back to 70% or so, for some exceptionally quiet passages where I want to be able to play a little harder for better note definition, but still maintain lower volume
I usually leave mine all the way up, except for my G&L L2000 which I have to turn down a little because the pickups are so hot.
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