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Solo bass part not loud enough

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Vaccin, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. Vaccin

    Vaccin

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    Hello,
    I play in a metalcore-band (drummer, 2 guitarists, drop C-tuning).
    When we all play together, my bass sound blends in nicely with the guitars. In one of our songs however, I play the first part of the bridge section alone (on the low C-string), then guitars and drums start playing along again. This almost never works out (especially live) because then the bass isn't loud enough.
    Any ideas on how to fix this?
  2. Big_Daws

    Big_Daws

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    try like a bass driver or some sort. i personally have the Bass Driver programmable. other than this its all i can think of really...
  3. JetBlackJazz

    JetBlackJazz

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  4. Trombassix

    Trombassix

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    Play the bass in the audible spectrum, try an octave up and drop back down when your guitarists join in.

    Does your playing technique produce enough mids? I used to play fingerstyle with my fingers locked straight. It produced a strong fundament pitch and a thick sound, but it would never cut and always sounded too quiet even when adding mids on my amp. The solution was to curve my fingers and play through strokes as opposed to rest strokes.

    Try playing a scale and listen to your sound. Do all the strings sound the same? Is the low string lacking punch? Bryan Beller uses the low string from a five string set and which would be BEAD and tunes them up a half step CFBbEb creating tension and punchiness.

    Your sound on the amp might work well with your guitarists but might be too scooped to work solo as the audible harmonics are in the mids, which help people hear the pitch of low notes. Try changing the EQ making the mids less scooped on the exposed section, and or possibly dialling less low end from the guitars.
  5. Vaccin

    Vaccin

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    That bass driver programmable looks nice. Reminds me of the 3 presets I have on my TC Electronic BH500 amp. Unfortunately, there isn't a footswitch available to control these, or else my problem would be solved :)
    But indeed, this looks like it could do the job, or maybe a boost pedal... I'll go pedal-hunting now, thanx for the replies guys!
  6. fokof

    fokof Gold Supporting Member

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    When I take a solo in my metal band , I need to boost +9db to +12db to be heard :eek:

    That's a lot



    Question : Dynamics in the Metal world ?

    Answer : Super loud , amazing loud and unbearable loud :smug:
  7. MVE

    MVE Supporting Member

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    You might also want to just double check with the soundman and some of your "honest" friends in the audience.
    Sometimes it doesn't sound loud enough to you, but it sounds great out on the floor.
    But, yes, a boost pedal is the way to fix it. If you dont have or want to buy a dedicated volume only pedal, just about any distortion/drive pedal can be used as a boost if you keep the drive knob down and the volume knob up.
  8. funnyfingers

    funnyfingers

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    How does it blend in when everyone is playing? Does that mean that they overpower you when everyone is playing, but everyone is fine with that?
  9. Vaccin

    Vaccin

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    The "problem" also occurs during rehearsals, when we play without PA, and my bandmates also need me to be louder at that particular moment, because they can hear me, but not exactly what I'm playing. This is probably because of the low notes, so playing the part an octave up, as Trombassix suggested may also be a (or part of the) solution.
  10. Vaccin

    Vaccin

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    No, they don't overpower me (I have to be able to hear what I'm playing, so if they do overpower me I just turn my amp up :smug: ). I just meant that the mix is right, not too much bass but still present in the overall sound.
  11. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

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    clean boost pedal or even an eq pedal in the FX loop.
  12. El-Bob

    El-Bob

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    Just sounds like a typical metal EQing problem to me. I assume you're doing a mid-scoop, smiley-faced EQ sort of thing? too much low end is muddying the sound and making it so that you're loud but have no definition. Use low mids to fill the mix, high mids to cut, and adjust bass and treble to the room. See if that helps. (I apologize if you're already EQing properly)
  13. wcriley

    wcriley

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    EQ isn't going to fix this problem.
    Any time all of the other instruments drop out, there's going to be a huge decrease in overall volume/intensity unless the the volume of the solo instrument is raised to make up the difference.

    I take a lot of solos in my current band and was the "lead" instrument in a band for several years before that. I set the amp volume for what I need during solos, then use the volume knob on my instrument to go back and forth between supporting and lead roles.
  14. Deep Cat

    Deep Cat Supporting Member

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    OP, do you use as compressor in your chain? That could have the benefit of boosting your solo volume without wrecking your sit in the mix.

    Also maybe a volume pedal with min/max settings. Maybe set the min for normal and the max for solo.

    Your amp set up may actually not be able to reproduce the lows well enough solo'd but still work well enough to sit you in the mix right. It's could be a speaker thing, a cab thing or an amp thing.
  15. CSBBass

    CSBBass

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    This is what I do in this kinda situation as well. I like to have a bit of wiggle room during gigs so I keep my volume knob on the bass as low as I can while volume on the amp is as loud as I'll need at loudest. I can always play quieter, but if I'm too quiet then the knob on the instrument usually can make up the necessary difference during a solo.
  16. spz8

    spz8

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    Without even hearing your music, I know you're too low in the mix. This is true for bass with most metal bands. Low runs and certain EQs will exacerbate the issue. You need to turn up - changing the line will help as well.
  17. Voodistant

    Voodistant

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    I use a Boss FV-300L volume expression pedal, and yes that's for a keyboard, but it works well for turning the bass up when you need it
  18. wcriley

    wcriley

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    Is anyone even reading the original post in this thread?

    There is no "mix".
    The problem is that he's not loud enough during a certain section of the song where he's the only instrument playing.
    Adjusting EQ or playing in different octaves isn't going to remedy the problem.
  19. spz8

    spz8

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    Yes, I've read the whole thread, and stand by my comment. The OP stated that "not too much bass but still present in the overall sound". Like most metal acts, he's likely too low in the mix overall. His solo section being too quiet reveals this.
  20. wcriley

    wcriley

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    I wasn't singling you out, spz8. I just used your post as an example because is was more recent than others. I probably should have used one the posts proclaiming an EQ issue.

    While it's entirely possible that the OP is too low "in the mix", that wasn't the problem he described. Nor does it negate the fact that his volume needs to come up enough to match the intensity of the whole band when the other instruments drop out. It's not much different than the guitar needing to come up in the mix to replace the vocal during solos...it's just more extreme in this case.

    [rant] The ability to "self mix" from the stage is becoming a lost art.
    I think a part that is because today's musicians play too loud to really hear the "mix". Another part is lack of experience and guidance. Maybe I'm just a grumpy old man, but it irritates me when I hear a band using a vocal only system and the intensity/volume level drops significantly during instrumental passages. [/rant]

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