A couple questions regarding my new rig...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by GeorgiaHonk, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. ...Howdy all. I'm trying to dial in a "vintage" tone with my new amp/cab setup and thought y'all could share some helpful tips.

    I'll be using a Peavey 450 Max head with an Avatar B212 cabinet. I got a decent tone right away the first time I played with it, but that was playing solo. Last night at band practice, I struggled all night and made almost constant litle adjustments to the EQ, even in the middle of songs. We're playing mostly 70s-era classic rock, ala Bad Company, Deep Purple, etc. I like a warm, wooly bass tone.

    Playing alone, I started out by turning the tweeter down to 9:00, and set the amp's "contour" knob at zero. Then I boosted the bass about 3dB, the mids more robustly, maybe around 9dB, and cut the treble by about 9dB. Setting the preamp gain at 3:00 and the master volume gave me a solid tone that I liked a lot. But with the band, it became apparent that more adjustments were needed, especially in relation to the mids-to-treble, volume-to-distortion, and volume-to-clipping relationships. When I stepped on my overdrive pedal, the relationships got even more confusing and required even more tweaking.

    I want to sit in the mix right between the kick drum and the guitar, so what kind of EQ tips can you supply me? I'm clueless as far as which frequencies represent which notes, etc.

    Thanks in advance,

    PS: One thing's for sure, this cabinet rocks! I may end up upgrading the amp, but I think the Avatar is staying.
  2. Playing solo vs. playing in a band forces you to re-think your entire EQ process. Hardly ever does the 'perfect solo tone' match the 'perfect mix tone'.

    You need your band's help with this, and they need to be patient with you. Firstly, set your eq flat (and your bass tone to 'normal'...as flat as possible), then play with the drummer to find which frequency he's taking up with his kick and floor tom. If he has a 'dead' kit, then the lows are occupied by him and unless you've got a 5 string, you'll be constantly competing in the low end. You can safely leave your bass EQ flat or even cut it if that frequency is covered. Then play with your guitarist and find out where he's playing. It's entirely possible that he has the same problem as you and his 'solo' sound is just too full for a band situation. If you find he's venturing into bass eq range, he needs to understand that he's drowning you out. If you can 'feel' the guitar, he's got too much bass going. Lastly, and I'm sure you know this, bass definition lies in the low mids and presence/cut lies with the treble. You tone will sound terrible playing by yourself, but will cut like a knife if you boost low mids and treble. The bass frequencies will be there with the combination of you and the drums, so don't worry so much about that.

    Anyway, try that, and see what you think.
  3. You may find these EQ tips helpful when considering sound for the whole band:

    I usually EQ my basses in terms of Grunt (low mids 110-220), Honk (mids 600-900) and Sparkle (5-10K). To find the sweet spots for my basses I usually cut everything but the range I'm litening to by about 3dB, then boost the range 3dB. I then sweep the freq a little at a time, until I find the sweet spot. Finally, I slowly adjust the other freqs back into range and get a balanced sound.

    As Mo pointed out, the low mids can add definition. To me they also add fatness, but if you go too far they end up as mud. The "honk" area cuts and can sound ugly is used too much, but a little bit can add a LOT of definition. I don't usually mess with the sparkle area too much (my rig is pretty bright), but I will roll of if I need the thud of old school country.
  4. Thanks to both for the excellent advice. Hey Joe, we need to get together and trade licks (as in, you show me how to play'em and I'll steal'em from ya!)

  5. Sure man, give me holler (pm or email) when you're coming to Atlanta (also if you're going to gigging with the new rig).

    You maybe disappointed though, I only have one lick. You know that riff in the Satelites "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" (root/ minor third hammer on to third)? I've found it's useful over a lot of seventh chords when you have a static line that is about to change or you just want to throw in a little spice. That's about it. :D

    Actually, it's getting to be about time for another Atlanta Talk Bass GTG where we can hear some real licks monsters.