Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Acoustic bass vs. bass guitar

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by knez, Nov 6, 2004.


  1. knez

    knez

    Aug 19, 2004
    hope that I can explain what my problem is!
    I find when I play the acoustic it is harder for me to hear than when I play the bass guitar (which i do not play very much)
    It has nothing to do with technique but sound, I can hear the lines much clearer and can play more by ear and instinct than when playing the acoustic (but the acoustic is my main instrument and have played it for years, play a lot of shows and travel with it in many different settings and rooms).
    Usually I am playing a GK and then going through the PA as well--------------- perhaps it has something to do with the overtones i'm getting with the acoustic that do not come into play with the electric? I've used many different pickups and think that it mostly has to do with my equalization. I also use a bass pod. Should I use the effects send option? HOpe this made sense............... I know what I want to say but when i read this even i confuse myself!
     
  2. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    Are you able to hear your double bass well if you play it unamplified? (I don't mean on stage.)
     
  3. knez

    knez

    Aug 19, 2004
    hmmmm, now that is interesting. yes i would say as long as i'm playing with a group that is playing at a lower volume.
     
  4. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    Welcome to the bottomless pit of "my bass, but louder".
     
  5. knez

    knez

    Aug 19, 2004
    but................... the difference between being able to hear very well the electric at a higher volume but not the acoustic?
     
  6. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    Putting a small speaker at ear level (preferably not too close) really helps me hear.
    Some people tend to cut too many highs from the amplified acoustic sound. Many soundmen tend to make the doublebass sound like an electric.
    I would start by plugging the pickup straight into the amp. I found that with an Underwood pickup into a GK MB150S, setting the contour at 10:00, bright off, treble barely on, high mid about 2:00, low mid barely on, bass around 12:00 gives a pretty natural, uncolored sound. A preamp can be a big help. I just keep turning the amp volume up and down as I change settings, comparing the acoustic sound to the amplified sound, trying to match them.
    If the stage volume gets out of hand, I either struggle to hear myself, or wind up sacrificing tone.
     
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The bass guitar has a less complex harmonic overtone structure than the double bass which makes it easier to hear.
     
  8. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    Exactly. Unfortunately, as the stage volume goes up, it becomes necessary to "dial out" more and more of the complexity of the DB sound to get volume without feedback. This is why some bassists will run a mic signal to the PA and a pickup to their stage amp. That way you can hear yourself well without sacrificing the sound out front.
     
  9. dodgy_ian

    dodgy_ian

    Apr 9, 2001
    Newcastle, UK
    yeah, get an amp up off the ground near to you, i 've got a little hartke 12" kickback which is wedged and an swr 2X12 which is also wedged. Just getting the sounds directly to your ears may well iron out a lot of the trouble....

    Dodge
     
  10. it sucks, but you need mids if you want to hear and be heard in that kind of environment. and mids are what really defines the modern ebg tone to my ears. and it's exactly what i DON'T want to hear from my amplified or pa reinforced doublebass. but my doublebass almost always ends up sounding like a fretless ebg in the type of situation you describe :-(

    it's really interesting to look at the eq response curves of each instrument...