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Amp sounded "hollow"

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tubatodd, Feb 22, 2020.


  1. tubatodd

    tubatodd Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    I play with a 16 piece jazz big band. We rehearse weekly in a large but not overly boomy room at a local church. I always bring my Hartke kickback 10 and sansamp bass driver for tone shaping.

    For years I've struggled to get a decent consistent sound in that room but as of late I've been mostly winning the tone battle in there. The sansamp has become my easy button.

    So, last Thursday at rehearsal we were arranged a bit differently in the room. My amp ended up back and to my right very close to a wall projecting cross the band rather than from behind. All night I couldn't get a good tone. I tried all kinds of eq settings and running direct to the amp but it just sounded "hollow" for lack of a better term. I've never had my SBMM ray34 sound so bland.

    When adjusting bass and mids it was a losing battle. I've never experienced that before where it was like the tone was just being sucked out.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Keep safe my TB brethren!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    Do you have an HPF? One more thing to throw at venue tone suck. :thumbsup: Especially with that wall contorting your stage mix.

    We're you able to hear yourself FOH.
     
    Garret Graves and ThinCrappyTone like this.
  3. jthisdell

    jthisdell

    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    It's the answer for everything

    My wife left me - get an hpf
    I'm behind on my mortgage - get an hpf
    My dog died - get an hpf
    Work is terrible - get an hpf
    .
    .
    .
     
    chadds, RyanOh, Bahjark and 25 others like this.
  4. oldfclefer

    oldfclefer low ended Supporting Member

    May 5, 2005
    Southern Ohio
    I've been in rooms like that. Get zoned in at one spot for awhile, then they put you somewhere else and the room just sucks your tone up. My thought is to change the position of your amp. If you can get it back where it was in relation to where it used to be, you'll get a lot of your tone back. If that's not possible, see if they'll let you stand in a different spot. Sounds like you're playing across the band with a lot of cancelling frequencies just drowning you out. Changing the angle or position of the amp or your position could help. Heck, setting it on a chair or stand to raise it up some could help. Work with it. You'll figure it out.
     
    dbsfgyd1, Meaculpa and BasturdBlaster like this.
  5. tubatodd

    tubatodd Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    FOH?.....in a church multi-purpose room? I think not. I do agree with you that I think the wall had something to do with it. Typically my bass amp is more central to the room and about 10+ feet from the nearest wall sitting in front of the drummer's bass drum.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
    oldfclefer likes this.
  6. tubatodd

    tubatodd Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    Yeah, I'm starting to think that the placement of the amp had a LOT to do with this. The shocking lesson to me is that this can happen. I've never experienced this before. I shouldn't be too surprised. As a tuba player, I know that placement of myself and my horn relative to walls can have an impact on what I hear at ground-zero and what is being projected out past the ensemble. This may have been my first time experiencing that acoustic phenomenon with electric bass.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
    LowActionHero and oldfclefer like this.
  7. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Keep safe my TB brethren!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    My work here is done. :roflmao:
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
    chadds, Heavy Blue, RyanOh and 20 others like this.
  8. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Keep safe my TB brethren!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    As a test, try the amp on a stand, turned sideways (across the stage area or towards the wall) or even something like a 10-band eq might be able to help compensate.
     
    tubatodd likes this.
  9. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Have you tried it without the sansamp? Be sure there's not something unexpected causing the problemj first. It's possible that it's due to the position of your amp and you relative to the room boundaries (walls, floor, ceiling etc)
     
    David Jayne, Stumbo and tubatodd like this.
  10. dirkcalloway

    dirkcalloway

    Nov 5, 2008
    You mean sans-sansamp? So....amp
     
  11. It happens and often there's no fixing it. You might have found it sounded ok except for where you were standing...
     
    Stumbo and tubatodd like this.
  12. tubatodd

    tubatodd Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    Indeed I did. It just sounded different but still hollow. At softer volumes it sounded good but once I boosted to ensemble volume it was lacking in clarity. I was able to compensate some and get a tone I could tolerate, but it was more fiddling than at other times.
     
  13. tubatodd

    tubatodd Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    It's a kickback amp and it was in the kickback position.
     
  14. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Keep safe my TB brethren!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    Room boom...an HPF will take care of that.:rolleyes:
     
    tubatodd likes this.
  15. tubatodd

    tubatodd Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    I tried dropping the bass on the eq on the bass and the amp and it went from hollow to thin and anemic.
     
  16. juancaminos

    juancaminos Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    USA, Phoenix, AZ
    I agree that sometimes it's a losing proposition. We used to play a American Legion Hall that was just terrible for bass sound. Every time we played there I would walk in with a different idea of how I would beat it but never did. The best I could get was by bumping the lows down a bit, drink, smile and have fun.
     
  17. bbh

    bbh Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    If you moved away from the wall or even closer, you might have a reasonable fix. It’s reacting with the environment so placement is an issue to resolve. Maybe you can prop it up so it crosses closer to your head rather than lower parts of you.
     
  18. bbh

    bbh Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    The best for me in those places was to keep the gear low to the floor. It helped in a few types of rooms...
     
    juancaminos likes this.
  19. Please don't.
     
    dbsfgyd1 and tubatodd like this.
  20. tubatodd

    tubatodd Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    :laugh::roflmao:
     

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