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Bass clipping sound

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by jono_TPD, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. Hey guys,
    I'm new to this forum and I thought it would be a great place to get tips and help in all aspects of playing.

    I've started to do home recordings with a new band I'm currently involved in and recently made a move to an active bass which is also a 6 string !! So I'm new to this as I've been playing 4 strings and passive bass all my playing life, I made the move to help with ever lower frequencies and the "heavier" sound. I started to record some bass for the next release of my bands (these precious days) single and there seems to be a clipping sound coming from the bass when I start to slappa da bass. The signal isn'y hot its been monitored by two of us I've lowered the pickup too incase of strings touching the pickup and it's still there. I'm thinking maybe the action is too low and my slapping technique is a bit heavy, so any thoughts and ideas I will try out just to get rid of it. The strings I'm using are D'addario pro steels and the I'm slapping the low B string.

    Thanks guys !!!
  2. Shardik


    May 24, 2011
    Halden, Norway
    Have you tried to turn down the volume control in the bass? Do you use active EQ or a "slap switch" (which is usually a scoped EQ) in the bass to boost the bass frequencies?

    I have a passive telecaster where I until recently could switch a hot P90 in series with a hot telecaster bridge pickup to form a humbucking pickup config, and together these made a signal so strong that it caused serious clipping in my EHX LPB-1 pedal even with normal strumming.

    The thing with deep bass frequencies is that they at the same RMS power level have a lot higher amplitude than higher frequencies. This means that the active circuitry needs to be able to handle a lot of amplitude. And when you slap heavy on the B bass string, you generate the highest amplitude of all going into the active circuits.

    Do you use the bass straight into the sound card? Do you have a level meter or a peak LED? Does it light up or do the level meter go into the red area. If so, the signal going into the sound card is still too high. If you have such indicators and they don't light up, you probably get that clipping in the bass.

    Try to put all the EQ controls in the bass flat (turn off any slap switches and such). Turn the volume knob on the bass to max. Try slapping as hard as you can. Do you get clipping sound? Turn the volume knob down to half. Do you still get the clipping sound when slapping hard? If so, is the clipping just as prominent as before?

    And finally: how is your string tension on that B string? If the tension is a bit low, the string may actually be hitting the frets uncontrollably before settling down, which may sound like clipping. If so, ease down on the force of your slapping and/or change to a thicker string with more tension.
  3. My goodness what an amazing reply !!! Reading from what you said it seems to be the bass/technique. The input level doesn't clip, e.g stays green and doesn't get into the red, I've tried turning the bass volume down and it still makes that clipping sound and I always run the bass flat eq on the actual instrument and yes I went direct into the desk. I do think my slap style is aggressive and possibly there isn't enough tension in the strings as I'm using half a tone down so I'm flat tuning. I'm going to adjust the truss rods a bit and raise the action and try it again, the bass in using is a Yamaha RBX jm2 with pro steels on. And p.s thank you for an amazing response !!
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    The transient spikes with slapping are very high. When recording bass - and especially slap bass - compression is pretty important. You dont't want to squash the life out of it, but it will REALLY help with the issues you are experiencing.
  5. I've added some compression to the signal using the MX87, I've just uploaded a sample of the slap part I use in the new song to soundcloud, recorded through my markbass amp too not much EQ and please excuse the sloppyness of the playing I just raised the action of the strings


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