Bass Clips on the PA.

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by benayrsty, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. benayrsty


    May 19, 2009
    I have the tendency to play my bass very hard, sometimes to get destint sounds and other times just to emphasize on specific notes and such. However, my bass seems to clip on a lot on my PA system and makes a horrible tone when it does that. So I have started playing very softly on my bass in the mean time to correct it (borrrrrinnnggg!). I have tried many things to try to fix the problem. Is there anything else I can try like a limiter pedal or compressor pedal??

    -I have an active bass.
    -I have a -6db pad on my amp, and a -25db (i think) on my channel on the PA.

    Thanks :)
  2. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    What DI are you using?
  3. benayrsty


    May 19, 2009
    The one built in on my 100watt fender bass amp
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I'd try a good quality external one with a pad switch as a troubleshooting measure at least. If that helps, you could consider inserting an additional pad in front of the board and seeing if the Fender's DI sounds OK at that point.
  5. Ditto on the quality passive box... countryman, radial, whirlwind, groove tubes etc.
  6. benayrsty


    May 19, 2009
    So the DI box really could make a difference? Ok, I know some one with a countryman I could try. Thanks guys. :)
  7. SERPENT865


    Jan 1, 2007
    Wichita , KS
  8. modulusman

    modulusman Inactive

    Jan 18, 2004
    What are you using for a mixing board?
  9. Guys, am I missing something? I'm thinking this is an improper adjustment of the mixer's input gain. Not that a good DI isn't a good idea.
  10. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    another possible scenario could be the strings hitting exposed poles on the pickups when the op digs in hard.
    what kind of bass is it?
    do the strings strike the pups?
    do the pups have exposed poles?
  11. True.

    Might also be a "sound-check" fault: not checking with the strong parts so Sound can get the gain set properly.
  12. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I also regularly see people set the gain decently if not great - but then boost the channel EQ to ridiculous amounts; that'll easily clip a channel.
  13. I had this going from a Cirrus into a Rolls box.. both quality.. my Cirrus was just too hot.

    A radial box fixed it - does take a bit of work to help a sound guy dial it in.. they have to set it with their eyes closed.

  14. If I read the original post corectly.. there's a DI out from the amp..

    A Good portion of these send a bad signal (brand really doesn't matter).

    Eliminate stuff from the chain ... bass =>DI=>board.. then add noise makers.
  15. GregShadoan


    Sep 1, 2008
    If there is a pad in your signal chain, engage it. A compressor inserted on your channel will help with wild peaks/clipping. Even the little cheap behringer DI's have a -20db pad. If your amp has no pad, and your console has no pad, consider using a DI box with one.
  16. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    it could ultimately just be the preamp being pushed in that little 100 watt amp to try and get some volume, and running out of room and clipping.

    a "real" bass amp (300w +) could likely be run less hard, giving more room for hard digging in to come across without clipping everything.

    also, there's plenty of musical range between "plucking so hard you give yourself carpal tunnel" and "plucking so softly that the energy goes away".
  17. Make shure to put fresh batteries in your active bass.
  18. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    I use active pickups (mostly EMG's) and if I dig in too hard it will overload the pickup preamp resulting in an instantaneous distorted fuzz - just horrible. This is with the pickup adjusted a good distance away from the string, fresh battery, string not hitting pickup, etc.. It's just that too much string motion (extreme digging in) overloads the pre.

    Do you ever break bass strings? I know a couple of bassist friends who dig in so hard that it causes problems with tone, extremes of dynamics, overloads and other bad sounds. They both have a tendency to break bass strings and they are simply playing way too hard.
  19. JackANSI


    Sep 12, 2006
    Tried 18V yet with those EMG's?

    OP: a compressor will take a tad of the dynamics away, but I'd try that.

    If you get a rack unit with two channels, you can configure one as a gentle compressor to take the edge off for the amp and configure the other as a fairly hard limiter for the DI.