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Bass is TOO loud!

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by 6tzguy, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. 6tzguy

    6tzguy 6tzguy Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Orange County, Ca.
    Ok, I wanna hear from you guys/gals. Is it just me, but every sized venue I play at someone ie: club owner, BL (he actually wants me to turn my bass amp a GK1001 Mark11 into GK 115 neo (with G&L L-2000) away from him. Will the parking lot do? He has a deeper than a Martin D-28 acoustic (imho-very bassey on the low end) and we do compete for the bottom end say on low G. He plays a lot of solo gigs, so I see why he needs a guitar with more range, .....but jeeez. Jammed with some old friends last Saturday in a small studio (1 car garage size-4 of us, drums, bass electric guitar and keys) and the keys guy says please turn that amp another direction....what again! Afterwards I ask the drummer/multi-instrumentalist if he thought i was too loud and he said "it was a bit boomy". Every time I'm thinkin' I't's just right. Correct me if I'm wrong, but bass is supposed to be noticed in Rock n' roll....yes? Are we the 'Rodney Danderfields of the band...."No respect"?
  2. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    Are you boosting low frequencies?

    Are you standing very close to your amp?
    Brad Johnson and ObsessiveArcher like this.
  3. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Sometimes you have to zig where the band zags frequency-wise. For many styles of rock, it's why prominent bass can sometimes be more mid oriented.

    Just out of curiosity how are you running your 1001RB? Any other tone-shapers in your chain? Are you boosting/cutting anything on your bass a ton?
  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    I suggest getting your amp up an a 1-2 ft. stand and adding an adjustable HPF to your signal chain.

    Also, get a long cord or go wireless so you can hear how you sit in the mix from across the room. This is critical.

    One thing I learned from doing sound was that you have to listen to the whole mix and unlearn focusing in on just the bass.

    One thing you can try is to cut your volume down so just you can hear it. See if they ask you to turn up.

    -1 for the guit player who uses too much bass. He could use a HPF as well! Just let him know you're covering those frequencies and to cut his bass tone. One way to prove your point is to turn your amp off, pretend to play and after the song is over, ask him how he thought you sat in the mix.:D

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  5. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    I've never had that happen.. usually asked to turn it up !! :)
    PS: NEVER, EVER, EVER ask a guitar player to turn up! :rollno:

    Some folks are more sensitive to low frequencies than others, and if you play right next to, on top of, or right next to your cab, you do NOT get the full effect of your bass. If you're the guitar or keys player on the other side of the room, oh yeah, you'll hear ALL of it, full on. THEY never place their amps in the right place either!!

    As an FOH guy, I've never understood why folks doing rehearsals in small rooms don't put their amps on the other side of the room and face them inward at themselves so they can hear better and get a better feel for how they may sound to others. <shrug>
    Full disclosure: my band doesn't do that either :(
    seanm, Nashrakh and Helix like this.
  6. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    I get this sometimes as well, even though I'm very conscious of trying to fit the mix. I find that having my amp further away from me (like across the room) is a big help - it takes some time/distance for the bass sound to fully develop and having the amp at your ankles or hip is too close.

    +1 on listening to yourself in the mix in front of the band. I heard a gig recording and was horrified to hear what our sound guy seemed was appropriate bass mix (very boomy and obnoxious wall of mud). After adjusting my EQ, for the next gig , I went up front (wireless) during sound check to make sure it fit properly.

    +1 on checking your EQ - boosting your mids will often help with the boomy sound and know that every room will respond differently to your sound and the mix - one size does not fit all in this case.
    Zbysek likes this.
  7. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    If anything in your signal chain can vary the center of the mid freq, try working with that. I always try to make sure I have a bass, or pre, or something in there that can sweep the mid freq. My fav. is the sweep-able mids on a John East Preamp. Probably my second fav. is sweep knob on a Sansamp Para DI. You can also get similar results if your amp or preamp has a high mid and a low mid pot.
    Zbysek likes this.
  8. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Suspended Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Every place you go people tell you that you're too loud, but you want to know if it's really them and not you? :meh:
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
    Beejky, GlassToMouth, JRA and 7 others like this.
  9. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    My observations are that some mixes of players prefer different levels of live bass.

    For example keyboard heavy groups want just enough bass to free their left hands but not chest thumping loud. It’s more of a background bass with presence.

    Whereas guitar driven bands often want the bass loud and supportive of the root pitch so their licks are referential.

    My guess is that every group works out their mix over time through those long hours of rehearsal and performance.
  10. Droopy_TX


    Jul 17, 2016
    I know why... Because the sound coming out of the guitar player's amp sounds like crap, and he doesn't want to listen to it directly either! :headphone:
    pht2356 and s0c9 like this.
  11. guts


    Aug 13, 2018
    It sounds like you have a bad habit of being too loud.
    Ian McLaughlin, mikeoso and Liam Wald like this.
  12. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    What's your eq settings?
    Kro likes this.
  13. 9Thumbs


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    I play at a volume that sounds right to me. I get asked to turn up regularly. In my mind, I'm just wave for the vocals and lead instruments to ride on, not compete with. On almost all of my old blues vinyl, you have to listen for the bass. It's just there underneath, doing it's job
    Zbysek and mrcbass like this.
  14. Lava

    Lava Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2014
    El Paso, TX
    +1 on the EQ opinions
  15. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Bergantino-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    Sounds like you have an EQ issue or need to stand farther away from your amp.

    The bass is definitely supposed to be audible, but "boomy" almost never what you're going for.
    SoCal80s and Kro like this.
  16. How are the settings on your L-2000? This thing can get super boomy if the bass knob is all the way up - I've used mine "the wrong way" a while until I figured it out. Try turning the bass knob all the way down (counterclockwise), then bring it up just to the point where you can hear some thump in your tone - the equivalent of barely cracking a valve open.
    6tzguy likes this.
  17. Vanceman


    Feb 14, 2007
    So. Cal.
    Bass too loud? Leave the volume alone, and turn down the bass frequency setting at the amp.
    Timmah, 6tzguy, gsgbass and 2 others like this.
  18. Lownerd
  19. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    You were likely dealing with a lot of low end from the other members along with yours, however, I suggest you post the settings of the GK head into this thread and let us know what you are doing on the bass too. Loud bass is one thing, but boomy bass that people repeatedly tell you is too loud is an EQ problem on YOUR end. It can be fixed though, just make sure you actually listen to your fellow bass players.:bassist::)
    Chickenwheels likes this.
  20. dab12ax7ef


    Sep 25, 2011
    Acoustic guitar players always want to hear their guitar as a super full with all the low end of a solo acoustic sound. Most acoustic guitars mixed in recordings are EQed incredibly thin and function more as a rhythmic element than thick chordal.
    tony caskey, Nashrakh, Zbysek and 3 others like this.
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