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Bass on P.A.

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by T_Ricco, Apr 8, 2009.


  1. T_Ricco

    T_Ricco

    Feb 25, 2007
    Goiás, Brazil
    Hi JMJ,
    is my first time writing a post to you. Firstly, i want to say that i'm a big fan of your work since the release of Odelay.
    Lately, i have spend many hours following this forum. Here, i received the 'old' news that you have played in NIN. Days ago, i search for nin videos on youtube and i found a "rehearsal 07/2008" and " Melbourne 2.25.09", this videos is exploding my head. i have watch this videos everyday, headbanging in front of my computer. :)

    Humm, my appologize, my english is terrible, i hope you understand what i want to say to you in this post. :confused::smug:

    So, let's go the subject.

    I have read threads about your tones; so, i want to know how is your 'tone relashionship' with a FOH sound engineer, particulary in NIN case.
    I read that you don't use a compressor running to your cabs. Despite this, is your bass compressed on PA? Other question is: how many bass channels you send to PA (DI, mic cab, etc...) on live concerts?

    Thanks!
    Greetings from Brazil.
    Thiago.
     
  2. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Hi Thiago,

    Thank you for the kind words, I'm glad you dig what I'm doing with NIN and previous exploits.

    To answer your question: Peter Keppler, our FOH engineer, and I have a very close relationship with regard to deciding how to process my signal chain. I send three channels to him: a clean DI, an effected DI (post-Palmer speaker simulator and Sans Amp PSA1.1) and a mic on the cabinet.

    My bass is slightly compressed in the PA, but frankly he doesn't do too much of it. Likewise, I use no compression in my chain.

    Best,
    Justin
     
  3. colonelporridge

    colonelporridge Guest

    Feb 2, 2010
    When you say that you sent a clean DI does this mean pre or post the effects line.
    Thanks
    Ps. not sure if this is how to get a reply, i've never done this before.
     
  4. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Pre-effects DI, then the post-Palmer speaker simulator has the effects on it, and when we mic'ed the cabinet, it had effects too, obviously.

    J
     
  5. colonelporridge

    colonelporridge Guest

    Feb 2, 2010
    When you say that you sent a clean DI does this mean pre or post the effects line.
    Thanks
    Ps. not sure if this is how to get a reply, i've never done this before.
     
  6. colonelporridge

    colonelporridge Guest

    Feb 2, 2010
    sorry just saw your reply, thanks.
     
  7. casio

    casio

    Aug 1, 2007
    Croatia
    If I can chime in without making another thread of it (though there was one, JMJ sadly never answered the poor man's question :D) : What microphone do you prefer using for miking your cab in live situations? I've had lots of conversations about the whole condenser/dynamic thing, the "you should use a 57, or a kick mic, or they're no good, use a senheiser 421, never with decent arguments.
    So I wondered what your opinion was! And since the mic goes into the PA, its fairly connected! :D
     
  8. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    All of these are good on an Aguilar/Ampeg 8x10, in my opinion:

    57
    EV RE20
    Heil PR40
    SM7
    421
    Fathead
    AT4050
    M-Audio Sputnik

    I don't like "kick" mics on cabs, because I want to be able to get more full frequency. Plenty of low end comes off the DI, I want the amp to give me lots of character.

    JMJ
     
  9. JohnDavisNYC

    JohnDavisNYC

    Jan 11, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar, D'Addario
    i like an old D12 too... the AT4047 is awesome... kinda their version of the ol' FET47, which is kinda amazing....

    john
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    put me down in the "hates kick mics" category as well. never understood the kick mic thing...wouldn't want the kick and bass to have the same freq sweep. yeah, i know you can eq them, but why not start with something that doesn't require so much eq?
     
  11. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Have to +1 on the AT4047...sleeper mic for relatively cheap with a pleasantly dark/rich tone in the Fet47 vein. In fact, I have to say: AT makes absolutely smoking mikes. All made in Japan, or at least the high end ones like the 4047/4050, etc. They just came out with a multi-pattern of that 4047 as well, and a ribbon, etc.

    I'm just sayin' tho: If you don't have any nice mics, you're bound to have an old 57 lying around. If so, slap one of those on that b*&ch and see what you get. It'll be cool esp. for grabbing the midrange character of speaker breakup and stuff. May not give you lots of beef, but just use a good clean DI and that will offset. CHeap and simple solution.

    The ultimate bass cab mic? Vintage Fet47.

    JMJ
     
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    right on with the 57. with that and a di, you're covered for a very low price. i slightly prefer the 58 myself, but not by much.

    on a related topic, i am assuming this doesn't happen to you much anymore, but on about every 4 out of 5 gigs i do, i have trouble getting the soundman to cooperate with me. i've decided that for what i do, i want a mic on my cab and no di. usually it's no problem and the gig goes great. but for some reason, some soundmen feel like it's their place to refuse me without even trying it, even if i bring my own mic (a heil pr 40, thx for the recommendation...it's superb). and i don't know how much you get to the live sound forum on here, but if you have, you might have seen some of the threads on there where the di crowd totally trash those of us who want a mic and insinuate that we're stupid for wanting one.

    i know that the best solution is to carry our own soundman, but on what we make it's just not practical. and i'm not really comfortable with pulling rank on them, but honestly i'm getting really sick of it and pulling rank seems to be the only way to get them to do what i want. it's very clear that's what i want, and my rider and stageplot specifies it, but some of them just won't do it. yeah, i know i'm being overly picky and the di will work fine, but i don't like them as much as the mic.

    so how do you handle those situations? or, rather, how did you handle those situations before you had the clout to get what you want? i should mention that i play with volume weenies, so turning up and drowning out the pa isn't an option. but i'll tell you, it makes me want to plug in a boost pedal and turn it up all the way on the last note of our last song and blow a few speakers ;)
     
  13. harmendebresser

    harmendebresser

    Mar 11, 2010
    the Netherlands
    Endorsing Artist: Höfner, Pyramid Strings, Dr. No FX & Asterope cables
    Hi Justin, just like to say I saw you perform with N.I.N. in Amsterdam last summer (2009) & even during the brief linecheck the bass sound blew my mind! I met Pete there too, he's an old friend of a guitarplayer from Austin I work with. I couldn't believe how relaxed he was doing an awesome job (he said he disliked the dry room sound, in that he had to 'help out' the bass & drumsound a little as opposed to in boomy rooms) but nonetheless I've never heard such a close resemblence to the sound on the records. Very good upright bass sound & performance too! Hope to be seeing you out on the road with Beck again in the future, meanwhile take care & be weary of bassism ;-)
     
  14. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Thank you very much mr. harmendebresser. That Amsterdam gig was really really fun. Pete is a genius sound person, for sure.
     
  15. jkudding

    jkudding

    Apr 24, 2008
    Calgary, Alberta
    Justin,

    Do you dial in your live tone differently than you might in the studio, in an attempt to better 'cut through' the mix? Maybe an increase in highs, or decrease in lows - or do you leave it solely to the FOH engineer to ensure that you're being definitively heard in large venues?

    I ask because I find that there are significant adjustments that I've been needing to make tonally, as the rooms I'm playing in get larger, in order to make it easy for the engineer to create a mix that is not 'muddy' as it's coming through a large P.A.

    Thanks man. And just for the record, I love so much that you've done, and continue to do on the bass.

    -Justin
     
  16. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Hi, thanks for the thoughts!

    I don't do anything different in the studio vs. live, because I really do prefer to leave that to someone at FOH. One thing I am conscious of, however, is not beefing up the very low lows too much on my stage sound. That helps me hear it better, that helps the overall stage sound, as the sound of anything with a mic on it that's near my cabinet(s), etc.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: it's all about the midrange with bass! Sounds a bit general, but that's kind of a philosophy of mine.

    JMJ
     

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