bass too loud?!!!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Ben Jammin', Oct 18, 2003.

  1. Ben Jammin'

    Ben Jammin' Guest

    Jul 13, 2003
    Falmouth, Cornwall, UK
    what do you do when a guitarist in your band tells you to turn your bass down a lot?
    If I went as quiet as he wants me to you could hardly hear me, which is silly as he needs me otherwise his playing goes haywire.

    Competent bassists should be allowed to play alongside guitars, not beneath them!!!!!1
  2. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    If your each standing in front of your amp you could be hearing very different things. Other than that, a good beating is in order.
  3. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    Sounds like your guitarist has a case of the "I need to hear my playing better" :bawl:
    Tough $#*t! Tell him to learn to listen for himself better! Don't turn yourself down (unless you really are to loud) If you can't hear what your doing,that's a problem! Mistakes will be made and it will sound like crap!

  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I agree - if you stand right in front of your amp, often you can't really hear it at all - the sound is going below your ears and out front.

    If you stand about 15 feet in front of your amp or more - it will sound much louder! The other thing to do is tilt you amp or cab up towards your ears so you can hear it.

    I've often been in the situation on crowded stages where I am forced to stand right by my amp and I can hear no bass, but everybody is telling me how loud it is out front - dominating the sound.

    So - the other thing is that bass waves carry very well - whereas other sounds die out more quickly - so the audience can be getting pounded by loads of bass, while you can't hear a thing! :(
  5. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Never accidentally pound your audience! :) :D
  6. IvanMike

    IvanMike TTRPG enthusiast, Happy, Joyous, & Free. Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    yeah its always good to go out as far as you can when determining what your bass sounds like in the mix
    i often use a 21' cord and plug it into a sans amp and then a 12' cord before hitting the amp so i can usually go out 30' during soundcheck
    you should also get a trusted freind to go out to a few spots and give you feedback too
    usually the biggest culprit for "bass too loud" is low end that ends up dominating the father you go out, or you turning up cause the amp is no where near your ears - i try to put mine up on something as much as possible
    80% its the guitar players fault:D
    i have also been in situations where i've had to turn my cabinets away from or toward the band as they requested
    the worst comes from the times when you and the guitar player are emphasizing the same frequancies - in those situations i alter my tone somewhat so we dont sound like mud (forget getting a guitar player to alter their precious tone):rolleyes:
  7. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN

    Maybe you should just beat him :eek: :eek: :D :p J/K
  8. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    If the drummer tells you you're too loud, then you KNOW you're too loud. Similar claims by a guitarist usually call for independent verification. See my sig below (if it doesn't make sense, I've probably changed it already)!

  9. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    You should only pound your audience intentionally:D
  10. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    Can you hear the guitar? I put my cab up on a stand about 24 inches high because in our studio I am right next to my cab so I can't hear it otherwise. Walk over towards him while you are playing to see what the mix is like. Make sure you can hear you cab by several ways already mentioned. If you can hear him and you and get a good mix tell him to shut up and worry about his own tone.
  11. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings

  12. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    Buy a sound meter and measure you playing bass, then measure the guitarist playing (and maybe even measure the drummer playing).

    The results from the sound meter will either prove that you are not too loud (if the guitarist's volume is louder than yours) or confirm that you are too loud (if your volume is louder than the guitarist).

    Chances are the drummer will be the loudest using a sound meter.

    I use a radioshack sound meter:

    I have seen a cheaper model in the local Radioshack.

    You could also cheat with the sound meter - one of the settings (A-weighting) only measures from 500hz up. The guitarist will most likely have much more volume over 500hz. He will always be louder using this setting.
  13. that wouldn't really work for practical purposes though, since the human ear doesn't hear all frequencies equally...
  14. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    If the guitars are running distortion, then there will be a good deal of harmonics. The crunchier the distortion, the more harmonics, the louder the reading on the sound meter.
    If they are louder, it will show on the meter.
    Studies show that our hearing is not as sensitive to lower and higher frequencies below a certain sound level (I think 90db). Above that point though, the sensitivity is flat. That's why stereos add a "Bass Boost" or "Loudness" setting for use at lower volumes - to enhance the sounds that we can not hear as well at low volumes.

    Besides guitar cabs tend to be more efficient (106db-110db range) than Bass cabs even though they don't go as low. Chances are they are several dbs louder.

    A good way to demonstrate the sensitivity of a guitar cabinet is to use recorded stereo music.
    Try taking the output from a CD player into a Stereo poweramp with one channel going to a 4x12 Guitar Cab and one going to a 4x10 Bass Cab. If the level on both sides of the amp is the same, you will get a much louder sound from the Guitar cab (with a honky mid tone).
  15. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    We have taken our Roland 808 with a mic and got readings that way and in our recordings the mix is very good, it will give you a starting point.
  16. Ben Jammin'

    Ben Jammin' Guest

    Jul 13, 2003
    Falmouth, Cornwall, UK
    cheers for the opinions, i reckon it might be me being too close to my amp, if the problem persists i'll beat the guitarist (im twice his size, like all bassists are right?)
  17. Get a Transmitter, or exceptionally long Guitar Lead. Plug in, walk across to his side of the Stage, and expertly boot him in his egotistical nuts. Next day, choose from the 200 guitarists lined up for his job. Solves two problems in one-his cr*p playing, and his cr*p attitude. (Speaking from experience-had the same problem in the past).
  18. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    OK when you guys are asked to be turned down, do you turn the volume down or the bass frequency?
  19. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    I usually just cut some Mids. Its not very often that I am asked to turn down though. And when I am, it is usually a sound guy running a house PA.

    If it is a problem with bleed in other Mikes, the Mid cut helps. If a Mike is used on my Cab, the Mid cut helps. If it is a problem with the PA not being able to produce lows and I am running through a house direct box - I disconnect whatever Direct Box they are using and connect it to the high out of my crossover. Sometimes I disconnect the direct box completely and just turn up - most sound guys think I am still coming through the PA and I actually turned down.

    By band members I am usually asked to turn up. I run a good bit of lows which usually don't sound very loud up close - but they do about 30 feet out.
  20. jimbob


    Dec 26, 2001
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Acoustica Mixcraft; Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
    Hopefully, in performance situations you have time for a soundcheck. During the actual performance time, the only way I turn down during a performance is if the soundperson or customer- audience or the person who hired the band - Tells me to...and most of the time I just adjust the bass frequency, not my volume.
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