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Bass Volume Extremely Low, Help!!!

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by EtMedia, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. EtMedia


    Dec 30, 2013

    I am the lead sound engineer at my House of Worship. I have been having an ongoing issue with the volume coming into our console from our bass player.

    Current setup is a simple one and is as follows: Bass guitar to DI (passive w/ no padding), DI to Console, Para Out from DI to Bass Amp (Bass Amp being used as a monitor).

    With the Bass guitar volume wide open I usually run my Head Amp on the board somewhere between 3 and 4 oclock, this results in significant noise.

    I could really use some suggestions on how I can increase my levels coming into the board so I can reduce the noise from excessive headamp gain.
  2. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Disclaimer: you've probably checked all of this already, but FWIW:

    Make sure the problem isn't with the mixer channel, either by briefly switching the bass to a known-good channel or by running a different signal into that mixer channel. You might have a channel that needs repair, or the problem could be as simple as a dB pad engaged at the mixer channel.

    If the mixer channel operates normally with another source, then start working upstream to the bass. Does another source fed to that DI box and cable generate a stronger signal to the mixer? Is the gain structure at the player's stage amp as expected, or is it set unusually high? Perhaps the player has the volume down on the instrument, has a bad cable feeding the DI, or has an instrument needing repair.

    If the mixer channel works and a known-good signal into the DI is also weak, the problem's either with the DI or the cable from DI to mixer.

    Of course, there might be more than one problem in this signal chain, but let's hope not.
  3. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I swear to God I am not trying to be an ass, but the DI will have a three position switch with some different db settings. Make sure it is 0db and not any minus settings.
  4. ngh


    Feb 6, 2013
    brooklyn, ny
    don't mean to sound condescending but, is the console looking for line level signal or mic level signal on that channel? are you sending phantom power out of that channel? if not, with a simple set up like that I would just replace everything in the chain one by one see if there is a problem with any particular component in the set up. try a different channel on the board that you know works, cables, bass itself, di. if that does not help you diagnose the problem then you should consider swapping out everything all at once, see if that helps.
  5. to be honest its probably the mixer....what brand mixer?
  6. gareth dunster

    gareth dunster

    Dec 8, 2009
    How can you say it's probably the mixer? It could be an incorrectly padded DI or board. It could be a bad snake cable, it could be a bad DI, it could be operator error or lack of phantom power, or a bad battery if phantom power isn't used. Fault finding involves removing all possible options for the problem not saying " it's X".thats the kind of thing random members of an audience say when a sound problem arises and you're working through a solution. It's not helpful.
  7. rfslick


    Dec 31, 2008
    Benicia, CA. USA
    I think I would begin at the bass. Is it active, change the battery. Change the cord, if it is very old, it may have been walked on a lot and is starting to short or break. It could be damaged. Look at the simple things first. These are simple quick fixes. Try another bass or the guitar players guitar. After that work your way to the mixer and DI ......
  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    +1 to eliminating variables to narrow down the problem.

    is this a passive bass going into a passive DI, with no pedals at all in front of it? you might be losing some signal there.

    an active DI or a buffered pedal (like the ol' boss TU-2 tuner) in line will eliminate any signal loading and might make a real difference.