1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

being heard on stage?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by God_of_bass, Feb 3, 2002.

  1. im playin a gig soon and i have problems cutting through the guitars and drums, we're playin higher ground as one of the songs and so i kinda need to be heard! so i was wondering what i should do to be heard? i have a 120 watt amp with a 6 band EQ, should i boost my mids or lower by lows or high end? please help
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Try boosting the mids, that should help.
    Boosting the lows will only suck power from your amp and boosting highs will add hiss.

    Also, if you're playing a P.A., try to get a monitor wedge for yourself and ask the soundman to put your bass signal on it.
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    not technique oriented. off to miscellaneous.
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    JMX is right. If you play with loud guitars, and want to be heard, you need mids. Smiley face EQ is the quickest way to disappear in the mix.
  5. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    When I had to cut through with a underpowered amp, I boosted the lower mids (around 200 hz if I remember correctly) about 3db and cut the mids (I believe around 500 hz, which took out some of the mud) also around 3db with everything else flat. This seemed to be the right frequencies to cut through the two guitar players I was playing with at the time, and it gave me a very punchy sound. This worked well with a Fender Jazz and Carvin PB300 combo (which was actually about 150 watts with the one speaker that was built in), but I don't know how well it would work with other basses and amps. As usual, your mileage may vary.....
  6. Laddieo


    Dec 16, 2001
    Mids baby. Cutting through is all about the mids. I like the 500 - 750hz range. But be careful, don't just "add" on all frequencies. When I used a graphic, I used to actually cut some of the low frequencies, while boosting the mids. I cut right through. Also, if you roll back your low end a little, you can increase your volume without burying everyone.

    Make sure you're using fresh strings and check your batteries (if an active eq).

    Also, and this is key, if you're using big speakers (like 15's or 18's) your sound won't "focus" until it's into the about the 12th row. You can forget about hearing it onstage. It's even worse if you've got a "horn loaded" cabinet. 10's don't have the same sort of "round" feel of 15's, but you can hear em on stage a whole lot better.

    Putting bass in your monitor will work, as long as you've got your own monitor mix. Frequently, in smaller clubs around the country, you end up sharing a mix with one or more of the other members. And they may not want you in their face.

    Another alternative is to run an extension cabinet facing back toward you. Eden and BagEnd both make floor wedges that serve this purpose really well.

    There's also something to be said for the "tilt back" design that everybody's using now. The theory is that you can hear it better if it's not pointed at your knees. Just about every combo manufacturer makes one of these now.
  7. I'm with Laddieo on this.
  8. Laddieo


    Dec 16, 2001
    Thanks Marty,

    One other thing. 120 Watts may just not be enough. Did you say "guitarS" ? I play with two guitarists (Mr Mk IV and Mr JCM). They're at 100W and a 4x12 each. I can't keep up with less than 400W. (So I use 1400W, a 1x15 and a 4x10). It's quite effective really.

    Like somebody else here pointed out. Bass frequencies SUCK WATTS.

    The fastest way to add volume however, is to add speakers. I don't know what your amp/speaker arrangement is, but let's say your using a combo amp with a single, 8ohm, 15" speaker in it. It probably has a "speaker out" jack on the back that will say 4 or 8 ohms, and have a listing of wattage.

    If you were to stack an appropriate 2x10 cabinet on top of the combo, you'd nearly double your speaker area, and your apparrent volume would jump by a MILE AND A HALF! Plus it generally makes that amp more efficient, so you get more sound per watt.

    YOU MUST MAKE SURE THAT THE IMPEDANCE OF THE CABINET MATCHES THE AMP !!! (this can't be over stressed. Too high and it won't be efficient, Too low and you'll blow your transformer).

    Have Fun
  9. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    I agree with the posters here. The mids is the way to go.

    I´ve used the smiley face for a long time, but I´ve never really cut through the mix. I could be felt, but not heard.
    A couple of months ago I set the EQ flat and boosted the mids up and Voila! It was like I was holding a completely different instrument. The bass cut like knife through hot butter.

    I´m never going to use the smiley face again, ever!

    But 120watts is a wee bit on the low side.....
  10. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    Laddieo is right on. When I practice in the basement my favorite tone comes with the "smiley face" EQ. But when I gig I add a big boost at about 600 hz to get through the guitars and drums.Smiley face is useless if you want any bass definition in the band mix.
  11. Laddieo


    Dec 16, 2001
    So, "God_of_Bass"...

    Howz it going with all this new info?:confused: