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Can anybody explain what causes "boominess"?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Skel, Mar 10, 2006.


  1. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    I seem to attract boominess, and I have no idea technically what is going on, why it's going on, etc. Can anybody enlighten on this subject?

    Thanks,

    Skel
     
  2. In my experience, bigger speakers and an emphasis on lows/low mids tends to attract boominess. I can't explain it!
     
  3. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    I get it with 10's, and for example, last night I was using a GK1001RB-II. I had everything set flat (if straight up is flat). I generally have the mids lowered just a bit, so I was actually increasing them to get rid of the boominess, but it just sounded like boominess with more midrange.

    Skel
     
  4. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    My hypothesis is that boom is too much low end, plus bad room acoustics.
     
  5. Frequencies have different wave lengths. Lows are longer and Highs are shorter IIRC. The problems occur when you have certian room dimensions that are multiples of ferquencies length this can double or even triple the energy of the notes they tend to reinforce. Someone jump in here if I am talking out my butt, but from my audiophile days I seem to remember this being the problem and the cure is to either treat the room or eq the sound. YMMV, But this is the condensed version of what I remember.
     
  6. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    This is in our tiny basement bedroom rehearsal spot, so if it could be the room, and not the amp - that would be great to know. Could I compensate, but just turning the bass way down?

    Skel
     
  7. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Definitely worth a try. Indeed, I prefer speakers tuned a bit higher because of the boominess problem. Also, if you promise not to play too loud, try closing the port.

    In good weather, try it in the poor man's anechoic chamber -- outdoors.

    One caution is that the bass knob on an amp can paint a pretty broad brush stroke, killing more than you want to kill. Then when you turn the volume back up to compensate, it sounds like you have not really cured the problem. You might only want to cut it off below 100 Hz or even lower. A little graphic like the Boss pedal might allow more of a surgical strike. Or try borrowing something.
     
  8. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Well, I have always been focused on my rig, and never considered it could be something other than the rig, like the room. I don't notice this boominess at gigs at all. It's absurd when I think about it. First an SVT-410, then last night an SVT-610 because I thought the 410 was causing the boominess. I'm sure I just made it worse. I have an Aggie GS-112 and/or an Avatar 2X10 - I bet these would work much better in that tiny room, and then I could still have fun, get good tone and not have to sacrifice quality bass. Thanks a lot for the info - made my day.

    Skel
     
  9. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001

    Jun 17, 2004
    Ireland
    I think that you would be better off doing a bit of precise eqing with some sort of graphic or probably more suitable a parametric eq so you can really zone in on the frequencies that are causing you all the hassle in that particular room. This I think would be better than changing speakers since different speakers will still be replicating the same troublesome frequencies. But I dunno I'm not a sound engineer. You could also try moving stuff around the room a bit.
     
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Try this. Assuming you have semi-parametric EQ, set your rig flat. Turn the bass parametric volume way up, start playing, and have someone slowly adjust the frequency for the bass band from one end of the spectrum to the other. Listen and find the frequency where the most boominess occurs. Set the frequency right there, then turn the volume for that band well into cut.
     
  11. JimM

    JimM

    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    Good advice from Munji.

    Also,remember that it probably sounds even boomier to the audience than it does to you.
     
  12. This is probably obvious, but what the heck... right hand technique and the pickup settings on your bass have a huge impact on 'boominess' IMO. For example, plucking with a soft touch toward the neck with both pickups wide open (assuming a two pickup bass) can result in a very indistinct sound with a 'boomy' low end in many situations. A harder touch toward the bridge, and a slight favoring of the bridge pickup can tame a lot of boom in a lot of rooms and rigs.
     
  13. Right hand tech can play a part, I used to like plucking near the neck pick-up on my jazz bass, but in my rock band I found plucking closer to the bridge helps with definition.
    This is probably not the problem that's been decribed but worth trying if you haven't.
    You'll need to look at your whole rig to find the problem(s).
     
  14. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    nice

    also, save your pennies for a cheap FULLY parametric EQ, which includes frequency sweep knob, boost/cut knob, and "Q" knob. it'll help you be more accurate using MJ's suggestion.

    i.e. just set the Q as narrow as possible to zero in on the offending "boomy" frequency, cut about 5-10db, then have your bud turn the frequency sweep knob to find which is the bad freq. and voila, no more boom. there's alot more to it than that, but its a great start.

    btw, Skel,

    you've been asking all the right questions. you'll be "TB elite" status in no time. :smug:
     
  15. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I like this idea enough to get my parametric working again.
     
  16. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    This is the cool thing about TB; No matter what your problem is - somebody knows how to solve it.

    A friend of mine has a parametric EQ. He already told me I could borrow it, and this wasn't for boominess. He told me this thing could automatically locate a frequency causing feedback, and cancel it in milliseconds. I'm sure it's good one, because this guy doesn't do crummy stuff.

    I like the idea of having one of these - sounds like a "must have" to me.

    Skel
     
  17. Also, keep your cabinet away from walls and room corners. The acoustic coupling causes a huge increase in the very low end.
     
  18. BassIan

    BassIan Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2003
    Cupertino, California
    If I understand your description correctly, your buddy has a feedback destroyer of some type. These are most well used for vocal or other high-gain microphone applications and may help increase the gain-before-feedback of a system. It will likely not help your boominess problem, since it is not related to feedback. I've also heard that these devices tend to alter the tone a fair bit, which may be even more noticeable with bass.

    If I didn't understand your description, and it is something else, it may work. Following the suggestions of others, see if you can rent a fully parametric EQ for a week or a month if you have a local music store that does that. That way you're not investing too much in something you're not sure about yet, and if you like it, you've already tried one, heard how it sounds, so you're well on your way to deciding which one you want to purchase.

    I hope this helps.
     
  19. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    You guys were right. I practiced last night - started with the GK1001RB-II into my Aggie GS-112, but it just wasn't enough, so I switched back to the SVT-610HLF and finally turned the bass down (duh) and not only did almost all of the boominess go away, but I can't believe how much power the low end frequencies suck out of the amp. And it's not like I had the bass "dimed" or anything. The amp had quite a bit more volume after turning down the bass. For those familiar the with the GK1001RB-II, I just turned every knob straight up, except bass a little lower and treble a bit higher. I also added a touch of the cab's horn and ended up with good tone. So, big lesson learned for me - EQ very sparingly, or your tone will suck and you'll loose volume big time.

    Skel