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Can't get ENOUGH slap volume

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by iplaybass, Mar 20, 2003.

  1. iplaybass


    Feb 13, 2000
    Houston, TX
    I rarely slap and pop, but when I do I can't seem to get enough volume out of it! Any suggestions? My fingerstyle is probably twice as loud!
  2. Turn up the volume on the bass or amp :confused:
  3. Kid Charlemagne

    Kid Charlemagne

    May 29, 2002
    Use a compressor.
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Way back-
    My slapped volume was probably twice as loud as my fingered volume...mostly a techinque issue, though, IMO, slap/pop is a percussive device, so more "volume" to me is "OK".

    Now, about a compressor-
    Way back(again) I recorded a tune for this guy & there was a loud slap part goin' on...eventually, the singer/writer & the engineer decided on to employ a compressor on my bass part...the part that was slapped got totally lost; the sound went from new string/piano crisp to that of someone striking a pillow with a broom. Awful, IMO.
    ...and I've yet to forgive either of those yahoos for that! ;)
    Maybe compressors have gotten better since the '70s?

    Also I have noticed that any amp I've used with a built-in limiter(Eden, SWR, G-K)...volume-wise? The slap sound is not what I want either.
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

    How do you normally set-up your EQ?
    perhaps you have highs and mids down, so when you slap you don't get a lot of clarity, so it seems quiet.:confused:
  6. iplaybass


    Feb 13, 2000
    Houston, TX
    On my SWR SM400S:
    Aural Enhancer: 3oclock
    Bass: 3oclock
    Parametric: 40hz +10
    100hz +3
    700hz -2
    1.2khz +2
    Transparency: flat
    Treble: 2oclock

    Essentially I boost the bass and low mids, cut the high mids, and boost treble. I'm playing a Warwick Streamer Standard 5 which has a very low output to start.
  7. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Judging by that you're adding about 20dB in the bass frequencies! That might explain your problem because fingerstyle has lots more lows inherent in the un-EQ'd sound. When you start slapping those lows just aren't as present so by boosting the lows so severely you make the fingerstyle sound that much louder.

  8. Are you slapping on the fret board or above the pickups? I noticed that my slap volume was louder when I was slapping on the Fretboard then when I was slapping on the pickup. Try that and see if you get any more volume. And If you Action is too high it will be harder to get the string to hit the frets, which makes the slapping sound. So try lowering your action if its too high.
  9. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I've had just the opposite situation with my Spector. I get a much louder/clearer dlap tone just in front of the neck pickup. I think it has a lot to do with the bass itself and how its setup.
  10. Ziggy


    May 9, 2001
    Orange County, CA

    I have the same head - SWR 400S, and have had nothing but raves on how good it sounds... through a Hartke 4.1 cabinet.

    As Alex mentions; "you're adding too much db in the low-end frequencies."
    Keep in mind, that the EQ selection of the SWR covers 3 octaves. A center setting at 40hz is actually about 26hz - 52hz range... frequencies this low are best left for people with 'trunk warmers', wanting their stereo to be heard from blocks away and science experiments on the effects of sound waves destroying solid objects.

    I would suggest;
    -raise the range a few notches to the 65hz - 100hz setting and lower its boost about half

    -you can almost double the 100hz dial to around 190hz (this gives you a bit more 'roundness', but going to high will begin to thin out your sound)

    -instead of 700hz at -2, raise it up to atleast +2 (this should really help pull you out of clutter and give your 'slapping & popping' some "voice"

    -the 1.2khz looks good right where it's at (adding a notch of boost might help just a bit) increasing the frequency, however, 3khz or so and up, only tends to add more string and finger noise...

    The rest of your settings look good to me... the bass at 3 o'clock is pretty much at its useful maximum.

    Hope this helps you out and gives your bass that additional 'punch' for your slapping and popping, michael s.
  11. Yea thats probably true, On my Ibanez I can slap above the pickups and get louder sound than when slapping on my fretboard, but With my Conklin its the opposite. So yea it just depends on what kind of bass you have, Marcus Miller slaps on the fretboard and Victor Wooten slaps above the pickups, So I dunno maybe theres certain technique for both positions but Ive just learned by hitting the string untill I got the sound I wanted ;)
  12. kroth


    Apr 6, 2003
    low end is a major power hog, so an amp with plenty of power will help keep the levels up. slapping creates a lot of transient attack, so ya need the power to keep things from clipping.
    a compressor may help too. a lot depends on the volume of the group, are the guitars distorted, etc.
    loud guitars tend to eat up alot of sonic space (those pesky guitarists). so maybe tweaking the eq for more low mids will help.
  13. Put your highs up, mids high but not too high, and lows wherever...Seems to do the trick for me. It also depends on your bass. Some instruments don't seem to like the slap/pop effect kind of like my gibson t-bird.

  14. Are there any bands consisting of kids under 18 in which the guitarist doesnt use Distortion?

    (I mean electric guitars, not acoustic)
  15. iplaybass


    Feb 13, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Hehe... well, I do love the rumble!:D I just really love the low mid/low boominess of the big bass boost... I did cut the bass boost and move the parametric up to 100hz, and found it made some difference, but I'm beginning to think that it is either a fault of my technique or the tonal qualitites of the bass itself.