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DB and electric band...help needed!

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by lennyonbass, Sep 5, 2005.


  1. Hey guys,
    I played this gig the other night with a trio. It was me on DB, an electric guitarist, and a drummer. The material was latin/folk. Many sambas, etc...
    Let me give you some details: the gig was at this joint called the Tin Angel, in Philly. It is a long, skinny room (maybe 100'x20'?), perhaps an 11' ceiling. The stage, at the far end of the room, is roughly 20" high from the floor with an 8' x 6' footprint. The room was packed with folks.
    My gear: Fishman BP100 into Fishman Pre-eq into JBL Eon 15" (140W). This wasn't my normal rig (WW into Agi 1-12), but it has served me well 'acoustic' jazz gigs.
    Here's the problem:
    I really don't have any clue how it sounded. I really couldn't make out how I was doing. During the quieter sections, it felt ok, but when the volume kicked up, I felt uneasy on the stage because I couldn't compete with the other musicians. Of course, I realize that it isn't a competition, but nonetheless, the volume, tone, and punch of my instrument didn't seem to mesh well with theirs. Increasing volume is not an option, as I was nearing the point of feedback. Similarly, I tried many EQ tricks, with the same result.
    I am no stranger to gigging and work approx. 180 nights a year, but in terms of the DB, I am a 'toddler', if not an 'infant'.

    So I guess my questions are these:
    1.) Is it reasonable to expect a DB to hang in such a situation? Was it the wrong instrument for the night?
    2.) Can anybody detect a serious flaw in gear that would cause this?
    3.) Can anybody recommend recordings with similar instrumentation? Perhaps I wasn't filling the spaces properly?
    4.) Maybe this is strictly a technique problem?

    To the Mods: sorry if I posted in the wrong forum...I did, at least, mention recordings...

    Thanks guys, I am eager to hear any thoughts you can share on the subject.

    Regards,
     
  2. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Maybe it's calling for an EUB. Latin/samba stuff, eh? Sounds like an Azola is right up your alley, including the magnetic diaphragm pickup that I've heard is the holy grail of latin bassists.
     
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Since the bass acts like a huge microphone, especially at those volumes, you have to be getting more action out of the bass than the ambient noise is causing. In other words, if the band's volume is causing more vibration in your bass than your hands are, you're going to have problems. Next, the length of string between the bridge and the tailpiece can be deadened, which might clear up our sound considerably. Another thing to try is an Underwood or Shadow pickup if you're going to be playing that loud. These aren't my choice for best sound quality (old tech), but are very good at higher volumes. Other things you can do is to get the bass and the cabinet seperated -- get away from the cabinet and make sure that it's not aimed into the bass. Also, get the cabinet up off the floor!

    An 8x6 stage in a 2000sq/ft room? I'd be more interested in pummeling the management than trying to deliver a clear bass sound :)
     
  4. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Whattaya mean, Ray?.... that club splurged on a whole extra half-sheet of plywood for these guys... :smug: :
     

  5. Thanks Ray. That's a good point. I didn't even think of it in those terms. I'll look into those PUs, too. The BP100 is not my favorite by a long shot, but the price was right, you know? Those metal clips were the first thing to go. I could not stand the tone. All you get is string noise! I have managed to get a decent tone by mounting the tranducers in varying spots on the bridge with a mild 2-way carpet tape.
    Again, thank you.
     
  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Lenny, the other thing - when you say "infant, if not toddler" on DB, are you talking about just gigging or playing it altogether. Cause the other part of the equation is the old GIGO, if you're not getting the sound out of the bass acoustically (projecting, warm, focused) you're not going to get it by plugging into an amp. You just get a LOUDER unfocused thin sound that doesn't project. I know I didn't start getting that sound until I started doing some pretty specific work with my teacher, have you spoken with yours about this.

    I also would have gone with your regular setup, the Woods and the 12". A 15" speaker can get awful diffuse with an upright. You are playing louder, just without definition. And it's that definition that you need.
     
  7. Hey Ed,
    Thanks for this contribution. In all honesty, I suspected as much. From my experience on the electric I know full well that 'GIGO' is real.
    When I talk of my 'infancy' regarding the DB, I mean that, although, I do practice the instrument, it isn't my main gigging instrument. Currently, the DB accounts for less than 10% of my gigs.
    Re: Teacher
    My teacher back in Cleveland was a jazz guitarist and we were able to cover alot of theory with me playing the 6-string bass, but I have never worked with anyone, outside of casual conversation, on DB technique.
    I am looking for a DB teacher in the Philadelphia area. So if anyone can help locate a reputable one, please let me know.

    Aaron,
    I would love to add a EUB to the collection, but that ain't gonna happen, my friend. Not until the missus gets her new car, at least...
    ;)
     
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Talk to David K. (he's here so do a member search, I can't spell his last name without looking at it), if he's busy he may be able to recommend someone else.
     
  9. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    A search for 'crack house key' should find his real name :)
     
  10. Thanks guys, I've shot an email to David...
     
  11. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Lenny, I defintely dig what you're talking about when money comes into play...FWIW, there's a dude on the For Sale forum selling a Ampeg Baby Bass copy-dealio for $1100. IIRC, were Baby Basses and their ilk not the holy grail of Latin bassists as far as EUBs go? If you can afford it, it might be worth checking out.