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Dialling mids

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Andii Syckz, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Andii Syckz

    Andii Syckz

    Jan 2, 2011
    I've played through amp heads with BAss, lo mid hi mid, treble eq. And while playing live i never got a good punchy tone out of it. I never knew how to dial them. On three band eq amps i just max out the mids and dial the bass and treble eq til it's a good tone for me.

    I wanted to know how i can do that with the lo and hi mids on bass heads that may have the 4 band eq - bass, lo, hi, treble.
  2. Lots of amps with low mid and high are completely passive. Maxing mids with that is really not cutting any mids but cutting some bass and treble.

    With four bands do similar but maybe you don't need to be extreme if it's active EQ. Roll back the low for starters, then experiment boosting lowmid and high mid a bit, treble to taste. Should get punchy.
  3. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    Dialing mids in on an amp is pretty simple. Keep in mind that reducing high end and bass will make the midrange come out even more. A simple roll back of the bass knob will bring out more midrange. Cranking the mids is not always the answer. Cranking the mids then cranking the bass is NOT the answer.

    In regards to the bass you are using; active basses should have the tone controls at the neutral setting with the volume all the way up. Passive basses should have the tone knobs set to taste or wide open, volume all the way up.

    You should be picking in between two humbuckers or more towards the bridge. Move your plucking hand around until the notes sound punchier to you. If you have been playing more towards the neck, getting a punchier note COULD be much harder. It will vary bass to bass and your playing style.

    All in all, keep the controls on the amp at the neutral settings, and start moving your plucking hand around. THEN adjust the controls on the amp.
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Every amp is different. There is no one rule you can use. However, unless you're using a Fender or Hartke, cranking mids all the way up is really extreme mids in most amps. What I do when I get an unfamiliar amp is set all knobs at noon, then go through each one all the way up and down to see what it does, then I'll start turning them gradually until I find the sounds I like.

    As for setting the mids, there is a very fine line between having enough mids to be heard and making it sound like cabs made of cardboard. I think you have maybe misinterpreted the Talkbass "Mids are everything" credo to mean "I must boost my mids like crazy" ;) You really don't.
  5. :bassist::bassist::bassist:

    This should be lesson 1 on the bass. When you sign up for TB instead of the missing string question there should be quiz on tone generation from right hand with a link to a youtube lesson.
  6. Mike in Chicago

    Mike in Chicago Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    we played in a electrical warehouse for that company's Christmas party Friday. large space. Heavy on the mids.
  7. Andii Syckz

    Andii Syckz

    Jan 2, 2011
    My two main basses are a precision bass copy, and an epiphone thunderbird goth which is modded with a simple kill switch. I don't always max out the mids when i play cause amps vary between each other. But when i do, and if i have the right amount of gain, it'll give me a crunchy tone. I'm just noob when it comes to lo and hi mids.
  8. Johno Dunn

    Johno Dunn Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    Carpinteria, Ca.
    What amp are you using?

  9. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Think of the lowmids as the "fat" part of your sound, or the "body" of the sound. Think of the highmids as "attack" or "definition". Lots of tone in those middle 2 knobs. The bass and treble are at the extreme ends.
  10. What kind of bass and what kind of amp?

    In my experience, most stages (for the exception of most bars) are boomy and naturally emphasize lows. Dialling lows back will clear up some mud but still sound thick. Boosting low mids will add a punch that will push through a band mix on stage, hi-mids get dialed down to rid of the nasily and honky tones. Highs are boosted for 'click' and to add note presence.

    However, amps and speakers play the biggest role. Under powered amps sound like dog *** when cranked up to audible levels for shows.
  11. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
  12. I usually turn everything to noon and cut/boost from there if I'm not working w/ an old Fender stack & usually end up with the bass at noon, mids around 2:00, and treble around 10:00 or 11:00. If there's a low mid, I'll cut that a little more than the high mid... Maybe noon or 1:00.
  13. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Try shutting your bass knob off (turning it all the way down). Then use the rest of the knobs to get the best tone you can using the lowmid knob to dial in fatness. Then go back to the bass knob and turn it up slowly just enough to fill in whatever depth might be missing. Depending on how and where your lowmid knob is voiced, might be surprised how little really low bass you actually need before it starts making mud instead of adding bottom.
  14. Greevus


    Apr 15, 2009
    listen to Jimmy. he knows his stuff.

    i think active pickups with tone wide open help me with punch. i use a pick also for the clarity and attack. however, i play with all my amp settings based on each stage or room that i am in. numbers and knobs can be deceiving. use your ears and just experiment with each knob until you begin to hear sweet spots. you will begin to hear subtle differences the more you do it.

    ask some other players to play through your rig and set it to their ears. write down settings if you need to. it's always fun as hell to play other rigs and vice versa. best learning you can do is watch up closely.
  15. Also, your tone by itself might not sound right in the band mix. Stand away from the amps at practice and see how it sounds. You might be surprised.
  16. Andii Syckz

    Andii Syckz

    Jan 2, 2011
    Some GK head its an older model, that goes through 2 4x10 hartke amps the aluminum-paper speaker types. I still have no clue which bass to use. either my pbass copy or my epiphone thunderbird both which is rewired with a simple kill switch. plus i have my mxr m80 di +
  17. meatwad


    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    I once got skooled on tone by a pro bassist using my then-rig, a GK 400RB and a Peavey 410TX. He disengaged all tone-shaping switches, boosted the low-mid and hi-mid controls to around 3:00, while cutting the lows and leaving the highs flat. My eyes were appalled at what he had done, but I decided to leave things alone during our set, just to "see". This was the single most important lesson of my life, pertaining to tone. It has been my starting point ever since, when setting an amp.