Different EQ settings for different tunes - Big Band / Swing Band - EQ w/ Pre-sets?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by DanL, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. DanL


    Jul 5, 2016
    I have recently started playing with a 16 piece swing band and the music director has asked if I can readily alter my EQ from what I normally have (which is fairly articulate sounding - i.e. trying to get the best "sounds like my bass but louder" sound ) to a darker / more "bassy" sound for certain tunes. I am happy to oblige him, but rather than constantly fiddling with the EQ settings on my amp - does someone out there have any thoughts / experience on this?
    i.e. an outboard EQ or pedal? ...perhaps something that I could "pre-set" with several EQ curves and call them up at will?

    FYI - I am using an old SWR Baby Blue combo with the 2x8" and 1x5" mid range - it has a ton of EQ flexibility - and I love the sound - but I'd much prefer leaving the EQ set for the optimum sound for my bass and then be able kick in something for the handful of tunes that the Music Director specifically wants a different tonal quality.

    Thanks to all for your insight / experience!
    -- Dan
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
  2. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    I know this might not be too helpful because I don't have specific brand names but I'm sure there are more than one type of programmable EQ out there. Or any old graphic EQ pedal can be engaged to give you your alternate sound if you only need two different types of tones
  3. DanL


    Jul 5, 2016
    I suppose that may be a simple solution -
    I’d like to see if others have some additional thoughts on this as well - thx
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
  4. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    I would tell your director that if he wants to micro-manage your tone from tune to tune, he should buy you an EQ pedal.

    This one seems nice:

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  5. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    My Takamine B-10 has an onboard preamp allowing 20 programmable presets, so there can't be any doubt that this sort of circuitry can be made small and agile, and has some utility for some players. I use two, anyway. Maybe this will come with the next generation of you-need-this-new-thing amps and pedals.
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  6. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    Source audio programmable EQ
    Also I think there is a programmable VT Bass sansamp with presets
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  7. sean_on_bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    Seems strange he would want different tones for different tunes. Not sure i would be able to oblige that. But i think a simple EQ pedal should do the trick to switch back and forth between settings. Or is it possible to just adjust to a darker tone with your current setup and just leave it there? Can't be too dark though as it needs to cut through the band.
    sevenyearsdown likes this.
  8. Jay Corwin

    Jay Corwin Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I would go with an EQ pedal, or a Sansamp. If you really need several tones, Sansamp makes programmable units.
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  9. LowG


    Dec 8, 2006
    Milwaukee, WI
    Makes sense to me that on certain tunes a more old-school sound might be desired since in the classic recordings the bass sound is usually not near as hi fi as we can get now :)

    Any old eq pedal will do what is being asked. The Boss Bass EQ is usually easily found and cheap. If you're concerned about impedence issues you could put it in the fx loop instead of between the bass and amp.

    If you're a gear/tone purest (junkie) there's a whole world of eq pedals to consider, but the Empress para eq suggestion in post 4 has saved you some research time. Supposed to be really good.
    DanL likes this.
  10. Josh Kneisel

    Josh Kneisel

    Jun 17, 2016
    Sansamp or an eq pedal with presets would be the best answer I think I could come up with
    DanL likes this.
  11. You could try plucking higher up the fingerboard and making the notes shorter to see if that makes him happy... I'd probably start there if it was me...
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  12. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    The source audio EQ is a terrific unit at a reasonable pricepoint. The sansamp units are very popular with electric players... I don't know if you'll like what their amp modeling does to your DB's sound, though.

    I would try something as simple as a passive tone control working for this. You could DIY one into a stompbox for a few bucks. Though if you do that you might need to boost signal at the amp a touch to compensate.
    DanL likes this.
  13. Alain Bass

    Alain Bass

    Jun 6, 2004
    Paris France
    What preamp are you using because I have the Taka TB10 with the CPT3 Préamp and there is no programmables presets in it.
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  15. Scott Lynch

    Scott Lynch Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    Delaware, USA
    I'll second this. I personally would strive for a tone that would work as a good midpoint between bright and dark for that ensemble and use technique to adjust from there for different songs. I would only deal with the artificiality of different EQ settings as a last resort in that kind of scenario.
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  16. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    Mine's labeled Acoustic DSP AD-1.
  17. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Bring a second bass with gut strings?
    I'm joking of course but it could be that is the true origin of alternate sound the band leader is wanting.
    Scott Lynch likes this.
  18. Alain Bass

    Alain Bass

    Jun 6, 2004
    Paris France
    Thank's Steven for your answer. I didn't knew that preamp.
  19. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    FWIW I've found it very handy to have a couple of different pickups. (In my case that would be a Biesele magnetic pickup with a handy input and blend knob for the piezo.)
    I've never had a client want a different sound for each song but it is nice to have the magnetic signal on tap. I usually go 95% piezo but when I need more punch (i.e. when I really ought to be playing electric bass because everyone else is too stinking loud) going 50/50 works great. 100% magnetic seems less defined with my rig - might make a passable lazy man's gut string substitute. Also handy as a backup for when the piezo pickup wears out.
    Something to think about - I would probably go this route before messing around with EQs.
  20. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    The source audio EQ is great for guitar, but the lowest band is 125hz. Not the best for bass control. I think you can extend it down to 65hz, but still not ideal.

    The good thing about bass sansamps is that you can eliminate the amp modeling by turning the blend control to zero and just use the EQ section.
    But for DB I would look at their new-ish Q-strip pedal. It's a 4 band semi-parametric EQ based on old recording console voicing with no amp modeling, plus it has a high pass filter, low pass filter and a DI. The input impedence is designed to work with unbuffered piezo signals as well.
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