Fighting the DARKNESS

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Fat bob, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Fat bob

    Fat bob

    Jan 14, 2013
    This post is concerning a good "jazz" sound in a live context-
    I have been struggling to get a good live tone- And a couple posts I read in the archives made me think about "darkness".. someone mentioned a dark pickup, dark strings and a dark amp make for a bad combo... I guess Iam looking for advice and to see what others have had the most success with.. also what do you recommend I change in my signal chain first...

    Iam using a dark pickup (lifeline), dark strings (I've been on Evah weichs for a couple months) and AI clarus sl (I've heard it referred to as a dark amp).
    I love the evahs because of their acoustic tone- but they may be the culprit,
    I love the lifeline because of the "envelope" of the note. But it's dark... maybe I'll get the underwood out for this bigband gig..

    In smaller rooms and gigs it's not a much of an issue, but the bigger the volume the more of an issue...

    I've thought of adding a mic to foh or even different pickup to blend (underwood or krivo?) but that seems like to much work and fooling with gear.

    I was debating to put it under amps/pickups or also strings, but really it is a combination of both- I hope this post is ok here...
    Thank you for your comments!
  2. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    Well, I am hardly an expert on amplified double bass sound, but I have two thoughts anyway:

    1) the kind of tone you want MAY be context-dependent - depending on your own personal taste.
    2) It's very likely that you're being heard far better out front than you realize.

    Maybe you need to enlist an assistant out front to help you twist the knobs a bit, before concluding that different hardware is the solution?
    Peck_Time, Eric Hochberg and Fat bob like this.
  3. Pat Harris

    Pat Harris

    Nov 17, 2006
    Brighton, MI
    Are you referring to your amplified tone's "darkness" as lacking in the highs and mids, or being boomy?

    It's easy to roll off excessive low end, but if highs and mids aren't present to begin with, you can't really boost something that's not there. As a first step, I'd leave everything on your bass alone. On the AI amp, turn on the high pass filter and start with it at around 80Hz. Try to get rid of the low-lows in order to let some midrange come through, but don't boost anything in the EQ. You should be able to remove quite a bit of low end with the HPF, and then turn the master volume up more to compensate for the lost low end energy coming out of your rig.
  4. That tells me you need to EQ differently at louder volumes, specifically careful use of your HPF and adjusting your lows accordingly.

    Speaker position can make a huge difference too. Tilt it, elevate it, moved away from walls/corners, or just further away from you.
    Fat bob likes this.
  5. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    Start at the source. Where are you pulling the string? It will be brighter closer to the edge of the board.

    Only saying this because it needs to be said. Carry on and follow the advice above if you’re already squared away technically.
    Jeff Bonny and Fat bob like this.