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Fighting the Soundman, Musicman weapon of choice?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tunaman, Mar 27, 2005.


  1. Tunaman

    Tunaman

    Dec 26, 2004
    Boston
    My G.A.S for high end equipment is gone after a recent performance going direct out from my GK 1001RB to the evil soundman. I've spent hours dialing in the right sound on the amp & bass, buying rackmount, finding the right cab etc & this guy changes EVERYTHING. I was going for midrange punch, very little bass & almost no treble to the exact opposite on stage.
    What are we all G.A.Sing for anyway?
    Why spend 4K on a Ken Smith, 2K on an Aguilar DB750, 1K on Epifani cabs etc... In fact next show I'm just going to run my Direct out Pre EQ, hell why bother?
    So I figure I'm going to get that flashy Musicman with tons of midrange punch to turn that soundmans smiley face EQ upside down. I want my mids heard & I want my bass sexy dammit.

    SO Musicman owners in a rock band... can the Soundman destroy you genuine EB tone like he did mine through the P.A. or is your axe enough to take him out?
     
  2. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    My sterling has enough mids ( i boost them to heck anyway) that i think no matter what they will shine through anyway.
     
  3. ole Jason

    ole Jason Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Louisville, KY
    Did things actually sound bad out in the crowd though? It's pretty strange to EQ a bass like that in a mix, were your guitarists doing something weird that made him/her EQ you that way?
     
  4. For my rock gig, I always sound check with the EQ on my StingRay5 set flat. At the start of the set I usually boost the bass pot to maximum.

    IME a lot of sound guys don't pay that much attention to bass other than its general volume level anyway. There are more than enough mids coming from an SR5 without having to add more, and the added bottom never gets muddy or interferes with the other frequencies.
     
  5. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Run the DI Pre-EQ, however it'll probably confuse your soundguy. Last time I did that, he changed every knob on my head and couldn't figure out why the levels weren't changing at the board. I guess noone told him that Bob G designed it so the soundguy has totally independent controls.
     
  6. Tunaman

    Tunaman

    Dec 26, 2004
    Boston
    Funny thing is that my amp nor bass are ever glassy or extremely punchy especially at the expense of mids. Could be that he took less than one minute having me play solo before the whole band kicked in. I'd figure he'd change it once in the mix but no dice so thats how it went out to the P.A. for the night.
    I just feel that no matter what the hell I buy or do to EQ the amp the soundman can make it crap if he wants. Hopefully a Musicman puts out too much mids for him to totally crash my party.
    But I've seriously cooled my desire to get some high end stuff if I can't control my sound in a rock band mix. Hell the majority of the crowd can't even tell the details of a Ken Smith from an OLP anyway let alone with a soundman messing up your stuff!
    It seems that soundmen like a boomy sound & I expect an EB to even that off a little.
    We'll see
     
  7. my advice is talk to the guy and tell him what you are looking for...ESPECIALLY if you are PAYING him to do the job!!! IF the guy has any CLUE what he is doing and is professional he should make every attempt to give you what you are after if it is AT ALL possible...if not FIRE HIM!!! and get someone who will....

    Peace,

    T
     
  8. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    My Sterling does exactly what you describe... my Bongo does it even better. I'm a midrange freak and the Bongo gives me 2 bands in the middle to mess with. Plus a whole lot more bottom. :) I play it fairly nice with the soundpeople these days. I'll only crank out about 1/4 more on any knob than what I soundcheck with. That's to compensate for the fact that all drummers play louder than in soundcheck. I usually get my sound and then raise the volume on the amp.


    How do you know what the sound guy is doing to your sound anyhow? I usually hear my amp more than the house, and the house that I'm hearing on the stage during soundcheck isn't the house the people are hearing when the club is full. YOu may want to try giving the sound person a little more credit. But get a MM anyhoe.
     
  9. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    When playing a large venue(large in relationship to your rig)or an acoustically difficult room you are at the soundman's mercy, volume and tone included. For every guitarist that loves and appreciates the sound of a crappy, muddy garbage bass there are 2 or 3 soundmen that love it even more. If you have their respect as a player at least you know they will try to make you sound good, provided they know what good is. If you don't have "juice" then do the following:
    #1. compliment them on their system.
    #2. treat them like they are superstars.
    #3. learn and use their first names.
    I gave up trying to manipulate my "house tone" years ago, I play the bass I like with a good clean DI. I do what I do and am happy if I can at least hear everything.
    note: this post is based on the assumption that the soundman works for the house, and you are just gigging there, if the soundmand works for YOU, then that is a different story..