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Fishman & arco

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by slapfish, May 16, 2001.

  1. slapfish


    Jul 16, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Well, at rehearsal yesterday, the director of our concert band decided to ask me to play with an amp for our (outdoors) concert on Friday. He seems to think that the texture that the DB adds (albeit not that much, as I can't even hear myself playing half of the time) would be lost outside, and seems to think that an amp would improve the overall sound. I tried convincing him that, especially with my setup, it would in fact sound like crap, but to no avail. So, basically my question to all of you is this: how exactly do I get the most out of a bad setup? Being a college student, I can't afford real high-end stuff. I've got a Fishman pickup on my bass, and I'm running through a (school-owned) G-K amp (not sure which model...it's a small combo that I've seen a number of jazz guys using). Are there any suggestions any of you might be able to provide as far as EQ settings, or perhaps maybe adjusting my playing style a little? On a slightly related subject, I plan on playing this summer as well, but will only have access to my Peavey combo (originally purchased for my EB...as you can guess, it sounds even worse than the GK for UB). Would investing in a preamp improve my tone quality by a large amount, or would it be a more subtle improvement? Thanks for any help you guys might be able to provide.
  2. I've found that when I play arco and use the pickup (K & K Bass Max) I get a lot of "bow-noise" - almost like micing a vocal too close. Every little bow-movement and scratch stands out, so I think the answer to your question is to get rid of some of the highs (5-8k). Another thing that I've done is to use a microphone, either the Golden Trinity (from [All Hail] Bob Gollihur), or a large-diaphragm condenser - oh! hang on - forget it if you're playing outside. What you need to try and do is capture the sound of the bass itself rather than the sound of the bow on the strings. I use the GK MB-150E (sounds like the same one as you have - there are two models the "E" has the para. eq & chorus, whereas the "B" doesn't). The parametric equaliser is useful for taking out the scratchy highs of the bow-noise.

    Hope this helps -

    - Wil
  3. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Yes, amped arco sounds like crap. But: In the middle of a band, outdoors, I don't think you should be too concerned about the sound. The qualities that displease you are not likely to even be perceived by the audience in that environment.
  4. rablack


    Mar 9, 2000
    Houston, Texas
    A good preamp will make any piezo pickup sound better. Get a decent one and you can continue to use it with whatever setup you end up using in the future. I would agree that it won't make much difference in your upcoming concert.

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