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Gear upgrades to improve live sound

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by brumshine, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. brumshine


    Apr 27, 2012
    I'm a new bassist and could use some gear recommendations for playing small-medium sized bar gigs. I'll admit my technique is sub-par, would a compressor help? My band is an all original rock band, sounds kinda like black flag.

    Current Gear
    OLP 5 string
    Eden WTDI preamp / DI
    Acoustic B200 combo

  2. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    You have a compressor in your WTDI.
  3. gjbassist

    gjbassist Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2005
    Kansas City, MO
    Are there specific issues you are currently having with your sound? Are you running through the PA as well as the combo?
  4. brumshine


    Apr 27, 2012
    I usually have the sound guy take the DI from the amp and not my wtdi. I'd say my tone sounds "great when I play right" but the complaints I have stem mostly from bad technique. I have a few dead spots on my neck that I really have to use some force to get the non-fretted out sound. If I pluck too hard the WTDI overdrives and makes fart noises. I have also have a lot of string noise from not muting the 4 others while playing. I was hoping there was a magic box that could help me suck less!

    To my ear, the compressor on the wtdi doesn't do a heck of a whole lot. shouldn't it act as a filter for some string noise and even out the volume and attack of notes?
  5. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    The compressor works fine on the Eden. You have to be careful setting the DI up to avoid the overdriven signal. It sounds to me like you need a better bass if you have dead spot issues.
  6. Martin89


    Nov 8, 2010
    Glendale, AZ
    Unofficial Endorser: Ibanez, D'Addario, Zoom
    Yeah my suggestion to start with is to have a really pro-setup on your bass, makes a huge difference that would help fix your technique problems. If you hit the strings too hard you could try a limiter, the Boss one is decent and they sell cheap esp. used. Sounds to me like you have a great setup for gigging as is though.

    Get the dead spots fixed, practice, then maybe a limiter.
  7. brumshine


    Apr 27, 2012
    Thanks for the advice everyone, much appreciated
  8. Dantreige


    Oct 22, 2009
    I agree with those above. Get that bass setup and playing well, then hit the woodshed for a bit.

    Do you hit hard only when playing on stage? You may need to be a bit louder or set your cab or combo up and closer to your ears. Or, you just need to relax!

    Unfortunately, there is no "magic box" that I know of that can fix bad technique.

    Good luck!
  9. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    In the short term, try putting a nicer pickup in your OLP like a Nordstrand or Delano. You'll hear an immediate improvement. In the long term you'll eventually want better versions of your current gear like a real Stingray 5 and a larger amp rig. But most importantly, don't let gear be a distraction or an excuse not to practice and play your a$$ off.
  10. Vinny D

    Vinny D

    Jan 9, 2007
    Warwick, RI
    Why ?
    The WTDI would be the better option IMO. Much different sound then you would get from the DI on the Acoustic.
    Take more timelearning how to dial in the settings on the WTDI and you will be much happier with the sound.

    But nothing takes care of sloppy playing better then some serious practicing!
  11. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    +1 on a pro-setup for your bass. Don't know where you're located so check out the Bass Tech link in my sig. below. Might be one in your area.

    If you add a high pass filter like TBr fdeck's or The Thumpinator by sfx, you can eliminate unwanted noise below your bass threshold....like 30hz for the Thumpinator or fdeck's is adjustable.

    Try a bit of foam under the strings at the bridge. It'll mute somewhat and keep the notes from over running each other.
  12. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Don't beat the strings to death with your right hand. Pluck them sideways as opposed to smacking them downward. This will make a big difference (and is the main failing of a lot of the bassists with whom I work - lousy tone, and I can't make out half of the notes - not even in the headphones).
  13. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    The Eden compressor is not my favorite so an addt'l external unit may be of benefit. Any chance you can borrow one to see if it makes a difference? You may also want to re-think your EQ. I've seen too many players set the balance so it sounds great when solo'd but disappears within the context of the full-band mix. To compensate for the loss, they hammer mercilessly to coax extra volume resulting in some of the slop you've described.

    Some great suggestions in the preceding posts! I'll trust you've identified the "dead zones" which, to some extent, exist on just about every bass. Focus on these areas first and rest will take of it itself.

  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    LOL! Clearly a technique issue, so I agree that throwing money at it is a much better solution than practicing.


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