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How do I set my amp for different rooms??

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by ericmknight1906, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. My bass and amp setup sounds outstanding in my church. Our music ministry was asked to lead praise service for a sister church. We got there and setup with the same settings as used in our own church.

    The sound was horrible. The keyboards sucked and the bass amp emitted a echoey hollow sound that we couldn't get rid of. I was trying to tighten up the bass output with the amp eq to get that tight punchy sound that I'm used to.But that didn't work unfortunately.:(

    Any tips on how to analyse a room and set your equipment to fit that room? Any help will be appreciated. I need it pronto because we have to play tomorrow.

    God Bless.
  2. Thunderthumbs73


    May 5, 2008
    Sorry to say that some rooms are really not "fixable" by tone knob adjustments on the bass and/or amp. Or conversely, that in some rooms, it is impossible to get a good sound. I have unfortunately played many of those, often with different amps and also different basses, to no avail. I have tended to find this is true regardless of tone settings and volume, with the exception that the less loud the bass is, the less bad it sounds.

    The sound that is excellent for things like organs and choruses and those environments which have the acoustics to make those sound so nice, are usually the same acoustical environments which are ill-suited to give you the direct punch, warmth, preciseness of an electric bass. The same is true for drums.

    Another thing is that a room tested/soundchecked/demo-ed empty, particularly one that is inherently very live and "reverby" will react a little differently with a full service/attendance, but in general those reverby characteristics will remain, if muted a little by bodies.

    In general, just realize that rooms with high ceilings and lots of hard surfaces (walls, ceilings, floors, etc and lots of echo when you clap your hands... make for challenging environments for electric bass. I wish there was a better solution, but I'm afraid you'll have to grin and bear the acoustics for this gig, and just know that you'll be playing again in your own church soon in a more sonically rewarding environment.

    The best I could ever do was dial back the bass response, and dial back the highs/treble so that the mid-range (as nasally and awful hearing it soloed) could allow the bass to be heard without the mix of the whole ensemble turn to complete low-end mush with clacky treble note attack accompanying every pluck.
  3. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    A person wise in the ways of pro sound once said problems endemic to the time domain can't be cured in the frequency domain - and vice versa.

    If you have the option (we don't always), the best way I know to deal with troublesome room acoustics is to change the physical placement of your cabinet in the listening environment. Sometimes small changes yield big results, and sometimes nothing seems to help. With this in mind, it's always good to remember that what you hear from your position on stage isn't necessarily what the audience or the person running sound hears, which is one of the reasons I invested in an X2 wireless - so I could wander around and listen while playing.

    Good luck!
  4. kyral210


    Sep 14, 2007
    I cheat. I have a line 6 bass pod Xt which runs to the mixing deck direct, so my room is always virtual, always the same, always great!

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