How do you get your tone?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by RicPlaya, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    Just got a new bass it's a Spector Rebop 5, it's my first active bass. So I plug it into my GkrbIII head and my Ampeg 4X10 cab, it sounds like butt. My friend who plays guitar tells me to turn my head down really low and zero out the eq. and turn down the amp output to about 5. Then to turn the volume and tone knobs up to about seven on my bass. Then start adding treble, mids, etc. to where it's not muddy and sounds nice and when I turn up the volume it should sound good.. Is there any procedure or technique that is recommeded for establishing ones tone? What do you guys recommend so my tone doesn't suck?
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I buy expensive gear to make me sound better :p

    on my bass I play in front of the bridge pick-up, with the selector tuned in about 80% on the bridge pup, I keep the coil tap up at about 120%, and I have the tone knob as far as it can go.
  3. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    what about eq? My question is if you brought a brand new bass home would you just plug it in and start turning knobs, or is there a procedure that sound techs use when they plug in a bass at a new venue or into a new head whatever? If you were the tech for a major band about to play at Madison Square Garden and you were pluggin into the set up they had there, there has to be a right way to go about this, there must be a standard. I know we can't compare a huge venue our rigs but there has to be some tricks or techniques out there that are useful.
  4. Well, to get my tone I prefer to start playing.


    Ok, that was lame. :rolleyes:
  5. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    When my Hohner came, i plugged it in, and just played a simple walking blues line while turning knobs on my bass. I didnt have to fuss with the ones on my amp much, they were good where they were. I have my volume on my bass at 10 and i have the power coming from the neck pickup because that is where i play. I get a good growl when i play there, but if i play at the bridge, it sounds kinda tinny and not as low, but i dont play there, so i like the settings how they are.
  6. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

    Ya know, I get pretty much the same tone on every bass I play, I mean, there are certain variations and stuff, but I'd say I get most of my tone from my hands, and my playing style.

  7. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    Brilliant Fool,

  8. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    Thanks Wrong Robot I appreciate your response!
  9. Nails


    Jun 4, 2000
    Austin, Tejas
    When trying something new out (amp, bass, or both) I set everything either flat or off first. Then I turn up the amp, then start turning up the bass volume till I get to a reasonable volume if I'm in a store, or to the volume I need to play at if I'm at rehearsal or a gig. Next, I play the bass and listen to see what I need more or less of. I generally start with the amp EQ (because I own a passive bass), and go bass to treble. I think some may go treble to bass, but that doesn't work for me. EQ sparingly, just a few clicks on any given frequency at a time, play a little more, EQ some more, play, EQ, play, EQ, and so on. Hopefully by the time I go through all the EQ knobs on the amp I'm happy with the sound coming out. However, if I'm trying out an active bass, I leave the amp EQ flat so I can see what the electronics in the bass can give me.

    That's how I do it, but that doesn't mean it's the right way.
  10. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Another thing I'd like to add, you shouldn't want to rely to much on amps or effects, because you won't always have them. The less you rely on to have a tone you like, the more versatile you can be, I don't know...seems like you'd have more gig oppurtunities, and be able to do more things, than if you had to always say "sorry, I don't think I can make that gig if I can't bring my effects"

  11. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    thanks guys, now we are getting somewhere
  12. RicPlaya, I had the same problem with my first active bass. Brought it to rehearsal and had the bandmates yelling at me the whole time. It's just a matter of playing it a few more times and understanding exactly what all the onboard controls do for your tone so you can use them to your advantage.
  13. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Bass vol. knob on 10, everything else flat, then tweak to taste.
  14. I just keep turning one of the knobs until it sounds good.

    For my EQ on my amp:
    Treble: 5

    As for my bass(P/J)
    I've been finding a liking to
    100% P
    80% J
    50% tone

    I always use

    100% Jazz(nothing else)


    100% P
    100% Tone
    ...thats for punk type stuff:)

  15. skie`


    May 4, 2003
    Corvallis, OR
    i just got my amp today (3 weeks via UPS! 3!!!!) so i've been playing around with tones... both my bass & my amp have a 3band eq, and i've found that my favourite sound so far is high mids, mid lows, & very light treble on the bass & high bass / midtones & mid treble on the amp. i notice a huge difference depending on a lot of stuff with the bass itself, though, & the pickup balance (the j pup has a much better tone i think)

    i've been sitting here for the past 4 or 5 hours (minus a break for dinner) tweaking stuff & playing scales... i tweak the amp with my feet - it saves having to lean over & stop playing :D
  16. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Portland, OR
    My tone is pretty much the same on any given bass. Neck pickup, leave the treble and mid alone, boost the bass, and play either right at the end of the fretboard, or behind the neckpickup.

    Simple. I EQ my amp and bass the same way, and that's the size of it.
  17. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Low action, soft touch, let the amp do the work.

    A lot of players strike the strings really hard, so by the time the string settles in its natural vibration pattern, all the initial energy is gone.

    Softening the touch gives you a more uniform attack-decay volume and more control over dynamics.
  18. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    thanks everyone!!!! this helps
  19. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I just leave everything flat, bass and amp. I think my next bass is going to be passive for this very reason. Other than that, I just vary my technique to mix it up.

  20. J-retro
    Bass: 3/4 'o clock
    Mid: 2/3 'o clock
    Mid Freq: noonish
    Treble: 1 'o clock
    Volume: around 70%
    Blend, 10 o' clock

    Bass, Mid and Treble controls are set to around 1 to 2 'o clock , to beef up the tone lost from pedal signal path