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How to get the profesional bass sound.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DrewWalden, Feb 5, 2011.


  1. DrewWalden

    DrewWalden

    Jul 28, 2009
    Cleveland, TN
    I have nice equipment. Using a genz benze shuttle 12 with ub 4 10 cab. What more is needed to get that professional warm gospel slap sound. Do I need a compressor or pre amp, or am I setting my eq wrong on my am? What do pros use.
     
  2. GrowlerBox

    GrowlerBox

    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    Honestly, the answer is more in your technique than anything. You're right, you do have very nice gear. Some compression is helpful to keep things a little under control, but I don't imagine your kit is getting in the way of anything.
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    dude, pros use whatever they're given and make it sound as good as they can. i just did a week on a cruise ship and had to use what they had (decent but not my favorite stuff), and i made it work. it didn't sound like my stuff, but at the end of the day it sounded just like i always do because it's the player that makes it sound pro or not pro. all of the stuff that you hear of pros using like comps and effects and stuff...that's all fun and can possibly do some good things for you, but when it gets down to it, all you need is a bass, an amp, and some chops.
     
    poolesixfan likes this.
  4. xed

    xed

    Dec 8, 2007
    Coastal NC, USA
    Technique counts for so much. At least you know you're good on the gear. There's a lot of truth to "player X could play a loosely strung noodle and it would still sound like player X"
     
  5. GrowlerBox

    GrowlerBox

    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    Good to see you're back in one, Jimmy. It has got all weird and out of control here while you've been away :bag:
     
  6. SteveC

    SteveC

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    This is what I think every time I think about effects. Right now I have an active fretted 5 string jazz type bass, an EUB, and a nice combo amp. If I can't get a "pro" sound from that (at least pro enough for around here) I have other issues.
     
  7. DrewWalden

    DrewWalden

    Jul 28, 2009
    Cleveland, TN
    Honestly I don't think my technique is the problem. I'm not trying to be cocky, and I know there is always room for improvement but I've been playing for a long time. Victor wooten has played my bass and our tone was the same.
     
  8. GrowlerBox

    GrowlerBox

    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    Pity you didn't think to ask him, then .... :)
     
  9. DrewWalden

    DrewWalden

    Jul 28, 2009
    Cleveland, TN
    I did but he says your equipment doesn't matter, same thing everyone says, but if that's the case why do pros use so much equipment?
     
  10. xed

    xed

    Dec 8, 2007
    Coastal NC, USA
    Vic played mine too and I had a chance to play his original fodder as well. I didn't sound like him and he didn't sound like me. I distinctly remember thinking "wow my bass can sound like that?" coincident with "man I suck but this fodder sure is nice"
     
  11. What exactly is a "long time"?
     
  12. elgecko

    elgecko

    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    How are you setting you EQ? Scooped?
     
  13. pbasswil

    pbasswil

    Feb 17, 2008
    The fabulous sound that you hear in well-produced professional recordings is often a lot slicker than what even many top players get out of their on-stage amps.

    On a recording, of course the signal-path/EQ/processing is all top-notch. But often, part of the reason the bass sounds so amazing is because of the way a good producer can massage the sound so that it fits within the overall mix. They give each instrument its frequency region to shine in, and "tuck in" the other freq's that might get in the way of other parts of the mix. If you heard the EQ'd bass track soloed, you might not like it as much!

    A good compressor can help if you really know how to use it; but it's by no means obvious until you have the experience to know what you want from it. Judging from the open nature of your question, for now I'd advise skipping compression in your rig.

    I'd suggest: Keep fresh strings on your bass; and work on EQ.

    Listen closely to the tone of your favorite bassists just before a rehearsal. Ask your bandmates to indulge you, and step out in front of the band with either a long cord (if you have an active bass to drive the long cable), or a wireless system.

    Start with your EQ flat (12:00 noon). Honestly, turn off all the ShuttleMax's slope buttons, at least to start with.

    Before you automatically pump up the lows and highs, listen to see if any particular freq's are annoying you, and pull those down.
    But leave some mids in there; they're important for the bass to sit in a mix.

    Anyway, that's a good start. Best of luck.
     
    Preventer likes this.
  14. DrewWalden

    DrewWalden

    Jul 28, 2009
    Cleveland, TN
    10 years or so, currently studying music at lee university. I play in the gospel group, jazz, and Orchastra. I hope yall don't think I'm being cocky im really not, i know im not the best. but I know there is more to the tone of different bass players the technique. I know the tone of a squire bass wouldn't be the same as a Ken smith. No matter who is playing it. I know a vintage ampeg doesn't sound the same as a genz Benz. See what I'm saying?
     
  15. GrowlerBox

    GrowlerBox

    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    That's a major generalisation -- many do, many don't. I don't believe Wooten, for example, uses lots of equipment, although things may have changed there.

    I noticed pbasswill has posted some EQ advice while I've been writing, so I won't go there. From what I understand, the Shuttle 12 would not generally be described as the "warmest" sounding amp ever built, so it may take a bit of EQ fiddling to get it where you want it.
     
  16. DrewWalden

    DrewWalden

    Jul 28, 2009
    Cleveland, TN
    Thanks for the help, how do i know what frequencies are what. I wish there was a book on eq. I did mess with the eq anlittle today in our 9 hour practice : ) but didn't see a big change.
     
  17. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois


    In my experience, lots of experimentation with the EQ yields positive results, particularly when you want to sound good in a group setting. In general, what sounds great when you're practicing alone at home won't be what sounds the best when you're gigging, especially in a large hall/venue/church.

    Your amp has some nice tone shaping functionality and my recommendation to get the slap sound you want is to start by cutting a few dB in the area of 80 HZ and also at 800 HZ, then boost in the area of 125 HZ and also at 3,000 HZ. Leave the three "signal shape" buttons off.

    I assume you're strung with rounds and, IMO, steels are probably going to get you that tone you want as opposed to Nickels.

    Other opinions abound. :)
     
  18. pbasswil

    pbasswil

    Feb 17, 2008
    One other thought:

    When/if you feel you need more (or less) "lows", don't automatically reach for the lowest band of EQ that says "Lows" (or "Bass"). That's shelving, usually pivoting around a very low freq like 60hz or even as low as 35hz!

    For adding oomph, (or subtracting boominess) often what you really want is higher than that. Lucky the ShuttleMax has you covered with semi-parametric bands. Try around 150hz or so.
     
  19. DrewWalden

    DrewWalden

    Jul 28, 2009
    Cleveland, TN
    Thanks hbarcat and pbasswill. This is the info I was wanting to hear about.
     
  20. pbasswil

    pbasswil

    Feb 17, 2008
    Ha, you beat me to it. :^)