How to make a full bass sound

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by imme9x, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. imme9x


    Jun 3, 2010
    Hi guys,

    I'm Fang and i'm new here. I have played bass for 2years and now playing for a rock band. I'm now using the 4 Strings Fender Jazz Bass with Dirmazio JDP159 pickups with Behringer BDI21 pre-amp. The trouble i've got stuck here is everytime i listen to my bass sound and compare with another bassist sound, i found that my sound is quite powerful but it cannot bring the whole power to the band's sound. I just wanna bring a thick bass background to the band but everytime, when my band's guitarist does a solo on his guitar, he often gives me feedback that he feels the whole sound is quite thin. I wonder how to make my bass sound more fuller but it doesn't mean more louder. The different from the active/passive pickups or my pre-amp is not good enough or something else ? please give me advice. Thanks !
  2. simenandreas


    Jan 23, 2011
    First, check if you are using both pickups.. If you're using just the bridge pickup, it may sound a bit thin. Try experimenting using just the front pickup like a p-bass. That will give the tone some more meat to it. Also, try to boost the bass on your amp.
    If you are comparing you tone against a studio-mixed bass tone, you will hear difference because of all the compression and studio-technics from the recorded bass.
    You could get a compressor pedal that can help you to even out your bass tone. It will also make your tone sound fuller
  3. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Work with the EQ some more. The wrong EQ can make your tone
    sound thin and the bass is lost in the mix. Make your bass sound as punchy as the bass drum.
  4. bassdude51

    bassdude51 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    How to make a full bass sound? Usually, the challenge is the other way around.

    On your Jazz Bass, turn off the bridge pickup. Stick foam under the strings. Use flat wounds. Turn off the treble and mid highs on your amp. Roll of some of the med lows and run the bass control flat.

    Reggae City!!!!!!!!!
  5. I missed it....what are you using for amp/cabs?
  6. In addition to the amp and cabs...
    What is your band setup? Power trio? Two guitars, bass and drums? or something else? Are you using any effects? What kind of music do you play?
  7. Guitalia


    Jun 7, 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    Guitar-bass-drums trio, right? If so, the problem isn't your bass sound. It's that the guitar rhythm part drops out during solos.

    Solution: you and the other band members should listen to Youtube videos of live performances by similar bands and figure out what they do during solos. You'll see that most of the time, the bass sound doesn't change during solos, but what the drums and bass play changes.

    Personally, I find that what works best during solos when I play in a trio is to play fewer notes rather than more notes and to lock in with the drums. In the immortal words of James Brown, make it funky.
  8. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Definitely. Lock in with the drums as tightly as possible. Remember that most people will be watching the soloist. As long as your groove is strong, everything is fine.

    Check out the first Van Halen record. You can actually pan it so you hear mostly bass.

    Make your lines under solos as strong as a groove as you can.

    A little distortion (with a clean blend) works wonders. In my last band (a trio) my drummer constantly ragged me because I used an overdriven tone. So I showed him a totally clean tone at practice, and he instantly agreed that the gritty tone fit much better.

    But groove is always first. If you've got a great groove going with the drummer, you can't go wrong.
  9. imme9x


    Jun 3, 2010
    My band is included 1 guitar, 1 keyboard,1 drum and bass. I've just used Behringer BDI21 for pre-amp. We're playing Gothic/ Symphony Metal like Evanescene, Nighwish...
  10. imme9x


    Jun 3, 2010
    The amp and cab aren't fixed cause it usually changes with different stages (mini stage like bar, club)
  11. imme9x


    Jun 3, 2010
    Oh, sure. I've used both pickups and 1/2 TONE knob on my bass. I'm trying to compare the other bassists' sound on live stage. Some amps has compressor and i think it didn't make a lot of changes when i used it
  12. escaraBAJO


    Apr 24, 2000
    +1 on using an overdrive. You can turn it on during solos if you don't want it all the time.
  13. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    do you OWN an amp and a cab? If so, what combinations of amp and cabinet do you have to use? If not, then I'm assuming you are using a provided "back line" at whatever venue you perform? If the PA system is not providing any sound reinforcement for the stage instruments (i.e. vocals only), then you should really audition your sound at sound check from a good vantage point in the listening audience to see how the bass sound is carrying the room with respect to filling out the bottom end. The way bass projects will make it sound and "feel" completely different on stage compared to out in the audience.

    Otherwise, sure, you can try the suggestions mentioned here, have an overdrive or boost pedal that can be engaged during the guitar solos to help fill out the low end. Since you have a keyboard player also, why not lean on the keys to help "fill out" the sound during solos?

    And FWIW, there is a pedal that is designed for bassists to use for exactly this reason, which produces an octave + 5th above root note... Fishman Fission Bass Powerchord Octave Bass Effects Pedal
  14. imme9x


    Jun 3, 2010
    Thanks a lot. Mostly in the sound check, our band can only listen to the sound provided from the amps. The PA Systems is not available for us to sound check before the gig. I am thinking about changing the pre-amp from Behringer to Sansamp or buying a new bass using active pickups. I've already viewed a review about Fishman Fission Bass Powerchord Octave Bass seems to be great!
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Dig into that BD121. Too thin a sound is often a result of too much treble and not enough mids and low mids around 100-200hz. Combine that with a clean sound and it can come off as thin. So try some different settings on the BD121 and try less treble and adding some dirt. Do the same on whatever amp they provide you. If it still doesn't work for you, then maybe try out some other gear.
  16. imme9x


    Jun 3, 2010
    Maybe due to the lack of low mid + low, i used to set the sound with hi presence and about 3 o'clock on the treble knob on BDI21 to make the sound more clear. Thanks and i'm trying to control the sound.
  17. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, that hi presence thing will do it every time.
  18. imme9x


    Jun 3, 2010
    What i've found recently is mostly i've focused on boost the bass and the treble part but not on the low/hi mid and mid frequency part. After checking the sound, I figured out that Fender jazz bass tone is not quite fit with the gothic/alternative metal songs but punk/funky/pop songs. I've got 2 option here is buying a new bass with active pickups or changing a new pre-amp. I've got confused about Sansamp Bass Driver or MXR Bass D.I+ B80... Is there any suggestion or review about 2 pre-amp listed above ?
  19. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
  20. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    try setting the EQ on the pedal flat, and boosting the mids on the amp a bit?