How to make my gear sounds better?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Vicolls, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. Vicolls


    Aug 6, 2018
    Hello everyone,

    I've just created the account mainly beacuse I need some advices. I'm not best bass player but trying to skill it as much as my time allows me to. The problem is - I'm really noob when it comes to usage of all these knobs in my guitar and controling effects.

    I use Cort B4 bass guitar, Boss GT-10 effect processor and Fender Rumble 100 as amplifier. When it comes to recording my playtime it goes trough Boss GT-10 via USB (there is no need to use Rumble).

    The problem is I'm not satisfied with the sound of my gear. Tried to figure it out but I don't know how to control it, just use knobs randomly.

    Cort B4 has passive/active electronics, boss gt-10 has many effects. I think the best idea is to record something for you. In this one I'm using active and no effects on gt-10:

    I'd like to make the sound more expressiv, "groovy" or "funky" let's say. Cause I think the sound is really flat. (It's really difficult to describe with words the sound :p)

    What should I use in your opinion? What to add to make the sound better? Boss GT-10 got many things like comp, preamp, eq, limiter and other stuff.

    If you've got idea just tell me, I will set it and record so you will know where it can go.
    edencab likes this.
  2. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    I really don't hear anything wrong with your sound. A Fender 100 is a great amp. I have one.
    What would do you a lot of good is to go to the Amps & Cabs Forum and Find the Fender Rumble Club page. There you will find over 900 happy Rumblers with a lot of helpful information an there is also the Fender Rumble Wiki Page that has a ton of information that you will find useful. In the Wiki Page you will find the Rumble Tone Pool. It is a spreadsheet of tone setting suggestions provided by members.
    So, get on over that and get yourself a number and start enjoying your Rumble.
    Nevada Pete likes this.
  3. Vicolls


    Aug 6, 2018
    Yeah, but all the fun is that I recorded this sound without Rumble, only via Boss GT-10.

    I'm not satisfied with the sound cause when I see (rather hear) some bassists on youtube they've got really clear, bright bass.

    For example - .

    I know Wooten is top tier, but the sound he created is lovely. Middles and trebbles sounds perfect. I can't get it on my bass.

    Or listen to my (very first) cover: . What do you think about this sound?
  4. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    When in doubt - simplify.

    I think the best place to start if you’re new to it is to forget about effects and active bass for the time being and get intimately familiar with just the EQ settings on your amp and the sound of your bass in passive mode. Then repeat the exploration with your bass in active mode. Pay close attention to technique. Especially what your non-fretting hand is doing. Pluck/pick in various positions between the neck and bridge. Try playing harder and softer, etc. You need to be able to get a solid and workmanlike tone using just your bass and amp before taking on things like effects. That’ll come later.

    Check this video out for a good starting point:

    Woodstockz, El-Bob, gebass6 and 4 others like this.
  5. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Don't add anything. "groove" and "funk" do not come from effects or equipment.
    Adding things will only add more that you don't understand.

    First: How old are the strings on the bass? They sound rather muted in your audio-only clip, which is the opposite of what you say you want. They sound good in your video. If they're old, replace them.

    Second: Read the manual for the bass. Learn exactly what each knob does.

    Third: Select one pickup only. Whichever one you like the sound of better. And put all the EQ knobs in the middle. There should be a notch in their travel where they are not cutting or boosting anything.

    Fourth: Your gt-10 is for guitar. It's probably fine for using as an A/D converter but most of the effects will be of marginal use on bass.
  6. Vicolls


    Aug 6, 2018
    The guitar is quite new, I bought it one month ago. Not sure how long strings are within. In the video I added "jazz" preamplifier from GT-10, maybe that's why it's better?

    I know what knobs do - 3 x eq (low, mid, high), 1 x gain, 1 x vol.

    Hmm... Not sure how to switch between pickups. There is no switcher.

    That's true, I bought this multieffect for guitar. Shouldn't it work somehow good with bass too? Or the frequncies on which it works are out of control?
  7. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    Well, first, I'm not a big Victor Wooten fan. I consider him a lead play that play on a bass. I don't see a problem with the sound on your video. But I do see one thing that you should correct. Your left hand technique looks okay, but you right hand position is an invitation for carpel tunnle issues. It is bent at almost a 90° angle. Your wrist should be as straight as possible. You need to left your left elbow and angle it forward until your wrist is straight.
    There are no muscles in you fingers. You finger movement is controlled by tendons to muscles in your forearm. It will make it easier to play and save you from long term problems.
    Sorry I can't help with you pedal settings, I really know nothing about them. but you should still check out the Rumble Club.
    Vicolls and Nashrakh like this.
  8. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    What you assumed to be the tone knob is actually the "Pickup Balancer" aka "blend" knob

    +1 to simplifying to find a tone.

    start by finding a "flat" starting point:
    - set all knobs to the middle setting, set it passive, set the volume on full.
    - set the amp with all controls at 12 o'clock except Drive an Master
    - disable all buttons (contour, overdrive, bright)
    - remove it for now

    Then slowly start experimenting one knob/button at a time to get your ears used to what each control can do to your sound.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  9. I think the best thing you can do first is to spend some time researching how your equipment works. Learn what every knob and switch is, and what they do for (or to) the sound.

    Put on fresh, new strings, and set all of your EQ on the bass and amp flat. With most newer gear, you are going to get a pretty decent sound right from the start. After you know what everything does, you can make adjustments from there until you find what your ears want to hear.

    As a side note ... chasing someone else's sound is usually a fruitless and frustrating effort. You are probably never going to sound like Victor Wooten, unless you find a way to play his equipment with his fingers and his brain.
  10. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    not only are fresh, new strings called for - and since you say you're looking for bright, clear tone, why not head over to the string forum and see which strings are considered very good for that kind of tone?

    Strings [BG]
  11. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    If you don't know how to switch between pickups you don't know what the knobs on your instrument do. Go back and follow my second recommendation again. I guarantee you that your bass does not have a gain control.

    Some guitar effects work well on bass, some do not. Read the manual for your effects processor and see if it has bass amp models and/or EQ settings that are voiced for bass.
    pcake, El-Bob and Quantized Harmonic like this.
  12. aprod


    Mar 11, 2008
    Very simple, read the manual.
  13. Welcome to Talkbass!

    Some of this has already been said:
    Get new strings, make sure you have a good quality cord, plug your bass directly into the amp, start with all settings flat, and go from there.
    knumbskull likes this.
  14. matty1039


    Oct 26, 2015
    New Orleans
    Here is where I would start:
    New strings (stainless steel if you are looking for a bright tone)
    Plug in straight to your amp
    Learn what your bass and amp can do together
    Then start adding effects
    pcake, twinjet and SmokinJoe992 like this.
  15. mrjim123

    mrjim123 Supporting Member

    May 17, 2008
    It basically sounds good, but I did hear a little distortion when you pluck hard. Try reducing the output level a little if it's the recorded sound you're concerned about.
  16. I had a very hard time making my gear sound good until I figured out how to make it sound good. Now amount of reading on the internet could help me figure out how to turn my knobs in just the right way to go from "dull and lifeless" to "just right" or any other set of positive adjectives. I literally just had to spend time practicing with an amp instead of unplugged and noodling around with knobs until eventually something "clicked." Even now, sometimes I have a hard time with different amps - it's just a skill you need to get, all I can tell you is that it's doable. Also, I'd try not to use the effects processor until I could get a "useable" tone on the Rumble alone first.
    the baint and 4dog like this.
  17. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Remove it for now and forever...
    I'm on 25+ years and this is the first thing I do when I pick up a bass.
    Most important thing is to develop technique. You have pretty good tone IMO, just focus on learning how to nuance the tone and get different sounds out of the bass without using effects or eq.
    Your RHCP cover is pretty slamming, your feel is good, so with practice you will clean up your playing.
    One thing I noticed:
    Try moving your right hand thumb down and muting stings that you aren't playing. Get your left hand thumb pinching the notes directly at the center behind the fretboard. Get your right hand thumb working to mute unwanted noise by moving it around and posting it in between strings to mute them. This will let you play well at higher volumes.
    Keep at it brother! you're well on your way!
  18. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    If you like the sound of your bass direct, then you may need an amp/speaker that produces more of a full range flat response. Also you may need to aim the speakers so all of the frequencies are traveling directly to your ears.

    I believe your Rumble 100 as a 12" inch speaker. If you look at the dispersion pattern of a 12" speaker you will note that as frequency increases, the dispersion pattern narrows. This means if you place the amp flat on the floor with the sound beaming out horizontally, you won't hear the direct sound of the mids and highs coming from the cabinet unless you stand a significant distance from the amp.

    Some people like to hear this way, some do not. If you do not, you need to aim the speaker at your ears. I personally like to elevate the speaker at least 18" of the floor and tilt it back to aim at my head. Some of my favorite rigs had speakers at ear level.

    IMHO you need to experiment with amp placement to figure out the type of setup that best suites your needs. There is no one best way, because we all have different goals and needs.
  19. As others have said, put new strings on immediately. I would suggest Rotosound Stainless Steel Roundwounds as a good place to start. If those don’t work for you try others until you find the right ones. Your strings should be changed once every 2 months at least. I would guess your strings are severely overdue for a change.
    BTW I thought your tone and playing sounded good. To each their own.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  20. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    My advice is to take the effects processor out of the circuit and get comfortable playing without using it.

    Effects can be very confusing, and the BEST effects processor in the world is at the end of your fingers. In fact, it IS the end of your fingers.

    Many of us believe "the sound is in the fingers." If you want funk, if you want groove, that's all in HOW you play, not the effects you play through. Learn to play WITH groove, and listen to and emulate good funk players, and you'll be getting where you want to go. Effects can come later.

    In fact, finding the strings that sound best for you comes much earlier than effects. Strings make a huge difference in the way you sound; that's why there are flats players and rounds players. If you like a bright sound, you'll probably prefer (EDIT) rounds. If you like a full, traditional sound, you may prefer flats.

    And BTW, the Rumble 100 (I have one) has EQ and you need to read the manual and figure out how to use the EQ in that amp before you confuse yourself with external effects.

    I do have a pedalboard, and it has three pedals: a tuner, an overdrive (Modified Digitech Bad Monkey) and a Boss Fender '63 Reverb. I only use the effects for one or two songs a set; the rest is all in my fingers and the amp.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
    Bassbeater and Wasnex like this.