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I have issues

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by ZiggyDude, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. ZiggyDude


    Jun 8, 2005
    I have issues.

    Some disjointed thoughts that actually fit together. No – I am not going bipolar. And – to end it all – a lesson to always be nice to other bass players. Best you learn from my dumbness.

    Issue one is trying to figure out why my sound went bad. Issue two was my my dumb move.

    Last weekend I played two different rooms with rigs that I had not really used before. I ran into some problems and was just advancing this to see what thoughts can be generated.

    Both rooms are what I would call small to medium – about 200 people. Both have ceramic tiled floors. Room A was played at low to moderate volume and a decent amount of space on stage. Room B was played loud and I was wedged in a corner where the amp, mike, and I were close together.

    I normally take an Ampeg 6x10. Previous results were good. In this case it was two different 2x15 rigs (one each night). Normally I use a bass (BC) that has a very boosted and scooped sound. Gives a tremendous bottom end that people like. The BC is almost always voted my best bass. In contrast – my “Flatter” basses like the Alembics normally don’t cut through.

    These last two nights the BC was sounding terrible in certain ways. What I noticed was that I started to get a bad problem of certain notes being much louder. The D on the A string I would just barely touch while I had to progressively lay into the lower notes on the E string. The problem was worse in room B (louder). After switching to the “Flatter” basses the problem was much reduced. A little low EQ and I was set – though closing in on “Nirvana” was better in room A. Oddly enough, an old Guild B-302 was working well.

    I have heard about decoupler mats in the past but never used them. I was wondering if this would help. Also – maybe I was getting some low feedback with the body of the BC too close to the amp (only night B though would that be a problem). Perhaps something with the scooped effect of the BC being “Enhanced” by the different rigs.

    Me no know. All I know was that I was not happy with tone. Not that most people probably noticed. My band mates actually were happy with some of the results of the rigs I brought - but they heard me after I was compensating.

    Night number 2 (Room B) was easily the more frustrating and between some other problems and SEVERE sleep dep I was probably missing a transistor or two. During the evening there was a guy sitting at the bar clearly grooving at times to the tunes. He was all wrapped up in scarves and stuff – very “I am Somebody” look. OK – dated – but in my book still decently cool. Anyway – during a break the singer/leader introduces me to him. The name and definitely the band was not articulate. I give a sincere handshake but since I was totally immersed with fiddling with the amp I went back to my work shaping tone. Normally when introduced to another bass player I spend at least 10 or 15 minutes talking to the guy for reasons of general respect and also the fun of what we can learn from each other. So, I am worrying that I might have come across as “Blowing Him Off” – though it was far from my intention. Well, as it turns out, he was “Somebody”. A bass player that played for an act that had a few hits in the 80s. Now he does producing and is the sort of guy that can’t go anywhere without 15 tapes getting pressed into his pocket. I found out later why he was at a tucked away Central PA bar.

    So, opportunity lost for an interesting chat. Not that I was curious about bass techniques at the moment – but I sure could have used the opinion of his trained ear as a “Second Opinion” on the tone I was getting and what to leave alone or not.

    Well, live and relearn.

    So, the summation of the story:

    • ALWAYS be nice to other bass players until the prove themselves otherwise
    • Always keep opportunities open to learn
    • Any ideas why I was having the tone issues? Was this a coupling effect or something else?

    Thanx for the indulgence of my prattling story.
  2. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Your hearing suffers dramatically, I mean, really, really, suffers, when you are sleep deprived. There's a good chance that it was all in your head, and your bass sounded fine. Just a thought, obviously I wasn't there.
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    I suggest that you get a long cord or go wireless so for sound checks you can go FOH to hear how you "really" sound. With the wireless you can also go FOH for a couple of minutes to hear how you sound with the crowd in attendance. Being placed where you were, you were probably the only one freakin' out about your tone.

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