I need to fix my sound...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Matt Call, May 6, 2005.

  1. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    So... a few months ago I decided that going direct was the way for me to go. The plan was to sell my amp and buy a new bass. So I sold the amp... and didn't really put the money towards a new bass. See my "Custom User Title" to guess what the money ended up going to... :meh: ... :rollno: .. :bawl: .. :mad: . My own horrible decision(s). I'm glad to say that it's no longer an issue (it never should have been in the first place, but hence... it is a problem for people way too often). Anyway, here's where my question comes in:

    What's the best way to improve my live sound? We've been recording live at church lately (see why the issues I was having shouldn't have been issues at all?... :meh: ). I just listened to the recording for the first time and, IMO, it sounds like crap for most of it. My EQs sound like they're constantly changing. Part of the issue may be that I am the only one without an amp and am just running throught the system, therefore having the bass louder than everyone (that make sense at all?). So, what I'm asking is this: What's the best way to fix my sound? I'm getting a new bass in a few weeks ( :hyper: MM Bongo 5 :hyper: ) and that might have some effect. Currently I'm playing both a Yamaha BBG5S and a modded SX P/J (Hambone RULES!).

    I don't have tons of money to blow... being only 16 and all (well... 17 on May 18th). I do have a job, but it doesn't bring it "the big bucks." I usually make about $75-$125 a week. So, it's not millions or anything... but it gets me by (kind of). Most of my money is going towards the bongo right now, and it's a done deal so I can't (and won't) back out of the deal.

    Would getting an amp effect it at all? Or maybe just a preamp for now...? I want to get something that I'm going to keep for a long time, which is why I think a preamp would be wise. I could add a power amp and a cab down the road.

    Who knows how to post sound clips? I've got a few that I can share if anyone's interested. They're great too... because I literally was playing to blood on Wed. Somehow I wore through my existing callouses (does that even make sense?). Anyway, for some reason, I fingers were bloodyed (yes, the bass too :( ) Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

    Dang this is/was long... Sorry.

  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Congrats on cleaning up, first of all. I had to make that decision when I was that age, and I am glad I chose the clean path.

    On to the answer to your question: I think that you may want to invest in a small quality amplifier with a DI out. This would be the best possible path for your playing situation. Church settings are usually not very loud, so a small amp would be able to be heard. This also allows you a good practice amp at home. One amp I would recommend that could be had cheap is a Behringer BX1200. They are also revising those and changing it to this: http://www.behringer.com/BXL1800A/index.cfm?lang=ENG But, those newer ones are not available yet. This would allow for you to have your own on stage sound setup, and also would allow the sound man to worry only about the main sound, and not trying to give you a monitor. Of course I would also recommend you go and try these amps and others like them (the Fender amplifiers are also good, but more pricey) if at all possible.
  3. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    You might think about a SansAmp. For practice at home I run the bass into a small mixer. Saves me having to unpack the amp. But the sound is a bit sterile, as it should be with a mixer, but still....

    So I got the SansAmp Bass DI and it really does help. Try it out if you can since the sound isn't for everybody.
  4. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Hmm... I'm thinking I could spare about $600, tops, right now. I'm thinking about picking something like a Behringer up for a practice amp and then maybe start saving for my future Bergantino setup.

    I've been looking at both the Ampeg SVTDI and the Aguilar DB900. I have a monitor that I use, and might be able to pick up a pair of in-ears as well. I'll have to find somewhere that I can try out some behringer stuff and see if I like it. I don't need crazy power or anything, pretty much just a monitor. If I was still in a rock band, I'd be looking for some crazy powerhouse, bohemoth of an amp. ??correct spelling of bohemoth??

    I've always heard about/looked at Sansamp DIs, but have never tried one out. I might have to check one out next week or something, since I work all weekend.

    I'm still thinking/looking and really appreciate the help thus far. See, this is why TB rocks. Even at 12:30/1:00 AM, there's someone out there willing to shoot some advice at someone. Ah... the power of the internet...

    I've been listening to the recording of Wednesday night for the last hour or so; and for the last half of the night, I actually like my sound kind of. The odd thing is, I wore all the skin off my fingers during the first half of the night... and was in extreme pain. The spirit must've been moving or something.
  5. Congratulations on your decision. I made the same one about 2 years ago.

    You didn't mention how the band was recorded. I am thinking this could be part of the problem. Bass guitar is hard to capture on tape sometimes.

    I found my Sansamp pedal to be extremely versitile and useful in many applications including recording. You should definately check them out.
  6. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    All that they did was hook up a digital recorder to an output of the mains on the mixer. I mean, I know this isn't going to give you the best sound; but I thought to myself, "This is what everyone hears when I play..."
  7. KPJ

    KPJ Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    Yes and no. The mix is set up to sound best for the room. If you take away the acoustics of the room and just listen to the mix by itself, it may well sound horrible!
  8. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Congratulation on the lifestyle change. been there, done that, saved a TON of money.

    Although this is the last thing you probably want to hear and many will dissagree.....

    I am of the very firm opinion that the single best thing a person can do to improve their tone is to improve their technique.

    Most tone complaints are really projection complaints and definition complaints and if you've ever studied a stringed instrument in the classical music setting...you live eat and breath technique as the route to tone and projection.

    It really, really IS in the hands and it's free. You just have to find it.
  9. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    ya need to see what it sounds liek up front. like you said, recording from the board makes you louder as you're being amplified more to compensate for no amp. plus the speakers and eq for the room will color the sound so it won't sound like it does in a direct from board tape.

    you may have nothing to fix.