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Inexperience DI,ing... Almost cost me a Sweet bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by stonewall, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. stonewall


    Jun 14, 2010
    A while back i did a job where we had an afternoon set up.After i was able to mess with my bass and the pa alone.I was using my 2005 Stingray messing around with settings and was sooo pissed ...i couldnt get rid of a fretty clanky metal sound without ruining my tones.It bothered me so much i took the bass on the spot to my local music store and swapped for a passive P bass.Since ive been battling p bass after p bass trying to find the right one for me.Ive tried at least 4 in the last month and a half.The day before new years i was peaking again at the music store and noticed my Blue Pearl Stingray was back hanging at the store.It had sold the day after i traded it in the guy who had purchased it had just traded it back in.For fun i picked it up as soon as my hands touched it i was like why did i get rid of this beauty.Meanwhile i had read a thread were Jimmy mentions some good bass mics and also talks about a budget friendly mic his friend uses a P2.Back to the store... the guitar sales rep and me are talking about my old Ray and how i loved it other than the pa issues i had with it.He asks my why i DI instead of mic,n.A light goes of in my head this is the second time in days i heard this.On the spot i grab my old Stingray a P2 and the next day head to my New Years gig.Just like Jimmy said a nice flat sounding mic. My bass sounded awesome every thing set flat amp,bass knobs pa channel.It was that easy my Stingray sounded like thunder what an awesome feeling. finally my bass sounds out front like it does on stage and thats great.Im so happy i never lost this bass the whole time it was me and my in experience and not the bass.WOW that was close........i know my grammer sucks.....PS i know DI,ing works great for many of you im just telling my experience.
  2. Personally, when I'm using a DI instead of my amp, I run a pre-amp pedal. Lets me colour my tone & then I can clean up any discrepancies with the PA's board.
  3. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Spector-Dingwall-Aguilar-DR-Tech 21-Darkglass

    Either a preamp DI like the Tone Hammer/Bass Driver at the end of my pedal board or the 'post' DI out of my DB750; everything in your signal chain is part of your sound, and if you love what you're hearing out of your rig that's what you should be sending to the FOH.

    Mics color your tone too you know ;)
  4. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Not all, but I would guess that most bassists associate the sound of their instrument as traditionally amplified by a bass guitar amplifier rather than direct through a PA straight off the bass.

    Of course a Stingray, direct from the bass to PA, with insufficient EQ treatment and processing, is going to sound clanky (with the treble knob up), and nothing like the same tone settings would sound if run through a 15" combo amp. My Sterling Ray34 has a ridiculous amount of top end clank in it...it's the nature of that model of bass by design, not accident or flaw. But when I run it through a bass amp (or amp/speaker modeling system), that top end is appropriately "tamed" to suit my taste, as I'm sure it is when you do the very same thing.

    It was probably the case that the channel strip on your mixing board (what were you using, and what are the PA cabinets, amps, etc.?) didn't have enough "cut" on the High band of EQ to remove enough of the clank. To match the high end filtering of a bass cabinet's speakers, the EQ channel of a mixing board can look somewhat frightening (lots of high-mids and highs cut). A multi-band compressor with dedicated mix control for each band works wonders for such problems.
  5. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    (part 2)

    I'm glad that you got your prized bass back, and this is a lesson well-learned. Personally, I would never, ever, EVER judge the tone of my bass by going direct to PA in the manner you did, unless I was looking for exactly THAT type of sound (pristine, maximum full frequency range). I'd be so bold as to say that I could guarantee you an experience with a direct feed from your bass into a pedal into your PA system that would be very close the same experience (or perhaps even better in some respects) than than that of a mic'd cabinet. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with mic'ing a cabinet....not at all. I do suspect, though, that there are far too many bassists who are not aware of the variety of options available to them for Direct Feed (to FOH/PA) that that give them all the benefits of a mic without the "negative" side-effects of a full range DI straight off the bass, or the placement/rumble/bleed issues of a mic .
  6. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    (part 3..LOL!)

    It's all about options, and sometimes even implementing multiple options, in order to get the sound you and your FOH mixer prefer from your bass. There is no right or wrong...just what works for you. That being the case, it is not the fault of "going DI" that almost cost you your bass, but that it appears whomever was guiding you through the process of amplifying your bass through your PA system had very little chance of matching your amp's tone using the DI method implemented, and should have made you aware of this reality.
  7. Martin89


    Nov 8, 2010
    Glendale, AZ
    Unofficial Endorser: Ibanez, D'Addario, Zoom
    Seems a little extreme. And missing some details, were you using the DI of your amp or plain jane DI box the venue supplied? I don't know why you would rush off to get rid of a bass in a single situation when I'm sure the bass has been good for you quite a while. Hasty purchases don't often make for the best solutions.
  8. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Your DI reveals all that the Stingray tone is and it sounds like you don't really care for it. That's ok I don't like the sound of Stingrays either. :D Seriously though I find the full range and clarity of a DI refreshing but it can be a bit of the shock if you are used to colored sound and/or rig limiting frequency bandwidth.
  9. This is absurd.
  10. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Uh yeah. The absurdity of existence has been well-documented by playwrites such as Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, Jean Genet, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Václav Havel, Edward Albee, etc.

    To the OP: don't give up on DIs. There will come a time when you will need to know how to work with one live. There are a lot of approaches, but with an active bass and no effects it is pretty straight-forward. Get familiar dialing-in your tone on headphones with just the bass. Then, amplify that tone rather than create it with your rig.
  11. sloppy_phil


    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    glad you recovered the bass; sounds like you stopped short of a major bummer!

    I hear you on the DI thing, though; going straight through a club-standard box can be less than awesome. But I also find many (not ALL) sound techs aren't too keen on putting a mic on a bass amp, especially when their DI box is available. I figured the simplest and least argument-inducing counter measure would be to get an amp that has a nice sounding XLR output. It satisfies the 'comfort zone' thing that the techs get from putting bass DI, but it also allows me enough control over my tone, because I can run the DI post-amp EQ, giving me the ability to change the FOH tone from my amp
  12. stonewall


    Jun 14, 2010
    I use my amp di ...Traynor Dyna Bass 800H
    .I played my Jazz for 4 years straight using the same set up so when i heard the Stingray through the FOH system i was like OMG thats horrible.I use a single 15 cab no tweeter.My Jazz settings on my amp and board channel are set at 12 oclock flat the tones are perfect to my ear.Plug the Stingray in sounds great on stage but not out front that tells me the Jazz and Ray have very different high end tones.I wouldnt know that on stage cause i dont use a horn.So for me its easier to mic my cab this way i can play my Ray one set the Jazz the next without ever touching the board.For the record i LOVE the sound of a Stingray.....
  13. The bad DI'ed sound was due to a bad sound guy.
  14. The thing that disturbs me about this thread is the title, which may lead some to believe that DIs are usually or very often a bad way to go. In the OPs scenario, the real challenge is that something is wrong, and he/she needs to figure out what. Mics are fine, ancillary in-line devices are fine, but the real world of live sound (especially on events with multiple changeovers) will require that a player can get a "good" bass sound to the mixing console(s) through a decent DI (and nothing else in that chain) very quickly and reliably without demanding cabinet-mics or other add-ons.
  15. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    But what if the tone you're going for is Lemmy/Motorhead? (kidding...)

    If the style of music you play is conducive to this approach, it'll certainly make your life a lot easier over the long haul, and a wise move IMHO, and worth having in your bag of tricks.

    OTOH, sometimes the signature sound of a really good sounding bass amp/cab scratches that itch...no way around it....then let the games begin capturing what you feel "that tone" is and how it should be sent to FOH.
  16. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    You should buy a Radial JDI.
  17. stonewall


    Jun 14, 2010
    Unfortunately i couldnt edit my thread Heading edit wont allow.I do say at the end .Im so happy i never lost this bass the whole time it was me and my inexperience and not the bass.WOW that was close.......
  18. ^^^
    are you making fun of me ? ;)
  19. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    ? I didn't read the whole thread. Sorry if I repeated something you might have written
  20. stonewall


    Jun 14, 2010
    LOL i guess i can edit my heading in advanced mode sweet i changed it.