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Is it just me?? (down on scooped sound)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Low Key, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. Low Key

    Low Key Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    I have to believe this is a minority opinion, but I've been playing bass over 25 years now and I have never found any use for a scooped sound. With the possible exception of mimicing the Marcus-type slap tone, I have found scooping the midrange to absolutely suck the life out of my tone. It generally pulls me out of the mix and I loose a lot of articulation.

    I realize there are different preferences and styles of music, but - without getting the tone too "nasal" or harsh - boosting mids and filling it in with enough bass seems like the best way to be heard and felt in the mix.

    Given all the mid scoop and contour knobs on amps, I have to believe I'm missing the point somewhere?? :confused:
  2. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    Testify, brother. It's all about the mids.
  3. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    Contour always set to zero for me.
  4. Earthquake


    Dec 19, 2007
    I agree with you 100%.
  5. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    Even Marcus' tone isn't too scooped. He's got some serious mid-lows going on there.
  6. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    +1. That's where the scooped tone came from: slapping. It may be fine to kick in that tone for a solo, but in a normal mix you're 100% correct about needing mids.
  7. I will cut or add bass or treble when needed. Never have found a reason to scoop the mids.
  8. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    I'm split on this. Some basses mid work better than others. An inherently middy bass like my stingray gets to be too muddy if you put in too many mids. My M5-24 is 2 band boost only lows and highs, so effectively any onboard EQing equates to scooping mids. I run my amp with lows boosted slightly, a little bump in the low-mids, high mids cut a little and treble flat. Mids are definitely key for cutting through, but the more watts you have the more you can push it. I'm by no means a smiley eq guy, but I do love my deep lows and high end sparkle.
  9. manutabora


    Aug 14, 2007
    Iowa City, IA
    If my scooped tone sounded at all like Marcus's slap tone, I would use it a lot!! I don't think his sound is really scooped though.
    I've seen quite a few videos on youtube of gospel type bassist playing in bass'n'drums settings, their sound almost always sounds scooped to me, and it totally kicks arse in that setting.
    As for me, the scooped thing doesn't work for my jazz gigs. In fact I had an outdoors gig last sunday where I played with my lows at about 9, highs at about 12, and mids probably at about 3. It totally rocked, my tone was really clean, articulate and present.
    Just for the record I was playing through my shuttle 6.0 and a bag end s15d. Pure bliss :cool:
  10. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I run damn near flat at least 75% of the time. The other 25% I may cut the lows or mess with the mids a hair depending on the room.

    Vitually flat (with a small tweak here or there) does it for me most of the time on my Tfunk or Markbass...
  11. NKUSigEp


    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    It's not a minority opinion, you're just a bit behind the times :D. The majority of bassists who work their EQ like that are beginners who don't know any better and are desparately trying to get good tone from their Squiers and Crates. It's great for small room, low volume practicing but doesn't have any real practical application beyond that. Even slappers will tell ya that you can't totally ditch your mids in a live band setting, unless you don't want to be heard.
  12. Interesting. A few weeks back there was a thread about Sadowsky basses that featured a video of Roger talking about his instruments. He clearly talked about the Sadowsky EQ that uses the Bass and Treble controls to attenuate the mids.

    I e-mailed Roger for clarification and he confirmed he was in a minority that believe accentuating the mids is the wrong way to cut through. The thinking is opposite that of the opinion usually expressed on this site, including this thread.

    Food for thought.
  13. David1234


    Jun 1, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: SWR Amplifiers
    The human ear puts up to a 40dB boost on mid range frequencies when the listening volume is very low. When the listening volume is middle-to-high the boost goes away and our response is more flat. (some details here)

    We sometimes feel the need to make up for this. Accordingly a Loudness button on most stereos boosts treble and bass, so that at low volumes we'll hear something more like the flat response we enjoy at high volumes.

    Someone might already have worked out that at low volumes they like their bass or guitar tone slightly scooped, or that they like their stereo's sound more with its loudness button on. Having worked this out they might turn up for a gig and use the same settings without thinking - only at a high volume - and then think they need a bigger amp because theirs won't cut, or get into a volume war with the guitarist who might have the exact same problem.

    But it sounds like you haven't fallen into this trap!
  14. markkoelsch


    Sep 6, 2008
    I have to say this...I really do not like the Marcus Miller tone. He plays great slap and pop, but I cannot stand the tone.

    Mids really do a lot to define ones tone, or in a sense, the lack there of in the case of overly scooped mids. Give me a good balanced tone, and I can do the vast bulk of what I need with my hands.
  15. spode master

    spode master

    Jan 21, 2007
    I guess that depends on the Style you are playing.

    Also depends on what your bass sounds like.

    And what the other instruments are doing. And what your rig is capable of.

    The ampg (Ultra Low button) On My SVT Pro 3

    Boosts a little at 50Hz cuts alot at mid 500Hz -12dB and Boosts again around 3 or 5k.

    500Hz is the Meat range of guitars and a lot of vocals. A lot of competition in that range.

    4 string Bass Fundamental is from 40-330Hz or so. Second Harmonic of from 80-600's. Everything else is higher order harmonics.

    I like it If I want heavy bottom. And it helps slaping sound a lot less Clacky.

    If you want to have a ripping solo that cuts through then scooping the mids isn't going to help much.

    If you want to sound like Jaco it won't help much either.

    I find if I'm really driving hard and I don't use my Mid scoop my Ibanez 6 string BTB seems to clip the Amp easily.

    I wonder if that Bartolini Pickup/Pre system some built in Mid boost, at Flat?

    I still get great chime and bark with my mid scooped, I think most basses are inherently better suited to reproduce low mids than true Bass. So scooping in the right places can help restore a curve closer to flat when it comes to the Lower Ranges.

    Just a couple of thoughts.
  16. YCBass

    YCBass Supporting Member

    Aug 29, 2007
    I don't even dig the scooped sound for slapping... I'll boost bass and treble but I never cut mids, unless I was going for something specific but I don't even know what that might be right now.

    My Aguilar DB212 cab is voiced with a boosted mid response (almost equal to the lows) and I'm loving it, I finally got to play a GS410 cab which has been described as a "scooped" cab and I didn't dig it as much - I guess I'm used to the DB.

    Bring on the mids!
  17. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I almost never cut the mids. Most parametric/fancy mid controls turn me off. I don't need or want them. I'd say that 85% of the time, I leave them flat, and just mess with the bass and treble.

    If I do mess with the mids, it's to boost them for some burpy fingerstyle.
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    The M5-24 is mid-rich to start with, so you have to boost the bass and treble quite a bit to get a scooped sound out of one.
  19. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    I'm no eq expert, but by boosting highs and lows, aren't you effectively cutting mids? I could be wrong...
  20. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Actually I'd venture to say that 99% of people on this forum agree.

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