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i've thrown away my picks..

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bigwig, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. Bigwig


    Dec 27, 2003
    and ive started playing with my fingers.
    the only thing is, im trying to find a good setting for my amp inwhich ill get a really good cut through, and alot of clarity, but i dont want too much tone.
    im sportin a yorkville xs400h
    its got scoop, bass, low mids, parametric mids, high mids, tone, compressor, wet/dry knob gain and limiter.

    plus the built-in overdrive.

    ive got my sansamp di aswell.
    i just want something punchy.
    my favourite bassist right now is probaly jeph from the used..
    the used along with my band share a similiar genre, and he has some awesome basslines.
    im aware hes got the p/j combo, but the whole punchyness, im sure i could get with my pbass (seymour duncan 1/4 pounders)..
    any suggestions?
  2. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    With a P-bass, the biggest way to alter your tone is to change the way you play it, and where you pluck, pick, etc. I find my sweet spot for playing fingerstyle on a P-bass is right over the pickup. YMMV.
  3. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Um....use a pick? :eyebrow:

    Seriously, were you getting the sound you wanted when using the pick?
  4. Bigwig


    Dec 27, 2003
    yea i liked my sound, but i want to start playing with my fingers.

    well the thing i dont like is when i play the E string over the pickup with any force, it slaps of the pickup and i get that crapy CRACK sound every time i give er.

    so im playin down by the bridge..but yea.
    anyway i can reduce slaping the strings off the pickup?
  5. Either that or lower your pickup if you really like to dig in. As for eqing, I'm not familiar with Jeph's tone (I'm not to fond of The used), if you going for a thick punchy sound, dial in a nice frown style eq. (Cut your lows and high's a bit, and boost your mids, and set the Para to around 700) That should help out. Playing closer to the bridge usually helps with a tighter more focused punch to the chest, while over the P pick up usually gives you a fat sounding slug to the gut.
  6. Bigwig


    Dec 27, 2003
    thanks alot, seems fair enough.
    right now i have my bass at about 2 o'clock, my low and high mids at about 10 o'clock..treble at about 1 o'clock.. para at 12 (i still dont get wat this is!!)...and a nice high scoop .. 3 o'clock or so.

    but ill try cuttin bass and treble and boosting mids.

    ps - how can you not like the used!?

    thanks again.
  7. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    boost those low mids, and prepare for a nice punch to the chest. :) also, i tend to cut back a little on the high mids, and add a nice dallop of highs for airyness. bass i keep at noon.

    dont use the scoop for fear of disappearing tone onstage, dont use the limiter for fear of losing punch, and use juuust enough compression to keep the overall tone from being too boomy.
  8. You could try rolling off the volume on the neck pickup and keeping the bridge pickup full tilt. Gives you a bit less boom, but tightens up the punchiness IMHO

    Good luck
  9. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Everyone's got great ideas, use more bridge pickup, boost the mids and highs and move your hand toward the bridge even.

    Perhaps some brighter strings, stainless steel perhaps?

    And don't fear using a pick. Nothing wrong with any technique to achieve a specific sound.
  10. Are you sure your in the right place? Oh...man I must be tired
  11. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    a few things. if you're finding that the strings are hitting the pickup you might want to adjust the pickup height but....another thing to look at is your tecnique. you may discover that instead of plucking "up" on the strings (i.e. towards the ceiling) that you are pushing them down towards the pickups and face of the instrument.

    as far as tone adjustments, when i use a sans amp i tend to keep the blend, bass and treble at 12 o'clock, the level control at unity gain (meaning your bass is as loud with the pedal off as it is when it is on, the drive setting at the point just under where it starts to distort, and use the presence control as the "tone" control. presence on the sans amp is boost only. for a "pick like" sound i set it somewhere between 11 and 2 o'clock. somewhere in there it will start to give you a very present "pick like" attack.

    i'm not familiar with your amp but i can tell you what parametric mids are. a parametric eq is so named because it allows you to adjust the parameters of the eq band. a fully parametric eq band will have controls for level (i.e., boost or cut just like any eq knob), frequency (meaning you set what frequency center to adjust), and "Q" or bandwidth, (which allows you to set how wide of a group of frequencies to affect around the center frequency). a semi-parametric eq band (which i'm betting yours is), only has level and frequency controls and has a preset bandwidth.

    the best way to learn how to use a parametric mid control is to set the level at about 3 o'clock (for a good amount of boost) and rotate the frequency control from all the way left to all the way right to hear what boosting the different freqencies sounds like. then do the same thing with the level control at 9 o'clock (for a good amount of cut) to get a feel for what cutting those frequencies sounds like.
  12. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Don't use the scoop knob. Turn it all the way back to zero.

    Give a real healthy boost on the hi-mids, keep the treble where it is, roll the bass back to -5db, boost the low-mids a bit more than the treble. Try that.
  13. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Give yourself some time, don't expect killer results at first. Learing a new technique can be a humbing experience, but a good one. Getting your set-up and strings checked out is great advise, that you need to do.
    Playing agressively with your fingers takes a combination strength and finesse, these don't come overnight. I don't know how long you have been at it with your fingers but I suspect that the answers you seek may not be in your amp, but in your hands. Try some other basses and rigs at a music store, and bring your bass in as well and find out...
  14. Bigwig


    Dec 27, 2003
    i actually just started playing with my fingers. im practically never without my bass, if im watching tv, i've got my bass with me, just getting my fingers used to the strings.
    i'll try cutting the scoop, and boosting the low mids.
    thanks for all the suggestions, i have alota work to do to get my sound, but it will be worth it in the end.
    as for those who said lower the neck pickup volume, and crank the bridge pickup. well i cant, im using my p-bass. but im going to bring my bass in for a set up, as well as new strings, mine are starting to die.
    thanks again.