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Lacking Low End

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by gregmon79, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    So my band played one of the bigger gigs we've ever played this past fri at mojos in Joliet IL. The show went pretty dang good. I invited some friends out that don't usually get to see cause they're a little younger and we play north side of the Chi quite a bit.

    Anyway, on to my query. The friends that came out to see us are musicians in their own band. I asked for an honest critique on the performance as a whole, the songs, the sounds, everything. They mostly had some really positive feedback. They commented on how all the bands before us bassists' sound was muddy and all way too much low end. I shredded. The other thing they commented on, one of them being a fellow low ender, was my lack of low end. It took me back a bit. That's what I asked for though, an honest critique. Then I started thinking about it. They're right, I do lack low end. Now, many of you know me as an effects head and due to that I think my low end is effected at times which I don't mind that much. But for someone to me, the bassist in the band, that I'm lacking low end forced me to reevaluate what I'm doing. So here's where I'd like some feedback from the TB community. How do you guys keep your low end in tact through all the effects you use throughout playing? I thought well maybe I just need to dial the bass up a little on my amp and preamp. It seems to work a little better but won't know until we practice this week. I'm looking for pointers/tips/advice on how to keep low end solid throughout a performance or in general. So please, if any of you have had this problem I'd really like to hear how you solved it. Thanks for your time and input all!!
  2. David Beers

    David Beers

    Jan 2, 2013
    Sales, Marketing, Design @ Brimstone Audio
    Do you have your effects in some sort of bypass strip / multiple effects loop type thing? I use an 8 loop bypass strip, so I'm running my signal through a minimum of effects.

    http://pedalboards.com/true bypass.htm
  3. David Beers

    David Beers

    Jan 2, 2013
    Sales, Marketing, Design @ Brimstone Audio
    It could also be a simple stylistic choice. Les Claypool's bass tone doesn't have much low end, but it's an awesome tone. If you dial in more midrange or treble than most bass players, some will hear that as less low end. You may not be doing anything wrong.
  4. father of fires

    father of fires Commercial User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Chief of Medicine at Damnation Audio
    Everyone is going to tell you to you need a clean blend. But that is not always the answer.

    I can tell you right now that my bass is not super low on it's own (even when tuned to A#).

    I get my low end buy carefully selecting effects that don't neuter my sound and then boosting it on the back end just in case.

    In all seriousness though...do not be afraid to scoop your mids.

    All those bassists that sound amazing live and on records have had their mids massaged in some fashion.
  5. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    Have you ever messed with a crossover?
  6. sillyfabe

    sillyfabe keeping the low-end silly since '06 Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2009
    San Bernardino,CA
    It depends on what is called for in regards to that song. Some of my effects can take away some lows (which I either EQ back, stack another pedal to add some lows or that's what I'm going for in that particular instance) and some that ADD lows (same general thing as above). It rarely blend and have no problem being heard at all, I use my pedals as needed and focus on the frequencies that my guitarist,synth player, drummer, whatever we may have and try not to stack the same type. Overall it's about having the right combo for the situation along with trial and error (sometimes a little sometimes a lot!)

    Hope that helps!
  7. Buy a mantic density hulk. So much low end that your vision will blur. Lol

    But seriously, I try to start with adequate lows in the clean tone so that way as I add effects it either boosts or cuts based upon what I want
  8. nshuman


    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    Most of the "no loss of low end" dirt pedals lose lots of low end compared to the clean or blended signal IMHO.[Take all of this with a grain of salt, I sent my high school years going to Punk shows in small rooms, one of which was the back store of a former convenience store, and probably damaged my ears in some major ways.] The only pedals that I have that truly sound like there is no loss are the Cave Super Grunt (in non super mode), the Barbershop (on some settings), and the SFX Micro Red Dragon (with the tone adjusted down). [From what I heard from the samples, the Gamma OD will be like that as well]

    One of the most devastatingly low end amazing dirty tone I can dial in is the Barbershop into the Fuzzrocious Dark driving, but even that becomes much richer when blended/mixed. I prefer a "blender" that actually mixes different signals like the Wounded Paw Blender. That way, you are mixing in some clean tone with your dirty tones without having to take away from one or the other. Most clean blend devices just have one simple knob where you just have to choose from one channel or the other, which is not the same as mixing. You can even EQ the clean channel or reverse phase if you want to maintain more of your dirty/wet channels.

    Anyway, as David Beers mentioned, it's not like a lack, big or small, of low end is necessarily a bad thing. It does not always have to sound like Ska Tuesdays or Reggae Wednesdays.

    I know I used brackets very creatively in this post, I apologize. Also, I made up Reggae Wednesdays, but Ska Tuesdays used to be a very real thing up here.
  9. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I don't really have issues with clean low end. But honestly, I rarely play clean. There's usually some kind of effect, usually dirt, going. I have to say that I do aim for the tones I go for. Guys like justin chancellor, les claypool and Timmy C have heavily influenced my tone over the years. Mind you I'm not trying to mimic these guys. But they have influenced quite a bit. Those are the tone realms I've always aimed for. It just made me think, I'm the BASS player for my band, I should at least attempt to help keep a solid low end. It's my style to play the role of another guitarist were missing/don't need for the type of music we play (if that makes sense) and be the bassist too. It's a formula that's worked quite well for our band. Plus it is damn fun for me.
  10. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Oh, and no, until now, I've never messed with any type of crossover pedal or device other than the XD1 I just got a little under a month ago. Do it's really new to me. Never messed with blenders either. Always thought about but never pulled the trigger on on. The LS2 always had me majorly intrigued.
  11. David Beers

    David Beers

    Jan 2, 2013
    Sales, Marketing, Design @ Brimstone Audio

    Right on Greg, those are all my influences too. I think sub bass can be one of those things that you think you want, and sounds good with the bass alone, but isn't always the right thing. Since you are running the XD all the time, you should have no problem controlling your bass in any way you wish. Experiment with using the Thump knob for sub harmonic emphasis, or just the Mix knob more towards the low band. It may be different depending on the room you're playing in as well.
  12. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Thanks David. I'll continue to experiment with the XD1. Maybe I'll look into the outaborros (hacked the spelling on that, sorry) when it's released.

    I have to remember too that it was a live performance and I was only DI'd out of my amp and my cab was not mic'd. Which I thought was odd considering the venue is pretty well known for having rather large bands in a rather intimate setting and most small little places in the city always mic and DI me.
  13. Crossover highpass loop blender. I've written books on it. It leaves the lows as they were and puts the effect only on the bits that need it.
  14. Khronic

    Khronic Richard J. Naimish Banned

    Oct 24, 2006
    Grand Junction, CO.
    Bought a Jay Turser Music Man copy from a fellow TBer. He said he couldn't get any bottom end out of it. The foam under the p/u was worn out and would not raise the p/u close enough to the strings for my preference in a set up.

    I remedied the issue, adjusted the p/u to taste and voila! It's like B.B. King's lady in the tune You Upsets Me Babe

    She's 36 on top
    28 in the waist
    44 in the hips
    She got real crazy legs
    You upsets me babe

    She got a real big bottom now. :D

    Just a suggestion that may or may not help. Good luck with this, and let us know how your situation resolves.
  15. Sometimes....effects aren't always necessary. I always have my main jazz bass plugged with effects and preamps and directly into the PA system while my precision bass in plugged into an amp and thats it.
  16. yaksonator

    yaksonator Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2011
    Branson, MO
    Not saying this is the answer but it's been my mine, the fuzzrocious BDPG (when I use dirt). I know you owned one at one point but ime it added back the BALLS or low-end I felt was missing. Now we haven't played out much do I don't know what others hear but most days my tone envelopes the warehouse were in and the band mates mention it every time. Blending clean in or using a crossover obviously will help. But I'm in boat that if a song is written without a ton of lows in the bass then that's how the song should be. IMO
  17. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    So would something the LS2 help me, or that new one brimstone is coming out with? I am very happy with my sound/tone overall, I just want a little more low end a certain times. But David did bring up a good point that I've always known but needed to see it in black and white, it is a stylistic choice that I've made. It could be as simple as EQ'ing a little more in or cutting more out. I'll check back with y'all about it after we practice this Thursday. Thanks for all the suggestions and input guys, I really appreciate and value it.
  18. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL

    And I do in fact use one if these very same bypass strips. It's an 8 loop bypass.
  19. I'm no expert but I've started splitting my signal with a Radial Twin City ABY and running ch A thru my FX chain and ch B thru my Rolls Mini (as an LPF) and mixing them back with a 4ch Behringer mini mixer. I've just started doing this but so far it is working great. I've got a 6 ch TB loop strip on the way which will trigger most of my pedals.
  20. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL

    I did have a BDPG once. And I think it helped me too but after so long I didn't like the way the dirt was added in. I know, that's the way it was designed. I do have a submarine now though. Maybe that'll help to a certain degree. I know there's tons of ways to get me some more low end but I really don't want to change my setup and or spend more money. Do you need to run the rolls sx21 into a mixer or can you run it like a pedal? Maybe underneath like a set it and forget type deal?