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Lifeline/Piezo Quack

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by DB Slidefunk, Oct 19, 2013.


  1. DB Slidefunk

    DB Slidefunk

    Jul 16, 2013
    UK
    Hi,
    I wonder if anyone has any tips for reducing that horrible piezo 'quack/fart' noise?

    My bass sounds really nice acoustically when you dig into the strings quite hard, especially the G gut string but it's when amped it's not so great. I'm running into an EDB-2 and usually house PA or whatever practice room amp is available.

    I feel like I'm losing the sweet sound of my bass :(
     
  2. How are you setting the EQ on your amp?

    Also, keep in mind that sometimes your amp, much like your bass, sounds different from far away than it does close up. This could be the case in your situation. However, it could just as well not be the case.
     
  3. threetone

    threetone

    Sep 27, 2011
    Europe
    Try reducing 2,5Khz by 6db ..
     
  4. DB Slidefunk

    DB Slidefunk

    Jul 16, 2013
    UK
    Thanks, I mostly EQ Bass at 11 oclock and treble at 1 oclock rest flat. I'll try reducign treble next time. I'm definitely hearing the quack sound on all the amps I use and on live recordings, it all sounds quite gainy.
     
  5. In my experience what is commonly described as "quack" comes from the mid-range frequency. While I wouldn't go overboard, try turning this knob down a little. It is important not to turn it too far to the left though as your bass's character and individuality lives in that mid range.
     
  6. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX
    Welcome to the wonderful world of the piezo. I also find the quack typically resides in the lower mid-range area of the EQ.
     
  7. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    DB Slide Funk,
    All you really have to do is lower the upper midrange on the Headway EDB-2, and boost the low midrange. I typically have the Low Midrange running between 6 and 7 and the Upper Midrange backed of to between 3 and 4. Oddly enough, the audience isn't as bothered by that quack as we are standing right next to the amp. You cannot entirely eliminate it, but you can really improve the timbre in this way.

    Ric
     
  8. DB Slidefunk

    DB Slidefunk

    Jul 16, 2013
    UK
    Thanks guys, I'll have a play around with the EQ. Loving the sound of digging into the strings acoustically but the quack quack is most alarming.
     
  9. DB Slidefunk

    DB Slidefunk

    Jul 16, 2013
    UK
    I was also wondering how much the gain affects the quack? I normally have the EDB-2 gain at around 4 and master around 6 as I'm cautious to overdrive the signal from the already very thumpy bass.
     
  10. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    DB Slide Funk,
    Well, I hate to tell you this, but yes, the louder you get, the more you'll hear that mid bump in the Realist. IME, IMHO, that's why a went to the Ehrlund EAP. It has no quack on my bass, and sounds incredibly close to the "my bass only louder" no quack, but I'll bet if you reduce the High Mid's on the EDB-2 some of that will disappear.

    Ric
     
  11. DB Slidefunk

    DB Slidefunk

    Jul 16, 2013
    UK
    Thanks, I'll try the EQ and ultimately I might go for a troll ribbon mic as stage volume is generally not too extreme.
     
  12. BobKay

    BobKay Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    Estero, Florida; USA
    Can someone point me to a recording that demonstrates or explains what you guys mean by piezo "quack?" Ideally it would be a recording that has both parts - with quack and without quack.

    I've been laying awake at night wondering if my amplified bass quacks. You can imagine my dismay not knowing. I'm afraid I'm going to quack up pretty soon if I can't figure this out :)

    Seriously, I would appreciate any help you can provide via a link. Thanks.
     
  13. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I don't exactly have a readily handy link, but if you have any of the records that Ron Carter played on for Creed Taylor, that would be a good example. Just for your own amusement, try making the sssssss sound, cup your both your palm's together and place them over your mouth and noise. That's the frequency range where the "quack" occurs .

    Ric

    P.S. part of that sound is created by certain types of Double Bass Strings. When we all began using Tomastik Spirocores, with their distinct attack, and long ringing sustain, through a piezo, like the Underwood, and Fishman BP-100, the quack got more pronounced.

    P.P.S some players really use that timbre to good effect, as it tends to cut through the mix. So there are some great bassists who actually like that sound, and create wonderful music using it.

    PPP.S. To Quack or Not To Quack, That Is The Question
     
  14. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Indeed! A "shhhhh" actually really nails it. Here's a blast-from-the-past post with more detail.

    With regard to taming the "quack," tone-shaping with the usual equipment will only take you so far, although it can help a great deal. Sort of like the proverbial lipstick on a pig. :)
     
  15. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    OK, now we know how to imitate the "quack" portion of the OP's query...but it seems demonstrating the second portion is still open for discussion/interpretation, I guess...:D

    Is the Lifeline really that funky sounding..? Doesn't it have any redeeming qualites?
     
  16. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX

    If it quacks like a duck . . .

    To quote Mike Arnopol "All pickups suck. [This one] just sucks a little less than the others." YMMV

    I thought the LL was a pretty decent pickup. I would rank it third after the EAP and the Band.
     
  17. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    true, they all suck. EAP is out of the question for me. I am interested in The Headway Band though, since it's easily moved...I have 3 uprights now. Been using the Underwood for years with the typical varying performance quality..the Life Line is attractive, but I'm not getting the feeling that it's really anything but just a tiny different to the other pickups out there. I didn't care for the FC so much as to make a permanent commitment to 3 basses, the Fishman clip on is always a crap shoot, not really good imo for moving from bass to bass. The Underwood is consistent in that regard..so. Maybe the Band will be a good upgrade from the faithful old Underwood.
     
  18. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Mr. PC,
    There is quite a difference between the Underwood, and the Headway Band. The band has the low frequency under control, so as you increase the volume levels, the bass always stays in line. I'd also say that the Band is able to get much louder, than the Underwood can. So, for a piezo it's certainly got the edge over the BP-100 because it's not nearly as nasal, the Underwood, because it can go louder before feeding back,and sounds fuller across the full range of the instrument, the Realist, because it's bass response is less boomy overall, and perhaps even the Full Circle, because it, once again the low end is better focused. IMHO, IME.

    Ric
     
  19. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    Thanks Ric. That all sounds right, very accurate. Higher stage volumes on the upright hasn't been too much of an issue for me, but of course occasionally one has to go there and know the right eq points to suffer with..:) And I may need to be ready for higher volumes in the near future, so.. I'm leaning towards giving the Band a try, because of the flexibility (no pun intended) and some of the opinions I've read in other threads here.
     
  20. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    England
    As a long time Underwood user - I've got four on four basses - I'm moving cautiously towards a LL. I'm still mixing with the Underwood as a lifeline (no pun intended) but am liking it more and more.
     

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