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Live Bass DI/Mic

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Nathan Colucci, May 1, 2010.


  1. Nathan Colucci

    Nathan Colucci

    May 1, 2010
    So,

    Currently,

    I'm running my Fender Precison bass into Gallien-Krueger 1001RB Head into my two cabs (210RBH-top 115RBH-bottom, woofer).

    Then, I'm micing the top cab with a Sennheiser e902(often used for micing bass drum).

    And DIing the head, post EQ into the PA.

    It then get's pumped out through two Columns and a seperate Sub-Woofer.

    It's getting a heavy sound, HOWEVER when I play with my band (Classic rock trio) it get's really muddy and I loose the deffiniton of my notes.

    Any tips?? (mic placing, EQ on the head, EQ on the board)
    Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    My experience has been to use the DI for solid bass and the mic for mids-highs. Unless you are not doing much EQ'ing, you may want to try sending the DI pre-EQ. The last "head & DI" I've done always had the DI before my EQ(pure bass guitar feed) with the speakers and mic transmitting what I did to the sound with EQ.

    My setup put a Sennheiser 421 facing the 10" speaker(either SVT or Trace Elliot 10's) with it positioned exactly between the outside of the cone and the dust cover. The BEST way to determine your mic/speaker point(s) requires 2 people plus you and some time. One person must have hearing protection IF the mic is to be moved while you play and the soundman(and you if you're wireless) listen to the results versus position. Once you find the "sweet spot" for the mic/cabinet combination, mark it somehow OR memorize it.

    If you tone from your bass is all bottom and your amp is also EQ'd to be all bass, your muddiness is what you are producing. Try setting everything flat and going from there. If you're still muddy with everything flat, is it onstage sound or the PA? Whichever it is, try cutting a tiny bit of bass out and boosting a tiny bit if mids/highs. This too will require experimentation(due to equipment) and probably will change with each different room you perform in. Let the PA do most of the work for pushing your bass into the audience. Soundfolks will appreciate that also.

    FINAL NOTE:
    You said "when you're playing with the band it gets....".
    99.99% of the time, my solo'ed(no band) EQ will sound perfectly balanced but once everyone else(guitar, keyboards, drums & cymbals) come in...clarity frequencies become full. A cure for this(easy with Line 6 & many preset channels on a footswitch) is to set your sound to have more mids and highs(cut through). You will also find that different rooms will modify your and your band's sound( more fun ahead! ). Recall that when you hear solo'd bass(i.e. solo'd bassists on youtube from live band mixes and studio stuff) it usually has exaggerated mids and highs but FITS in the mix. With the Line 6, I have 12 channels for normal use and 2 channels that cut through everything IN A BAND SETTING(one makes any bass sound like a Rickenbacker). I don't use those for solos but only in certain songs/certain parts and sometimes if a room makes me sound like total mush I'll click on RicSound patch for a cure but cut back the tone(cut highs) using my bass and/or fingers(where I play). For solos they are too bright IMO.

    EQ on the board:
    DI if pre-EQ = backoff mids/highs to cut the "fretnoise/click" off of your signal
    Mic = set to catch what bark, bite, growl, or purr that your 10's produce.
    Probably cut some bass and boost mids/highs IF needed
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    not much to add here. i'd say +1 to all that. also, if you can try recording your bass mic into your computer, you can get an idea of what different placements do.
     
  4. uhdinator

    uhdinator

    Apr 20, 2010
    Maine
    Sound guys usually prefer a pre EQ DI send (and you are getting
    the post EQ sound Via the mic'd cab anyway) If you do have too much LF dialed in on the bass and the Amp then you are really slammin the PA with to much LF and that combined with your stage sound can get Muddy. The room can even make it worse too. Have had many times where the room was really mushy and needed a lot of low mid cut in the PA as well and having a post EQ send with too much LF can make it impossible to mix it correctly.

    When mixing in the studio to distinguish the Kick and Bass I usually eq the Kick down at 100-300hz and boost it slightly at 50-80hz and cut/ roll off bass Guitar at 100hz and below and boost slightly at 150-250hz.
    It still sounds full just more intelligible.
     
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    losers! er...um...i'm more of a fan of a mic'ed cab sound.

    ;)

    seriously, it just sounds better and more natural to me than most di sounds.

    i've gotten that occasionally from soundmen. what i tell them is if they think i'm eq'd poorly for the room, tell me and i'd rather fix it than give up the mic.

    i tend to like it down a little more, like 80, but i do like that midbass boost. a little goes a long way, but it does make it thick and fat like cliff williams.
     
  6. uhdinator

    uhdinator

    Apr 20, 2010
    Maine
    I hear you Jimmy,
    90% of the time I'm doing sound for young bands and or inexperienced bass players with less than optimal gear and they think "hey its bass so I must have the bottom end maxed out" and having the direct feed in this case I can usually get something to come thru the mix and its one less open mic on stage to pick up more rumble if the band really has no clue with their stage volume.

    When I play instead of mix I go wireless so I can give a listen from out in the room now and then to hear if I am burying the mix and adjust. Usually my rig sounds pretty bright on stage but I trust and know that it fills out in the back of the room.
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i hear ya. i tend to forget that not everyone is as fabulous* as me ;)

    * fabulous is my word for slightly above average.
     

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