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Live tone questions... Help please.

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by deiseldave2001, May 15, 2002.

  1. When I plug my bass (Warmoth/ w/EMG 40's) into my crappy Tascam mixer at home, and run flat straight to the amp/monitors, my tone is what I've always hoped for. However, when I am on stage my FOH sound is below adequate. Help.
    On stage, I run DI out of my Demeter preamp into a Mackie 1604 (3:1 comp @ insert), which ultimately feeds a tri-amped system with eq, BBE, etc... No punch, and clarity is substandard on bass guitar, but the overall mix is great for a club band.
    Recently I've started using a 31 band eq off the insert, and am getting closer, but still not what I'm wanting.
    It seems that the guitar player (who owns the PA and mixes from stage) is running the main EQ to enhance other instruments, and those settings are not bass guitar friendly. To compensate for this I've been using the 31 band eq, but now I'm wondering if he is just running sound the wrong way. It's a tough call because, as I said, the overall mix is pretty good
    I've had bands with a worse overall sound due to lack of equipment, or cheaper equipment, and yet in those bands my personal sound was better. I think due to the purity of signal path (lack of eq, BBE, etc).
    This is getting lengthier than I'd hoped. Bottom line: any suggestions to get my FOH sound happening and still stay in this band?
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Inactive

    Dec 11, 1999
    You're definitly in a bind here. You are trying to reach a balance between you want to hear and what the guitar player/ sound engineer is hearing. We can probably rule out the gear. You have quality gear and can reproduce the sound through your "crappy tascam mixer". The other factor is that, as you have said, "the overall mix is great for a club band", and perhaps the guitar player is listening to the sound of the band and not the individual players (being a guitar player, I would tend to doubt that, though). There are a couple of things that I would try.

    1. Get an independent opinion from someone whose ears you trust. Someone who knows what you want and can also be unbiased in their opinion. Have them listen to your sound in the mix

    2. Talk to the guitar player about what you want to hear in your sound. See if he is cool with trying to get that sound. Remember, don't come off as being an egotistical jerk. You just want the band to sound better. Try to be as specific as possible - try to identify the frequency ranges that need to be boosted or cut, etc.

    3. Try to get your sound BEFORE going to the board. Then you can be amplified flat and not be reliant on the guitar player.

    4. Try to talk the guitar player into hiring someone else to mix (then slide them a $20 spot). See #1 above

    Hope some of these ideas help

  3. Thanks Mike,
    oddly enough, after writing out my question, my zeal towards working this out increased enough to where my guitar player was convinced that it was a real issue.
    The fix was in the inserted 31 band eq. You wouldn't believe how ridiculous the settings look.
    But you know the saying, "if it's stupid, and it works, it's not stupid".
    Ultimately, we are both happier with the results.
    Thanks again for your help.

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