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Low B mush

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by NCdan, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. NCdan


    Feb 6, 2010
    Well, I hope this is in the right forum. :confused::D

    I just got my first five-string bass http://www.rondomusic.com/defiant5bloodb.html and while I like it I'm having a hard time with the low B being clear. I'm going direct -> DBX compressor -> interface and with or without the compressor the low B is mush. I like to EQ the bass below the bass drum and the bass is strung with D'Addario Chromes. I'm looking for a nice thumpy dub reggae sort of tone. I've been playing muted with a pick to retain some clarity, and this works fine until I hit the low B. Then it's just mush.
    My experience tells me to turn the tone down all the way, turn the volume down a bit to mellow it out, and use the neck pickup. But even when I turn all the knobs up I still get low B mush. So, any advice?
  2. John Pattitucci uses a round-wound on his B-string even if it’s strung with flats. Using the same philosophy, try using a stainless steel wound string. Also, make sure that you’re using a big string like a 0.125, 0.130 or larger to get the tension. And be sure to get a good break angle at the saddle (push down on the string just in front of the bridge saddle).

    Play the B-string lightly…too mucha digging in and itsa gonna sounda floppy. Try playing the B closer to the bridge as well.

    As far as "dub" on a B-string...it's not easily achieved...the overtones are really critical on a B, because the fundimental is soooo low. And it will sound like mud if you take too much of that away.
  3. NCdan


    Feb 6, 2010
    OK, that sounds about right. Also, what do you think about the setup? Humbucker or single coil mode? Neck, bridge, or both? Tone up, down, or in between? Volume up or rolled off a bit? Sorry, I'm not really a bassist so I'm just looking for the insider tips on all this. What worked on my cheap Cort 4 string is not really working so well on this five string.
  4. NCdan


    Feb 6, 2010
    I thought I'd give an update since all of one person chimed in with their thoughts.

    :eyebrow: :bassist:

    It seems the biggest culprit was that the compressor wasn't getting a hot enough signal. So, I went direct -> preamp -> compressor -> interface. I actually left the volume up all the way and rolled the tone off about 80%. I used the neck pickup only in humbucking mode. Then I just palm mute and play with my thumb and the tone was totally awesome even on the B string. And I can switch right into playing with a pick and I get just the right amount of treble attack and boom. Not that anyone cares, but whatever...

  5. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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