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Making slap sound good??

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by FUNKIESTMUNK, Feb 25, 2001.



    Feb 25, 2001
    I have been playing bass for about three years now, however I am unable to achieve the classic slap bass sound that you hear on records (larry graham for instance). My technique is good and I have a proffesional set up- Trace Elliot SM 300 GP7 head with 4x10 and 1x15 cabs. I was wondering if I am not setting the Eq correctly on my amp head , and does anyone have any Eq shapes or suggestions that may improve my sound. Also at present I do not use compression, will this improve my slap sound? If so does anyone recommend any in particular for around £100 (145$)?

    Thank you for your time....

    -Richard Morgan
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    You're here too?

    Third place I saw this posted... :rolleyes:
  3. Well, depends what you like. I generally cut SOME mids (not too much) and boost treble and bass (a bit less than treble). That's the best way for my bass. I think larry graham had more bottom than treble though...
  4. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Without seeing the way you play, how you have your bass set up and how old and thick your strings are, it's not really possible to say what's going on with your playing. I'm guess that Larry's sound was either direct into the board, or a mic'd ampeg - something like that. The sound was in his hands, not his gear - it's a cliche but it's true, sadly. If only you could buy a 1U rack of Larry's sound, we'd all get one! :oops:)

    Old school sounds are normally got with old school gear - passive musicman and fender basses through ampeg and fender amps seemed to be the order of the day in the 70s.

    a compressor will 'squash' you sound - it takes the loud notes and softens them, and the low notes and makes them louder. With a slap sound it can make it sound slightly crisper, but it depends on what controls are available on the compressor in question - if you have control over the attack, release, the 'knee' and the ratio, you can shape a slap sound with that. If it's a two control job, you might struggle...

    experimentation is the key... :oops:)


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